Sunday, April 24, 2005

Long weekend

Well, it's back to smiles and giggles, gentle reader. Mostly I have been away for personal reasons, but some school business has been involved. I am almost to the end of another semester.

Applying to graduate school is a bit nerve-wracking; the worst for me, I think, is asking for recommendations. The best ones I can get are teachers I've only known for a few months. I don't know why, but I am still nervous about approaching people and asking them to do me favors. I connect this to do-it-myselfism, which reminds me of the exchange between Flanders and Rod: "Fl: Sin of pride, Roddy. Rod: Sorry. Fl: Sin of regret." And reminds me of Martin Luther: "Sin boldly..."

I had one nice thing happen to me here. I met a professor last week to consult about a final project (I am translating some Fortran 77 code into C++, to help oil surveyors simulate permeabilities). First, he asked if I was interested in doing Industrial Math with him; then he asked what my plans were. I told him I was going to grad school and he asked if I needed a recommendation. Coincidentally, I was planning to ask him about it the very day, so I had a form ready. That boosted my spirits a little.

I also have to take the GRE, soon, like next week. I am not too worried about this. I took a practice GRE; my math score was perfect and the verbal was high (but imperfect! this is what it sounds like when doves cry). Since I'm seeking a science degree, this is good enough.

We went to an end-of-year barbecue for our post-graduate Bible study (they have Bible studies for everyone now). Sarah and I hadn't attended for a long time. Our friends smoked pounds and pounds of salmon, and we played music together. I brought a foccaccia bread and my mandolin. I didn't mention having it before because I suck, certainly compared to guitar. (After a while they handed me the guitar and I led songs for a while, then slipped in a couple of Nickel Creek songs. Stacy told me to sing a Dan Lewis original, but I was too shy because there were new people I didn't know. That, and I had a total memory fault and couldn't remember any Dan Lewis originals except for the two I had already sung for Paul and Stacy (several months ago).

Paul's guitar had new strings, which made it sound much bigger and more harmonious than mine. I guess I have been playing my guitar enough that my strings need to be changed. Dirty strings start buzzing and damping. Playing a clean guitar is like tapping a copper vein; a dirty one, not so much.

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