I just graduated from Syracuse University.
...Anyone need a film editor/screenwriter? I'll work cheap!
On that note, I'll be uploading my amazing senior thesis film in a couple days. Be ready.
I should finish packing now.
I know I haven't updated in a while, and I'm not sure anyone even reads this anymore, but...
The reason I haven't updated is because I've been frantically working to get everything done before the end of the semester. Fortunately, I just finished my final paper for history, which was the last thing on the list.
This is...fucking amazing. EVERYTHING IS DONE.
I'm really having trouble grasping this. I've documented almost all of my college career on this blog to some extent, and now it's coming to an end.
I guess I'm rambling now...and I have to be at commencement rehearsal at 10...so I should probably stop and just post this. In conclusion:
I'M FINISHED WITH COLLEGE. AND I'M GRADUATING ON SUNDAY MORNING. ALSO, I'M GOING TO BE OFFICIALLY UNEMPLOYED IN FOUR DAYS. HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!!!
I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really wish I'd gotten my liberal arts requirements out of the way before this semester.
Let me explain further. I spent about 18 hours this week editing my senior thesis film (and this is still only a rough cut; we haven't even done proper sound editing yet), and I'm okay with that. I'm going to be spending a good chunk of the next week writing my script. I'm okay with that.
However, the fact that I have to spend a bit of the next 24 hours researching and writing a paper on fucking political philosophy bugs the hell out of me. What's the point? I'm graduating in two weeks, and I'm going to forget most of this stuff before then.
AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! FUCK YOU, HISTORY PAPER! FUCK YOOOOOOOOOUUUUUU!!!!!!! THREE HOURS OF WORK AND I STILL HAVE ANOTHER 2-4 PAGES TO WRITE! WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!
...Yeah. I should get back to work.
UPDATE (5:40 AM)
Right now, I'm extremely thankful for the fact that professors can't tell the difference between Times New Roman size 12 and 13 (i.e. the difference between an 8 page paper and a 10 page paper). Heh heh.
Seriously, I just don't care about any class that's not for my major. I'm having too much fun with this thesis film project to give a shit about anything else.
Well, time for my less than three hours of sleep now. Later.
NOBODY GIVES A SHIT HOW FUCKING LOUD THE BASS ON YOUR FUCKING STEREO IS, YOU FUCKING INCONSIDERATE DIPSHITS. PLEASE GO STEP IN FRONT OF A MOVING BUS AND SPARE THE REST OF US FROM YOUR USELESS EXISTENCE.
P.S.: I HATE YOU.
Hey, who wants to guess how many times the fire alarm in my dorm has gone off in the past week?
If you said "three," you're right! The most recent, of course, was at 7:00 this morning!
Needless to say (but I'm going to say it anyway, which is kinda weird), I'm extremely tired right now. The next time that fucking alarm goes off and it isn't because the building is genuinely burning to the ground, I'm going to find the person/people responsible and do violent things to them.
You know, when I've just started to eat dinner, sometimes I get the urge to go STAND OUT IN THE COLD RAIN FOR 15 MINUTES instead.
So thanks, Haven Hall, for making my wish come true.
Tired, tired, tired, tired, tired of college now.
I can't even be back at school for a couple hours without something weird happening. I love it.
To explain: I got back to my dorm around 4:30 this afternoon. About 10 minutes ago, I decided to head down to the dining hall for some dinner. I stepped out of the elevator on the first floor to find about eight firefighters (in full gear) and a bunch of fellow students gathered around the elevator right next to mine, and they all kind of stared at me as I walked past. I was too freaked out to even ask what was going on, so I just kept walking.
I'm guessing that the elevator in question broke down with people in it, and the others were waiting to use one, thinking that they were all shut down. I guess my exiting a different one made them realize that they were mistaken.
Trust me when I say that it was more interesting being there than reading about it. Maybe I'd describe it better if I'd actually gotten some sleep in the last day. Fucking 6 hour drive to school disrupting my nocturnal nature. Late morning and early afternoon are for sleeping, damn it.
This is new. A (presumably drunk) dude just said "yo, what's up nigger?" to me in the hallway. He then proceeded to pace around for a few seconds chanting some unintelligible shit and hooting. I should also note that there are
four five empty beer cans in one of the toilets in the men's room.
10 hours until spring break...
Some of you may question my complete lack of faith in humanity and/or my inability to trust/tolerate a substantial portion of it. The reason is that people do fucked up and retarded things on a daily basis for no apparent reason.
Let me explain the situation that is currently pissing me off. I'm in another film production class this semester, and my group is holding auditions for the lead roles in our project this week. One guy made a really cool flyer advertising the auditions, and I printed out a copy and put it on my dorm room door. Seems logical, right? More exposure means more chances of getting qualified actors.
A couple days ago, I was sitting at the computer when I heard what sounded like tape being peeled off the door. The next time I checked, the flyer was gone. I later noticed that it was now on the door to the lounge, although it was pretty ripped up. I was pissed off, but I just printed out another copy and put that on my door, figuring that someone may have slipped while walking by and was too embarrassed to stay near the room. I do live right next to the elevators, so it's a high-traffic area.
Fast forward to this evening. I was sitting here minding my own business, and I again heard a ripping sound. The replacement flyer was also targeted, apparently, because the top right corner is now missing, although it's still readable, so I left it up. I also noticed a dried yellow spot in the top center, as if someone sneezed on it or otherwise transferred nasal mucus to it somehow.
What the fuck?
What the fucking fuck?
What the fucking fucking fucking motherFUCK?!
Who the fuck does stupid shit like this and considers it okay? I know it's a relatively small thing, but...FUCK! My door is my damn property as long as I'm living here, and so is something I used my own printer to make. It's not like I'm somehow offending you by taping a sheet of paper to my motherfucking door because I want to do well in a motherfucking film class.
Incidentally, other people have stuff taped to their doors, and as far as I can tell, this hasn't happened to anyone else, so you can probably understand that I'm a bit paranoid about this. I don't even know anyone on this floor, and I try to keep to myself because a few of them (see my Claptard/Seat Shitter posts from last semester) weird me out. This means that as far as I know, nobody has any kind of grudge against me.
So...what the fuck? I can't think of a logical explanation other than the obvious fact that human beings are fucking stupid as shit. I swear some of the people on this floor should be wearing helmets.
If anything else happens, I'm thinking of putting up a smaller piece of paper with some kind of message. Something like:
Dear shit-eating fucktard,
If you have a problem with these flyers, try talking to me about it instead of being a passive-aggressive asshole. Thanks.
That might be too forward, though. Thoughts?
Remember that 8-10 page paper I mentioned in the last post?
It's, uh...due in 8 hours, and I haven't started writing it yet.
Fuck this shit. I want to graduate now. My knowledge of the presidential election of 1800 will not affect my ability to get a job in the film industry, you stupid bastards.
UPDATE (9:09 AM)
Well...the paper is finished. It's due in less than half an hour, so...I guess I won't be sleeping until this afternoon.
This is one of the few times in life that having ADD is an advantage. The medicine I take for it is also used to treat narcolepsy, so I usually don't have to worry about falling asleep in class.
I've mentioned at least once that I can't stand the smell of coffee. Specifically, Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I don't know how people can get their faces close enough to the cup to actually drink that shit.
Given this fact, I'm rather pissed off that the dude sitting next to me in TRF this morning spilled his Dunkin' Donuts coffee all over my coat and backpack, and now my entire dorm room smells like Satan's diarrhea.
HAMBURGERS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE BLACK AND CRUNCHY, YOU FUCKS!!!
That is all.
I LOVE FIRE DRILLS AT 2:15 AM WHEN IT'S -3 FUCKING DEGREES OUTSIDE!!! REALLY!!! I'M NOT BEING SARCASTIC AT ALL!!!!!
Dear horrible human beings,
Congratulations. Just when I thought it wasn't possible, you fuckers managed to make both the food and the selection in your establishment worse than ever before. There's nothing quite like heading downstairs for dinner to find that the only real choices are Asian cuisine that's been sitting out for two days, grilled chunks of a rubbery substance that may or may not have been part of an animal at one point, and a chicken dish that's probably just leftovers from last week with a different name. Apparently, there's a rule that every single fucking entree must have some sort of chicken in it in order to be served here!!!
When you can make a fat bastard like me lose his appetite, you truly have reached a new low in food preparation. Once again, congratulations.
Also, fuck you.
P.S.: Die in a fire.
Well, I'm back in Syracuse, and my first class of the semester starts in about 17 hours. Woohoo.
Until then, here's a picture of the amazing weather we're having up here right now:
Oh, wait, did I say "amazing?" I meant "cold, rainy, and shitty." We drove through an ice storm or something to get here. Fun stuff. Meanwhile, it's apparently 57ş back in Pittsburgh. I'm not sure which of those I like less, honestly.
It's weird...I started this blog in the first semester of my freshman year, and the second semester of my senior year is about to begin. Almost all of my college career has been documented here in some way.
Actually, I think that's more scary than weird. But maybe I'm just paranoid because I haven't slept since Sunday (again, being nocturnal has its downsides)...
It's over. I just finished my terrible anthropology report, and now all my work for the semester is finished. All I have to do is clean my room and pack now.
*Looks at clock*
Oh, good. It's almost 3 AM.
Anyway, this semester pissed me off. Really. It started off pretty well, and after a rough couple of weeks, I managed to get a ton of stuff done for almost two months. And then, of course, the whole "holy shit, I have social skills now and I don't have enough opportunities to use them" thing kicked in, and the last half of the semester sucked ass as I wallowed in my fucking self-pity (losing all my motivation in the process and probably severely damaging my GPA).
Yeah. Fortunately, the month-long depression is pretty much over, and I'm feeling like myself again, only now I have a brand new outlook on life and a desire to get out and try new things. I just hope that the next month won't involve sitting in my room all night and sleeping all day with no human interaction whatsoever. I'll only need about a week of that.
Only one more semester, and then...the real world awaits.
I should start getting my stuff together now.
The script is finished...mostly. 93 pages. I still have to proofread and add some info at the beginning, but the actual writing process is done. I think it's pretty good. It needs some improvement, but considering the circumstances, I'm happy with it. Even though it's a little on the short side, I was able to include every scene and every line I've come up with throughout the semester. That's a satisfying feeling.
Now all I have to do is finish my anthropology report that's due in 25 hours...and I'm leaving on Thursday afternoon. Woohoo.
And yes, I will be posting the script when I go home. However, it's really just a rough draft, since I plan to keep working on it and possibly enter it into a contest in the spring. In any case, it will only be here for a limited time (is this the Wendy's blog?), so be on the lookout.
Being nocturnal has its perks...
I figured that since this script is kind of about photography, it would be appropriate to show you a couple pictures of it.
Here's the professional looking title page, blurry in this shot because my phone takes terrible pictures.
And here is what 96 pages look like. Also, my arm isn't really as hairy as it appears in this photo.
I should go to bed soon. I imagine it would be hard to use "I overslept" as an excuse for not turning in something that's due at 5 PM.
Seriously. He delivered a lecture this morning that was almost identical (to the point where I could predict what he was about to say) to one he gave on either the first or second day of class back in August. It was really weird.
When you get to the point of being so intoxicated that you can make an entire bathroom smell like smoke and booze in the time it takes you to stumble in and tell your buddy that you love him, it might be time to call it a night.
I haven't posted in over a week, so...yeah. Stuff still kinda sucks.
I just got home from the SU vs. UConn football game, which was my last marching band performance ever. Among other things, the day included:
- Going through eight hours of marching band activities on less than two hours of sleep
- Standing in cold rain for a good part of the morning
- Holding up the entire SU marching band for about 20 seconds
- Shaking Nancy Cantor's hand
At least Syracuse won. Woo.
Remember how I referred to the people on my floor a couple years ago as "The Chimps?" I think this year's batch is going to be known from now on as The Tard Squad. They're not inhumanly annoying like The Chimps, but a few of them (I'm not sure how many because I hear them more than I see them) act like they have at least mild mental difficulties.
One of the main offenders, who is pissing me off at this moment, is the guy who sits by himself in the lounge and watches sports. This wouldn't be a big deal, except he apparently feels the need to cheer and clap every time something good happens (and sometimes, when the game isn't going well, he repeatedly yells "what the FUCK?!"). I understand the whole "getting into the game" thing, but the fact that he's in there alone just makes it weird and a little pathetic. It's like he thinks the players can hear him or something. I usually picture him as Special Ed from "Crank Yankers."
