25 July 2009


his year has provided me with a lot of challenges. Questions have a risen that have brought me to the edge of completely changing my career path or lack of one; how I interact with the people around me; and what constitutes me. I have always had a problem with excepting me for me, and always trying to attempt be someone else just in attempt to fit in with the people around. I have been doing this for so long, that I have lost who I am. Not feeling comfortable to be me, taking medication to normalize myself and get things done. Recently events have brought all of this up again and has shed a new light on the entire thing. I apologize to those that I have hurt during this ordeal, as I have not intentional mented and just trying to figure everything out and to be comfortable in this world.

The concept of self is interesting to one that doesn't know ones self. One that is always attempting to be something else, and not always the most comfortable with himself. The question of it means to comfortable with one self comes to mind. Some might say that it could be dancing in the streets at 2 in the morning. Some might say that is doing what you love even when everyone around you says that it can't be done. Some might say that it is walking up to a girl you like and strike up a conversation in hopes of something exciting coming out of it.

I have never really sat down and examined myself to the fullest extent. Never come to ponder the kind of people that I want to be. I have always just live in the moment, the situation in hopes that some would come out of it. Experiencing new things are said to help with becoming comfortable with one self. I have experienced many different things over the years, but yet I sit here on a bus to Dorney Park in turmoil trying to figure this out.

This isn't something is going to come to me overnight. Something that is going to appear in an "AH HA" moment like every hopes it will. This is going to be something that I will have to continue to write about while evaluating my interactions with the people around, people that I meet in the future, and situations that I find myself in. After I have gathered a collection of thoughts, reflections, and other things I will head off a remote place and figure it all out hopefully while camping or torturing my body on my bike in some remote location.

Interactions with people has never been my forte. I can't always take Sam around with me to translate "Charles" into "everyone else" speak. While this make handling some situations easier because he understand my thought process and how I interact with people, he can't also be there. I have never been able to hold relationship, both love interest and non love interest very well. Before coming to college, the longest standing friend ship that I can thing of was with Jacob for 4 years before his untimely death. Since then, I have not really had many long term friendships with my peers and people around me.

But over the last couple of terms (months for you non-Drexel folk), I had have trouble in the relationship department. Part of it has spawned from me, and I believe part of it has spawned from other people. This has presented a confusing mess for me to be in. I'm not the kind of person that reads between the lines. I'm not the kind of person that picks up on subtle hints of winks and nods. I'm just not that kind of person. I don't play close enough attention to my surrounds to pick up on these things. People have to basically slap me in the face with the ugly truth no matter what happens. While I won't always take it in the best way, I normally end up sitting down and taking it all in, then taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture. While this isn't always the best way to handle situations, it is best way that I have been able to handle things.

I see all of the friendships around me, new friendships form, and wonder. I have seen members of one friend group interacted with another and form deeper friendships than I have with either side. I see people have deep friendships with other people and long to have the same thing with the same people and other people. While attempting to form these deeper relationship, I jump into it quickly. I'm a people pleaser and the expense of my own health and mental stability. And I will bend over backward to become friends with them. Basically what it comes down to is that I just try to hard to form friendships. Guess that it is time to back off and slow down, but I wonder whether that is a good thing. I wonder if people will come to me and start something.

Social situations have always been a problem for me. these situations have always presented a level of awkwardness to me. Not knowing how to interact with people. Say thing the wrong thing. These have always been fears of mine. I have come to cope with them by committing my self to other activities, even it was socially acceptable. This has including making a pie at a halloween party, baking, or reading a research paper on rumor mongering on a network at lunch. I have even left events. It is something that I do to remove myself from the awkwardness.

Also part of the problem is balance. Balance is something that every needs, and I feel that it is something that is needed to maintain mental sanity in life. But you don't have to just balance between a social, personal and work life, one has to balance with in each of the categories. With in a social life, one must balance between all of the people around him/her. Attempting to spend the right amounts of time with everyone proves to be a challagne, because one also balance this with a blending ones own personal interests.

