Trying to quit coffee: the Eternal Struggle

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After I got sick from eating an Organic Vegetarian TV Dinner, it was decided out of caution to try to quit my consumption of coffee. Since coffee is one of those highly-acidic foods I consumed on a daily basis, it is probably a wise choice for the sake of my stomach.

There is plenty of evidence that there is thing as a physical dependence to Caffeine Dependence. I know so because of my symptoms:

Headaches, low energy and a shorter fuse are among the symptoms I have to cope with. Sometimes when I REALLY get desperate need to concentrate, I drink the paper-filtered ass coffee from the dinning hall to try to wake my mind up.  Every time I passed near a Starbucks, my heart whelped.

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(sobs silently)

This, I fear, will be one of the things I will have to reduce to the point of completely giving up some day due to a health issue/getting older. I’ve had stomach problems since in my early twenties and now they are catching up to me even though I have avoided spicy and fried food.

Green Tea is my Methadone

Instead of having my morning coffee, I am drinking large amounts of Organic Jasmine Green Tea ( regular non-organic Green Tea makes my stomach hurt 😦 ). The tea helps, but the caffeine is so slow-releasing that by the time I am finished with my large mug, I only feel half awake. This effect is worst on days where I go to the gym.

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Waiting for my energy to return….someday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I gave my own eulogy

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I think this is one of the most messed up speeches I had to give (apart from giving corporate speeches at my last job).  Since my Communications Class counted this speech as a test grade, there was no way to get out of this assignment.

Part of my assignment involved critiquing other people’s eulogies. You could tell the eulogies given by my classmates had long laundry lists of accomplishments and dreams (as required). They all shot for the moon and stars in their lives.

I, however, wanted to shoot other people’s pimps as one of my accomplishments.

For a person who suffers from depression, this was a bad idea. It did, however, brought out my creative side:

1- During my lifetime, I beat up a pimp named Fernando and helped his ex-prostitute, Nadia Burns, start a new life. Nadia was the character I had to pretend to be in order to give my own eulogy.

2- I lived my life with a similar eccentricity as Bilbo Baggins.

3- My last request was for my urn to be placed in a liquor cabinet next to a good bottle of sake.  It did not matter whose liquor cabinet it is.

At the end of my speech, I tried to evoke the ethos required to give a good speech. I tried to cry a bit, but ended up sounding like I had a frog in my throat.  In short, if it weren’t for the fact that I need to study for a test tomorrow, I would go home and hit the bottle. Or eat my weight in food.

You’d have to be on crack to do this type of assignment. And I did it sober 😦 .

 

 

It’s hard to have travelled the world, then read books about it

 

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I wish to stop the flow of emotions emanating from my Art History Class. Every time my art professor posts online lectures about Ancient Art, my heart sinks. The pictures about these places do not do justice.  I might was well have been revisiting these places, looking through the peep hole from my front door.

It is hard to read about places you have visited then be forced to read books about them.  When you have seen more than what a text book can provide, it feels pointless.

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I now understand how Cutie felt whenever he saw pictures about the places he has visited.  The hint of sorrow behind his voice-sorrow is how I feel whenever I have to see pictures of these places again. The sorrow  hints that maybe I am mourning a time in my life were I lived and did not know about it.

I guess this means that the time to travel again is getting closer than I think.

Diffuse Mode

I took advantage of the winter break in order to diffuse mentally and emotionally from the Fall Semester. Reading the book “A Mind for Numbers” by Barbara Oarkley kept giving me hope that I will improve my math skills, as long as I did not gave up.

Drooling for Motivation

At one point, Cutie and I went window shopping at a posh housewares shop and gawked at flatware and dishes that looked like a million bucks. That, in a sense gave me more motivation to try my best to finish my degree, as hard as that is going to be for the following reason:

-Seeing Cutie’s eyes widen with awe at stuff is like seeing your significant other behave like a happy kid at Christmas.

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Pictured above: Noritake Crestwood Platinum.

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Pictured above: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Bellasera Set

Looking at my degree plan it would probably take me 2 years or so before I finish, find employment and earn enough money to afford these items. I am not going to hope for ridiculous events such as large windfalls (lottery winnings, tax refunds, etc). Those are pipe dreams, at best. It doesn’t cost anything to dream except when you have to spend money to make them come true.

