Stream of Conciousness: The End Goal (for now)

We all strive to reach the conclusion to the hard work we are putting forth and this is mine. I piece of metal with some shiny rocks attached to it. A class ring. A symbol of triumph and victory over the rigors of college life and classes and problems. And this one is mine.

Image

What you see is an anchor and propeller the two symbols of the warring departments at this college, the Deckies and the Engineers, respectfully. Why did I get the ring with both symbols, especially when I am an engineer? The answer is simple, no ship can be run on it’s own by just one department. We depend on our brothers whether in the wheelhouse or down in the engine room to work together to make the voyage.

You also see a rigged tall ship, the USS Saint Mary’s. The first training ship of our college actually our first college. The ship itself was a school for mariners to become mariner officers. You can see an eagle, this particular one is fashioned off of the eagle on top of the New York Sate Seal.

There is also a pentagon representing the home of the college, Fort Schuyler. To finish off the ring there are two words on either side of the Fort, “Loyalty” and “Valor” our colleges motto and I do what I can to hold true to these words.

You also see an ocean colored stone that is flanked by green and red (not seen) stones that are reminiscent of the running lights on a nautical vessel.

What you don’t see in the photo is a pinch of failure. The graduating year on that ring “2012” well, it’s 2013 and I still haven’t graduated. Am I embarrassed? A smidgen but I am proud of all that I have done here (minus some of the academics but that’s another story for another day). I’ve started a handful clubs on campus and still run one today and have learned much about the shipping industry as I can. I continue to learn about it as much as I can each day while between classes, meetings, practices, work, and trying to squeeze a phone call with my girlfriend into jam packed schedule.

Is it tough? Hell yes. No doubt about it but that doesn’t stop it from being fun even though I maybe running on empty through most of the week. I am aiming for a July Graduation and working asap unless I get an internship at the union i want to work for which will give me a leg up on my peers looking for jobs.

My main focus is passing all my classes so all I need to do for graduation is to take the seven tests that compose of the US Coast Guard Third Assistant Engineers license exam. Once those tests are completed I will have graduated and be on my way to the next level in my life. (Many thanks to Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness for the Level Up Your Life way of thinking.)
But I also am doing what I can to manage my clubs and commitments on campus as well as a Resident Advisor. Nothing says victory quite like saving the world on a daily basis even if it means just tackling every item on my list. (I never though I’d see the day where I do my homework well before it’s due and attend all my  classes for the week.)

Sure I may have failed my goal of getting out of Maritime in four years but there is no need to race through every level in life. I’m finally on the boss battle for this stage and I have all the hidden power ups and secrets needed to win the high score. I just have to keep focused and don my silly cap of propellers.

Image

Stream of Conciousness: Enough is enough

It’s finally time I get off my lazy ass and finally commit to cutting weight. Too long have I decided I’m fine where I am, that just lead to me getting larger. Sure my weight is starting to go down now but I know it will be back up again soon. I need a plan and have one now. Diet and hit the gym. I don’t have to go for hours on end. I just have to do something to get my self moving. Even if its just body weight exercises in my room. Something, anything is better then my current plan of do nothing but sit on my ass all day. Do I need advice, not really. It’s the motivation. But before that even starts I have to start the biggest and worst change there is. Diet. Paleo-as-possible, no carbs, low dairy, moderate fruits, high meats (lean) and vegetables. Sure the college will make it tricky and difficult and boring but that will not stop me anymore. I’ll suffer now and live longer later. There is no valid reason not to be healthier, it’s all beneficial. Now that it is out in a public forum I have to commit to it. I’m not going to fool anyone any more. It starts now.

Off to the gym.

Huge delay.

Well, I try to post at least once a week but due to the storm (Hurricane Sandy) that just came through town I had to delay posting. So let’s see what happened over the last two weeks.

I went an a spectacular date in the northern Jersey / southern New York area. Started off with a quick trip in traffic over the George Washington Bridge. After maybe two hours of transit I arrived at the pick-up point. We quickly departed for some food at a local diner. I must say the food was mediocre, nothing special but it was good to finally see her since the last time we met back during labor day weekend. After the quick snack it was off to the venue for the evening. The Warwick Drive-In. I must say a Drive-In movie is a first for me and it was great. The audio comes in over your cars speakers on radio stations and it is truly amazing the quality of audio you can get even in the most economy of cars. As I digress. It was a double feature for 9 dollars a person, truly a bargain. I recommend everyone go for the experience and the cost. After the movies had ended we drove around the area just looking at all the towns for something to do. We stopped in a local parking lot for some quick shenanigans the continued on our way to  for some hot chocolate and candy to end the night. I had left the school at 6pm and returned around 4am and I must say the entire night was worth it. I left with a girlfriend who seemed to understand much of who I was. Despite it being a first date we decided that maybe getting into a relationship albeit long distance would be good for us considering how well we seemed to get along. We got a hotel room and spent the whole night and next morning just bumming around and having fun and getting to each other more and knew that deciding to be “official” was a great idea. Then came Monday morning. Day Zero.

More on the woman who has decided to invest time and emotion into me.
I met her through a friend of mine at college actually. They were dating at the time and eventually ended breaking up. I asked her what happened and seems he broke up with her. So, her and I chatted on facebook for 3 weeks and I decided to do something crazy. I drove all the way down to Virginia for Labor Day weekend to meet her (again) and get to know her. It turns out she is quite similar to me in almost every regard (except food). I packed my bag and came back to NY and continued to talk with her. Soon our conversations were sort of serious and we decided we needed to meet again. Her cousin was being christened in Jersey at the end of October so that’s how she got up here for the first date.

