succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, May 27, 2005

From a CNN article that I'm too lazy to link:
For instance, one out of five drivers doesn't know that a pedestrian in a crosswalk has the right of way, and one out of three drivers speeds up to make a yellow light, even when pedestrians are present, the study said.

Damn! I'm typically a pretty kamikaze street crosser, but this may make me think twice before lighting out into traffic. How do you not know that a pedestrian has right of way?! Shouldn't it be terribly obvious that in a contest, soft human flesh is going to lose to hard metal and plastic, thus the reason to yield right of way? How hard of a concept can that possibly be? (the study consisted of a written exam administered to drivers across the country, ages 16-65, similar to the one you have to pass to get a license. Approximately 1 in 10 couldn't get a passing score!)

Thursday, May 26, 2005

22 probability problems later and I swear my brains are leaking out my ears. too bad that only means that I'm a third of the way through my list. Bah. Bah, I say! On the bright(er) side, at least I have two weeks to work through the list. And memorize proofs. and equations. ok, stopping now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Let's see. Marked everything off my To Do List. Even did a little yoga, which felt fantastic after my excellent (but slightly overzealous) workout yesterday. Woke up at dawn to take the car in. So I should be relaxed and sleepy and headed to bed, right? Apparently, not so much. Remember the restlessness I mentioned a few days ago? Well, I enjoyed a brief reprieve, but apparently it's back. And I know it's because I'm worrying about the way and amount of time I'm spending studying as compared to my cohort. Which I know is dumb. I've done this long enough that I know how to study. I know what works for me, and I know I'm in an ok place right now. But I just can't get this nagging voice out of my head - well, if you're so good at studying, and such a good student, how come you got a B+ in both your theory classes? A grade with which I am totally satisfied, but a grade which I also am fairly certain is the lowest in the class. Blah. Self-medicating with a glass of red wine. If that doesn't make me sleepy, 20 or so pages of Anna Karenina should.

For those who didn't know, there's a pesky little detail in the No Child Left Behind Act that requires student records to be released to military recruiters. Families do have the option to opt out and keep these records private, but few are well-informed about this option. If you agree that this is a terrible idea, go here to find out what you can do about it.

Well, that sucked. Took my car in this morning for an oil change and general check-over, since I'll be driving a fair amount next month. Turns out it's a good thing I did - my poor baby needed $900 worth of work! (axel needed to be replaced, oil leak, etc. etc.) Though I suppose I shouldn't complain. Better to get it fixed now than be left on the side of the road on the way to Bonnaroo. Plus, although I do have enough 'oh shit' money to cover it, it would mean a significant portion of my savings, so Mom and Dad are being cool about helping me out. And they did only take about 4 hours to fix it, so at least I didn't nuke a full day of studying hanging out at the car dealership.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I suspected this was happening when Carrie visited me last summer, but this post clenches it - Carrie has become an optimist!

I think the answer is not to read Orwell alone, lest we fallaciously take for granted that this is How The World Works. In times of strife, why don't we secular humanists do a secular version of what the Christians do? Let's pick up a book that isn't hopeless -- Tom Jones or Tristram Shandy -- and realize that people aren't inherently bad; they just make mistakes because they can't see what's coming.

When was the last time you read a (good) novel whose causality was dependent upon the fact that people will seek the good of others, and that a desire for freedom isn't futile?

Perhaps this is a weird or inappropriate comment to make about a friend in a semi-public forum, but I know that a contributing factor to my distaste for Cleveland was, in addition to my own unhappiness, watching Carrie become more and more unhappy. And despite the fact that life in NYC appears to be "harder" (more expensive, crappy roommates, etc. etc.) it has been a joy to witness her transformation (back?) into happy, cheerful, believer in the potential for good in others.

Also, for those who don't read her blog regularly, or follow the above link, don't miss the website for Students for an Orwellian Society. Very enjoyable. Need to order some t-shirts.

Shit. Was feeling pretty good about the whole studying thing. Then today finally got around to going over old homework assignments and making a list of practice problems. Totally freaked myself out about the amount of material I have left to cover and re-learn. So I just needed to step away from my books and notes for a minute and write that thought down so that it's no longer bouncing around in my head and calm down. Right. Back to work.