November 17, 2011

The Fate of Innovation... Sorta

So I wrote this in November and evidently never pressed Publish... So here you go. I was planning on writing a whole new blog post, but maybe I'll save that for tomorrow.

First of all, I apologize for the long amount of time that are padding my entries. On some level, I suppose that it means I am having less life crises. Then again, I could just be internalizing better. Either way, life is busy, hectic, and beautiful.

Right now, I am very worked up about something. So worked up, I am even considering law school (*pauses for the gasps that I am sure ensued from that statement*). It actually started on Tuesday [November 15] when I read an article for class about an anti-trust case against Google. I had never even thought of Google as a monopoly (especially due to all the negative conotations associated with that label). What appalled me what the insinuation that Google was going to take over the world and there would be no room for others to enter the market and they need to be stopped. This is where America baffles me. We wholeheartedly support the "little guy" but right when the "little guy" starts going somewhere and becoming the "big guy" we panic and think of all the ways they must be stripped of power. That is so hypocritical and confusing. I do not understand people's arguments against Google. In my opinion, they earned their place in the technology world. This is not to say I do not agree with intervention in the case of corruption - but has Google done anything wrong? They are after all proponents of GOOD (their motto: "Don't be evil.") They make the world's information available nearly universially. They offer great products without charge. (Sidenote: people argue that your information is actually the fee, while if you think about it, it's just like stores taking stats of their customers. Who wouldn't further themselves using their own innovation?! Come on, people!) They are making the world a better place. I truly do not see the problem, and am disgusted that people are belittling them and trying to throw up barriers. That is simply not fair, and benefits NO ONE. If someone can come up with something that legitimately rivals Google, be my guest! I love friendly competition that encourages innovation in both parties. Furthermore, no one has to use Google. There are alternatives. People just use Google because it works!

Additionally, the culture Google (and the rest of the internet) had helped to spur is something I consider to be extremely beneficial to the human race in general. The sense of collaboration that is coupled with the internet encourages interconnintental friendships and teamwork. Open source is extraordinarily unselfish (since you get little out of posting code besides the chance at potential recognitioin) and helps everyone improve their technology. Yes, people use the internet for evil... But so many more people use the internet for good.

I don't understand the problem. Possibly pre-law? Who knew.

October 5, 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary" -Steve Jobs

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs. Thank you for your incredible, visionary contributions to technology. You have changed how we interact with the world. You have truly left your mark.

October 2, 2011

Looking For Some Peace

"You can't waste the day wishing it'd slow down / You would've thought by now / I'd have learned something..." (Sara Bareilles)

I am a professional worrier. No seriously, I should get paid for this. I have a feeling I am taking years of my own life with the amount of anxiety I allow to rest in my heart.

I've found a renewed strength in my faith, which has been incredibly helpful in some ways and actually even more stressful in others. I am a person who takes things very seriously. Usually, that serves me well; I am detail oriented and will always finish a task for which I am responsible. On the other hand, it puts me in the position of feeling extreme guilt for moments of failure or disappointment to anyone. And I have such a hard time letting go of those moments. I carry them with me and end up beating myself up. It's an odd, self-perpetuating cycle. I am constantly asking myself if I am being the person I should be - am I striving to be my best? To help others? To do what I can do better the world? Am I being patient and kind? Am I complaining too much? What am I doing wrong?

Having renewed faith has brought peace to many aspects of my life, and offers me hope at times when I am very down. I feel humbled by the women I have met in Bible study and I feel small in a good way. But I am having a hard time letting go completely. I have a hard time asking God for help. I have a hard time trusting. Which makes me feel guilty and then launches me into the aforementioned cycle. I try to put in a good light, telling myself that that guilt is actually a reminder to check myself - to strive to be better at all times.

On a different note, I am forming some great friendships at school, for which I am so grateful. I feel blessed to have people like Beth and Jackie in my life. I am so glad to have friends like Steve. It makes me know that the transition of next year will go as smoothly as it feasibly can. I am super nervous about the apartment though. I want to live with Beth and Jackie and Courtney so badly but I am hearing about deposits and putting rent down and I am slightly panicked. I don't know if it's possible financially. Just another worry bouncing around my ball-pit brain.

I do have an interview tomorrow for the CIT HelpDesk. I didn't get the tour guide position (which was a real downer - I've always wanted to be a tour guide). I have applied to SO MANY positions on campus, so I'm sincerely hoping for this opportunity to pan out. Although, I did find out that there is apparently a limit to my earnings? And I owe more on my bursar than I'm allowed to make? And I sorta need money for just life (shampoo? birthday gifts? etc...). So that was sorta, as Emily would say, a slap in the face. Ugh.

