October 28, 2004

The weeks just keep on getting crazier and crazier, and I’m loving every bit of it. Midterms are over and done with. Fortunately they all went well for me; nothing was out of the ordinary or unexpected in as much as the testing was concerned. The only major problem has been a change in professors for my physics class. The original instructor left on medical leave, and there’re been some problems with people adapting to the new teaching style. I’ve found it personally difficult just because the teacher is explaining ideas that I already know and have worked with in the past in ways that serve to only confuse and stupefy me. My solution has been to work primarily out of the book for the class instead, and only then integrate this knowledge into class in such a way that the translation of what the instructor says reinforces what has already been learned. With a test coming up on Friday, it should be interesting to see just how effective my attempts have been with this.

My roommate has turned out to be cooler than I could ever have imagined. My last several roommates both in and out of college have brought little more than headache and frustration, but this time around I think things are finally going well. We’re both easy going and respectful towards each other; he keeps the rest of the hall out of the room when I try to turn in early and I make sure he stays out of trouble and remind him of certain moral guide posts. Basically, we’ve both got each other’s backs. (He’s Tyler Shoemaker, and he approves this message.) Outside that, my social life has similarly gone well. A good balance of going out with friends; helping friends along in their classes, physical training, and other endeavors; and the occasional party converse to studies and ROTC-related activities has livened me up beyond what I was used to back at UNC. One major thing I have noticed that is different from the UNC/CU Boulder/CSU environment that I grew up around is that this school has a much more reserved and conservative feel to it; there just isn’t as much a free-living atmosphere here as in Boulder, Ft. Collins, or Denver. Part of that is the gender gap: most guys go out with specific intent towards finding the opposite gender rather than being foot-loose and fancy free. It makes going out seem more of a contest and more draining than it really should be if people went with the intent of simply enjoying themselves. Although comparing this place to Boulder’s couch-adorned Hill and pedestrian night life might not be a fair relation.

NROTC is still going strong and well. With my PT scores, grades and successes in the battalion continuing, I feel that I’m becoming more and more of an adequate candidate for scholarship. Being an Aeronautical Science major, I’m at a disadvantage because it’s not considered by the Navy to be a pure tech field. However, if I present myself competitively in all other areas, I should hopefully do well against the Navy’s decision board. I joined the Color Guard team some weeks ago when it started up here. Four other members and myself just completed our first performance for the local Navy League’s Navy Birthday celebration. Despite a good many mistakes on my part, the NROTC Unit’s captain and several other active and retired officers commended the entire team on an excellent performance. As well as we did, however, things could not have come together as smoothly would it not have been for our Color Guard Commander’s excellent training and dedication to make sure we were excellent in every step we took. It was because of his work that we were able to go from complete novices to a proficient Color Guard demonstration team in less than two weeks. Practices took up a goodly amount of time, from one to three hours per day every day, but I feel as though even that might not have been enough. I’ve begun to weigh the costs of some other activities I’ve become a part of and will most likely elect to drop drill team and SpecWar club simply because my focus has begun to wander from confidence in my studies instead to worrying about what little time I have available for anything. Needless to say, these things will still be around next semester and even in following years. Right now my grades are paramount and what ever other personal interests I may have must be laid aside for immediate successes in the overall goal.

Been hearing from a few of you on questions about the school and otherwise. I would like to thank all of you who have contacted me either through email or through the discussion boards. There haven’t been many so far, but I’m sure that will change as the school year moves on and more students start looking into colleges of interest. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns ask any one of us or all of us and we’ll be more than happy to help out. It’s a good group of people here; I’ve spotted out several of the other journal writers (though they probably didn’t notice) and know they’re decent people.

Onwards + Upwards,

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