Nightfall, Weariness and Hope

I feel so incredibly tired that I am amazed that I am still able to function enough to be able to write a journal entry. Must of switched over to auto-pilot. Funny. Today was busy, and full of unexpected twists.

Got up this morning, and rushed to get ready to school. Meanwhile my Mom and brother were preparing for another day out. I had just enough time to stuff my backpack, make my brother breakfast, make myself lunch, copy a CD, and few small computer fixes before launching out of the house for my first class. No hope for a ride back, but oh well I have the whole day to work.

A beautiful, warm day, but I had to dress warmly as my university believes that the temperature most conducive for learning is the breeding temperature of Emperor penguins. The lectures were hard to sit through as usual. I tried to pay attention but I still managed to copy two more CDs that I owed Mom. Sorry Professor Sills, and Katz, I only have a maximum attention span of 45 minutes. So I learned a bit in Requirements Engineering and almost nothing in Symbolic Logic. However, I managed also to try out some tricks with my Palm. I seems that I am making progress in connecting with my Linux-only laptop. But I would really have to work on it. I don’t have time for that now. Too much other things to get setup and running.

Registered with AccessAbility, and now I have the letters for my professors. In the meantime however, I received a nasty shock. My laptop refused to start up! I believe it had overheated later. But at the time being I was panicking (inside of course, always cool on the outside). A while later I turned it on… everything worked. Except that the power light had changed positions with the floppy/CD light. Confusing to no end. Now it works… lights right and all… Sometimes I am wondering if I am not dealing with a sentient being…

By the time I reached databases classes I was so exhausted that I was in my famous ranting mode. Fortunately I had nothing to talk about, but still I started falling asleep in class. And I sat at the front, not a good thing. However, I regained my senses half-way through and could answer questions, and ask for clarification. I think I understand this databases stuff. I really hope I do. Its pretty cool, once it all clicks into place. Danny was thoughtful to bring a DVD with ISOs for the course software (all legit, thanks for the lenient license Microsoft!). I got it most copied on to my system except for Visual Studio .Net 2003 Prerequirements and XP Pro. Now if only I can get VMWare Workstation to work on my laptop, we would be cruising.

I got back home by bus. Chilling and listening to music helped to kill the time, and I got off with high spirits. The short walk home I enjoyed throughly. Soft silent warm night air breezing around me, cooling me down but not too considerably. I enjoyed it. Life is good. There is a good chance I will be working for Dr. Graham in the Psychology labs… paid hacking. 😉 And I signed up for PEY too. OK I now post, and reboot. Hope this kernel fixes the framebuffer issue.

Staring into the Endless Void

The void stretched endlessly outward. Far past the insignificant planet, that he called his homeworld. Far past the distant gas giants. Far past even his own wild, mechanistic imagination. He stood there, the cold air condensing his warm breathe. Beside the glow of the fire, snuggled amongst the still river, and the dark forest, he stood. He stood there. A feeling of absolute insignificance in face of the grand scheme of things. He asked quietly, neither to himself nor to the silent, distant stars, “Are you there?”

First day of university, and already I feel about squished under the immense pressure. So much to do, so much to learn, so much to set into motion. And so many to greet again. I was in a stupid rambling mood… but still… I guess I was nervous too. Please forgive me. Anyways, this entry is going to be a longer one since it deals with the last three days… so here goes.

Saturday. I crawled into the tent when the sky became gray, and the stars had dissipated into the morning gloom. That was at 6:30. I got up around 9:30, and needed a few coffees to revive myself. After breakfast we packed up, as we had decided to head back home in the evening. Of all places, we found the outer covering of the tent, underneath the tent. We had been sleeping on it all the while. While the packing took some time, we managed to start kayaking around 2:00. This time we kayaked the lower part of the Masquash, below the Big Eddy generating station. There we encountered a long stretch of beautiful grassy banks, a half constructed bridge, and a not so amazing C1 rapid which handled like a swift. And I was hoping to have some fun on that one too. Anyways we paddled all the way down the river, and the adjacent Grey Lake all the way up to the falls.

