Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Break??? ...or not. ;)

hooray! Spring break is here. In a sense. I no longer have classes. Instead I have: two midterms to study for, a big project, several research objectives, and an all-week conference to attend and listen to ppl talk about their projects.

To quote my FEM teacher Dr. Ghosh:

"Oh...spring break? Yeah, that's the time when you get to even more work than usual." :)

Thanks, professor...thanks...

And that's certainly true in this sense as well. In graduate school it seems every professor assumes you will be doing nothing else and so assigns some big project since of course you'll have the time. My family was going to come up and visit me. that's not going to work since I won't be at home long enough to spend time with them. :(

It's okay...they may be able to come three months from now. *forehead slap*

Well anyway. Now that we're through with complaining, I'll mention that I'm not too sad about the prospects. I'm most annoyed by the fact that I don't get to see my family. Otherwise, I have absolutely no regrets about being busy. It's one of those things that I love. So let's pray that this is a great week that allows me to catch up on the myriad of things that I'm currently behind on.

Another thing I'm very excited about is the garden I'm starting. So excited!!!! :D
Gardening/landscaping has always been one of those things that I absolutely love, and I'm gonna be converting my pathetically small patch of grass in the backyard into a vegetable garden this spring. Frost is still on which is unfortunate, but it hasn't stopped me from planning, buying seeds, buying soil supplements (just in case the quality sucks which is probably the case since it's a fallow little plot in the city). I've been throwing my compost on it all winter. And my tomatoes are sowed in sprouting trays upstairs! I'm very much looking forward to seeing them grow... (LOVE tomatoes!)

I also bought some house plants which immediately started blooming beautifully when I brought them home. I'm glad to see that plants still love me... :D

My mood has already improved seeing them in the windowsill. But I'm worried the poor fellows may not get enough light in this dark house and it's still too cold for the back deck...hmmm.

Well, my tomatoes are not much to look at yet, but here is a picture of my flowers which I brought home 6 days ago:

We have from right to left: dianthus, African violet, columbine, and the last which actually isn't a flower. It's a pretty bush called a Schefflera, very tiny right now, but it will hopefully grow bigger when I repot it. yay!

Living things are the best decorations in my opinion.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sudden Silence:

So today Johns Hopkins shut down. It was quite a surprise seeing as how it never shuts down for anything, but apparently the winter storm was expected to be quite bad. I'm not sure about that. I remember seeing a little bit of snow...right before I went back to sleep. When I woke up it was pouring rain and all the snow was gone.

So...I've been here...all day so far. Just hanging out on an unexpected weekday at my house. It's been nice. I actually ate a legit breakfast that wasn't five minutes to prepare. I made myself some chamomile tea an hour ago...and now I'm just relaxing...waiting for my quota I guess...until I resume my work again. Grad school feels sometimes like a never-ending process. The work is challenging and it's fun to be doing research, but these past few weeks have been more like undergraduate (except way harder) in that I've barely had time to do anything other than coursework and assignments. I'll be doing that probably next hour for the rest of the day. Just checked my email and there's another long one assigned. This is a bit disconcerting as it means that I am not accomplishing much of my research objectives...which my advisor has clearly stated is unacceptable. Well, maybe Saturday I'll have time to do something else. In the mean-time I'm gonna enjoy this next hour, maybe do some house-cleaning or something, then make some tea and a snack and get to work. :)

Unexpected breaks are the best...I can finally get some stuff done that I've been needing to do. I just hope I don't squander it. :)

well, cheerio! That's all I feel like communicating today. ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Return of the Tennessean-Turned-Baltimorean:

And with that age-old line of computer programs: "Hello World."

So let's just say I have this nostalgic bent. Or maybe it's just the beautiful, soothing blue, of my old blog. Whatever it is, I simply can't resist putting another post now that I've read my old blog for the first time in a long time. It's interesting how time just kind of froze over here. At least for me. Here's the old me...struggling through undergraduate, conscious about friends, trying to be funny, and my poetry is everywhere here.

