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A Brilliant Day! [Apr. 11th, 2009|04:28 pm]
[Current Location |USF Library]
[mood |excitedexcited]

With an Arsenal 4-1 victory today, it is ST. TOTTERINGHAM'S DAY!!!

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Friends Only (Version Three) [Apr. 25th, 2008|04:41 pm]
Once again, this is going "Friends Only." However, I have a decent excuse this time. I have accepted an offer to teach Latin I in the Fall at USF. Yes, somebody is actually trusting me with people's college education!

Real Update Forthcoming Once the Semester Winds Down
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Ahhh Seneca [Apr. 6th, 2008|07:18 pm]
[Current Location |USF Athletics (Academic Enrichment Center)]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |AEC A/C]

So I am here at "work" translating Seneca and I find a few sentences which are so amazing. This is section 9.1 from De Brevitate Vitae (On the Shortness of Life):

Potestne quicquam esse levius hominum eorum iudicio, qui prudentiam iactant? Operosius occupati sunt, ut melius possint vivere, inpendio vitae vitam instruunt, cogitationes suas in longum ordinant. Maxima porro vitae iactura dilatio est: illa primum quemque extrahit diem, illa eripit praesentia dum ulteriora promittit. Maximum vivendi inpedimentum est expectatio, quae pendet ex crastino, perdit hodiernum: quod in manu fortunae positum est disponis quod in tua, dimittis. Quo spectas? Quo te extendis? Omnia quae ventura sunt, in incerto iacent: protinus vive.

And now for my translation:

Is anything not able to be lighter than the judgment of some men who throw forth foresight? They are occupied too busily, as they are able to live better, but they plan out life at the expense of life, they arrange their reasons for the future. On the other hand, delay is the greatest loss of that: it strips away each day as it comes to the fore, it rips its presence while it sends forth more future things. Expectation is the greatest impediment to really living, which spends from tomorrow and ruins today: You displace what is put in the hand of fortune and you sent out what is in yours. What are you aiming at? What is your goal? All things which are to come lie in uncertainty. Live ahead!

Oh the things in my life which need this sort of jolt!
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Whoa! Good Day? [Apr. 4th, 2008|10:45 pm]
[Current Location |The Apartment]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]
[music |Ivy - Undertow]

Today was probably one of the best days I have had in a really long time. Many of the things which needed to go right did and the results were just perfect. I had to present a paper today at the USF World Language Colloquium and everything went quite well. This is my third official presentation so I am becoming comfortable in front of an audience and the crowd seemed to be very intrigued by my topic. Of course, talking about The Aeneid in front of a bunch of Classicists will get that kind of reaction.

However, the larger reason that today rocked is because the cute girl in my Latin also presented a paper and totally did an awesome job. We worked together trying to calm her nerves and making sure that she was as comfortable as possible. We spent several nights in the Library together rehearsing and tweaking things. She even read her paper three times to me in the room which we would eventually present this morning. When she got up to the podium, I could just see her flowing with confidence and she just delivered the paper so eloquently and beautifully. I am so happy that she performed so well and I could just see how much accomplishing this really helped her push her own perceived boundaries.

After the presentations, we went out for beer. I had promised her we'd go out for a drink (or more) once we got this thing finished. We started at the local Chili's since one of the professors offered the first round with some of our colleagues. I ended up with a Guinness out of the bottle, which isn't the same as off the tap. Then just the two of us decided to go to a place which she is more familiar with as she seems to be friends with so many of the staff. I ended up have 2 Newcastles (yum!) and we just chilled out for 3 or 4 hours and enjoyed each other's company. I got to meet some of her close friends and they seem like people who are great additions to her life and it was really nice getting to know them, and her, a little more.

So in the end, I am cautiously optimistic that something might be brewing between us. I have seen so much in her the past few weeks as we have spent more time together and I have had the privileged to know her more each day. I always feel comfortable with her and we have a lot in common so that we get along well but we're also different in a way that we can learn from one another. Hopefully, I can pull off a "moment of brilliance" at the right point and make this whole thing work out.
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And the Pendulum Swings (Again) [Mar. 24th, 2008|03:56 pm]
[Current Location |USF Marshall Center]
[mood |restlessrestless]
[music |Coldplay - The Scientist]

Over the past three or so weeks, I have been doing very well in not having any major depression episodes. Although there have been minor ones at times, they are often contained within a couple hours or I have been able to fight through them and at least feel somewhat accomplished. While I feel that is a big deal for me, I know that I still have a long way to go before I am able to make more serious strides to improve how I feel about myself and the quality of the life which I claim to lead.

A major thing that I must become better at is being more sociable and drastically improving my overall social skills. Last night, my good friend Danielle told me that she thinks that my social skills "are seriously lacking" and that sometimes I say some strange, even what she claimed to be inconsiderate, things without my motives being clear. For better or worse, she is absolutely right. Although I really do try to make an honest effort to live a good, honest life, sometimes my own lame attempts at sarcasm or whatever may be misconceived or misunderstood. I sometimes say things which sound a lot better in my head and don't quite come out how I intend for them to do so. I probably also do my fair share of over-thinking and playing certain scenarios out in my head (it does cause some sleep issues as well) way too much.

