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October 7, 2001


I am certainly living a new life. It's strange how I come across things every day that I took for granted at home but don't have here -- a full refrigerator, an efficient dryer, cable, window screens, a car, a room close to the ground -- the list goes on and on. I also can't get over how little time I seem to have. The days seem to go by so quickly, and I never seem to have enough time to do everything I want and need to do ... even though I spend hours less time in class than I did in high school.

I feel strangely unmotivated to do my work, though. I don't get much homework, at least, traditional homework. I mostly have reading assigned, lots of reading, and I have one short paper to write this week. It's quite an adjustment.

It's a different social environment here as well. I am enjoying living here a lot more than I thought I would. I have made friends, both good friends and a wide circle of acquaintances. My new friends cover such a wide variety of people, it's incredible the different viewpoints I am daily exposed to. We have intelligent debates and silly jokes, and I enjoy it all. With so many people in this school, I had despaired of actually finding the people who share my interests, but they turned out to be living right around me. (Well, right below me, anyway ... my friends generally live on the three floors below mine. It's probably a good thing, since the situation forces me to be more active then I might have been in seeking social interaction.)

College is going well ... so far. Talk to me again after midterms. I guess if I do perform less than ideally on those, I can be thankful that most of the time I should have spent studying was spent developing friendships with people I can share my pain with!

October 27, 2001

How very sad. It's been twenty days since I last updated my site! It's been driving me nuts, too, because I desperately wanted to work on it sometimes, but I have so little time I can justifiably take away from homework in which I do not already have plans. I am out of my room so much these days that I hardly feel at home in it. Also, it keeps people guessing as to where I am, since relatives call only to find I am gone every hour of every day ... or so it seems, anyway.

Of course, some of them are looking at this site now ... scary! This page was never intended for the people who actually know me. It's for those random people out there whom I've never met and may never meet but are looking for something ... to kill time with, I guess. And also for all the people just meeting me as I came to college, for a quick summary of who I am ... maybe not so quick, perhaps an autobiography in painful detail.

I really should have written in here instead of playing all those games of Snood when I felt moody and depressed. It might have picked me up a little faster to work things out with my "friend," the journal. I put so little faith in its ability to help me feel better, although it invariably does help to air my stresses. I don't know, I guess when I'm feeling that down I almost don't want to pick myself up out of it ... I would rather repress my misery than confront it. Wow, that's healthy. But I suppose I'm just too lazy to help myself ... I need someone to do the heavy work for me ... and it's a lot of work, since I am never willing to cooperate. I can share my feelings with the world when I feel like it ... but in such a sensitive, vulnerable state, I would rather be left alone, or at least that's my attitude at the time. I don't know, it's confusing to me, too.

Hmm ... I should take this opportunity to mention a few things. First, I will say hi to Emily, out there reading this ... now be happy, you have been mentioned! And by the way, Em -- Penn State sucks! Second, I will state my policy on "mentions" ... I don't generally like to mention my friends and acquaintances by name on my web site. I feel like perhaps they wouldn't want their names probably unknowingly plastered over someone else's site. While I have the right to spill all about me on my own site, I don't feel like I have the right to talk specifically about everybody I know. Especially since not everything I have to say about certain people is good ... or rather, it reflects poorly on me, and I'd like to leave an air of mystery surrounding my stories so that perhaps the reader will discount them. Sometimes, I write things about people that my friends might not know about, that maybe I have chosen not to share, because I think it's personal, and while I feel the experience is worth sharing with the general audience, I wouldn't want people I know prying for details. I might not be ready to divulge them. I have a hard enough time writing about things in general terms, so let's not get into the specifics.

And moving on ... I will definitely be working on a redesign of this site as soon as possible. I've never been satisfied with the graphics I got with FrontPage, so I will probably be creating some of my own or downloading some new ones. Also, I want to put into use some of my newfound coding knowledge from my "Tools and Techniques of the World Wide Web" class. That's really an awfully long and pretentious name for a class in which we learn stupid JavaScript tricks, but maybe it adds to the fun.

