Thursday, March 09, 2006

A winding way to get here...

(Disclaimer: This post is decidedly more emo than my normal posts.)

Maybe I should stop looking at small daily events as if they are a metaphor for my life as a whole (what is that, anyway, my life as a whole?), but for the moment, I can't resist.

Yesterday, while on my way to see the current NASA Administrator, Mike Griffin, give a speech about architecture for returning to the moon, I passed a small gathering for "International Women's Voices Day" (or something along those lines). My favorite professor (a literature professor) was about to step up to the podium to do a reading. I experienced about a hundreth of a second of indecision before siting down to listen to him speak about a Polish poet (even though I spent a good chunk of the summer trying to track him down to do an interview for our Mars movie). After he was done, I stayed for the next presenter, even though by then I was ten minutes late for the Griffin talk.

I finally wrenched myself away from the presentation and headed across campus. It turns out the talk started a half hour later than I thought it did, so I got there early anyway. As I was sitting there waiting, I wondered why I was even there at all. Then I realized that when I'm around space stuff, and space enthusiasts, I get really excited about it. And oddly enough, even though aerospace engineering has become somewhat of the antithesis of where I now think I want to end up in life, it's probably still, in some way, what's going to get me there. The fact that I'm part engineer as well as part (or...mostly, as it seems now) reader/writer/literature nut is probably what's going to set me apart from the rest in life (for better or worse). So...there you go, I ended up doing a bit of a deconstruction on myself.

(Really, Derrida what are you doing to me? I try to deconstruct everything now and I'm still not quite sure I know what that even friend asked me to proofread her essay for her and I started deconstructing the system she set up...then I realized that in The Meadowlands Sullivan is deconstructing the nature/civilization dichotomy. What's going to happen to me?)

All right, on to seemingly insignificant but Jordan-ily monumental event number two:

Tomorrow I am taking a trip to Rhode Island to visit my eccentric artist great-uncle, Fred. I'm very excited about this trip, and it's really important to me. I'm also more than a little anxious, and up until 5 minutes ago I was going to be making the trip by myself. The strange thing is...I was bothered more by the fact that I didn't have any friends that were willing to drop their mundane Friday duties ("work" and "class" and whatnot) to take a spontaneous (and veritable) adventure with me than I was by my fears and apprehensions about driving to a strange place to meet a strange person by myself. I guess whether or not I have friends that will embark on spontaneous adventures with me is a way of measuring if I'm where I want to be in life. I may have a strange system of value judgments, but certain odd things are important to me. Heading out on an adventure is one. Reading my blog is another. I was probably just rounding out a bad day (with some good parts, like Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke set to 80s synth music) with a negative outlook, but it seemed like most of the people that would do those kinds of things (with some notable exceptions) are not here in Boston.

But...there's a happy ending. A friend of mine called me back and wholeheartedly agreed to go to Providence with me. Thanks to her, you are all (including those of you who don't read this) redeemed and my faith in my friends, my life, etc., has been restored. (Sorry about the religious overtones there...they were purely accidental, as any of you who know me will have figured out already.)

In other news, my running has been going very well this week (though I hope I didn't step up the mileage and the intensity too quickly).

Also, today I realized yet again that I hate engineers and I love scientists and humanities people. Seriously, what is the problem with engineers? Do they just hate people? (Mom, Dad, you are, of course, excused from that accusition...)


Mom said...

But you know, Jordan, I'm not really an engineer....after all I have a computer science and experimental psychology degree.

I hope you have a wonderful time visiting with Fred and seeing his art...and maybe you can get him to explain how he sees "spirits" in everyday decaying or gnarly things....

kt said...

You should have called me because when I saw your away message I thought, I would drop my class and go with her! Hope you had fun! On another note, Emily O. and I were on next-door ellipticals today and were reminiscing about OES. All those years and here we are still!

Jordan said...

Mom, I know you aren't really an engineer. I mean, for one thing, you don't hate people. (I never really understood the whole distinction between computer science and computer engineering, anyway...but I rule in your favor!)

I had a great time visiting Fred, more about that later.

And K.T., I really was this (I'm holding my thumb really close to my forefinger) close to asking you to come with me, because it seemed like something you would really enjoy. Wow, you and Emily, next to each other on the ellipticals...we'll never escape OES, will we?

Erik Wirfs-Brock said...

oh jordan you are always emo.