On a POSITIVE note (yay!), Beth and I went to AppleFest this weekend which - though it was cold - was a lot of fun. It felt very American and romantic and festive... totally up my alley. I loved the caramel apples, the fiddle music, the people-watching. It was delightful.

I need to maintain perspective. Very few things in life actually matter that much. The big-time stuff. Everything else will pan out as it should.

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord..." (Jeremiah 29:11)

September 28, 2011

My Favorite Subject: The Rain

Today it poured. And I loved it. I know I write about this frequently, but there is just something about the rain. For a while, I felt like rain was ruined after Nepal (drenched, cold, and tired), but today I felt entirely in love with the rain. The drama and the romance of the rain: especially at night. The way the light hits it, the way drips cling to everything, and the way you feel walking through it.

And finally, the sign above made me so happy. Acts of kindness.
And of course, only in Ithaca would there be such a thing as an umbrella share.

September 25, 2011

Time Really Does Fly...

Goodness! I don't think I've had such a long blog hiatus since I started it. I apologize!

I was sort of drawn to my blog today because I'm having an absurdly difficult time focusing today. I guess just a basic update is in order?

It's been a crazy semester thus far. I can already recognize how much happier I am this year, without ROTC. I have absolutely no regrets: I learned a lot about myself, about life, about how to and how not to lead, and I made some of my very best friends. But I feel a lot more in control this year as far as work. Sure, I am only taking 14 credits (and still struggling with Physics II), but I do feel like I'm getting better sleep - it's amazing how much better you learn if you can keep your eyes open in class - as well as enjoying my classes more. My classes have brought some clarity to my previous life freak out. I am super intrigued by my communication and technology class and am even considering changing my tech blog to be a compilation of what I am learning in that as well as my intro to web design class. Even if I don't go into traditional engineering, I can see myself project managing, doing research, or even teaching.

I guess that sort of brings me to a relatively recent sore spot for me. I'll keep it brief... I don't pay tuition to fund research. I pay tuition to learn. And I am sick of crappy professors and TA's who don't care.

I know this isn't much of an update, but I didn't want to fall totally off the map.

I promise another update soon!

August 5, 2011

What you do:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name

August 2, 2011

"Any Person, Any Study"...Well, except that, and that, and that...

I feel sort of guilty for not putting up a new post sooner. "I've got plenty to say," in the words of Skeeter (The Help) and have had a very contemplative summer, but somehow, I have not gotten around to actually putting anything into words.

What has come up on my mind a lot over the course of this summer is the hypocrisy of the Cornell founding motto: "Any person, any study." I will admit that Jackson was a large part of my choosing Cornell, but there were also many things I loved about Cornell too which made the decision that much more convincing. I was very drawn to the concept of Any Person, Any Study because, even though I was pretty set on Engineering, I knew that I didn't want to be in an all-tech environment since many of my interests and passions are humanities and performance-based. I loved the diversity of the students' interests and the variations of majors and possibilities. Cornell has SEVEN separate schools: Engineering, Arts & Sciences, Architecture, Human Ecology, Agriculture & Life Science, Industrial & Labor Relations, and Hotel Management. Within those schools there are many, many majors so you can only imagine the student population.

This past year has been a little rough on me. I really do like Cornell and I am grateful to be there, but it has been extremely challenging. I worked extraordinarily hard, harder than I had ever worked in high school, and still came in the bottom half of the pack in nearly all of my engineering classes. It as a blow to my self-confidence and, quite surprisingly, to my self-awareness. I started doubting a lot about myself and it was stressful. I've called these somewhat frequent moments "Quarter-Life Crises" (which actually has a pretty accurate Wikipedia page if you are interested). But Cornell disappointed me consistently whenever I thought I had come up with a new personal plan. Anyone reading this knows - I AM A PLANNER. I know where I am going, what I want, where I want to be, what my goals are, what time I am getting in and out of the shower, what time I have to finish brushing my teeth to be on time. When I list it like that, I sound OCD. And I admit, I am probably borderline. But part of what terrified me about these quarter-life crises was that, suddenly, I had no clue where I was going and if where I was going was where I wanted to be going. Now, back to Cornell disappointing me. I finally thought: Hmm, I'll get an English minor and then continue on my current path but with something I enjoy on the side. Guess what? No English minor at Cornell, only major. Some more pondering lands me thinking: Ok, I'll major in Journalism and WRITE about science. What? No journalism major at Cornell? OK, fine, let's rethink. What have I enjoyed doing? Teaching? Ok, I'll major in Education! What?! Cornell has shut down that program too?!

