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Filed in Web DevelopmentTags: Web Site

I have added the Family and Movies sections.

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Filed in Web DevelopmentTags: Web Site

I have started the Pi Kappa Alpha and Alpha Chi Sigma sections.

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Filed in Personal, Web DevelopmentTags: Web Site

I have added the About section. Went back to the doctor's office today. I'm feeling better, but am sitting out of the musical tonight. Hopefully, I'll feel up to performing tomorrow night and the rest of the weekend.

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Filed in Personal

I was diagnosed Monday with mono, which means that's also what's been keeping me run down for the past couple weeks. It also means that I'll be missing more work, and potentially, the final weekend of the musical.

Welcome Back, Me

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Okay, so I've been procrastinating a *little* bit since my last entry.

Strike that - I've been downright lazy...

Do you realize how much can happen in three and a half months? So much, in fact, I would be just as well-off starting this little journal project over from scratch.

Let's see if I can bring myself back up-to-date. I'm now living in Kalamazoo, MI. I graduated May 27, and moved here June 9. I'm here because I have accepted a job offer - for those of you familiar with previous entries, this job is in fact with the same company with whom I interviewed right before Spring Break - the one with whom I had a second interview. All told, the process ended up taking FOUR interviews - one at school, one in the office in Indy, another in the Indy office with the Kalamazoo manager, and a final interview in Kalamazoo with the manager and the five guys already working here. By the fourth interview, I was fairly certain that I would be getting an offer; but, to make things interesting, the offer didn't come until the day before graduation.

I think a lot of people don't understand the culture of my school, with respect to job offers. At my school, all the *top* prospects have job offers within the first couple of months of senior year. The majority of students actively looking for jobs have offers by the time graduation rolls around. Thus, it is generally the slackers, whether it be scholastically, or in the job search, who graduate without standing job offers. Well, due to my financial situation, I wasn't able to even start my job search until the middle of January, putting me eons behind all the other graduating seniors looking for jobs. Looking at the companies I interviewed with, I actually had a 50% offer rate; granted, I only interviewed with two companies.

So anyway, now I'm living in Kalamazoo, a good four and a half hours from my old life in Terre Haute, iN. By far, the most ironic occurrence related to my move had to do with dating. In my five years in college, I had never dated anyone for longer than, oh, three weeks. So, now we come to the end of my senior year, and what do you suppose happens? If you guessed that I started dating someone, well, I guess you're just psychic, or managed to pick up on my completely non-subtle segue. I was actually "dating" a girl from the Woods. I say "dating" and not dating because, in all actuality, it was never anything very serious. But, even though it pretty much ended with my move to Kalamazoo, it was fun while it lasted, and upped my three-week barrier up to three months.

So now, I'm starting all over in Kalamazoo. I've been here for almost a month now (today actually marks four weeks). I'm situated at work, and when my parents get in later this evening with a truckload of furniture from home, I'll pretty much be all set in my apartment (except for the state-of-the-art entertainment center that I haven't bought yet, since I'm being good and staying out of debt as much as possible). It's a really nice feeling to be able to make, save and spend money, instead of living the poor, starving college kid life. But, right now anyway, it's a tradeoff for having to start my social life all over from scratch. I'm getting the seeds planted - I'll be visiting my second church this weekend, I've gotten information from the Civic Theater about getting involved there, and I'm trying to find people to play tennis with. I figure it all happens slowly, especially with not having the college atmosphere - the ready-made social circle. Fortunately, Kalamazoo is also a college town - Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College to name the two biggest ones - which means, starting in the fall at least, there are plenty of people my age here.