The falls themselves were quite pretty, and dangerous but we didn’t go anywhere near them on kayak. We portaged ourselves (not our craft) to a lookout at the base of these falls. Quite a view. But the best was still to come. On our return trip, along the stretch of grass bank, we met up with a beaver chewing on fresh greens on the bank. Naturally my brother had to scare him, as my little brother is usually up to doing silly things. The beaver jumped into the water, but later emerged and swam along with us! Then we noticed another, and yet another swimming a bit further up. The creatures swam with us mostly, but occasionally waded unto the bank and after spying us jumping back into the water. I must say, that I felt privileged to kayak alongside such beautiful creatures. Of course, the beavers were sly enough not reveal their lodgings. But still… wow!

Due to the beaver incident, we got back to our car by dusk. We barely secured our kayaks to the rooftop rack before it got dark. After a short meal, we started on our long trip home.

Sunday. Fortunately not such a fast day, as I had expected. Still a worthwhile mention. I started off with mass as I have with every Sunday. This time the mass was held on the field nearby the construction site of the new church. Not a very interesting mass at that, since the pastor ranted the entire time about the “miracles” of preparations for building the new church. I will not state my opinion about the pastor, but it unfortunately leans to the negative side. Even more unfortunate, that most of the more “involved” parishioners have stronger, negative opinions. Sigh… Anyhow, leaving matters of religion and politics aside, my brother Martin’s dance performance happened later on in the day. Martin is in a Polish traditional dance group, and today he performed a number of dances. I am impressed with his progress, since he is one of the best dancers in the entire group. Go bro go!

The day ended in a disastrous walk to Heart Lake which ended up in me having some 12 crazy mosquitoes landing on my legs simultaneously. The walk cut short because of that, my parents decided to go to Professor’s Lake instead. I greatly enjoyed the latter park. When we got back home, I got started on preparing for school: getting rides, and fixing my wireless card. I gave up on the wireless card around 1:00 AM. I really don’t think its fixable.

Monday. First day of school, and I am ready for action. My lecture of the day was PHL245: Modern Symbolic Language. It seems incredibly easy thanks to all the previous intensive logic training I received. Rudy also found it simple too, and so instead of listening to the professor, Rudy attempted hacking my wireless card. Naturally after about half an hour, he gave up on the venture. When I talked to the head of computer services, Joe Lim about the problem with the card, he also remarked there was no way I could fix the problem… maybe the manufacturer could… or maybe not. After class Rudy and I drove to Chapters in hopes of purchasing of the textbook for our Information Systems Analysis course. We did buy them but only after searching for the store, then the book, and then paying for the books was fun too. The store price was too high, and they chewed up my gift card in the process. Fortunately they lowered the price and reset my gift card (hehehe funny little story about that too but I am not going to tell). On the way back to school, I grabbed a fairly inexpensive Netgear PCMCIA wireless card. It cost me less than the old one, and the new one can do the faster 802.11g protocol while being able to switch back to the older 802.11b one. Nice.

I arrived just in time for my next lecture: CSC320 Visual Computing. Yay! My graphics course. Well yay sort of… I mean the material is interesting, the professor is pretty cool as he seems to be one of those hacker-types, and a number of my school friends are in the class. The only problem is that the assignments are huge and technically difficult. Yes, I know its a third year level course… but still. The professor, Arnold Rosenbloom actually went through two lectures today. A song and dance about visual computing, the quality of the assignments, and a bit about image processing. Then on to the matting problem… which bewildered most of the class. When he asked for a show of hands who knew what was going on, about a third of the class raised there hands. Most of them were lying, including me. No, seriously I did understand it, but I had a bit of difficulty visualizing the solution, and its been ages since I touched linear algebra. Anyhow, no slouching in this class. No sir.

That was my last class, and it was time to go home. On the way out, I saw a posting for a student position in working on programming in the Psychology department. Very interesting, and I met the guy hiring. Apparently there is one more position, and I should bring in my resumée. I will try it out. I should be up for the job. I took the bus home since I have not gotten a concrete answer for a ride. Sigh… the rest of the day was spent resting, and preparing for tomorrow’s kayak trip. Looks like another busy, and interesting school year.