I haven’t written anything in quite awhile. Not much has changed, while at the same time everything has changed. I started college; I’m going to school at Purdue. I am only just starting to get to know everyone around me. Marching band has been a commitment like I have never had before. With that, it is both a blessing and a curse. I feel like I am missing out on a lot of opportunities with my friends at my dorm, but at the same time I have been given a ton of opportunity. And I’ve gotten to the point where I can perform without pain. For the first three weeks it pretty much hurt to walk because my body had not yet adapted to the new marching style. – The way the band program breaks down everyone into small groups is cool. They really make sure that it will work for everyone. I am in Rank 1, so I get to march near the front of the parade, which is awesome as well. As I write this, my rank is probably getting lunch together at the world famous, Triple XXX, but I’m fine missing that, due to other things that I’ll write about later.

Outside of band I’ve been pretty busy with my classes. I’m taking ENGR 195H: Honors Intro to Engineering, MA 181: Honors Calculus II, and PHYS 172: General Physics. The engineering class really isn’t bad at all because I have so much prior programming experience. The hardest part there is jumping through all of the hoops that LabVIEW requires. Physics is a standard physics course, and calculus is just review up to this point. I could rant about LabVIEW forever, but it is a pretty good way for the engineering program to try to teach people how to program. I just have problems with visual programming. For years I refused to use Flash or Visual Studio because I thought it was cheating. I have since straightened out my thoughts, but I do believe that LabVIEW is more of a poorly designed toy than a real too, but that’s just me.

Even though I’m busy with band and my other classes, I have had a chance to join some clubs. I signed up for the Solar Car Team and Model UN. I hope that I can make them both work out. I loved Model UN in high school, and think it would be awesome to compete with people around the nation. I’ve been rushing too, but I have not yet decided what will come of that.

So, why am I missing the rank lunch, well, as I write this, I am actually sitting on a bus taking me from Iowa City to Chicago. I went home for the weekend and had a great time. Right now I’m on bus to Chicago, from which I will take a train back to Purdue. My dad left at 2:00am to pick me up from Purdue and arrived around 10:00am. I then got in the car, and we drove home. I arrived just before the Mohawk game and was surprised to see that a lot of my high school friends had decided to come to this game as well. Many of them were home from school so that they could go to the Iowa vs. Iowa State game the next day. After watching my home band perform, I got to go down for second half and play with them. They are a high school band, and certainly do not have the sheer power of the Purdue All-American Marching Band, but the atmosphere is awesome. It was so much fun to get to see all of them again. Instead of having to meet any expectations, they just have fun. The band performs, and performs well, but the core is just enjoyment, it isn’t the feeling of having to be perfect that I get from Purdue.

In addition to seeing a bunch of friends and family again, probably the icing on the cake of this weekend was getting to see Alex again. I don’t know if I have mentioned her in this blog before, and in most cases I try avoid mentioning anyone, but she is an exception. I am not going to go into a overly personal rant and change the nature of this blog, but she is incredible (talented, smart, and beautiful are the words I tend to use), and it was great to hang out in true High-Definition again. The low bit-rate video that Skype delivers had gotten old. Additionally, I got to see The Taffetas, a traveling show that she is in open for the season. Those of you reading this from Iowa should go and see it sometime; it was a great show. I hear there are two shows tomorrow and then one next week in Clear Lake. Much to her amusement, I was the audience member selected, but that wasn’t too bad (I say after the fact.) Getting home to visit is pretty difficult because of the fact that I’m in marching band and it is an eight hour drive, but it isn’t impossible. I’m excited for the next trip already. I could go on, but am going to spare the internet the true nature of my thoughts.

In summary, Purdue is good, band is hard, but my classes aren’t too bad yet. I went home for the weekend and got to see my friends, family, and Alex, and that was awesome. I could go on and on, but am always limited by what I see as my poor writing abilities and the fact that all of this is public and most of it is very personal information.

It’s interesting. I do not see my home as Purdue, and wonder when and if it will. It’s not like I haven’t connected, or made friends, I certainly have, but I feel like Iowa is my home and Purdue is just a place that I’m spending a chunk of time on my journey towards economic world domination through smart industry. I feel like wherever my close friends from high school go, we will stay connected, and I have enough resources and dedication that I can get to them whenever and wherever I please. Granted, close is always better, but the world seems a lot smaller than it did. Time is my only limitation.

Then and now, time is the only limitation, and now I have met the end of my time here. With that I must go.

Until next time,

Nathan

[EDIT] I wrote all of this while on the first bus earlier today. I had planned on posting it shortly after writing, but did not really get internet until now. Overall I spent about 14 hours traveling today. 14.5 if you count me not working out a ride to the dorm and deciding to walk. That’s six hours more than driving, but it was a lot cheaper and let me explore Chicago. Furthermore, it was kind of an adventure and I got to see everyone that I love. In the end, it was totally worth it.