I wanted to find a path. I want to have a plan that I am confident in. But Cornell seems to be really against me. With Emily looking at schools, my biggest advice for her is look at schools that have MULTIPLE majors you are interested in - specifically. Not just "Oh they have 80 majors" because Cornell has a ton and yet the three new plans I have come up with are not there for me. I like being at Cornell, and after all the work I have done in the Engineering school, I am even more hesitant to switch because then I would feel like this past year would have been a waste. I don't know if that is pride, or obstinate stupidity, or courage, but I cannot shake that feeling and cannot bring myself to switch, especially without a specific plan.

And now Cornell is phasing out dance and theatre. I am terrified that I will never know where I am going. Coming out of high school I was confident and sure of myself and proud of my accomplishments. Now I feel sort of small and incapable and I just want to have a goal. I want to have a plan. And I feel like - with the exception of the people I have met there - Cornell as let me down. On the academic front, at least. It's so frustrating, and yet I am still proud of my school, proud of where I am, and don't want to be anywhere else. Wow I sound ridiculous.

June 16, 2011

Mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful

e.e. cummings had the right words, when regular English vocabulary simply wouldn't suffice.

There is truly no better humidity than the air right after rain in Mississippi. I always said there was a Mississippi "smell." Emily and I could sense it whenever we flew down for a summer vacation at Lake Pickwick. We would land in Memphis and drive towards the border, filled to the brim with anticipation. The reddish-brown pebbly stones and Mississippi mud welcomed us home (even thought Mississippi had never been our actually home until last June). We could smell the heat, the mud, the humidity, and the love. It is a distinct Mississippi smell. And when we drove down last June with Brigitta, that same innocent excitement filled us both as the faintest essence of that Mississippi scent reached our noses. We pointed it out to Brigitta, who conceded that it did smell different, but Emily and I could tell - it was Mississippi.

Having lived here for a year, the smell has obviously faded from my immediate attention, but it is one of those things I don't ever expect to forget. It is odd to think that I've lived in so many places, and with so much extreme weather. I've seen snow on the fourth of July in Vail. I've been in the middle of a vicious and fatal heat warning in Mississippi. I've frozen straight down to my bones in Ithaca. I've gone months without seeing sunshine in Portland. And I wouldn't give a single one of those experiences up for the world.

Right now I am enjoying the post-rain humidity. It has been a hot summer, and it is only mid-June. And there is bad humidity - everyone knows that sticky kinda that almost feels suffocating (although, you've never really felt it until you've been to the South). Sometimes I miss the dry air of Colorado which prevented me from ever feeling unbearably hot, regardless of how warm the thermometer claimed the air to be. But there is, in spite of its stickiness, a comfort in the thick air. It's like been embraced. The air at the moment is not too hot, but has an indescribably perfect weight to it. I feel like I never have to put lotion on again! In all seriousness though, its the kind of humidity that just makes you fall in love with Mississippi.

I think Mississippi will always be my home.

May 26, 2011

We all falter... When will we learn to reach out for each other?

I seem to have a trend of using lyrics as titles. It seems absurdly corny, but music lyrics get to you for a reason. They ring true. They wake something up inside of you.

It has been one of those days that I have had many little epiphanies, but now that I am here to write them down, grasping onto those thoughts seems as easy as catching a cloud. All I can think about is how much I love my dog. That sounds silly but he's laying in my floor, curled up on the only section of carpet that isn't covered in the multitude of boxes I brought home from school. Nigel can't talk, but you can tell he is a thinker. And that if he was a person, he would be the sweetest person in the world. Someone who never ever complained, but loved with his whole heart. I just want to go curl up beside him and hug him for hours and hours. I hope he knows how much we love him.

One of my random thoughts today: God made nature in order to spur our imaginations. I was sitting on the porch swing and looking at a bird swooping and looking at the trees. We have mimiced birds and learned to fly. We mimiced fish and built submarines. We have learned structural techniques from the anatomy of plants. What's next? It just goes to show, God is intentional.

Obviously, that applies to more than imagination. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember to just let go. Jerimiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." I tend to get worried and tense. I just have to remember to just let God take over. He has a plan for me - but I am still struggling with what.

I have been thinking about that a lot lately. I don't really have an idea of where I want to go. I know that I aspire to be a good person, to make a difference, but I don't know how. I know that God has a plan, he has "placed a dream on my heart" in the words of Hannah's graduation speaker. But that doesn't mean it will happen without my action. I cannot simply sit back and wait for my life to pan out. I have a dream planted inside of me, I just have to find it. I have to figure out what direction I am supposed to be heading. It's scary. I am confused. I truly have no idea where I am going. And I want to find it - to be happy and fulfilled.

My first year of college has come to a close. Life is moving so fast.