I've also been doing my best to keep up with the Atkins Diet (the lack of tennis hasn't helped matters, but hopefully that will change). For those keeping track, I'm at about 205, which represents a total loss of 65 pounds since January. And actually, I've been "maintaining" that weight since the beginning of May. That comes out to an astonishing 16 pounds per month that I lost between January and May. Between the tennis season ending (thus, two-hour daily practices ending), and a major life-changing event (graduation and moving), I haven't made a conscious effort to lose recently. Now that I'm pretty much settled in, I'm starting back up again. My intent is to take a martial arts class, which, combined with a regular tennis regimen, should provide ample exercise to keep the fat-burning fires ablaze. I actually only want to lose another 25 pounds or so. I have a week-long conclave to attend for my chemistry fraternity, for which I am a voting delegate, and I will have to buy a new suit for the banquet, since the one I (my mom) bought in March is also now getting too big. I would like to lose as much of my 25 pound goal as possible before the middle of August, so that the suit-buying trend won't keep up at the same rate that I've had to buy new belts. At $300 a pop, it gets to be a bit much!

Well, now that things are getting more back-to-normal, I should be able to be much better with keeping up with the journal.

Only time will tell...

Q E D

The Worst Kind of Disappointment

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Today was a very strange day. Wednesdays have become my "recovery" days; since I'm so busy the rest of the week, I have made a habit of doing a lot of relaxing on Wednesday. That habit pretty much held true today. Other than my one pointless class, I pretty much did nothing until tennis practice and the tennis meet this evening. Our meet with the University of Chicago was at 6:00, so we went ahead and practiced at our usual 4:00. When practice ended, I changed shirts and put on my sandals, expecting to be finished playing for the day. But, as I always do, I stayed around for the meet, to root on the rest of the team. As the coach was announcing the lineup, he looked over at me and said, "Chip, you're going to be playing singles tonight." To which my reply was, "wh..what was that? I don't think I heard you right." So he repeated it. I was pumped...I was actually going to get to play a match. Sure, it was #8 singles, so it wouldn't count toward the meet score, but it was still a match.

Since I wouldn't be playing for at least another hour or two, I decided to go put in an hour of work study at the phonathon. Maybe it was just my attitude since I was in such a great mood, but in about an hour, I made over $1000...not a bad night given the full three hours of work. In my excitedness, I even called Amanda to tell her that I was going to get to play. She had a really bad headache, but said that if she was feeling well enough, she would try to come.

As it turns out, it's a good thing she didn't make it. The #7 singles player for UC claimed to be sick, so he backed out of his match. That's fine...at that point I was thinking, "well, isn't that just my usual luck...I actually get to play, and the guy gets sick." But hey, that's life; it sucked, but I understood.

No problem.

Pretty much, that meant that their #8 player would move up to play in the #7 position, and there was no one to fill the #8 spot. Which of course, meant no match for me to play. So, I went back to watching the matches and cheering the team. We were ahead 3-0, and close to winning two a couple of other matches (4 points win the meet, so we only needed one more). I decided to go watch the #6 singles match, since it was close and the guy for our team is one of my fraternity brothers. As I was walking over to his court, I saw that the UC #7 singles player, the same player too sick to play a match, was out hitting on one of the courts. He was out there hitting for a good hour. I don't usually get angry about anything, but that pissed me off. I don't think I let on very much that I was upset, but I commented to our coach about it, and he was upset about it, too. Well, we ended up winning the meet 5-2, and I went home just looking forward to practice tomorrow, when I would be able to get back on to the court to play.

I got back to my room, and started talking to Amanda on ICQ. I was telling her about what had happened, and she pretty much tried to tell me not to worry about it, because "things don't always go the way you want them to." Now, of course she was right, but that was about the last thing I wanted to hear at the time. Now, because of her shoulder, she has not been able to play softball. Her passion for softball is pretty much equal to my passion for tennis, and she had to admit that she knew how I felt. I really wasn't in a good mood, and I think I made some curt comment and went into the other room. At the time, I didn't tell her that there was a lot more to why I was in a bad mood than just the tennis meet. It had to do with how I reacted to the situation in light of other things going on in my life. But I didn't want to talk about it at the time, because I didn't think that she really wanted to hear it then. So I went to hang out in another room for like an hour or so.