As I have probably mentioned before, I am a journalism major ... and no, I don't know what kind, stop asking. It's far more interesting for me now to contemplate what I could take as a minor or second major ... I have so many electives to fill, I might as well put them to use. At first I was thinking International Relations as a second major ... I could see myself as a special correspondent to some foreign country. But then I remembered -- I hate learning foreign languages. Oh yeah, well, scratch that idea. Then I thought about doubling up with political science ... and I'm still vaguely thinking about it ... but I don't know if I could do all the reading or if I care enough about it to learn more than current events. Now I'm looking into computing and information systems, the computer science program taken via the College of Arts and Sciences ... a sneaky way to fulfill my CAS elective credits with courses technically outside of CAS. I've come to the conclusion that I simply hate the humanities right now ... I know, it's really odd for me to be saying that, considering my history with the literary arts ... but I am fed up with studying works of fiction (fiction! it's supposed to be entertainment! would anyone take such a study seriously if it were of films?) and with trying to reconcile the conflicting theories in the social sciences that really can't be effectively tested and, therefore, can't be definitively proven right or wrong. At least with my math courses, I know where I stand because I know what's right and what's wrong. There is a concrete purpose involved, and I feel like I'm doing something useful rather than futile. Personally, I just wish this school offered some sort of program in web site management or something that could prepare me for a job in the new media field ... as it is, I only know of two related courses, and I'm already taking one. Oh well, guess I'll just have to learn to program other languages and get a high-paying job at Microsoft or something ... yeah, the evil empire. Hey, if Bill Gates is willing to share the wealth, I'm not going to turn him down ....

I was going to chat about the dance I went to tonight (which actually means yesterday night, since it's 4:53 a.m.), but considering the hour and the fact I want to actually wake up sometime tomorrow, that's just not going to happen. Probably I get around to it later on ... well, today. In several hours, anyway. Check for updates then. Maybe I'll even get around to posting some more writing. I have a ton of poems/songs waiting to be published, not to mention essays ....

Good night or good morning to you all!

October 28, 2001

Looking at yesterday's entry, I notice that it was very, very long. I figure that's good, though, since it makes up for the overall paucity of entries for this month. Seriously, I'm only on number three, and the month ends on Wednesday. I'm going to take advantage of my extra hour tonight due to the time change to update for the second day in a row, likely a record. This is a very pitiable, sad diary.

On the topic of sadness ... I've been noticing lately (and lately encompasses a pretty big time span, considering how infrequently this has been updated) that some of my friends seem to be having trouble adjusting to their new lives. Some seem even a bit depressed ... and really, I am incredibly surprised, because I had figured before school started that I would be the unhappy one since I was alone and far away and that I would be counting the days until I could leave. Now, it seems like the opposite has happened ... and I can't say I'm unhappy about that, as far as my life is concerned, but I do feel bad for them. Problem is, I don't know how to help everyone. Being so far away, it's not like I can invite them out for lunch and a face-to-face conversation about what's going on. I write, but I often don't feel like that's enough. I'm not used to long-distance sympathizing. Even when I have had friends whom I talked to predominantly online, they generally lived in the area and I could see them if I wanted to. I'm not sure how to handle this new situation.

Well, I feel rather depressed now! It's such a frustrating topic. While I feel bad for my friends who are hurting, at the same time, I'm having fun here and making lots more friends. It's hard for me to put myself in their shoes sometimes when my experience in general has been so different.

Hmm ... that sentence reminds me of a recent conversation ... while I do generally abhor and avoid passive voice in my writing (and clichés, by the way), I realize I am very guilty of violating that rule on this site, especially in this section. I'm also aware of the number of other rules I am breaking with reckless abandon in each entry. Truth is, this little bit of writing would never appear if I cared about its quality ... I figure for this, if the spelling's all right, it's good to go. Of course, that might mean I am at times obtuse in my writing ... but I think it only adds to my aura of mystery.

Assuming I am capable of generating one, that is. I can be so transparent sometimes. On the other hand, if I were constantly deceptive, I certainly wouldn't be telling you. Does the fact that I just said that mean that I could not possibly be being deceptive? Or does it indicate that I am just devilishly clever? Of course, should I be the latter, I'd wish for you to believe the former ....

Moving on ... actually, moving nowhere. I really have nothing left to write other than perhaps some words on the formal Friday night ... but that might take me too long, since I might get carried away with description. I will make one final plea before signing off, to any PARCers who might be reading this ... specifically the ones named Matt ... who left that message on my whiteboard? You'd think that since five of you live in this building, you would have the courtesy to identify yourselves more fully in your correspondence ... oh well. I thought it was kind of amusing, actually. At least there was some clue as to who left the message this time. Previous messages have simply appeared without any credit taken at all, which is rather annoying. Really, I'd love for more people to come leave me messages ... but for pity's sake, let me know who you are, so that I may lavish my thanks on you.

