Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Letter

I've never written a Christmas letter before, so I'm just going to have to give you a summary of my entire life. It's gonna be a long one...just kidding. The past year has been an interesting one. There have been lots of changes in my life-all of which have been very good. Where to start?

Well I was officially tired of school last year on September 1st, which was only a couple weeks after the first day of the school year. This meant that I had almost exactly one year of school left to pound out, while all the while being ready to get out of Mines. So I did my work, took some interesting classes, nearly died because of those interesting classes, researched all summer long, wrote my 70 page thesis, gave a 45 minute presentation, answered a bunch of easy questions, turned in my thesis and I was done. I couldn't believe it. All I had known for the past 19ish years of my life was school (if you really count pre-school as school). This meant I had to grow up.

I saved a lot of money during grad school, so I had aspirations of working on a ranch in Mexico for room and board for a month after finishing my thesis. This fell through because I moved to a Mexican neighborhood, which I felt was enough of an adventure for now. Yes, I moved to a new house in Denver and am curiously a minority in my neighborhood. I now live in the basement of a family's house. The family consists of a mama, an hija, an hijo, and a papa that occasionally comes over. I absolutely love my new home and they have become my second family.

Upon arriving in Denver, I was met with a most unfortunate event-my bike was stolen. This was a sad day for me. Turns out parking a nice bike on a less-than-nice road in Denver at night isn't the best idea. Knowing how much of a pain life is without a bike, I immediately started looking on craigslist for a "new" bike. I found the bike of my dreams-a Bianchi Campione, made in the 80s for $100. This new road bike has inspired me to ride around town a whole lot more because it is quite fast and is a very fun ride.

After finishing my thesis, I needed somewhere to ride my bike. For a couple weeks I just sat at home all day, playing guitarra and watching baseball. Thankfully, I was offered a job at Mines, which meant I would have an excuse to ride my bike to Golden occasionally. At this proposal I thought, "Wow, I can't get out of this place." But I took the job and now work at Mines doing similar research to what I did in grad school. That research is integrated optics/photonics. I build optical devices on microchips that do fancy things and test them to see how well they work. The main project I'm currently working is essentially to make a really fancy pixel for a really fancy camera. It's a wonderful job because I'm friends with the other guys in the research group and as far as jobs go, it's just a pretty fun, relaxed, and interesting one. This is a semi-temporary job though, so I'm still looking for another job to help pay off those student loans. So if you know anybody who does physicsy stuff, tell them to give me a job.

I joined First Baptist Church of Golden over the summer. I'm teaching the young adults Sunday school class and I'm learning a lot through it. I'm realizing that I really enjoy teaching, although it is quite difficult for me. Every week I feel like I learn a ton about about the passage that we're covering because I spend several hours beating my head against it (literally). I also get humbled due to lack of preparation sometimes. But overall, it has been great and I'm very excited to be a part of the ministry at First B (as the cool people call it).

Now the romance section. I'm not dating anyone and I have not married anyone in the past year.

Now hobbies. Since I now live 13.5 miles from work, I ride the bus most days. This makes for a good 35-40 minutes twice a day where I have nothing to do. Those times when you have nothing to do force you to take up hobbies that are completely unnatural to your personality and do not match your abilities. I am a very slow reader, but this large gap of time forced me to start reading. Due to extreme boredom, I taught myself to read on the bus (I used to get sick), and now I read every day. That's right, I am now a "reader." I've read several good books recently including the Ender's series by Card, Gulliver's Travels by Swift (Jonathan, not Taylor), Meditations on the Word and the Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Miller, Catcher in the Rye by Salinger, and more. This is the highest number of books I've ever read in a year, I think. My other hobby is riding my bike to and from work when I have the motivation. Another hobby I have taken up is watching tv, which is sports 95% of the time. I played a ton of disc golf for half the year, but haven't played in the past several months.

Now you know what the heck I've done for the past 12 months. Make sure you bust out those Christmas tunes. And don't you dare listen to the corny ones (the ones with Santa Claus) except perhaps upon threat of death.

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