There was once the dreaded 16 Semester Hours of the undergraduate days, but this stint of 13 graduate hours, though somewhat shorter, was as tough or more so, given a 10-year college hiatus. In my insanity, I--for some reason unknown to myself--took Organic Chemistry, Genetics, Organizational Behavior, and Infectious Disease Epidemiology. So I’m basically a crack smoker. After a week or so of organic, I visited my graduate committee and respectfully beg--uh--asked if I could change course and go with more of a management focus. In other words, can I please drop the organic chemistry--sniff, sniff, whimper? Their sadistic responses amounted to saying, “Shut the whining and get on with it.” They were right. I was wrong. I made it through and appear primed to go all the way in the realm of biochemistry and molecular biology. I actually find chemistry, including organic chemistry, fascinating, but the Brainiac from the Planet Krypton who was teaching it--we’ll call him Dr. X--made it very intimidating. I learned and understood a lot, but there’s so much more I don’t understand. Stereochemistry is the devil.
But I also gave myself a break. I opted (whimped out) and decided on the non-thesis option. None of our ideas were really panning out towards a workable project, so I’m instead writing up a mishmash of special problems--molecular techniques comparison, bioterrorism, and a molecular CBT for med techs. I’m still sticking with my plan--a mix of science and management. The science foci will still be in molecular biology and related areas. No matter what, I will ultimately be an administrator, so I must keep myself immersed in this area. It doesn’t pay to ignore it.
On the music front, during the break I’ve been working on a project planned for nearly two years. My life seems measured by completed audio projects. Around 6 songs are semi-finished except for mastering. Many more are laying around on the hard drive much like parts of a thalidomide baby--maybe an arm, leg, or head--but lacking the entire body. I’ve found I’m not as efficient when I work on too many things at once. It’s better that I take one piece at a time, so I’m going to head back to that after this project. Sometimes it’s hard because of all the ideas swimming around in the noggin’. The real problem now is time. Quality and options abound because of my trusty Macs and software, but there’s not enough time with the strains and demands of adulthood and fatherhood ever present.
The year has been hell. In just over a year, I went to Iraq in the middle of the Sunni Triangle (where I was mortared just about daily); lost my Dad; flew home for two weeks and then back to Iraq to finish my deployment; finished in North Carolina and moved here; lost my Mom (back to NC to take care of her arrangements); came back here and experienced the wrath of Katrina; and then went through a semester of academic torture. Other than that life is great.