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What is real anyway, and is it over-rated?

Thom side-eye
I had a dinner with one of my oldest friends in Georgia tonight, and the conversation turned to the nature of reality. You know, casual dinner conversation. Adam and I took many of the same classes, and Existentialism and Hyper-reality were our favorite topics. We were remembering a mutual aquaintence, who rarely speaks of anything but Conan O'Brian and her cats. Adam said he felt he never connected with her, as if "there wasn't anything to connect to." He said, "There's got to be something more"

I pondered this, then told him that I agreed, it is odd to do nothing but watch TV with your cats. Then I told him that I had a very positive life in the Hyper-real (translation: the internets).

I explained that I had made a lot of friends through internet communities during a time where I was really down and not able to go out. I told him a little about my friends here in The Ether.

Apparently I blew his mind. He had never even entertained the thought of live-viewing, communities, or knowing someone so well through the web that we might actually care about how their lives were going. I explained that it is never a substitute for "real life" friends, but that it augments your personal relationships.

I posed the question with an example that went something like this:

I have friends here in C'ton that I have spent hours with, who I know very well in person. But 98% of them would not give a shit about me if I were not out, (and I have not been for months). I would not feel able to contact them when I was having a bad time. They wouldn't care. Are those real friends?

Also, I know that not everyone on this site or others is a friend like a "real" friend, but there are several who I care about, who I know by name and location and interests, and when I log on, they ask me how I am doing, remember things I have told them about my life, and offer support when things truly suck. There are people in "Hyper-reality" who are more caring and interested than people I have met face-to-face. There are also many people whose lives I care about, people that I wish the best for and remember as if I had met them. Is that not "real" friendship?

Adam's answer: "Wow, maybe I should get on livejournal"

First draft of thesis turned in, and yay.

I am in love with my love theory thesis again, and would post it to the heavens if it were not already 29 pages long yet only 2 chapters in, and woefully incomplete considering that it will be my first manefesto into a topic which is both a timeless and a current concern of human nature.

I just turned in my rough draft to Doctor Gothrock, who seemed pleased that I pulled something magical out of my ass (and document archives), in spite of the fact my father has been in the hospital all week and my accompanying near-nervous-breakdown.

In this respect I thank the Gods of Psychology, the Gods and Goddesses of Love, and of the Gods of Modern Health Care.

Today was my last day of practicum class, and the end of my internship. The title of this post was what our instructor told us before he walked out of the class. It made me very proud and happy.

There is no guarantee once you get into my department that you can become a counselor. Sure, you can get a Masters degree with the right grades, but to get a license you have to be hand-picked from applicants by Larry and Mark, who I call "the elders of the tribe." After many years of work I have been lucky to be trained by people who I consider the best in my field.

Larry has not been pleased with many of his students lately. This past week there have been incidents where he told his classes that they were not doing the work, and even gave some of them C's, which in grad school is failing miserably. Out of all of us, he is pleased with me and a handful of my peers. It meant so much to me to be acknowledged as one of these few.

Last Thursday, during my individual session with Larry, I told him that I was terrified that I had done all this work and would be graduating into an economy where all of the possible employers are undergoing a hiring freeze. I told him I had done some searching and found no job openings at all.

Larry said to me, "Kat, I would only say this to maybe three of the students here, but I promise you that I will do everything in my power to make sure you get a good job when you graduate. I would even risk my reputation to give you my endorsement."

This is a good thing. Larry is part of the licensure board and helped write the requirements to get a counseling license in GA.

I almost cried out of gratitude, at the thought that someone with so much knowledge and experience would say such a thing to me. I used to think Larry was a terrifying old jackass, because he has turned many of my friends away from the licensure track. Now, I am humbly grateful that he has faith in me, and was kind enough to say so.
Thom side-eye
I've made a little friend at my internship site. Luckily she is my site supervisor, and even luckier, it is totally real and not because she is in a position of authority. I feel a genuine regard for her, and she is very sweet about making little gestures that make us seem more like friends than co-workers. She brought me a packet of ginger-drink to share with me today, and we spent our lunch period chatting amiably about making homemade soaps and scenting them ourselves. We had a moment where we decided we were the same kind of nerd. She seems to look up to me for my experience and candor and tons of oddball information, and I look up to her as a person who deals with people experiencing extreme psychosis without ever losing her upbeat kindness and warmth. Its a female version of a bromance. We spend our off-time chatting about how we can't decide if we are more attracted to rocker boys or nerds. She even gave me a sage piece of advice: "Date the bad boys while you can, but marry a nerd." She even seems intrigued by my extensive knowledge of the web. I am introducing her to new ideas such as memes and the hyper-real.

Today I spent nine hours at orientation for the Hospital I am gonna be a counseling intern at. It was grueling, and at one point the other new intern (as opposed to real hires) said something so dumb that for a moment I turned into !fiesty Doctor Reid.

We were filling out a form, and she said "Which gasses run through the systems of the facility?"

She wrote, "1. Oxygen, 2. Vacuum"

I said, "A vacuum is not a gas"

She said, "That’s what the book said, it is the answer"

I said, "But the condition of a vacuum is NOT a gas."

She said, "Well I'm not a doctor, but that’s the answer. The book says so."

I said, "That does not even make sense."

I got annoyed and rather than show it I left for the ladies room. Then I returned.

She said, "I checked with this nurse and it is the right answer." The nurse was standing right there.

I said, "But a vacuum is not a gas. A vacuum in space means an absence of gas. That’s the definition of vacuum. The absence of a gas."

(I realized I was channeling a bitchy version of Reid, no wonder I worship him.)

The nurse clarified, "No, the question was which gas SYSTEMS are in the facility. One pumps oxygen and one system is a vacuum. You were right" she said to me.

The other intern glared at me. We did not speak again for the rest of the day. I left quickly when orientation was over. Oh boy, it’s gonna be fun working with her after this.


In 2009, infinitycluster resolves to...
Start a psytrance fund.
Cut down on my fencing.
Tell my family about candles.
Drink four glasses of decadence every day.
Find a better megalomania.
Go to the quantum physics every month.
Get your own New Year's Resolutions:

I need a Doctor.

Eh, so because I had to come home to GA the day after christmas, I was well aware that the episodes where David Tennant was leaving Dr. Who were going to be shown on the 26th and on new years, but I couldn't watch them. Scouring the interwebs just found me a virus that AVG had to clean out of my comp, and just a lot of bullshit. How can I find safe versions of The End of Time, parts 1 and 2? I'm lost. Seriously, even when someone on ONTD tried to help, AVG discovered a virus on the site she suggested. I'm getting mad at the interwebs. Its like going to a bar where everyone has herpes, except they all have "virtual" herpes.

***Edited to say I found them, but anyone why has an opinion on the episodes feel free to comment here.

Jun. 19th, 2005

This Journal is now friends only. I can't believe I bothered to go back and do it, but hey, its Sunday and I'm bored.

New friends are welcome, you can comment or text me from my bio page if you want to be added back.

Feb. 22nd, 2005

"A man who keeps a diary pays,
Due toll to many tedious days;
But life becomes eventful—then,
His busy hand forgets the pen.
Most books, indeed, are records less
Of fullness than of emptiness."
—William Allingham