Breaking Even

That is what I did academically and financially. Did not get a high GPA but did not fail the semester either (and avoided academic probation).  I was feeling pretty down until I was given this book by my in-laws:

mind for numbers

This is the book to read in case you suck in math (including me).  It shows different techniques on how to learn math and why traditional methods used by math teachers are counter intuitive. SPOILER: There is an anecdote of a highly-rated math professor who got a 0.4 GPA during his first year of college.

Redefining Success

The fact that I was able to keep my financial aid in spite of the god-awful semester was a success itself.  Rounding up the numbers I turned out to break even (sort-of):

Educational Break Even

I didn’t include a $25 gift card I got as compensation for taking notes for one of my classes. I am considering signing up as a note taker for more of my classes next semester since I don’t qualify for federal work study.  While others felt guilty about how well off financially they were in the year, I am just glad I didn’t had to borrow money for school.  I was a slave to that debt once and I won’t become a slave again.

Still a Grasshopper

I have been searching for internships, but have determined that I did not qualify for them (yet). This year has been a bust for Computer Science majors: a lot of the companies that wanted to hire students wanted Engineers of all types. Maybe next year there will be more internships.

Holidays

Spent the holidays with Cutie’s in-laws, where there is plenty of snow.  I participated in traditional Scandinavian Christmas Activities such as eating lefse, lutefisk, oyster stew, and a smorgasbord of meats, cheeses and veggies.  Cutie convinced me to build our first snow lantern in front of my inlaws’ house:

First Scandinavian Snow Lantern

 

2016 Plans:

I need to improve my math skills and get my GPA high. And I keep my fingers crossed to see if the classes I need will be offered for the summer and fall. I also want to make time to go to the gym or to ride my bike.  I miss doing those activities.

Le Quick Post from the Journey

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I will never sign up for 14 credits again. EVER.

This semester has been brutal and every time I go into one of my hard classes I feel like I am walking into a mine field. And every time I walked into taking a test it was like walking into a firing squad.

I have been trying to come up with a plan B in case this fails but I haven’t come up with any. I am not the entrepreneur type (which is rather ironic because I have a Business Degree) and do not have an idea for a business.

Financially, I’ve managed to break even: an important aspect of not having to borrow money for school. And hopefully this will be useful once I file my taxes in February (yes I file early!).

My priorities have changed: I don’t mind wearing my sneakers with holes in them (even though I patched them twice) when going to campus nor I care much about going to a party or to concerts as much. The pursuit of knowledge in order to enter the STEM field has consumed my free time and mental energy.  Speaking of which, I am learning to work with UNIX and it is a pain to work with since I don’t have a compiler to check for errors. So I am programming the old fashioned way and hoping I don’t crash the university servers when I submit my homework. I haven’t ridden my bike or gone to the gym in months because my laptop wouldn’t handle the bumps (and at 15lbs it would hurt my back while cycling uphill). The time I spend working on my homework and studying has affected my relationship with Cutie: I won’t be able to get a good work-life balance until this semester is over 😦

A Message from the Traveller on the Path of Knowledge

Not dead yet.

Digging out of the world of virtual books, late-night coding and numbers to write freestyle.

My schedule this semester has been horrible and I have been counting the days until it will all be over and at the same time dreading tests. I hate tests even when they are stupid-easy. Especially in subjects like science and math.

I have been stressed out with school work while at the same time been scouring the area to see what potential employers want out of a newly-minted programmer with a business background.  What I have found has been disappointing: a constant need for over-achievers or “geniuses” that have little to no real life experience in the work force and willing to take a pay cut out of desperation in spite of paying up the nose for an education.  Some were even willing to sponsor a few international students if they accepted even lower compensation offers. I gave several out of state employers my resumes, in spite of the fact that they will end up as recycled toilet paper to be sold at Wal-Mart.  At least I know what to expect once I graduate.

On the home front, I am constantly pained with feelings of failure and dread. I ask myself over and over if this whole thing is worth it, if this whole journey is worth ruining the lives of others in order to pursue this knowledge that I desperately seek.  I tried to seek it out on my own, but I needed help. And so here I am, attending university again and trying again to carve out a better life. After this journey ends is where I have to decide to quit the pursuit of a better life and do something else. A last resort option would be to create my own business but even that is a huge risk.

Time for more coffee….