Letters from Andy: 10


This week was pretty good. I think I'm figuring out my routine at this point, and the mundanity has started to set in. My playlists have started to stagnate a bit. Actually, on my way back from the gym yesterday, I listened to that Phoebe Bridgers song you recommended to me. She's pretty good, you should send me more of her stuff.

Did you ever go into the Doherty basements? Arthur and I had a fun time this weekend exploring them. Lots of really weird spots. We got lost for a bit, but Arthur had screenshots of the floorplans, so we took some weird isolated staircase to get to the connection with Wean. It's fun to figure out the ways all these buildings are connected.

I was hoping Clair would be at course center, but I guess she had done the homework early. I literally feel like I'm back in high school when I say this, but it's hard to figure out how to talk with her. Sometimes it's just super easy to have a conversation with someone, and sometimes I feel like I have to force it. I don't want things to feel forced, but if I avoid talking to her am I ever going to change?

The other usual suspects and I were struggling with the last homework problem, which was based on material from that one lecture nobody understood. Sebastian tried explaining to me what a gradient was, but at a certain point I just had to pretend like I got it so he could go back to his own stuff. I basically had to ask the TA to hold my hand through the entire problem. I feel like I get the content, but I really need to review the lectures on scattering and collisions, otherwise this next midterm is going to kick my ass. Sometimes I'm so intimidated by how smart everybody else is that I wonder if this is the right major for me. Your decision to take a gap year is looking awfully tempting right now.

We all submitted the homework at different times, but nobody left the room after submitting. Chris got it first, but he stuck around to chat with us and everybody just decided to follow suit. I was the last to finish, meaning there was a point where I was in a room with four other people hanging out while I still had homework to do. It felt good to see the confetti on Canvas though.

I'm glad they stuck around. I think that was the first time I really got to know those kids. It was one of those conversations where you aren't worried about whether or not you're being funny enough or friendly enough, or if other people like you enough. Our brains were all fried by the homework, and the conversation just flowed really well. I want to get to know them better.

By the way, I just wanted to address something I maybe haven't been explicit enough about. I don't hold anything against you for not coming back to CMU. Obviously I was disappointed, and I know I complain a lot, but I'm just glad you made the right decisions for yourself. I noticed you hadn't responded to my last two letters, which is fine, but I just thought maybe I was too harsh in them and you felt like I was being ungrateful. Or maybe I'm overthinking it, maybe you're just going through a lot at home. Please write back to let me know.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you — when I walked out of Doherty after course center, the sunset made the sky behind Hamerschlag turn the most beautiful shade of orange. You would have loved it.