There are very few people with whom I truly feel comfortable to be around constantly and there is currently nobody in my life whom I would want to see me at my worst (i.e. during one of my severe episodes). It is a very scary thing for me to think that I am already 25 and I can't seem to shake this stigma. I worry that I am going to be like this my entire life and that these issues are going to prevent me from fundamental things like dating and having long-term, growing friendships. I worry about being "that guy" who is unable to move out of singlehood and truly connect with someone on a deeper and more real level.

The big worry with trying to be more sociable is that I am afraid that that I am going to become "fake" or not the person who I think I am. While I have no problem discovering new things about myself or trying new stuff, I do not want to adjust the core person of who I am in order to placate others and live up to those expectations. It seems strange from my perspective that I am able to take myself around Europe twice and to the Middle East and meet new people but when I am here in Florida or in the "normal routine," I don't seem to function in that way.

I have to get going to "work" but I definitely have more to say on this.
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Friends Only (Version 2) [Feb. 2nd, 2008|11:07 am]
Unfortunately, it has become necessary to once again make my journal friends only. A local newspaper (The Tampa Tribune) has decided to sue the University of South Florida for the names and contact information of all of the tutors from USF's Academic Enrichment Center (where I work). Apparently, the school sent the paper an incomplete list of past names through a Freedom of Information Act request. The paper then sent someone into our office who took photos of our names based upon a posted schedule. Thus, the paper already has my name and has possibly already looked at my MySpace and/or Facebook accounts, which links to this page.

Therefore, due to my own paranoia about what is already known about me as well as my personal need to try and protect my privacy to some degree, I am reluctantly limiting the access to my LiveJournal. For most of my 4 or 5 readers, nothing will change. However, if you do read this and are not on my Friends List, leave a comment and I will check out each situation on an individual basis.

Thanks for your support and understanding,
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Bored on Friday Night [Jan. 18th, 2008|10:34 pm]
[Current Location |Apartment Living Room]
[music |Random House Stuff]

So I have no life whatsoever! It's another Friday night and I am sitting at home, all by myself, just thinking and wondering about how things came to be this way. With each passing weekend, I just feel less connected to this place and I just can't wait to get out. However, I need to stick it out long enough to finish my degree so that I can justify sacrificing the last 3 years and many thousands of dollars in student loans in this place.

I just don't know why things haven't worked out for me here. I tend to think I am a decent person but maybe I am mistaken. I mean I try to make good choices in life and everything but people just don't seem to be attached to my company and want to hang out. While I am grateful for the small handful of friends who I hope to have once I leave, at the same time I am befuddled as to why I always feel so miserable here. It just feels like I don't have

I think a lot of it, beyond the whole not having many friends here part, is the fact that I spent the last two summer backpacking abroad. I was a bit spoiled with things like awesome buildings, cathedrals, incredible random experiences and stories, interesting and insightful people, and just an all-around escape from the mundaneness of feeling stuck. Now that I have been back for several months, I just don't feel like this is a place where I can find enjoyment...

However, as I said, I need to try and remain steadfast in order to complete my Master's Degree and hopefully find some direction. In the mean time, I suppose I have to try and stay patient and find things and people that can help me to at least attain something resembling sanity. This summer, though, is scaring me a lot...
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Recent Happenings [Jan. 8th, 2008|09:52 pm]
[Current Location |My Apartment]
[mood |relaxedrelaxed]
[music |This American Life - Shouting Across the Divide]

I haven't written in a while so it needs to be done. I have had that itch to put something down but I haven't been inspired to lately for some reason. Oh well, it is time to get out of that funk and see what's going on in my tiny world.

I had a really nice visit to Asheville, NC last week. It even snowed! My good friend Travis from the UCF days hosted me since he is trying to get me to move up there with him. He even said he might be able to hook me up with a teaching job at a Christian school which would be nice financially as a try to wrap up the massive hemorrhage known as graduate school. However, I am not sure if these are the kinds of kids I want to work with and moving to Asheville would be a massive commitment on my part. However, I am completely miserable with my situation in Tampa and I may be at that "point of no return" where some serious changes need to happen, including possibly a change of location and a fresh start.

Since I have had some down time over the past few weeks, I have done some thinking about the decisions that I need to make in the coming months. I like the idea of working with kids (especially high schoolers), but I do not know if it is something that I can see myself doing for the long term. In addition, and my current job with athletes has really helped remind me of this, I feel somewhat of a calling/desire to work with underprivileged youth somewhere but I do not know if it is in the US or abroad. If it is domestic, I think that it would be in a mega-city such as NYC or Boston. If it is abroad, I'm not really sure where that would take me but it would be interesting for sure and would likely involve something such as the Peace Corps. Over the next couple of months, I plan to devote a good amount of time investigating these possibilities so that I can do the duties God wants to me to perform.