And here's the new me. A graduated engineer, with a degree, passed the FE Certification exam, enrolled in a PhD program at Johns Hopkins and doing Glaucoma biomaterials research. Quite the contrast. I even own my own little rowhouse and my family live 12 hours away in Tennessee. I must say, I miss the countryside quite dearly--and the family. And yet...Life is...strangely...wonderful. It couldn't have turned out better in retrospect. I have followed where God led me, I have a great new church and network of friends I'm in the process of making, and I have the hardest classes I've ever taken in my life...not to mention full-time medical research! This is the kind of thing that was only a dim aspiration a few years ago. And yet...though life is wonderful...I must confess that it is not the extenuating circumstances and things that make it great, but it is the relationships, and the fact that I am at peace inside, and where God wants me that makes this place awesome. I can look back over all those years of development and see the ways God has challenged and changed me. It makes me excited to see why he has me here and what he'll do with me in the future! :D Now that I'm by myself and far away this might be the perfect time to occasionally update my blog. I'm not sure if any of my old friends will notice but we'll see! I'd love to catch up with you all. :)

And before I go, I'll give the typical Dan outro and provide a piece that I've written recently. This poem is an original Baltimore composition, and hopefully the first in a long string of new writing as I revitalize my old hobbies and habits. enjoy! This one is my tribute to the beautiful falls and winters of the North (sorry Tennessee) ;)

The rush of autumn colors arise,
clashing in their variety.
Like fire wending its way
Through the treetops of the North.

A dance of dizzying colors
Swirls around me,
A veritable shower
Of falling, flying leaves.

Wading through sunset,
Scarlet blazes with burnished bronze,
Yellows, fade to pale green,
In a dizzying array of winter preparation.

One could imagine that the trees
Were putting on a show.
A drama known only to them
Of the joy and heartbreak of the bygone year,
The climax and end fast approaching.

Each color represents,
The hopes, loves, and fear,
of each tree's experience.
Some display with exuberance,
Shouting their jubilation
In a blaze of crimson, gold, and ochre.
Others, fade in dismal desperation,
surrendering with a sigh of drab brown,
Welcoming the coming numbness of sleep.

But human life continues on.
Where the colors in the trees
Eventually fade into obscurity,
Humankind remains ablaze with color,
As if shouting defiance to a sleeping, white world,
Refusing to bow to the rhythm of nature.
But we will not last forever either...

When each of us ends our lives,
With years to count,
Loves, laughs, and sorrows to remember,
Will we celebrate with exuberance
As the trees so unabashedly do?
Or will we fade into sleep,
With a sigh of relief?
Another brown leaf,
Fallen on the forest floor?
The choice is yours.

10/27/12 11:52 PM
Dan E. Midgett

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Well, you know...

Well, you know. You know how it happens, how time just flies and all. All that to say I am very sorry for missing the past 6 months of possible posts. Well, never mind, I'm not really, but that's because I've been very preoccupied since last August. School and work pretty much nonstop...and loving every second of it. This semester, my new goal is to actually get enough sleep...yeah, I thought that was a pretty good one far so good, this semester is great!

Everything's still pretty tentative in my life, but I am getting more and more aware of my impending college graduation...son it'll only be a year away...that's kindof odd to think about. However, the closer I get the less worried I am. By now I'm so used to giving presentations, working, and organizing my life that I could probably graduate now and do okay. Over the past 2 weeks I've been compiling my life and its general awesomeness into a one-page sheet and have begun to send it and my college transcript out to internships for this summer. I'm really excited about this because it'll be my first chance to use all I've been learning in engineering out in the work world. One opportunity is in Biomedical Engineering and I'd be in Maryland assisting Engineers who develop now medical devices. Another is in San Diego CA and it's the one I really want right now. Over there I'd be assisting some famous Marine Biologists as they do...well, what they do, watch whales, do marine's a little fuzzy but I've always loved the idea behind the field. Exploration of the Ocean and investigation of life...all that jazz. Anyway...thought I'd update and ya'll know. I'm doing great and I'm getting really excited about my future. I can't wait to see where God'll take me next. Heck, I might even be married in 2 years or that's a weird thought...actually a bunch of my friends are engaged or married...and I'm like 21...hmmm. Yeah, I'm gonna stop thinking about that, as of now I still not even dating. Not that I don't want too...just haven't found the person I'm looking for yet. I AM interested in someone, but as of now, I still don't know her well enough to gauge whether or not it would work...still working on that! :)

Well, guess I'm done. Time for more of that homework... ;)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back at last!

