The Anti-Drabble Update, Finally

So when I first wrote back in October 2007 that this site would be “mostly a slice of Kevin’s life again,” I forgot to mention how sparsely the weblog would be updated. What, it’s been since April 10, 2008 since the last bit? Ah, seems it’s time to give a rundown of what’s happened over these few months. Hit “Read more” if you’re interested, but pardon the disorganization ahead…there’s a lot to talk about.

After final exams ended for me on May 5, I headed straight home from Penn State two days later – post-arduous packing process of electronics and other delicate-but-heavy stuff. At this time, I had about two weeks to spend before going back to University Park to take a set of summer classes, just for the sake of getting ahead and earning several more credits (easing the load on my core EE classes this coming fall semester).

Fast-forward two weeks. I wondered if taking classes would even be worth the time, especially because University Park is downright dead when the majority of its ~40,000 students leave for the summertime. Even worse, this was the first of two 6-week summer semester blocks, when most of the collegians present are upperclassmen like me; very few freshmen come at this point to get a “jump-start” on their post-secondary career.

Once the initial silence broke through, it turned out that a number of my friends also came back for the first “Summer Session.” Without drawing this out too far, here’s what a typical weekday looked like (with the commentary):

– Wake up around 12:00 to 1:00 PM and get ready for class. Really, it’s that late of a start every day.
– Get to English 202C (Technical Writing) at West campus by 2:20 PM. This was a 0.75-mile bit that felt more like 0.25 miles. PSU structures and roads give me that impression for some reason.
– Practice writing résumés, memos, and other bits of engineering and business writing techniques; otherwise, watch PowerPoint lectures and complete grammatical exercises. To be quite honest, this was a fun class…much better than my MATH 250 (Differential Equations) course this past spring. My instructor, Mr. Skucek, had a lot to do with the quality of this Technical Writing course.
– At around 4:00 PM, walk back to East campus for the next class, KINES 048.
– Learn and tennis for about an hour. It’s true, this was a (beginner’s) tennis course, and I loved it and my instructor, Coach Morse. Some of the students played more like college pros than supposed newbies.
– Come ~5:00 PM, tread back to the dorms and eat dinner in the commons. Or head back to the room and hang out. Or eat dinner downtown. Or use more time…
– If I’m inclined, do some homework, and perhaps work on ART 003 (Visual Images on the Web) projects. Honestly, this was my least favorite Summer Session course because of the way the web-based instruction worked out; I’m not gonna grill the details, though. If you’re interested, see my complete ART 003 portfolio here.
– In the evening, eat dinner with friends or my roommate (if I hadn’t done so already), then hang out with them. Draw, listen to music, and just “kill” time in reluctance to do homework.
– If it’s a Thursday, go to the Life Sciences building and spend fellowship time with my Christian Brothers and Sisters of Harvest Global Mission Church. What a fantastic group of God-loving people!
– If it’s a Friday, invite those in the PSAOM who stayed at State College for a weekly meeting. Get plot writing and art completed while having a good time fantasizing about the alternative worlds of University Park.
– Finally, when the day’s done…do homework. Then sleep, hopefully by 2:00 AM.

So yeah, that was my schedule. Of course, there are some little tidbits that I ended up doing over those six weeks. Here’s a fast rundown:

– More mecha drawing opportunities. Some of the time was spent with a friend of mine’s, Catherine, also known as “kheleksul.” She’s a fantastic digital and traditional anime-style artist, so make sure you check out her DeviantART page here.
– More time for PSAOM work. We got a lot of writing done this summer, getting several later chapters started and filling in plot holes. Unfortunately, art is still lacking, so our members look forward to the fall semester for recruitment.
– Lots of video gaming! I ended up getting into Hideo Kojima’s fantastic Metal Gear Solid lineup, and also watched some people down the hall from me play the last installment of the series, MGS4. Time spent playing Pop’n Music 8 and StepMania (actually In the Groove PC) is slowly getting me ready for Otakon 2008…
– Time with my Harvest fellowship. That’s what’s great about having Brothers and Sisters stay behind.

Speaking of art, on the to-do list is a massive reorganization of my gallery, DeviantART is temporarily my new home, so take a look at any new updates there for the time being:

So, back on track: after the six weeks ended, July was already closing in. With no Summer Session friends to take up time or classes to deal with, I had the sudden realization that…there’s nothing to do. Obvious, but true. I mean, my parents and I went down to Penn’s Landing for the 4th of July weekend fireworks, and we also spent a weekend at New York City about halfway into the month, but few truly productive moments stood out. I had zero time to make a mech costume for Otakon (yeah, mecha cosplay is on hold again), and no projects as outstanding as the Pop’n Music controller build back in January came to mind. Basically, summer 2008’s been half-and-half. Work-laden, then suddenly empty. True, the biggest anime convention on the East Coast is about to start this weekend, but after that…what?

Regardless, I thank God. A lot. That I’ve been able to hold a fairly-constant devotional schedule each day. That my mom has let me work with her at her computer service company since July – even without pay, since the experience is what counts. That the Guatemala 2008 team used its two weeks in powerful spiritual work and growth. That my family group’s short-term missionaries made it back home safely (especially one who went to Kazakhstan and was interrogated by the police). That I could come back and see my Brothers and Sisters at my home church. That I can still work with the PSAOM storyline and get things done. That I’m home for the summer and can sleep for hours on end. Etc.

Lots of things to be thankful for, something I ought to learn to do more often, instead of demanding for more, like human nature tends to…

Well, one last update, for those who bothered to read this far: if you haven’t noticed, I’ve finally written a portion of the “About Me” page of this weblog. It’s in the format of a Q&A, albeit both parts are generated by myself. Enjoy learning more about the person behind this site (PEBKAC errors aside, hah). More will be added in the future.

Finally, huge props to mirage_cld (a.k.a. Clive Lee) for completing his second Gundam 00 costume, Gundam Exia! Think his full-shielded Gundam Dynames was awesome? You’d like this one; read more about his amazingly-realistic getup presented during Singapore’s Cosfest VII at “The F00L’s Progress” weblog (I still can’t get over the Stark Industries reference, especially after watching the Iron Man movie back in June…). Seriously, one day Clive should come here to the US and school the convention scene on what devoted cosplay really is.

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