In other news, not too much else is going on. I started another semester of school today but I am starting to get close (one class, comps, and a thesis away) to escaping and moving on with my life. I have made the difficult decision to take an extended break from my Christian group at USF and try to shake things up some and finally come to some decisions. My birthday curse lives on as the Bucs loss, despite a comfortable Arsenal victory at Burnley, led to the hasty downfall of the day that ended with cold Taco Bell all alone on my couch. I am going to try and do some more pleasure reading and writing over the next few weeks to try and explore some of those thoughts which have been relegated into the depths of my mind. We'll see how it turns out!
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The List [Dec. 18th, 2007|10:52 pm]
[mood |touchedtouched]
[music |This American Life - #345 Ties that Bind]

As a start of my Total Life Evaluation, I have decided to list a few things I want to do during my lifetime but more specifically the next 5 or so years. There is no particular order to the list, although some certainly take precedence over others.

1. El Encierro in Pamplona

2. Bungie jump off a bridge in New Zealand

3. Set foot on all 7 continents (North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa have been completed)

4. Visit 51 countries (more countries than US states, so far I have 14 down)

5. Write a screenplay and/or short story

6. Find "Total and Complete Ecstasy" in my own life (I get this phrase from something I saw on the pillar at Arthur's seat)

7. Go to the World Cup

8. Do things in my life which make an impact in the world (I need to get more specific on this one at some point in the future)

9. Keep going beyond my perceived boundaries

10. Become more active in my dealings with others

I know that I need to work on solidifying the last few items and hopefully as I work more towards figuring this whole mess out, I can adjust these so that they are more tangible and obtainable instead of generic goals. In the end, however, I guess I have just gotten sick and tired of feeling so miserable and depressed that I am finally gathering myself and trying to deal with it.

While I contemplated putting the "M-word" into this list, I didn't feeling it was appropriate because that is something that I cannot do on my own. That whole thing is more in God's hands and I don't want to mess with His plan. In addition, if I am ever blessed with a wife (or even another date at this point) I don't want her to feel like she is just some accomplishment that I can mark as completed. Instead I want her to feel wanted as an important part of my life who will bring me joy, excitement, and support. I would like to get married at some point, especially now that I am truly getting older, but sometimes I really wonder if I am worthy of that distinction or what it is I must do to get towards that point. Then again, I have those feelings in regards to many of the things on this list.

EDIT: I forgot to mention one other thing: see an Aurora Borealis and/or an Aurora Australis. If you don't know what that is, look it up.

EDIT #2: New Year's Eve in Times Square
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Total Life Evaluation [Dec. 11th, 2007|10:55 pm]
[mood |pensivepensive]
[music |Smashing Pumpkins - Winterlong]

Well another semester is wrapping up and I think I can pretty much sum it up quite easily: lackluster. My heart just has not been into it but, despite that, my grades should be close to a 4.0. I just haven't felt too challenged and it's been hard to keep motivated. All I have left are to finish a 7-page paper (4 are done and the rest is much easier) and take a final test on the last 40 or so lines of Aeneid Book VI (kick ass work by the way). After Thursday, I hope to start subbing at least a couple days to earn some extra money. I'm also going to spend the week after Christmas in Atlanta visiting some family.

I have decided to try and spend a good part of the semester break analyzing where I am in life on a lot of issues. I have felt so miserable since I have come back to Tampa after backpacking Europe and the Middle East all summer. I just don't think that I have kept very good company and I need to find ways to branch out. In addition, I want to seriously think more about what it is that I want to do once I am done with USF. While I can see teaching being a temporary gap, I just cannot see it being a long term solution. I have no desire to deal with the bureaucracy and nasty politics that are unfortunately a part of public education. If I could just teach kids what they need to know, share some experiences, and just get to know and invest in my kids, then it would be awesome. However, dealing with things such as administration, standardized testing, and state/district mandates really sucks the life out of the profession and chases many potentially dynamic teachers away. In addition, the pay over the long haul makes it tough to do things such as pay off student loans and see the world.

I think one of the things which really has sucked the life out of me lately has been the Christian group with which I am involved. The group is positive and it has helped a lot of people, but I have also seen it consume and change (not necessarily for the better) quite a few people who completely buy into all the gimmicks that they promote. While it has helped me in my faith, I have made very few really deep connections with others. I have a few ideas of why things have not worked out but I would like to try and sort it out before I grow truly resentful and even more frustrated. While I have the chance, I am going to evaluate the priority which it will have in my life going forward. I am seriously considering taking an indefinite hiatus in order to get this in order and figure it out the right way.

I am not really sure what else I am going to examine or how it will be done. Of course, if you have a suggestion or two I would love to hear them. With the exception of the summer, this past year was been an overall disaster and I have been left in a state of disarray and confusion. There have even been times whenever I have been depressed and unable to function normally. In those instances, I have had to come home, crawl into my little shell, deal with it, and get to back to whatever life I was leading before. Since I want to try and make this whole more transparent, especially after being accused of not being open and honest in Bible Study this past semester, I am probably going to write a lot more and maybe experiment with some different things as well.

Hopefully, I can turn this thing around, finish my time at USF, and get the hell out of Tampa!

Thanks to everyone who still reads this and provides me some feedback. I take it to heart and I think the world of you for sacrificing a little bit of your time!
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