August 11th, 2010

Personal update.

I'm about a third of the way into a roughly five-week break from school. I took classes in the first two of Hofstra's three summer sessions, resulting in having just about six straight months of class without a break of longer than ten days. I am briefly tempted to write that it sucked, but that would be a disservice to all those who are still enduring the pain of service on Memphis. I once went about two years without getting a full weekend off, except for when I was on leave. Two years ago, I had duty on two of the three days of Memorial Day weekend. Even in the shipyard, I routinely had work weeks of eighty hours or more. Compared to those days, my current schedule is a walk in the park.

I took summer classes for a simple reason: they're paid for under the same terms as those in normal semesters, and I'm not getting any younger. Though I took a summer vacation of sorts last year, I had previously become used to not having one. It also fits in with my view of the traditional school year as an outmoded relic of the century before last. I don't doubt that some kind of work experience might have been helpful, but I thought getting fourteen credits closer to the degree was more so - especially given my previous background of slave hard labor.

As far as the grades themselves, well, I'm still killing it. I did get one B-plus in the most recent summer session, but I'm still sitting on a 3.88 GPA thus far. I don't realistically see it remaining that high by the end of the year; I'm taking seven courses and eighteen credits in the upcoming fall semester. I got the last thing I was waiting on this afternoon - I was informed, both electronically and by snail mail, that I passed Hofstra's writing proficiency exam. I took Hofstra's standard two-semester freshman composition sequence over the summer, being unable to transfer the credit from the writing seminars I took at Cornell. I got A's in both courses, but I was concerned about the proficiency exam. It's based on two excerpts from essays, and my exam response was a little bit convoluted and opposed the position advocated by the excerpts. But when I checked today, a "P" was there, and I could finally rest academically for the next little bit.

I don't have any concrete plans for the rest of the time off. I have a desire to get to somewhere off Long Island for at least a couple of days. Some weeks back, it occurred to me that I haven't gotten myself west of the Nassau/Queens line since...last October, when I went up to Ithaca for Cornell's homecoming. I'll be heading back up there toward the end of next month for this year's Grand Bonecoming, but that's still six weeks off. But I am really feeling the need to make a getaway prior to the start of the new semester on September 1. Not only do I need it, so does the Focus. Being stuck on the Island has prevented it from reaching its full potential. For example, in over four and half months, I have used cruise control exactly once. I would, even if only briefly, like to get back to the kind of driving from the roadtrip - where it's basically me, the car, the road, and not much else.

So that's a lot of what's up in my world right now. I have, amazingly enough, gotten out of the house a couple of times in recent days. I did mention a few posts back that I talked with my good friend RB. We were supposed to meet up in celebration of his birthday, but the unexpected illness of our friend Brewmeister has forced an indefinite (to me, at least) postponement of that. Also, I hit up a bar this past Saturday night, for the first time in several months. The events of that evening need their own dedicated entry - and will get one in the days to come.