Walkin’ In High Cotton

Since you last heard from me, a lot of testing things have happened. I apologize for not writing about it sooner; it’s just happened that my head has felt like it’s been stuffed full of cotton since the evening of the FE exam. I’m going to blame part of that on not enough sleep, part of that on the smoke smell permeating my room, and the other part on the usual wild temperature fluctuations at this time of year. I’m getting better. I’ll press on.
Friday night was interesting. The FE only accepts four or five different models of calculator. I didn’t own any of the right kinds, so in my silly disconnectedness with reality, I assumed that most of the stores would still have those types of calculators on the night before the big test, when hundreds of engineers were in the same exact situation I was. Needless to say, after a night on the town and the Juxta concert, when we went to Wal-Mart, there were no calculators. Thanks to Gina, Sarah, and Katie, though, for keeping me in a good mood. Sarah called the Radford Wal-Mart, who had one of the models I needed, and Gina drove us all down there for a last-minute late-night calculator-fetching trip.
The eight-hour FE exam was about as fun as you’d expect an eight-hour test on everything you learned in Engineering in the last five years to be. I honestly don’t remember much of it, since I entered the Test-Taking Zone somewhere in the early morning hours of Saturday. I do, however, think I did well enough to pass… but I’ll know for sure in 10-12 weeks. The Industrial Engineering part was certainly a lot easier than the “general” portion, thanks to stupid thermodynamics stuff that I don’t have a clue about.
Yesterday was a blur, but the Wesley Band performed its last praise set for the year last night. It’s been really fun getting to play my bass for more than just Singers every week. I had a great time, guys! “Hands of the Potter” sounded awesome. Best of luck getting things worked out to play more Sunday nights next year!
Today had another “last-time-I’ll-do-this” vibe: pulling College Trick #3 to get up really early and finish studying for an exam. That’s right, after the Environmental test today, I’ll be free from tests until exams! That’s not saying much, since there’s a load of other stuff to do, but it’s still something.
This promises to be a more fun week than last week, as long as my supply of allergy drugs holds out. Look for some interesting tidbits leading up to Wesley Weekend!

Lifestyles Of The Nearly-Graduated Man

I haven’t had a lot of free time this week so far, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. I did want to give you all an update on my housing situation, though. Otey and I spent this past Saturday driving around and looking at apartments, and we finally have our list narrowed down to about three or four of our top choices. Basically, there weren’t any surprises with the rent (we already knew that it was going to be outrageously expensive), but I was impressed overall with how nice some of the places were. We’ve basically found the fine line between cost, comfort, and distance from work so my commute isn’t too hellacious and we can still afford to live. It was still a little too early for most places to give us anything definite, though, so the jury is still out on our final dwelling place.
…Speaking of people finding new places to live, congratulations must go out to Gerritt on the purchase of his new home: a houseboat on the Washington Channel in D.C.! Check out the pictures and story on his site. How cool is it that I know someone who lives on a houseboat? Actually, out of all the people I know, Gerritt’s the only one I would peg to end up on one. Very cool.
…In other news, the Senior Symposium for the ISE Senior Design class is this Thursday. The FE Exam, 8 hours of engineering craziness, is on Saturday. That means that most of my huge gibongous projects will be over by Sunday. Holla!
…I also wanted to thank Amy for the comment the other day about my similarity to Ethan Hawke. As far as I know, he’s an intelligent and mysterious actor/writer, so I can handle that! As for him being my brother… you never can tell these days, can you?

Inquisitive Minds Want To Know

There’s a lot happening in Blacksburg this weekend! I won’t be in town for any of it, though, since I’ll be up in northern Virginia beginning the good old apartment search with Josh. Yes, I’m just a few weeks away from entering the next nebulous phase of my life. Good times.
Before I get into that, let’s check out the random items for the day:
… Fellow Resident Evelyn has come up with the new nickname for what I was formally calling the Hundred Years War: the Senior Inquisition. Don’t worry, though, everyone: with just a few more weeks left of college, I think I can make it until graduation.
… Author Homer Hickam is in town this weekend to sign books at the Easy Chair Bookstore and participate in a Corps of Cadets tradition. The signing will start tonight at 7PM, I hear. I once met Hickam at some sort of reception in Charleston when I was a senior in high school. He signed my paperback copy of “October Sky,” and we had our picture taken together. I’ve driven through his hometown of Coalwood, WV. If you saw October Sky and are at all interested in the true stories behind movies, check out Homer’s site as well as this one. It’s got lots of cool stuff about the people behind the characters.
… Earlier this week, I neglected to talk about what a great time Gina and I had at the Ring Dance! Dinner at the Farmhouse was top-notch. The band at the dance was great and not too cheesy (they at least played songs that everyone could dance to), and we got to hear Dr. Torgersen give his speech as the guest of honor for this year’s ring collection. (Torgersen and I go way back.) I missed the pig release, but Gina got to see this year’s oinker. Gina was also made famous by agreeing to do an interview for a video that Tech will show for next year’s Ring Premiere (I got her autograph, don’t worry). Aside from freezing temperatures and snow that kept us from enjoying the midnight fireworks, we danced the night away and had a fabulous time! Thanks for making it a fun night, guys!
While in the greater D.C. area this weekend, I’ll be hanging out with a lot of my graduated Tech buddies. I’m looking forward to it! Have a good weekend yourselves.

Just Like Mario

Are you going to be in or around Blacksburg this Saturday? Do you have facial hair (specifically a mustache)? Can you grow one pretty quick if you don’t? Are you a lady that just has a fondness for men with mustaches? Well, listen to Tom Selleck and head over to the only big non-birthday party I’ve actually considered going to in a long while: the Mustache Bash.
My friend John-Michael lives in the apartment complex where the Bash will be going down, so I heard about this from his AIM profile. As it turns out, one of the founders is also in my Environmental Engineering class, though I’ve never actually talked to him. So, I do have some sort of tenuous connection to this, and you’ve got to love the spirit of the Mustache Bash mythos.
Hmmm, I’m only a couple of weeks removed from totally shaving my goatee for the water polo championship. Might it not be time for a more mustache-oriented facial hair configuration? Perhaps some handlebars? Should I shrug off the yoke of the Goatee Generation?
The answer is probably not. It’s a pity I’m going apartment hunting this weekend and will be unable to attend. I do, however, urge all who will listen to go!