Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The end of the year isn't so bad. Just getting the finishing touches from instructors on all those term end study guides.
Ordered my ring today (the 8th of December if blogger posts this as the day after or yesterday). Spent a grand total of $198.oo on it. It was $174 for the 'celestrium' battle ring. No gold. And the stone I got is a polished piece of West Point. A piece of granite. That was it. I got the miniature so it will be small and not garrish. I'm wearing a size 5 3/4. I'm glad though because in addition to being useful this ring is making me some money. They deposit $1100 in your account to use to buy your ring. I am only using a little leaving me with $902 soon to be in my top off and safely in savings.
I have all B's and up now. This is my best year so far I think and hopefully some hard work and studying this week will mean a nice increase in academic and military rank. I have an A- militarily. Which sorta offends me, but hey if it's higher than my average I'll keep my mouth shut... right?
That's it for today finally feeling tired and need to prepare for another day of: school! followed by mind-numbing, toe-numbing drill for the parade onto the field. Damn them.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Okay. I have to speed up this process of 'dealing with it' in which I'm supposed to allow myself a week to recover. I don't have a week. I need to start studying now and it's only going to go in one ear and out the other if I blow it off. Last little vent: The grades with people who have A's is sent out and today I got to see slammed in my face all the names of people who are doing so well they have A's in classes. And yes I'm sullen about it and feeling self-pity and jealously claiming that I could have A's too if I wasn't lazy. In essence the two sides of me are torn. One side of me, the non-hypocritical and common sense side is chiding myself and keeps on telling the emotional jealous and self-pitying side of myself that I spend too much time blowing off assignments and that I nap and allot too much time for just wasting time. Did I enjoy playing penguin tower defense? Yes, and these are the fruits of my efforts. I thought time and time again about my assignments and my essays especially and did I do them? I decided they could wait until the day before they were due. I stupidly also decided they could sometimes wait until a couple hours before they were due.
Deep breath. 1.... 2.... 3. Okay. Now for the bright side.
I still got a great grade in LW310 outperforming Little-Miss-I-got-an-A-because-I-have-OCD on the biggest assignment of the year. I also might have hurt my grade in LW403 because I blew off another online quiz which as I hear really pisses off instructors when you ignore them three times in a row. In my defense... I really have nothing. Oh well. I'll survive. If I do really well in LW310 than I believe I can still balance the two grades out an average a B+. The same goes for my GPA this year in that case. I still can't tell what's going to happen in PL300, Leadership. For some reason the relationship with that instructor has waned as well. I can't read everyone. I'm so sick of it right now. And the printer is empty of paper.
Perhaps I am just irritable because I have Writ #3 today and I don't feel prepared. Well time waits for no man or woman I suppose. I have to go, and to put the cherry on the pie I accidentally volunteered to help with a subject I like but haven't DONE in a year. There better be some damn good karma in store for this!
Monday, November 23, 2009
I must admit not all is well... I fought with my roommate yesterday. Besides getting creative with my curse-words, we hashed out some issues, then I swallowed a corrosive dose of pride and spoke with the girl I have harbored anger towards since she dared encroaching on my life this semester by going out with one of my friends and acting like besties with my roomie.
First my roomie and I had an argument that came to a boiling point fast, because of me. Eventually she stormed off to class and I went to buy a $1.49 coffee. Afterwards I went to this girl's room and extended an angry but determined olive branch. I was blunt. She's not a flower. On the contrary I think her sacharrine sweetness masks a terribly poisonous and manipulative person... but one who isn't worth my time. I focused on the fact that I didn't... actively dislike her. I also told her that I wasn't acting any differently towards her than any of her other classmates in my company. I was vague, but direct. I referenced her boyfriend a lot. I brought up our common points (of which there are very few), and I cut her off repeatedly. I remembered another reason I disliked her. She must always be talking. While this makes her fun if you are in the mood for witty banter, it makes her very annoying if you are trying to address her. If only like my cousin she could direct this sheer volume of talking in the direction of a cell phone... than I could afford myself valuable seconds to have some calm thoughts as opposed to frustrated ones edged with, "When you shut up I will answer!"
Either way, my roommate and I resolved our argument fairly peacefully. And I finally bridged a gap that could have been a social disaster. Nothing fatal, but potentially toxic.
I did a map check of my grades. I basically have a chance to make an A- in all of my classes for certain, with the exception of Law classes and Portuguese. Portuguese I can still make an A+ and Law I don't know because I don't know my grades for the - few - graded assignments we had.
I am getting stronger too. In spite of waking up early I did not nap after classes but worked out. I ran 1.71 miles, 14 minutes at increasing intervals and the rest of the time at a 7.5 mph pace. Then during upper body I showed my work-out partner the motions that I felt the least strength in and we modified my lifting routine to add strength where it was lacking. When I expressed a desire to increase faster, he said less rest time between sets. I am over-joyed and looking forward to seeing further results.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I couldn't see myself as being a particularly great starving wrestler so I went to West Point, but I find myself somewhat fettered here. I have some thoughts that will remain reserved on the subject, but other than that I felt more free today than I have in years since I came to the academy. Last year at NYAC International Open I felt scared and I left crushed and defeated. This year I actually... had some fun. I lost, probably worse than last year as far as results go. But I had improvement. Oh I felt the improvement, it was like a high. I just kept on feeling it in disbelief.
It was possible to overcome my situation and make progress in wrestling? And all I had done was form one link in a support group. One person made a year's worth of difference in me (and maybe I exaggerate a little but I'm trying to make a point). I need to expand this support chain. It's the only possible solution. I have someone who will support me through thick and thin, now I need a practice partner or something like it. Maybe I just need someone to kick my ass in freestyle once a week.
So much to plan. So many possibilities! I am amazed yet humbled by this. I feel like chiding myself, "See... that wasn't so bad was it? A little bit of hard work and effort actually pays off more than grumbling and cursing the system." But I'm happy to have realized it at all, so I will continue to bask in the joy.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Mostly it's the doozy this week is turning out to be. Whew! I mean, one grueling swim test tomorrow (joy, not). One CE300 WPR Tuesday morning. Watching the Sosh Run in the afternoon which "Sunny" is doing. Wednesday is a law trip section. Thursday two essays are due. Friday I am going to be starving. Meanwhile every night will be full-up with a hard cardio-filled work-out. Pretty much just drinking water and fruits and light protein between now and Wed. Just water and small carbs on Thursday. And... who knows on Friday?
The bigger things though... they are more emotionally related. I felt, defeated this last Friday. I felt undone like the biggest ceramic piece of art had just fallen off a shelf and exploded in the middle of my room. Shards and shards of pottery everywhere and dust coating everything. Strewn amid the regular crap I usually have on my floor it would have been an utter disaster. That's how I felt about Friday. Pretty much ready to cry from sheer frustration. Tonight I feel like I've been running uphill academically this weekend. I feel like I've reached the crest of a hill only to see more hill in front of that and my lungs just won't work right. I can't catch my breath. I'm intimidated. I'm... weary. I want so badly to pause, not stop but take a breath and a break.
On a side note speaking of runs, I took Sunny on a pretty great run. We ran past the cemetery up a hill up towards Michie Stadium than down and a left down a curvy road that mostly ran along Thayer Road. It was more than a two-mile run for sure and it had up and downhill. Plus I ran much faster than he expected. Which also made me suffer a little... but not too bad. The best part is that I haven't had any pain in my hip or my shins!!! OMG!! Even though my hip is popping like I've been running more. I'd say that this last week I ran... um... eleven miles this week! And lifted like a mad-woman. And drilled three times last week and wrestled live twice!
But alas... there might be matters of the heart that are confusing me. Surely these things deserve the least amount of my attention. They are the 'least-important' things to consider. I shouldn't even give them a sentence. They don't need a metaphor. They are scattered day-dreams. They are sappy love songs in gritty old school rock about cars and the 'heat of the moment' and all that crap. Obviously this has no place in my mind right now. And me being the absolute image of self-control and cool-headedness... well Lord knows that right now I'm completely focused on all the many more 'important' things in my life. My heart has no sway over how I act. I am so much better than that. Sigh... hopefully the thickness of the sarcasm here is palpable enough to be a slap in the face. I am what I am, and who else do I have to confide in when my former confidante would rather drink half a bottle of wine before crashing on her bed?
