I think this is probably the page that I've had the hardest time nailing down. I think part of that is because I want this page to reflect who I am, but in order to do that I have to really figure out who I am. Obviously, as a student, school (I have actually graduated from Dal now, but I still think of myself as a student in a lot of ways) occupies a large portion of my life. In addition, I work, and that takes up some of my time too.
I feel though that I should say something more about myself other than just, "I work and go to school". That doesn't really say anything about who I am or what I'm like. I hope though that at least some of my personality does come across in these pages.
As far as hobbies are concerned, photo is a big one although I don't have the time right now to develop it as much as I would like to. Other than that, I also juggle, but again this has been put on hold more recently because of work. I was an executive at the Bluenose Juggling Club, and I try to make it out when I can. I also play chess but I did that more often in Russia as my roommate Steve also played so we'd play to kill time fairly often.
I enjoy reading Russian Literature, probably because of the large amount of exposure I've had to it. By far, I've read more of Dostoevsky's works than any other Russian author's but I also enjoy Lermontov. From the 20th century I would have to say I find both Zamyatin and Zoshchenko interesting. If I were to make some literary recommendations then I would suggest:
Anyone that knows me will notice that all of the books listed above were on a reading list for one of my courses I don't feel that the list is de-valued in any sense because of that fact. In actuality, I feel that one of the reasons for this is that I have a far greater appreciation for the works above because of the fact that I spent time analyzing them rather than just reading them for entertainment. I think one of the most powerful things about these books is also that many of them are dissident writings. I think that dissident writings can be some of the most powerful works that you can find because they represent something that the writer felt was so powerful that they had to risk their own life to write it down. Another large portion of the list is taken up with works that are the product of harsh experiences and suffering.
I'll try to keep my movies list shorter! In fact, I'm going to cut it down to the two most powerful movies that I've ever seen in my life. Yes, both of them are Russian:
There, I did contain myself. I've seen plenty of other good movies but those two are the only ones that have left a real mark for me. Both of these movies go beyond excellent photography and story and transcend to something that no other movie I've ever seen has managed to reach. I could list many other movies that are equally well filmed (if not better) but I think the real key here is that both of these films have truly incredible stories that will grip you and stay with you. If it's possible for a film to change someone then I'd say that these two films are the only ones that I've seen that have truly pulled it off.
As far as music is concerned, I can't really narrow my tastes down that well. I listen to all kinds of music and like many different genres. Currently I'm trying to expand my tastes into some areas which I enjoy but don't have as much experience with. For me this means I'd like to listen to some more classical music and more jazz. That's not to say that I don't like other kinds of music, I'm just finding that enjoy classical music and jazz but I haven't listened to it as much and don't know as much about the artists and composers. I'd like to have the chance to listen to some more music in those genres so that I could be more certain about what I do and don't like. When I was in Russia I had the chance to go to a few operas and concerts and found them quite enjoyable and I'd like to have the chance to experience some more.
Currently I'm searching for my drive. I find that I can't really pin down something that drives me. This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that I've hit it a couple of times, I just haven't been able to maintain it. During my first summer working for Chebucto for instance, I had no problems with working insane hours (like 9am-11pm) if it was needed to get a project done. I felt excited by my work and felt like it was important. Since then though, my work changed and so did the environment and I found that I was no longer nearly as driven by it, or even really as interested in it. At times I would get given something challenging that I would really dive into but other than that I would just do my work without too much excitement.
I think that part of my problem is that when I start something I have lots of ideas about something and am very excited with the possibilities. Then, after I get going for awhile, I become disillusioned and find that a lot of what I originally thought just isn't possible for various reasons. A lot of times I find that all that really keeps me going is my constant dreaming of what I could do in the future. So basically, I seem to be always very enthusiastic about the future and have a lot of different ideas for things I could do later on but really I'm just dreaming about the future and am stuck unsatisfied with what I'm currently doing. Maybe if I just stopped looking ahead and just stopped for awhile to look at what I have right now and appreciated that then I'd be happier. Or, maybe I have to just stop dreaming and planning and just go and do something. That's something else I do a lot, is plan things out in incredible detail. If I'm really interested in something I can spend ages on planning how I would do it and make it perfect. Of course, when I then get around to doing it I wind up being disappointed because it doesn't measure up to my ideal. If you are always looking for perfection then you are always disappointed. On the other hand, if you go into the world with no expectations then your never disappointed. I found that out when I went to Estonia. I just went on a whim really, and whenever a complication came up (plenty did on that trip), I just went with it and dealt with it. I just kept telling myself, "look, you're in Estonia for a week, don't waste it." I found that I was able to keep my mood up with that and actually enjoy what was happening at that moment. I guess that's the lesson I have to take with me through my life, you have to enjoy today because tomorrow never comes.
