Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The clock, not other things

After a workout I almost always do stretches in the hot tubs for 5-10 minutes, which seems to really help reduce soreness and muscle tightness the next morning.  There's a wall clock in the same room that I use to time my stretches.  And right in front of the clock there's these lounge chairs that weird people like to nap in after a workout, and people constantly pass by those lounge chairs on the way to and from the sauna and steam room.  Half of these people are old naked white dudes.

I've been waiting—waiting, for years—for someone to misinterpret my intense staring at the time as creepily staring at them, get angry about it, and yell something like "what's your problem, asshole?!" at me.  Then I will calmly respond that I am "watching the clock, not the cock," which would be worth at least fifty badass points.

But in half a decade it hasn't happened yet.  And realistically in that situation I would probably respond with a startled "wuh nnghhwhnngh? oh," which the angry guy wouldn't even be able to hear over the sound of the water jets and showers.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Failing grade

So I'm taking an online course in audio production (recording, sound waves, etc.) right now, and one of the most surprisingly difficult things about it has been adjusting to the fact that my grade doesn't matter.  In some way this is partly because it's a free introductory class, so I don't have anything to lose, but realistically, even if I paid a thousand bucks for the class, it still wouldn't matter if I failed.  Getting a failing grade doesn't mean that I retroactively unlearn anything I learned up in the class.  It doesn't prevent me from learning more or getting better or getting a job.  It's completely, utterly insignificant, and I've been trained my whole life to pretend that it is.

The homework in the class is worth 30% of the final grade, and it looks boring and tedious and largely uncreative, so I just decided not to do it.  But it's frankly ridiculous how much I strained over making this decision.  I immediately recognized the homework* as being something that would not have a significant impact in my learning the material, but that threat of getting a poor grade in the class even though that means nothing whatsoever was still enough to make me reconsider that decision half a dozen times.  It's painful to admit just how brainwashed this experience has made me feel.

Grades don't matter.  Just need to keep reminding myself that until it sinks in.  And I think that if I had had the opportunity to have a more self-directed experience in school that didn't focus on getting grades it would have been a lot more valuable, because that would have better fit the way that I learn things.

(*In case you're curious, the homework each week is to prepare a lesson plan for some of that week's material, present it to others, and then to peer-review five other peoples' lessons.  Nope.  Not doing that.)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Walk alone

These lyrics really stuck with me today.  No particular reason; I just think they're awesome.

Unbeaten path got my soul so sore
The Devil want me as-is, but God, He want more
I'm a snake in the garden of bones
I'm a loner in a world of clones.

The Roots—Walk Alone (abridged)