On This September 12th

The headline on September 12th from the New York Times

I actually started composing something a week ago about September 11th, reminiscing about that day and the general mood of the country prior to the attack on the World Trade Center.  As I paid attention to some 9/11 coverage during the past week, I was reminded of what the country was actually like, and that I was really viewing it with rose-colored glasses.  Hey, I was a sophomore in college; I’d only just started paying attention to the world around me.

Thus, instead, I reflect on September 12th, or really, the initial days that followed September 11th.

Much like the JFK assassination and the generation(s) before me that were actually alive at that time, I remember exactly what I was doing at the time it all happened.  I was in my dorm room and had just gotten up to read my Yahoo! News feed and see that a plane of some type had hit the first tower.  I woke up my roommate and turned on CNN just in time to watch the second plane hit the second tower.  On live television.

What followed over the next few hours, and few days, and few weeks, was a series of feelings.  Confusion.  Fear.  Shock.

Then Focus.

Then Togetherness.

Then Direction.

This country went through a terrible tragedy and, from it, came a sense of direction that it hadn’t had in awhile.  My initial blog post was looking to those years before 9/11, and that it was a time that I wish we could all return to.  However, in many ways, the country was already on a downward spiral of divisiveness, with the Lewinsky Scandal and Impeachment proceedings in the news.  With a Dot Com Bubble bursting.  With a Housing Crisis already in the works.

Really, a decade on, I’d like us all to reflect on where we were 10 years ago today, rather than 10 years ago yesterday.  Sure, yesterday was incredibly important and it is equally important that all those lives were lost.  At the same time, I think it’s essential that we remember how much of the country actually came together for a common purpose.  Eventually, that purpose was misdirected toward other political goals.  That purpose was used to divide the country even further than it’s ever been, certainly in my lifetime.  And today, on September 12, 2011, we are about as divided as we could be.

But on September 12, 2001, we were all together.  In grief.  In searching.  In wondering.

Yet also, in a desire to root out evil.  A need to be together in service to our communities.  To be together in solidarity and in support of our firefighters, policemen and EMTs, but also in support of each other.

Case in point: I read on Facebook that over 100 people from our church in St. Louis went to East St. Louis to be in service to others on September 10th as part of the Serve 2011 project.  That’s the kind of feeling we should be getting from 9/11.  Not only focusing on the attack itself, but also on the need to better ourselves that followed for the first few days and weeks after it.  The thing that was designed to tear us apart that actually helped bring us together, even if only for a few short moments.  Where we weren’t rich, poor, black, white, man or woman: we were just American.  And we were all the same.

And that’s what we need to work toward finding again, 10 years later.  Ten years after September the 12th.

Long Live the Wesley House

So, Wesley House was pretty important to Brooke and me, and took up a great deal of time for the five years I was at Truman. Mike sent me a few YouTube videos of the band playing in Troy, IL (Troy United Methodist Church) and I must say, it brought back memories. The crazy thing is that Mike, himself, was the only person I recognized in the video. I know it’s been 3 years since we left, but still…it’s great to see all those new people as part of the band! And also good to see that the band is thriving, and so is the Wesley House as a whole (despite the state-wide organization deciding it isn’t a “vital ministry” anymore and not funding it anymore…grrrrrrr…).

Anyway, good times, yo… Good job, Wesley House Praise Band. Great to see you all in action again!

Need A Time-Waster?

Then look no further! Joe, Luke and I make use of this page frequently when we were managers at ITS a few summers ago…? The page is known as FilmWise Invisibles. The basic idea is that you are given a picture and you have to identify the movie. The problem is: they’ve erased the people within the picture, so you have to guess what movie it is based on the scene and clothes the actors are wearing. Some are really obvious, and others are really obscure… Anyway, they have a new one posted every week…and they’ve been doing it for 301 weeks now…

So yeah, if you like movies and wanna kill some time, give these a try… They’re surprisingly addictive… 😉

…is the semester over yet?

Well, I’ve got one more exam in my main class to complete, then two exams (one tomorrow, coincidentally…) in my “special topics” class, neither of which should be terribly stressful.? So yeah, my semester is mostly over…? Along with that, I now have keys to Dr. Macarthur’s lab and will be getting started on some tissue culture work next Monday, so I finally get to delve into some research, rather than just wasting away in classes…

Regardless, I’m on the “home stretch” to be done with my first year of graduate school, which is nuts…? The year went really quickly, it seems…? Heck, I’ve been married for almost 10 months!? …and how blissful they’ve been 😛

Anyway, I’m glad the semester’s almost done, as I’m sure many of you are, too (except Kristen, perhaps!).? Just gotta make it a few…more…weeks…

Tomorrow night in Kirksville, though…that’ll help tremendously… 😉

So, I miss Kirksville…

I miss the people I met over the years
I miss getting up 5 min before class and still making it on time
I miss the lack of traffic
I miss a good Super Wal-Mart
I miss being able to care very little about classes
I miss the Dukum and everything about it

…but…

I don’t miss the fact that it was 10 F when I woke up today in St. Louis…but it was -14 F in Kirksville…

Friends in Kirksville? You kids have a nice day 🙂

sigh…

(01:31:07) tsunathanh: Andy. I have to tell you this… a few short hours ago I shaved mikes head.
(01:31:10) tsunathanh: Jerry said
(01:31:31) tsunathanh: ,”Ha! You look like a white Mr. Clean!”

