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Thread: I've been wanting to post something for a while... so here goes.

  1. #1
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon

    I've been wanting to post something for a while... so here goes.

    I really wasn't prepared for what I had signed myself up for this school term. I've completely destroyed my life and replaced it with a soul crushing cycle of school, work, homework, and sleep scheduled in as 2-6 hour naps whenever I can get them. CoSaS? Gone. TTLG? Not a chance. COT2? Yeah, right. Anything at all resembling some sort of personal creative pursuit? Don't make me laugh. It's too painful to laugh.

    I don't really know what to say other than that I feel completely drained and really not myself. To make matters worse, in order to have time to do all my school work, I have to cut down my hours at work to the point where I don't even know if I can pay for rent at the end of the month. Yet STILL it doesn't look like my current work schedule is giving me enough time to get all of my homework done.

    I have to go in to work tonight (10 pm to 3 am shift.... negotiated down from a 10 pm to 8 am shift) and lock horns with my manager over my one year review on which I got a Satisfactory Plus on instead of Outstanding (which I of course deserve, and more.) It would mean nothing to me other than the fact that S+ is a 35 cent raise and Outstanding is a 55 cent raise.

    Then tomorrow at school I have the last lecture of my physics class before the test on Wednesday... like an arrogant moron I sighed up for the most advanced Physics I class (Physics I with Calculus for Scientists and Engineers). I had all the prerequisites, but most of those prerequisites, such as Calc I, were taken solitary. 3/4ths of the current project in my Design class is due on Monday, with the last fourth due on Wednesday. I've spent somewhere around 12 hours on this project so far, and close to $60 for tools and materials. Oh yes, and there's the Intro to Architecture test on Tuesday. 100 questions, multiple choice, covers three chapters. Good thing I know the difference between Ionic and Corinthian.

    But right now, I am all caught up... ready to face school on Monday, anyway. But I am so would up tight over talking to my manager, the tests, and the final portion of the design project, that I feel like it's impossible to unwind. I don't know how to relax.... not that I was any good at it before, but now I am really messed up.

    I want to go see Sky Captain and The Word of Tomorrow... I have two failed attempts at finding someone to go see it with (I can't seem to get in touch with any of my friends or acquaintances, except for the ones who I'd rather not see right now.) ... (I like talking in parenthesis.) I have gone to plenty of movies alone over the past year, but I really don't like doing it. Part of the experience is being able to enjoy it with a friend.

    Have I mentioned that I still haven't played Thief 3 beyond the first three missions? Not for lack of liking the game, I really do... it's just mentally impossible for me right now to engage in something like that. If I do play a game, it has to be something quick and easy and doesn't require much brain power, like Warcraft 3 or Max Payne. I love Max Payne.

    Speaking of Payne, er, Pain... I want to get Painkiller and play through the whole game on easy with cheat codes, because the architecture in that game makes my heart sing. It did in the four demo missions, anyway.

    And ... CoSaS isn't really gone. I am gone from it, though. No, I haven't quit or resigned, but the project's been unofficially put on standby and all team members gone back to real life for a time, because none of us are in a position to work on it now, either because they don't have time themselves, or because they need my involvement to do their thing. As a result, CoSaS Mission X, as close as it is to being done, isn't going anywhere right now, nor has it for the past month and a half. I know it's not nearly as popular, but I am also very excited about the way COT2 has been shaping up (you know, the novel, part 2 in the series, CoSaS is part 3) and am very frustrated that I no longer have time to work on it.

    And I've even started thinking seriously about two concepts for original novels I'd like to write, both inspired by various original ideas I've put into the COT/CoSaS story, which I'd like to uproot and transplant into something totally my own. Alas, if I am to be an architect major, these will never get written.

    I have 5.75 years of school left ahead of me... and it's going to get worse before it gets better... much worse. I love all my classes, but they're crushing me. I have no time for my creative pursuits, my day job is an unbalanced struggle between working enough hours to pay the bills and working few enough hours to give me time for my school work. It's a high point in my life, but never have I felt so would up, stressed out, worn out, and empty.

    That's a snapshot of me right now. A Digital Photo, if you will.