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Still I'm 123 lb in spite of 4 days off. I'm working out this week and next week. Can I cut down to 112? I can pre-register for $35 or wait and pay an extra $10 to make the decision next week. I think I should try to cut the weight. I ordered new knee pads, new chin-strap for my headgear, and a hair slicker. I have my USA card. Now it's just this last agonizing decision: Which Weight Class??
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
And before I launch into the mundane yet good news, I want to pause and reflect on a couple dreams I had. I had a very happy then saddening dream that a beloved family member asked me who they were and I described them with joy thinking it to be a game. Then I realized this family member did not know me, or recognize me, had in fact forgotten me and I cried. I sobbed. Wonder what that means is on my mind... anyway.
Despite a huge improvement on my part to work during the day, I find myself working through another night here at West Point. The reason? The seventh problem set in my CE300 class. Tomorrow night promises no better since I will be working on my LW310 paper and the afternoon will be interrupted by a Portuguese Oral Presentation. The morning will be interrupted by my taking one of my subordinates to the Thayer bookstore to pick out a journal they will use for reflection since they continue to mess up and I'm afraid the problem is slightly more complicated than simply requiring punishment for correction. Looking into it now. While I care enough to do so, I am also still very busy in particular this week.
On top of all my requirements, I am also hosting a participant of SCUSA. She goes to college in Oregon, her major is International something and Foreign Languages. She's quite nice, and hardly any trouble, and she gets me out of WAMI. (Wed. A.M. Inspection). So she can stay :)
Ah, but no worries. This Friday I will be leaving on Chalk 4 on Mil-Air with my boyfriend headed for USAFA to watch the Army v. Air Force Football Game* (*and other Army competitions because I love Army, noooot because I'm being mandated to go of course - wink).
Had a great talk with my friend H., we acknowledged his quasi-girlfriend doesn't like me and that she probably feels threatened by me and that H. already told her that his friendship with me isn't going to change. So that is going much better now.
Also realized that my roommate has gotten a lot better about her behavior in many ways, and that she will make her own mistakes and learn from them. I'm truly glad she is finally enjoying herself with a boyfriend who makes her happy, however I will not stop being her 'responsible' friend.
Finally, with all these realizations, I have this weekend in Colorado, next week a Wednesday drop in classes, that weekend a home football game, and the weekend after that hopefully a wrestling tournament. The weekend following is... of course: Thanksgiving! This year spent in El Paso.
So November is sliding by so fast I feel the wind whipping my hair. I have also been enjoying my life, this weekend went to IHOP and CrackerBarrel for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. My firstie friend, former sandhurst SL, got Infantry and I realized I won't be back from my semester abroad in time for his graduation which certainly necessitates some quality hang-out time.
I genuinely feel blessed. There is so much good in my life right now, I feel like my life is charmed with room for tweaks of improvement. Good night.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Anyway, good news. On Problem Set #5 I received - drum roll please - a 70/70 points! One A+ for me! Today we took the WPR and I think I did well on that too, but so did a lot of people so we'll see. The Portuguese WPR was delayed until tomorrow which was also a thrill.
Tonight I went to the library with the boyfriend and while he did his problem set I made my new study guide for Portuguese and sat down tonight until I think I better understood the subjunctive: the stupidist invention of grammar ever!
I wrestled and lost today to a guy I should have beat. I thought I was last and the coaches (both teams) thought my weight class was last. I wasn't warmed up, I had cramps that had me in the fetal position earlier today, and I was operating on about three hours of sleep with some naps thrown in haphazardly. I lost by 2 points. It was killer for me. Looking back though I fought like a scrapper because I have a busted lip, a swollen nose (right side), and a bump that was for a while the size of half a walnut on my forehead. It's just a small bruise now, I mean I don't look that bad, but the nose stings quite a bit.
The exercise was good though. Tomorrow is boxing practice (I hope) last time was a trick we ended up cleaning the gym we are now using. I missed practice today because it was no time for me to venture far out of the room. I didn't go to choir practice either. I've been feeling quite reluctant to commit so much of my future time without a clear idea of what I'm possibly missing. I am going to be in the audience of a certain popular T.V. Show this Columbus Day... more information on that to follow the actual event. It's kind of a cool experience to add to the list. Also I am trying to go to the Air Force v. Army Football game. As soon as the sign up appears I'm clicking and committing. Please pick me... I don't want to do Super Saturday! Well really I wouldn't mind, but I want to travel. Colorado sounds kind of cool.
Need to work on that APFT. I am sub-100 points in the sit-ups. Abs are now mandatory every day. The heavy-duty WPRs are over. Time needs to re-arrange to fit both academics and exercise. The social stuff will take care of itself as was proven to me when I went over to H's room for CE300 help and stayed for a while to catch up since it's been a while. Let's hope the good luck carries on. Cheers.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So I made a deal with my DAC, rather he told me exactly what I needed to do and I agreed to implement it and he swore to keep on my case until I succeeded. His goal is for me to graduate with honors. This means a GPA of 3.0 and a Law Dept GPA of 3.5
I have an overall GPA of 2.9 and cannot afford anything less than a B. I certainly need to exceed this with as many classes as possible. Falling behind this early is... unacceptable. I've never felt so caught. Usually it's not till the 9 weeks that I'm concerned or thinking about grades. It's half-way through the semester and I'm getting my wake-up call. I can't tell if that's good or bad.
Oh well, anyway here is the plan: I make a trade-off: either the boyfriend or my naps during the day. If I take naps, I have to devote my evenings to homework. If I do my homework during the day and am fully prepared for the next day I can see my boyfriend. Joy. It's a sensible plan, one I considered but would never have honestly implemented. Now, I'm being told by my DAC to try this plan... what choice did I have but to propose the idea to my boyfriend?
And he completely supports it, even suggested we go to the library this weekend because he's got a lot of work to do too. Which is good... but my naturally lazy self is so opposed to this plan. I have been picking up motivation in athletics and would surely love to let academics slide by the wayside. Instead... yesterday I confined myself to my room suspending all athletic activity-indeed all extracurricular activity-altogether and I caught up as much as possible on academics. It was so difficult to sit there and do homework straight for hour after hour (with 15-20 minute breaks) but it was my day to get my head straight for academics. Today I will do exercise, but I've handled such a large chunk of academic workload that I can comfortably afford it.
Today the budding women's boxing team is going off post I suppose to some sort of boxing gym. I think we just might hit each other today. I'm so pumped and I totally need to let off steam. All this focus on academics has made me grouchy. Part of me is jumpy and wants to sit here at my desk until I'm all caught up, but another part of me knows I will benefit from continuing to try to excel in every single pillar.
I left out militarily how I'm doing, but that's fine too. Tonight after I return from boxing I am going to be counseling all three of my team leaders and inputting my suggested grade for them and for their plebes. That itself will probably take a minimum of an hour and I get back at 2100 approximately from boxing. Looks like this essay on travel for English will have to write itself late tonight although at least I have a solid outline this time.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Have a meeting scheduled with my Dept. Academic Counselor tomorrow, should be fun really. All the instructors have been meeting with yearlings discussing their 'major' decision. Andy is actually losing a little sleep over it, kind of reminds me when I chose my major how much less I thought about alternative options. I visited the Dirt Dept. briefly but they tried too hard to get me to join their department. I like the instructors and the atmosphere as well as the class content of the law department more. I am also still determined to become fluent in Portuguese and am still bowled over that I'm going to Portugal. I'm certainly excited, although things are moving slowly.
Went to the PX with "Sunny" and bought some new white shirts as well as a multi-vitamin for active young women since the cadet health clinic insists on giving the females pre-natal vitamin pills. It really annoys me. I also got some whey protein for post-weight lifting consumption. I'm working out five days of the week (sometimes I skip a Thursday or Friday but I've been working out on Saturdays too now) and I feel more energy than usual.
