Friday, February 26, 2010

Can't describe what I feel...

I am at this point in my life where I am supposed to figure out what I want to do.

I know that most people my age have no idea. But how do they all move forward in this blindness? How can these people be okay with just graduating... and then what?

My life has gotten pretty hectic in the past month or so. I guess it would be two months now.
Time is going by too fast.
I don't even remember what I did in the last week.
I have to pack.
We are moving. That will be amazing.... once it is over and done with. I won't have neighbors keeping me up till odd hours every night. We will have more space. It will be so much nicer. I will have a kitchen that I can actually make real food in. I will have a garden.
I am growing up.
I have heard that twice in the past week from two different people.
One was about how she thought that I was making more mature decisions in life... simple things though, like not putting my hair in dreadlocks again. And the other was about how content I am to be seriously dating that one special person. That I am not questioning it simply because I am too young, or scared of commitment, but I am excited to continue living with him and progress through our life together. That I am becoming a we instead of a me. Someone pointed this out to me today, and it made me happy.
I am growing up.
And part of me is jumping forward. Planning. Deciding what I want want want. And part of me is holding on to my youth and immaturity. Part of me knows that I need need need more time to grow. I need to gain more experience before I can have all those things that I want.
And this is all part of that.
This crazy stressful time.
This lack of sleep.
Lack of money.
Struggle to keep a social life.
Struggle to hold on to one little shred of creativity.
But I am making it through.
I am holding up.
When I am not sick that is. Physical illness has been a result of this stress. And it adds to more stress. I have been sick more in the last six months than I have ever been in my life. I was sick for almost a month and a half straight through in the fall. And since then I have been getting colds, sinus infections, and stomach flues on biweekly basis it feel like. This is probably too much information, but this is how I feel right now.
Sick of being sick.
I didn't go to class today. I left work early.
I have slept more this week that the last month combined. I will sleep twelve hours a night if I have the chance. And I am still tired. This is not me. I am the one that sleeps six hours on a good night. None on a bad. And the only time I sleep more, my body is telling me something serious, but it never happens more than two nights in a row. But now, all I want to do is sleep. All I want to do is open my frosted shut windows, let the cold night air in, pile on the blankets, and shut my eyes.

Photo tag!

This picture is from a couple of years ago, taken at my parents house. It is my sister, me, and the two little ones that my aunt Lori takes care of :) We are up in a deer stand, which is one of the littles favorite thing to do while up north :)
They are just so cute! I think this one may have been taken at or around thanksgiving...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Considering Change

At work there have been a lot of issues. Issues that I can not mention. To anyone.
Since L left to go to St. Paul, I have taken his place as therapist. A lot of people come to me with their problems.
Generally, I don't mind this. I get along with just about anybody, and they all know that I am trustworthy. I don't spread things around, and I don't gossip. Up until recently, I have been perfectly willing to listen.
But now I am not.
My coworkers have stopped talking about actual issues that they have and want to fix. They have started complaining about the way the store is run and the low morale that is now a constant fixture. They don't want to fix it. They want me to fix it for them.
I help people whenever I can.
I have been told before, and even realized it on certain occasions that I try to help people and take care of them to a fault. I try to make everyone happy. I would rather lose all hope of happiness for the sake of another person.
But so much of this is tied to my past depression and the feelings that I didn't deserve to be happy.
Now I believe that I do deserve to be happy. Everyone deserves that. And I can't make myself crazy or miserable in order to make someone else happy, it just doesn't work that way.