May 16, 2011

Rainy Days

I'm sitting in the corner of Duffield watching the rain. It couldn't be anymore beautiful. I would aboslutely love to drop everything and run and dance and jump and laugh and get soaking wet. It's wonderful to watch. It's just heavy straight rain with occasional rolls of thunder. Even though it's cold outside, I am entranced watching the puddles form and each drop ignite a new flury of patterns. The randomness is incredibly addicting. I want to lay on the concrete and forget everything while the rain comes pouring down. "Every time it rains... I know it's good to be alive..." (Charlotte Martin).

As much as I have enjoyed taking Ancient Egyptian Civilization, even that can't seem to tear me away from watching the rain. Exam tomorrow? Hmmm....

May 8, 2011

My Mama

Now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side
Even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
Staying back and watching me shine

And I didn't know if you knew
So I'm taking this chance to say
That I had the best day
With you today

- Taylor Swift

There's nothing like mamas. There is nothing better than snuggling in her bed, having her braid my hair, smelling bacon in the morning, or laughing, crying, and squealing together watching David Tutera. And my mama is wonderful. She wrote me a poem earlier this year, one of those "H is for" but she connected the entire thing and it was the most amazingly accurate, totally sweet thing in the world and I plan on hanging it up in every single room I have from now until ever. Thanks to my mama, I grew up well, and turned into a person that I hope makes her proud. She is there for me, sometimes with tough love, but always with love. She understands me, she looks out for me, and wants the best for me and my sistser.

I am so greatful for my mama. I have had a million best days with her.

April 27, 2011

It's Been a While

The last month has been a whirlwind which has made posting difficult because I haven't had more than two seconds to think and whenever inspiration would hit I'd be somewhere that I could do nothing.

A few of the things that have crossed my mind recently: prefrosh, the purpose of religion, and NROTC/my future.

Ok, religion has come up frequently so I'll start there. On Easter, I had the pleasure of attending the St. Luke's service with a relatively large group of friends. Catie (my KD cousin) and Jing (my KD big) had planned to go with me for a while leading up to the day, but the day before we picked up Beth and she brought Charlie and then we ran into Ruth-Anne on the bus and she jumped in. It became a group affair which only made the wonderful day so much more festive. Pastor Bair gave a great sermon about "breaking" out of old prejudices and mindsets and starting anew. Being the wonderfully goofy pastor that he is, he had an egg at the pulpit and threw it into the pews of the packed church to gasps and some laughter. Someone caught the egg, spoiling the illustration of a shattering egg, but the humor and point was still there. Everyone laughed, which Pastor Bair dubbed "Easter laughter." I've always felt renewed and fresh coming out of church, and I love smiling and singing during services. It surprises me sometimes when church makes people nervous or hesitant, or when they are somber during the service. Of course there are serious sermons now and then which require thoughtfulness and somberness, but overall church is meant to be a happy place. It is there to give you something to trust and believe in - "If you don't believe in something, it's not that you won't believe in anything, is that you'll believe anything." Faith is so important. I know people at all sorts of stages of faith: full-fledged religious, just knowing something bigger is out there, testing the waters. But faith is there to make us believe that everything will be ok. It gives us answers and hope. And it's supposed to be a happy place. It's not supposed to be scary. You are supposed to feel safe and relaxed and hopeful and happy. That's my opinion, anyway.

On a different note, prefrosh. They are EVERYWHERE. And on some level, I am tempted to write a "guide to finding the right college." I know it's been overdone, but now I see why. Everyone feels like they have the key. A few of my ideas:
1. Look around when people are going between classes. Is the atmosphere friendly or rushed?
2. As if the libraries are open 24/7. You WILL have an night that you need to stay up all night and you should know if there will be anywhere besides your dorm room open.
3. Try the dining hall food, but know that if you are there during university-specific visiting days, they have probably improved the food and it's not what you'd actually be getting.
4. Sit in on a class that you are at least somewhat familiar with. That way you can actually tell if you would be able to follow a lecture because you'll have some background and know what to be looking for.
5. Never be afraid to ask for directions or stop students for their opinions on something about the school. We WANT to help.
6. When touring, wear the sort of shoes you' d be in on a regular basis because you want to know if the campus is going to hurt your feet/if you do choose the school, you'll want to know what sort of shoes to invest in.
That's just a taste of the random things I've come up with recently. I may add more later.

And now, on a serious note. NROTC. At the end of next week I plan to tell the unit my decision to leave. I'm nervous but I know it's right. I went in to talk to Captain Weed yesterday and he wouldn't let me get more than 10 words out which was incredibly frustrating and solidified my decision. He also called me by the wrong name twice. I can now see that I am not special to them. And I never expected to be, but I did hope for some respect and sincerity which I did not get. I fully support the military and all they do, but it is not the place for me.

