Another stressful day. A stressful week, in fact, as noded previously. So many things on my mind, so many worries. At times, I wish that I could just avoid it all, that I could be happy by not thinking so much, by not trying to do so many things. But I know what that it like, I have done that, and the guilt (over not doing enough) and the boredom are too much. Looks like I had better get used to this.
Last night I slept about three and a half hours, same as the night before. I wish I could stop this, that I could get to bed earlier, get a little more sleep. It would be so easy to blame it on Everything, but if not for Everything, I would be spending my time during the early hours of the morning reading other web sites. This has been a problem ever since I stopped drinking, about a week ago. I didn’t drink that much, but I was drinking for all the wrong reasons, and frequently by myself, while noding or before a certain class, so it is a good thing that I stopped, I think. The one good thing about drinking is that I was able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour and get a decent night’s sleep after a couple beers. Now, I can sleep well enough, I just can’t fall asleep so early, and I have classes in the morning that I have to go to (attendance is figured into the grade), which prevents me from sleeping all morning. Looks like I’ll have to get used to more coffee, earlier in the day.
Woke up at eight, went to breakfast, went back to bed for 20 minutes, got up, made some coffee, went to my first class, Beginning Photography, which went reasonably well. The smell of the chemicals is starting to irritate my eyes and nose, which never really happened during high school, when I spent two or three hours a day in the darkroom. (Why I am in Beginning Photography with this much experience is another story.) Class fails to inspire. Maybe I should sit in one of the chairs instead of the much more comfortable couch – perhaps I would be more alert that way.
Went to a vigil for the people who have died as a result of the bombings in Afghanistan. About ten people showed up, which, given that there are 900 students on campus, and given their attitudes, is pretty good. Last night Jill sent out an email to the entire student body, announcing the vigil. Within about an hour, someone else had sent a response, again to all the students, saying that anyone who cared to sympathize with the enemy deserved to die, and that anyone who attended such an individual was being unpatriotic and unAmerican, and deserved a similar fate to the terrorists. This email removed any doubt from my mind as to whether I would go to the vigil – nothing like an obnoxious person telling me that I am wrong to make me care more about what I feel is right.
The vigil helped me deal with it all. It is good to see that there are at least a few other students on this campus who care about what is going on, and now I know who they are, so I have some people to talk with about these things.
I do not side with the terrorists. Their actions disgust me. But bombing an already devastated country does not seem a good solution. Killing civilians does not bring us any closer to finding the terrorists. If the terrorists must be killed because they cannot be captured and jailed, then those deaths are justified.
Ok. I oppose the killing of people under any circumstances. I think all war is wrong. I am a pacifist. And I am one of the 50 Americans (excluding those on death row) who oppose the death penalty. I guess I’m just weird. But at least I’m right.
My afternoon class, Urban Economics and Politics, went reasonably well. I am finally understanding economics, though I still have a hard time believing it. I just can’t accept that it is ok that capitalism is an amoral system.
I listed all of the books mentioned on October 7, 2001 on eBay. I won’t sell all of them – the opening bid for the best volumes is enough to scare most people away. It does get rid of the stress for a while, and I will probably have enough money to go buy more books next week. (Yes, I am such a bibliomaniac – but I enjoy it.
Went to dinner, sat down with Kayja, who I really haven’t had a chance to talk with in about month (and, who, incidentally, is an incredibly nice, smart, and interesting woman). Didn’t talk much. Both of us were tired, and the cafeteria was unusually loud, and her roommate was sitting next to me. I don’t know what to make of it all. She is very friendly, outgoing even, but also very shy. And I am not sure what to make of the way she was looking at me. Must find a way to talk with her when there are not people around.
After dinner, I studied C++ some, and called my mother after reading the email she sent me. She was obviously worried, because she thinks that I am not studying enough, and that I am spending all my time buying and selling books, which is incorrect. I also spend time on E2. I told my mother that it would do much more good if she worried about my sister, who is a freshman at Bowling Green State University. I told her that I have been studying enough, which is basically true, and what she needed to hear.
I printed some black and white photographs, some of which will go out on postcards to lucky everythingians. After that, back to my room, to my computer.
Right now, I am afraid. I am afraid of the actions my country is taking against Afghanistan. I fear that civilians will be killed, in large numbers, and that bin Laden and the other alleged terrorists will not, much like Hussein, in the Gulf War. I worry that this action will drag on for years, that many Americans, Afghans, and others will die needlessly, I worry that if this war continues, there will be a draft, and that I will have to deal with the possibility of going to war. I could never kill another individual, nor participate indirectly in such an action. I am afraid of how I might respond. The only thing that keeps me sane is that knowledge that, as this is not in fact a war, acts of treason (like draft dodging) are not punishable by death. Unless draft dodging is somehow seen as terrorism, which, as things are going, it might.