"YAAAAAAY! WE GOT A TOUCHDOWN! YAAAAAAY!" *awkward clapping*
The second, less pleasant example of retardation is...well, I won't go into too much detail, but one or more of the guys on this floor have horrifying bathroom habits. I kinda hope it's more than one of them, because I find it hard to believe that one person could fill a toilet/stall with paper and/or shit on the seat (yes, you read that right. Shit. On. The seat.) dozens of times without learning to do things differently. And for the love of fuck, people, learn to flush!
I know I said I'd like to go through college again with all my shiny new social skills, but on the other hand...I'm really looking forward to never living with this many people again.
I was just in the lounge getting some water, and the claptard had one of his friends with him. They had an enlightening conversation consisting only of "that's too good!" and "holy shit!" repeated over and over.
Being a senior rocks. Registration for next semester's classes starts today, and unlike last semester when I had to wait until 2:30 PM on the third day to register, my enrollment appointment was today at 8:45 AM.
Needless to say, I got into all the classes I wanted, and I'm still the only person enrolled in a couple of them as of now. Nice.
I'll cover the specifics later. Right now, I have to go to the poli-sci class I've been missing for the last couple weeks due to oversleeping.
I was just refilling my Brita pitcher in the lounge, and I overheard this side of a telephone conversation some girl was having:
"Yeech! I hate her I hate her!...she's a lesbian...yes she is!"
It seemed bizarre enough to post.
And now, I have to go march at the New York State Field Band Championships. Being the exhibition band is fun because we don't actually perform until 10 PM. The competing (high school) bands have been doing their thing since 8:00 this morning. Good times.
Check out just one paragraph from a ten page reading in the book:
There is perhaps no better way of grasping the epistemological and sociological presuppositions of objectivism than to return to the inaugural operations through which Saussure constructed the specific object of linguistics. These operations, ignored and masked by all the mechanical borrowings from the then dominant discipline and by all the literal translations of an autonomized lexicon on which the new 'structural' sciences were hastily founded, have become the epistemological unconscious of structuralism.
I doubt that even these authors know what the fuck they're saying sometimes...
Unlike most of my "I love..." posts, that title isn't at all sarcastic. Seriously, as much as I bitch about the liberal arts aspects of my Syracuse experience, the communications stuff (you know, what I actually came here for) remains awesome.
Little things like that just make me smile.
However, little things like my blog disappearing after I publish a new post do not make me smile. If there's any weirdness going on, just wait it out, I guess.
I'm too exhausted from the past 24 hours to blog, so here's a sweet picture from last night's homecoming parade (it's very big, so click it for full size, or just click here for the original):
I'm the snare drummer closest to the camera. Fun stuff (we were going uphill when that picture was taken, and I think my inner monologue at the moment was something along the lines of "fuck this fucking parade bullshit").
More like it here, if you care.
Found some decent photos from the game on Facebook.
A little backstory: At every game, a few members of each section go up to the top seating area of the Carrier Dome and play during the 3rd quarter. This week, it was my turn. I had never done this before, so I didn't know exactly what to expect. Specifically, I didn't realize how fucking high this spot was. I mean, I've seen it before, but being up there is a little different. It looks like this:
For reference: The seats under the American flag on the top left = the same level we were on, but on the opposite side (the dude who took this picture was standing right in front of us). The big chunk of white behind the endzone is the rest of the band.
As I may have mentioned before, I have an almost paralyzing fear of heights, so for the first few minutes, I couldn't stand up, and I thought I was going to pass out. However, I managed to adjust, and we rocked out for a while (I shouldn't have to tell you which one is me in either of these):
Notice the fact that the top of the Dome is only a few feet above us!
The blank expression on my face is partly because I was trying to maintain my badass drummer persona, and partly because I was trying not to vomit.
Yeah. It was different, and kinda fun, but I'm never going up there again. Holy crap.
Hey, everybody! Know what I love?
FIRE ALARMS AT 4:45 IN THE FUCKING MORNING!!!
Because there's nothing like standing out in the cold listening to dozens of people bitch about how tired they are! Really! It's fucking fantastic!!!
I find it rather interesting that we're currently working through a section about obscenity/indecency in my communications law class (the last discussion involved reasons for censoring "shit" and "fuck" and debates over whether breasts can be exposed on cable), and I'm in the middle of an anthropology article about the origins of curse words (it purports to explain why "you son of a bitch" is a worse insult than "you son of a kangaroo," but I haven't gotten through it yet).
College. Fun stuff.
Excerpt from the aforementioned anthropology article:
Most of the monosyllables denoting familiar animals may be stretched to describe the qualities of human beings. Such usage is often abusive but not always so. Bitch, cat, pig, swine, ass, goat, cur (dog) are insults; but lamb, duck, and cock are friendly, even affectionate.
Uh...yeah...if someone calls you a cock, I don't think it's meant to be affectionate, but the author is British or something, so who knows?
WOO! HOORAY FOR BEING A FUCKING SLEEP-DEPRIVED IDIOT WHO CAN'T STOP PROCRASTINATING! WOOOOOO!!!
(Is it May 2007 yet?)
Remember the dude in my anthropology class who hates capitalism?
During today's discussion, he declared, in a matter-of-fact way that implied that everyone should agree with him, that the war in Iraq "is all about oil."
How the fuck do these idiots find their way out the door in the morning?
People who aren't in college: How often do you encounter Marxism and feminism in the real world?
For the amount of time I've spent studying them in my classes here, you'd think they were the only two social philosophies in the history of humanity.
...Or is that "huwomynity?"
Fucking pseudo-intellectual liberal arts bullshit...
You know how a semester can be going really well, and then all of a sudden, you find yourself sitting at the computer at 4 AM working on a half-finished political science essay that's due at 9:30 and having to blow off an anthropology reading that you're technically supposed to summarize in one page?
...Yeah. I think I have to make some changes after this.
This is kind of random, but I thought I'd mention that I actually managed to...*gasp*...leave my dorm this weekend!
Yeah. The band picnic was on Sunday afternoon, so I spent a few hours hanging out by a polluted lake, playing volleyball, and laughing/throwing water balloons at freshmen while they performed skits. Good times.
I even have photographic proof that I was out in public for once:
Yeah...that's about it.
Listen to Lounge Pirate, dang it!
Man, there are some real winners in my anthropology class. We were discussing imperialism today, and one girl saw fit to mention that when President Bush referred to the War on Terror as a "struggle for civilization" in his speech last night, it made her violently angry.
Does this make sense to anyone besides liberals? I don't get it.
Question: What's better than having to get up at 6:45 AM for marching band rehearsal?
Answer: Staying up until 3:00 that same morning!
Hooray for game day! Hooray!
Being naturally nocturnal really sucks sometimes...
UPDATE (9:15 AM)
Woohoo, I managed to sleep for a whole hour. It's always fun running through pregame and halftime after that.
Now I'm back in my room, killing time until I have to leave again around noon. Then it's time for about six hours of drumming. Have I mentioned how much I love marching band?
(Was that sarcasm? You decide.)
Highlight of my Tuesday morning: Finding out that one of the people in my anthropology class visited Cuba a while ago and has since had a "hatred of capitalism."
I have no idea how logic and that situation go together, so I'm going to go ahead and assume that they don't.
After a few days of observation, I've come to the conclusion that a large number of people living on my floor this year are stupid and annoying. They're nowhere near as bad as The Chimps, but still...dang it.
Fortunately, unlike that year, the walls/door of my room are thick enough to block out a lot of noise, and the two fans I have running almost 24/7 eliminate the rest. Also, unlike last year, the person in the room next to me has barely made a sound. All in all, I think I'll survive.
I guess I shouldn't be in such a crappy mood right now, considering the fact that I have no obligations of any kind until the New York State Fair parade on Monday night. Have I mentioned how much my schedule rocks? Four days of sleeping in. Four.
That is all.
So...I've now had three of my four classes. Allow me to post some first impressions.
The first class of the day was U.S. Foreign Policy, which apparently means "let's talk about how all the foreign policy events of the past 200 years are related to Iraq." The professor (who used to work for the State Department or something) was going through the usual poli-sci "I'll try to keep my opinions out of the lecture" speech when he shared the following:
"For the record, I am a left wing liberal."
Wait, what? A liberal teaching a college course? MY MIND IS FUCKING BLOWN.
He spent some time explaining how, in his view, "neoconservatives" are essentially people who realized that they shouldn't have supported Communism and decided that it was necessary to punish the former Soviet Union. He also felt that he needed to mention that "many of them are Jewish." I assume he said that as a way to discuss Israel (which he did shortly after), but it was still kind of weird.
The guy seems okay though. He just has problems projecting his voice, which half forces you to pay attention and half makes you want to walk up to the front and hand him a bullhorn. Also, he looks like a cross between Donald Rumsfeld and Droopy Dog, which I found hilarious for some reason. Look at this and tell me I'm wrong. Seriously.
The second class was Anthropological Theory, a.k.a. the token bullshit arts and sciences elective for the semester. Before I write about the class itself, I feel it's my duty to mention some odd moments that preceded it.
You see, one of the students in the class is a woman who appears to be between 40 and 55 years old. She's also a bit on the heavy side and has a constant froglike facial expression (if you ever saw the Keystone Light "bitter beer face" commercials...it's kinda like that). In addition, she had her bag and stuff in some sort of cartlike contraption. Basically, she looked not unlike a homeless person who had wandered in off the street, and since this class was in a building about half a block from a popular panhandling area, this actually seemed plausible.
Being bored and not knowing anyone in the class, I decided to make up a backstory in my head that explained her presence, and I ended up with some crazy theory about how the cart was full of cats and old shoes that she throws at people when they don't give her money. I actually had to fight back laughter when I looked at her after that. She eventually introduced herself and described some serious archaeological work she's done, but I think I'm going to put a crazy cat cart lady in the next Bob and Joe story.
The class started, and the professor turned out to be another stereotypical old balding dude with the most ridiculous Boston accent ever. I know a few people from Boston, and I always thought that "pahk the cah at Hahvad Yahd" crap was just a joke, but...holy crap. He actually talks like that. He even made a point of how people have trouble understanding him in New York or something.
Anyway, he managed to force us into the usual dumbass "get to know each other by interviewing the person next to you and introducing them to the class" thing, but he justified it by telling us to conduct an "anthropological interview." That really helps those of us who are COMMUNICATIONS MAJORS, MORON!
Luckily, the dude I talked to turned out to be a newspaper major who is also taking the class as a bullshit elective, and (refer back to my "requesting social advice" post) we managed to have a decent conversation without me saying anything awkward and/or fucktarded. Apparently, I'd have lots of friends if I was forced to interview them upon meeting them. Maybe I should start carrying around a notepad when I'm in social situations.
Anyway, this class angers me, because there's a bunch of required reading that we have to go to the library to access (I think), and he scheduled a couple "required" university lectures that conflict with marching band rehearsal. The class that I'm placing the least importance on in the grand scheme of...this semester...shouldn't involve that amount of out of class crap. But I'll survive.
The last class of the day (after a nice four hour break) was Communications Law. The professor just came right out and told us that she realizes nobody looks forward to taking the class (it's a requirement) and that it's rumored to be very hard, which is why they save it for the senior year. At the same time, however, she seems rather condescending and does that little pitch raising thing at the end of sentences. She also puts all necessary handouts on top of the projector at the beginning of class and calls it "the buffet." Ooooookay.
This class is going to be painful, I think, because she said she runs it like a business. She's a former lawyer who knows a bunch of crap about the corporate world, and she tries to create that kind of environment to prepare us for the future. Apparently, we'll be learning how to negotiate and work toward the goals of our group at all times, and we have to write "memos" instead of papers.
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have figured out that I fucking despise the whole "business" thing. I am an artist, not a drone. I would blow my brains out before working in a cube farm or something, and the whole concept of memos and meetings and such makes me want to vomit out my digestive tract in some futile, last-ditch attempt to avoid being condemned to the hell of the 9-to-5 world. Just reading Dilbert or watching Office Space kind of makes me want to curl up and die.
Needless to say, I'm not thrilled about her ideas, but I assume that the "law" part of the class is rather essential for the future. Still...fuck business. Fuck it in the ass. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I create the product. Let the mindless lackeys negotiate for distribution. I just want credit for my damn ideas.
No offense to people who actually work in business, of course. I just...can't grasp the concept of living such a linear life. More power to you if that's your thing, but it ain't mine.
I think I have some syllabi to review now.
Nothing like sleeping until 2:30 PM on a Monday. My schedule for this semester rocks.
Anyway, I was going to write the Band Camp Chronicles over the weekend, but I realized that I couldn't remember enough specific stuff from each day to make it interesting. Let's just move on.
I have band rehearsal tonight, and then tomorrow morning, I have that...thing you go to...to learn stuff...uh...oh, right: Class. I have class tomorrow. So hopefully I'll have some interesting/eccentric professors to blog about. Now that I'm actually going to be awake during the time when things are happening again, I might also write some political stuff. We'll see what happens.