But where is the place for me? Jackson and his friends applying for jobs and grad school along with me getting ready to part with NROTC has left me thinking about what I actually want to do. And to be honest, I have no clue. I enjoy most engineering topics, but is that what I want to do with my life? Will I be good at it or will it be stressful? Do I want to run a non-profit? Be a writer? I know who I am, but where the hell am I going?

April 1, 2011

Facebook Rant

I have a (relatively) firm one-status-a-day stance, but some days, a girl just has a lot to say! For now, here is what *would have* been by second status update of the day:

I get kicked out of the Engineering Library on a Friday night as my parents are headed to an Ole Miss Engineering promotion event... My mom's response to my situation: "You wouldn't have gotten kicked out of our engineering building, you would have been offered beer and bbq!"

I stick to my policy 99% of the time, even on days like today, because I hate when people mis-use Facebook. Particularly status with NO point like: "Just woke up." Unless that is at 4 pm and has obvious humor, NO ONE CARES. Also people who let you know where they are (unless, like before, it has some humorous significance or attached anecdote). People are not your friend to hear what you ate for lunch or where you are studying. Also, I hate whiney, self-pitying status. Unless it is very justified and people will understand/lament with you (i.e. "Come on Ithaca, another rainy day?"), again, NO ONE CARES. And besides, why not be positive anyway? Geez people. Facebook does not equal diary. Mkay thanks.

Just had to share that! I thought I'd try out Twitter since that is where it is acceptable to update more than once a day but I am laboriously long-winded and 140 characters or less is so not my style.

Back to Linear Algebra! Yaaaaaaaaaay Cornell Engineering ;-)

March 25, 2011

Getting Pre-Leaving Homesickness

"Now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes, staying back and watching me shine,
And I didn't know if you knew, so I'm taking this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today."

I know that I must go back to school, face my math class and power through NROTC, but here I am, sitting in the upstairs window looking outside. I love being home. I am a hopeless romantic, a down-home girl, and an old soul. I would love nothing more than to sit on the porch with homemade lemonade and just listen to the crickets indefinitely.

I'll be back soon enough, but goodbyes might be the hardest thing in the world.

March 22, 2011


I love being home. I am savoring every single second. And it is bringing me all sorts of joy, but it is also making me sad. I'm suck in a really awkward position between childhood and adulthood. I never really understood at the time that I was truly a child in high school. And now, with just one year of school, I'm in the interm stage. I'm learning to be independent without being entirely on my own. This all hit me when I went up into the storage room upstairs to get one of my shirts. I found all of my clothes in one of the corners, along with various pieces of my room that have moved up there gradually as my room has shifted from my room to the guest room/my mom's sewing room. And I don't at all mind the transformation, I'm glad that the space is getting used. But what hit me was seeing things like my baby blanket, my stuffed animals and dolls, and my books. It was like that portion of my life had come to a quiet close without me even noticing. I know that I have to grow up, but a part of me desperately wants to just freeze that segment of my life. On some level, I never want to grow up. I want my perfect, quirky childhood room with the safety of mama and daddy just three steps down the hall.
This does not mean that I am not eager for the future. I love the independence of college life and planning for how I want to run my life and my own space. But it is hard to let go of such a wonderful part of my life. I loved childhood. My family is loving and kind and I am so grateful for the way I was raised. But it does make moving on so very hard. It's hard to let go of something so sure and so carefree.
I don't know how to feel. I am stuck, torn, and confused. I want to move on, but it is so hard to say goodbye to something that has such a soft spot in my heart. No wonder I cried so hard in Toy Story 3. I am Andy, and I am saying goodbye to Buzz and Woody.

March 19, 2011

Airport Thoughts

I love airports. So much. I have a 4-hour layover in Detroit and I am thoroughly enjoying my people watching. I am sitting at gate A-77 with my headphones in to block out the news going on and on about everything that is going wrong in the world. I feel terrible for the people in Japan and am interested in the outcome of the Near East riots, but sometimes a girl really just needs some optimism. I know I talk about that all the time, but it’s because it’s so important to me. I completely understand the purpose of news, but I do not understand why it needs to be sensationalized and constantly negative. But anyway, that was not intended to be the focus of this post so I’ll leave that rant for another time.

The Detroit airport is quite a contrast to the drear of the news. It is big and open with sloping roofs and huge windows everywhere. There is even a tunnel leading to Terminal A with fun Manheim Steamroller-esque music coordinated with dancing light panels on both sides. I don’t use the moving walkway in the tunnel because I thoroughly enjoy the show. Today in particularly, I took a nice long walk between flights instead of using the Sky Tram or the moving sidewalks because I a) had time to kill and b) just really like airports.