Had some quality girl talk last night. My roommate is searching for a boyfriend and unfortunately I think she's looking so hard for a boyfriend she's looking at some guys through rose-colored spectaclels and missing out on casual dating. She's still so upbeat and doing great at academics. A girl down the hall complained she still loves her ex even though he cheated on her and she cheated on him. I shrugged, that girl never acts like she has a boyfriend so I don't see how her life has changed that much. I was surprised how silly some of the conversation was. Most of my two cents made well sense and I think everyone was unsettlingly surprised how pragmatic and practical my advice was. The oldest one there, our neighbor a senior, agreed with me the most and had the most mature point of view. One subject that came up was cheating. Senior AKA Lola (not her real name) had talked to a guy and sort of seen him while he was dating his current girlfriend while she was at semester abroad. He has cheated on his girlfriend more than once. Lola said he said skeazy comments like, "You're all I think about." and his girlfriend is back and Lola said she's not interested in him. Then sophomore down the hall AKA Linn (not real name), says,
"Don't you wish sometimes you could tell the girlfriend like show them the proof and tell them their boyfriend is cheating?"
and Lola replies,
"Yeah, but then she still calls you a slut and bitch for cheating with her boyfriend."
and my roommate retorts hotly,
"Any girl who does that is stupid!"
At which point I break in,
"No, Lola is right. You [my roomie] damn well remember how it was, if this guy is over the top by saying you're all he thinks about and he sent you flowers you can bet he sounds so sincere to his girlfriend. If she gives a rats ass about him she'll not want to believe and she'll question the motive of the girl telling her the information. She'll wonder if this girl is just trying to get her to break up with her guy unfairly. Unless of course she already completely distrusts her boyfriend. It depends on the nature of the relationship."
Linn disagreed saying she'd believed a girl. I wanted to say Linn had no concept of fidelity, but managed to keep my mouth shut on that. My roomie sort of understood but not fully. Lola really got it though. And I got her. Even though we'd been the exact opposite roles in that situation with different people I realized I didn't like her any less, I did however find the guy weak and quite the P.O.S. Anyway didn't realize I could have so much fun or offer so much to the conversation.
As far as my own relationship status, true I have a boyfriend, but it's just seeing where it goes. We both have our own goals to pursue. I have boxing and wrestling and academics and lifting weights. I also have a semester abroad. I have salsa dancing and EST (shooting if possible). He has sprint football and academics and big decisions upon him plus one of the hardest academic years to face. He's on top of his game and so far so am I. I have two A's in classes. Soon to be three! At least I'm that optimistic. It's time for sleep or all my self-prophecies will be false for sure. Night.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Another new experience I had the same day, that lunch actually, was attending the quarterback luncheon. I had no idea why we'd been invited, and assumed at first it was just for numbers. It turned out that the Law Department wants to check up on its little experiment of an all-cow (junior) class taking the mandatory Law class (LW403 mando/core requirement mostly firsties - seniors - take). I ended up not having to speak, and honestly couldn't think of much to say. I preferred the class with all law-dogs of course... but I was in it. Fortunately my counterparts "Boat" and "Kay" both had enough to say to satisfy the issue. The law instructors know my face pretty well by now since I did take an AIAD with them my plebe summer and I hung out at law functions because of my ex. The actual luncheon stood out in my mind because the food was very tasty and there was a lot of big brass and plenty of high-achieving outstanding cadets. The Superintendent (Supe), Current at the moment Commandant (Comm), and the Dean (the Dean) were all there too. After enjoying our meals and getting grilled on our LW403 class our ears were assaulted by the West Point Spirit Band (not the Army Band) with songs we were obligated to clap along to. Then the head coach got up and spoke to us in jargon only football players could really understand... "Double Eagle Flex" or something like that apparently originated in Canada where this is no room for something and here in America we don't usually stack a running back and something else? I was mostly flummoxed.
Finally more news. The current Commandant of Cadets BG Linnington is gone now. He's taken off. Arrivederci Suckers. Hasta La Vista Corps. Auf Wiedersehen Gang. The last two things I remember from his speech included a list and a charge.
The list was 5 possible things he might leave the corps with (1) PMI until Thanksgiving (2)Amnesty to all Alcohol-Boards (3) Civilian Clothes for Cows immediately (4) Unlimited OPPs for yuks and plebes or (5) Rescindment of the long-sleeve winter policy
We cheered and chanted for our favorite, but the decision hasn't been announced.
The other bit was that he charged us all to look out for our brothers and sisters at arms. Especially that we should go out and form those relationships that would last our lifetimes.
Our new Commandant has been here for two days reportedly although I don't recall seeing him (perhaps he was incognito in As-For-Class?) and he was a combat Engineer. The color of the Engineers is Red. Then there's Infantry Blue. Signal Orange. Artillery Yellow? I can't remember them all.
So now for a little more news. Our company went up against G-1 in wrestling and won. It was a nail-biter of a duel. My own match I won... but it was purely because my opponent was inexperienced. He was stronger than me and definitely didn't feel like he weighed 135 lb. Since the weigh-ins are observed by coaches... I'm willing to bet this kid was around heavy 140 lb. Anyway, after a slow start and a couple stupid mistakes on my part, I caught the kid on his back and pinned him. A good confidence boost combined with identification of the things I need to fix.
I've been working out regularly starting this week. I went to Hayes Gym (it's actually the obstacle course gym in Arvin Gym on the 2nd and 3rd floor) and ran on the track above the course. It's a small circuit, 11.7 laps to the mile. Although why the hell you'd be running for 11.7 laps escapes me. Why didn't they just make it 12 laps to a mile? So confusing. Anyway, I've been able to run for longer in the gym than I can on the treadmill or outdoors. I also have done two sets of sprints and the second set was longer than the first. Also now capable of 2 ankles to the bar. Success!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I've finally started to make a few mistakes that put me on the radar. It's not a common occurence though, and my history should speak for itself. I missed a couple things this last Friday... but none of them were huge. Mostly it was because of a lack of sleep. A reason this post will not be long.
I sort of realize I'd be much happier if I was on some sort of corps or club squad sport. I would have a purpose outside of mindless cadet crap. The SAMIs and the 'unit training' and the TA-50 layouts. It's not like corps and club squadders get out of doing those things, but they have practices during some of our mandatory events and they have a sport to live for. It's no wonder sometimes I feel so cynical, when all I'm doing feels so small and pointless in the grand scheme of things. Oh I know it has nothing to do with power. I mean my friend is the Regiment Executive Officer. He's second in charge... the only reason he has this position is because he begged for a position that would let him be back in company for the sandhurst season. However, the consequence is he has to answer to someone else who is very demanding and thinks that in order to be an effective leader they must enforce some sort of new policy and new requirements. Notice I say 'new' not 'increased'. Anyway, that's his problem and story. Me? I'm doing okay I'm a squad leader and an intramural wrestler. It's funny to me how much I love wrestling and how much to a couple people it's just a filler.
There is one guy who just gets on my nerves. To him, it's just a silly sport and he's much more interested in learning 'real army skills'. He also can't say anything without coming across as a complete douchebag. Not exactly the social persona you want to have as a future PL I'd say. I'm okay with that though. I'm finding out that the type of person you need to be as an army leader varies greatly in the support branches. So when it comes to the self-analysis question of whether or not I am becoming the sort of person West Point wants me to be... I think I'll just refrain from answering. After all I get the impression West Point wants me to be an Army Infantry Officer and since I'm clearly not going to do that... well, anyway.
So I'm not sure there is going to be another wrestling tournament in NYC this year because I haven't seen any advertising for it and they haven't even posted the pictures from last years tournament. This distresses me. I wonder if it has anything to do with the timing of the Olympics... My lifting routine has suffered because of the past two weeks of basically being sick and having every plausible excuse to not work out too much in between practices. I am tired of this cough and want to be free of it as I work towards becoming amazing in wrestling and hell, amazing in my fitness otherwise. My abs are great I guess since I'm coughing so much. I also haven't had much of an appetite during the week. It might also be three years of this crappy food and I'm finally not stomaching it anymore.
