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Writing actual blog posts tends to come down to a mixture of ranting, panic, laziness, and a touch of frantic editing at the end to make sure I haven't forgotten and left paragraphs wanting actual finished sentences at the end. And then angsting about particular paragraphs to make sure they aren't either exposing my soft vulnerable underbelly or too anxiety-inducing to publish. And angsting for most of the week, and then finally actually posting in a fit of irritated crankiness at some point late in the night, where sleepiness overrides my essential waffling tendencies.

I don't mean writing here; writing here is basically babbling about what went on during the day and maybe whining just a little bit about the more obnoxious aspects thereof. More about writing over at WFX. (It's not so much my writing process on forums, either, even when I'm writing enormous 1000-word posts of the same general length as a blog post. I think it's mostly that writing on forums is basically a response for me to someone else, not a self-contained piece on its own.)

It's rather like my process for writing class essays, in fact, except that I'm usually considerably more interested in what I'm talking about when I'm blogging. Huh.
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It's been a long day and I am feeling tired, contemplative, and very, very young.

It's been a good day, too. I have no complaints about the way it ended: I had a good sharp rant in class this morning, I am almost completely finished with the work on this section of my experiments, I spent a lot of time with someone who is becoming a good friend, and I actually have some social plans for once. It is as nothing compared to the disaster that was yesterday.

And yet I'm still a little tired, a little lost, a little quiet and contemplative. It is a tea night, I think, and it would be only a little better if it had the excuse of storming outside tonight, or at least providing the night with a suitably strong wind.

(It was in fact unseasonably warm and sunny. Georgia only rarely condescends to provide suitably dramatic weather to its inhabitants, and particularly not in the winter.)
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I finally achieved emerged flies this afternoon! After two weeks of waiting, it feels awesome to sort of have something to do at work other than obsessively check my stocks to see whether they need mushrooms or water. On Thursday, I operate! (My work makes for the best elevator conversations. I managed to distill the summer's project into one sentence, guaranteed to freak out irritatingly inquisitive people: "Oh, well, I watch flies having sex!" Right now, it's closer to "I operate on flies to see what effect that has on their ability to have sex!" and that's not quite as sharp. I think I still beat my friend's analysis of the effect of the end of the Confederate War on Southern conceptions of masculinity, but it's a narrow thing.)

The dog continues to be constantly itchy and secreting nasty gunk from his eyes. I think he's finally developed an allergy to duck. Next time I go out and buy food, I'm getting him a new protein. 
I have been feeling off, lately. I hope it's not connected to my gnawing worries that seventeen hours for a semester including research is unsustainable for me. At least this fall, I haven't a roommate to lose. (That would be the other consideration; I may simply just not be getting enough social contact. Pity they don't sell vitamins for that.) Well, I only need to survive this one, and then I can take thirteen and twelve-hour semesters for all the rest of college, and have a proper class-less summer besides. Treat myself kindly and all that. 
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There has recently been a kerfluffle on AVEN regarding whether it is appropriate to tell newbies when they're being offensive. Obviously, I am involved--I love a good argument too much not to be, and in fact it was my comment which started it--but what really hit me was an assertion that, in an argument, a person who becomes obviously angry has lost. (Or, extended, the first person to talk about emotion has lost.)

That strikes me as foolishness. Anger in service of a cause is what fuels that cause. Anger, properly harnessed, is power. If you never get angry about the topic you're debating, you don't care about it enough to make it win. An angerless debate has no spirit, no heart, no passion. Which I suppose is the point, to reduce debate to a sport rather than a productive discussion. Under this rationale, you cannot believe in anything, any more, or else you cannot discuss it; and what on earth is the point of an argument when the only method of choosing sides is assignation, because no one cares about either one! You can't even say "the point is learning how to debate," because if no one can debate topics important to them, we're back to the problem of no one caring. It's a road down the path to Brave New World.

You know, I'm actually quite a cerebral person. It has taken me years to figure out how to label my emotions, how to deal with them, and how to channel them most effectively. Last week I was accused of being a Vulcan. (Yes, really.) And yet the more I consider this, the more value I place in emotion, and more I reject the idea that only completely dispassionate analysis is of any use. Don't get me wrong; I love analysis. It is how I experience the world. But analysis alone, with no conviction and no heart, is worthless. Passionate people get stuff done; people who won't emotionally commit to anything and play their sophist games in the sand. I know which I would rather be. 
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So yesterday I signed up to do a weekly vlog for the new Pieces of Ace youtube channel, and really I'm kind of terrified about that. It's not so much that I don't think I'll be able to motivate myself to get it done every week--that bit's easy, at least for me; just incorporate it as Weekly Routine and I can reinforce it with my need for sameness, and then I suspect I'll have a hard time adjusting to not getting it done should I need to take a break. (See also the SEA tracking I've been doing through the Association of Women in Sciences chapter at my university, which is getting sent in every week largely because I personally have mad cat-herding skills and the interest in seeing it gets done right this moment, no exceptions, even if no one bothers but me. Which is usually the case, unless I bug C to come help me.)