Day Zero.
We woke up and got ready packed our things and checked out of the hotel. It was starting to drizzle. We got in the car and headed back towards her grandparents home. Then it happened. My first car accident. Headed up an exit ramp the car started to lose traction and I made a rookie mistake, braking hard. The back end of the car swung out as I was now drifting around this turn at sub 25 mile per hour speeds (about 40 kilometers and hour for you foreigners). I kept on the brakes because the front wheels were making contact with the road and were slowing down the front of the car. All I could think was “OH F*CK!” as the rear passenger tire bounced up the curb and into the dirt as the rear bumper smashed into the guard rail. The car bounced back into the street with fairly minor damage to the bumper. I was lucky the front tires slowed us down so much other wise we might have gone through the guard rail. Either way, after assessing the collisions effect on the vehicle I deemed it road worthy and continued on my way, determined to get out of the storm and my now girlfriend to safety. I closed out any stimuli that wasn’t related to the drive there, disregarding my girlfriend for what seemed like an eternity before realizing she was shook up. We finally arrived at her grandparents house where i printed directions to my uncle’s house and was back on the streets again. This time however the rain seemed to have subsided but the wind picked up. The drive was surreal. The interstate was nearly empty as well as the state and county roads as well as I traveled from New Jersey to Connecticut. After two and a half hours I had arrived safely and was greeted by welcoming family members. We enjoyed the storm until power went out at approximately 8:30pm and then it was into darkness, for maybe 3 minutes. My aunt and uncle were well prepared and had battery powered lanterns ready to go. I must say we were spoiled  he had gas heat in the house as well as a wood burning stove and also had hot water to shower with. Just no lights. All in all I am quite fortunate for the luxuries I had during the storm.

I’ll hopefully try to another post out this week more about my experiences during the storm and of anything else that may have happened since I last posted.
I hope everyone fared the hurricane well.

-Mitch

Meandering About Campus

Decided to enlighten the masses about the environment in which I reside. Here’s a selection of pictures of campus from my cellphone.

Enjoy!

If you have any questions about the pictures ask away in the comments.

-Mitch

Quick Update

I don’t have near enough time to dedicate to a real post tonight so I’ll just give a quick update of whats to come.

Just ordered most of a computer from newegg.com today and should start building it this weekend so maybe I’ll get a build log going.

I will also be  stuck on campus all weekend on RA duty so I’ll have plenty of time to adventure around and take some quick pictures of campus.

I have to get back to work on a marketing presentation I’ll catch you all later and with a much better post.

-Mitch

Back in Action.

After a not so long weekend away from the computer it’s time to get back to work.

So, I went home this weekend decided to avoid the computer and the world wide web. It wasn’t anything special just had to find other ways to occupy my time. I started Friday by talking politics with my father and enjoying a cigar with him as well. Despite how accurate he may or may not have been it a was a good way to bond with him considering we haven’t really bonded in years.

Saturday was great, more bonding. This time with my brother as well. We started the trucks and towed the log splitter to the job site; a friend of the family’s home. He had a few trees cut down and asked us if we wanted the wood. We of course said yes. So we fired up the splitter and the chain saw and went to work. Trying to get all the wood to a manageable size to lift and load the truck with. After many hours and 3 cords of wood later (a unit of measure for 128 cubic feet) or 6 pallets of wood stacked 4 foot tall 4 foot wide and 4 feet deep.

Why take all that tree? We use a wood burning stove to heat our house to keep costs down. It’s a lot of hours of work collecting, preparing, storing, and using the wood but it is well worth it and really adds an unique element to life. It helps put perspective on the things we take for granted.

It was a good day ending with everyone tired after lifting all the wood into the trucks and off the trucks once we got back home. Next time I’m home I’ll be sure to take pictures of the fire wood operation and how we survive the winter.

-Mitch

Circadian

It’s been a rough few days, lack of sleep, studying (barely), stress from everything that needs my attention. Being a student takes more focus and dedication than a full time job. Classes to attend, studying to be done, meetings to go to, meetings to run, paperwork for just about everything, Resident Advisor duty. If I’m lucky I’ll catch some sleep here and there.

It’s not the work load that bothers me. I thrive being busy and having things to do. Most the the things I do I enjoy or at least try to find some small aspect of it that I enjoy. The real burden is how lost I can get in the routine. Some days I’ll find myself wondering how I am supposed to finish my to do list for that day only to realize that I’m walking towards a meeting that takes place tomorrow.

Going through the motions is what “they” call it I guess. Granted my time management skills are far from stellar they have been enough to get me through this far. This year is going to be the real test of my being and once I’m make it to the end I’ll know I’m ready for the “real” world. Sure my days have a pinch of variety now but it cuts into any free time I’d like to have to sit and enjoy the scenery.

“Day in and day out, sun up and sun down
Each today melts with yesterday.
Lost in tomorrow and found next week
Time ticks away as I take a moment to sort it out.
The day grinds by as time rushes on
Doing the same thing as yesterday never took so long.
Jumping over hurdles and sliding under fences
Must find the exit to this hamster wheel”

Hopefully tomorrow I can start something new and press on with graduating this year.

-Mitch