Friday, August 29, 2008

economics, hurricanes, and marriage, oh my!

so, i'm back from my long months of no blogging- just caught up, and am happy to see that everyone else was still writing and doing well!
my life has been insane lately. fantastic, but insane. i woke up at 5:30 this morning to make breakfast for my hubby before work, and because i'm trying to do as much work as possible. we're leaving asap to go visit his family for the weekend (and to escape the impending hurricane....) and i know i won't be working much while we're there.

i have much to update about, but as usual, not much time. so i think a list will do....

1) i apologize to everyone for the email with password info- that one was my fault. it seems it has been SO long that i could not remember......heh....
2) fermi- that facebook video is great!
3) the wedding was perfect....and actually not because it was big and (mostly) traditional, but because it was us. we incorporated some mexican/catholic traditions into the (methodist) ceremony, which was really fun- my friends from china and germany were so excited to go to an american wedding and it was nice to be able to share his culture as well as mine.
4) the honeymoon was even more perfect.....enough said.
5) since we lived together before the wedding, being married isn't much different.....except that now it's official, and actually we're closer than all respects
6) school started this week and i feel more pressure than ever. this is my last semester of coursework, meanwhile i am supposed to be writing a minimum of 2 research papers (high quality) and teaching a course
7) the issues i'm having with teaching need their own blog, and i'll get to that later.
8) i think we have mice in our house, but am in denial

hopefully this weekend will go well, both here with the storm and with the inlaws...

happy friday!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Are you friends with your Mum?


Facebook in Real Life! It is so great!

I found it on Method Uncertain who knows how to embed videos, while I do not.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pushing Forward

It's interesting reading about you guys gearing up for the new semester. My girlfriend starts school on Wednesday as well. It's scary how quickly I've forgotten what student life is like. I guess I've made so many changes since I graduated that it's no wonder my brain has written-over some of those old routines. So, what's going on with me this week? My girlfriend moved into a new apartment on Sunday. It's a very nice apartment in a yet-to-be gentrified area of Bushwick. It's 4 subway stops east of my apartment, and only takes about 15 minutes door-to-door, which is nice. The area is interesting because it borders Ridgewood, Queens, which is very residential and pretty, and on the side there are vast industrial vacant lots and tons of projects. The rent is cheap, and artists and hipsters are swarming there. The area can be dangerous, but as long as you're not an asshole to the long-time residents and you support the local businesses, the day-to-day vibe is friendly. I hope that she will be a lot happier there.

I start band rehearsal on Wednesday for our Brooklyn show on Saturday. We haven't played a hometown show in a while (Siren Fest excluded), so it should be pretty crazy and hopefully fun! I have several solo shows coming up in September and am also playing in a guitar ensemble for a piece that my friend composed. Also, it seems that I'm going to be playing a show in Nîmes, France in December! An experimental music festival there wants to fly me out to perform, and that's just not the type of opportunity I can say no to at this point in my life. I should be receiving the contract soon, so hopefully this will happen and be amazing. Another exciting thing on the horizon is that I was invited to screen one of my short films at a festival here in NY in October that features the work of women in multimedia arts. I'm excited about all of these opportunities and trying not to get stressed out about fitting everything into my schedule. I need a day job where I work less and make more. Not going to happen, but it's nice to fantasize about sometimes...

and they're off!

Off to the races again, ladies and gents. The fall semester starts today. I am going to proclaim -- as I have numerous times already in my personal bloggy -- that henceforth, things will proceed with rapidity. I couldn't be happier, because living in Lafayette suits me about as much as wearing jersey knit dresses: it's comfortable in a way, but probably not the best idea.
I really want to kick this semester's ass. I feel like I have something to prove in the way of being a student. I NEVER applied myself during my primary education and rarely when studying at LSU. And it's shameful to have to admit. But true. I'd like to go to grad school some day and I'd like to think I can hack it in the world of hard-working academics. But who knows? I'm just trying to make it through this certification program so I can teach your kids.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

return trays here

So I'm here at grad school. Back "in" school. I stayed with Fermi on my drive here, which was nice, even though I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with her and the Jips man. And their pups. Those pups are ca-ra-zy.

