This Now page was inspired by Derek Sivers and Anish Lakhwara. Find others right now.
It's been a week since I started classes and two weeks since I arrived. Tomorrow is Labor Day, so we don't have classes. However, I feel like in past years we did not have Labor Day off. I remember [[my dad]] thinking this was strange and unjust. Now I suppose it's no longer strange and as it should be.
I'm currently in semi-isolation because I was in close contact with someone who tested positive. For a few days, I can't leave my room to do anything but grab take-out meals from the dining hall. It's felt a lot like being at home during quarantine, but I won't ignore the beauty around me. I'm thankful that my desk is placed near a window where I can spend most of my day without any lights on. Instead I just use the natural light from my window, where I can look at the big ol' trees outside my window.
Things have been a rush. I constantly felt behind on work, and I still kind of am. The play went from indoors to outdoors and we only got really once chance to run through it all. I think the play went alright in the end, even though I'm aware that performing outside in the heat without audio equipment, during a Sunday afternoon rather than a Saturday evening, made the whole thing a bit more inaccessible. Despite this frustration, all my cast mates were very kind and fun to work with. Suggestions I offered to the script were taken seriously, and I was able to contribute to the more explicit inclusion of a character on the ace spectrum. The freshmen I've met so far are also lovely and I am hopeful for the future.
When I arrived, my friend group appeared to be three times larger than I expected. I was spending most of my time with these folx rather than other individuals on Campus who I love and cherish as well. I felt like I was being swept away by the decisions of others. It was incredibly overwhelming for me. It's difficult to sit in a room feeling alone while everyone around you is having fun. I make eye contact with my close friends and I can tell we feel the same. I understand we are all excited as college students to be seeing one another again. However, we are still living in the era of the pandemic. Around when we went into semi-isolation due to one of us being exposed, I had a breakdown as things caught up to me. I felt like I was going to fall more behind on trying to show those I loved that I cared for them, that I would seem out of touch and negligent. I'm using this time in semi-isolation to recenter myself and process again.
I'm thankful to have friends who will sit with me in discomfort, respectfully acknowledge boundaries, and help make space for restoring care when they've been crossed. I want to move forward together knowing that we care for one another. Where checking in feels like an act of love, not surveillance.
A friend and I agreed that just going to class seemed to take up most of ones social energy for the day. Even if I might have my phone on me, I don't find myself inclined at all to respond to many text messages. I deleted [[Mastodon]] from my phone awhile ago and rarely check it when on my desktop.
There is an exception to me not chatting much. Everyday, I chat with my German friend who lives in Indonesia. He's pretty cool and we talk about all kinds of things, like [[cybersecurity]] or cultural differences or music or just about life. I'm thankful to have him as a friend. Because of the 12-hour time difference, we have a good flow going where I know we will be respectful of each other's time and capacity since one of us will start work when the other heads to bed.
I recently got an [[Apple Watch]] that my dad won free in a raffle, though I haven't used it for much other than sleep tracking. I've disabled a lot of the features but I sometimes get frustrated that they are some things I still cannot disable. I think the nature of having an Apple Watch is still a curiosity to me. I've been sleeping pretty consistently from 2-8 am which works well enough for me. I stopped taking [[Melatonin]] because it didn't seem to be making a significant difference on my life.
I've been trying to learn more about [[Permacomputing]], it's a bit stalled since I also have to study for my [[LEED Green Associates]] exam and my actual academic studies, but it dawns as I try to develop a deeper understanding of the role of technology in our lives. Our minds were not made to remember everything. What does memory mean to the ecological world? Maybe I'll get to dig into these ideas deeper as I take my ethnobotany course, where I will spend time experiences with addressing my Plant Awareness Disparity and further develop appreciation for natural intelligence.
[[Podcast]] wise, I just finished listening to [[Chester is Rising]], as we will be working with [[CRCQL]] for one of my classes this year, and started listening to [[Mabel]] which seems pretty good so far. It'll be interesting for me, going from attending CRCQL meetings on occasion, to be working on a specific project for them
My courses are at varying levels of difficulties. We've only just started topics but some I'm picking up faster than others. I'm going to use one of my classes to brush up on my [[Python]] skills, though that might end up slowing me down in getting work done, it's a skill I'd like to continue to develop. Overall, it's nice to be able to work with people on problems in person again.
Outside of work, I've already helped out a bit for my school's AV club at the request of a friend, and have started planning out some of the next steps for working on [[Solar Protocol]] with another friend. I really want to avoid taking on too many part time jobs, though today I'm going to spend some time doing more of a job search.
Still, I probably need another week or so to get a sense of it all. I've been out of the loop with journaling, though this isolation period may be what lets me get back into it. Part of the reason such is the case is that while running around campus, I'm not on my computer for much other than taking notes. My ethnobotany class has us only taking handwritten notes even.
I have to resist the feeling of wanting to just run back home, because even if I go back home now, this world here will keep moving on without me. I keep making sure to call my family members and let them know I love them.