I have to eat dinner now. Later, minions.
Because band camp people get here before our official meal plans kick in, the band gives us cards that work the same way as the SU "SUpercard," which means they also work in the vending machines. We have to return the cards tomorrow, and I had about eight dollars left on mine, so I raided the machine in the lobby of my dorm. Check this out (click for full size):
Pretty sweet, isn't it? Didn't cost me a friggin' thing.
I also had my eye on a pack of Lifesavers, but I was 3 cents short. I realize I could've just paid for it, but that would've made it feel less awesome to get so much stuff for free.
Anyway, I have to perform at fucking convocation tomorrow morning (or later this morning, I guess...why am I still up?), but after that, I don't have anywhere to be until Monday night, so prepare for the Band Camp Chronicles to be posted in installments throughout the next few days. More on that when I write it.
I should probably be going to sleep now. Fucking opening weekend bullshit.
Since band camp is the only thing happening in my life right now, it's what I'm going to write about. Deal with it.
Anyway, you can all bow down to me (I need to stop using that phrase so much), for I am the 2006 SU Drumline drilldown champion.
For those not in the know, a drilldown is when an entire marching band (or in this case, a single section) gets into a block and marches to commands given by section leaders, etc. If you fail to follow a command properly (for example, making a full turn to the left instead of a half turn), you're out, and the last person standing wins. It's basically the marching band version of "Simon says."
Reread the second paragraph of the post and you'll pretty much get the message. I didn't actually win a prize or anything, but it's kinda cool knowing that I'm technically the best marcher in a group of about 30 people.
On the less pleasant side of things, take a look at this picture of my left hand (click for full size):
That red thingy on my middle finger happened during a visual where we bring our sticks up and bash ride cymbals behind our heads. I miscalculated, whacked my finger on the edge of the cymbal, and made that...thing. I think it's a blood clot. Pleasant, ain't it? I also have a massive blister on one of my toes, but I'm not disturbed enough to post a picture of that.
As long as I'm on the topic of band camp related injuries, does anyone know a good way to alleviate intense, spastic, stabbing back pain? I could really use it right about now.
Only one day of band camp to go...
What's up, SIT readers? I'm posting this from my dorm room at Syracuse, since the residential network decided to actually work this year. The summer hiatus was nice, but I think that it's about time to start blogging regularly again. If any of you are still reading, stick around.
Anyway, band camp started today, and the next seven days of my life will revolve around playing snare drum. That and pain. Lots and lots and lots of pain (sunburn, back strain, shin splints, blisters, etc.). How do I keep convincing myself that I enjoy this?
The SU drumline is going to be frickin' amazing this year. Seriously. Nine snare drums, six bass drums, four tenors, and thirteen cymbals. And the freshman are really good. They actually memorized the music over the summer and can play it well. This is a good sign. I honestly think the snare line is going to be the best one yet. You probably don't care, but I'm psyched.
That's about it for now. Maybe later I'll post a picture of the view out my window. I'm in the same building as last year, but there's a bit of a difference since it's a lower floor. We'll see.
The angle isn't the best, but I thought I'd provide some pictures of the utter chaos going on outside my dorm at the moment. Click 'em for full size:
Yeah...so you know how sometimes you have to decide whether it's worth it to pull an all-nighter to study for your 8:00 AM economics final, and you decide that it would be better to try and get some sleep beforehand, but it's so hot in your room that you end up not being able to sleep anyway?
Go ahead, ask me how my last few hours went.
Anyway, despite the fact that I'm delirious with sleep deprivation right now, I'm pretty happy that the Semester of Procrastination and Semi-Intentional Underachievement is officially over. Nothing left to do but get packed up.
Unfortunately, since I barely have the energy to type this post at the moment, that may be a bit of a challenge...
(Semi-related note: If I suddenly had the power to choose any one sound in the world to wipe out of existence, I think the high-pitched beeping of a large vehicle in reverse would be the most likely candidate. Sweet merciful retards on a pogo stick, I'm sick of that sound...)
You know, it's weird...there's a section of my economics book that I've read at least three or four times over the past couple months, and every time, I ended up still not understanding it. However, after reading through it again a few minutes ago, it just started to make sense and seem fairly simple, as if I never had any problems with it in the first place.
Stupid brain. Where were you in April?
Political science (U.S. Congress): Done.
Other political science (Modern Presidency): Done.
All that's left is the economics final, which unfortunately is at 8 AM tomorrow. I'm more concerned with making it there in the first place than passing...
Three classes finished. Now, only two final exams stand between me and what is shaping up to be a decent summer. Unfortunately, those finals are in history and economics, two classes I've spent practically no time on in the last month.
I have several things to write about, so here's one of my world-famous roundup posts:
- First and foremost, the TRF project is done! We spent a total of 16 hours over the last 6 days editing the final cut, along with many more hours of writing, shooting, editing, and paperwork over the past 3 months.
The result? A 15 minute dramatic film called "My Sister's House" that is quite possiby the best production I've ever been a part of (although I still find myself occasionally watching Against the Wind and wondering how we managed to pull off something so incredible).
I have it all ready to upload to the blog, but I don't officially have clearance to publicize it because all the actors haven't signed performance releases yet. Fortunately, the official "premiere" is tomorrow afternoon, so everything will be taken care of by then, and I'll probably post it around 8 PM.
To hold you until then, I threw together a quick promo picture. Check it out:
And if you're wondering, those are actual stills from the film, but they're really two separate shots that I combined in iDVD.
- Next order of business: I finally have a complete class schedule for next semester. Let's take a look:
ANT 311 - Anthropological Theory: Complete bullshit course that I'm only taking because I need another arts and sciences elective and it looked vaguely interesting. Let's move on...
COM 506 - Communications Law for Television, Radio, and Film: Required course for seniors. Supposedly rather difficult and dull. But I guess knowing the laws of your trade is fairly important.
ENI 010 - Large Bands: It's hard to believe it, but next semester will mark my eighth and final year of marching band. I still remember my first day of band camp in 9th grade...when I couldn't understand what the drumline intstructor was telling me to do for the audition and ended up getting stuck on bass drum for a year (a scenario which would repeat itself in a slightly different fashion on my first day of college band camp). But still...two years of bass drum, six years of snare. Good times...
PSC 357 - U.S. Foreign Policy: This class seems to get good publicity. The professor has all kinds of credentials from the Department of State or something. Again, we'll see what happens.
TRF 421 - Feature Film Writing: Ah, yes. The class that almost caused me to have a fucking heart attack when I was closed out of it last month. Luckily, the waitlist procedure was a success, and I was able to enroll this afternoon. If you don't know why I'm excited about this class from its name alone, you probably haven't been reading SIT very long.
Oh, and a fun fact about next semester: I somehow managed to work out a schedule where I only have classes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So that means that aside from football games, marching band rehearsals, etc...
EVERY. WEEKEND. WILL. BE. FOUR. DAYS. LONG.
I've been trying to pull off something like this since my first semester here, and since the screenwriting elective I want to take next spring is on Friday morning, this was my last chance. Mission accomplished.
- On a completely unrelated note...
I WANT ONE OF THESE!!!
Seriously. If all goes well, I might be buying one within the next couple weeks. I figure I can justify it by...*shudder*...actually getting a job over the summer. Although I'd probably end up doing that anyway since I can no longer use "I don't have a driver's license" as an excuse for not finding work.
- Oh, and speaking of summer, I'll be home by this time next Thursday. That's pretty sweet. Unfortunately, I still have four final exams, so...I should probably start studying.
13 pages done. And I'm still on the friggin' Eisenhower administration.
This wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the fact that we're editing our film from 8 AM to 1 PM tomorrow...or I guess today...
Since it's after midnight and everything...
UPDATE (2:45 AM)
16 pages. This is now officially the longest paper I've ever written in my life, and it's still not done.
Crap, I have to edit in five hours. I don't need this. Liberal arts...*grumble grumble*...
UPDATE (5:10 AM)
Finished. 19 pages long plus two pages worth of works cited. And it's only...let's see...20 hours late! And I even have a whole three hours before the upcoming five hour video editing session! Woohoo!
Got a whole paragraph of the paper written. The paper which is due in 12 hours and needs to be at least 15 pages long.
UPDATE (12:44 AM)
3 pages done. Only 4/5 of the paper to go...
Stupid Vietnamese Communists. Why do you have to be so fucking complicated?
Here's a tip I have now learned from experience: If you're planning to use the Pentagon Papers as a research source, DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO WRITE YOUR REPORT.
(Yes, I am going to keep doing this)
UPDATE (2:48 AM)
Kill me now.
UPDATE (4:04 AM)
My brain hurts.
UPDATE (5:00 AM)
Still on page 8, dammit. But at least I just got to write "France surrendered." Heh heh.
You know, I don't think I'll be going to this lecture...or getting full credit for the paper...
Oh, well. Like I said...meant to be this way.
All right, I need to be brutally honest here. You know all that work I said I had to do this week?
I barely even started.
Yep. I've just been kinda sitting around for the past few days, and now I have a paper due in about 36 hours that I only did about half an hour of research for. And I'm sitting here with...let's see...two economics assignments due in 7 hours that I barely even looked at, which is especially bad because I've only made it to a couple lectures lately thanks to my oversleeping abilities. I'll probably miss this one too and have to turn this stuff in later...if it even gets done at all. And then I'll still have a paper to write...which probably won't be done until Wednesday or something now...which is a day late...and that's if I'm lucky...yeah.
You'd think I'd be in panic mode right now, but that hasn't happened. It's weird, but I feel a strange sense of contentment, like this is the way things are meant to be. And I think I know why: It's because they are meant to be this way.
You see, I've been coasting for a while now. Ever since enduring academic and social hell last spring, I haven't been able to work as hard as I used to. I honestly think that semester broke my brain (and if you don't believe me, read the archives from January to May of 2005). And yet, despite the fact that I did practically no work last semester, I still managed to get straight As. Was it because I worked hard? Fuck no. I just had a nice combination of easy classes and the 150+ IQ that has gotten me out of so much trouble in the past.
The same strategy has resulted in grades in the B and C range this semester, and at this point, I think I should just keep it up. As long as I pass everything, I'll be okay, and it'll probably help in the long run since I seem to only learn from failure (for example, the only reason I was able to make the snare line in marching band sophomore year is because I was pissed about not making it freshman year, so I spent three weeks of the next summer practicing for several hours a day). I feel like the last 9 months of my life have been a lie, and it's time to face the consequences of my stupidity. I'm too honest for this fake success bullshit.
And now, I'm going to go completely against my better judgment and publish this post. Because, like I said, I'm sick of living a fucking lie.
Yeah, I actually made it to class this morning. What a freakin' concept. Anyway, here are some quotes:
- "They would advertise shit as a dressing for ice cream if they could."
- "LSD is an artificially made drug that will do wonders for your family."
- "I don't give a shit about Cuban comrades."
- "Santa Claus had no Communist connections."
- "Every president since Woodrow Wilson has violated the rights of Americans."
- "We went to Iraq, then it turned into a quagmire..."
- "Julia Child was still...can you imagine...[speaking in a weird, high-pitched voice] NOW YOU TAKE THE...[unintelligible babbling and stomping for a few seconds]"
I think you have to have been there to understand the last one...
If you read yesterday's longer post, you'll recall that one of my theories about the weirdness involved was as follows:
...maybe there's some weird school-wide event that hasn't been publicized.
After pondering this for a while, I actually bothered to check my handy PDF of the academic calendar. I'll let you see for yourselves what I found:
Mayfuckingfest. Wonderful. I have no idea what that is, I only heard one person (another student) mention it on Monday (appropriately, he was saying how odd it is that Mayfest is in April), a quick check of the 2005 calendar confirms that it wasn't a day off last year, and more importantly, NONE OF MY PROFESSORS MADE ANY MENTION OF THERE BEING NO CLASSES.
Thanks a lot, assholes.
Oh, well. At least this means I didn't miss anything.
Further investigation reveals that the school mentioned classes being cancelled...in an email last Friday entitled "MAYFEST REMINDER."
Because, you know, we all realize that we should read messages referring to events we don't care about and assume that there's going to be relevant information within...
So...I got an accidental day off today. Let me explain...
I was supposed to get up at 8:45 this morning to go to history. I've been blatantly blowing off this class quite a bit for the past month because it's a bullshit elective I didn't even want to take, and the Stinchmeister basically told us that all we have to do to pass the final is read the books he assigned (which explains the lack of Stinchisms), but since there's a paper due next Tuesday, I wanted to go and make sure I didn't miss anything important.