In academics we've finally learned every tense of portuguese (not all the ins and outs and specifics but I can finally say present-, past-, future-, and command-tense). Sooo to say I talk, I am talking, I talked, and I will talk is: Falo, Falando, Falei, Falarei. Falarei com minha mae amanha. I will talk to my mother tomorrow.
As excited as I am to finally know all the tenses, I am tens times more excited and interested in my legal classes. I am a little slower than some of my fellow majors in learning the terminology (probably because I am so unfaithful in my reading of the material) but I have unique arguments and extremely insightful points of view. With those two skills I will do great if I actually put my nose to the grindstone and work. Alas this has always been my problem, I'm incredibly dreamy and this translates to me being somewhat lazy. It's easy to confuse the two.
Finally, all of my focus has been rather dreamy lately anyway because of my new relationship. Is it weird for me to date a sophomore? I can't tell, sometimes I feel slightly off about the situation but never about this guy. He's a great guy, great friend, and so far so good he seems to be in the 'normal' category... yeah he's dating a girl a grade above him... but hey, he's five months older than me. Which is about right for my age because I'm about a year behind my classmates' age and did skip a grade.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Monday: I started the week great with an awesome lower body lift and a 3-mile run
Tuesday: I gave blood today, but still did a boxing practice and bled through my arm bandage... which made me feel pretty badass
Wednesday: I started to feel shitty today... I was fatigued (slept through one of my classes) and uncomfortable and I blamed the fact that I gave blood. I still did the IOCT once, wrestling practice, and boxing practice (although that was cut short because of some jerk-off of a clerk)
Thursday: I felt a lot of fatigue today... but identified it finally and called the cadet health clinic to make an appointment. I don't think I caught the swine flu, but it's definitely a bug of some sort. They're supposed to give me antibiotics. I slept after class and went to bed early.
Today.. the plan is to do an upper body lift and go to an open gym for wrestling. This plan includes imbibing an energy drink roughly 55 minutes before practice. Although I feel bad that my work-outs weren't amazing this week, looking back I still did them. The only day I really blew off was Thursday and like I've realized that was totally justified.
Academically, I'm actually concerned that I might like CE300, my civil engineering class. While it's true that I don't have a laughably easy schedule like my roommate or systems engineering... I never wanted to completely sacrifice math and science so this suits me well. I also am starting to do better in my law classes. I felt so weird readjusting from only three weeks in Cape Verde, but it made more of an impact than I thought it would. It really was life-changing.
Militarily... I can't tell yet. I have yet to get my initial counseling forms signed by two of my three subordinates, but I had a squad meeting yesterday and told them to get on the ball. Unfortunately this meeting was in front of my roommate who apparently all the plebes "love" -- this is according to her. I hate to sound jealous, but she sounds so smug sometimes. She sounds so professional asking the plebers for foreign affairs articles. She cites their knowledge book like it's nobody's business. She balances being sappily sweet to them with screeching at them when they screw up duties.
Okay so she was also Beast cadre meaning her job was to yell at new cadets and to know their knowledge book and to enforce the standard for 4 solid weeks.
I can't help but feel the same way now that I did as a plebe. I felt like some of the hazing was stupid when I was a plebe. I still feel that way as an upperclass. I understand the pertinence of some of it, and I'm glad they are expected to know basic arms knowledge and foreign affairs are important... but I can't survive without some level of ridiculousness. I'm glad I have lunch at a table with three different people. I almost feel like I see too much of my roomie. I feel like if I open my mouth I am competing with her. I really don't care about half the stuff we expect plebes to know. I mean if they have a funny article I'd be twice as satisfied as opposed to a serious but boring foreign affairs article that means relatively little to me. I am having trouble finding my way... my leadership style.
I find it frustrating when my roomie says things like, "I'm a good leader... I mean look I got a military A this summer!" Why care about the grade? I mean I'm glad she got it, but why flaunt it? I mean... so what I got an A-? Does that mean I'm sub-par? Does it mean I had a harder detail? Does it really mean anything? In my opinion it equals shit insofar as your leadership capability. I've talked to kids on both sides of the spectrum. There have been POS's who weren't worth a damn thing who got A's and there have been competent and good people who get C's from a lazy superior.
And I'm venting because I care about my performance. I may not be a super-hooah... but I don't want to be a total shit-bag. I hope I can find some motivation in having a squad. A squad of six people... it's such a joke. I barely see them. Well that's just another challenge. And I like challenges. This weekend if I work out, do my homework and have a short squad meeting on Sunday to get face time and so that they keep doing the right thing... then I will be able to make it through the next week. And then the process will start again, setting goals, having great days, followed by shitty days, and peppered with so-so days that are just distracting. It's a never-ending process. Hello world.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Tomorrow night I have banned all boys from my room and I am doing my problem set #1 from Civil Engineering in the library. In academics I realized that I need to practice presenting ideas to a classroom both for law and for leadership. So I started to make audio recordings of myself. I sort of sound like a talkshow radio host. By the end of my third try I had much more coherent thoughts. It was great to hear myself, because I could pick out some things I was saying that made no sense from a listeners point of view that is to say without the simultaneous thought that accompanied such spoken sentences. Then I started to record myself singing for fun. It was a great way to pass an hour and I actually studied because I was recording myself both reading about Marbury v. Madison and presenting my opinion on the electoral college v. absolute popular vote.
My writing skills have been greatly honed by journaling mostly and my ability to take my thoughts to a screen by blogging and typing memoirs. My speaking skills have suffered because I've been spending the last two years of West Point listening to others. I am talking more now, and I am willing to talk again, but I need to break free of the imaginary duct tape I seem to have affixed to my lips. I think the exercise I've designed will do great things for me. Onward to tomorrow!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
My self esteem was in for a treat this weekend. I am feeling great too, although I'm afraid my wallet might have a hang-over. A random stranger in the street called the boy I was travelling with a "lucky man" and even before that moment I just felt very beautiful this weekend. I felt attractive and fit and desirable and the best part was the clothes I was wearing were all jean bottoms (boot-cut jeans, jean shorts, jean skirt) and cotton t-shirts and I wasn't wearing make-up. A lady also complimented my braids saying they were "so cute".
I enjoyed a lot of tasty food too. Had an amazing creme brulee after dinner on friday and also was surprised by what was called a Hibiscus Jewel, a little coconut custard with hibiscus jello on top. Hibiscus was tasty as expected. The last day I had an amazing brunch at the italian restaurant attached to the hotel.
Shopping was also a very successful venture because I bought a vintage X-Men T-Shirt and a pair of gorgeous gold chandalier earrings with cute green bobbles attached to them. There was also a stop at Barnes and Noble which lasted at least three hours. We also found this awesome 24 hour diner that served all meals all the time. The service was great, the food not terribly expensive. It was a charmed weekend to be sure.
The oddest part was a dream I had. I dreamt of an old family... maybe it was like an 18th century one... they were moving into a new house. The family consisted of a husband and wife with two male servants and one female servant and I'm not sure if they had kids. The wife had a nest of swallows installed in her room. It was a strange dream because I was dreaming that I was reading a novel that was simultaneously being played out in front of me. Then I read that one of the servants had been assigned to be the husband's busom buddy and confidante. The last sentence referred to the female servant: "Oh Mrs. Loft!" It was strange as though I had just finished a chapter in a book.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I said I had nothing to say about it, that I respected his wishes, and promptly stormed off.
I was sadly disappointed he did not follow me, or inquire if I was okay. I have been stewing about that all day. I can't very well turn around and pretend it's okay. I have no desire to stay mad at him either, since I thought we were being friends. The examples he was siting were just our one on one interactions, in particular being alone together for anything, and interactions between us in the hallways that could be misconstrued as flirting.
I, for one, am slightly baffled by his request. I thought we had already decided we were already friends. Additionally the day we really fell apart in my mind and heart was two days ago, which isn't nearly enough time to evaluate how we're acting around each other. Finally, our interactions which can be construed as flirtatious or more than friendly have been mutually-initiated things. If anything he has stopped by my room more often than I have stopped by his room.