October 29, 2001

I should not be writing this. I really ought to be reading Thomas Mann's Death in Venice so that I will have a clue what I am writing about for my midterm on Wednesday ... Halloween. It's about quarter to ten right now, and although I've spent from about 1:30 p.m. on reading, I've made it through only about five or six pages. I guess that is why I'm writing this. Maybe if I clear my head a little I'll stop wandering off the page and staring into space while my mind ponders irrelevant topics.

First off, I'd like to say that I hate, hate, hate the humanities. Literature, language, the social sciences, whatever -- I hate them all. I am so sick of reading I feel like joining the firemen of Fahrenheit 451. You wonder why I cap off my denunciation of the liberal arts with a literary reference? Because I can't hate the humanities. I have been steeped in them all my life, and I can't possibly force them out of my system now. But I do despise them. Yeah, I don't get it, either. I feel like I could be happy if I never had to take another course in the humanities again for the rest of my life, but, simultaneously, I can't help but write about my feelings on the topic. I can't stop writing. I need to write poems and stories, although I hate reading them and I think the study of them is pointless. I am confused. I love working on my "novel" ... despite the fact that it is in no semblance of order ... but I hate reading other people's works. I don't even enjoy reading my own stuff. I don't know what to do with myself. I'm a journalism major, for crying out loud. I don't plan on changing that. How is it possible to live such a contradiction? How can I love to write but hate to read? What is wrong with me?!

I can't even remember what else I wanted to say after that minor explosion. Let me think for a moment.

Well, I looked over the course offerings for next quarter before dinner. Many of the classes I'd hoped to take aren't being offered, or they conflict with the one class I have to take. You know, when they gave me that thick course catalog, I figured I'd be able to take mostly courses I liked when I started school. They didn't mention that not all classes would be offered each quarter, that some classes might not ever be offered at all, that there was no way to find out what classes would be offered until a few weeks before registration, and so many other things. I feel all depressed after looking at the few courses I noted as possibilities. Does anyone really look forward to "International Ethics?"

I really wish I could settle on a minor or second major. Every single option I've considered thus far has fallen by the wayside. I first thought I'd pick the international studies double major, so that I might someday cover international events as a reporter. I even signed up for a language this quarter in anticipation of the two years' proficiency requirement. Then, as my classes started, I remembered what I had conveniently forgotten since I dropped French after my junior year of high school -- I hate studying languages. I no longer have any aptitude for them. Perhaps as a child -- but my brain has since been hardwired with English. So then I moved on to political science, a major I was told was pretty easy to tack onto a journalism degree and that would help me cover politics as a reporter, an area I took a natural interest in. However, being interested in what's going on in Washington today is a bit different than being interested in Alexis de Tocqueville's musings on American society. Scratch that idea, too. I then looked to the computer science program, which I could get into for a minor or a major through the College of Arts and Sciences, thereby avoiding all those science and engineering distribution requirements in Tech. Hey, but what the heck -- screw that one, too. As if I could ever get up the motivation to reapply myself to calculus, my love of that area of math notwithstanding.

Of course, if I were to go through with that comp sci idea anyway, I bet I could make a lot of money ... not a bad incentive. But I swear I'm not a Republican. Look to my Monopoly record if you don't believe me -- I'm 0 for 3.

So what shall I do with myself? Obviously not read much at this point, since I have been typing for over a half an hour now. I'm still working to fill those distros ... maybe I will come across something yet. Unfortunately, as it currently stands, I don't think I'll be getting into any classes in any departments I haven't already partaken of this quarter. Except maybe sociology. But I don't think I care enough about how society works to take that subject up. I figure it will be just like poli sci and psychology -- so many fine theories, but no way to definitively test them. You never know who's right, which means anyone could be right, which means that everyone thinks they're right. It's evil.

I really need to find some subject I can care about. I theorize way too much about what I'd like. I get all these idealistic notions about what a subject will be like, only to be shot down when I actually try to learn about it. Nothing's the way I think it will be, and I'm becoming cynical.

I don't know. I don't feel particularly better for having written this little essay. I need someone to just come and tell me what to do again.

Copyright © 2002 Colleen Fischer | Last updated October 7, 2002