Who do I talk to about feeling worthless?

Someone called it a quarter life crisis. I don't know about that, but I've been feeling pretty bad lately. I'm not really proud of anything I do. I don't really feel like anything I do is any good. I'm overcome with feelings of jealousy and worthlessness. I look at what other people are doing and I think "Why can't I be working on a project that is as cool as that?" or "I wish I was doing that" or just "Damn that looks good, I could never make something as impressive and real-looking at that." I suppose whatever you do, there's always going to be someone better, and I should deal with that. Or maybe it is just a lack of perspective. That's probably what other people would tell me. I hear how awesome I am plenty but it doesn't sink in. I know that, but how do I stop feeling like this isn't true.

Stress is part of the problem. I have so much to do I can't focus on doing anything well, and so I don't do anything at all. I'm overwhelmed by all the things I want to do, and so I do nothing. I slept 11 hours last night. I'm overcome by dozens of projects for work, booth, finding a job, my websites, puzzlestorm, dealing with other things in my life, etc. All the things I need to do can't even be listed. Thinking about the list right now makes my head hurt. I can't imagine climbing out from under this pile for months at least. I know I won't enjoy anything I do until I am free of this excessive burden and the thought of not enjoying anything in the forseeable future hurts.

So who do I talk to about this? What do I do?
Keywords:Depression | Busyness
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Wasting time I don't have

Well, what I said I would do... It didn't happen. We did end up working on Visual Story. We came up with a whole new concept (yikes!). At least it is more managable. We shot 2 of the scenes tonight. We have a lot to shoot tomorrow and then edit before it is due on Wednesday. That is why I have to be at work at 9am.

Tonight I stayed home and avoided more of that and Animateering because I wanted to get my overdue papers done. I ended up just procrastinating them more. Now I'm going to attempt the very risky stunt of waking up early to do it. That works before deadlines but since I don't really have one anymore I'm not sure it will. On the other hand 6 1/2 hours will be more than I got last night (2 1/2) and I don't really have other time this week because of how much I have left to do on Animateering and how little time. I can barely believe it.

I think I will be very proud and happy with whatever we end up with at the end of this, under the circumstances. Although I'm worried about whether we'll be able to make that include all the things we said we'd have done by then, and really should. If I had the semester to do over again I wish I could have done a lot of the work sooner or had more spare time. I'm not sure if that was just poor planning and procrastination or just the unavoidable outcome of a tough semester and project constraints.
Keywords:Procrastination | Busyness | Sleep
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9 Behind

I'm already 9 journal entries behind and they keep piling up. That's 9 days/things I've said I need to write about and haven't. They've gone on a list to be written and predated. If I get around to them, many of them will show up before this one. They certainly aren't the only things I haven't gotten done yet. I've got many whole huge lists of things I have to do, and many more things I just want to do. What would be great would be if I could pause time and get a few days to get things done without deadlines getting closer or having more things to add to the list. Then I'd be able to sleep too. I'm going to sleep now, since I'm only going to get less than 3 hours as it is. A promise: even though I know I have Animateering due at the end of the week and Visual Story due on Wednesday, if my Visual Story group doesn't find a way to need me today (I'm leaving it up to the rest of them to manage since I can only worry about so much) then I'm coming home early and getting some of this list stuff done and getting some sleep so that I can attack Visual Story and Animateering full force again on Tuesday.
Keywords:Website Projects | Busyness
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Day 4 and the Show

The BVW saga continues. Today was the last day, and the show. Unfortunately, today did not go as well as yesterday. Last night, groups were rehersing, fixing, and then cutting videos. It was going smoothly for a while. The problem was that there was no cutoff. The groups that were last thought they could take forever, and they weren't even the only ones who thought they still had more they had to do. What people didn't realize is that they might have wanted their worlds to be better, but if they wanted to have a show at all, I'd need a substantial amount of time to make sure I have all the worlds, sync the bits between all 6 machines, and test everything to make sure it is ready to run smoothly. It's my neck on the line when things break because of that roll I put myself into. I'm tired of Randy telling me I didn't test enough and that I need to be more paranoid because it isn't good when things break in a real demo. I was trying to do that. Trying very hard but I can't do my job if people don't want to let me. If I do this again next year, there are going to be some changes, including hard deadlines.

I ended up decided the deadline would be 4am. I said that at 4am everyone would have to stop and leave everything to me for 3 hours. After that if they wanted to do some more they'd probably be able to but they'd need to talk to me to actually get their changes updated. I went home for a record short 45 mins of sleep. When I got back, what I wanted to do did not happen. People were just always working.

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Keywords:BVW | Busyness | Organization
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BVW Disorganization

This Wednesday is the BVW show. Tomorrow (Monday) is the jury to decide which worlds get into the show. Today we spent all night trying to set up for tomorrow. The setup is really complicated due to the myriad of different setups worlds have. One world is so complicated that it single-handedly doubles the complexity of our setup.