Regarding these facts, I am even more irritated at the accusatory manner with which he addressed the nature of our friendship. As though I was trying to lead him astray! I am unsettled once again. I'm not even sure I'll go to the Sandhurst meeting this Wednesday. I know I won't be on the team this year because of my semester abroad (which cannot come soon enough) and I definitely don't have any original ideas to contribute on the matter. The only thing that may motivate me to go are the friends I made on the team that are still there for me.
I am seeing someone else anyway. I am not anyone's girlfriend nor do I have a boyfriend, but I am seeing a sophomore, a yuk if you will. He does not have any issues with my faith. We haven't even so much as discussed the core of our belief although I know he's Catholic. The most serious topics we've discussed have been what's good music and how I don't know anything about cars or football. We don't care what people construe our interactions as, because frankly we don't give a damn. He and I do our own thing, we're not constantly together. This weekend, I went out with new friends, and he stayed in although people on his team wanted him to go out with them.
Why can't things always be this simple? We're just seeing each other. We're not seeing other people, but we're not getting serious. It's like weightless. There isn't a committment and I can breathe. There's also no pressue to be anything I'm not already.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I spent time soul-searching this summer. I feel like I've really gotten a handle on what I believe. I am joyful for that. However, I am more indignant than ever to be judged because I don't have what someone else's opinion is the proper degree of relationship with Jesus that I'm supposed to have. What that even means escapes me. I don't think it was ever the purpose of God or Jesus in our lives to come between us and healthy relationships with each other. I think that you're narrow-minded to believe you know God's plan, or that you can sense God's intentions. I think you're putting up a wall, and sealing yourself in a casket, to say that someone else needs the same level of spirituality to pursue a relationship of even warm friendship. Heaven forbid you enjoy a conversation that doesn't center on Jesus Christ... so you feel like you've garnered some wisdom on relationships from a lowly believer now that you're done, you'll continue to wait for God to drop some drop-dead gorgeous, absolutely perfect, God-fearing, midwest girl in your path. And she better be just as holy as you are. I hope she has a friggin' halo, anything less subtle and you may doubt her worthiness to so much as flirt with you.
Sorry that was bitter, and venting. It needed to be done. I'm hurting right now. It hurts immensely. It always hurts. Even if it's for the better. For all I know, this is God's plan and in reality I wouldn't be happy with a guy like this. In fact from the looks of it, I won't be happy with a guy like that. I'm obviously unhappy right now.
Back to classes. Is it ironic that my first hour instructor is the head coach for a certain team? I think so. The guy I'm seeing is on that team. I didn't notice until tonight. Then I also start my first law class tomorrow, I'm excited about this. I think I will like my English instructor, they sent out their guidance this night at 2230. A fellow procrastinator? I hope so.
I also start my workout routine tomorrow. The one I am constructing right now of course. It will be a fun exercise. I plan on getting my highest APFT score this year for the spring. It should totally be doable because I know I can get more push-ups than I did last time and I was in shape then too.
I also start to officially curb my diet tomorrow. Smaller portions. More fruit and vegetables. More water at mando-meals.
I will also be doing more homework at the Library. I have afternoons off. I can knock it out then in the hour after lunch before I take a nap. Thus leaving night time free for fun? We'll see how this plays out. This is the plan anyway.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Why all this talk? Just because I suppose I've been given reason to think about it. I was inspired to discover what I believe spiritually, and I think I've found that. It's a good feeling. It's fulfilling. It makes me sometimes feel... peaceful. And I've found that I so rarely feel that in my life.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I wish we didn't have any internet connection here then my heart wouldn't be churning over what it's not supposed to be churning over. Just goes to show I'm still on the rebound and should be preoccupying myself with other things until I stop being irrational about this whole relationship thing. I'm not even twenty yet! I have a proper date set up for the date of my return from paradise with a boy who will most certainly flatter my ego. And then I have a semester of figuring out my social scene for real because I'll have no boy to be taking up all my free time. And as a junior at my school I will have way more opportunities to go out.. plus more friends with cars that I won't have to bat my eyelashes at or beg around for rides and now that I can drive I can borrow vehicles too!
Monday, June 1, 2009
Preferably I am going to buy a camping backpack just because it will have more space and be sturdier, but I feel slightly embarrassed buying one. Like someone is going to make fun of me for either having one or someone who is familiar with them is going to make fun of me if I buy the wrong type. I am deciding between external and internal frame. I am uncertain about ordering one online, but that looks like it's my only option. I sort of want to consult with someone who knows what they are doing because these are expensive backpacks. I am concerned I won't get one in time. I might just buy one after Buckner even though I only have a couple days before my trip. I will have to take a gamble if that's the case.
Moving on, I need to chronicle my driving experiences because I am fresh on the wheel and it would be a crime not to. So I only went to three of the four driving lessons my parents signed me up for and it might be because the conversation on day 1 went something like this:
I exit the house in a blue shirt with the words California Athletics on it.
Mr. Instructor: (after brief introductions and in a sharp suspicious tone) Do you go to school in California?
Me: (annoyed at the tone) No.
Mr. Instructor: (Slight pause while he waits for an explanation then impatiently asks) Well then why do you have a California shirt on?
Me: (same annoyed tune) Because I lost a wrestling match to a girl from California.
This stumps Mr. Instructor who can find no further question, but still has no idea why I am wearing this shirt.
So maybe we started on the wrong foot. We certainly ended on it too because over the course of three lessons he proceeded to make me slow down to less than 10 mph for every turn and grabbed my wheel nearly each and every time. He also continually pulled up on the emergency brake which was between us whenever he thought I wasn't slowing down enough. I was trying not to slam on the brakes. At one point he reached for it and I skidded to a stop. He started to nag me for not going easy on the brakes and I commented that I noticed him reaching for the emergency brake and thought maybe he wanted me to brake faster. He took the hint, but that was also our last lesson together. At the end of it, we agreed he wasn't showing up the next day and after I determined our business was done I left the car. No goodbye, no thank you, and no hand shake. And my mother picked this guy because he was supposedly extremely patient or something.
I passed my driving test on Friday even though I was very nervous. This weekend I've been driving a lot. I drove out to Hueco Tanks with my friend "Pete". I drove to the mall. I drove to my cousins' house. I drove to my friend's house. I drove to Hanks to meet with my old high school JROTC instructor. Then Tuesday Night, 40% off of wings at Applebee's night, I hit my first stationary object. Hypothetically... I was backing out of a tight parking space. I didn't touch the accelerator, but as I swung out I bumped the car next to me. I cursed and braked and panicked. I pulled back in and put it in park. I got out of the car and looked at the other car. It was dim but you couldn't see where I'd bumped the dark blue car. I could sort of see it, but I had to look. Amazingly, the alarm hadn't gone off (I'm assuming there wasn't one). And even though there had been a girl outside, she was on the cell phone and was deep in conversation I saw her throw her hands up and she had the phone on the same side as the car. I took a deep breath, looked around... and panicked some more. Still cursing. I pulled out (more carefully), and got out of there. I met up with my friends at Sonic, but my confidence was shaken by this situation which may be more or less what I described, but I can neither confirm nor deny the actual facts.
So I feel like I got in a big mistake on top of my little mistakes and my personal accomplishment (because I still get nervous driving in front of my parents, family, and/or friends). I have done a lot this time at home. I was also doubly motivated to start cleaning the guest bathroom. I went through nearly everything that is mine and I have thrown out most of it (old make-up and half-finished bath gels and hair gel). I am nearly done. I have organized under the sink. I just need to sweep and mop and clean the mirrors. My dad just replaced the faucet, so the mess from his getting under the sink inspired me on top of a suggestion from my sister. I am going to go buy a new hamper, because I have the leeway to get any kind I want and because the old one is broken and annoying. I like the guest bathroom, because it is neat. I also want to try to clean the skylight, which is literally littered with random debris from who knows how many years. I have a lot to do tomorrow if I am going to get this done before I leave.
