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And…we’re back!

I just finished my first week of the spring semester. I’m in some pretty solid engineering classes. This semester I’m taking statics, physics II, engineering computations and differential equations. Sounds pretty hard, and after the first couple days I would agree. More on that later.

My first real holiday in almost a year. I did the summer freshman class this year, so my summer break was probably two weeks long. It was great to spend time at home, sit down and have dinner with the family. I miss that sometimes while here in Austin. I got to see a lot of friends who go to schools out of state, and it was great seeing them. Just half a year ago, we were seniors in high school, not a care in the world. Now we’re all over the place and rarely see each other. So this is a shoutout to all my out of state friends. Y’all don’t know what you’re missing.

Speaking of what they’re missing, my friend Patrick and I came back to Austin the Tuesday before classes. All I can say is that campus is extremely quiet. I’ve never walked through Jester lobby and have silence press on my ears. Even at 5 a.m., there are still a few stragglers outside the Wendy’s. Patrick and I drive up north to Rudy’s Barbecue. Anyone who’s been in Austin for a couple of weeks has heard of this legendary place. One look at the menu hanging from the ceiling and you know what you’re in for. Moist beef brisket sold by the half pound. Jalapeno sausages by the link. If I could choose one thing I loved about Texas the most, after the university, I’d say barbecue. Other things on the list include the Texas Double Whopper and pecan pie. We ordered one and a half pounds of moist brisket, two sausage links, one pound of pork ribs, a quart of potato salad, and a pint of creamed corn.

James and I stare down the sausage

At the end of that glorious meal, save for a little potato salad, it was all gone. I mean obliterated. A titanic clash of my stomach versus food. A perfect example of the food chain.

We started the school semester on a day of great change. That word is being thrown around a lot lately, and I think it’s good that Americans believe we can change. We’ve got a long road ahead of us. When I think of “change” I think of moving to alternate fuel resources. I remember watching The History Channel’s “Last Days” special program where they list the top seven ways the human race could suddenly become extinct. And the No. 1 reason was global climate change. When those scientists and professors were explaining, it made me think. Will it ever be possible for the United States to fully move to alternate fuel resources? I think that time has come and gone. We should concentrate on how to get quickly developing nations like China and India on the track to alternate fuel sources. When they show computer-generated pictures of the Florida peninsula being underwater due to the polar ice cap melting, it’s pretty scary. I mean, even though my parents’ house in Houston is 50 to 60 miles inland, a significant sea level change could bring water as far as 100 miles in. This is just one of the multifarious topics I ponder while taking my morning shower. That and what I would do if I had to choose between getting my hands and feet amputated or dying.

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January 23, 2009 | | Comments are closed for this post

2 Comments to And…we’re back!

The Sunday before classes started, I was walking in Jester and the wind was blowing and there was this eerie howling all over the place. Campus just isn’t the same without people.

January 28, 2009
— Doyin

So good to hear from you. I am the engineering counselor at Richland College in Dallas. What advice can you offer to new or transfer students–and what tips do you have from the “inside”–on how best to get into the engineering program at UT?

February 13, 2009
— John Harwood
photo of Joseph