Fast forward to this morning. I woke up around 10:30 with no recollection of any alarms having gone off before, despite the fact that I distinctly remember setting them.
This will require a bit of technical explanation. See, I have a four alarm system designed to ensure that if I decide to sleep in, I'm at least aware that I had the chance to get up. It consists of the two alarms on my clock radio, the alarm on the microwave, and the alarm in my cell phone.
I place the clock far enough from my bed that I have to either get up or drag it across the floor to turn it off, which I usually do by either hitting the snooze button or switching off both alarms.
The microwave is far enough away that I have to either sit up and reach across the room or get out of bed to turn it off, and the cell phone is on a shelf above the computer, so there's no way to turn that off without getting up. In addition, I put the phone under the cover of one of my poli-sci books last night so it would be harder to find in the morning. This fact will be important later.
Anyway, I woke up at 10:30 and immediately realized that I had just involuntarily skipped history again. Figuring that I had done my occasional routine of turning off all the alarms and getting back into bed, I checked the clock and noticed two solid green dots on the right side of the display, meaning the alarms were still on and the snooze button hadn't been pushed (they would've been blinking if this were the case). Also, the clock was still on top of the crate I keep it on, meaning I hadn't dragged it over to the bed to turn it off like I usually do.
Not wanting to ponder this any further, I brought the clock over and switched off the alarms, confirming that they were on before and were set for 8:45 and 8:55 AM, and set the "nap" alarm to go off in half an hour so I could eat lunch before my 12:30 class. I completely forgot about this and ended up missing this class too, but that's the only thing that happened today that was 100% my fault.
After mentally kicking my own ass for missing two classes in a row, I tried to figure out how I overslept in the first place, and I noticed that the microwave alarm and the cell phone alarm were off, despite the fact that I had no memory of deactivating them. Also, the phone was still in the hiding place I had left it in, and although I suppose I could've reached in and hit the volume switch on the side to turn it off like I sometimes do, it seems like if I was conscious enough to remember putting it there, I would remember the action of getting out of bed, turning it off, and getting back into bed, especially since the microwave alarm would've also gone off within a couple minutes.
Anyway, I had one more class at 3:30, and I was actually up a few hours before this, so I figured there was no way to miss it, and I should at least try to get to one lecture today. Therefore, about an hour ago, I made the 10 minute walk down there and was greeted by a dark, empty room.
Yep. Class somehow got cancelled without my knowledge. Another dude who showed up claimed it was the second time this happened to him today, so maybe there's some weird school-wide event that hasn't been publicized. Still...I went to this class last Thursday, and nobody mentioned anything about not having class today, and the last time this professor cancelled class, he sent out an email a couple hours before. As of this moment, I still haven't seen an explanation. I notice that the syllabus doesn't list any reading assignments or topics for today, so maybe he somehow assumed that we would know not to show up, but all I know is that I didn't hear any outright mention of "hey, no lecture on the 25th."
So, yeah...several fucked up events within a few hours of each other. Is it too much to ask that I just have one relatively good spring semester before I graduate? Honestly?
I know my blogging frequency is nowhere near the "at least 3 posts every day" rhythm I had going a couple years ago, but I thought I'd mention now that if I write practically nothing for the next couple weeks, it doesn't mean I'm taking another hiatus. I just have to get caught up on half a semester's worth of work in a few days, along with post-producing a 15 minute film and writing a 15-19 page paper I haven't started researching yet.
So...yeah, I'm pretty screwed. But it'll all be over by May 11th.
Wish me luck...
We're currently discussing the media in my Modern Presidency class. Part of this section of the course involves reading one of two books on the media and politics, and the readers of each book will apparently have a "debate" this Thursday. We were given a choice between South Park Conservatives : The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias and Media Spectacle And The Crisis Of Democracy: Terrorism, War, And Election Battles.
Being a big fan of unintentional comedy, I naturally chose the latter. Check out an excerpt (and keep in mind, this is all a single paragraph out of about 250 pages) from the introduction:
Many believe the United States is devolving into fascism under Bush and Cheney, but it is not the sort of "friendly fascism" that Bertram Gross described in 1982, for never has a more vicious bunch occupied the higher levels of government. Like Hitler and the German fascists, the Bush-Cheney clique use the Big Lie to promote its policies, promote aggressive militarism in the quest for world hegemony, and relentlessly promote the economic interests of the corporations and groups that finance it. To sell their program, Bush and Cheney have a media attack apparatus ready to smear anyone who dared to criticize their hard-right and militarist tactics. An ever-growing right-wing Republican media machine, ranging from the Wall Street Journal and the conservative press to the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox TV, talk radio, and the extreme right sector on the Internet, all disseminate propaganda of a scope and virulence never before seen in U.S. history. Expanding significantly since the 1980s, the Republican propaganda machine has cultivated a group of ideological storm troopers who loudly support Bush-Cheney policies and attack those who criticize them. These extremists are impervious to argument, ignore facts and analysis, and demonize as unpatriotic anyone who challenges Bush-Cheney policies. Groomed on Fox TV and right-wing talk radio, they verbally assault anyone who does not march in lockstep with the administration and wage ideological war against the heathens, liberals, feminists, gays and lesbians, and other dissenters. These ideological warriors allow no disparagement of Bush and Cheney and refuse civil dialogue, preferring denunciation and invective.
I think it would be fun to do a thorough megafisking of this thing sometime over the summer. Right now, I only have time to enjoy a hearty laugh due to this author's utter lack of any original thoughts. I suggest you all do the same.
Wow. The rest of the book is just like that paragraph. No. Original. Thoughts. The guy quotes the discredited Lancet study claiming that 100,000 Iraqis had been killed, makes incessant references to Bush's smirking and swaggering (and yes, he does go into the "Mission Accomplished" thing), puts "weapons of mass destruction" in scare quotes every time he uses it, simultaneously criticizes the U.S. for arming Saddam Hussein and claiming that Saddam Hussein needed to be disarmed, claims that the Abu Ghraib incident was the result of racism, mentions "tax cuts for the rich," repeats the blatant fabrication that people booed at a Bush speech after it was announced that Bill Clinton was in the hospital, refers to the "corporate media" on practically every page and calls them "lap dogs" for the administration, insists that there is no difference between saying that Iraq was connected to Al Qaeda and saying that Iraq was involved in 9/11, insinuates that Bush wears a wire so he can receive answers to tough questions from his staff, puts Republicans in the same category as "the Ku Klux Klan and myriad neo-Nazi assemblages," claims that the media is biased to the right because they didn't immediately dismiss the claims of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as "outright lies" (direct quote: "Although the print media had debunked the specific claims of the swift boat veterans, cable networks failed to present the swift boat group as part of the Republican smear campaign"), refers to the forged National Guard memo as "allegedly faked," calls Iraq a "quagmire," goes after the "Republican attack machine," makes numerous comparisons between Bush and Hitler (including the old "Bush's grandfather was a Nazi" story), accuses Bush of stealing both the 2000 and 2004 elections...he even goes so far as to criticize Saturday Night Live because he feels their satire of Gore was too exaggerated, but their satire of Bush was brilliant.
Just...wow. Now I understand why even my ultra-liberal professor said that this was a crappy book. I don't even know if I need to read the rest, because I've probably read it all somewhere else already. The thing is like a really long Democratic Underground post.
It is inspiring in a strange way, though. I think Suspended Agitation is going to have some new lyrics soon...how does "Spectacle" sound as a song title?
UPDATE THE SECOND
Having now read the entire book (okay, I skimmed a few parts because they had nothing to do with media bias), I believe that I have actually lost sevearl (I'm leaving that typo as is to prove my point) hundred brain cells, and I still have not learned anything that I didn't hear about a billion times in 2004.
Congratulations, Douglas Kellner, for providing a 250 page explanation of why I'm still a Republican.
Despite what your unnecessarily loud music may tell you, you are not a "muthafuckin' P-I-M-P."
Just thought I would let you know.
Quote from my poli-sci professor in today's lecture:
"Is the Supreme Court retarded?"
I was half expecting the Thought Police to come drag him out for not respecting diversity or something.
No, I haven't been up all night eating cheese.
However, I did just stay up all night writing a paper for political science. Seriously. Look at the time on this post. I haven't freakin' slept yet. Isn't that great?
Well, this P.O.S. isn't actually due until 12:30, so...goodnight.
I love this time of year. There's nothing quite like having a mid-afternoon, second day of registration enrollment appointment and watching every class you want (including one that's a prerequisite for another one later on) slowly fill up and close while you sit counting down the hours until you can start taking whatever scraps are left under the table of academia.
Suck it, registrar's office. Suck it long, and suck it hard.
I knew it! The psychology elective I wanted filled up 15 minutes before my enrollment appointment, so I had to schedule a bullshit anthropological theory course to fill that requirement/time. And it looks I won't even know if I can get into the screenwriting class I
want need until fucking May.
About a month ago, I mentioned that I royally screwed up on a history test after not realizing that it was open book and, in fact, not even reading one of the books it was based on.
I got my grade today...
Seriously. My bullshitting abilities should be the stuff of fucking legends.
You know what? I've decided that I'm tired of school. Seriously. I've been doing this education thing for most of my life, and I just want it to be over now.
Yeah, I know it was my choice to go to college, and I know that a degree from Newhouse will probably give me some major advantages in the film industry, but still...fuck this other liberal arts bullshit. I'm already more intelligent than about 99.9% of the human race (using IQ as a standard, at least), and since people seem to be getting dumber every day, I'm really finding it hard to care about learning more. It couldn't hurt, but my brain keeps trying to reject new information that it sees as useless.
I don't know...maybe I'm just rambling. But I would be perfectly happy to spend the rest of my life doing nothing but writing and editing movies while playing drums and guitar in my spare time.
Yeah. And while I'm dreaming, I'd like 10 million dollars, a private mansion in a quiet area, and a girlfriend.
- "The English have not invented soap...that would require them to be clean."
- "[The French are] good at generalized slogans that mean shit."
- "Someday we'll have a special on PBS...'The Sound of Oppenheimer Screwing His Mistress.'"
- "We're great at shooting camels."
Verbatim quote from my economics textbook:
To get a feeling for the value of this graph is as an analysical tool, let's preview how the Macro Picture can help us.
Um...yeah...sounds fun. Anything that's valuable is as an analysical tool is fine with me.
*NOTE: Some of these are paraphrased because I was only partially paying attention and didn't have time to write down the verbatim quote*
- "The Dutch would sell their grandmother for a profit."
- "We own Canada. We allow them to have their caribou and that stupid maple leaf flag."
- "Four million people went through New Jersey, and they all said the same thing: 'We're not coming back.'"
- "Detroit is a hellhole."
- "'Catcher In the Rye' and 'Grapes of Wrath...' I should force everyone to read those books because the bastards keep banning them...they don't realize it's just a shitty novel."
- "I don't sound like a diplomatic historian; I sound like a goddamn sociologist this morning..."
- "Those bastards have never been civilized down there...the more southerners you have, the more violence there is."
- "We get to bomb Japan next time!!!" (said enthusiastically at the end of lecture)
During a discussion of Ronald Reagan:
PROFESSOR: What do we know about supply-side economics?
DUDE IN THE BACK: It doesn't work.
Shortly after, another student answered the same question, or a very similar one (I can't remember which):
STUDENT: It involves, um, tax cuts for the wealthy...
And near the end of class:
PROFESSOR: I am, as most of you probably know, a very partisan Democrat.
CD'S INNER MONOLOGUE: Really? I could've sworn that your warnings against using "jingoist nationalism" in papers and your proud announcement of being a card-carrying ACLU member made you a hardcore conservative!!!
That's it for now. I'll have Stinchisms of the week on Thursday. He didn't say enough memorable stuff today to justify a post yet.
- "In this lecture and the next one, I get to insult at least twenty ethnic groups all at once."
- "In Indiana, all they know how to do is dribble. That's the only thing they ever produce."
- "If you give a German a map, they start saying 'I want it!'"
From a political science lecture on the relationship between the president and Congress:
Accountability breads responsibility.
I don't know why, but that's a hilarious mental image.
(I should note that I made a strange typo of my own recently; On a paper I got back today, it seems I meant to write "blank check," but I accidentally wrote "black check" instead. I have no idea how I missed that.)
You know, open-book exams are great. What's not so great is when you don't realize that an exam is open-book until you show up for class and wonder why you're the only one there who didn't bring any books. It's also fun trying to write essays based on your notes and your memory when you're expected to have hundreds of pages of resources in front of you.
In other words, I think I just failed history.
I was just attempting to study some economics, and I came across an unintentionally funny passage in the book.
