It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Or maybe it’s just the exhaustingly hot walk up the hill to class every morning?
Wow I haven’t written in a while. And there’s a lot to catch up on. More for me wanting to write it down, then for anyone else really wanting to read it. At least that’s what I figure. Brace yourselves. This is going to be a long one.
First off: its summer! yay :)
Right now I’m taking summer classes, which although somewhat annoying will totally be worth it in the fall (no i didn’t fail a class that I am now retaking). But I missed a lot of stuff before that, so I’m going to rewind just a bit.
Spring semester 2012.
A lot happened. Or at least I feel like a lot did. In the end I feel like I’m sort of back to where I started, but not at all at the same time. First semester went pretty well I think. I joined a christian fellowship, made lots of new friends, found a breakfast crew, and finally felt like I had someone to talk to when I needed (and with the post-thanksgiving semi-catastrophe that I was, it was nice to have them around every morning).
Coming back from winter break, I was egar to step it up (as I always seem to be). I never seem to feel completely content with my life in general, there’s always something I want to improve. I feel like it might just be like that for everyone though. I was ready to dive back into classes and frankly I was bored with nothing to do. This semester was much better than last. I had good friends to sit with in all but one of my classes (and the one I didn’t, I ended up just not going to lecture for the last month or so because the professor was terrible and I learned better from the videos online. win-win? yup). I was really involved in my fellowship and met even more new people. I was finally seeing things start to fall into place.
Then it started.
Out of the blue, this guy started Facebook messaging me. It was sweet at first. K was nice, from my fellowship, and seemed like a very genuine guy. We would talk for hours about nothing. I was excited to have a guy to talk to again. Our conversations were frequent, and sometimes they lasted for quite a while. I was always the one to have to leave first. I felt bad every time. But I was at school for school first. So I left when I had to.
Even though we chatted all the time, K was shy, and whenever we saw each other he rarely came up to have an actual conversation with me. I understood, being painfully shy myself. It was slightly awkward, but I was fine with that for now. Sure enough later that night he would always message me, like nothing was awkward at all.
This continued sporadically throughout the semester. At first I was super excited about it, but it quickly became a burden without actual face to face conversations, so in time we talked less often. But my semester was evolving, and I was gone every other weekend with my club sports teams. I had plenty to look forward to and occupy my interests.
About five weeks into the semester, we were assigned to our second project group in one of my classes. Classic situation: crossing your fingers for a good group. Hoping that one kid you can’t stand doesn’t have his name read off just after yours. Some things never change.
Upon first forming the group, everyone seemed genuine and nice. G was from my last group, and I had met N before when we were doing some multi-group results comparison from the last project. I had heard some negative remarks about M, but from our first gathering she seemed fine. J had the personality of your average hockey player, but nonetheless he was nice. I was excited to get things underway. For this project we were going to be machining things (aka carving aluminum and steel metal into usable parts with super-expensive machinery. My fav -but actually). I’ve always been an artist at heart, so this was going to be perfect!
Team dynamics didn’t take long to come out. G and I still got along great, and despite N’s crude comedic remarks, I liked him a lot. I was starting to come around to J, he seemed genuine, and when he talked about going to church every Sunday, I had to admit I was impressed. I didn’t expect that from him. M on the other hand started to live up to her reputation. She was just really hard to get along with. At one point she even made a statement about not wanting to be social. (That tends to be a problem I groups I believe…).
We were awkward at first, like any group, but since we were spending so much time together we got to be much friendlier pretty quickly. One weekend we spent 8 hours doing calculations, needless to say we were with each other a lot.
When it came time for machining, we had to be a little tactical. M and N had opposite personalities, which left them to argue with each other more then agree. I felt the tension whenever the two of them were anywhere near each other. I can still feel it thinking about it now. So we didn’t want them together with heavy machinery (it ended up happening once, and we were surprised when no one was injured…). Naturally J and G wanted to machine together after the first day of working together. So that left the rest of us to alternate or find some alternate solution. In the end I ended up working with N, and M would come along to make additions to pieces we manufactured (which worked out thankfully since she didn’t really like machining).
I enjoyed working with N. He was always entertaining, and we honestly worked really well together. While usually teams would be awkward with one person machining, and the other just standing there, we got the teamwork thing down. The two of us could effortlessly work on the same machine at one time, which not only increased our productivity, but also our precision. Two eyes are always better then one.
Except when they convince each other that the wrong thing is right.
This happened twice during the three weeks we were in the shop.
The first time we were in such a rhythm from making one type of piece, that we went on with the same technique to another one unknowingly. Needless to say we drilled a hole through an end cap. Not useful…
Another time we were press fitting things together and were so concerned with getting it on straight, that we completely forgot about any sort of alignment with adjoining pieces. Luckily press fitting isn’t permanent.
In the end it was all pure fun. We did a lot of cool stuff (drilling plexiglass. coolest thing ever.). My wardrobe gained a considerable amount of grease stains. And I met someone super interesting. Like actually this kid has put a good dent in my bucket list.
At the end of the semester I left with four more friends then I had before. Learned that my last name is closely related to the word octopus in Italian. Machined more then anyone else on my team. And realized how badly I want a DSLR camera. urgh.
Throughout finals week, K started chatting me more often again. I kept the conversations to reasonable length because honestly I had a lot to do. In the middle of the week, we had an end of the year fellowship celebration for the seniors especially. K was a senior, so naturally he was there. Before I left, I convinced him to take a picture with me. It worked.
Finals ended and I headed home for a few days before I had to be back for summer session. I told K this during one of our conversations. Mistake. He took this as a reason to watch a movie with me. Which was fine, I was actually kind of excited. Things went great. He made cookies, and we actually talked a lot more then usual. At the end of the movie he walked me home, which again was fine, but he said he wanted to watch a movie with me again later that week.
As sweet as he was, I just wanted to be friends. I felt him trying to head in the wrong direction with our relationship, so I politely declined.
As we were walking back, he had asked if I could send him the picture of us. (sign #2) I did reluctantly when I got back to myt room. Then the compliments came. He told me I looked stunning in the picture, and that I do all the time. It was awkward. I tried to divert the conversation. It didn’t work. He proceeded to tell me he liked me a lot. I was stuck. I didn’t know what to do. So I did precisely that. Nothing. I just left the conversation. It was slightly retorical at the end, so i figured it would be fine. false.
Two days later he texted me again. He was angry. Mad that I didn’t respond. He told me that he was going through a hard time those two days I was ignoring him. Called me a bad friend. Basically told me he didn’t like me at all anymore. I understand. I might be angry too. I probably would be. But I continued to apologize and he continued to bash me. I was so done. I offered him an apology and he turned around to told me I was a bad person. No duh. That’s why I said sorry. I knew this. No need to rub it in. And we’re Christians here. Forgiveness is kind of part of the the package.
Needless to say that friendship was basically done. I left one final explanation, and I haven’t talked to him since. I feel bad, I do, but at the same time I always knew that this would happen. In the end it might have been for the best. But of course I’ll never know for sure.
So here I am now. Sitting in my apartment soaking up the summer heat without AC. This past semester has definitely been one of the more exciting. I’ve gained friends, and I’ve lost friends. In the end, I feel like my ambitions are better sorted then they were before. But I’ve still got a ways to go. Looking forward to see what the future holds (as cliche as that may sound. ok, does sound. but lets be real here people).