No, it's that I signed up to vlog. I've never done that before. I hate the way my face looks if it's not at the right angle, and I have no idea how to get it to the right angle. And vlogging is necessarily spoken, and I have to focus my eyes on my tiny crappy webcam without doing nearly as much of the stopping and thinking that I usually do. Also, speaking to the camera is awkward and I need to make it sound good, which means pretending it's not awkward at all. Huh. I think it will get easier with practice, but I suspect I'm not going to be thrilled with the first few weeks' results.

Also, it is difficult to vlog quietly in the corner when you have a roommate you haven't formally come out to yet right there. That'd be difficult even if it was A I was living with over the summer, but I'll probably be put in with someone random over summer, and I don't want to come out to someone I'll most likely only be interacting with for two and a half months, especially since I'll be living with them and won't have the option of withdrawing if I have to. Eurgh. Maybe I'll end up just taking this to the Student Center and using the study rooms to do my recordings once I have an idea of what I want to say. It's only the summer when I don't have a room of my own now, anyway.

I'm confident that I can do this and that I can do it well, or I wouldn't have auditioned. And I have ideas on how to work around the issues with it that are currently occurring to me, and if nothing else it will keep me busy during the Summer of Class. But right now there's nothing to do but wait, and I don't handle waiting well...
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I hate driving. I hate dealing with the seat, I hate having to stay in the same tightened position for ages, but most of all I hate the focusing and the spatial reckoning. I suck at both of them. Focusing less so, especially if I can get out on the highway and chill when traffic isn't too bad, but I goddamn hate having to judge spatial distances. I'm crap at it. I know I'm not good at it, it's why I won't parallel park at all and why I leave as much distance as I possibly can between cars and why I wait forever at turns until no one is coming. It's a big reason I'm a rather timid driver--because I cannot trust myself to adequately judge distances when I drive. The only reason I drive is because frankly, not being a driver in America, particularly suburban America, is more trouble than sucking it up and getting behind the wheel. (If I had the option of hassle-free, affordable public transport, you can bet I would be on that like a shot. As it is, once-every-hour bus service doesn't cut it.)

Consequently, I am not really all that enthused about the best solution I can think of for my summer woes, which involves a week of commuting back and forth between my parents' house and my university, which is an hour-and-half drive each way. This is especially not fun because I have a 9:30 class, which means I'll have to shove my sister on the bus, grab a half-assed breakfast for myself if I even remember, and run for the car. So there's no way to pull this off without feeling rushed, really, or to avoid rush hour.

You know what doesn't make it better? Hearing that my dad vocally opposes this, despite it being the only real way to work this (since missing four days of a fifteen-day class is not an option, and they need me at home to keep an eye on my sisters), because he thinks I'm a terrible driver. Having both of my parents admonish me not to get into accidents. Knowing that neither parent will trust me to drive them places if they can help it. Hearing them tell me they don't have any faith in my driving skills.

Driving while me is tiring and frustrating enough without having other people tell me over and over that I suck at it, okay? I know I suck at it. I know I have had an accident. I know I'm slow and I take my time and I leave a crapload of space, which apparently means I am not "decisive" enough. I do not need to have other people question my competence when I'm doing it just fine for myself. 
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Ahahaha. Yesterday I realized that, amazingly enough, taking an internship where I would be housed with three other students in a host family's home across the country and expected to work eighty-hour weeks selling textbooks would be a very bad idea for me. It's funny how easy it is to get swept up in these kinds of things--especially when I know that I get overstressed and miserable. I suspect I would become overwrought and miserable very quickly in that situation, and I think that a freaked-out cranky Sciatrix would have a hard time selling a product to families. I'm good at being service-oriented and enjoying work, but not when continually dealing with strangers.

I suppose I'm just worried about figuring out what I'm doing for the summer. L and C are going to Italy and I would have applied too, but it conflicted with my REUs. And now two have rejected me, and the third is taking forever and ever and I'm trying not to obsess about it but this is worse than college rejection letters. I want certainty, dammit. I want stability and steady work and I love my classes but the essentially shiftlessness of college life sucks massively.

It's April now and I still don't know what's going on. Next week this time it will have been two months since the last REU's due date. I suppose no news is good news, but it doesn't feel that way. I would almost rather be rejected and take a little time off in May, then come back and work in CollegeTown for the rest of the weekend. At least I could sublease a place and maybe bring the puppy up. Or get a cat. Yay anxiety cycles.


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