Friday, April 21, 2017

Spring Quarter Starting

It's the end of week three, Spring Quarter. I think I said that this quarter would be easier than the previous two, which is true, but the past two quarters also wrecked my standards of what a reasonable amount of work is.

This quarter I'm taking the capstone civil engineering design class, a class on renewable energy, and three whole non-technical classes. One is looking at engineering in the Roman Empire; another is German; the third is the RA class, since I'll be staffing in my favorite dorm next year. My competition team is done for the year, which gives me back about eight hours a week.

I'm already fairly fatigued, but I haven't fallen asleep in class yet, so I'm already doing better than autumn and winter. I've found enough time to read another two books in the Temeraire series, Tongues of Serpents and Crucible of Gold, although I haven't gotten a proportionate amount of writing done.

Things are going well. I feel strangely isolated, like I haven't been interacting with people on a deep level. This despite the RA class being, so far, mostly us talking about ourselves and communicating our stories to other people in the class. When was the last time I answered the question "how are you?" with neither "good" nor "tired," which, while both true, are evasions?

I started declaring a minor in German on Monday. The department head taught a seminar I took freshman year, and it made me somewhat nostalgic. This time last year I was in Berlin (although this weekend last year I was actually in Sweden visiting Lieutenant Sarcasm); this time two years ago I had just declared my major; this time three years ago I was deciding what college to go to; this time four years ago I was furiously studying for the AP Calc BC exam; this time five years ago...

I'm twenty years old. It's very silly for me to say anything along the lines of "I'm old." But I'm a junior in college, I've done most of my major, I'm going in for a legit internship in the field I'll probably enter this summer, I know a lot more about myself than I used to, I have led teams, I'm going to be an RA next year, I don't have to think consciously to speak in my lower register. Earlier this week I got nervous while presenting some designs and lost my track and stuttered and that felt out of character.

Many people have much more self-confidence than I do, but I've found lately that, along with the impostor syndrome, I get flashes of gross ambition and vainglory. Does that count for something? I'm building a self. I am not yet the me that I want to be but I can feel, distinctly, that in the past year I have taken steps closer to my goal.

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