Why now? And why not before? Well, that has a lot to do with me. You see, when I made it to UT back in '91, I was pretty burned out on school. Maybe it might have been better if I had taken a year off or something but probably not. I had brains but no self-discipline. As one friend of mine pointed out, before I went in the Army, I couldn't be trusted to tie my shoelaces. So when I got into college, I started out attending classes, but by the end, I was just hanging out in the Student Union all the time playing bridge. Didn't have much money so when my grandmother needed more help than she could get living at home, there were only two choices: I stay in college or she goes into a nursing home. So I dropped out. I never went back because I didn't know what I wanted to do in school and I figured there was no point in wasting money going if I wasn't working on something specific. Now, many years down the road, I find myself in an interesting position... One of the reasons I'm having trouble finding a job is because I don't have a degree. I can go toe to toe with someone who only has experience. I can go toe to toe with someone who only has a degree. Now I'm facing off against people who have both and I can't compete with that. And this being Austin, there's everywhere. Show me a more overeducated city and I'll show you...well, something. The point of all this is that if I'm already wandering aimlessly, I might as well wander aimlessly in a certain direction. Maybe it helps and maybe it doesn't, but I'm no worse off than I have been and I have little to lose. Besides, how can I convince my wife to take that last class and finish her degree if I'm not even trying to do something educationally? How do I convince my daughter to go to college when I haven't really given it a serious chance? If I'm going to convince her, I want to be the example, not the cautionary tale.
As fate would have it, ACC doesn't accept the SAT so even though I had SATs good enough to get me into UT, I still had to take their battery of placement tests. All my writing/english testing was fine. They showed that I've mastered the language even though my proofreading sucks (though how their electronic essay could so easily figure out that my writing lacks focus is beyond me. It's as if they read my diaries here...). My math, however was surprising. I told the test administrator (a young girl I'm not sure was even alive when I was last in college) that I expected the math section to say that I need to refresh my math skills. When the test results came out, she looked at them and looked at me and asked me "When was the last time you took a math class? According to this, you qualify for Trig!" Not doing that, though. Since the last math class I ever took was a Calculus class in '91, maybe I should brush on some of that stuff before that. I think I'll start with something simpler than trigonometry to spin myself up to all that.
The overall plan is this: I've gone back to my original major, Astronomy. Realistically, I'll take the few extra classes required to get Physics also because the two disciplines are pretty closely aligned. If I get though three years of all this, I'll try to transfer to UT and finish there since it's one of the best schools in the country for Astronomy. If it turns out that I just can't hack the math anymore, I'll just change my degree to something lighter like history or something. At least I should have more than enough math for something like that by the time that might happen. Of course, this assumes that I don't get hit by the lightning bolt and figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.
On a completely different note, I took the Despoina over to my mother's house for the afternoon yesterday. It was pleasant. The Despoina had fun tearing things up and my mother had fun playing with her. I had a little aggravation because neither of my mother's computers can handle mp4s (no, Windows Media 11 doesn't play them without special codecs. What's up with that stupid horseshit?) but it was managed. And before we left, my mother gave me something. She scanned and printed out a photo of my great-grandfather who died in 1928 in a fire in Wichita Falls. I mention this because its funny how parents lives affect children. Because her father died in a fire, my grandmother avoided fire like the plague. In fact, she lived in the same house for over thirty years and not once did she ever allow the fireplace to be lit. And of course, I'm doing genealogical research for the Despoina because my mother knew about all this stuff but never told me any of it. And I'm sure this stuff I'm doing will affect how the Despoina life is led in some way I cannot currently fathom. And that's how the world keeps turning, I guess.
Lastly, remember about 2 years ago when I was "Leveraging Synergy"? And by that, I mean building stuff out of foamcore for playing 40K? Well, I made the momentous choice to give some of it away. I had/have too much for the storage of our smaller living space. With the more sturdy terrain I've acquired (GW buildings, resin cast pieces, etc.), I almost don't need much of the stuff I've made. So I have separated the more generic pieces from the special pieces and given away half the generic buildings, ruins and whatnot. I'm actually thinking about parting with a little more. It's rough having so little storage space here in contrast to the old house where I had a room devoted to 40K. Of course, I haven't played in over a year so that brings up the need to have terrain at all. Well, I've gone pretty far on a broad number of subjects in the last few months, but there are some things that I'm just not ready to give up. And I guess that's one of them. Maybe someday, but for now, I'm still keeping the creative work of my own two hands.
For now, that is all.
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