As much as I should enjoy this kind of work, I am extremely upset right now. This is one of the standard things that piss me off. I like order and organization. I am known as someone who can do amazing things in a tough situation, but that is because by being organized you can break a hard job down to easy pieces. I'm only good in the way I am when I'm allowed to do what I do. Even though I'm willing to tackle a hard job I hate hard work. I can almost always break something hard down. I'm willing to do hard jobs when I can do them on my own terms, but I get absolutely furious when I'm not allowed to do things my way but I have to do the hard things the way others would. I feel like saying, "If you think this way of working is acceptable then you fucking do it," and then walking away, but I usually don't.

Dave is far too nice, I think. Yes, I am about enabling the class and letting them do interesting things, but I do not appreciate groups just deciding what is going to happen for them without consideration of how it affects others, least of all the TAs who are the ones they are expecting to do what they say. I hate that this is acceptable. If I were running the show there would be strict rules.

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Keywords:BVW | Busyness | Rants
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May the force be with me

Today Anthony Daniels, the actor who plays C3PO in Star Wars, came to visit the ETC. He had just been inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame. As cool as it was to meet him, the exciting part of the day was only leading up to that.

Yesterday I got CCed on an email from Steve to Dave giving him some old lightsaber demo files. I was clearly coming in in the middle of something that I didn't understand. I wasn't sure why Dave wanted the lightsaber demo, but I volunteered that I had the latest copy since I was the last to update it. I also boasted that I could probably rewrite the code in Panda in 3 hours now that I had an Alice to Panda model converter. Only then did I find out that they wanted the demo to show C3PO today. So I got stuck with the job of either rewriting it in Panda or at least making sure the Alice one would run.

I chose the tougher path. Before I could start, I had lot of BVW stuff I needed to do to get ready for the next day. At 2am I started working on the lightsaber. Converting the models ended up taking me 3 1/2 hours. I thought it would be quick but because the demo was in an old version of Alice, I had a few problems. First was fixing it just to run in the old version. Then I had to solve a problem with a function I was calling being wrong in the old version. Finally, I had to handle scaled models which I hadn't had to do before. Writing the code in Panda was really easy and fun. It was very quick, 6 hours plus 1 for tweaking. I finished just in time for our visitor. Randy and others in the ETC seemed really appreciative and impressed by this task in this time. "Miracle-worker" was a term I heard used to describe me. I love stuff like this.

As far as the demo itself, Anthony Daniels liked it. It was really cool seeing him turn to the R2D2 model and talk to him like C3PO. After playing the game he told us some stories about filming that scene and other things about Star Wars. It was a great day.
Keywords:ETC | Busyness
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This titles had a two-fold meaning: literal and figurative. Today, after Visual Story, Jesse held a juggling workshop at the ETC and taught all the first years how to juggle. I thought it was impossible for me to learn, but I am starting to getting. I was very surprised that in a hour and a half I could consistantly throw and catch 3 balls. I have started working on the forth throw (4th throw is the first ball again, still only 3 balls). Once I get that I think continuous juggling will be the next step (since 4 returns me to the initial position) and won't be too hard.

It seems ironic that the ETC would want to teach me to juggle since it is also what they require me to do with all the work I have. In fact I'm not sure which is harder and which is easier. I've been ok keeping up with my 3 classes so far (although I'm worried about where improv and particularly visual story is going). The tough part is TAing BVW, being on an ETC, and balancing the rest of my life.

BVW has been going ok. The struggle for me is to manage all the VR equipment. This are kind of crappy and I don't have a lot of time to invest the hard work to make stuff good. Also I don't really have the tools and equipment at the ETC. At Stage3 at least everything was there and semi organized (or at least in a small space). In addition, I'm supposed to prepare the AIBO and I'm not sure what I should be doing.

On Animateering, the project I was assigned, we only recently decided what we wanted to do. We have a quarter presentation due in a week (has it really been a quarter of the semester?).

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Keywords:ETC | Busyness | Worries
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If you've been in contact with me lately, you know that I've been very busy with this experiment I have been running. You may even know the significance of the phrase "Report your status, Bravo Leader." Basically, I have been running a lot of subjects through this experiment. It requires a lot of work on my part, but it also require a lot of sitting around and waiting. I've taken up drawing as a way to pass the time. I thought some people might like to see the doodles I came up with.
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Keywords:Stage3 | Projects | Art | Busyness
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I'm sure you've all been waiting anxiously for a new entry. It's been a really busy time since I moved, and I just haven't had the time. I'm all moved in. The house is pretty nice. Not enough people have come by to see me here, but I don't spend much time at home anyway. I spend a lot of time at AEPi just because it is on my way home and my friends are there to get food or play video games or talk.

I've been working really hard. I may have mentioned it before, but basically my goal this summer is to top every expectation Randy could have for me so that he'll have no choice but to hire me for the year. That's pretty hard to do since Randy's expectations of people aren't based on thinking they are people with human limitations but tools to accomplish what he wants done right now. I suppose having people work for you like me, who you don't have to manage too much, is a good thing, but it can cause you to underestimate the difficultly and effort involved and thus underappreciate the good deal you have.