Rene was in the other room, and I don't remember how it came up, but she also mentioned that she had heard that someone at the Woods was interested in me. I told her that I wanted a name, and since she's cool like that, she told me. She also said that I should really try to meet her if given the opportunity, and that she was "really pretty, and a really nice girl." Apparently, she's a graduate student, and about 23, which is fine, because I'm 22. I was really tired, experiencing a little bit of heat exhaustion (from playing tennis in the afternoon sun and not drinking enough water), and wasn't in a really good mood, so I hope she didn't get the impression that I wasn't interested in meeting this girl. I am, but I just wasn't really able to demonstrate much enthusiasm at the time.

I decided to go to bed, since I was pretty tired, but when I got back to my room, Amanda had sent me another message asking me where I had gone. I replied, and intended to take care of the good-night formalities and just go to bed, but she actually pressed me to talk about what was wrong. So I started going into it.

It was, and still is, really difficult to explain. My mind saw the excitement I experienced when I was told I was going to play, followed by the disappointment right at the moment of fulfilling that excitement, due to a situation over which I had no control, and which could have been prevented altogether had the person involved been honest from the start. Somehow, my mind made an analogy between that experience, and pretty much every experience I've ever had with a girl in my life (which, by definition would be a disappointing experience). Now, you may think that I'm exaggerating, but I'm really not. I could compare that tennis meet with what happened with Sarah, with what happened with other girls at the Woods and at Rose, what happened with girls in high school...and on and on. I've honestly never had a successful relationship (by that I mean, I've never actually had a "girlfriend")...the longest I've ever dated anyone before is three weeks. Most of the time, it doesn't bother me. But sometimes, it just seems like I'm in some never-ending cycle (what the CS majors would call a recursive loop) that I can't find any way out of. The optimist in me says that I just haven't found the right girl yet, but the realist in me wonders if I'll know how to handle myself when and if the "right girl" ever comes around. If all I've ever experienced is failure, how will I ever know how to be successful?

I started thinking about all of that, and it really got to me. I started to explain it all to Amanda, but we were both really tired and needed to go to bed, so we really didn't get to talk as much as I would have liked. Oh well; that's why I have this journal...so that I can air some of these kinds of thoughts and feelings.

It was a lot to digest for one day, and it made falling asleep pretty difficult. But, tomorrow is another day...

Q E D

The Best Advice I Could Get

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Today was the day of my second interview. I really wasn't quite sure what to expect; this company is newer and a lot smaller than the company I previously interviewed with. But, as it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised. The interview started out well enough. The company had three representatives on campus, although I think one was interviewing for internships. Anyway, the interviewer and I had just gotten through the introductory stuff when one of the other interviewers came into the room. He said that he just *had* to be there for my interview, becuase he was *so* impressed with my resume. Then, I continued to make a good impression by having already researched the company, so that I already knew what they were all about. The next question (from the second interviewer) was why, with my resume, did I not *already* have a $55,000 a year job lined up. We started to go through their typical "interview" questions, when he got to the question of "tell me about a time when you have held a leadership position." They stopped, looked at my resume, said, "well, I think you've answered that question well enough already," and moved on. When the interview ended, the first interviewer gave me his card, wrote his number away from the office on it, and told me to give him a call if I had any other questions. Then they told me that I should hear back from them within a week or two. All in all, one of the best interviews I've ever been in. I really like my chances with this company. Not only did the interview go really well, but the company seems to fit my philosophy of what makes a potentially good employee. The interviewers did ask me what my GPA was, but as it turns out, mine was higher than both of theirs (and they were both Rose grads). It does appear, though, that the company sees more value in its employees than a single number on a transcript, which in my opinion indicates that it would be a more ideal working environment.