Today I also saw several people I hadn't seen in forever. I have to thank AF Academy J. for setting it up. It was good to see everyone, but there was a lot left unspoken and it was clear from the awkward conversation we all felt guilty for letting our friendships fall by the wayside. It wasn't all of us exactly. Two were work-out buddies. One has become a social hermit except for a few people back home. Two connected over mutual schools. At least a few of them are doing a road trip this weekend to see another mutual friend in Austin. It was interesting to say the least. I am realizing that you can't sum up everyone instantly. I am analyzing my situation through a more cool lens though. I am still the same impatient, snarky, quick to call a judgment (possibly judgmental) person I ever was... but I am coming to grips and not feeling so desolate or depressed about it. I am observing from a more objective standpoint. Sure I'm still an emotional open book and easy to read and I still giggle a lot when I get nervous, but I am learning to shut my trap a little more often which is something I find difficult.
Then this night I met one of my cousins for wings at Applebee's and another friend from wp who brought two of his own friends. It was good to spend an evening just conversing and even if I played it down to be more available for my wp friend and his friends I enjoyed the conversation going on next to me and every now and then butted in (in a friendly manner) to hear an interesting conversation. It was also nice to zone out with Mark though, because it was difficult to stay focused when the stories became riddled with inside jokes or involved people I didn't know.
Overall a very busy day because of the school visit. A few teacher's recognized my AF Academy friend and I but we were such nerds in high school nobody said anything about us being there. And I'm not saying nerd like it's a bad thing. They redid the theater nicely, and they are still working on Hanks. There are a lot less portable classrooms now. I never really like visiting the building, but I enjoy catching up with former teachers. I was devastated to discover there still wasn't wireless internet on campus. I just came to expect it from college.
From all this time there is one thing I feel more of: confidence
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Did I meet a guy? No. Am I going out with someone? No. I am still blissfully single, but I'm talking to someone who is interested in getting to know me better. That's the beauty of the situation, I'm this happy because of someone who is just a friend. And we're actually not gonna talk to each other that much this summer... we're not even going to speak to each other until I go to LTP for Buckner, and then I think not even until I get at least a week into it. He already gave me tips to call him from Buckner, so I'm going to assume we should wait until then. Meanwhile... I have a life I need to be living. I am getting my license this week no matter how jittery I get. I am going to go hiking sometime maybe this weekend. I am visiting my teachers since school isn't out yet. I am going running and eating some Mexican food that I have been missing and craving.
I am happy to do these things, because someone who is just absolutely amazing thinks that I am amazing and awesome, and wants to pick up where we left off last night... somewhere during dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and sitting in the Astrology section of Barnes and Noble... we were both undeniably happily enjoying each others' company just laughing and teasing and discussing everything. And even though my allergies and my hormones were making me a grumpy nightmare at the beginning I eventually lightened up and he understood. I felt all the better since I wasn't pretending to be something I wasn't for a man. I mean after all... even as friends, it would be better if he knows who I am and not some projected image of me that tries to cover my flaws. Plus hopefully this way he understands that he genuinely cheered me up.
And speaking of good fortune it comes in droves because I found my keys today and I also got the fee for my one checked bag waived since the lady behind the counter was being nice to me. Kyle stayed with me until it was 0400 because we was waiting for a shuttle to go to Delta terminal. It was a shame because it would have been fun to sit on a plane with him. Well, there is still plenty of time, but I'm temporarily exhausted from the adrenaline and the fun as well as pure sleep deprivation.
Friday, May 22, 2009
- Put away CFT stuff, trunks (2), and bags in basement, trunk room, or day room. (realistically I will only be able to put away about 75% of it today since I need access to certain bags and boxes tomorrow too)
- Go to the Cadet Store and buy 2 subdued cow brass
- In the afternoon after the parade and before their lunch break go to the Cadet Health Clinic and pick up malaria pills (for the one island Sao Tiago which carries malaria threat
It's time to start the day, but I feel well-prepared for the next three. It will be great to be home and I'll know I'm ready for the upcoming training.
PS already talked to former SL, finalized plans for today and Saturday, and FOUND my birth certificate which was hidden wedged in an orange folder in a black laptop case behind some pipes above my locker... it's gonna be a goooooooooood day (^^)
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I'm supposed to be figuring out who I am this summer. I need a more permanent journal right now I'm sort of just wandering in and out of all of my mediums of expression. I have several notebooks going it's getting difficult for me to organize my thoughts much less all my documents and deadlines. I have to box so much of my stuff still and I don't even have tape to do it with.
I don't have a bad feeling though. After that talk yesterday I actually feel much better rested than I have been. I also have a slightly better idea of how I am going about with my development of self in the leadership category.
My mentor told me that I need to realize that a good leader knows to separate what's personal from what's the leadership. He also told me there are three different types of leadership. Leading your subordinates, leading your peers, and leading those above you. The most important part is that when you are making improvements you are imagining how the system could be bettered, or where it failed, that can make the improvement. You are critiquing the system in order to fix problems. You don't take it personal if someone disrespects you or your position, but you address it and fix it, because the system needs respect to work. If you take it personal you will either collapse and let the disrespect occur or you will overreact. Hence, you separate your personal feelings from leadership. I hope I am explaining what he told me in a coherent fashion, because it not only made sense to me but it motivated me and helped me sort out my feelings about past bad leadership experiences.
Additionally, he told me that gradeswise I probably faced my worst semester. I earned it, so I'm going to say it, my GPA is a 2.955
There it is. It's not a 4.0 or even an even 3.0 right now, though if you rounded it you'd get the latter. However, this was not due to heavy hours or mind-bogglingly difficult work. It was stress and being burnt out and disinterested. This is going to change for many reasons. However, my mentor told me that I displayed qualities and that I obviously expected a lot from myself. He told me he perceived that I wouldn't be happy if I just skated by, under the radar, doing the minimum. He also said that I would want to go to grad school, that education was important and this was probably passed to me unbeknownst to myself from the female lineage of my family.
Whether his perceptions were all accurate or not I don't know, but I listened and appreciated them. They got me to thinking and definitely stirred me from my stupor. That always seems to happen and I'm happy for it, whenever I'm starting to drift off the trail, someone always comes around to get me back on the straight and narrow. I appreciate it, because I don't think I could make it in the wilderness without turning bitter. I want to be working towards something. I want to be successful, but I want to be human. I want to maintain my wandering, and excitable personality. In excess it may be bad, but I'm learning from interacting with other people that these qualities can actually be sought after by less exuberant or passionate people. People who might have the skills and the standards, but who long to be more outgoing. Surprised? I am. But I'm happy to share these qualities with people, and even happier to maybe pick up some tips from my more even-tempered friends.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
These long conversations on Sunday are more and more interesting. I feel like I'm getting a glimpse into someone who is more like me than I knew. I'm getting positive feedback from someone who seems to have it together, and there's no competitive feelings between us and there's an affinity that I certainly can't put a finger on. Maybe I'm seeking this connection, but I don't think I would get such good reception if there wasn't one there before I started looking.
I went for a run today with a friend leaving on a two year mission because he's Mormon. He doesn't know where he's going yet, but I feel it's a shame that I didn't get to know him better and for some reason we're getting along quite well. It's quite accidental and I didn't all of a sudden warm up to him because he was leaving. Plenty of people start to leave and I don't get close to them, like for instance when another guy left at the end of last semester. We never really spoke at all.
However, to avoid lingering on that fact, today we went for a run. It was fun. I made him run up to the trail behind the Jewish Chapel (which I guess isn't really a chapel, but that's the common name here on campus) and we ran up some steep trails up to Fort Putnam which is a historical site on campus but it was closed. I got curious though, so we ran around the edge of its high walls until we found a spot that was passable and we climbed up and did a leader's recon. This is another one of those hypothetical situations of which there is no proof, only rhetorical description. It was fun, it was green, and we definitely had a good - albeit short - run uphill twice. We also did pull-ups. Two sets of five for me, plus three wide grip pull-ups, with about seven half wide grip pull-ups thrown in, and then followed with five pull-ups grip facing towards myself.
