A weeklong electronic journal.
Nov. 12 1998 3:30 AM


       On Wednesdays we have a shortened schedule, which means that on the one hand I am finished with classes at 11:10 a.m., but on the other hand I don't have any free periods between classes to work on additional homework. That, of course, makes Tuesday night a little more difficult, which caused me to take a nap for part of Wednesday afternoon.
       I didn't get a chance to call Miles Gilburne today. I had time, but it was simply too noisy in my dorm to call. After all, I wouldn't want to be on the phone with the senior vice president of AOL, talking about elaborate business plans, only for him to hear profanities and an indoor game of football going on the background. (Not too professional.) This problem comes up every now and then, but typically I'm able to find a time that's just right for taking care of "professional" calls. (That's just about my only way to deal with the problem, as it's not like I can just move to a different "office" space.)
       What I can easily do when the noise level rises is answer e-mail, and that's precisely what I did when things got too noisy today. Answering e-mail (for me) is about as cerebrally taxing as staring into empty space, which allows me to respond to e-mail no matter what sort of external conditions exist. Many e-mails simply ask, "Can I have another copy of my registration code?" (it's like a serial number), to which I reply, "Yes. Here it is." And for other types of e-mail, I have generic responses that I just copy and paste. Even so, I can't typically answer more than 40 e-mails per hour, especially since not everything will fit within my generic answers, and occasionally a message will require an elaborate response. Sometimes I also answer some fan mail with more detailed responses, although I'm not always sure what to say. I've actually got mail that reads something like "AlwaysONline is the greatest software program I've ever purchased or used; you are a god." I can't just leave that kind of e-mail unanswered, and I don't have any kind of generic response, either. (Although, in a purely humorous light, I can imagine one: "Thank you for praising God. We will get back to your exaltation as quickly as possible.")
       After my nap and e-mail answering session, I went to the school infirmary, as I was still feeling sick. I was diagnosed with a sinus infection and put on antibiotics. Before this year, in three previous years of high school, I had missed only one day of classes due to sickness and had never really been that sick at all. This term has been completely the opposite; I've been almost perpetually sick, which has caused my grades to take a visible beating. Every other year at school, I would put schoolwork first, followed by business work, followed by sleep. And that never created any problems; my grades were excellent, and even when I went to sleep late, I wasn't that tired the next day. Now, I'm finding that in order not to get sick (or sicker), I need to sometimes put sleep ahead of both business work and even some homework. It's a terrible feeling. But so is being sick.
       I saw my father tonight. (Some of my friends jokingly refer to my father as my accountant, since he also handles that work for my business.) Typically, because I go to school about 1,200 miles away from home, I don't get to see my family except during vacations (although I do speak with my parents at least once a day). But since my father was in Boston on business, he stopped by for dinner tonight. I would have liked to have spent more time with him, but I simply had an overwhelming amount of homework, which I still haven't finished. It's about time that I got back to reading my Russian homework.