The professor of this class also wrote the book, and one of the techniques he uses in writing is to use "she," "her," etc. almost exclusively, rather than the conventional masculine pronouns. Obviously, he didn't think this through, because his strategy led to the following:
There's long been a market for sperm donors. The article cited an ad for such a donor. The ad said that a desirable donor should be about 5'10" tall, athletic, and have at least 1400 on her SATs.
If you need me to explain why that's funny, you shouldn't be here.
- "Harding was basically a whore."
- "...It's crap, by the way. It's like kissing your sister; it's just not worth it."
- "Any column in the New York Times is worth a C in this class."
- "You're gonna have 200 men out of work for three days if you don't get a drill bit, you stupid bastards!"
- "If you're really hungry, you don't think much of politics except to eat your neighbor."
If I don't post for the next two weeks, it doesn't mean I'm quitting again. I just have four exams coming up, for which I have to catch up on about 1000 pages of reading (literally).
In case anyone didn't believe my "most surreal week ever" post, let me tell you how my day went.
I woke up this morning around 10:45. Seems pretty normal, right? Except that I was supposed to get up at 8:50 and go to my 9:30 economics class. Also, the thing that woke me up was not an alarm clock, but the fire alarm.
I was so confused and disoriented by the combined thoughts of "why the hell did I not get up earlier?" and "why is the fire alarm going off?" that I really had no choice but to wait the frickin' thing out, and after a few more minutes, the alarm stopped and everyone who had been awake to go outside came back in.
Still confused, I got up and went to wake up my computer, but strangely, it was off. After messing around with it until the start button actually made it turn on, I glanced over at the clock on my microwave, and suddenly, everything made sense. Why?
Because the clock said that it was 1:40 AM.
If you haven't figured it out by now, there was a power failure at some point this morning (caused by extremely high winds), which apparently screwed up my alarm clocks and caused some fan in the dining hall to set off the fire alarm (I just found out about the fan part a few minutes ago).
Anyway, since I still had other things to do, I got dressed and went to get some lunch. As I glanced at the elevator buttons, I saw a sign essentially telling us that we have to take the stairs because the elevators might trap us inside if the power goes out again.
I live on the sixth floor. Do the math.
After I walked down to the dining hall, I noticed a sign on the card swiping counter that said "DINING HALL CLOSED."
Luckily, the vending machines here take ID cards, so I made a couple purchases, and after walking back up six flights of stairs, I had a bag of Cheetos, a bag of Doritos, and two granola bars for lunch. Delicious.
After this bountiful feast, I had to head out to help with auditions for my TRF project. One member of my group is an RA, so he was able to reserve a room for us to use. The problem with this is that he's an RA in Day Hall.
Now, obviously, that doesn't mean much to you guys. But Day Hall (where I lived freshman year, incidentally) is on Mount Olympus. The highest hill on campus. Which can only be reached by climbing an assload of stairs. And it's about 15-20 minutes from the dorm I'm in now.
Other than getting there, the auditions weren't that bad. Although I find it strange that the other two members of my group are taking acting classes (and in true stereotypical fashion, one of them is a flaming homersexual) and claim to know a bunch of good actors, but most of the people we auditioned had no acting experience whatsoever. I think it went okay, though. Other than the whole "sitting around for half an hour waiting for people to show up" part.
Now I'm back in my room, and I just realized that I'm really hungry. I wonder why...
I am fucked.
That is all.
Not a lot of good ones today (although the lecture itself was pretty informative), but there were a couple interesting quotes:
- "Boobs look different in Samoa. It must be the real thing."
- "In certain ways, you can pick on France...and I am...because I think Clemenceau's an idiot."
- "I don't give a DAMN about your family!"
NOTE: In that last one, he was talking about how historians hate genealogists. It wasn't a comment to a student or anything...
It's come to my attention that most people are too dumb to get through life without having someone tell them what to do at all times. Therefore, I've decided to start an advice column. And wouldn't you know it, I've already got a letter to answer! Let's take a look:
I'm a moron, but since anyone can get into college these days, that hasn't stopped me from pursuing an education. My problem is that nobody seems to understand that I'm the most important person on the planet.
When I try to have a nice conversation with my equally stupid friends during lectures (and isn't that what lectures are for, after all?), we have to whisper to each other the whole time because these crazy professors (more like "oppressors") don't like people talking in class. Isn't that crazy?
How do I convince my professors that it's physically impossible for me to be quiet for a whole hour?
- LOQUACIOUS IN LECTURE
You're right, you are a moron. It's clear that you're never going to amount to anything, so I suggest blowing your brains out now so your mind-numbing stupidity won't infect people around you who actually try to pay attention in class.
Hope that helps!
You know, sitting through four hours of lectures in one day can get exhausting, so it's good to try and find ways to make it more interesting. For example, I now have a reason to pay attention in history because I can collect Stinchisms for the blog. But I'm also a big fan of making drawings to remind myself of the theme of the lecture.
For example, my poli-sci professor was talking about the organization of Congress, and when he mentioned the party whip, I drew a picture of a whip wearing a party hat. I'm also reminded of my horrible statistics class from freshman year, where I attempted to remember the term "root mean square" by drawing a frowning square with lines growing out of it.
This technique doesn't always work, but it's better than doing crossword puzzles in class like certain people I've seen...
As long as I'm writing about lectures...I think I have a sign on my back that says "ask if you can borrow a pen from me."
Listen, dumbasses, if you can't even remember to bring a writing implement to a 300-level class, maybe you should ask yourself if you're really serious about the whole college thing.
You may be wondering if there's a point to this post. And the answer is...no.
(See this post if you don't know what a Stinchism is)
A few good ones today. Not very political, just funny and presented somewhat out of context. Enjoy:
- "After 50 years, can't someone figure out what the hell the Japanese are saying?"
- "We're the only country that still argues about evolution. Even the Vatican is saying 'evolution is a fact, for Christ's sake!'...well, they don't say 'for Christ's sake.'"
- "The Russians said 'we've been here for 50 years, let us vote!' And the Estonians said 'you haven't been here for 50 years, you invaded us, you bastards!'"
- "Toledo is not America. I don't know what it is, but just...give it to Canada. Texas goes to Mexico, Toledo goes to Canada. Wipe it off the face of the earth."
- "...That's the first requirement in designing anything for the Army: 'Make them look as ugly as hell.'"
- "When I take over as dictator, I'm going to make North Dakota a national park."
This is all from one class that I showed up 10 minutes late for.
So, I just went down to the dining hall (I accidentally typed "dining hell" the first time...although that's probably more accurate) for some lunch, and because being around people sucks, I got a takeout container and brought it up to my room.
Anyway, I bit into my grilled cheese sandwich, and something seemed to be missing, so I opened it up, and...
No cheese. I am currently eating a fucking toast sandwich.
That's always a good way to start the week, right?
Okay, so...I started writing this post a couple days ago, then got a bit distracted by life. Therefore, let me begin by saying:
GO STEELERS! WOOHOO!!! ONE FOR THE THUMB, MUTHAFUCKAS!!!!
I'm back to blogging. I guess I should fill in the last month or so and explain the direction I want to take the blog in the future. Go to the extended entry for the full story, as it were.
First of all, SIT is going to have a much more personal slant from now on. I'll probably still rant about politics and everything (you'll see why a little later), but as I said before, I feel like two years was long enough for me to write about most of my beliefs, and it seems like a waste of time to keep saying the same things over and over. I'm using my band as a way to get my politics into the public sphere now...or at least I will when someone listens to our demo.
Anyway, I'm writing this post on a brand spankin' new Powerbook:
My old computer was nice and everything, but it was freakin' huge, and this one is a lot easier to move around. It also has a lot more hard drive space and comes with GarageBand software. Which leads to my next big update:
I'm playing guitar now:
Yep. My parents got me some early birthday presents before I went back to school (by the way, did I mention that my 21st birthday was last Friday? It seems like such a waste...heh...that I don't drink), and along with the computer, I got a freakin' guitar. I was just going to borrow my brother's, but he left it with his ex-girlfriend for some reason, so I guess it was just easier to get a new one.
The guitar itself really isn't anything special (it's basically a cheap imitation Stratocaster), and in typical CD fashion, I managed to break the high E-string while tuning (which means I've been playing a five-string guitar for the past couple weeks), but I am getting better. Check out this recording I made with GarageBand last week:
...Yeah. So, now you know why I'm the drummer for Suspended Agitation and not the guitarist. I have been practicing since then, and I've learned to play a few songs very badly and slowly (including two that I wrote a while ago), but it's a slow process. My fingertips hurt.
Anyway, there's really not much more to write about concerning events that took place while I wasn't blogging, but I do want to write about the rather interesting semester I've managed to get myself into. Let's go through the classes individually:
ECN 203: Economic Ideas and Issues: Economics is a bit of a dry subject, but I really need to learn something about this stuff. The professor is...about how you'd expect an economics professor to be. Droning voice, balding, glasses, etc. He looks kind of like the Dad character from "Calvin and Hobbes" with a mustache (observe). He seems pretty sane, although on Friday, he launched into a somewhat random defense of the Soviet Union (based, as usual, on the fact that they had universal healthcare and education) and called Karl Marx "brilliant." He claims he doesn't agree with Marx's conclusions, but that still weirded me out a little.
TRF 521: Dramatic Production: One day a week. Three hours per class. Fun stuff. I've already written a 13 page script, joined a group for a production, and learned how to use Avid. If I go long periods of time without posting, it's probably because I'm out doing something for this class. Hopefully, I'll at least have a 12-15 minute short film to post at the end of the semester. Our script involves deceit, hitchhiking, and architecture. That's all I'll say for now.
PSC 329/HST 341: The Modern Presidency: I'm technically in the history section for this, since the political science section was full, but really, it makes no difference at all, so it counts toward my minor. I have the same professor for this that I had for my history class back in Spring '05 (the one who is a card-carrying member of the ACLU and whose writing guidelines remind students not to use language that "smacks of jingoist nationalism"), and she's being surprisingly unbiased this time around...although she did suggest the other day that Clinton was impeached for "diddling with an intern" (unless that's what they're calling perjury these days). I have a 5-7 page paper on FDR due in a week that I've barely thought about so far. Good times indeed.
PSC 305: Legislative Process and U.S. Congress: Another one for the minor. This class is actually ridiculously boring so far, and most of the information is stuff that I've learned already in other poli-sci classes. Also, the professor cancelled class one day and had to leave early a couple other days, so we're about a week behind the syllabus already. Not much else to report, although when we were discussing the State of the Union address, one student suggested that Republicans are "smoking crack." When asked which Republicans he was referring to, he said "all of them" or something. I love college.
HST 337: World Politics Since 1914: There's so much to say about this class, I hardly know where to begin. In a nutshell, the professor is a cantankerous old man who hates every politician who ever lived. He's the one who subtly endorsed the assassination of President Bush (basically, he mentioned that his niece or some other relative said that someone should "shoot George Bush," and he classified this as a "natural American reaction to incompetence." Oh, and did I mention that most of the class laughed at this? I'm not sure what to think).
Also, he apparently thinks that Ronald Reagan was the second dumbest president of all time (after Warren G. Harding) and that if you believe we're bringing democracy to Iraq, he "has some property in Florida to sell you." In addition, he believes that Americans get concerned about Mexican immigrants and not Canadian immigrants because Canadians "are like us." He also claims that we shouldn't fight wars based on human rights because people don't all have the same rights, only the ones given to them by their government. I assume, therefore, that he's not familiar with (or doesn't agree with) the Declaration of Independence.
I actually wouldn't classify the guy as a liberal, since he also went after John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, but man...so much material.
So, yeah...I'll be writing a lot about him. I'll try to remember specific quotes and blog them after class (his name is Stinchcombe, so these will be known as "Stinchisms"). Look for those on Tuesdays and Thursdays around 11:15 AM.
One non-political quote to start things off: He was talking about tariff barriers the other day, but it came out as "bariff terriers." Bwahaha. Just a note: If you've seen the show "Crank Yankers," imagine Elmer Higgins saying these quotes, because the professor sounds almost exactly like that. Seriously. I might bring my laptop to class one day and try to make an audio recording, but that's only a remote possibility.
Oh, and I also have to write a 15-19 page paper for that class. Yay.
Finally, I've got a mind-numbing amount of reading this semester. Observe:
I'm already a few hundred pages behind on that, so I can't spend a lot of time blogging, but I decided that now that I have things to write about again, why not?
And now, I have to do my economics homework. Later.
Holy crap, I almost forgot something very important! Check out what my grandparents sent me for my birthday:
This photo is dedicated to Army NCO Guy, wherever he is...
You know the problem with having a lot of work to do? It's not necessarily getting everything done; It's deciding where to start.
