One hundred fifty nine hours and counting.
One hundred fifty nine hours from now is 1800 PDT 26 Jun 2002. 1800 PDT is the same as 2200 ADT, and my tickets say I'm stepping off an airplane in Halifax at 10 PM local time.
In one hundred fifty nine hours, Hollis makes his fateful journey to meet Jericho. (And if you don't catch the reference, you need to read Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer.)
There is something about touch that is all important. Something about making things real. My flesh against your flesh, and suddenly everything is tangible and it can't be ignored. It's going to be different.
And that's all I have to say about that for the moment.
a few weeks ago jenny_evergreen posted something really cool to alt.callahans. I meant to comment on it, but my computer crashed, and I lost what I was trying to say in a reboot. But much to my surprise, she reposted said article to her journal. It's tips for raising a gifted kid. But something she said in there hit me in the head like a Randy Johnson fastball.
Treat the gifted kid as a whole child, not just a brain. Try to avoid being overly critical. (This goes to the "seeing them as adults" issue. Recognize when something they do is impressive *for a child of that age*. I was sometimes criticized as if I were an adult producing X thing rather than a child.) Bad self esteem abounds in gifted children...these are some of the reasons why. And gifted kids *need* self confidence.
It was like, "WHOA." This explains so much, and I don't want to talk about a lot of it. The short of it? My parents tried. They really did. But they expected a lot out of me, because I was so bright. And I grew up in the lower middle class (we were always scraping for money) in a rural town in Northern California. It comes down to there not being much in the way of opportunity. The gifted teacher in my school played favourites. And I came across a newspaper published when we were pretending to run a town in my boxes of stuff, and reading through it...it's so petty! It's talking about who's dating who, and it poked fun at both me and a guy I'm still proud to count as a friend ten years later.
Middle school was hell. I tended towards being a loner, there wasn't much for me to do. At lunch, I'd sometimes grab a basketball and shoot hoops and be random, because that's all I knew. Playing with the other kids was stupid, because they'd give me a hard time, and it wasn't worth it. High school was slighty better because most of my teachers at least understood where I was coming from.
And the thing to keep in mind was not only was I gifted, I was easily the youngest kid in my class. But people expected me to act older because I was gifted, and I've always been a large, imposing figure. So I often got accused of acting like a child. My eighth grade history teacher even pointed out that I would have probably done better in the class behind me in terms of things like athletics. But that wouldn't have been a good thing for my mind.
So I graduated from high school with a full ride scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley, and still five and a half months away from my eighteenth birthday. Yes. I went to college at seventeen. And the hardest part about that semester is that the 1996 Presidential elections fell two weeks before my eighteenth birthday. So here I am, on a politically active campus, and I can't vote. It sucked.
There's a lot of pain associated with my junior high and high school years. And I don't really want to talk about it. It's even hard to say that my parents tried their best, but they didn't understand. And I look around me, at all the obviously intelligent people I know, and half of them are busy trying to piece themselves and their self-esteem back together again, and the other half are in denial. And this is our future? No wonder our country managed to elect George W. Bush. :P But that's another rant for another time.
I'm not very good at commenting either. I never know what to say, I don't want to say something completely stupid, but at the same time I don't want to get too profound. And I never know what to say, and at the bottom of it is that I'm painfully shy. And I'm working, trying to get my issues out. Trying to figure out what's going on with me. The future is ahead, and I get another clean slate. A master's degree, at one of the most prestigous schools in the country...and I get to be a Bear again! I get to Cal again! that makes me utterly happy.
I pulled out one of my Simon and Garfunkle CDs tonight and have been listening to it over and over, letting the memories wash over me. Some of these songs mean a lot to me, some of these songs carry a lot of pain and hope at the same time. America is one of them.
I remember this song, because when I write, I set each piece of writing to a song. And the opening to "Trippin'" has some of the lyrics of America.
"Cathy I'm lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping
I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They've all come to look for America"
--Simon & Garfunkle, "America"
The lines fit for the character I was writing (but to understand that, you'd have to read all the segs I wrote for The Marraketh Connection, and that's a task for anybody.) They also fite me. I'm looking for America. Looking for the country I once knew. Maybe I'll find it soon.
But the short of is that Paul Simon has been a songwriter that's touched my heart and twisted my head, and I'm different for his music. And I'm in the mood for his early, slightly more optimistic works. And for that, Art's voice helps the optimism.
But we'll see, there's a lot there.
I should put this up, it's tired and I'm late. Sorry for the disjoint nature of my ramblings.