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
"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."