Yay, finals week!
After the most ridiculously warm summer/fall I can remember, we're finally getting some normal Central New York weather: Snow!!!
To get an idea of just how heavily it's snowing, compare that to the picture in this post, which was taken from about the same angle.
It's amazing...I've been living in the Northeast for almost 21 years, and I'm still fascinated by snow. It's actually one of the reasons I chose to go to Syracuse. There's just something strangely magical about it...
*Goes back to staring out the window*
Check out the e-mail I just got:
HILLTV IS BACK - DECISION OVERTURNED
The decision has been reversed and we officially got our station back
today at 4pm EST. A few structural changes will need to be made. For
now HillTV the institution is temporarily suspended until February
I'm sure the "structural changes" will involve completely unnecessary regulations regarding what's "offensive," but the important thing is that justice has been done for the 200+ people who didn't do anything wrong.
Oh, and by the way...
Suck it, Chancellor Cantor. Suck it long, and suck it hard.
And now, back to studying Marxist/feminist bullshit that somehow relates to television criticism...
Yep, I was right:
...the panel has suspended HillTVâ€™s operations and recognition as a student organization, effective Nov. 30, through Feb. 1, 2006. The panel also ruled that HillTVâ€™s suspension should continue until it fulfills several requirements.
These requirements are as follows:
-HillTVâ€™s issuance of an apology to the campus community;
-a faculty advisor, tenured and schooled in matters associated with broadcasting and its oversight, will monitor and provide consistent guidance and supervision to HillTV staff;
-HillTV will be required to change its name to break its association with discrimination and to signal an improved broadcasting operation;
-The renamed organization must form a â€śCommittee on Cultural Competenceâ€ť by attracting members from all quarters of the University to assist the organization with matters of content, perspective and tone, both in terms of program development and airing decisions;
-HillTV must amend its bylaws with greater attention to content sensitivity, nondiscriminatory actions and practices, program decision-making, as well as procedures and policies for program oversight and cancellation.
It looks to me like this is a roundabout way of doing the same thing Cantor planned in the first place. This puts me in a strange position.
You see, I couldn't work at HillTV this semester because of marching band, but I was going to go back in the spring. However, after Cantor took a dump on the entire station, I vowed not to go back unless it was restored to its original status.
On one hand, the station is technically going to be HillTV, even with the name change. But with all these dumbass requirements, I'm afraid it'll be more like CantorTV. I think it's great that "the nation's largest and oldest student-run TV station" is basically on the verge of becoming another means of indoctrination. I guess I'll have to wait and see if it's worth my time in a couple months...
Incidentally, have I mentioned that I don't like Nancy Cantor? The general atmosphere of this school has taken a fucking nosedive since she got here. I'm not planning to go stand on the quad with a "Cantor = Hitler" sign or anything, but I think the way I feel about her is the way a lot of liberals feel about President Bush...although I don't have to fabricate reasons for my antagonism.
I usually mention this right away, but I've basically been sleeping for the past couple days (seriously, I haven't seen daylight since Friday afternoon), so I didn't get to it:
I'm finished with class registration for next semester. Yay. Check out this amazing lineup:
ECN 203: Economic Ideas & Issues: I desperately need to take an economics class. I figure that it'll help my poli-sci minor, and I'll hopefully be able to understand more issues after this. Added bonus: Since I'm an upperclassman, I don't have to take a discussion section. Sweet.
HST 337: United States in World Politics Since 1914: This class was chosen in about 30 seconds during the scheduling process when I discovered that, according to the online course catalog, the history class I actually wanted to take doesn't exist...even though it's in the time schedule. I had to choose another elective in the same time slot, and luckily, this one looked vaguely interesting. We'll see...
PSC 305: The Legislative Process & the U.S. Congress: Poli-sci minors have to take six classes, so <John Kerry>I have a plan</John Kerry>: One survey class, one class on each of the 3 branches of government, one on the government of a non-U.S. region (foreign/international content is a requirement), and one political theory class. I already took the survey course, and I'm in the process of taking a constitutional law course, so this is the next logical step. I'm also planning to take...
PSC 329: The Modern Presidency. However, it was full by the time my enrollment appointment came up, so I had to waitlist it. The people at the PSC office told me that if I can't get in by the end of the registration process, I should show up on the first day of class in January and ask to be added. I love college. Fun fact: This class is taught by the same professor who taught my history class last spring. Look through the archives from February to May for some fun stories about her...
And finally, for the major...
TRF 521: Dramatic Production: The class meets only one day a week...for three freakin' hours. This is the one I mentioned before that conflicted with half the other crap I wanted to take. I'm lucky to have found enough good classes to fit around it. Anyway, since I'm considering becoming a TV/film editor while I work on writing enough scripts to establish myself as a screenwriter, this class should be very useful. Plus, I'll probably have more movies to post on the blog (if you're unfamiliar with "Against the Wind" and "Pinochle," check the TRF category). Fun fact about this one: It's taught by the same professor who taught my last production class. This means there's a good chance I'll have more moonbat conspiracy theories to report on from the inside. Goooooooood times...
A couple fun facts about the entire schedule: Next semester will be the first one of my college career that contains no 100 level classes. I'm movin' up to the big leagues now. Also, it'll be the first semester with classes beginning at the same time (9:30 AM) five days a week. I'm hoping that'll make it easier to get up.
Meanwhile, the current semester continues to resemble one of those nightmares where you want to get away from something, but no matter how fast you move your legs, you never get anywhere. Ah, procrastination. How I loathe you so. Hopefully, the fact that I actually scheduled afternoon classes for next semester will remedy the situation, but who knows?
A few minutes ago, a member of the opposite sex said the following to me, in a 100% sincere and complimentary fashion:
"You seem to know everything."
...There's no real point. I just wanted to post that.
- I'm a little late on this, but there are a few minutes of Veterans' Day left, in case anyone needs a reminder. There's really not much to say, but I'd like to extend my thanks to all past, present, and future members of the U.S. armed forces for doing quite possibly the most difficult job there is and prevailing. If it weren't for you, who knows whether I'd even have the freedom to write this post?
- This weekend is SU's homecoming. For most college students, that means extra festivities, hanging out with alumni, more school spirit, and other generally positive things. For us marching band members, on the other hand, homecoming weekend is pure evil. Imagine marching over a mile (which takes about 45 minutes because of the frequent starts and stops)...at night...with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees...while carrying and playing a snare drum that somehow got screwed up in Pittsburgh and doesn't quite sit right on your shoulders, so every step you take is like having your entire spine compressed in an accordion-like fashion.
Go ahead, ask me how I spent my Friday night.
Anyway, the fun didn't stop there. After the parade, we had to stand outside for...I don't even remember how long...while various members of the community made a pathetic attempt at a pep rally. A few highlights: The president of the University Union led the rally for some reason, and he has apparently decided that the name of our team begins with an H. Thus: "Let's go Horange!"
Yeah, we were just as confused as you probably are.
Next, the judges who were watching the parade gave out awards to student groups for demonstrating school spirit, making banners, etc. As a result, I have concluded that screaming in unison is the only method of celebration that sorority girls are familiar with. Holy crap, I can still hear it now...the horror...the horror...
Oh, and by the way, the band, which clearly has the most spirit because we MARCHED A FUCKING MILE WHILE PLAYING THE FIGHT SONG, was awarded with...a "round of applause" that was pretty much a golf clap on steroids. Yay. Ungrateful bastards.
Finally, the coach of the football team, who should be ashamed to show his face in public (if you don't know, Syracuse has just about the worst team in the NCAA), took the stage and tried to get the crowd going. His words of inspiration:
"Tomorrow, we're going to WIN A GAME IN THE BIG EAST CONFERENCE!!!"
You know your team sucks when simply winning a game becomes the Holy Grail of your season. On the plus side, the coach's unintentionally hilarious statement did inspire something: parody. A comment I heard from another drumline guy seconds later: "Tomorrow, the team's gonna get a first down!!!" A few of us also compared the coach to Howard Dean, and the drumline erupted in impressions of the infamous "YEEEAAAAAGH!!!!" Bwahahaha.
...I'm so glad tomorrow is the last game of the year. Seriously.
- Finally, open the extended entry (or just scroll down, if you're already there) to see the SU Drumline t-shirt for this year, inspired by our Earth, Wind, and Fire show:
Heh. I'm using this as my Facebook picture right now.
All right, I have marching band rehearsal in 8 hours, so...later.
Fun fact: I'm taking four classes this semester (not counting marching band), and I'm currently studying Marxist thought in two of them.
Here's my problem with Marxism: Marx correctly observed that history is driven by conflict. However, he incorrectly believed that this is somehow a bad thing.
Consider this hypothetical situation: A public school decides to do away with its grading system and give everyone an "A" just for showing up. However, the school still assigns homework and gives tests. How many people are going to do the work if everybody gets the same grade?
Yeah, that's the problem with Marxism/communism. Marx believed that there is no fixed human nature, so people could be conditioned to share both the means and results of production. However, if history is driven by conflict and oppression, doesn't this indicate that there is, in fact, a fixed human nature? I think it does.
Human beings are selfish, and there is no way to change that, so the proper way to deal with it is to come up with a society that takes advantage of human nature rather than trying to change it. Thus, capitalism. The ideal Marxist society may look good in theory, but the second one person does better than another, the whole system breaks down. In contrast, capitalism relies on the innate competitive nature of human beings to create a society where people are forced to work harder than those around them to succeed, which in turn makes everyone more successful except those who are too lazy to work. It's not perfect, and it doesn't always work that way, but since perfection is impossible, it's the best we can do.
The same goes for Marx's idea of government. He apparently believed that the state-centered government is simply a transitional phase between eeeeeeevil capitalism and a society where everyone controls the means of production. The problem here, once again, is human nature.
Government is composed of human beings. Human beings are selfish. When you give all the power to government, they're not going to give it back unless a revolution forces them to. The only problem is that truly successful revolutions, like the one that happened here a couple hundred years ago, lead to capitalist societies held together by a representative democracy, which forces government to share its power with the people.
This is why I laugh when people claim that the Soviet Union and other Communist states don't represent true communism because true communism gives everybody equal rights. If the state-centered government is a necessary step between capitalism and "real" communism, then real communism is impossible. Once you give government all the power, you're fucked.
In conclusion: Marxism is bullshit. Thank you.
A semi-conceptual SIT post:
- Check clock...8:40 AM...hit SNOOZE and go back to sleep...
*CELL PHONE ALARM!!!*
- Get up, turn off cell phone, check time...8:45 AM...turn on computer, go back to bed...
- Check clock...9:01 AM...turn on light, think about getting up...
- Check clock again...9:07 AM...actually get out of bed...
- Check e-mail...
- Sloooooowly get dressed...
- Check clock...9:17 AM...no time to eat breakfast, gotta drink a Slim-Fast instead...
- Grab jacket and backpack...
- Put computer to sleep (lucky bastard), turn off light, leave room, lock door, wait for elevator, get downstairs...
- Check watch: 9:22 AM...internal monologue: "It's okay, it's 6 minutes fast anyway..."
- Walk through the cold wind for 8 minutes...
- Get to Hall of Languages, find auditorium, find seat...
- Check watch: 9:30 AM...internal monologue: "HA! I knew setting this thing ahead was a good idea! There's hardly anyone else here!"
*TWO MINUTES PASS*
- Internal monologue: "Man, I'm glad I actually made it to philosophy today. I've slept through the last couple lectures, so it'll be nice to know what we're talking about..."
*TA WALKS IN AND STANDS AT THE FRONT OF THE ROOM*
*TA: "Excuse me...class is cancelled."*
- Stare in disbelief, slowly get up, put on jacket, and walk out of building in a daze...
- Walk through the cold wind for 8 minutes, forgetting to stop at Newhouse and pick up a Time Schedule of Classes...
- Get back to dorm, take elevator upstairs...
- Unlock and open door, turn on light, turn on computer...
- Check clock...9:42 AM...
- Sit and wonder why the universe hates me...
- Log in to blog, click "New Entry," type this post...
- Preview and proofread...
- Hit "SAVE."
So...does anyone know any strategies for completely resetting your internal clock? I need to convince my brain that night does not, in fact, begin at 5 AM.
I had a revelation of sorts this morning, and I thought I'd share it.
You see, the communications professors here at Syracuse have offices in Newhouse II. A few of them like to put anti-Bush material on their doors, and I pass it whenever I go to my screenwriting class.
Do you think that if I went to Nancy Cantor and told her that, as a Bush voter, this material makes me "feel excluded and unwelcome," she would disband the Newhouse school?
Probably not. That would be taking things too far, wouldn't it?
