A friend of mine passed away over the summer.
I guess I just have to say it. I've been thinking for two days whether there's a way I could sugarcoat it and still get my point across but there really isn't.
It was shocking, to say the least. She was a classmate, and I didn't spend much time with her last semester, so it still hits me sometimes why I'm not seeing her around campus.
As I suppose must be normal when someone close to us dies, it left me thinking a great deal about life, and what time I'd spent with her. We weren't as close as I would have liked... even though she always took the time to ask me about my life and make sure I was doing well, I unfortunately can't say I always reciprocated, which makes me sad...
A little while after I found out, I remembered an exchange we'd had about a test. Walking out of the classroom, it was the usual "this question tripped me up... how did you feel?" Somehow, however, we didn't recognize eachother's questions. I was being forgetful, and she, as she found out a day or two later, had missed an entire page on the test.
She was frustrated. I would have been. I'm sure the professor gave her grace. And now... what does it matter?
In the course of a lifetime, what does it matter? Nobody is going to be checking her grades anymore.
She mattered, of course. The love she showed me mattered. The frustrated interaction we had about the test, the sympathy... that mattered.
A week ago I took a test. Take home exam, and my first one at that. Two hours after I turn the test in, I find out that we were allowed to use calculators. I'd been so sure we weren't that I hadn't wanted to bug the professor about it.
Talk about test frustration. I was pretty frustrated. I was even more frustrated when I got my test back and saw what the innocent mistake had done to my grade... seeing as I understand the material and the test is supposed to reflect that (in theory).
Anyways, I got to remembering my friend and her test... and wondering what, if, it really mattered. Of course it doesn't. Not in the long run...
Trying to distract myself, I ended up hanging out with some of the frosh down the hall from me. As I've found many times before, sometimes the best person to cheer you up is someone who isn't trying - someone who doesn't know something is wrong. (Most true when its something unimportant like a test grade that talking about won't heal...)
One of the frosh recently bought himself some freelines. (If you aren't a Mudder, you should watch this to know what I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gbR3fuC1xM.) He pretty much made me try them. It was probably the highlight of my day, even though I was no good. Or, at least, even though I needed a bit of support. Okay, a lot of support. But that's not the point.
The point is that my test doesn't matter. It's one test. It's one blip in life. Out of that blip came an experience. Out of that blip came a chance to interact with someone, a chance to experience something... enjoyable. Fun, if you will. And I got to share that experience with a relatively awesome person.
And that moment - that's the one that matters.
Also, that freelines are awesome.
On an unrelated note, check out the Adventures of Paolo the Cat. I promised felines, I need to deliver.
On another unrelated note, this book looks like it could be interesting. I may have to expend a few dollars...