After that, classes went about normal. I got all of my homework done during work study fourth hour, including the Design homework due for Thursday. After I finished classes, I had my afternoon work study as usual. I actually got to run a couple of errands today, so I felt like I was actually earning my minimum wage ๐Ÿ™‚

I had another great tennis practice today, except that my serve was off. Oh well, we all have those days sometimes. We played doubles; four-game match-ups to determine team ranking. Surprisingly to me, my partner and I actually held our own pretty well. We lost to the definite numbers one and two doubles teams, and split games with all of the other teams. Had my serve been on today, we probably would have beaten a couple. But all in all, I was playing really well. My net game was on, I was returning serves well, and my winner-to-unforced-error ratio was probably 3-1 at least. We ended the practice by serving a hopper of balls each, which coincidentally was exactly what I needed to do. Tomorrow, we have 4-6 practice, then a meet with the University of Chicago. I may or may not get to play, depending on how many guys UC brings. But I'll be there, just in case, and too root on the team if nothing else.

After practice, I had an interesting conversation with Dr. McLean, the Chapter Advisor for Alpha Chi Sigma. We talked about how the chapter was doing since my term as president ended. He told me that he thought I did an "exceptional" job as president, for which I was quite flattered. We also talked about my job prospects, and he told me about an opening at DuPont that he had just received info about. He forwarded me the info later tonight, so I can look into it.

After talking with Dr. McLean, I headed into the SRC to use the scale. As I was using it, one of my brothers walked by, and told me how the scale had gotten way off kilter recently. He demonstrated by weighing himself. He's about 190-195, and the scale read 208. Factoring in his clothes, the scale is still at least 5 pounds off. That means that the 231 I weighed is actually at least 226...so I've now lost over 40 pounds!

So, after getting some dinner, and having nothing to do, I decided to see if I could get a date for the night. I called up Sarah, but got no answer. So then, I decided to try Kelly. Kelly is another freshman at the Woods, who is also Sarah's suitemate. I really didn't get to know Kelly until the musical, but she's a pretty cool girl. I've joked around with her a few times about asking her out, but never actually did. So I gave her a call. Unfortunately, she couldn't do anything because she had too much work to do; but, she told me to take a rain check. She left the door open for me to ask her out again, which is all good. The other night when I was talking with Natalie, she told me just to forget about Sarah (well, and Amanda, but that's irrelevant).

I may just do that.

Q E D

Just Another Manic Monday

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Let me start by giving you an example of how my Mondays typically go. The following is my AOL IM Away message for Mondays:

Classes and Work Study: 10:00 - 4:00
Tennis Practice: 4:00 - 6:00
AXSigma Chapter: 6:00
PiKA Chapter: 7:00

That didn't include the two hours of homework I had after Chapter. But, although today was a busy day, it was also a very good day. Classes and work study were pretty much normal, so I don't need to go into detail there...I'll start with tennis practice.

Today's practice was my best practice in two or three years (granted, a year of that I didn't even practice). We spent the majority of practice doing volley drills. Now, volleying and serving have always been the two best aspects of my game. In high school, I would spend time on my own before or after every practice, serving 100-200 balls. The serve, that I have continually developed since then, is starting to come back, although it is still a bit inconsistent. But, serving is only the second best aspect of my game: volleying and net play have always been my trademark. All through high school, my dad was basically my personal coach when it came to tennis. Way back in my freshman year of high school, he wanted me to develop my net game. So, he stood me at the net, and proceeded to hit balls at me as hard and as fast as he could. Needless to say, I developed pretty darn good reflexes at the net. I think I was born with pretty good reaction time and hand-eye coordination, but it was those net drills that really developed the skill. Well, today's drills were throwbacks to my early days playing tennis. We started by serving-and-volleying, and advancing to the net, while always playing cross-court. Until today, I had been struggling to regain my volley and half-volley skills; however, in practice today, it was just like old times. The next drill was the same, except that it was doubles (my forte). The final drill was the most fun. Still doubles, except that the receiving side's ad-court (left side) player started at the net, and the feeding team fed that player a down-the-line ball. Now, granted, I had a slight advantage because on that side, my forehand is on the alley, but for the first time in a long time, I fell right in to rhythm. The guys fed them as hard as they could, and without question I had absolutely no trouble playing the feed. I even hit some beautiful angle shots reminiscent of my high school playing days. Now, today's practice won't change my position on the team or anything like that, but I left practice really pumped. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the week's practices go.

