May 11, 2004

Jared's Blush-Inducing Stroll Down Memory Lane

Well, somehow I found myself wandering deep in my e-mail archives this evening, checking on when I had last written to certain people and so forth. It's the rare e-mail that I've deleted, like, ever (since I started using this computer for it in August of '02), so . . . lot's of personal history in there if one has the patience to dig for it. I found our original Bible study planning e-mails, for instance . . . but on to the point.

I was reading a number of my e-mails to friends in family written during the first month or two of being here, and . . . it was so weird. So very weird . . . I didn't recognize him. I mean, me. I didn't recognize me. I mean . . . I know I'm not the person I was ten years ago. And not even the person I was five years ago . . . but to see such a dramatic change (and yet not) just since coming here . . . I couldn't even stand to read most of my own e-mails. So many exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I would start a sentence and then end it with "JUST KIDDING!!!" something like three times per message, on average.

"My new roommate is great. Her name is . . . JUST KIDDING!!! It's a guy!!!!!!!!!!"

Anyway, here is one of the less painful ones, which I thought it might interest you all to see, from back when I was a snotty little freshman, (like, before I was a snotty little junior). It sounds like me, but I say things that I just . . . wouldn't anymore. This is written to an older guy that I got to be good friends with when he to stay in Guatemala for a few months during the fall semester of my senior year (I think it was then). Anyway, I wanna say he was about 26 at the time, but I'm not sure. It won't all make perfect sense, because I'm replying to an e-mail from him. But then, I still don't really make a whole lotta sense, even on my best days. It could almost be a blog entry . . .

Wednesday, September 4th, 2002, 2:40 PM

Hey Mr. "I'm-not in-college-anymore-so-freshman-jokes-are-great." How's it going? How was Guatemala? I, too, wish I could have been there, but I am also extremely happy to be here . . . Yeah.

Anyway, the classes I'm taking aren't really that hard. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I have Chemistry at 8:15 . . . Which really stinks because I hate mornings with a deep-seated loathing that will never be reconciled. Oh, well. It's really easy because we're just re-going over stuff I learned last year, in fact, he's not even going into the material as deep as my last teacher, so it's easy. All of the homework is "suggested" which means that I can just read it and not write anything (YEAH!) and we have a "quiz" every class which is just a super simple problem that he has work on in, get this, GROUPS OF THREE!!! Not a problem at all. After Chemistry I have Calculus II at 8:15. Now, Calc II might conceivably give me a little trouble but we have these great group study sessions, led by someone who has taken the class before and is sitting in on it again, on the nights before class so I always know that I'm turning in a perfect homework paper. Plus, I can use these sessions to get an understanding of the concepts we'll be learning the next day and I can be working on the next assignment during class as the teacher explains what it's about. So, very little homework there, too. Awesome. After Calc II is Chapel. If the speaker bores me, I pull out a book and read. Only one speaker has bored me so far, and that was the president of the university giving a speech during the first chapel. Usually the speakers are really good. After that is Bible class at 11:20. I do not care for this class, as bad as that may sound. Every class is basically an open forum on a topic presented by the teacher, but I feel like everyone in the class is just spouting their nice little same-old-same-old doctrine without caring why they think that. Hmmm . . . that sounds bad too. But that's the way it is . . . Anyway, that class, (and many others), gets out at 12:15, at which point a large crowd of people head for the cafeteria. So I always wait until 1:00 to have lunch on those days. Incidentally, the food is really good. I don't always care for the main courses they're serving, but I can always fall back on the station in the back corner where you can make your own little pizza. That works. After lunch I answer e-mails or whatever (as I am right now, in fact). Then, on Mondays and Wednesdays I have Engineering Graphics (creating 3D drawings of various things both freehand and on the computer) from 3:15 to 5:30. On Fridays I have Manufacturing Processes (Machine Shop) from 2:30 to 5:30 (looooooooooooong). Tuesdays and Thursdays more than make up for the the other 3 days. On Thursdays I have Chem lab from 3:00 to 5:20 and on both of those days I have a class called Cornerstones (basically an extended, in-depth freshman orientation in seminar form) from 1:30 to 2:50. It's with the same students as in Bible and it also is in the same "discussion" format, which means it has the same "problems." Also, I have to write a two page paper for every class and some other boring stuff. But it only lasts for the first 8 weeks, after which my Tuesdays will be home free and my Thursdays nearly so. So those are my classes. And the food. My roommate is really great. He's into Star Wars and fantasy and writing and . . . all that other good stuff. He's the best person in the entire world. And, as you may have guessed, he's also reading this over my shoulder. The last two sentences are a joke. But the rest of it is true!!! We got along very well.

How was it being back in CA? (That's Central America, NOT California). Great, huh? Yeah, it's a great little corner of the world. Two and a half weeks is a lot of writing. I don't think I've ever had one of my "white heats of inspiration" that lasted half of that. So what are you calling your memoirs? I guess I could think of some really gut-bustingly hilarious titles, but I can't think right now. (Is it Friday yet?!) I did wave to you on the 3rd, but since I didn't know what time you would fly by, so I just stood outside all day and waved. I had to skip class, but it was Tuesday . . . only one. I knew my teachers would see the importance of . . . OK, enough of that. Keep me posted on things (I hardly need to tell YOU that!) I'm sure I'll see you sometime. And, as you said, might even be sooner than later. Who knows? I better go now. I have a couple more messages to type before 3:15. See ya!!!

So, yes. I haven't touched it at all, although I was tempted. That was, clearly, before I learned what a "paragraph" was (some might contend that I still don't know). It was also before I figured out how great Woodring is. And, just so you know, it is extremely unlikely that I am referring to anyone who reads this blog when I mention people airing out their ideas . . . I might have been, but I doubt it. Truth is, I just don't remember, and don't really care. As you can probably tell, what I thought nearly two years ago about anything has little or nothing to do with anything I think today.

Conclusion: Strolling down memory lane isn't always fun and nostalgic, sometimes it's just funny and embarassing. Maybe in a few weeks when I'm feeling really masochistic I'll dig up some of my old opinion pieces from high school. I've still got them. All of them. We'll see . . .

Posted by Jared at May 11, 2004 07:19 PM | TrackBack