This being said, I have so much on my plate right now, that keeping myself happy is a challenge in itself. I don't really have the energy to deal with other people's problems that I don't really see as problems.
My temper has gotten so short lately. I don't even feel like me because I just want to scream at my coworkers, "IT'S JUST A JOB! Shit happens, deal with it. People are going to come and go. And this place will treat you better as an employee and as a PERSON than any other place that you could even work for right now!"
I feel like I am getting so caught up in bullshit gossip that I can't even enjoy work anymore.
So, I am thinking of jumping ship. That is, transferring to a different store.
I have more reasons than just being annoyed.
The store that I want to work at is closer. Much closer. I would save so much money on gas. The main reason that I did not transfer earlier is because I only worked one day a week, and I didn't think that the other manager would be so cool with that, but now I am working three days, and will be working even more in a few months. Another reason that I haven't transferred yet is because I am scared to start all over again socially. I know a few people that work there really well, but they have already become a really close knit group, and I would feel a little bit like an outsider for awhile. That was the case with the store I work at now. The store I want to work at was recently opened, and all the people there have a certain bond from opening a store together. Bringing me in would be a change. And as I stated earlier, many people in this company are not so great with change.
The main reason that I hesitate to fully make a decision is because of the people that I know and love at my store right now. There are people that I would miss, and I would feel horrible leaving them in a messy situation. It's only a handful of people, I think, that would really miss me, and maybe feel a little abandoned.
I have worked with these people for two years, and we are exactly like a really big family, all up in each others business. I would miss having that feeling of security.
Whenever I start talking about this aspect of transferring, I just don't think that I can do it.
But part of me feels like I need to.

The store that I want to move to also has more people my age. I think it would be good for me to go out with a friend for her twenty something birthday rather than her 49th birthday. I still, and always will, love those women, but I need that similarity of age and situation.
In fact, I don't have any friends going through what I am going through right now. I don't have any friends that are graduating or looking for jobs. I don't even have any close friends in school.
I missed the normal college experience.

I'm not so sorry that I did. I wouldn't trade my life experience for any one else's. But at times I feel like I missed out. And at times a feel a little lonely because of it.
I know that my mom would have liked me to have had that normal experience, just like my sisters. My sister doesn't really get it either.

I just have a lot on my plate right now. Moving soon. Final projects. Senior thesis. Graduation. Job search.
When in reality, I think I would be okay just working at TJs for a year or so after college. I don't want to move from crazy busy school to crazy busy work.
I am just not ready for all this growing up business.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Food, Wine, and Amazing people

I worked all day yesterday at the MN Food and Wine Experience. It was so much fun! I only knew one of the people that I was working with, and met seven people from other stores. It was great to hang out with new TJs people. :) Well, we had our beer for breakfast :) It started at 11 am, we were there at ten. We set everything up and then D suggested that we go get out free wine glasses, and then go over to the Stella booth where they were giving away free Stella glasses. As I said, beer for breakfast. We served beer cheese fondue with sourdough baguettes, and chocolate covered nutty bits, and Liebfraumilch, Orvieto, Novella Synergy, and my favorite Nerelo de Bastardo. It was really fun to do really unique wines. Most of the vino there was cab sauv,blanc, merlot, etc. Ours were a sweet German reisling that means Lovely ladies milk, the Orvieto is one of the oldest white wines that there is-it's known as the Pope's wine because it has been supplying the Vatican for hundreds of years, then a Zinfindel based blend with a ton of other grapes in it, and of course the Bastard of the Nerello. This wine is super delicious with big round berry flavors, extremely bold, but oh so smooth. It is made from Nebiolo grapes, which don't have a lot of tanins, not like a cab, plus they age it for three years minimum, so it is delectible. This particular vintage is a 2006, and sadly not as delicious as the 2005 or 04 vintages, but it is still really really good. Anyway. I love nebiolo based wines, but they tend to be really super expensive. I just can't afford to buy a $65 bottle of Borolo. As much as I would like to. So I buy the Bastard. He is under ten :).
Our booth/stand was next to a pizza stand :) and they were super nice. At the end of the night we traded a few bottles for some Pizzas. We also traded for some Shlitz, and we just ended up with a lot of random random things.
Seriously. I have a beer bottle opener that is a man on a kyac. And it is not like a normal bottle opener. It is just a man on a kyac and water, and it is big and rubbery. It is hilarious!
And I also discovered what may now be my favorite brand of beer. Bells beer. MMMMMmmmm. And their labels are really artsy looking and fun. Their pale ale doesn't compare to summit or sierra nevada, but their stouts were delicious, and they had a few ales that were very unique. Fun people working there too.
All in all, it was a great day. I was exhausted. I didn't get any homework done this weekend. I slept through class today. My tummy is twice the size it used to be. And I love it! It was well worth it, and I hope that I get to do it again next year :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mentally Exhausted