I miss my drumset. Playing snare just doesn't compare to having an entire rhythmic arsenal at your disposal.
Oh, well. Only a month until Thanksgiving...
That trip sucked.
I'm working on another post now, but I had to blog about something that is pissing me off a lot.
Remember HillTV, the student-run television station I used to work with?
As of today, it no longer exists.
The situation began on Tuesday when the Daily Orange ran this article:
Recently an episode of HillTV's comedy show "Over the Hill" was removed from the station's Web site due to concerns about offensive content.
For the last year, the parody news show, modeled after "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," has been filming and broadcasting on the station's Web site and the Orange Television Network. While the original premise of the show was to satirize campus and national news, it has since deviated into segments about "smelly Indian kids," jokes about mentally retarded people and Chancellor Nancy Cantor's desire for "thick black sausage."
"Over the Hill" and all HillTV programming is funded through a significant portion of the Student Activity Fee.
In the removed episode, anchor Shawn Abraham, one of the co-creators and producers, jokes about September's Student Association-University Union conflict about the possibility of bringing Kanye West for a benefit concert. He says "Well, I guess this confirms what we already knew: President (Travis) Mason does not care about black people." [note from CD: Travis Mason is black. That's part of the joke.]
Former HillTV General Manager Chris Milkovich, whose term ended about one month ago, and his staff removed the show by choice because they felt the comment could be offensive, he said.
"There were no implications there, no harm," Abraham said.
There's more to that article detailing the other "offensive" content of the show, so follow the link to read the rest.
Anyway, HillTV first dealt with complaints by, as the article says, taking the offensive episode off the website. However, that apparently wasn't enough for the PC Police, and after a series of meetings about the rampant racism on campus and the need for tolerance and diversity, "Over the Hill" was eliminated entirely. As much as that sucks, you'd think it would be the end of the problem, right?
Not on Nancy Cantor's watch.
People were still complaining about being offended, and "students of color" claimed to feel "unsafe" on a campus that allowed that kind of content. So what happened next? This:
HillTV disbanded: Chancellor revokes student group status, vows to create new TV station
Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor disbanded the student-run television station HillTV on Thursday.
Cantor spoke to former HillTV General Manager Rich Levy, the department heads and the former sports director at 4:30 p.m. to tell them of her decision to disable the station. Cantor also told the HillTV representatives of the administration's decision to create a new student-run television network on campus.
The HillTV Web site, HillTV.com, was removed Thursday evening.
Cantor did not allow the former HillTV members to speak in defense of the station.
"The meeting was organized so she could tell us her decision, so no, there was no room for discussion," said Emily Wasco, former HillTV entertainment director.
Cantor delivered the same news to the campus community at "Speak Out," the open meeting designed to address the recent HillTV content issues in Hendricks Chapel at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Cantor began her speech by saying she felt personally wounded as one of the many victims of the "Over the Hill" entertainment show.
"Others who were disparaged live on this campus," Cantor said. "They've been made to feel excluded and unwelcome ... This is unacceptable."
She explained how the Office of Greek Life and Experiential Learning asked "Over the Hill" to desist, but it did not comply.
Students on other HillTV shows do not hold the same mentality as "Over the Hill" and have been doing good work, Cantor said. She said she does not want to take the experience of working at a television station away from those students, so she is forming a committee to create a new student-run network.
"She is very adamant about us being part of the committee," Wasco said. "We all appreciate that."
In addition to the new network, Cantor said the former HillTV studio, located in Watson Hall, will still be open for student production use. With the supervision of Orange Television Network General Manager Andy Robinson, students will still be allowed to use the equipment and studio located in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center.
"I do (think the disabling of the station was too harsh) to some extent, but I can understand where the chancellor and the community is coming from," Wasco said.
Cantor said she encourages all students to get involved with the new station. She said she wants to build television shows that represent everyone on the SU campus and wants to take the opportunity to "build a better community."
So, there you have it. One show produces content that a few oversensitive assholes find offensive, and the chancellor disbands the fucking TV station.
This is what happens when you bend over and take whatever the Thought Police demand of you. The station complied with every request to alter their content, and nothing was good enough except punishing over 200 people for something that only a dozen or so had anything to do with. Sure, they're forming a new organization, but after this, I doubt that any "offensive" (read "entertaining") content will be allowed.
Hey, Nancy Cantor, guess what? Since this blog isn't connected to the university, I actually have the right to say things here that some would consider offensive. With that in mind...
...In any case, this debacle proves my new theory that liberals are not capable of being "anti-establishment" anymore, because they are the establishment.
Have I mentioned lately that film theory is a load of pretentious, pseudo-intellectual bullshit?
Well, it is.
From Mr. Mertz, the SU band director (slightly paraphrased):
"If you take any extra steps on that move, you'll need a proctologist to retrieve your instrument!"
This was extra funny because:
1) He said it over a loudspeaker
2) His mother was right next to him (seriously)
I love marching band. Especially since I have to get up at 6:30 tomorrow morning for rehearsal.
Hi! I'm CD's work ethic! I'm a little lost right now. Can anybody help me find my way home?
Crap. Okay, see ya.
I just got this in my school e-mail:
The Onondaga County Health Department has issued a boil water order until further notice for the southeastern portion of the City of Syracuse, which includes both Syracuse University's North Campus and South Campus. The order has been issued due to test results received today identifying the presence of E-coli bacteria in water samples.
Water should be boiled at a full boil for a minimum of one minute
before drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes or being
used in food preparation; boiling kills most bacteria and other
organisms in the water.
Bathing is permitted, but incidental ingestion during bathing
activities should be avoided.
During the duration of the boil water order, only bottled beverages
will be served in campus dining halls, and appropriate procedures are
being followed in food preparation.
Water bottles are being distributed to North Campus residence halls.
Two bottles per day will be available for each student in a residence
Bottled water for South Campus apartment residents and Skyhall
residents is available from 7:30 a.m. to midnight at the Goldstein
Student Center and from midnight to 4 a.m. at the South Campus Welcome
Center on Skytop Road.
Bottled water will be available for users of campus gymnasiums and
other Recreation Services facilities.
Bottled water is available to academic/administrative departments on an
as-needed basis through the University Commissary at 443-3803.
The Onondaga County Health Department is working cooperatively with the
City of Syracuse to identify and correct the problem. E-coli bacteria
indicate that the water may be contaminated with human or animal waste.
Those most at risk for health issues from E-coli ingestion include
infants, young children, elderly individuals and people with severely
compromised immune systems.
When ingested, this bacteria may cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea,
headaches or other symptoms. It is advised that if you are experiencing
any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.
Students with concerns or questions may contact Health Services at
As promised, here's a post about Friday's rather eventful band trip. This is going to be another one of those very long posts that acts as filler until I get time to write again. I'll be busy this week.
Like I explained a few days ago, the Powers that Be decided that the SU marching band needs to travel now, and one of the games they picked took place on October 7 at the University of Connecticut. As a result, rather than sitting around reading blogs and randomly falling asleep like I usually do on Friday afternoons, I was forced to load my drum onto a bus at 12:30 and prepare for a 5 hour ride. Joy.
...That was my mindset at the time, at least. The trip ended up being a lot more interesting and entertaining than I expected. Read on...
Anyway, I got to the Carrier Dome around 12:30 PM, and we started loading up the equipment. When we take short trips, we have to use school buses, and we put the drums in any available seats. This means that it's extremely cramped, and a few people usually end up standing.
This time, however, they were smart enough to get us a few charter buses, so we were able to put everything in the storage area (which, as you know if you've ever taken a school trip, is usually reserved for suitcases). In addition, the bus I was on was reserved for the drumline and leaders, which meant that there weren't as many people as usual, and I was able to get my own seat. Sweet.
We were supposed to leave at 1:00. But of course, like every school-related trip in the history of humanity, that didn't happen. We got going a little after 1:30, which wasn't too much of a difference, but still...
If you've been on a charter bus, you know that they have TVs and VCRs. This one was no exception, and it also had a DVD player, which we took full advantage of. We started off by watching and critiquing the videos from our first couple performances this year, thus demonstrating that we are all gigantic band geeks. Pretty soon, we wanted to watch an actual movie, and the real fun started. What movie was it, you ask?
Team America: World Police. Specifically, the unrated version.
Whatever you think about that, I assure you that I was probably thinking the same thing...
I had actually never seen this movie, so I was kind of interested. I don't want to turn this post into a review, but let me just say that it was one of the funniest things I've seen in months. Seriously, if you haven't watched Team America yet, and you're not offended by a lot of coarse language...and explicit puppet sex...then I highly recommend it.
The thing that really made this awesome, however, was the fact that the band director and the drumline instructor were sitting a couple seats in front of me, so I got to see their reactions. Bwahaha. It's hard to describe this part of the experience to someone who wasn't there and doesn't know these guys, but believe me when I say that they were almost as funny to watch as the movie itself. There's nothing like hearing "America, fuck yeah! So lick my butt and suck on my balls!" and looking down to see perceived authority figures laughing their asses off. And now, every time someone says "derka derka," the drumline guy cracks up. Heh heh.
After that movie, they put in Dumb and Dumber, and since I've seen it quite a few times, I kinda tuned it out and listened to some music. Eventually, we left New York and drove through Massachusetts, making it officially the first time I'd been in New England. My thoughts: Massachusetts has trees. Lots and lots of trees. And also...trees. Man, there were a lot of trees in that state. At least the part we were in.
We pulled into a rest stop around 4:45, and I got to see what happens when 200 people all try to order food from the same three places. I think some people waiting in line for McDonald's had to stand outside for a few minutes. Luckily, I don't eat that crap, so I only had to wait about ten minutes for some pizza at one of the other places. After spending about 40 minutes there, we hit the road again and headed for Rentschler Field.
I don't know exactly what time it was when we entered Connecticut, but I do know that we didn't get to the field until about 6:45, which was over an hour later than we were supposed to be there. We unpacked everything, stood around in complete confusion for a while, briefly warmed up, and ignored random comments from fans in the parking lot. Eventually, we marched over to the field, and I almost had a heart attack because we were taking huge steps. There's nothing like sitting on a bus for hours and then marching while wearing a snare drum with little time to get loosened up.
The game started at 8:00, and by this time, it was already raining. I mentioned this, right? No? Well...it rained on Friday. A lot. This was one of the highlights of the night. More on that later...
Anyway, since our football team sucks, we got to watch them get annihilated for a couple quarters while trying our best to have fun playing in the stands and ignore the rain. And when the scoreboard played some weird recruitment ad about UConn being a top-rated public university, a few people started chanting "staaaaaaate school! Staaaaaaate school!" Bwahaha. Oh, the joys of going to a private university...
After a pretty crappy first half, we headed down to the field to do our halftime show, and we got to hear more inane bullshit from fans who were probably too dumb and inebriated to remember where they were. Apparently, the evil twin of our "UConn, USuck!" cheer is "SU, sucks to be you!" Fascinating.
Despite the rain and resulting wet field, we put on a decent, albeit brief performance. Then we got to watch UConn's band...and they were good. Really good. They came to SU last year, and I really don't remember them being that impressive. Especially the drumline. I think this was the first time that another school's band put on a better show than us. And since we're not a bunch of overly competitive assholes, we had no problem clapping for them.
When we got back to the stands, there were still a few minutes left before the second half, and most of us hadn't had a bathroom break since the rest stop in Massachusetts, so a bunch of people, myself included, headed up to use the facilities. This is where the real fun started.
I knew to expect some stupid crap from Katherine's "enjoy the UConn drunkards" comment, but...wow. I've been to hockey games and rock concerts, and I've been living in dorms for a couple years, and I still wasn't prepared to be surrounded by this much intoxication. And nothing draws the atttention of drunk football fans like wearing the colors of the opposing team. A few comments I can remember:
- "Syracuse sucks!"
- "You band guys must be drinkin' a lotta beer, ya gotta pee so much!"
- "Hey, [random slurred speech] play up at Notre Dame when [more random slurred speech]? 'Cause they got [even more random slurred speech] up there!"
As I told a couple people afterwards, one of the reasons I don't go to parties is that they're full of idiots like that.
After we got back to the stands, it started raining a little harder...then a lot harder. By the fourth quarter, it was a steady downpour. We had ponchos, but they really didn't help that much. On the plus side, playing drums in the rain is fun. You know how Blue Man Group puts paint on top of their drums and hits 'em really hard to make colorful splashes? The physics are the same with a marching snare. I'll let you figure out the rest.
After the slaughter ended (Syracuse lost 26-7), we went back down to the field to march again. You see, UConn has this thing where they don't let the bands out of the stadium until everyone else has left, so they have a postgame show to pass the time, and they invited us to do another performance in front of the 30 or so people who stuck around to watch. And so, in the pouring rain, we performed the opener of our second show ("The Glory Days" from The Incredibles).