After practice were my Chapter meetings, and then some homework. I finally got some free time about 10:00 or so. I ended up having a very nice conversation with Nancy via ICQ. She had just started reading the journal, and was interested in how some of the girls were treating me in the earlier entries. She also mentioned something about a secret admirer...of course, she didn't tell me who it was...

Well, I've got my second interview in the morning, so getting a good night's sleep would be a really good idea.

Until tomorrow,

Q E D

Sunday, Busy Sunday

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

I really don't have much to talk about today. I spent a lot of time on homework and meeting with my Design group. I am also on a committee created to review the new Constitution and Bylaws for the Iota Delta Chapter Pi Kappa Alpha alumni association (my chapter's alumni association). Right now I'm acting as the liaison between the committee and the current president of the association. I'm also the one writing up all of the revisions to the Constitution. Since we would like to have this all worked out and formally approved by the end of the school year, I will be working hard to get the revisions done as soon as possible.

I had my usual Sunday conversation with my parents today. They were both excited about the prospects of me working for either of the two companies that I am interviewing with.

I had an absolutely horrible night at phonathon today. I made almost 80 calls, and got only 5 pledges. Oh well...I'm still earning the work study money.

I also didn't make it to church again today. I need to work on that; I miss going.

I apologize that this entry is so short. I was really so busy today that I didn't have time to do much thinking.

Q E D

A Saturday for Tennis

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

I managed to roll out of bed this morning, get dressed, and get over to the tennis courts in time for the start of the meet. We played a triangle-meet with Anderson and Franklin. When I got there, it was still in the upper 30's/lower 40's outside. Fortunately, the coach had the tennis shed warmed up.

Now, most people in my position would not even go to the meet. Anymore, I am nothing more than a practice scrub on the team. My freshman and sophomore years, earning a spot on the team and playing meets were really important to me. I felt like I didn't get any respect playing in high school, and I wanted/needed to prove to myself and my old team that I indeed was a good player. However, the summer after my sophomore year, I played in a couple of tournaments and leagues in Maryland. That summer, I won my first two tennis trophies ever. I was the captain of the team that won the second league, and I also took second place in men's open doubles in one of the tournaments. I actually played men's open singles in that tournament, and lost in the quarters to the eventual champion (who happened to be one of the highest ranked players in the region). After that summer, my attitude about tennis changed; I had proven that I was a good player. I no longer needed to earn that affirmation by playing on the school's tennis team. Thus, I was free to play and enjoy myself, unfettered by any unnecessary stress about when I would get to play a match. Ever since then, I have had so much more fun on the team. Since I co-op'ed, I have been here five years; I took last year off from tennis to try out for the spring musical, so this year is my fourth on the team. The coach actually told me that he would letter me after playing four years; I don't know if he even remembers saying it, and frankly, I really don't care. I'm having fun, I'm getting plenty of exercise, and I'm getting better again. And unlike in high school, the guys on the team are all very accepting of me; they don't treat me any differently or disrespect my playing just because I'm not challenging for a varsity spot.

The meet lasted until about 4:30, when it was ended due to rain. It had actually been raining/sleeting off and on all day, but we managed to get all but one match in. In the end, we had beaten both Anderson and Franklin, 6-1 and 5-2 respectively, I believe.

I had planned to go to Wabash after the meet, but when I got home, I fell asleep and didn't wake up until after 8:00. It's alright, though; I'll be going up there next Friday for a toga party. I got some ICQs and IMs from some of them at about 11:00 asking where I was, and telling me that I should still head up there, but decided just to wait until next weekend. Instead, I watched Cape Fear with a couple of my brothers. Afterward, on a whim, I decided to try on some of the clothes that I had stored away. I found out that many of the clothes that I have not been able to wear since high school now fit me again. The feeling of putting on shirts that you haven't worn in four or five years, and having them fit better than they did originally, is pretty incredible.

Since I've got homework and two meetings tomorrow, I think I'm going to turn in a little early (early for Saturday being anytime before 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning).

Q E D