So I'm back on campus usual I will probably only post once or twice during the school year, but I thought I'd let everyone know the case. I'm really excited about this new school year and what it might bring. New friendships, new knowledge, new opportunities. It's all endless really--and it's great.

I actually started off my first week by being absent Thursday and Friday though. Thinking back it may be my first time to ever miss class like that, but after this weekend I can honestly say I would have skipped 2 weeks of school to go to The Calling. It was one of the best experiences I've had in a long, long time, and certainly the best event of my entire summer. Kudos to all the men who worked at my church and from other churches...they were great. Basically, The Calling of Men is a 4-day encampment where older, godly men minister to younger men. The purpose is to teach young men what it means to embrace their God-given, Christ-destined masculine souls, in the face of a culture that is causing young men to lose their identity. The entire weekend we were being served and loved, but the real jewel actually turned out to be the structure of the camp. We were so busy there was almost no free time and yet no one seemed to notice, in an instant I felt so close to everyone around me, it was so connected that I felt like I was at home stepping off the bus when we arrived. The weekend just kept getting better and better too. We had about 4-6 speakers a day intermixed with sports and special activities and the topics ranged all over the map with biblical masculinity. Coming into the camp I had a billion questions and apprehensions about my future and all the events that are nearing in my life, like getting married, starting a family, getting a job. Coming out of the camp I feel like I've been given a very clear direction in life. I had heard a lot of the things mentioned because my Dad is great like that and always gives me very applicable life advice, but I've never heard it put together in such a clear, coherant way. For once, I'm feeling very at peace about the strange future ahead...and again I'm getting excited about all those possibilities.

This was a wonderful way for God to break the funk I got into last semester. Basically, I was working so hard last semester that I had no free time. My friendships suffered, my health suffered, my sleep suffered. In fact, practically everything suffered but my grades which turned out great, but that's the problem with me. My hyperfocus. Whatever is the predominant, important thing to me becomes the center of my hyperfocus, a focus so intense that almost everything else needing my attention suffers. It's not like I try to do this...I just do what I need to get done, but I now believe that there could have been a healthier balance to my ordeal. For instance, I was so absorbed in my school-work that whenever I did finish it all, all I could do was sit there and feel lost...because I'd forgotten how to use my free time. Up to my last final in the Spring I was pumped and diligent, studying for hours and pouring over problems and methods...making sure I knew the concepts backwards and forwards. Then, when I walked out of my last final I had this odd sinking feeling come over me, almost immediately after the thought of: I'm done! Came this thought: "Man, now what do I do with my life."

I had become so lost in my school-work that it had become normal to race through learning. It's all that I seemed to have time for. It took me the entire summer, and until this camp to realize that this mindset was still affecting me...and I had the hardest time relaxing without feeling tense about it until this weekend. Did I say it was great? I really can't describe why, but those older men really know something about the masculine soul, they knew how to engage us and challenge us. And yank every one of us out of the illusions we'd allowed to wrap around us. Mine was the all-consuming mindset, and I learned to relax and start developing myself in every direction again. It's a much better feeling than simply doing awesome at my schoolwork. I actually feel as if I'm returning to what I already knew which is funny, but in a way true. I've always been concerned about my growth in every dimension, the most important being my spiritual walk with God, and yet I was side-tracked somehow by the busyness of life. It's an illusion I hope never to be wrapped in again. I'm much happier when I'm growing into the man God always intended me to be...anything that stalls me in that is just not worth it. wouldn't you agree? ~Dan Midgett
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."