How does this always happen?

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It started when I was on my mission in Canada. I discovered the joys and pains of all-you-can-eat sushi. Here’s a typical situation. We are faced with hunger around noon. We throw around some ideas, but someone mentions all-you-can-eat sushi. We toss around a few more ideas, but really, everyone wants to go to sushi because you get the most for your money. Also, it’s healthier than burgers (missionaries are always worried about getting fat for some reason). We get to the restaurant and as we come in we see the faces of the servers, a face of recognition. We’ve been there before, and every time Mormon missionaries come to eat, they clean house and leave them practically bankrupt. We then order and eat. And order and eat.

Here is the problem. We’re full. But we ordered too much during the last round and we can’t leave any leftovers because then they’ll charge us money. So we split up the burden. 4 more pieces, everyone! Then we finish with dessert, Jell-O. Inevitably, by the end of this 60 minute ordeal, we are all dying with our stomachs about to split right open and we pay grudgingly as we swear never to come here again. Why did we come in the first place? This happened last time and the time before that too!

Now, you’d think that after 2 years of this, we would’ve learned our lesson, but tonight proved this assumption to be wrong. So very wrong indeed.

My good old buddy from the mission drove all the way down to Provo from Logan (a 2 hour drive) to come see me and another friend from the same mission. Curiously, we all thought of the same thing. ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT SUSHI FOR DINNER. Never mind that we’ve had 2 years of stomach splitting lunches! We need sushi! At the very least for nostalgia’s sake!

I don’t have to tell you what happened, except that there was an added irony to the whole thing.

I should be studying

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But I’m not going to and everyone knows it.

You know what, though? The amount of complaining I do about my classes doesn’t really represent my dislike for them. I actually really enjoy my physics and calculus classes. Yesterday, we learned all these way awesome differentiation techniques in calculus class. Today, in physics class, we were covering material that no one in the class understood at all, and when the professor said we’ll be reviewing this stuff for the next 3 classes, I was actually really happy. I get to understand this work-energy theorem stuff! Something about seeing myself be able to solve more difficult problems everyday makes me bubbly inside.

It’s a relief to me that I like this stuff. Someone said to me once, “Did you notice that the ones who complain the most about calculus are the engineers who actually need this stuff?” On behalf of the engineers, I’m going to say: we’re just trying to cope with having to take years of math classes (what were those silly math majors thinking…)! We love to complain about calculus. We wallow in self-pity but we secretly love it.

Kind of on a related note, I noticed something interesting this week. I remember in high school that math was one of those things that everyone had in common. Everyone took math and everyone complained about evil math teachers. But this week I noticed that not a lot of people actually take math. I remember always being able to turn to someone and ask him/her about a difficult math problem.

‘Tis not so no mo’!

I just think it’s interesting the way things change as we move through phases in life. In college, everyone is studies what they enjoy and, though it means I have less in common with people, it also adds much more variety.

 

You know what else adds more variety? Having a MacBook after wanting to get a Mac for years! It’s true: Once you go Mac, you don’t go back!

 

 

And as promised, a picture!

This was taken on my phone (hooray for panorama shot!) at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, UT last Sunday for General Conference:

It's a bit blurry!

In which I learn that this is for reals

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Before I went on my mission to Canada, I lived in an apartment with 3 other guys next to campus. It was very enjoyable. We’re still close friends to this day and we’ve made lots of memories. But this last week I realized that (despite that year being one of the best years of my life) I always felt deep inside that everything was just temporary. And because things were temporary, there were things that I should not and could not do.

It was the same in high school too where everything was temporary because I knew that the next thing in my life was invariably going to be to go to college. In middle school, I knew my next milestone to be high school. I feel like I missed out on a lot because of this.

For the first time in my life, there is nothing set before my by either parents or cultural norms. I was standing in my apartment looking around when I suddenly thought to myself, “Wait a minute… I’m not just staying here until I go off on a mission anymore. I’m not even staying here just until the end of the semester. This is my home! I can do whatever I want here!”

I’m pretty sure this is what they call an epiphany.

Anyways, things just suddenly clicked that I can do whatever I want. Nothing is out of bounds, really. I’m at the point in my life where I set the limits and no one else. If I wanted to quit school (which I definitely am not thinking), who’s to stop me? Or if I wanted to paint the walls in my apartment and buy nice furniture, I can! If I wanted to go vegan, then why the heck not?!

I’ve got to say that this sudden increase in my awareness and understanding of my options is quite liberating. It’s different from when I was in high school, living in my parents’ home, where even though I had said that I’m free to do whatever I want, let’s face it. There were limits! Limits placed in order to discipline and teach me! I’m grateful for those limits; they really were educational and I’m sure served a great purpose in “training” me for the real thing.

Now things are for reals, and I had better learn to make the right decisions without making the mistake of placing imaginary limits on myself.