As always I should be doing homework rather than blogging...
But I have that stupid, mental writers blockish thing going on again.
Mainly, I just can't make myself care about this class.
I liked the book we read, Mill on the Floss, a lot actually. But I just can't seem to write about it. These three page papers are turning out to be much harder than larger ones. Those are more interesting and more fun for me to write, therefore I actually have some motivation to write them. But these little ones, they have to be on something small enough to cover in three pages. Something with limited details, because I have to include all the details. I can't just write about part of a topic. I couldn't do that.
So now, here I am, writing about Mrs. Glegg, the character that I hated the most in the book. I am writing about how her acceptance of Maggie is necessary as part of Maggie's redemption. But it just feels so obvious and insignificant that I have no motivation whatsoever to write about it. I only have two paragraphs, and I have been sitting here for a half an hour. Generally, I would be on my second or third page by now.
It doesn't help that I am just so completely exhausted.
Monday night I ended up staying at work until 11:30. I had to go through all the left over valentines roses and throw away the dead ones (which smelled like dead animal) and count them, and also count the ones that I didn't throw away. Well, someone must have thought that we needed roses for the entire state, because I had to go through four palates (which had roughly 20 cases on them, about 16-20 bouquets in each case), then the hallway that was filled with boxes of them, and then all of the ones on the floor. Lets just say that I was doing that for about four hours. And as I said, they smelled bad.
Then when I got home I had to clean because our apartment had a showing the next day. Finished cleaning in the morning when I got up. Went to sign the lease on the new apartment. Went to class. Came home for about fifteen minutes. Ate. Went to another class, in downtown Minneapolis, but had to sit through traffic, then went to work for a meeting. Cleaned up after the meeting, then went home and did my lab homework and read fifty pages of Sense and Sensibility. Didn't get to bed until three. Got up at seven. Went to class. Grabbed coffee. Sat through lecture. Sat through lab. Rolled eyes at annoying TA. And now here I am. Eating lunch, blogging, and writing my paper. Today, I still have to finish this paper, do my homework for Ancient art before five when I go to ancient art, and then get out of class at 9pm. Read more of S&S, read my Archaeology homework, and edit my paper. Then hopefully get some sleep, wake up and work on my art project (I need 18 copies of the same 4 pages of content!), go to class until 4. And then I think I will sleep until Friday morning.

Busy week.

But before I get ahead of myself, I need to focus on this paper. I just don't know how to make it flow, or how to make it better than my last paper ( which was NOT a satisfactory grade). I really hate that I am letting this teacher get to me. I know that I shouldn't, and have actually been told that it is selfish of me to be angry with him... but I can't enjoy this class. He makes me too angry, and I don't know how to deal with it.
I love the books. More than I thought I would. But I don't get much of a chance to discuss them. Not when everything that I say is dismissed before I even finish a point. This is just a new experience for me to be disliked by a teacher, or really anyone in academia. Generally they see my interest and passion and hard work, and they respect that.
Anyway, what I am really interested in this book is Maggie's character. I can see so many aspects of myself in her, and I think that puts me a little too close to the book. That probably also contributes to why I am having a hard time writing critically about it.
I need to focus more on the progression of my argument and the flow between each point.
Alright, here I go....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend fun

Valentines day isn't really a big thing around our house. Jonathan doesn't like super commercialized holidays, and I don't mind. Most of the time I think that money can be better spent. But I really wanted flowers this year. Mostly because we had gorgeous roses at my work, and I saw all these cute, sweet 80 year old men buying them for their wives :) But there was also this bouquet of really pretty yellow, red, and black tipped roses that I really liked. So I bought them for myself. (guilt!) I think I made Jonathan feel a little bad. I have never gotten flowers on Vday before, and I may have made a little too big a deal of it in the past. But I don't really care what stuff he gets me. I kinda like that he doesn't spend money on frivolous things so that we can save to, say, get a bigger apartment. And, he may not be the really romantic type, but he is still the sweetest guy I have ever dated.
So, for valentines day, we didn't do anything really special. Sundays are our day to spend together anyway, so it was a normal sunday ( with dessert). We slept in. Went snowboarding. Made our weekly stop in at Trader Joes in our snowboard gear :) and then came home and made dinner and watched a movie. We did the same thing last sunday.
But I don't think that he knows how much I appreciate spending this time with him. We both love snowboarding, and I have more fun going with him than anyone else. This time spent with him is the highlight of my week.
Even though we live together, we don't get to spend much quality time together. Sundays are my ONLY days off. I have class and/or work the rest of the week. And it goes all day too. But just having this one day set aside, one day to kick back and have some fun with the guy I love, is so refreshing!
This was the best Valentines day ever! :)
Thanks honey!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The bright side of things