Classes start tomorrow, although mine don't start until Wednesday evening. I do have one meeting tomorrow, with the professor I'll be working for this semester. Everything is so far so good though, which is more than I can say for the first week I lived in France. I feel so much calmer now than I did then, which is predictable, but still really nice.

I've been hanging out with a lot of German exchange students. They are EXCELLENT. So funny and friendly. I had a bad taste in my mouth from my former German roommate (she's still German, but thankfully, no longer my roommate), they have easily replaced this feeling with a love of all things German. Sadly, the one I'm ridiculously attracted to has a girl friend of 4 years back in the deutchland.

So, talking about roommates gets me on to the subject I really wanted to blog about. As I sit down to write this post, I have all of my possessions with the exceptions of my car and bike in this one dorm room (photos to follow). Aside from the fact that I'm in a completely different program than Fermi, I can already tell my experience of grad school is going to be vastly different. In a lot of ways, I feel like I've gone back to undergrad land. I live in a dorm, I have a meal plan, I wear shoes in the shower, the list goes on. I even have most of the same posters I had from my last 2 years of college on my walls here. It's a bit rough going from living in a GORGEOUS single-bedroom duplex with wood floors, central air, washer/dryer, full kitchen, and a stoop to rival the best of them to living in a small, somewhat institutional looking room.

Don't get me wrong, this situation beats a lot of the alternatives I was presented with, but it's still a strange situation to be "re-living" this stage. However, from what I've seen of the burg, I'm not missing out on too many great places to live.

That brings me to the next point I wanted to touch on: holy shit, there's a lot of boat shoes in this town. For those of you unfamiliar with this distinction, I'll parcel this out. Boat shoes are the preferred footwear of white, middle class, conservative, fratty, often boring men and women in college circles. It has not been very long since I realized that this scene is very much "not me." However, now that I have, it's a bit odd to be enveloped by it again. I doubt too many boat shoes are going to be in my grad classes, but going out "on the town" makes my soul hurt a little bit. Guys wear a polo shirt or ratty t-shirt, jeans, boat or tennis shoes, and a hat. Girls wear some slutty dress that shows of their tits and/or ass accented by meticulously straightened hair and a full face of make up. Part of me thinks/hopes that I just haven't found the more low key places and people, but another part thinks I sacrifice a certain "cool" factor for a lower price tag.

Regardless of these observations/complaints, I really have been enjoying myself and the people I've met so far. In a meeting with 2 of my 3 professors and one of my classmates on Friday, I started to tear up thinking about how happy I was to have some kind of engaging purpose in life again. I got caught up in a LOT of partying this summer (one excuse for my lack of a blogging presence) and going back to school has opened my eyes to how pointless that can become. It's not hard to figure out that parties are more fun if they follow a period of hard work. And a period of hard work is certainly upon me. So keep reading, it's going to be a wild ride.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Woe to the Woah

At my University it was the first week of classes. I am auditing one class this semester about macromolecular structure and it is very interesting. Sitting in class feels like a treat! It is also a bit odd as I am constantly reminded of how I know almost nothing about Biochemistry. This is a new feeling because I selected my focus before my senior year of college and from my senior year until now (my 3rd year of grad school), all of my courses have had some overlap and they became second nature to me. Now, sitting in a course I know nothing about, I consistently guess incorrectly (out loud and in my head) and this is a new thing for me. I am about 10 for 10 of incorrect in class answers. This is doing wonders for my self- esteem. ;)

The most thought provoking incident of the week occurred on Thursday. I lead a Women in Chemistry group of graduate students, and we were asked to hold a breakfast and lunch for a seminar speaker. The speaker is a smart soft spoken woman who works at a national lab. She is only 1.5 years out of graduate school so her point of view was really applicable to my group.

Having lunches with professional PhD women is one of the most common activities of my Women's group. The goal of these lunches is to rejuvenate and inspire us, to provide us glimpses of careers of our futures, and to provide us with positive female role models. The funny thing was that after this breakfast-lunch combo, at least 50% of my group were either crying or thinking of crying and wanting to quit graduate school. ... Mission Accomplished.

I wasn't crying, but I felt the same way. Jips asked me: What did she say to make you all so upset? I thought about that and I thought about the underlying assumptions that we had about our future life that made the speakers talk such a rude awakening. I came up with a few reasons for our woe.