I think that's enough of a peek into my psyche for now. I tend to find it difficult to write because I generally don't feel prolific and so then I don't write (I don't have anything to write). But when the mood does strike me, or once I get my momentum going then I can write for ages just as a stream of consciousness. I've written a lot of this page in this style, which means that this page is a first draft. When I am in the mood and able to write the words flow from my mind and often I have to struggle to keep up with the pace of the thoughts. I've tried to do it with a pen but it usually doesn't work and I find that I can almost watch my hand crawl across the page and I can feel ideas fleeting away because I couldn't keep up. I prefer to type because I can type pretty fast and it allows me to keep up with the stream much better. However, I think that to go back and proof read or edit my text in any way after the fact somewhat cheapens the process. The way in which I write is on the spur of the moment, and I write what I think at that moment. After that, the context of the moment has changed, so to edit it would also edit the original flow of the thought. If I edit the original text then my representation of the original thought at the moment I wrote it is changed which then seems to in some way change the moment itself, or the thought. That, to me, cheapens the original moment or thought to some extent, as if to say that it wasn't good enough in the first place. That's not to say that sometimes I don't read some of my material later and find it lacking or not as significant as I originally thought but the point is that I felt that the thought had significance when I wrote it. To change it later removes that original significance. Since the writing I do this way (the only other writing I do is essays really and they don't follow this same process nearly is much) is to record my thoughts then the whole point is for me to find the words to express the thought when I conceive it. The whole point is to try to capture the significance of that thought at that time. Later it is almost given that some of what I wrote will seem insignificant or even silly, but how does that change what I thought at the time I wrote it?
Because of this process though, some of my text does not flow as well as it could. The mind is a strange beast and it wanders quite a bit. I apologize if this page seems a bit random but I felt that the only way that I could truly capture an essence of my personality would be to write in this manner. It truly reflects who I am in a way that I can't really express directly. The other interesting point is that I tend to examine myself a lot when I write in this way which helps even more to see who I really am. In reality, I am writing this page as much (if not more) for myself than for any other person. The fact that I make this page public is secondary. I wanted to put more personal material on the web as I found that it was the most engaging material that I would read on other people's pages. My goal in writing these pages was to create a more content-based page, and one of my sources of content is my own thoughts and personality, why not use it.
I'm also a procrastinator. I feel I should qualify that some, I procrastinate on projects that I don't really feel like doing. Generally though, I am a productive procrastinator. That is, that I put off what I really should be doing (like an essay) to do something else that I would rather be doing. In some ways this is probably a less pure form of procrastination. If I were a true and secure procrastinator then I would be secure in my lack of activity and that I was putting off what I really should be doing. Instead, I'm not secure in this and I feel the need to justify putting off the thing that really needs to be done. The problem is, that I tend to never be happy with what I have and always want to do something else. I find that when I'm busiest and can't do other things is when I have the most motivation to do other things. But I can't do them then and I get frustrated that I don't have the time to do what I really want to do. But when I do get the time then I no longer feel the motivation. I always want what I can't have, and then when I get it I don't want it. However, I find that if I really want to do something else then I can't really focus on anything else. Given my general problems with motivation, if I have the opportunity to do what I really want to at that moment I have to take it. For instance, right now I should be doing research for an assignment but I would rather be writing this page. Since I have the motivation and the ability to actually work on this page right now I have to take the opportunity. Later, when it is more opportune to work on the page I won't have the inspiration and so I have to write while the inspiration strikes me.
Will anyone really read this page? Will anyone else find these random thoughts of mine as interesting as I did when I wrote them? Well, I've already said that this page is being written for me and my own sanity (or lack there of, sanity is over-rated). If you don't want to read it, your loss.