Today I came home from school in tears. Tears of frustration, pain, and humiliation. The thing is though, I am the only one who saw it. I am the only one who sees that my professor treats me unfairly. And I have hesitated talking about it with anyone because I don't want to sound like I need to have teachers approval all the time. I am in my fifth year of school. I am not inexperienced with bad teachers. I know that even the good teachers don't have time to dole out compliments everyday. That is not what I am searching for. I just don't want to be singled out. I don't want to be the only one in my class that he looks down upon, or at least treats that way.

But what can I do?

I could talk to him, sure. I probably will if it gets worse. I could bring it up with the administrators. But I can also learn to let go of other peoples opinions of me.
And, although I wasn't happy with my grade on my paper that I got back today, it was fair. He isn't letting his personal opinion of me and my views on the literature we are discussing affect how he grades me. So, I think that I just need to suck it up.

That being said, my day has gotten much better.
I remedied a bad day of classes with melty chocolate chip cookies and a cold glass of milk. Well, more like a cold carton of milk. And I realized that carbs make homework easier! The only hard thing was forcing myself to study for my archaeology test tomorrow instead of finishing Mill on the Floss.
While I was doing homework, my cow sized neighbors were stomping around upstairs. I really can't wait to move!
And it's not that far away. I keep thinking of how we should arrange the furniture. Which room will be Jonathan's workspace, and which one will be my makeshift hobby art studio. What color I am going to paint the kitchen. What vegetables I want to plant...
oh it's so exciting!
I think that I can get some sleep just dreaming about all this even if my neighbors continue with their evil plot to kill me... :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mill on the Floss

This is my first experience with George Eliot. I like her. I have not heard great things about her from my fellow classmates though. Most think that she is boring, or too wordy. And I guess that I could see that... if I really search for it. But I think she is great. She is like a scandalous female Charles Dickens. She writes like him anyway.
I know that a lot of the similarities between the two are because they are simply both Victorian writers. But I think there is more than that.
I think it was typical for writers in that time to add their own little quips, for a novel to have a strong authorial voice. You know the opinion of the author as well as the narrator. That is very Victorian.
But Eliot even has characters that are similar to Dickens. Bessy, in Mill on the Floss, reminds me of Mrs. Gradgrind of Hard Times. They are both inept. A little slow. Well intentioned, but never able to fulfill those intentions. The way in which each author portrays them is the same. They are looked down upon, but also pitied because they can't really help how they are.
Both authors also pull strongly from their personal lives. Dickens wrote about many poverty stricken families and characters. Eliot can be seen in her character Maggie in Mill.. Also, Tom, Maggie's brother, shares a similar disposition and relationship to his sister as Eliot's brother did. However, Eliot's brother abandoned her due to her various scandals throughout her life.
I feel as if the connections are endless.
I think that Eliot could likely have been strongly influenced by Dickens, even though she never mentioned him as inspiration. She would have known him though. As working editor of one of Britain's greatest literary journals at that time, Eliot was well known in the literary world. The girl had connections.
As I have said before, I am doing my senior thesis on either Jane Austen or George Eliot. As of now, I think that I am leaning to a more Eliot focused thesis. Austen is just too damn conservative, and Eliot was a woman who wasn't afraid to live her life the way she wanted to. And even though and Austen novel may be easier to get through, it is not as rich in detail. Previous to Eliot, I thought that Austen did a great job in really knowing her characters, in making them real. But now Eliot. She can make characters so real to me that I want to slap them. Seriously. I HATE some of the characters in Mill.. but they are the ones that the reader is supposed to dislike. They are the ones that Eliot herself dislikes.

Although my fascination with literature peaks in the early 18th century, I can't help but love the social changes portrayed at this time.
1859-Charles Darwin published his Origin of the Species. It forever changed the world. It didn't affect only science, but affected an entire social structure and the literature within it.
Eliot started writing Mill on the Floss in 1859. This was one of her earlier novels. And as an agnostic, previously Evangelist, previously Anglican, previously conservative woman turned liberal, she has a great view on the social changes that were happening at that time.

