Sunday, November 05, 2006

Feeling the educational crunch

I think that now is the time for me to rant about my educational status right now as it's kinda starting to get to me.

I am a senior now in Aerospace Enginnering and now I am starting to feel the exhaustion of all of this. After an abysmal semester last semester, I decided to try much harder this time to at least keep my GPA constant. But as a result, it's really starting to bear down on me with no end in sight.

Here are some of the things that are kinda bothering me now
- No matter how hard I try to get my homework done by Thursday night, it never happens. Whether it is my own laziness or something else dealing with school that comes my way, I always end up staying up till 4 or 5 AM on Friday morning getting homework done. The real kicker is that, as soon as I'm finished, more homework gets assigned 6 hours later.

- I've done things like reading the texts and studing a bit more and it seems like very little is coming out of it. For example, in my Aerodynamics class, no matter how hard I try with the homework, I seem to get no higher than a 30 on the homework assignments. But then, the TA does suck for the class so it probably has little to do with me other than going to the TA to see why he graded so hard.

- With each passing week comes more and more work. For example, this week, I have a test on Monday and Friday and reports due on Tuesday and Wednesday and God knows how long those will take. Keep in mind that this is on top of the stuff that I already have to do.

- Health wise seems to not be in that great of a state either. I have been needing to sleep during the day a lot more, which hasn't been an issue in the past. Even with the rest during the day, my overall tiredness is very high. My back has also been feeling very tense lately and I don't know why. I want to get a back massage, but they cost money that I don't have much of. I guess I could take more effort to ask around though for free ones. I'll take the ones with the happy endings if the girl is hot, lol. I am doing Kendo and Dance Dance Revolution, so it's not like I'm completely sedentary. I love doing these, especially Kendo, but my future outlook of skipping these for the sake of decent grades is pretty saddening.

- Family wise doesn't seem all that great either. I would love to call my family members, but it's hard to have a conversation for less than 15 minutes for anyone except for my dad. When you have this much demand for time, it causes strain in the form of not calling family for long periods of time. This also doesn't get any better when everyone is vocal about it as well.

- My friend and relationship status isn't bad, but it could be improved. Other than Kendo and DDR, there is very little time to do much else. I met some very nice people while playing fighting games with them last semester, but the constraints on time have kept me away all year. One of my goals this year was to get a girlfriend, but even time for that is short. Because of the few activities I participate in, it's hard for me to really go out and meet people all the time. There are two people that I'm interested in, but I'm not sure about one's relationship status and I haven't seen the other here all semester. You could say to just look elsewhere, but the point of this entry is just to say that I don't have time. I also get a lot of tips that my life would be better off without a girlfriend, but these are people that have had relationships. I have had 0 so it only frustrates me more to tell me stuff like that.

I have heard teachers warning us how hard college was to the point of scaring people, but no amount or any type of words can describe the experience unless you are going through it yourself. You could say that I brought this on myself by taking one of the hardest, if not the hardest, majors offered here at Purdue but I don't see it as too much of a problem. I wish I took harder courses in High school so I could have the study skills to survive here as I studied for a total of 3 hours throughout all four years there. The material may be hard, but it isn't boring me entirely so it's not TOO bad. I hope that my life improves after graduation.

Don't get me wrong because I have fun with the stuff I do and the friends I have. I just wish I could have a stress-free moment every once in a while. Everytime I do something, I have the fact that homework exists looming over my head. Christmas break better come soon cause I really don't know how much of this I can take before I go completely crazy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

2006 MWKF Tournament in Chicago

Now that I have a few minutes away from my everyday life (not really but I'm shoe-horning the time in my schedule), I can finally type a blog about the tournament this past Saturday.

The tournament was really fun. Four of us hopped into the car at around 6:15 and drove to Chicago for the tournament. We got there "on time" but the doors weren't open when we got there. As a result, the actual tournament didn't start until around 9 since the people still needed to set up. I didn't have much of a problem with it though as it gave us a little time to relax after taking the 2 hour drive there.

It wasn't just the 4 of us that went though. There was a total of 13 competing and another12 - 17 people that came to watch. This is the largest group that came to the tournament so that made me happy. It's like we had our own cheering section, lol. My parents had expressed interest in coming so they decided to fly up from Atlanta to see me fight. I was expecting them to be a little bored because there really isn't much going on, but they said that they had fun.

I expected the Mudansha division to start first as it usually is at the few tournaments I have been to. But they started from the top of the totem pole with the 3rd dan and up competitions and went down to the junior, senior and women's division. After lunch was when I finally was up.

My parents went to lunch a little early so they could be back in time to see my first match, but they ended up not making it due to lots of things going wrong with their situation. They were very disappointed, but I consoled them since I still had another match to go. Besides, I didn't do all that great either since my hits were very weak and cost me the match. I was shocked because I thought I did decently in the previous Thursday's practice in holding out well. There is something about tournaments that seem to tire me out quicker. It might have something to do with a lack of sleep and driving, but I'm not entirely sure.

After a few more hours of waiting after losing my first match, the team matches started up. Because I wasn't part of the full team, I had to pair up with Paul from Georgia Kendo Alliance and some people from Minehaha dojo in Minnesota. I always seem to have fun with this as I get to meet more people and see different styles of fighting. Our fight was against UW which Paul got the one and only point for the team. I wish that we won the fight though cause there is no better beating than getting one from Chicago Kendo Dojo team A since they are very good.

After that, the tournament run for me was over so there wasn't much to do but watch. There were some awesome matches in the final rounds so it was a nice treat to see what my potential could be if I practice for a long time. After everything was over, we did the closing ceremonies, took pictures, packed up and went home.

I was pretty dissapointed, but not surprised, about my performance. I wish that I was able to last a bit longer, but I have this thing called college that keeps me away from Kendo for a while due to having homework to finish. I have decided to do whatever I can to practice more though. Realistically, it might be a bit of trouble to bring my Kendo gear with me on the plane for the holidays so I can use that time to do some cross training with my wrist and cardiovascular system. It also wouldn't hurt to view more matches from different levels to see what to do and what not to do and to view my performance. I do have lots of video taken at the tournament, but due to lack of equipment and time to use the resources, I might have to wait until the Thanksgiving holidays to copy it to DVD and edit the video to make it pretty. I was still happy to be there though since I have met new people and put faces to the names of people on the Kendo World forums. It was also nice that my parents had fun although it didn't go as well as they wanted it to. They plan on going to the one next semester (usually in Cleveland). Hopefully I can give them a better performance by then so we'll see.

Before I go, as per a promise to myself to leave with some random stuff, I bought a heel pad which makes stomping a bit easier. My parents also bought me a hat that says Kendo on it. I have been wearing it for the past few days since it's so cold outside and I can leave and eat breakfast and go to class without fixing up my hair. My parents also bought some little Kendo hakata dolls to put around the house.

Well, I've spent long enough on this entry. For pics, if you are on facebook, they are in the pictures section on my account. For those of you that don't have facebook, I'll post a link to my flickr account as soon as I upload them there.
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