I think it would be fun to do a photography project at an airport. Of course, there is all sorts of legal stuff that would get in the way of this, but I can still fantasize. I want to spend a whole day walking around and taking pictures of all the different personalities I see. The cute little girl with the hair wrap and huge bow. The businessman asleep at his laptop. The classic tourist with tube socks and safari hat. The sweats-clad college students eager to go home. The life-worn older couples with the weight of the world on their faces. The young couples trying to wrangle unruly children. The career-conscious businesswoman click-clacking down the tiles. The grumpy fat lady with a too-small shirt. The smart phone-enthralled, kind of frumpy late twenties “dude.” The family with teenage girls decked out for the beach and son who “so doesn’t want to be there.” I think you could get a pretty accurate representation of the world (or America at least) with something like that. Plus it would just be so much fun. (Sort of like Tibby’s “suckumentary” in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Oh, how I’d like to re-read those books. So good.). There is an escalator in the Detroit airport that easily ascends what would be 2.5 stories. It was there, coming up out of the musical tunnel, that all of this personality interest hit me. Everyone was frozen, evenly spaced on the long escalators which were peacefully escorting them to their destinations. Some people were scowling, others were smiling, and others looked pensive. Everyone was going somewhere. It’s fun to make up stories about their potential travels. It also shows just how many people are in the world and different everyone is. I find it fascinating.

Another thing about this airport: the birds. I am convinced that movies like A Bug’s Life and Toy Story are much more real than anyone realizes. And it is no difference with birds. I see two of them flying side-by-side along the contours of the roof then landing simultaneously on a window sill. Birds simply cannot be as stupid as “bird-brain” implies. Maybe they were having a race? Maybe its two teenage “lovebirds” on a romantic morning stroll? It’s entertaining to imagine.

All these thoughts remind me of The Terminal. If you haven’t seen that movie, it’s a must. You’ll never think of the airport the same way.

One thing I have noticed is that there are not many older folks in airports. Does that mean they are too frail or too afraid to travel? Or does it mean they’ve been everywhere they need go and are leaving the exploring to the next generation? Does it prove that home is really the best place to be?

Seeing as I am currently in the airport waiting to go home, I just might have to agree with them on that one. Home is the best place in the whole world.

March 7, 2011

Daydreaming... Again

It is 4:00 PM on a Monday afternoon, and I have a math problem set due at 7 that remains untouched. It is not so much that I don't want to do it, I am just having a hard time focusing and being motivated since the combination of all 12 of my homework assignments only add up to 2% of my overall grade. Not the best incentive to do the work...

Plus, I am just feeling content/thoughtful. Spring Break is less than 2 weeks away, KD Big-Little Week just finished, and I dropped Chem (for my own sanity - I'll take it next Spring instead). I am thinking a lot about the future. I do that a lot, don't I? Jackson and I drove to Syracuse on Saturday so I could get my military ID. I must admit, even though I am pretty sure that I wont be in ROTC next year, that ID card is pretty legit. I feel kind of BA with it in my wallet, haha. Anyway, the drive was the most pleasant break from everything. It was so nice to get off campus and talk about everything. We came to the conclusion that Cornell offers too many opportunities to not take advantage of being here, even if that means not being in ROTC (Navy OR Air Force). Jackson - being the wonderful person he is - also had to convince me that it is really ok to not follow through with everything I've started right off the bat. College is the time to explore and change and learn about yourself even more than learning about an particular subject. There are so many things on campus I want to do - Cornell Consulting Group, Interfaith Youth Core, Tour Guide, write for the Daily Sun... The options are endless. I also am considering doing a Co-Op work program, but I have to look into that more. The important thing is that I maintain balance while exploring. I am really excited.

We got over a foot of snow overnight last night and it really made me miss Vail. I hope to get back there at some point...

Anyway, I think I might maybe need to get back to work. I have a lot on my mind and a lot to say so I'm sure I'll be back soon enough.

February 24, 2011

Missing my family... Missing home...

Wasn't it easier in your lunchbox days? Always a bigger bed to crawl into. Wasn't it beautiful when you believed in everything? And everybody believed in you?

Wasn't it easier in your firefly catching days? When everything out of reach someone bigger brought down to you? Wasn't it beautiful running wild til you fell asleep? Before the monsters caught up to you...

February 20, 2011

Big-Time Stuff

I'm gearing up for my corny-but-hopefully-inspirational Facebook event week of "Appreciate the Little Things." I should be sleeping right now, seeing as my Appreciation week ironically, coincidently, and happily overlaps with what will prove to be one of the hardest weeks I've faced at Cornell to date, but instead I'm here because I couldn't fall asleep thinking about all the corny inspirational things I wanted to blog about. I guess that's a good reason to be restless.

