Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Moving Forward

I'm writing this post on the Caltrain heading south from San Francisco.* This morning I had an interview with a construction management firm which may be able to have a short internship for me at the end of the summer.

*This was true at the time of writing, at 1307 on Tuesday. Sorry for the late post.

Spring Break is going along. I've had a basketball game every day since Saturday, because the men's and women's teams keep alternating. Basketball games are fun, and less confusing than football games because we can bring music folders and I wear glasses and basketball is easier for me to understand than football.

Work on Ubermadchen has been less intensive than I would like, since this part is one I have not much researched and generally I like writing more than researching. I think what I will do is remember that this is a first draft and write what I can without the rigorous research. The character dynamics and information transfers I know, and that's enough to get started.

I'm thinking a lot about how I've changed since starting college, because I'm at a stage analogous (or homologous, I'm not sure which) to the stage at which the girls are in their story. Understanding my own experience is helpful in understanding theirs, and of course I have an introspection while-loop in my source code anyway.

When I visited my high school yesterday I had a conversation with my junior year English teacher. I did not particularly enjoy her class but I found myself not reverting to the bratty sixteen year old I had been. She commented: "you've changed a lot. You seem more open, looser." Loose not in the sense of immoral but loose in the sense of not being as uptight as I used to be.

I think that's true. College has been a lot of fun and a lot of work, and I am humbled every day by how incredible my friends and classmates are. They are smart in ways I cannot even imagine and I love being around people who have the opportunity to do things they love to do.

In high school none of us really knew what drove us. I don't know if I've found my driver yet, either. So people tended to define others by their grades and other accomplishments, since the field for "passion" was usually not yet filled in. There's no need to do that in college.

I recently had a conversation with a friend about a mutual acquaintance who is discontent at his university because he can't adjust to not being the smartest person in the room. And while I get that cognitive dissonance is tough, the way I see things, recognizing that you can learn from everyone and that you are not the smartest person in the room, ever, is only a good thing.

I think what has changed about me is that I am less defensive about my intellect. It's not something to protect; it's something to expand.

Besides, intellect is not everything. As my interviewer said, you also need "the hustle factor." Tenacity, a willingness to work hard and do things outside your realm of experience, to learn and listen and then do. I'm not there yet, but I'm on my way.

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