SpringMonday, March 17, 2003 @ 6:00 am
Man, the weather was nice today. Today, of course, being Sunday the 16, I really have to teach my journal, just because I'm writing this at 6am it is still yesterday. Anyways, It was beautiful out. Very sunny and really warm. I'm not exactly sure the tempature, but I wore shorts and sunglasses for the first time this year, and I was still hot. Two main exciting things happened too.[ Keywords: Booth | Politics | Anecdotes | Classes ]
First we got started on booth. I'm SOOOOOOO excited for booth, I love it. Today we went to the newly clean storage (I did that last week) and set up the platform that is the floor. It was a great day for being outside and doing that kind of work, and just hanging out outside with my brothers just made it very fun.
The other thing that happened was an anti-war protest. We were working on the porch, and being that we have the best location on campus we were in just the right place to see hundreds of people protesting war block traffic crossing Forbes in front of our house. It seems it started at CMU and I did know a few of the people. I'm pretty against that sort of thing. First and foremost I'm against protests. I don't see that they accomplish except to strengthen the resolve of those involved, but I don't think it gets them any more support or credibility. Media coverage of protests usually make the protestors look like quacks, or at least to me. Maybe I can't be convinced since I always come up with a strong position on an issue even if I don't actually care that much. In this case, I'm not going to say that I think we should go to war, but I'm not against it. War is an awful thing. However, stopping your opinion there is a position for children who still think of all issues as black and white. Adults need to understand that it is sometimes neccessary. Furthmore I trust the system in place to make those decisions. I don't have the time to become acquainted enough with all the issues to make a good decision, and I doubt these protestors due, that's the purpose of a representative democracy.
Beliefs asside, some crazy stuff happened. The first time the marchers walked by, one car tried to push through the line. Of course some protestors intentionally tried to make it hard for them, and then complained about the guy trying to hit them. It didn't help that there was a kid nearby, which I think is the worst thing of all, getting your kids involved in such a protest. They are too young to need to care about such things, they can't fully understand it, and it is dangerous. Some guys from a fraternity down the street decided, since it was a nice day and they were just sitting outside anyway, to make anti anti-war protest signs. They said things like "Bomb Iraq, we want oil", "I drive an SUV", "Honk if you love war", and "Nuke Paris". It was clear to me that they didn't really mean those things, but obviously were protesting the idea of anti-war, if not actually advocating war. When the protestors came back by that way, the march almost stopped there. For a while it did and things started to look ugly. Protestors were getting mad at the pro-war guys, who were doing pretty much whatever they could to piss the extremists off. They were smart though, and didn't start a fight, even when protestors came onto their lawn. Then the police showed up with clubs and rubber bullet shotguns and tear gas launchers. Probably a dozen cop cars filled the street. It was pretty surreal. There were a lot of spectators also at this point. The protest moved on, except for a few who stood opposite side of the street from the pro-war people. It was basically over, which was good. I had an interesting talk with an anti-war rallier, who's interest in peace seemed to be genuine as she had no interest in getting in the fight that might have been starting. She confirmed for me that the goal of a protest wasn't really more than I thought it could accomplish, mostly solidarity with other people like them, though I don't know if that is really worth the whole thing.
All and all, I think I learned that apathy, is a perfectly valid political position that I shouldn't be ashamed of, but should be willing to stand up for. We may have been standing up for one side of the issue when we were honking for war, but really we were standing up for the government, the defacto position. If you're for things going the way they are you don't have to be politically active or protest to support your position. But it was nice to be able to stand up for that when it was neccessary in the face of the people disagreed. I have no problem with their dissent, maybe with their methods, but I still don't have to agree.
Despite the wonderful day spent outside, I have a big terrible project that I should have been working on. I have been working on it through the night, the reason I'm up so late. It isn't close to done, and I certainly have my work cut out for me today, but now I need to take a break. I'm really worried because this project isn't something we really learned how to do in class. It isn't really that I don't know how to do the types of things that it involves, but the specifics of the project are both vague, so that I don't know what is expected of me, and contrived, so that I'm forced to work in a different way to solve the problem then I would a real problem like this. I don't like that because a failure on the assignment, doesn't mean I don't posses the debugging skills that this project is aimed at teaching/testing. I don't think I will do well, and my partner may even drop the class. I can't. D is for diploma but R is for summer session, and that would not be very good.
My mom and stepdad and baby sister are coming to visit me this weekend. I'm very excited to see them, have other people meet them, and be able to show them how I live and what I do. It will be a good way to relax from work and start spring break, yet in a setting where I am comfortable.