I like the trail run, even if I do start wheezing after only ten meters into the green. It's still more fun and more interesting than a run to Lee Gate which is not only boring but to me isn't the easiest thing ever. I have trouble running for three miles at the same pace. I need to work on that. I might go on a long run tomorrow, but it probably still won't be a Lee Gate Run.
I wrote this a couple weeks ago:
no questions asked
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Lately I've been almost despondent and on edge and feeling as though I can do no right. I am stumbling through the week like a zombie. I am endeared to anyone and anything that can make me laugh right now.
I am still reading this book called I Was Told There'd Be Cake which is a collection of essays by Sloane Crosley (wow, it's so nice to reference something and not have to make an endnotes or footnote). It's terribly funny I keep on laughing out loud in my room as I read it. My roommate and I are on edge for different reasons, but nonetheless we are sort of grating on each others' nerves. It's slight, but in light of the current week it's like the straw that might break this camel's back. If I'm going to compare myself to a smelly desert animal with a tendency to spit.
I cannot believe how much work there is still left to do! There is an economics writ on Friday, and there is my Portuguese Oral tomorrow as well as the Rosetta Stone. It's gonna be a shit show getting all of this done. My thought process has been pretty bitter and unstable lately. I am somewhat volatile at mealtimes too. Not like I'm connecting with calming people or situations lately though. Still, today was taco wednesday (which also irritates me) and someone was acting so damn smarmy I kept snapping at him. Every successive snap I was more frustrated at myself for snapping. Then naturally Blondie my absolute favorite person in the world right now says,
"[My name] calm down."
leading me to retort with a lot of frustration,
"That is the most annoying thing you can say to anyone! Calm down? That does the exact opposite! Like saying, 'Stop getting riled up [My Name]'. You do it just to rile me up more, and you know that's what you're doing, don't act so innocent."
At which point... I became aware that I was getting the what-a-crazy-woman look. I can't stand it. I mean, I'm excitable, I'm passionate, I'm... foolish sometimes. Ha ha ha. Very funny everyone, you got me. You got the response you wanted, and now you get to give me the look like I'm the crazy one. I didn't start the conversation down this path in order to piss myself off. Still, in a more serious sense, I've got to get a handle on that.
It's not so much that I always have trouble controlling my emotions, but when there's some serious stuff roiling under the surface... I can't help but let it bubble out in different ways on the surface. Am I really upset by the talk at lunch? Do I really care if someone wants to be an absolute prick about everything I say about Mexican culture? Do I really get upset that the boys want to make yet another generalization about women based on the only two of us at the table? No, I'm used to these things and I'm okay with a lot of them and often see the humor. Right now though, I'm thinking about a lot of other things, and it's coming out in these seemingly small arguments and snaps of mine.
Tomorrow I'm going to ask for a regrade for my plebe who definitely deserves a better military grade than I've got or at least equal. There is nothing he did wrong. He is definitely above and beyond and he's cordial and he has experience and he's on top of things, there is no way he is 'B' material. I can take my B+ and I can roll my eyes and accept that it's probably because I have an attitude and because my grades were so-so this semester even though I significantly improved militarily and physically. I cannot however take him getting a B when he was the Regimental Soldier of the Quarter and has great grades (hell I wish I had his GPA at one point in my life) and he improved his physical performance too from an APFT in the 260s to one in the 290 range. That's a good job and deserving of an A or A- if you really want to be nit-picky. We have fair or tough graders. I've yet to get a grader who gives me a break. Everyone thinks women have it so easy, I wish I could meet the people who give women a break. I wish I had the squad leader who gives his girls an easy A. Girls rarely even complain if they get a lower than they wanted military grade because we don't want to rock the boat. Unless you're like certain girls who can quote the SOP by heart and who will do anything to make sure their grade isn't affected... but if you're not so obsessed and have a generally good and sunny outlook and are approachable... well you're probably not going to work to argue for that military grade. You will also probably never get a great grade because someone somewhere thinks that they don't want to appear like they are going "easy" on a girl. I imagine they must sit there right before entering the grade and their mental dialogue going something like this,
"Okay... this guy has a great APFT score, did his weekly reports okay, and is mostly B's academically. Militarily, recommend him for an A... maybe A-. Next guy has a great APFT score, did weekly reports, asked good questions, all B's typically academically. Recommend for an A... wait a second this is a girl. Did she do anything particularly amazing this semester? Hmm... it's not like I'm going to be playing favorites. B is a good military grade after all. I'll recommend her for a B+. Nothing particularly amazing here. Alright next..."
But I'm sure at this point I probably sound like I think West Point is SO hard, which I don't, just venting. I'm okay, like I said, with my grade, but my plebe deserves better. So I'm going to brave the decision of our TAC NCO sometime tomorrow. It may not be my favorite moment of the day, but it has to be done. At least I think I have proof that he deserves this.
More to do for my squad tomorrow too and hopefully another run for the week. Only two more days of academic workload... and then it's rest this Saturday for me and studying Saturday evening. I will be getting to bed at a good hour on Saturday too. Setting the mood for the upcoming week of Term End Exam's (TEEs).
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
I had my appointment to submit my passport and VISA applications today. It went smoothly with the exception that my photo now makes me look like I have no idea how to dress. I was wearing my white crew t-shirt under my As For Class shirt, but I'd brought a nice (tight) civilian top. However there was no place to change and my options were... grandma sweater, raiders fan, or my cute tight civilian top over the white t-shirt. The result is a passport photo that will get shown to as few people as possible. Hopefully I have to retake the photo to go to Portugal. Additionally I had no make-up today and felt pretty miserable so... it probably would have been a pretty good idea to put some on... My expression also says "just shoot me". I will probably get searched a million times especially because I am so smiley in my military I.D. so the two photos will be suspiciously different.
The next bit of misfortune to befall me occurred after I stopped by Grant Hall for a latte with vanilla flavor. I ordered a "Classic Chock" which is multi-grain with cream cheese between and raisins. It's not terribly healthy, but it's not terribly unhealthy. The cashier must've misunderstood me though, because she served me a thick slice of sinfully chocolate cake. I couldn't resist and started to dig in. It was delicious but I felt so guilty. I was on my way to finishing it when I was pleasantly interrupted.
This is when the day began to have an upswing again. A teammate, H, sent out an email on the sandhurst distro requesting a running buddy I threw up the chocolate cake I had consumed at the top of the hill. The endorphins from the intense run had me in good mood for a little bit. Unfortunately my funk returned before I finished this post. I'm once again sad and can't find a good reason. I have a job to do. I have ten people relying on me. That's not even that many. I need to stop thinking negatively. Snap outta it. Let's go? I wish I sounded convincing to myself.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Who'd have thunk that 'the man with the plan' that everyone admires and of whom people say, "I don't think he's ever broken a rule...", that guy who "is" the standard, he and I get along just fine. Why? I dunno. I feel like I'm as far opposite that as possible. My drive is fantastic far-off places. I want to live in a city with a young crowd. I want to be displaced, moved, shaken. I wish i were better at enjoying life than I am, then at least I could claim I was good at something besides being frenetic and comic-book drawings. However, it was strange how we both agreed on one thing. Neither or us could see (doesn't mean it won't happen), but neither of us could see ourselves stuck somewhere in the future. Neither of us could really explain ourselves, but he agreed,
"It's like you said, I want to be able to go."
I had described that as the life I wanted in the city. The ability to just go, to not have my time metered out to me in blocks and charts. He described it in a different sense, but somehow meaning something similar. I was surprised. It's not that I didn't think he was capable of that, but I assumed he would crave consistency and stability and here he was craving something he had no name for but in the outdoors in the future. He couldn't see himself doing the Army career at the exact moment we spoke. For all I know, his opinion has shifted and right now he is positive he is going to stay for life, but we shared that for a moment in time. It was brief, but it was great. I was on the same page with him, and it's okay because I'm still on my page. I'm still on my path and it's different and carved uniquely through time.