    ~ D

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: Wild West Wales
    Wow, your schedule sounds horrendous! Don't you get any financial support from anywhere other than your job?
    Would you be able to keep up with the studies and have a life if you were not also working?

    Good luck with the juggling act!

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Back Home
    Hmm....sounds a bit melancholy. I'm sure people wouldn't mind helping out with CoSaS (hint hint), but then we'd probably ruin your grand vision and a director's cut would be necessary.....I see it being a mess.

    Anyway, keep strong. Buck up. Stiff upper lip and all that.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: England
    Sorry that things are so crazy right now. I don't know how you have time to breath with all that's on your plate. It's a shame you even have to work with the full schedule you are carrying. I also worked while I went to university and I understand how intense it can get. Hang in there.

    *Hug*

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Location: On my bicycle \o/
    Not to worry. You'll be able to retire in 40 years or so.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2003
    Location: UK Portsmouth
    Drop a course...It will free up your time, yet still give you plenty of qualifications at the end of it with your other ones. Perhaps you have just bit off more than you can chew.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Newcastle, England
    You get multiple choice Architecture test exams? You pikey bugger.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: bourgeoisieasypeasy
    Yeah, but he seems to get more than two lectures per month

    But back to Digi ... in what world did you think you could work from 10pm to 8am and still retain any kind of grip on academia? Clearly you need the cash, but there must be a better way than that!

    Are you involved in some kind of weird-arse system where you get no financial support for university, so you have to get a job out of necessity - except since you aren't really qualified for anything yet you have to get a shitty job with awful hours which doesn't enable you to really concentrate on getting qualified for anything other than a shitty job meaning that you're not even gaining the proper benefit from the thing you're working your arse off to pay for?

    Because that would be kinda crappy.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: sup
    Digi, it sounds ridiculous but when University is all over, you'll wish you were back there again. Paradoxical, I know, but somehow it does make sense.

    + sympathy

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: Seattle
    Wow, you have both my sympathy and my admiration. Personally, I barely have enough energy to work 34 hours a week much less anything else (though I do intend to get a weekend blues band together at some point). I would say that if your schedule is truly unbearable that either taking fewer classes, getting some serious Financial Aid, or finding a better paying job is in order. Anyway, I hope you work it out.

    PS: Here is my very favorite stress reliever. Say it out loud, preferably where someone can hear you.

    "Oh, my beloved ice cream bar! How I love to lick your creamy center! And your oh-so-nutty chocolate covering! You're not like the others. You like the same things I do. Wax paper! Boiled football leather! Dog breath! We're not hitch-hiking any more! We're riding!"

    This must inevitably be followed by: "Stop it! You're talking crazy!"

    The original may be heard here. The recording is very useful in teaching the proper inflections to produce the full effect.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: USA
    Can you reduce your course load? I think that it would do you well--it could increase your time to do the rest of work, and depending on your school, reduce the cost of your education. You shouldn't sacrifice your happiness for a quicker escape from college. Happiness is all that matters.

  12. #12
    jtr7
    Guest
    My god, man!

    Feeling nauseous.

    Dunno what to say... just...

    I'm so sorry.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Any kind of (serious) work + creative stuff = bad idea. I've tried it before (on a lighter scale), and while lots of stress is good for ideas, the application of them usually has to wait until after things cool down, sometimes weeks later, sometimes months, sometimes more. Take notes, put 'em aside, and forget they exist until you have time to think about it without getting frustrated. Don't worry about us- each of us is being attacked by some kind of crazy life(just look at Comm Chat! ), so we can hardly talk if CoSaS or COT2 are a little late

    As for relaxing a bit... this is going to sound like a cliche (don't hit me), but cliches work sometimes: take a few moments to appreciate the little things. You have so many things that many others don't, and aside fom things like a house, good health (if not right now, heh), a job, an education, family, you name it, who else do you know has the support of several thousand people worldwide?

    ((paranthesies added whenever possible for your benefit ))

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Occupied Minerva
    That's a genuinely shitty situation. I'd recommend cutting back on work, but I suppose that if there were any means of doing so, you already would have taken it.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: best coast
    Welcome to my world!

