Surprisingly enough, the brain shuts down after four hours of math. I’m halfway through statistics, and it still sucks. I got a 98.31% on the midterm though. Mostly because I’m awesome, but it took me almost five hours. I also made sure to research and double check every answer twice. Still got a couple wrong, but in statistics you don’t always round like you do in every other math class that exists. I found out there is a statistics II class available also, but it’s not required. I’m glad. I would have had to throw a tantrum or set something on fire. The good thing is, after this the rest of my classes will seem like a cakewalk.
There is a holiday here tomorrow, Dia de la Constitucion. Unfortunately not all of my students work with Mexicans, so the students who deal with Canada and Argentina still might have class. I’m waiting on the final confirmation so I can go do something tomorrow. Otherwise I’m limited to sleeping in late and having the night off. That means I’ll probably just study. I was looking forward to getting out of town, or at least hitting one of the parks, but I won’t know until school opens tomorrow.
Today has been nice at least. Somewhat. After the exam my brain felt melted so I just laid in bed listening to stand up and editing the Diplomat’s book. It’s interesting what people do when the write. I see the kind of mistakes that I used to make repeated in that book. It’s not bad, but it does not do what he wants it to do. I’ve noticed that with a lot of writing, not just for foreigners. People try to use a lot of words to say what they mean instead of using the subtlety that is allowed with language. Sometimes it’s like being hit with a dictionary. I remember one student in particular who was studying for an exam. She had decent writing, but would so over complicate the sentences that they came out wrong. We spent a month just trying to get her to simplify her language.
My classes are going well. I like the private classes in particular, but the groups are fun too. With the groups I have to worry about control and order, with the private ones I can focus on what the individual student needs. That usually means the book doesn’t get as much attention, but it’s better when the student learns the English they are already using wrong rather than teaching them something they may never need.
I still love sociology, but it’s just as depressing as ever. There is very little fun involved in studying poverty and racism. I understand why people become functional theory focused. It makes the world seem like everything is okay and will turn out right in the end. At least with conflict theory there is a chance for improving your means through the use of power. Functionalism seems like a pipe dream, where life sucks, but only because it must. If everyone was happy why would we need society? It reminds me of the problem of evil in philosophy. If God can do anything why create evil in the world? With all the possible answers only one ever made sense to me. The answer is that we do not understand evil or God well enough to be asking that question. I found the better question to be, what is the purpose of evil in the world?
One of the things I found interesting in Buddhism was a story of a nurse who just started her career in a major hospital. She had never seen a person die before. Seven died on her first day at work. The people were old, weak, and sick. One of them told her that he was worried that his life had not meant anything. She didn’t know what to tell him. We want to believe that every life has meaning. Her Buddhist teacher, a monk told her that his life might not have had any at all. What we do in our lives gives meaning to it, and how we deal with the good and evil of this world matter, but true meaning can be easily lost and life can be wasted. The problem of evil is that we fear it and fail to understand it, not that it exists. I always found this philosophy more comforting than God works in mysterious ways.
I had to see a friend off yesterday. The Accountant is heading back to Munich with his wife to make a life there. He is tired of Mexico and wants to start building a life. He said he was getting too old to be traveling the world anymore. He’s five years younger than I am, and he’s too old. Different mindsets I guess. I was looking for that at his age, but it didn’t work out, and to the four winds I give my fate. I remember having a conversation with my brother about this recently. He complained because I chose to travel the world and he no longer has that choice. He’s wrong. All my other plans failed, so I embraced this one. It’s not the life I chose, only the best option left to me. It always amazes me that he is smarter than I am but he never really learned to use his intelligence. It’s like he was given a axe and he still just uses it to chop wood to burn instead of building a house.
Sorry, I know I’m getting a bit philosophical these days, but not having time to venture out gives me too much time to think. It’s always good to take a moment to breathe, but life was meant to be lived in the world, not in a cave. I can’t wait until this class is over so I can do nothing by choice instead of by necessity.
One important benefit to note this time of year, I do not have to deal with inventory. All those of you who still work at Eastlake and have to mark and tag every item in Home Depot, you have my pity and mocking laughter.