Reasons for Woe
1. College is Awesome. For most of us, college is the first time (that we think) we are treated as adults. We go to class, have a part time job, workout, and hang out with friends. The thing about college is that you have a TON of free time. Well, I had a TON of free time because I never took 18 hours in one semester. But the sad truth is: college is nothing like real adult life. The truth is that most Americans work very hard at their jobs, and college educated Americans (more often than not) work more than 40 hours a week. This in itself is a shocker if you think college is the begining of your adult life.

2. Most women in my group came to get their PhD straight out of college. Our graduate program requires more than 40 hours a week for the first two years. Add to that the emotional toll of our peon status of graduate students, the fact that we make as much as a wall-mart grocery bagger, and you get some weary kids. One girl told me this: You know what our problem is? We liked Chemistry in college, so we got fooled into thinking that graduate school was a good idea. And now we are stuck in this 10 foot deep cylinder of shit that we can't get out of. Perhaps I embellished that a bit. Regardless, it is true. Getting a PhD in Science can suck ass, especially in the first 2 years when the demands are high.

Enter our speaker who said:
-I thought I worked hard in grad school, but now I work so much harder and I am so much busier.
-I work five 10 hour days, and then about five or six hours on Sunday. I feel like I get to see my husband all the time because we go running every night after work, and on Saturday we sleep in and then run errands together.

To someone who is barely holding on now in grad school, this sounds like a bleak future.

From Woe to woah.

I thought about this some more, and it does seem true that most educated people in America work hard at their jobs. So why should I look forward to my future?

1. My Peon Status won't last forever. Feeling like an expert at work rather than a slave has got to do wonders for the enjoyment you can get out of your job.

2. Everyone in America works hard, but I will be getting paid a large amount of money for the work I do.

3. I will probably be working with other highly educated adults. This has got to beat being a first grade teacher, or waiting tables.

4. I like science, research, development, and optimization. When I was in undergrad, a grad student in the lab where I worked told me: You would probably like grad school because you really like research. That helps me even now. I do LOVE research, and focusing on the science and how cool it is helps me like my job now, and will probably help in the future.

So why do I have a photo of the guy with a power tool? Cause I learned how to drill this week! My research has required me to do a construction project and it is awesome. I am going slow (Because I have never built anything before.) But so far my project looks good and very sturdy. So I am enjoying work a ton this week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Professional Follower

In the comments of the last post Novella asked if my sister could get professional help.

I need to explain more of the story.
In this post, Sister = S.

The root of the problem is not that my sister is too skinny, but rather that she is a Follower. We are all followers to some extent, but she is a Follower in the most extreme of ways. She Follows to the point of becoming brainwashed. She is 27, and so far I can count 3 wash cycles each of which last years.

The first wash started in High School. S was popular. The popular group was her group. You have to be somewhat brainwashed to be popular in high school. I guess I haven't read much about this topic because it is one of the more socially acceptable ways to not think. Someone once said that religion isn't the opium of the people, fashion is. In high school she told me that I shouldn't let my date drive me home if he was drunk. That was good of her to tell me, and one of the signs that her mind wasn't totally mush.

When popular high school girls go to college they do one thing: Join Sororities. And that is what S did. Until she quit a year later to join what I call "the sorority church."

The second wash setting is: Fundamentalist Non-denominational Christian. The Sorority Church was on the edge of our college campus, and provided for all of a Follower's needs. You aren't Saved unless you specifically ask Jesus into your heart. The only requirement for a good husband was that he has asked Jesus into his heart. You don't have to worry about discussing things like financial plans, children, or relationship needs before you get married because hell, whenever things that like arise you can pray about it, and Jesus will tell you what to do. You know that eating disorder you had in High School? Just "give it to god" and it will go away.

S married a Christian guy from the Sorority Church. They moved many miles away after college to a place where her Husband has a job and where she can go to graduate school to get her masters in counseling.