    I can't do shit for myself when school and work and rowing are all on at the same time. During the school year I can't play a game or read a recreational book for more than five minutes without feeling guilty because I have too much other crap to do. Consequently, I just don't. There would be days when I didn't spend more than 90 minutes at home between 5am and 9:45 pm, and that time was spent frantically trying to get a grip on the reading for the next class. (And drinking coffee so I would make it through said class.)

    Encouraging, no? Likewise, it WILL get worse before it gets better. But the good news is that if you stick it out through a few near-breakdowns, it WILL get better. You'll grow used to the crazy schedule, and you'll learn how to manage your time really well. It took me about two years to really work it out, and then it really fell into place and it got a lot easier to handle.

    What you're going to have to do is decide if you really want to do all of this stuff. If you really want to, you can't back off, you have to be relentless in your work. It's hard and there's a lot of it, and if you let yourself lose too much momentum you won't make it through. But again, as I say, it will get better. You just have to get to that point.

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    You should all drop out of school and join a rock band. That's what I did, and now I'm rich, famous, and happy.

    Or you could, ya know, stay in school and stuff.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2004
    Location: Cape Breton Nova Scotia Canada

    I hear ya

    Good luck man!!! I lost my job, business packed up and left..bills; a son an ex and a crazy girlfriend... hang tight man.... things will get easier to manage if you just slog through it....

  18. #18
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.

    *Puts a fire extinguisher next to Dan*

    Oi, don't go nutto or worse on us now boy, it's a bitch, but remember she's your bitch. So smack her like one, RAWR!!!

    *Pats Dan on the back*

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
    Quote Originally Posted by Paz
    Clearly you need the cash, but there must be a better way than that!
    Don't say things like that to a Thief addict! You might give him ideas.

    I hope you get your stuff sorted. Studying full time + working is not fun. What are you studying, BTW? More than five years left?

    Gustav

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Bell
    Good luck m8! We all counted on you.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2001
    Location: Minnesota, USA

    ahem.

    Here's some advice.

    http://us.st5.yimg.com/store1.yimg.c...s_1811_7998589

    I'm sure you'll work it out.

  22. #22
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon

    The story continues

    Wow.

    Thanks for all the support, everybody. Any type of advice which contains something like "do less" or "quit something" isn't advice I can take. Aside from the pride issue, anything I don't do now I will just have to do later anyway, and doing it later isn't going to make it any easier.

    I talked to my manager, Chris, this morning at around 1 am. (Which is when we take our first break in the overnight shift.) Bottom line is that in spite of my insistence that I deserve a higher score, he stands by his choice. To paraphrase what he explained, while writing a review he refuses to look at any sort of big picture, or weigh factors based on value or importance, he just goes right down the line, does it by numbers and math, and the end result is the end result, no matter what they add up to. It's an easy, cheap, and bureaucratic way of doing things. Then I cut the crap and just said, look, the only reason I care about this is because I need a better raise. Things aren't cutting it as is, and this raise is simply not enough. So he says that he's going to go talk to Al, the general manager, about getting me a raise.

    I didn't say anything, I didn't think there would be a point to, but here's what I was thinking, and I expect Al to think somewhere along these lines. (Wait, no, that's giving Al too much credit. Al thinks in monosyllabic backwards hieroglyphs. Or monkey talk.)

    Chris has the authority to give Dan the raise he deems I am worthy of, based on Dan's scoring in the review. He gave Dan the score he intended to give, and the raise that comes with it. But Dan needs more money, so he's going to go to the big daddy and ask for more money for Dan just out of love - NOT because he feels like he deserves it. After all, if he felt like Dan deserved a better raise, he would have gotten a higher review score. Right? RIGHT? After all, Chris had the power to give me a higher raise in the first place, but he forfeited it. Now he's changed his mind about the raise, but NOT the review score? Huh? What!? Yeah!



    So I get off work at 3:30 (30 minutes later than I was scheduled, this is a common thing, I might add, me staying late to make sure my job gets done, ahem...) and go home and try to sleep before class. Failure. The stress of talking to Chris is gone, but I still had the stress of the big project that's due today... Well, it could have been worse... I could have fallen asleep and not woken up.