Jackson says this thing that apparently I said first, but it always rings true for me. "This is just small-time stuff." It helps put things in perspective. Prelims, stress, PT... They are all "small-time stuff." Family, love, friendship, happiness... That's the "big-time stuff."

I wish that I could make "Appreciation" week go on all the time. I want to let people know that they are appreciated, too. It's so easy to think about things you want to change in the world - and don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for that - but it's so important to be able to see the beauty that is already here. There are things that are bad, but there are so many more things that are good. Personally, I wouldn't make it through the day without thinking about something or someone that makes me smile or inspires me. I plan to write a whole post on people who I look to for hope.

One of my favorite quotations is by Allan Chalmers: "The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." I have plenty to do, I have so many people to love, and I have so much to hope and live for. I have every reason to be happy. What's crucial is remembering that when I face adversity. Which brings me to a recently-discovered-but-quickly-becoming-favorite quote by Washington Irving: "There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity." In the face of adversity, I am strong and capable.

I am having a day that I desperately wish I could convey to people the beauty and grace of our world. Always endeavor to improve, but never take for granted what exists.

February 13, 2011


Every little thing is gonna be alright

I should be doing homework. I have a ton on my plate, and two problem sets due tomorrow. But I'm in an incredibly pensive mood and I'm having a difficult time focusing. I'm also missing writing. I am not feeling particularly inspired so I don't think I could do anything about it, but I'm feeling a bit of the Engineering blues. I'm going to do my best to write more this semester. Even just a poem or two. I'm going to look into an English minor too, since ultimately, my dream job would be editing for Wired.

It's on of those mood that every song that comes on my iTunes brings back a flood of memories or a bombardment of thoughts. It makes finding the ionic concentrations in solutions rather mundane. I want it to be summer so I could go sit next to Beebe Lake for hours on end and just be. The world is so beautiful. Regardless of the season, I absolutely adore the weather and the surroundings. I love the icy, pure beauty of winter. I love the incredibly inspiring colors and excitement and freshness of spring. I love the carefree, wonderful, sunny summer. And I love the nostalgic, crisp fall. The only problem with winter is that I can't go sit outside whenever I feel the need to do so. That is my sole complaint. Well, that and the cold.

The past few weeks have been rough. I have been making decisions that will literally affect the next ten years of my life. On top of that, I have been sick and just trying to keep up with Cornell. It's scary to be less than 20 and making decisions about where I'll be when I'm out of my 20s. Today I had such a strong urge to be in Mississippi at a Cracker Barrel after driving on the Natchez Trace, eating pancakes and then sitting on the porch listening to the crickets. I think that Mississippi in the summer at dusk will always be my favorite place in the world. Geez, I'm sappy. Everything just seems so simple there.

I wish I had some epiphany to share. I wish I could say that I had a life-changing experience to describe. Unfortunately, I am just here, distracting myself, thinking about life. And I really truly love life. It is incredibly hard sometimes, but there is always something to enjoy. Love. Family. The outdoors. Simply being alive.

February 9, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

I'm on a bit of a Sugarland kick at the moment - they always know how to say it just right.

"Little Miss down on love / Little Miss I give up/ Little Miss I'll get tough, don't you worry about me anymore / Little Miss checkered dress / Little Miss one big mess / Little Miss I'll take less when I always give so much more...
It's alright, it's alright, it's alright / Yeah, sometimes you gotta lose 'til you win / It's alright, it's alright, it's alright / It'll be alright again / It'll be alright again, I'm okay / It'll be alright again, I'm okay (I'm okay) / It'll be alright again, I'm okay...
Little Miss do your best / Little Miss never rest / Little Miss be my guest, I'll make more anytime that it runs out / Little Miss you'll go far / Little Miss hide your scars / Little Miss who you are is so much more than you like to talk about..."

I think I have decided to drop out of NROTC. I am obviously going to finish out the semester since it's the only way financially for me to be here at Cornell, but at the end of the semester I think that I will take my leave. And I have spent roughly two full months making this decision, so believe me, it's been thoroughly thought through.

It's hard because I have a gigantic Pro-Con list. And I want to want it, but I just don't. Part of it is knowing that I have service selection of essentially aviation, submarines, and surface warfare - none of which appeal to me. I want to do logistics/supply, and that is not really an option. Another part is waking up for PT and wanting to cry. I should not have so many mornings at college that I dread waking up - it's an awful feeling.

- money for college
- job right out of college
- friendship
- leadership/management experience
- physical fitness
- make people/myself proud
- serve my country

- dread waking up
- Batallion PT
- time suck
- exhausted all the time
- no interest in jobs
- stressful

I know that makes it seem like Pro should win. And, you know, maybe it should. But that's a really difficult decision which is why I have vacillated so much. I am looking into Air Force ROTC because it opens up options job-wise and major-wise and there are more girls (which is honestly such a bigger deal than you'd think it would be).

