Pete's Log: ponderliciousness

Entry #1249, (Life in General)
(posted when I was 23 years old.)

Nearly a week ago I had a scary dream about planes crashing into tall buildings. I'm not sure what to make of it. If nothing else, it's a sign that the world outside my life still affects me.

I ponder stuff. I suppose it's a good thing I enjoy pondering, because I can't help but do it. And the fact that I've accepted that many of the things I ponder turn out to be silly in retrospect makes the whole experience that much more fun.

Gratuitous punctuation? Yes, please!!!

My diversion worked!

So, like, I wonder how the imagination of others works. Like people are always trying to sound all deep and stuff be being like "dude, maybe we all see colors differently. Maybe what I see as purple actually turns out as brown to you." Well, good for them. But there's not really any way to ever experiment on such things. My big curiousness is about how other people imagine things. That is an area in which we can at least compare notes. For example, my imagination is entirely language-based. I don't picture things in my imagination. If I close my eyes, I can't picture things. All I get is black. When I remember dreams, I can only remember descriptions of them in words. I suspect being unable to picture things in my mind may be a partial cause for my lack of artistic talent.

I'm good with words, though. Or at least I like to think so. This may be a good point to inform readers that this is another one of those entries where I refuse to go back and fix things. Any spelling or grammar errors that find their way into this thing are here for good. My brain runs solely on words. For fun, sometimes, I like to see how many simultaneous streams of words I can get going. The maximum I've achieved, as far as I can remember, is four. In order to reach four, though, a couple of the word streams need to be very simplistic.

I wonder if I'll ever achive enlightenment this way.

I'm really curious what it would be like to have a very visual imagination.

I wonder what life would be like if I had been less sheltered. I was somewhat sheltered as a youth, but I suspect that the sheltering effect of Notre Dame has been even stronger in its effect on me. I don't really mind havng grown up as sheltered as I did. I like me. And I like living a comfortable life. But I've reached a point where all I want is to poke at the edges and chase things and find new experiences and live in less conservative environs. Or something.

I'm teaching discrete math next semester. I'm excited. Someone told me I need to start thinking of what hair style I should wear to the first day of class to give the poor sophomores a good first impression of me.

Competitiveness is a good thing, in general. But I wish I could discard a good deal of the natural competitiveness in me. I'm stuck at just enough competitiveness to keep up with research to run along with all my smart buddies doing cool research, but with not enough competitiveness to really feel comfortable at all with the process of academic research.

I think it is a good process. Science is best off when it is under heavy scrutiny. And competition definitely helps to add to the scrutiny.

The two things I enjoy most, I think, as far as my academic career goes, are coding and teaching. One of the worst things that happened to me this semester was when I realized I didn't enjoy coding anymore. Luckily that only lasted a couple weeks, but it was scary. I really hope I enjoy teaching a class. It's certain to be quite different from TAing and lecturing an occasional class. I plan to put a lot of effort into making it a good class.

I need to start being responsive to email again.

Maybe I should give up on trying to become a computer science researcher and instead focus on the parts of computer science I like, which are coding and teaching.

Blah, blah. I don't know. On your marks, get set, go!

I started studying for quals today. I read the first chapter of the undergrad OS book.

The cycle goes on. I keep a smile on my face these days. And a song in my head. It's all good.