…if anyone sees Jerry…they should a). laugh at him and b). smack him upside the head…if you’re feeling particularly gracious, you should remove him from the gene pool for the rest of us…

😛

How chemists do it…

Per my grand-little’s away message (Sarah Hobbs…in AXE @ Truman…):

How chemists do it…

Chemists do it reactively.

Chemists do it in test tubes.

Chemists do it in equilibrium.

Chemists do it in the fume hood.

Chemsits do it in an excited state.

Chemists do in periodically on the table.

Chemists do in organically and inorganically.

Electrochemists do it with greater potential.

Polymer chemists do it in chains.

Pharmaceutical chemists do it with drugs.

Analytical chemists to it with precision and accuracy.

…so true on so many levels…

…stoopid grad skool and studying for tests…grrrrrrrrrrrr…

This is it…

Yeah, very shortly, I will be attending classes at Saint Louis University, “officially” making me feel like a graduate student (the summer thus far hasn’t been much besides a “job,” of sorts…now I actually have to study and such…). This is both exciting and rather scary, the former due to the fact that I get to finally delve in to my chosen profession…the latter because…well…it’s graduate school… Likely this will be my largest challenge to date. The really odd parts follow:

    — I am going to school at a new place with new people and new professors.
    — I am at the bottom of the food chain again, much like I was five years ago at Truman.
    — I don’t have as many friends/bar buddies in this town, so I won’t be as socially active as in recent years.
    — Along with that, I’m married now, so my roommate won’t be able to help me in my classes as in recent years…on the other hand, it’s easier now that I don’t have to make time to go to my girlfriend’s place to hang out with her once and awhile…she’s conveniently at my place all the time now… 😛
    — I no longer have “responsibilities,” such as attending AXE meetings, Wesley House functions, or working for ITS. It’s school and home. That’s it.
    — I have to drive to class every morning. Snow or not. And fight for parking.

So yeah, completely new shenanigans to deal with. Really, I’m the same old person in a completely new environment…making me wonder how I’ll deal with the situation. Will I study as much as I should? Will I make it to class on time? Or at all? Will I be able to manage money better now that I’m married and on my own? Will my personality remain the same, or should I expect another paradigm shift as what occurred in college? …or will I wake up tomorrow and still be in my bed at the old apartment in Kirksville?

…as Spock once said: “Life…is not a dream.” And as he also said, in a different movie, I “will perform as according to one’s gifts.” Hopefully I’m as prepared as I can be for the flames I am to be thrust in to….’cause it’s going to be close to five years that I’m roasting in them…

“Sounds like fun.” (…that was Kirk, this time…)

Moved(?)

So yeah, we spent all day yesterday moving to St. Louis…the hard part’s done, I guess… Brooke and I didn’t stay up too terribly late last night unpacking, but got up relatively early this morning and moved most of the boxes out of what is to become “the office” (complete with 6′ table for the computers and a twin-size bed (i.e. “couch”). We walked around the complex and found the laundromat, exercise equipment and swimming pool, and there are quite a few trees around there, making it a very pretty place to be. The next hurdle involves learning all the roads in St. Louis, etc… I went by Missy/Sharon/Shannon’s place today and it took me a good 30 min…pretty sure I could have driven to their old places last year in Kirksville in under 3 min…but whatever… 😛

Anyway, I added a few pictures from the move to the Photos section of the site, listed under “New Apt”…check ’em out… After we get settled in St. Louis (after June 27th), we’ll take more pictures and post what the place is supposed to look like…

I’ll be in Columbia until Friday, and then I’ll be heading to Hannibal for the rehearsal and dinner…and getting married in T-minus 6 days… Married life, here I come… 😉 Regardless, gimme a call if you’re around Columbia and wanna hang out…

…what’s worse than packing?

Yeah, I’ve been packing up everything I own…and this is no small task… Bear in mind that I’ve lived here for 3 years now…and I’ve been collecting an insane amount of stuff throughout that time, most of which I’m throwing away (or giving to Nathan and Jerry for their new place…). I had to figure out how to take apart my desk again today, had to unplug all of the electronics in my room (a small fire hazard…), remove the stuff from my closet (I officially have too many clothes…), and am finding live dust bunnies under my bed (never seen one? they’re like jackalopes, but without horns and their made from dust…no…seriously…).

So yeah, the other part of this is that I’m going to have to disconnect the web server on Thursday morning and transport it to Columbia, where it will remain until after the wedding…whenever I can come pick it up… We won’t have DSL set up in St. Louis until after the wedding’s done, so we need an internet connection for the server to operate… Therefore, the server will be down for most of Thursday while I take it down there, set it up, etc….I’m sure you’re all worried…but you’ll live…

Oh…and Batman Begins starts tomorrow…and I’m ever so excited… 😉