November 29, 2001

lo, my work! my industry!

Please be warned. The following account was written at 2:00 am. There is no reason I should be up at 2:00, whether it be insomnia or philosophy papers or Super Wild Turkey Hunter III with New Action Squawking Death Noise and BASS.

I think it’s time I draw the following conclusion. I hate college. It makes me a complete monster. I snap at my friends, I ignore my family, I abuse myself. Anything that should have any meaning to me is tossed into a sacrificial fire for some goal that I still don’t fully understand, even after three years of this. As I reach back for my most pleasant thoughts of college, none of them encompass sitting at my computer and writing papers… not even going to class, for that matter. They are slouching in Erik Stromstad’s dorm room watching Simpsons. They are silly, mind-expanding conversations with Natasha at Du Nord. They are Nerd Parties with a wonderful group of friends that I have all but ignored this year. It is playing Bubble Bobble with Andrew Bartelson. Doing most anything Wooch! related. I had hoped all the forlorness would blow over by changing my major, but that is obviously not the case. Tom says I drive myself too hard, and I’m inclined to agree… though I feel I have no choice in the matter.

I treat friends like they’re a noisy inconvenience, distracting me from my precious work. Lo, my work! My industry! Where would I be without thou? I have a high value for academic excellence, but at what cost? I act as though I’m the only person in the world who feels this way. “None of you mere mortals can possibly identify with the stresses I’m feeling.” No one could ever accuse me of suffering quietly. But then, I romanticize. Actually I am not convinced of the individuality of my experience, but that itself is troubling. I feel that most other hardworking students have the same internal issues, and yet externally they seem to have them reconciled. “If they can put up with it, there’s no reason I can’t.” I have never felt that any excuse is a valid one, a belief that has trickled down from my Hopkins Jazz Ensemble I years. Excuses are weakness; a mask over your true character. If you do wrong, suck it up and do better next time, but don’t try to justify the past.

This academic stress is no sudden surprise. It’s not like my peacefully slumbering body was doused with a bucket of cold water come junior year. No. My freshman year was my junior year, with a mind-whirling music major as my chosen poison. Many nights I laid awake to the ghetto bass of the room below, trying to reason this exact same problem. Life versus Academics. There seems to be no overlap between the two.

I’m bored with how rudimentary my existence has become. Mark tells me that he just finished hanging up Christmas lights, and my mind is so singular that all I can think is, “Christmas lights don’t get essays written.” I’m normally a warm and amiable person, but for some damn reason I’ve gone stupidly cold and bitter.

By writing down these thoughts I risk cementing them; giving the ideas more credit than they are due. Perhaps my critical analysis of myself is inaccurate, and all this Blither amounts to are meaningless utterances. Perhaps I will feel peachy-keen on the morrow, and upon reflection these words will only act as a pair of concrete shoes.

My apologies for this entry not inducing pales of laughter, but Dane prides himself on being a dynamic individual. Please enjoy this as one of those days of dynamism. Please disregard that last sentence, as all I really wanted to do was write the word ‘dynamism.’ What a cool word. Dynamism, dynamism, dynamism. Try writing that three times fast. I promise you’re fingers will trip all over the keyboard. Go on, try it!