I have yet to finish the book. I am only on book 5 of 7, so a hundred or so pages left. It started out slow, but now I have trouble putting it down to do my other homework. I realize that most people do not share my love for past social change brought about by the literature of great writers, but the book is interesting in itself. It may offend you. It may annoy you. It may hit a little to close to home. But so far, it is worth it.

Stress, sleep, health

So after a rough week of my upstairs neighbors trying to kill me by sleep deprivation, things are settling back to "normal." I get to sleep again :) for one thing. And I am trying my hardest to not let school stress get the best of me. The way I have to look at it is, I'm probably not going to grad school, so my GPA isn't that important. Before any of you think that I am just being a slacker, just note that I am simply allowing myself to be okay with B's this semester. I have to stop taking in every little criticism given to me by my professors and breaking it down into something worse. I'm a decent student, and I have to be okay with not being the best.
So I can breathe a little easier...
Now I need to tackle a couple of other issues. One, finding a job. Basically I just need to suck it up, stop worrying and apply to a list of places that I already have. And two, get healthy!
I am supposed to be at school doing homework right now. I have a huge gap between classes on Wednesdays, and they are my days to spend in the library.
But I just couldn't do that today. I feel like I am starting to get a migraine. Not a real migraine, but the fake ones that feel worse to me because it is actually caused by a pinched nerve in my neck. I gotta start doing my neck and back exercises on a more regular and frequent basis. (I have been slacking off a bit on those to get that extra twenty minutes of sleep)
I also need to eat healthier, and really just find a way to stop getting sick all the time.
That was actually brought up in my review at work. There was nearly a month and a half where I was constantly sick. I think I had pig flu then regular flu then bronchitis and then a cold. It was bad. And I missed a lot of work. Now I have a cold again. Not that bad, but its not getting better either. I am just sick of being sick.

Some really great news: Jonathan and I got this apartment that we really wanted! Well, it is actually a duplex. It is pretty old, like really old, and not the nicest fanciest place... but I think it is cute. This kitchen is hideous, but we are going to paint it :) Also, there is a garden outside! The people who planted the vegetable garden are going to be moving out in the spring, so then I can garden it! It is nearly twice the size of the place we are living now. Hard wood floors. And a bigger kitchen! I just can't wait!
As odd as it is, I think I may enjoy packing a little bit too. I will get a chance to go through all of my crap, and get rid of some of it. Also, I can organize what I need to. And just the thought of getting out of this place makes me smile!
I have found that the condition of the place that you live in affects your life way more than you realize. And also that it is much easier to keep a larger space clean (when there is a place for everything) and cleaning isn't so bad if you care about the place that you live in. I think that moving into a new, better apartment is a step in the right direction as far as stress and even overall health goes. Not to mention that I will most likely sleep better without two cows three dogs and a baby living directly above me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hard sometimes

This semester is turning out to be a bit harder than I thought it would. This is mostly because the majority of my professors treat me like I am an imbecile.
Today, after presenting (an admittedly not so great) topic for discussion, my professor pissed me off so much that I am still a little peeved. I will have to start from the beginning...

We read the first two books of George Elliot's Mill on the Floss, and my job was to present an observed detail to discuss. I chose to talk about Tom's attitude. Whether or not his desire to punish is an actual sense of justice or if it is simply based on his self-righteousness. While the two are not exclusively separate (and I think this part of the conversation was the most confusing...) I simply wanted to discus whether or not the reader is supposed to perceive Tom as being in the right. And, if we are not, is it correct to call how he acts just? I thought it would suffice for the detail aspect of the conversation, but it did not. The conversation ended after the professor interrupted me twice to say that the narrator says he has a concept of justice. (I obviously knew this, but it was not my point) I realize that it was a faulty topic, but no need to be rude. Anyway, I did have more of a point than just that.
I wanted to talk about the Dodson family. More importantly, the aspects of the Dodson family that Tom portrays in these first few chapters. The first book is basically all about the Dodson family values. Or at least what they represent.
So, in response to the second part of my discussion question he said, "Well, you actually did talk about something relevant." And if he could have just sounded a little less surprised, I may not have gotten all grumpy about it...
Ok. It may not be all that big of a deal, but if there is just one thing that I can't stand, it is to be made to feel stupid. Inadequate. And that is how I feel.
I know I am not the smartest person. I am not the smartest even in that class. I am not an honors student. And my GPA is not the best. But I don't like to be talked down to. I don't like to feel a lack of respect. And just because I do not have a PhD or Masters degree does not mean that I am lacking.
It is not only him. A lot of my professors or TAs treat me in exactly the same way.
It's frustrating to think that I am not good enough.
I need to put less stock in how other people act toward me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Artists book class

I am really enjoying my artists book class, even if I am not very good at it yet. I have only had three classes, and it is Fun!