I guess it really made me feel confident because another friend of mine who is determined to do the military career told me vehemently that this guy is definitely going to stay in for life. According to my friend, Blondie, there's no other possibility. I think B. is career-driven which is fine, but he sort of slaves towards that end. It's okay, but I look at him and wonder if he's fulfilled. He is busy and satisfied and hard-working... harder working than I certainly. I wonder if he will look around someday and think that maybe he worked a little too hard on his career and not enough on things that make him happy without serving any particular military or career benefit. He hasn't exactly been very nice either. I stopped by the other day to invite him out for coffee and after that and my stopping by later he told me to not imagine we are 'dating'. The manner in which he told me was quite rude, because I left immediately and right after I left his roommate (who had been pretending to be listening to music on his headphones or legitimately trying to block our noise) told him he was being a real "D" which prompted him to apologize to me. I still remain offended because I was just being friendly, if he wants to read into it I won't invite him out to coffee. I mean it's just one of those things you do here at West Point, it's the social exchange that centers around food. Why do you think there are party pizzas? I love to go to Grant with friends even if I already ate, we just talk while they get their food or wait for their pizza. Some people need to get off their high horse and realize when a friendly offer is that and no more.
Well, it's the end of the year and I have a tendency to suddenly do something that isn't exactly well thought-out, impetuous is a better word. I am struggling to stay focused. More to follow.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
For no particular reason rando-guy and I started to wrestle and stopped when we heard a pop and the metallic jangle of something falling on the floor. It was my necklace... the gift from my ex. I picked it up and was only a little sad to find the chain had broken. Is it symbolic though? Am I really over that part of my life now and ready to move on to a new beginning of me really getting to know me? I know the point of the time without my ex at all (even if our interaction was limited to just as friends) is for self-discovery and self-development. I'm hoping that's what this means.
Additionally earlier tonight I was out shopping with Mia and I bought a great bag and five more camis that were $2.50 as well as two cute casual tops that are perfect for the summer. Nothing big, all great deals, I swear! We ate a slice of cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory which I can finally say I've experienced and talked the whole time about everything really. I tried on so many cute shoes I was sad to remind myself I absolutely needed to buy a medium-sized purse for outings, and I was on the lookout for cute tops to go with my very cute new jeans. My old jeans weren't as classic so I had tops that were the defining part of my outfits or that hid my jeans with loose or long cuts. Now I have absolutely awesome jeans that fit so amazing, the cut of my jeans is ironically called the same name as my cousin whom I called tonight and spoke with. It's funny she says she and her friend only read my blog one time when they were "really bored" in class, which made me laugh.
At the Cheesecake factory it was Rando-guy, Rando-guy's friend, Mia, and I all discussing different aspects of romantic prospects or engaged in conversation about various what not, I guess we were having so much fun the conversation got fuzzy. Those conversations are naturally the best. Mostly we drew common interests and poked fun at each other even on the way back in the car. We talked about GPA's, sponsor families, wine, states (most notably how awesome Texas is), and people in the company. We talked about Rando-guy's fiance and about how Mia and I probably weren't in the business of getting married anytime soon since we're both such independent women. It was engaging conversation and so much fun. Rando-guy's friend commented that even before he and Rando-guy arrived that Mia and I seemed to be "having a ball." I replied,
"That's just what we do you should just hang out with us more often."
It was a great day overall. I am going slightly backwards with the timeline because before the shopping trip I went to Highland Falls for the Relay for Life at which we walked to support research for the treatment of cancer. At the very beginning I arrived with J's girlfriend. She is very nice and very much a BAMF. She runs triathlon and she is going to SAPPER school this summer (an elite school that's a lot like RANGER school except with a distinctly engineer-like flavor so I've heard: essentially sleep and food deprivation wrapped in physically-demanding packaging for four weeks). She has said things like, "As far as kids, I'm hoping to have a team or squad-sized element." which no one has let her live down. She is amazing. We agreed to be doused in water from a giant water balloon that was suspended in a cage that would pop the balloon if a target was hit with a beanbag. We had fun getting each other (although honestly I missed all three times and the guy running the show had to just hit it manually to make it fair... it was free so we didn't lose any money) and it was refreshingly cool in the summer sun. I ran into a lot of people and just had conversation. I ended up walking back with my old team leader and just exchanging stories and talking about everything.
The day was good and long and the weather was great. I couldn't complain about a day like this... especially one that ended so great and that promises an amazing tomorrow as well. I will probably fall asleep with a smile tonight.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I was happily working on the computer near one in the morning and listening to "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles when at the end of the song I heard a loud meow as though a cat were right outside the window or recorded with the song. At first I thought it was part of the song, but I knew from listening to it so many times that wasn't right. I ripped out the headphones quickly and looked at Roomie who had just layed down. She looked up at me and I asked,
"Did you hear that?"
She looked startled,
"That sound? I thought that was you? You didn't meow?"
I shook my head and stood up and moved away from my desk. Suddenly we both heard it again, a very loud mrrreow and it sounded like it was inside our room and close to my desk and corner of the room. The window wasn't open so if it had been outside it would have been muffled.
We freaked out and went next door to see if our annoying neighbors (hereon referred to as neighbors1) were messing with us. We knew that our other neighbors one of whom was the SL would never do something so childish. Neightbors1 were so annoyed we stopped by that we figured they weren't the ones behind the noise. What was less reassuring though, besides this, was that one had been on the phone and leaning outside his window and had not heard anything. Meaning the noise had to have come from our room.
We went back and investigated wondering if there was an actual cat in our room. When nothing turned up I dismissed it thinking maybe somebody's AIM entrance and exit sound was a cat meow. I checked the volume though and even had it maxed the volume I had set, there was no way it would have been as loud as my roommate and I heard it.
As I write this now, the light is on and the door is propped open ans well as the window a crack just so I can tell what is on or not on the windowsill. I cannot shake this freaked out feeling and I am still very weirded out.
Was that a ghost? Was it just a bad omen? Is there a feral or domesticated cat in the barracks?
It sucks I have a paper to work on right now. I'd really rather not be sitting in this corner of the room right now. I honestly hope nothing else strange happens, this is quite disturbing.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
- Got to get a notarized birth certificate from home
- Schedule an appointment with the passport and VISA POC (Point of Contact)
- Get a copy of my orders to go to Cape Verde this summer
- Complete hours of internet training for the trip to Cape Verde, one of which includes uploading a picture of myself
- Schedule an appointment with preventative med. dept. for vaccines that apply to the Cape Verde trip
- Schedule a meeting with my Law Dept. Academic Counselor to talk about my 8-TAP (all of my classes throughout my time at West Point)
- Get a credit card/checking account with Pent-Fed Credit Union
- Go for a run in the gorgeous weather outside
On top of these mostly basics I have to do some academics too, statistics tonight, physics in general, econ policy paper is due soon for my group as well. The Term End Exam for law is a paper due lesson 40. A presentation for International Relations about Russia I think...
I also don't want my social life to stagnate when it seems to have so much momentum right now. I have the relay for life this saturday but hopefully more than that too. I need to make plans for TEE Leave since I have from Thursday until Sunday... I don't know where I should go but my roommate might be going somewhere interesting. I guess I should start asking around. I also need to plan my trip home ^^ I'll get plane tickets now that I know my schedule...
Other than feeling so busy, the weather finally turned from bitter cold to oppressive heat and it's been great. I admit there is a downside, but it's totally preferred to the snow and ice. Well hopefully I can get more done now, just a brief interlude.
Friday, April 24, 2009
When you restart it is slower than before like it's scared or something and eventually a little box pops up saying the computer has "recovered from a serious error" as though it just went through invasive surgery and you should be being nice to it or something!
Anywho... things are looking up, very up. I am enjoying life right now, going out and socializing, hooked my roommate up with a cute dance partner, and just enjoying the sandhurst team's company in the mess hall for breakfast and lunch and yesterday dinner. I've been using the downtime in the evenings to basically sleep and work-out on my own and hang out with my girl friends I've been missing. I went to Catholic Choir practice for the first time since I joined the company sandhurst team this Tuesday. I'm going on trip section with them this weekend in fact. I worked out with "Ali" at Arvin yesterday before her intramural hockey game and otherwise preparing for TEEs, the Cape Verde AIAD, and planning ahead for my semester abroad.
Sitting in a great place right now. That's all for the moment.