Insanity Crash: When 4 years ago feels like yesterday.

“Sharp nostalgia, infinite and terrible, for what I already possess.”
Juan Ramon Jimenez


On Monday I took my headphones and my 250Gb hard drive into work to listen to music as I knew I would be doing a calculation, which means I would be sitting on my lonesome wondering “How the hell do I do this.”, but more on that will come later. I decided to do the crazy thing and listen to some music I have not heard in a very long time, and started riffling through the collection. The first band was Razorlight, whose first album is full of freckly charm, but upon embarking on the second album I decided they were rubbish, and switched to System of a Down. For a few minutes I struggled to concentrate, with Serj shouting PIZZAPIZZAPIE in my ears at 100dB, I decided to switch again, this time to Snow Patrol.

It took less than 5 seconds before this feeling came over me, and the feeling was something I have never felt before. It was a whooshing, rush of memory, so vivid and sharp it caught me off guard, and the little backwards piece at the beginning of Final Straw tugged my heart strings. I was thrown back into 1st 2nd year university, when I was walking along in the cold George Square, with the Christmas lights on and the carousel music annoying my ears. I remembered my Minidisk player, the endless lectures of Maths, and the wonder of doing actual Chemical Engineering labs. I remember new years over at Hazels, trips to the Union to play pool, and ultimately, to the Garage when it was not socially frowned upon.

I remembered hundreds of things within a few seconds, and then came the crushing blow. They were all gone. For the 3:22 minutes that How to Be Dead lasts for, I was stunned, sitting in a melancholy daze, when I became suddenly very sad and slightly worried.

I was past that part of my life, and it was over. I have never felt such a “death” in my memory, and it really hit me full in the face.

Now, I spent a while trying figure out whether or not this was worth blogging about, but I feel that it is probably something that some will find interesting, and another that I have found to be really easy to write about.

But, back to the first line of this post, calculations. They are my bread and butter, my whisky and sherry, my Sonic to my Tails. They are important, and I worry every time I get given one. Can I do it? Will they laugh if I ask a question? Will the answer be right? Will it take me too long? What if I convert a unit wrong? What if my answer is so stupid they realise I have no concept of any Chemical Engineering?

These questions race through my mind. Luckily, the one I am supposed to be doing right now is not important; it is only a pressure relief valve on a HP/LP (High Pressure/Low Pressure) interface – which, for those who don’t know, are the most important calcs I can do.

At least I know how to do it. Kinda.