September 17th, 2003

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Missed SYATP, but going to Beall's memorial.

Darn. I really meant to go to See You At the Pole today... but we were doing it at 8am, and girlbody pain slowed me down so much I wasn't even ready until 9. I'm having a lot of trouble with prayer lately, both corporate and individual prayer. It's so hard to set aside time to simply meditate on God and talk to Him. My brain keeps telling me that there are more important things to do (like my homework).

I need to get ready for Herbert Beall's memorial service (it's today). He was my Chem I professor, and I remember when he was diagnosed with cancer almost 5 years ago. I'd probably be going to this service even if the choir wasn't singing there. But unfortunately, this also means I miss the first TRG meeting that I could have attended.
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Herbert Beall

I did make it to Herb Beall's memorial service this morning. The choir did a fine job singing, and a small section of the band played behind us. ramius5889, I thought you said you had quit the band. I know I saw you back there.

Thinking back to freshman year...

Professor Beall was my teacher for Chemistry 1010, in A term 1999. That was probably the last class he ever taught, since he was diagnosed with cancer during the term break. I remember coming back from break and finding out we had a different professor for CH1020 (that really short woman, I don't remember her name; I saw her there today, too). I was disappointed, moreso when my grades started going down; her class was harder than Beall's. But one of the things that disappointed me the most: Upperclassmen had told me that Beall always ended the term for CH1020 by singing Tom Lehrer's song "The Elements". This seemed so cool, and I couldn't wait to see it: but then Beall didn't come back. I was disappointed, and I felt very selfish about it. I mean, the man had cancer, and I was worrying about a little in-class entertainment?

Back to the present: the memorial service ended with a videotape of a lecture/presentation done by Professor Beall. It didn't take me too long to realize what this was going into. Yes, I finally got to see Herb Beall sing "The Elements"! I never knew the man well, but this gave me a satisfying sense of closure. It also made me appreciate once again the humor and good-nature of the man I saw every day for 7 weeks, and very rarely after that. It was Herbert Beall who shaped my first term at WPI, along with Professor Goulet, Professor Policelli (at the time, an adjunct), ctriv, Luke, and the Stoddard folk. All these people shaped my perception of WPI, of teaching, of friendship, and of myself, in ways that impacted my entire WPI career... and will continue to impact my life in the future.
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iTunes store and random other stuff

OK, so I found a legitimate (for me) use for the iTunes store. I signed up because I figured I'd do it eventually, and I have a chance to win an iPod, so why not? Well, after signing up, I searched for one of the songs I'm singing in my recital, "Green Finch and Linnet Bird". I've never heard anyone sing it, and I haven't seen whatever show it's from... and I'm having a hard time identifying with the character. So it was worth it to plunk down $1 to hear Mandy Pitinkin (oddly enough) sing it. Can't say as I like his interpretation, but it gives me a better idea what I'm supposed to be doing with the song.

I was going to post my thoughts on Herbert Beall here, but they got long enough that I decided to do that in a separate post.

Increasingly random news... I really don't want to work more on my readings for Intelligent Tutoring Systems right now, but it's either that, or work on my Suff... and I have to make comments on the readings by tomorrow night. Hm.. Guess I'd better keep going, then.

I went to WPI's career fair today. Spent a lot of time talking to alumni, both "behind the tables" as presenters and, unfortunately, a lot of them walking around looking for jobs, too. Found out I've got a little bit of an "in" at APC, but I'm not going to rely on that too heavily. It was also amusing to come up to the person at DRS and say, "Hi, I was working on your investor relations site less than a month ago." (For reference, this is their IR site; I designed the layout of the front page, but had relatively little else to do with it.) It would be nice if the career fair netted me an alternative offer to SH.com's future offer to me, but I'm not really worried, one way or the other. The only thing that concerns me is the still-present-though-much-smaller possibility that SH.com might not be able to afford to make me an offer. That would suck a lot, as I'd be out of a job again. All the more reason to NOT spend my meager savings right now.

I've also been thinking about adding/changing LJ user icons. I'd like to have a picture that actually resembles my physical appearance. Unfortunately, I'd also like this picture (whether a drawing or a photo; photo's much more likely) to be less than 5 years old. That narrows it down to about 2 pictures from my stay in London 1.5 years ago; and I don't like either of those pictures. Somebody with an artistic/photographic bent needs to take a bunch of pictures of me, or something.