The third wash cycle is: Psyco Camp complete with Psyco Drugs. Away from the Sorority Church and the Harem of Followers she was "friends" with, S gets lonely. Lonely in the way that her husband is gone on trips for work 80% of the year, Lonely in the way that the Female Harem is gone, and Lonely in the way that everyone is when they move far away to a new city. But in Psyco Camp where she is being trained, she names her Loneliness: Manic Depression. She sees a doctor who gives her so much medicine (Psyco Drugs) that when she is taking it as prescribed she passes out and hits her head on the bath tub. She goes to the emergency room all the time now that she is in the new city far away. S is always having accidents. She starts smoking cigarettes. With five years now between the present and the Sorority Church she tells me that she maybe was brainwashed (at that time.) Praying looses its magic. She is taking tons of Psyco Drugs. My dad says to me: "I warned my kids about the illegal drugs, but didn't think to warn them about the legal ones." I have the feeling that her starvation is a result of her drowning her unhappiness in Psyco Drugs rather than an eating disorder. My dad says that her brain would work better if she wasn't so skinny.

I am not sure what the answer is.

Is there such a thing as professional help for a Serial Follower?

*Please note that I believe in Psyco Drugs when used properly. However sometimes they are used without really helping the patient. I judge this to be one of those times.*

Monday, August 18, 2008

Starving American Children

Nice lists. I noticed when you gave me a shout out on your personal blog... but didn't comment there for fear of losing my secret identity.

As for where to live--you touch on this in your next post--it is important to live where going outside is pleasurable. I vote for TN, but what do I know? I love America, so I couldn't possibly suggest that you go to Germany.


I saw my sister for the first time since my wedding. She has become a starving African child. Her bones stick out through her clothing and her face has changed into a skull with moist eyes and giant teeth. I talked to my dad about her. She is incredibly lonely. And when people try to help her, she reaches out and strangles them.

I am not sure what the answer is. She isn't like me. She has always been lost and prone to make poor decisions. It is hard for my parents to see her in such an obvious state of distress.

in the pines

I had the surprising pleasure of going on a camping trip this weekend in the Kisatchie National Forest, specifically the Red Bluff Recreation Grounds. I grew up just a few minutes from where we set up camp and, although it's taken a lifetime, I feel totally at home in those woods. The trip was relaxing overall, exhilarating at times and a reminder as to what is important to me in life: being connected to the people I love and the great outdoors. Make fun all you want of my homespun wisdom, but it works for me.

We drank High Life, the champagne of beers; ate Beanie Weenies, the filet mignon of the camping world; peed on trees; swam in the creek with the pups and hiked through the beautiful, towering pines that typify scenes of the Kisatchie National Forest.

Camping was boss: it was the perfect way to get exercise and to round out the week!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Netherland by Joseph O'Neill

The night before I left for my grandparent's house, I went to B&N to pick up a book for the trip. Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill jumped into my hands mainly because it is the "Bookies' Favourite" (for the Man Booker Prize 2008.) I must admit that I was hesitant to purchase it. I read a few reviews and thought that it would be a book about Cricket (the sport.) But far from my expectations this is a novel of perception: Hans' perception of Cricket and everything else. The sentences are beautiful. I cannot remember the last time I found this much serene pleasure in reading a book. A few of my book-marked quotes follow:

Perhaps the relevant truth--and it's one whose existence was apparent to my wife, and I'm sure to much of the world, long before it became apparent to me--is that we all find ourselves in temporal currents and that unless you're paying attention you'll discover, often too late, that an undertow of weeks or of years has pulled you deep into trouble.

She has accused me of exoticizing Chuck Ramkissoon, of giving him a pass, of failing to grant him a respectful measure of distrust, of perpetrating a white man's infantilizing elevation of a black man.

I don't remember anyone in New York talking about his vacation for longer than a minute. ... But in London, it must be recognized, escape--to the country, to warmer climes, to the pub--is a great, bittersweet theme.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Market research

I recently made a list of places I might want to live next year on my personal bloggy and, much to my surprise, I think it really helped. It helped me determine which options I am seriously considering and which ones just sound and look nice, but are for whatever reason not actual choices. I would like to present you all with the abridged list in hopes that someone has been to/lived in some of these cities and has good, bad or neutral impressions to offer.
Doing this helps me be OK with the humdrummery that is living in Lafayette in the Annex of my parent's house, so I appreciate being humored:

1) Germany: I think I might be ready to go back. I want to maintain and improve my German and learn as many other foreign languages as possible. I don't think I'll ever be able to swing those things here like I'd be able to in Germany at a premier language school. Plus, I've been thinking about it, and I still know quite a few people there so I wouldn't have to start completely from scratch. However, were I to opt for moving abroad, I would teach in Germersheim only and live elsewhere. Public transport is dreamy in Europe, so I would not have to buy a car. Exclamation points!

