Friday, December 03, 2004

like a little velcro man

Twice I've received calls when I think my phone is on silent when it's really not. Being such a good example of the cell phone policy here in the labs, I went ahead and answered. I was under the impression that I was the only one in here, but when I noticed that someone was in here, I dropped by voice. The person I was talking to asked me if I was asleep, which I kind of thought was funny considering my answer was, "No, I'm at work." Anyway, after the call, I silenced that little booger, but I know I went through that process when I got to work this morning. I suppose I've been selecting "Normal" instead of "Silent." A lot of good that does...

There was frost again this morning, but this time I allocated my time a bit more wisely so that I wouldn't have to play blind chicken crossing Main. I still haven't gotten myself an ice scraper. I'm not sure why there isn't one floating around in my car. Maybe it's under a seat somewhere. But this more, my Racercard sufficed.

I read an article on this morning that deals with a sort of revelation I had last night. Well, it wasn't really a revelation. I think there is a difference between "knowing" something and "realizing" it. (The difference between absent-minded head-nodding and a glaring lightbulb pulsating above the head. The difference between a thought bouncing around inside the mind and a thought attaching itself to the wall of the mind like a man dressed in a velcro suit.) In some ways, I wish I'd realized this two and a half years ago, but then again, I feel blessed to have realized it before it was too late.

Looking back now with the responsibilities of a career, a marriage, two young children, a mortgage and lots of school debt, I miss many freedoms I enjoyed during college. But I also see how something I took for granted then is a true luxury now — time to learn: to read, to sit under good teachers and to spend time with mentors. You may dread the reading, writing and lectures now, but the time will come when you’ll crave those "meals" you skipped.

. . .

H. Jackson Brown says it best in his Life’s Little Instruction Book: "Don’t learn the tricks of the trade, learn the trade." Instead of looking for shortcuts, this is the best time to work at becoming an expert at something — to really grasp a field of knowledge and to learn how to apply it to people’s needs.
I am already seeing the fruits of my labors--more acurately the lack of fruit of the lack of labor. Too long I have put on a front of being a hard worker, but it's all a guise that covers nothing more than the cleverness it takes to get by without doing much. But what's the point? A piece of paper without the education it claims? I love learning. I don't know why I go into shutdown. It's all a mindset. There are times when I think I'd love to take certain classes, but the one I'm in afford me the same opportunity--that I don't take. I don't realize the value of the opportunities that I have, and that's why, I believe, my efforts to drag myself out of the pits of slackerdom always fail: I just didn't realize the benefit. Five semesters have passed in this manner, and I don't want another one to do the same. But this isn't just academics. College is somehow an almost magical time, a little window of time where I have the opportunity to cultivate so many things in my life. And I don't want to miss out on them either.

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