Friday, September 19, 2008

Well, the week is winding down in Flagstaff. I had one class today that finished up at 10:00 this morning. After the class I came back to North Campus for breakfast then went back to Franke to meet a professor in his office. I did a big chunk of homework at the library last night and early afternoon today. There was an accounting presentation that I needed to attend at 2:30, but I skipped it and went to the Driver’s License Center to find out about transferring my CDL drivers license to Arizona. It’s a multi-step process like a lot of other things are. I’ll begin that next week.

Tomorrow morning I’ll do laundry before anybody else gets up and finds the washing machines. If the washer quits and you’re not there, the clothes get dumped on the table along with everybody else’s unclaimed clothes. That’s an important incentive for me to keep track of my washing machine.

Yesterday there was a job fair at Franke. As an extra-credit assignment I had to go around and find out about a number of companies. I had to get names and other info about each one. I was surprised at the big firms represented in this little desert town. There were some Wall Street brokerages present as well as companies like Vanguard, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and most of the other top mutual fund and financial companies. And, in the evening I wound up at a Vanguard training meeting that gave me an interesting insight into what a job at a financial firm entails. Vanguard is based in Valley Forge, PA. I was the only guy not wearing a suit.

Life is getting very busy. I got conned into being on an intramural flag football team, although I know absolutely nothing about football. This will be interesting. Our first game is Monday and I have yet to attend a single practice. I’m in a Chinese study group that meets as often as we can outside of class. Also, I’m a member of a service club here that does community service and helps out at local events. We have meetings every week to plan stuff. So that’s another couple of hours a week taken. And, just now I got an email from my foreign language study partner for Chinese. He’s Chinese studying English and I’m trying to learn Chinese. Thankfully, judging by the email, he knows more English than I know Chinese. This is another unknown, but I’ll jump in and trust that I’ll be able to swim. If you’ve got to learn another language, this is an awesome environment. It’s a big enough place to provide a near-immersion experience; I might even learn something. And one of the guys in the study group knows five languages; right now he’s taking both Arabic and Chinese at the same time. He’s a huge help to myself and everyone else.

This is not Jeremy. Jeremy doesn’t like stepping out of a proven comfort zone. He isn’t used to doing stuff without making a spreadsheet to chart the results first, and he doesn’t know how to quickly adjust to changing conditions. His first nature would be to stay at home and avoid any encounters where the outcome cannot be predicted, but if he stays home he must accept the predetermined outcome of living a small life. He’s learning that unpredictability can sometimes be a good thing. Where there is a will, there will be a way.

I dropped a class last week so I would have more time to get good grades in a few subjects and so that I have time to get more involved in things outside of my own little world. I talked things over in depth with the professor and we both thought it was the best thing to do. If I concentrate solely on getting out of college, I might miss learning how to work with other people, how to adjust to changing conditions, and how to be a respectable citizen. And, with fewer classes I should be able to get better grades in school, which is always a good thing. I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend. I need time to rest and mentally prepare for another week.