2) Chattanooga, TN: This is such an unexpectedly lovely part of the United States. There is an abundance of things to see and do: there are mountains to climb, rivers to forge, trails to hike, hipster shops to peruse. Speaking of which: there does seem to be the beginnings of an indie/hipster scene but it is still young and cute. It has yet to reach gargantuan proportions like that of the hipster scene in Austin, which is further down on the list. My brother Jacob -- who is smart, driven, thoughtful and hilarious -- has offered at least twice to let me live with him and his dog Maddie in his (sickeningly adorable) house. The neighborhood is quiet and shady and rife with possibilities for afternoon strolls. I don't really know anyone in this part of the country other than my brother, but I'd be close(ish) to le Mouton Noir -- which is an exciting prospect! But you know, I am open and friendly, so it shouldn't be hard to at least make acquaintances with people. I would most definitely have to buy a car to move to Chattanooga and indeed the rest of the cities on the list.

3) Austin, TX: Enter the ridiculously inflated hipster population (follow this link to the funny article where I snagged this image). It is a little out of control and in-your-face, but I love this city. I have visited Austin many times and, seriously, never had a bad trip. I have also been considering moving there for quite some time. It is the live music capital of the United States and how in the world can that be a bad thing? I might also be able to learn some Spanish. It has all the amenities (and aggravations) of a big city, with the simple pleasures of the countryside within an arm's reach. There may not be any mountains, but there is no shortage of streams to canoe and trails to hike. There are many things that you can do to make your life more eco-friendly that are tax-deductible per the city. Plus, I'm sure there are many options for buying local produce and even growing your own. I have heard, though, that it is difficult to find a job there and that living expenses are higher, especially for rent. I feel like I know quite a few people who live there, but am turned off by the hoards of people who are packing up and moving out that way. Still, though . . . I love Austin. It's just as simple as that.

4) & 5) Chicago, IL and Baltimore, MD: I list these two cities together, because I know very little about either one and am unsure if I know people who live there. However, I am anxious to know what big city life is like and these are two of my options. I am unsure why these are options, other than these two places appeal to me on some level. I visited Chicago when I was very young and remember loving it. In particular, I remember loving the zoo, the aquarium and Lake Michigan. The color of the water is so beautiful. Woah -- I just thought of something: I could go to the Oprah show! What?? I hadn't thought of that. Awesome. And in Baltimore, I could visit the team at Charm City Cakes, which is embarrassingly, one of the only reasons Baltimore appeals to me. On the real: Mary Alice and I would totally be homeboys. She called something "redonkulous" the other day. If I were uncertain before that moment, I ceased to have any questions as to whether or not our Captain Planet powers would combine in real life. Seriously though, Baltimore seems like a fun, cool city with plenty to see and do. Needless to say, I have more research to do about both of these options.

Anyway, these are my more serious choices for moving far, far away from the Dirty Souf *sniffle* next year. Your two cents are welcomed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Goin' to Yankee Land

I am going on vacation tomorrow. Well, I'm going to a family reunion. It isn't quite the same as a beach vacation but I am looking forward to it for one reason: It is not WORK.

I am happy to have a day off, even if that day is spent sitting in an airport reading a book for 5 hours waiting for a delayed flight.

We are going to my grandparent's house, and I enjoy going there because I know what to expect. The truth is: it might be a stressful trip. But I guess I am welcoming of the stress because familial stress is still different from work.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Grad School or Grocery Bagger?

I didn't blog much last week because I was too busy waking up at an ungodly hour - walking to the train - taking the train downtown - and walking to school. Reverse and repeat for the way home. I thought that getting to work early would be good because I wouldn't get as sweaty on my way in. But I was wrong. Getting to work early is NOT good, (sans good.) I was overly tired all day which made me want to nap in the evening rather than walk the dogs, workout, spend time with the husband, or do any housework. Jips even said to me that early work might not be good because "the house and I need you." And it is so. Early work is not good. Eventually I bet I could get used to the hours, but then there is the problem of my obsessions. I cannot bring myself to leave work early even if I get there early. I just want to finish what I am working on, and it doesn't seem so bad to leave at the normal time, right?