But I want to be happy at college. And it's not that I'm not happy, but I know that it would be such a huge weight lifted off and I would have so much more time for me and enjoying my four years. Yes, I'll come out with student loans if I do this, but with a Cornell Engineering degree? It'll most likely be worth it. I have to believe that it will.

I'm so scared of disappointing people. I'm scared of messing this up. But if I don't make a decision, I am just going to lose sleep and valuable "crisis management" time - finding alternate money, etc.

Again, I technically have until the end of the semester, so this is not set in stone, but I do think that it's the direction that I want to go. I need to do this because otherwise I might have a mental breakdown.

I'm still conflicted. Every time I think about it I panic a little and try and figure out what is best. But time will tell, and at this point, I at least have something to work off of.

January 8, 2011

If you wanted to just downright annoy me... You've succeeded

There is a fine line between being opinionated and being arrogant. Being educated and informed does not necessarily mean your right, or that the world will agree with you. You have your own views? Fine. Don't act like the rest of the world is absolutely terrible because they don't agree. Also, don't make broad statements that you cannot 100% personally support: i.e. "Liberals will never be safe in the southern half of this country. Ever." Unless you have been to the South and seen every single liberal personally physically hurt, you have no basis for such a statement.

On that note, the stereotype of the south baffles and annoys me to death. Asking the South to give up itss Confederate pride would be like asking England to destroy its palace because monarchies are not considered "politically acceptable." A misconception is that every Southerner during the Civil War was a crazed slave driver. Actually, most were fighting for state rights, slavery simply as a side issue. I am 100% sure that slavery is a crime, I am in no way defending it, I am simply speaking to the fact that the South has always been misrepresented and I am sick and tired of it. All Southerners are not bigoted racists like everyone seems to think. Before making a judgement, you better get your sorry ass down here.

Part of this reason this rant is here and isnt of out for the world to see is exactly my point. This is my view. Sure, I think it is correct, but I do not expect the world to agree with me. I would like people to be more informed and less ignorantly arrogant, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. It might offend someone in the middle of nowhere which will make national news and they will get their on show and have more money than they ever deserved.

Anyway, point is: OPINIONS are perfectly acceptable, in fact, encouraged. Arrogance, however, is just a sign that you have no idea what you are talking about and are more closed minded than the people you are criticizing for closed-mindedness. Get some values, some humility, and some self-awareness.

That is all.

January 1, 2011

Resolutions 2011

Yes, resolutions are cliche. Yes, most people make a list and by the end of January they have forgotten them or are entirely unsuccessful. Yes, I probably won't accomplish everything I want. But that doesn't make the principle any less important and powerful.

Resolutions are what keep us on track. The best people to be around are those who are driven, and it is hard to be driven if you have nothing to be driving towards. Goals keep us going when we feel like we have nothing to work for. Some can be concrete, success-measurable goals, while others are character traits or mental decisions. Every one helps to guide us towards becoming better people.

My Resolutions for 2011:

1. Improve my PFA score. My PFA score was a 185 this past semester. To pass unit standards I need a 225. Even if I don't pass this semester, I just want to improve. Perhaps shoot for 200 or higher?

2. Finish both Spring 2011/Fall 2011 with no grade lower than a C. I got a C- on Multivariable Calculus. I was thrilled to pass, but I don't want to cut it that close again.

3. Admit when I cannot handle my load. I have always been convinced that I could handle everything. To take care of myself, I need to come to terms with my limits.

4. Get all that I can out of CORTAMID. CORTRAMID is the summer training program for NROTC students between freshman and sophomore years. I hope to learn so much and but my best effort into every aspect.

5. Write a handwritten letter at least twice a week. I did alright at this over the past year, but I would like to be better. I love getting mail, and I want to return the favor, especially to my mom.

6. Be strong. I have had quite a year, and I need to maintain my mental strength to take on everything to come in the coming years of my life. Why not start now?

7. Put away at least $25 a month for saving. I wanted to buy so many Christmas presents this year and just did not have the funds. I will change that for next Christmas. I don't like being on financial edge all the time.

8. Eat better. I got better as the year progressed, but I need to keep an eye on my nutrient intake, especially with my low iron and constant health issues.

9. Never forget to be kind. I have always been proud of myself for being a kind person, but I want to be better this year. I want to show my gratitude for everyone around me and I want to be as supportive as possible of my friends and family.

Nine has always been a good number. I'd say those are good goals. Oh, unofficial tenth resolution: remind myself monthly of my resolutions.

All my love. Here is to a brand new year. Let's make the most of it.