Ok, so obviously, photography and technology are not my strong points...

The first book is a simple accordion fold. It was the first book that I made :) I think it is cute. Even though I did find out during the process that my paper cutter is 1/8 of an inch off...
The second book is my favorite stitch binding so far. It is a Japanese style. I used Indian paper for the cover, and although you can't see it, lightweight brown paper for the interior.

The next one you are probably thinking is not a book! Well, this was my first solo project. I had to use recycled materials... so I used beer coasters, matchbooks, and cigarette packs. I named it quitplan. Each of the matchbooks opens up with a surgeon general warning inside along with various degrees of missing matches. You can interpret it how you will, but I was aiming for irony. I was going to call it "my best friend's car" because that is where I found many of the materials, and got the idea in the first place.

not quite feeling up to the challenge

I should be writing my paper on Jane Austen's character, Mr. Bennet, right now. But I can't.

Is it possible to get writer's block when you simply write analytic essays??

I have always hated writing about Jane Austen. The language that she uses in her novels is too beautiful for me to translate. My essays don't do her justice.

I read the blogs on here. Some of the writer are so great at expressing emotion through words; at painting a scene that captures the reader and make her part of it.

I have never been able to do that.

My writing has always been just good enough.

Good enough.

I get A's on most of my critical analysis. I do well in classes. I do the research. I write out the facts clearly. My rhetoric works for that.
It's just so damn functional.
So logical and to the point that I leave no room for creativity.
My essays are boring.

I lack the vocabulary to truly describe things. Anything. Everything.

Jane Austen and George Elliot shame me.

To the point:
I have three pages (ONLY) to write about the purpose of Mr. Bennet treating his wife like the simpleton that she is. My teacher wants us to explore multiple options and also explain why we chose this and why it is relevant.

This is not a hard task.

In fact, it is probably on par with an assignment in a high school literature class.

But that is just the problem. It seems to incredibly frivolous that I can't even comprehend it.

I have read Pride and Prejudice four times. I have discussed this book over and over. There is nothing new in it for me that my teacher would appreciate. The only "new" realization that I had while reading it this time is that Elizabeth is not quite as strong of a female character as I thought. She becomes weak toward the end. And although I had already known this, it just pissed me off more this time. I dislike Austen's conservatism and how she forces it on her heroines. When I said something similar to my teacher, he said that I was being to harsh and judgmental.
The point is, I cannot think of anything within the book that interests me anymore. At least not anything that can be covered in three pages!
This is my senior seminar! I want to learn NEW things, practical things, but more importantly to me--fun and interesting things!

I don't like having a discussion class in which I feel like I cannot express my own opinion without being reprimanded by the professor.
I am sick of being treated like a child simply because I do not have a graduate degree.
I cannot just sit by and let professors be right just because they are the authority. Especially in a class where there is no right and wrong because it is literature... it CAN be interpreted differently.

I just can't wait until we get to George Elliot's Middlemarch and I can talk about the influence of Milton on her ideas for characters :)

And I know my teacher will love for me to express my opinion on a sexist pig of a writer (who was a great writer despite) and my interpretation of the reasons that Elliot uses references to him in light of a specific character.

I almost regret taking this particular seminar. The other options were not much better, they just might have been less reading. I would have loved to have written my senior thesis on Alexander Pope, or John Dryden, or maybe even a social comedy of the seventeenth century. OOO, or Aphra Behn! That would have made me so much happier. It would have been a lot of work to be sure, but it would have at least sparked my interest. I have the hardest time completing tasks that I deem unimportant. Or rather, COMPLETELY insignificant. But, alas, it is not up to me. My degree, my life, lies in the hands of a man that I think has lost too much of his memory to qualify as a teacher of any sort. (How's that for harsh?)