A weeklong electronic journal.
Nov. 13 1998 3:30 AM


       Tonight shouldn't have been a difficult night. I really should have finished my homework earlier but, again, I didn't. As soon as I returned from my last class at 1:50 p.m. today, I ate some lunch and then quickly headed out to the music building, where I was to take a practice test to help get me "up to speed" in the course. The test, to my surprise, took an unspeedy 90 minutes to complete, and I was probably the first person to finish.
       After that, I talked with some kids in my dorm for around an hour. Directly outside my personal room is a sort of living room, and quite often the eight kids that live in my section of the dorm (called the "pod") just sit around and talk. In my dorm, and in my school, there are kids from around the United States and around the world; for example, of the eight kids in my pod, two are from Saudi Arabia, and others are from Illinois, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and Vermont. There's no real substance to most of our conversations, but it's still something that we can do for hours on end without any noticeable boredom. And so, at almost all hours of the day (and some hours of the night), there are kids in our pod, talking, or fooling around, or just procrastinating. This afternoon I was engaged in the latter.
       One of the central problems of my day (today or any other day) is that the free time I have is available in such small chunks that it's really quite hard to get work done. After I got back from my music test at 4:45, I had to go to dinner around 6, so I didn't want to start my homework quite yet. And then once I got back from dinner, I had to go to a student council meeting at 7--leaving about 40 minutes of free time. These time snippets, typically no more than 45 minutes long, are too short to get any "serious" work done. Or so it seems. But stack these free periods together, and my day seems overflowing with free time. It's just hard to make good use of it in fragmented form.
       My student council meeting today got out around 8. We started working on some of the speeches that we're going to give at the faculty meeting next Tuesday. We're definitely on the right track; I just wish there was some way to "lobby" the faculty, since not a single one of our proposals is asking too much at all. But some are, according to "inside sources," fairly likely to be rejected.
       From 8 o'clock onward tonight, my time was essentially wasted. I didn't get to answer any e-mail, I didn't really do strenuous amounts of homework--although I did manage to waste my time in a productive manner (talking, procrastinating with kids in my pod, etc.). I was feeling tremendously tired, and the noise level in my dorm was too high to really get any work done. (My solution was to put on my headphones and listen to Bach at a pretty intense volume, although that didn't help too much.)
       I only managed to spend about 30 minutes on my business today; this week I've been fairly delinquent in my business responsibilities (i.e., I had too much homework and got too much sleep), so I'm going to have to spend a lot of time this weekend on this stuff. Even so, today was my best earnings day all week--around $300. Once again, I didn't get a chance to call Miles Gilburne (senior vice president of AOL); this time, the dorm was quiet, but I didn't think I had enough free time to have a complete conversation. (For example, I might not have had enough time between my last class and my music test, especially if I wanted to study at all for that test.) I'll definitely try to get to it next week, when I find the right time. If I find the right time.
       After this week, I only have about 10 more days until Thanksgiving vacation starts, a moment I cannot wait for. I really feel that I deserve this vacation (I've felt like that nearly every week!), and now it's finally time that I get one. First on my list is to get plenty of rest, and after I take care of that, I need to work on some software programming that I simply wouldn't have a chance to do at school. I'm planning on working on and finishing two programs during this vacation, and hopefully that's not an unreasonable expectation. But I also want to play some golf, eat some good food, and eliminate all forms of stress. I think that's a reasonable plan.