I don't like feeling like a burden. I don't like just going to someones house. I just feel like a burden. I someone has an open event, I don't like to go over. I prefer to have an explicit invite. It is just wait I like. It makes me feel more comfortable.

Other stuff
There are other thing that currently sit in my mind. School work. Post graduation. What for dinner tomorrow? What I am going to do at work from now on? I have always just taken things as they come along with little planning for the future. I have always pondered about the what ifs. What if I had actually applied to different schools? What if I hadn't changed majors? What would it be like if I actually knew what I wanted to with the rest of my life.

Every thing is in an undetermined state in the DFA of life, with no paths that lead to a final state. I just wish that there was a final state. A section that is stable, and you have a the ability to look ahead before taking a step forward. Even to be able to do a depth first search would be great.

I am a computer man. That is just what I am. I mean come on I just related my life to a DFA for goodness sake.

16 July 2009

Down the River

Today, I read an interesting article regarding the affect of technology on humans ability to critically think. It was an interesting read. No conclusions were drawn in the article about the positive or negative affects, but there were some things that got me thinking about myself, and my approach to doing things and how I have gotten by over the years in this world.

The Article
You can read my notes about this article on my wiki. The jest of the article related to how humans have the ability to think out side of the box, and that we cherish it. The article goes into some information regarding how the reading of literature over the years has declined and the explosion of visual media. There is also some discussion related to the act of reading and building an imagination, increasing thinking, and building vocabulary. Also, the explosion of visual media has lead to decline in the reflection and analysis of the content. The end of the article ends with this quote:
"With out CT, we create trivia. We dismantle scientific models and replace them with trendy or wishful ones that are neither transferable or testable."

Staying a Float
As everyone knows, when you are working on your education the material that you learned yesterday is needed today. Today's material will be need tomorrow. Now if you take that idea and stretch it over many different classes, over many different years, you get a cohesive education. As my education has progressed, I have noticed that in previous classes I was just staying a float, and not really absorbing the material in the manner that I needed to use it down the line for future classes and activities. Now, 4 years into college and it is starting to come back to bit me in very subtle ways. It has also become harder to stay float at this point. I have also noticed that I have started to lose my ability to solve problems in an easy effective manner.

Some of this I can contribute to the topic that is discussed in the article mentioned above. Technology and critical thinking. Upon further pondering of this topic manner, I have come to the conclusion that it does affect the critical thinking skills of people. It can affect people in different ways. Some people it as increased their ability to critically think. If you take for example the people behind the development of new technologies that we use on a day to day basis. But there is also there is also technologies that haven't helped with the increase of critical thinking skills. For example, there is a wealth of information online that has enabled people to just pull up the answer with out having to think about it.

Some might argue that because the Internet contains so much information, that people can use it to solve the simple tasks of life, and then move on to bigger and better things. But the question that I pose to those people is are you able to complete the simple tasks? I feel that if you aren't able to complete the simple tasks, then you really shouldn't be moving on to larger tasks.

Things to fix
Given all of this, I have pondered several area that I can work on to hopefully increase my ability to complete tasks, along with hopefully work on my critical thinking skills.

  • Doing one thing at a time - While multitasking can be good, it does provide for a certain lack of depth when working on something. It can probably be said that when you are working a series of small simple tasks, multitasking can probably help with the management of the task. But when a larger task comes a long, need to set a side time to work on them.

  • Reading - Something that I have never really been good at is the whole reading thing. It has always seemed like, while not pointless or meaningless, I could be doing something more exciting with my time. Something that would see more productive. I'm a slow reader. I will admit it. But something that I need to work on it actually reading. Besides that attempt to read for fun, there will also be a collection of papers that I'm going to read and keep notes on using the wiki.

These are things that I hope will help me to "catch" up over time, and become better in my field if any thing. Does any one have a good discreet math book for dummies book that I may barrow?