Rejected

Today I received a letter from New College Florida, likely the best school in the state, declining my application for Fall 2007. The reason they stated was that they received a record number of applications and couldn’t accommodate everyone who qualified. It seemed like a standard bulk form that they probably issued to everyone they refused, irrespective of actual objections. I’m all too familiar with the ways of business.

Regardless, I will be contacting the admissions department tomorrow to see about reapplying for Spring 2008. In the meantime, I’ll take primer classes at the University of South Florida or the local community college. Additionally, both Stanford and MIT offer free online courses in my field of study: cognitive neuroscience. I’m determined to pursue my academic interests one way or another. The turndown from New College has given impetus to my ambition. There is opportunity in every setback.

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Still reading

I finally finished The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins and have moved on to The Mind & The Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D., and Sharon Begley. Schwartz is a neuropsychiatrist who studied philosophy premed and has a special interest in Buddhism. I bought the book primarily to gain a better understanding of the inner workings and deliberate changeability of the mind and brain (precisely what the title suggests). Little did I know when I grabbed it rather whimsically off the shelves at Books-A-Million that the authors would also be delving into philosophical and spiritual matters such as free will and Buddhist mindfulness, attempting to explain them within a neuroscientific context. How uncannily appropriate is this reading considering recent discussions in this blog?

I haven’t been writing as much because I’d prefer to continue my self-education a bit further before relaying or debating ideas. Though I’ve noticed there’s plenty of conversation going on here without me! (154 views today: another record high!)

There’s no substitute for good friends

“In all seriousness Jason, I’ve always felt that the short period of time that we got to write and play music together took me to the next step of musicianship, and I truly thank you for that. Out of all the people in this world that I’ve known, you’re one of the few that I’ve always wanted to get back in contact with again, and if anyone knows about hiding under a rock and hibernating from the world, it’s me…. so believe me when I tell you that there are awesome times to be had and a whole new era of our friendship to begin.”

-Ted Smith (aka Theo), re-establishing contact after ten years