As part of the DARPA project I'm working on, I'm running an experiment. This is an extremely difficult experiment to run. I have to make the code changes, find the subjects, run the subject, crunch the numbers, and if they are bad decided how to fix it. Running the subject alone take me 1 1/2 to 2 hours and requires a process with about a billion steps. This week is the CVE (context validation experiment) where our collaborators from Honeywell are visiting. Basically that means that I was up running subjects until 1am, I worked (mostly running subjects) continuously today from 9 to 9, and I'll probably do the same thing tomorrow.

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Keywords:Stage3 | ETC | Busyness | Nostalgia
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Between coming back from a vacation, this beautiful weather, and the fact that I'm dropping out of MIT after this semester anyway, I'm really unmotivated to do work. School work specifially. In fact I'm quite motivated to be active and get things done now that spring is here. I'm ready to turn over a new leaf and really try to make something of myself. Yet I have no desire to work on all the many projects I have stacked up against me in my 2 classes.

On Thursday I go away again, but until then I have a Sensors problem set, a 15 minute paper presentation in Ambient Intelligence, and a project update to give for that class as well as work that needs to be done on the project. After I get back, I've got tough projects for both classes to do, and a couple more paper presentations.

I wish I could just quit now, and move right now to Pittsburgh and get started. I suppose I probably could, technically, but I think the right thing to do is still to finish at least this semester that I started, especially the project that Alex is depending on me to help with.
Keywords:Busyness | Media Lab | Procrastination | Spring
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Teacher's Pet

I've never thought of myself as an especially good student, but I feel like I'm doing pretty good now. It is a high pressure environment because we are expected to get all A's in our Media Lab classes. Also, having only two classes, albait hard ones, to split my time between, and no social life, makes it easy to work hard and get a lot done.

Although last minute my analysis for the first paper we had to read for Context Aware Computing got me an A+.

I can't remember the last time I've seen a grade like that. Following that I spent most of my weekend working on my first project for fab class. The project was to come up with an idea for a final project and model it in 3D and then animate it doing what it is supposed to do. We could use any package we wanted, but if we didn't know any, Blender was suggested. Since I only vaguely know Max and my cracked copy seemed not to be working, I decide to learn Blender. Although I'm not sure I'll actually want to do this for my final project, I decide to render my haptic fountain idea. The idea is a fountain that is a grid of water jets. The height of the water is controlled by one of those pinart toys. When you make an impression in the pins, the water duplicates the shape. I think I worked a total of 30 hours on this project over less than 3 days. Over 12 hours two days in row. I don't know if I spent more time than most or am just a faster learner but my animation seems to be the runaway winner. When it played people were very impressed, both in general and that I was able to it with such an opaque tool (there were quite a few problems people had figuring it out) in my first week of using it.

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Keywords:Classes | Busyness
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The Great Outdoors

Tomorrow morning we're hitting the road. Yes, it is that time of year again for my 2nd annual camping trip. Last year was great. This year will be different, not necessarily worse or better. Last time it was just the 4 of us and in terms of camping know how, I was certainly up there. This year I'm bringing along a crew of weathered outdoorsmen. Seven people this year is few than I expected but perhaps just the right amount. I spent *sooo* much money today on camping gear, but I least I own this stuff now. It will make next time easier.

I should be able to enjoy this, but there are 3 things that I'm worried about: weather, work, and women. I'm freezing now, in my room, so I can't imagine what tomorrow will be like. I heard there might be snow, right now I think I'd take snow just so there isn't rain. As far as work, I've been working so hard which would seem to suggest that I need this break, but the hard part about working hard is that I don't get time to get ahead or to work on the things I want to, or just to relax. The trip may be fun, but if I am in the same situation with work after having 3 days off as I was before, I don't know what would be the point, and I might just crack. Finally women. As fun as camping will be, the only thing I've been able to think about lately is the girl, and so 3 days without getting a chance to try and see her or get to know her, isn't really what I want right now.
Keywords:Camping | Busyness | Girls
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Scheduling time for madness

For those of you who haven't seen my schedule... So I'm officially insane I think. I do too much. I wish I could deal with classes. I really envy people who can. I should be writing a paper now, but no, no I'm not. I wish I could be a good student, because I always had friends that were and I never felt good enough for them. But I just can't get into my classes. I don't really care about them. Everything else I do is just so much more enriching and rewarding. Why do I even have to take classes? Somes I wish my teachers would realize that the other stuff that I do is actually much more important than their class and cut me some slack, but that won't happen.

Speaking not being able to get into my classes, I finally got into my computer engineering class. Funny story. I got 101 on the first exam. It was supposed to be out of 100 but problem 1, which was supposed to be out of 35 points, if you added up the parts, was actually worth 36. Apparently the TA's noticed it when grading but thought it wouldn't matter because no one would get 101. I did and apparently there was some pressure on the grader of the last problem to take off points so I wouldn't. Anyways, in class all the TA's are giving me shit about it, and the professor decides to announce to the class that someone got 101 and then look around the room for me. Luckily he didn't see me, even though I was right in front of him in the second row where I always sit. So after the class I go up to him and ask him, "So can I be the class now?" He laughed and told me that there must be an open spot in some other section and go talk to Dean Kale and get in but still go to my lab section with my partner.

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Keywords:Classes | Procrastination | Busyness | BVW | Injury
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Thought Repository » Busyness