    I give up on sleep and go to school. I try to get coffee. The espresso machine is broken. So I get coffee. Yuck. Something is screwy with the lid and I keep dripping it all over my shirt. Great. I manage to stay awake through the Physics lecture, but don't ask me what it was about. Oh yeah, more on centripetal force, drag, and ... and ... and ... uhm. Oh, right, terminal velocity; the point where the negative acceleration of drag cancels out the acceleration caused by gravity, during free-fall through a gas or liquid. Or something like that.

    But then that's over, and I go to my design class, my finished product in hand. I sit in the back of the class along with my pal Sasha and unidentified blond #1 (UB1), and conduct hushed mystery science theater 3000-like commentary as each student goes up in front of the class, and presents their design, only to have the teacher pick it to death once they are done. UB1 is stressing out because she knows that her design is a pile of junk, and she is scrambling to come up with some bullshit presentation on the fly. You know, pretending that her haphazard construction actually meant something. Sasha, who had missed the previous week of school (she ran far away from Hurricane Ivan) was empty handed, and fretting largely as well. I, on the other hand, having not slept for roughly 24 hours, and having gone through an extremely stressful gauntlet of raise negotiations in the wee hours, am feeling insanely punchy and jittery.

    It's my turn, I get up, I give my presentation, finish, and the instructor, Miss Vanessa (a charming and beautiful young woman) looking a bit taken aback, simply says, "excellent, very good... " and didn't have any criticism for it. She briefly went over a few points that she especially liked, thanked me, I thanked her, and I returned to my seat. I too was taken aback. I was confident that my design was good, but I didn't expect to pwn the class like that. That's right, complete PWNAGE.

    After class I spent about 45 minutes going over with Sasha (another charming and beautiful young woman, I might add) what exactly she needed to do to get caught up, and explained what I thought to be the best and easiest ways to do things. Naturally, she didn't argue about any of it, and dilligently wrote down all of my advice. We had also planned to go get some lunch, (her idea, which I was more than happy to agree to) but then myseriously she was unable to, due to a laundry list of things she had to remember to do before her next class, at 1. Though she did beg me to continue my tutoring next Wednesday. I'll be sure to get something to eat beforehand.

    I am feeling pretty jazzed about the whole thing still, so I have decided to procrastinate on sleeping for a while longer, study some more for my Architecture test tomorrow at noon, and we'll see if I can't squeeze in my latest physics homework, and at least get started for the final phase of my design project, due on Wednesday (now we are supposed to create technical drawings of our creations.)

    Again, thank you for all of your comments and support. It is appreciated.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: IN/KY/TX
    Despite all the stress and sleeplessness, you are very lucky to be able to do all of this, and to be given such an incredible opportunity. Good luck, and I hope everything works out for you. And try try try try try, to have fun (if at all possible).
    "if I throw up a cat what will you throw up?"
    -DarkViper

  24. #24
    Distant Quasar
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: New Phlan
    I figured real life caught up with you...it's the usual suspect. Your first paragraph sounds very familiar. I am extremely drained right now and am so tired all the time that I seem to go through life on auto-pilot. Work, school, young child, constant threat of layoff - they've conspired to rob me of my motivations. Those of you who are full-time students, enjoy this time - no matter how hard you try, ten years down the road you're going to be feeling the burn too (unless you're a freakin' teacher). I went from a goofy kid taking two naps a day, and training for triathlons to a burned-out, overweight Mr. Mom. It just happens. My latest mission is languishing in a semi-comatose state; my Canondale is weeping from inactivity; home projects are piling up...I'm a wreck
    But, just like a Nor'easter, it will eventually blow away and the sun will shine again.
    - eep!

  25. #25
    New Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: In the dark.
    Consider putting a paypal button on the site.

    Lets face it, you have done a lot for the thief community, work that could well due be rewarded. This is not begging so don't let your pride get in the way of this idea Seriously, it is for us viewers too because if you work yourself to extinction then we lose this site and if we lose this site then we lose a valuable community.

    Think about it

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