Speaking of work, Mrs. Smoltz and I had dinner yesterday. She showed me that we make the same amount of money as someone who dropped out of high school and is bagging groceries at wall mart.* Damn. But then I say that we are getting paid to get an education and we will be making tons more than the wall mart bagger once we get out. And some people in grad school don't get paid. In our program, in science, they have to pay us something. Otherwise the graduation rate would be 5% rather than the 50% it is now. We have to put up with alot of shit. Maybe it is like that in every program, and maybe not.

Jips is our program's grad student president. That means he has meetings with the "popular" kids on the grad student council and he attends faculty meetings. The popular kids in grad school act like high schoolers. All they do is complain about how they don't get enough money for alcohol for their parties. Faculty meetings are full of professors complaining about email server changes and acting as obnoxious as possible. The Academic World is not the real world. Or maybe it is. What do I know?

Am I ranting? I need to do some cardio. I haven't worked out since Tuesday and I can tell. My muscles scream to me that they want to be worked.

Last week I decided I would try to eat healthier. I made some split pea soup and bought some raw spinach. I made "spinach salad" which means Spinach (80%), Greek Vinaigrette (10%), and Feta Cheese Chunks (10%). I was afraid of the split pea soup, but it isn't painful to eat, just a bit hum-drum. Finally, Frozen blueberries, Vanilla Light N Fit Dannon Yogurt, and Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal on top. I thought it was good the first time I ate it. Now I am of the opinion that health food tastes like crap.

What did Jips get me for my birthday? Diamond Earrings. Yes. I know, he did well. They are special posts with screw on backs so that they won't fall out. Growing up I was not one of those girly-girls that was all about expensive jewelry. But the best husband in the world likes to give me pretty things. :) I bet I can adapt.

I leave you with the best political YouTube video yet.

* It is interesting that we make the same amount because Jips's maw-maw said that he could bag groceries when he decided to quit his first graduate program.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

A book like The White Tiger comes around only once a generation in the jungle. Last time it was The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. This time it is The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga. My aunt recommended the book to me, and I picked it up from The Noble with a birthday gift-card. I didn't find this out until later, but The White Tiger is suddenly getting more press because it made the Man Booker Prize Longlist.

I loved the book because it is about slavery, manipulation (especially of the familial sort,) and individuality. If you read the reviews on Amazon you won't find the mention of slavery. The novel takes place in a (realistically portrayed) corrupt India. In this world, the rich have enough money to live as human beings, and the poor barely exist.

The best thing I found on the internet about this book was an interview with the Author. In the interview we find this quote:

Actually, my background as a business journalist made me realize that most of what's written about in business magazines is bullshit, and I don't take business or corporate literature seriously at all.

That sums up the feel of the novel. I love it because I feel the same way. Maybe not about business magazines, but certainly about Academia. Additionally I like the book because of the (lack of) morality of the protagonist, Balram. "Survival Before Morality" is his unofficial motto.

My favorite quote of the novel:

These are the three main diseases of this country, sir: typhoid, cholera, and election fever. This last one is the worst; it makes people talk and talk about things they have no say in. (p.82)

Finally, other bloggers who have read The White Tiger:
The Kingfisher Scrapbook
Redhead Ramble
The Complete Booker
The Mooske and the Gripes
Always Listen To Your Pig Puppet
Books for Breakfast

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Celebrating Fermi-ness

I have a love/hate relationship with my birthday. On one hand it is my ultimate favorite day, because it is a day for me: a day I can celebrate my Fermi-ness. I used to dislike my birthday because I got unwanted gifts and attention and that made me feel uncomfortable. Now, I get more presents that I want, and I am overall more at peace with who I am so unwanted attention doesn't bother me nearly as much.

Age is a funny thing because there is our chronological age (25), the age we feel (40), and the age we look (17). Now with modern advancements in interweb technology we can even calculate our Real Age (16.7) at! I guess it is comforting that my real age is 16.7 because strangers generally think that I am an undergrad in college.

Arg. You want some real amusement? Go check out Cajun Boy's blog. Watch the embedded video at this post, and then follow the link at the end of the post and read his analysis.

Fermi's report card of life skills (age 25):

99 - A

60 - F
50 - F
70 - C

Being Kind
70 - C

90 - A

90 - A

40 - F