Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

Those who know me well know that I love to read. A manual on how to build a garage -- no problem. A discussion of what it was like to fight in a war -- bedtime reading. A thick tome on the development of the theory and practices behind underwater firefighting -- bring it on. I can read just about anything as long as I can find something to be interested in. For hours, I can sit and loose myself in a novel. I can digest instructions on how to do something. I love to learn new information on a topic that I know next to nothing about. Funny how all that changes when you are required to read something.

Now that I'm a student again, I know in my head that there will be lots of reading. The difference in what I read before I go to bed or what I read to procrastinate in the afternoon to avoid doing something is that, in those situations, I'm the one doing the choosing. When reading for class work, there is no choice. 'This is the proscribed article, chapter or text and you need to read it by the end of whenever.' The problem with reading for someone else is finding that 'thing' to be interested in. I know, I know… I should find the interest in knowing that if I complete the assigned readings and work that I will receive a degree at the end of the program and that will be my reward. I know it. You can tell it to me. Putting it into practice is something else entirely.

I find that the problem in reading academic articles and books is that, too often, the author seems to like the sound of their own voice (typographically speaking), too much. Instead of stating something in 200 pages, it seems to take 5 or 600. Do these people get paid by the word?

Anyway, I'm here now. I know that the end result will make up for the required reading time. Hopefully as the semester goes on the readings will get more interesting. I just hope nobody draws on me when I fall asleep in the library.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sorry, We’re Closed

It would be an understatement to say that I dislike shopping. I see it as a kind of necessary evil in life. It's like getting a root canal or cranberry sauce at thanksgiving. You know in your head that there is a reason for it and that it might make things better, but you don't rush out to get it.

I believe that shopping should be avoided for as long as it can be and then gotten over with as fast as possible. I don't mind grocery shopping. It's the shopping for clothing that I don't like. I'm not one of these guys who sends their wife out to buy underwear or socks or whatever. I do it when I need to. It might take a while for me to get around to it, but when I make up my mind to go shopping I want to do it right now. Kind of like tearing off a bandage. Best to just rip it right off and get it over with.

This evening was one of those times when I decided to pick up a couple of things. I don't care if what I want is on sale or is even more expensive than normal when I decide to go shopping – I want it now. So I went online and checked availability of the items I wanted at a national chain store located in my town and checked the store hours to make sure that they were indeed open (I hate going to a business during normal business hours only to find them closed). So yes, open until 9:00pm – Great!

My bride and I drove to the establishment in question and arrived at 6:45pm only to find the lights off, the doors locked and the place closed up tighter than knot. So slightly frustrated, we tried 3 alternative stores that I thought I might have what I wanted. No luck with them either. Apparently there is a conspiracy to keep me from spending my money on clothing. Call me crazy, but if you publish your store hours on a website and make it public, should you not be open during those stated hours? Not in my town apparently.