UConn's band came on after us and did a really, really cool West Side Story show. These guys are frickin' good, and they got plenty of applause from us. After it was all over, we lined up and marched out of the stadium. It was raining even harder by this time, if you can believe that, and we had left our ponchos in the stands, so we were all soaking wet. And it was about a five minute walk back to the buses...plus the time it took to load up our drums again.
Once everyone was on the bus, we got to experience the magic of a couple dozen soaking wet people trying to change clothes in close quarters. Did I mention how lucky I was to get my own seat? I'm not going to try and describe the smell, but you can probably imagine that it wasn't pleasant. We finally started to head back around 12:15 AM.
The ride home wasn't quite as hilarious, but the people around me passed a couple hours with mind games (lateral thinking puzzles, etc.). One guy taught us a game that is quite possibly the best method of psychological torture ever conceived. It involves hand motions, so I can't really recreate it here, but if you ever hear the phrase "zoom zoom zoom zoom, whoopee, zoom zoom zoom zoom zoom," be prepared to rip your own brain out. That's about all I can say without giving it away.
We got back to the Carrier Dome at about 5:15 AM (yes, you read that right). As soon as we got off the bus, we noticed that it was about 25 degrees colder outside than it had been in Connecticut. Good ol' lake effect. After spending a few minutes bringing everything back in and drying off the drum heads, we were able to leave. I got back to my room around 6:15 and wrote the post below this one, so I guess that's the end of the journey.
I really expected this trip to suck, and in some ways, it did. However, there were a lot of memorable moments, and it was one of those times when your situation in life is so absurd that you have to laugh, which was what I spent much of the trip doing. If you knew me in real life, you'd know that it takes a lot for me to even crack a smile, so I guess I can say that I had a good time. I'm not sure if I would do it again, but I definitely had a good time...if that makes any sense. Also, I made some money out of it. They gave everyone $30 for food, and I only spent about $7.50. Heh.
And now, I'm getting tired again. Later.
Wow...it's 6:15 AM, and I just got back from UConn about an hour ago (I'm just writing this now because I had to unpack and dry my drum, then walk 15 minutes back to my dorm). This game was one of the most blogworthy events in recent memory, and I'll definitely be writing about it...in a few hours.
Right now, I need. to. SLEEP.
Stay tuned, minions...
As most of you know, I'm majoring in Television, Radio, and Film at Syracuse University. One of the classes I'm taking this semester deals with film criticism. Basically, we sit there for 3 hours and watch movies while the professor points out various instances of symbolism and explains the hidden messages. For the past couple weeks, we've been viewing and discussing so-called "teensploitation" movies (yeah, that's right, you wish you had my life. Did you ever get academic credit for watching Animal House and Fast Times at Ridgemont High? I didn't think so).
Anyway, today's featured film was Ferris Bueller's Day Off (now that you know that, imagine Ben Stein reading the title of this post...). The professor started off the class by discussing the influence of that film's director, John Hughes.
This brings me to the main point of the post. This class is held in an auditorium with stadium seating, which means the people in front of you are slightly below you. Because of this, I happened to glance down at the notebook of a girl in front of me, and I saw something that made me want to do violent things to her. Ready?
The heading of her notes for today: John Hugh's
Think about that for a second. This is Syracuse University, one of the most prestigious schools in the country, and the TRF major is one of SU's most competitive and exclusive academic programs. And yet, there is a junior in this class who apparently thinks that a last name can be possessive.
I don't think I need to say anything else.
As I've mentioned (and illustrated) a couple times, my dorm room gives me a panoramic view of the
depressing beautiful city of Syracuse, New York. It also allows me to hear a lot of sounds coming from the city.
As a result, every single night since I've been here, I've heard at least one police siren. Tonight's siren was accompanied by what sounded like a fire truck.
This sometimes gets me thinking...how many criminals could there possibly be in this city? I've actually heard at least one siren per night since freshman year. That's several hundred, if I'm doing the mental math right. My theory is that they're just chasing the same guy over and over. Like COPS meets Roadrunner cartoons...or something like that.
I'm supposed to be writing a paper about the Dred Scott case right now...
...Hey, another siren. That's two in five minutes.
You know what's interesting? This semester is probably my easiest schedule so far. My classes are done by 10:30 AM every day except Thursday and Friday, the only other thing I have to do on weekdays is marching band rehearsal from 6:30-9:00 PM on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and I have huge blocks of free time in the afternoon every single day.
And yet...I've barely done any work in the last month. I have class in 8 hours, and I'm still sitting here at the frickin' computer when I should've been in bed an hour ago. I've probably got several hundred pages of reading to get caught up on, and that number gets bigger every day.
Compare this to last fall, which was my busiest semester. I had class in the morning and in the afternoon, and then I had marching band at night. I also had a ton of TRF projects to work on, which meant that I was busy on weekends too. Care to guess which semester of my college career was both my most productive and my favorite?
Yep. Last fall.
So what does this mean? It means that the more free time I have, the less work I get done. Wonderful.
When I schedule classes for next spring, I'll be sure to spread them out over the entire day...
SHUT THE HELL UP.
Overheard in my philosophy class:
"Plato crazy, talkin' 'bout 'da Forms.' Get yo' mystical ass outta here!"
As much as I hate to pull another disappearing act, I just realized that I've spent the last 2 weeks avoiding most of my work, and I am now dangerously close to crashing and burning before the semester is even a month old. Hooray for procrastination...
Don't expect much to be posted here for a while. I'll be dealing with the consequences of my mind-boggling stupidity for the next few weeks.
I'd just like to announce that it is currently 9:05 AM on Saturday, and I've been up for the past 2.5 hours.
I love early morning marching band rehearsals. Especially when the actual game isn't until 3:30 PM. Really.
As promised, here's a better shot of the view from my dorm window:
Again, this is a low-quality picture, and it only covers about 1/3 of what I can actually see from my desk, but it should give you an idea of why I'm so impressed.
Fun fact: The light blue patch in the center-right portion of the photo (below the darker blue horizon) is Lake Onondaga. The real view is, as I said, much better than this shot can convey.
All right, I'm getting ready to leave now. It's about frickin' time.
Later, loyal minions.
Yep. I'm home. I never thought I'd be so happy to be in a crappy state like Pennsylvania again, but...MAN, that semester sucked.
This is indeed a great moment. I just finished writing my last take-home essay. I wrote eight friggin' pages of stupid useless bullshit today, and now I'm done with everything.
Nothing left to do now but pack up, turn 'em in, and get the hell out of here. I just hope I can survive another 36 hours with The Chimps. They're sure not making it any easier...
Just for fun, I recorded a conversation that The Chimps were having outside my door. Check it out (Warning: Contains references to reproductive organs):
This is the kind of crap I've had to deal with for the past few months. And they're usually louder than that.
I've mentioned that we're supposed to be having all-day quiet hours, right?
Fucktards. I can't wait to get out of here.
Only two take-home finals to go, and then on Monday, I'm outta here. That means I'm only three days and eight pages away from being free of this horrible semester from hell. I can't believe I'm actually looking forward to going back to the Soul-Eating State, but the last three months have made me appreciate things like privacy, quiet, sleep, and not doing stupid moronic useless bullshit busywork every single day of my life.
Oh, and I'm planning to do more political blogging once I'm home. Yay.
You're all probably aware that I want to make films. It's why I came to Syracuse. And yet, for some reason, I'm sitting here researching the ad revenues of cable, magazines, radio, and newspapers. The required TRF class I'm taking this semester has almost nothing to do with anything I'm interested in. We covered the film business for one day.
And now I'm trying to do my part to contribute to a gigantic group report/presentation that has absolutely nothing to do with film.
WHAT THE FUCK?!
The major is called "Television, Radio, and Film." It is not "Television, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine, Management, Advertising, and Maybe Some Film If You're Really Lucky."
I just keep thinking about how ironic it is that I'll be paying for this semester someday. Sure, my parents are paying now, but I'll have loans to deal with in a few years. I'll probably have to use the money from my filmmaking career.
Anyone else see the problem?
I will have to pay for this bullshit class eventually, but the money I pay with will not be earned as a result of taking the class, since most of the material is related to the TV and radio business, not film writing or production. So basically, my parents and I are paying for me to be pissed off for a semester. It's a complete waste of thousands of dollars.
...That sounded more coherent in my head than it looks...Oh, well.
Ah, class registration. The most craptastic time of the semester...other than finals.
Anyway, I just finished registering for the Fall 2005 semester. Yay for me! Since I know you're all endlessly fascinated with my life, here's a list of the courses I'll be taking in a few months:
ENI 010: Large Bands
Also known as "marching band." Drumming is fun.
PHI 197: Human Nature
Philosophy is fun because you get to argue with people. Also, I'm hoping this class will aid me in my quest to figure out why human beings are so fucking stupid.
PSC 324: Constitutional Law
I mentioned that I'm minoring in Political Science, right? Somehow, I think this course will be more fun if the professor is a crazy "Bush is destroying the Constitution" moonbat.
TRF 345: Critical Perspective: Electronic Media/Film
The infamous 3 hour night class taught by "the most quotable man in pop culture," Robert Thompson. He has a reputation as a pretentious douchebag who gives impossible exams. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to this one...
TRF 411: Dramatic Writing for TV & Film
This. Class. Is. Going. To. ROCK. I have to take it at 8 AM, but still...it'll be my first class that focuses entirely on screenwriting. If you don't know why that's good, then you really, really, really need to pay more attention to my posts. Heh.
One interesting thing about next semester is that all my classes, other than marching band and TRF 345, are in the morning. That means that I'm going to have entire afternoons free to do work every day of the week. Of course, I'll probably spend most of that time napping, since I'll have to get up at 7 AM some days. But that's okay too. Know why?
Because I'm getting my own room next year!!!111oneonetwo!!!
That's right, I finally managed to score a single. It's not in the same building I'm in now, so hopefully, The Chimps won't follow me there. Unfortunately, it's also really small (you can check out a diagram here), but the important thing is that I'll have it all to myself. Good times.
...And with that, I just remembered that I still have a 6 page history paper to write. Farewell, loyal readers. And remember: Writing of the new Bob and Joe script commences tomorrow. As if that somehow changes your lives in any way.
You know what I like, maybe even more than tours of the campus? I like to get up at 9:45 AM on a Monday, make the 10 minute walk to my 10:35 geography lecture, and see a sign on the door of the auditorium that says "CLASS CANCELLED." Because there's nothing quite like wasting an hour of your life.
On the other hand...hey, no geography today.
I'm currently in the process of declaring a minor in Political Science.
Oh, yes, the next two years are going to be fun.
You know what I absolutely friggin' love about this time of year? The tours. At a large, prestigious university like Syracuse, there are people touring the campus just about every day in the spring. And I think it's frickin' great.
Because, let's be honest, few things in this life can match the experience of having a bunch of high school seniors and their parents stare at you as if you're some kind of zoo exhibit. And I really enjoy going down to the dining hall for lunch to find a sea of gawking humanity blocking the entrance. It's even better when the genius tour guide decides to let them eat there instead of in the student center like they're supposed to.
I hope you've detected the sarcasm by now.
Anyway, I really just want to mess with these tours. Remember that "Scared Straight" program they used to show on MTV, where they would take juvenile delinquents into a prison and have the inmates swear at them until they promised to be good? It would be fun to randomly pull that stuff on unsuspecting tourists:
"So, you want to go to SU, do ya? Well, you'd better watch yo'self, foo'! As soon as your parents leave, you belong to me...bitch!"
Seriously, wouldn't that be the most hilarious thing ever? I think so.
(NOTE: Yes, I did tour this school myself before I decided to apply, but I went during the summer like normal people.)
You know, I've got the entire plot for the next Bob and Joe adventure pretty much planned out, along with tons of jokes and character interactions. But I can't actually write it yet, because I have to study for and take a huge test on business models and Nielsen ratings and boring crap like that, then type up a 3 page paper on cemeteries based on field research, then read about 800 pages of stuff that will take me the next few days to get through, then present a branding plan for Comedy Central, then take another test on weather and ecosystems, then read a 300 page book on underwater archaeology and write a paper on it, then write a history paper, then do a bunch of other useless liberal arts crap for about a month.
Way to stifle my creativity, Syracuse. I'm sure this will really help my screenwriting career take off.
Check out an example of the kind of thing I'll have to deal with on this useless test:
Rules on multiple ownership of broadcasting stations specify that ownership of radio stations in a local market is dependent on market size while the duopoly rule pertains to station ranking and coverage. National TV ownership is limited to no more than 35% of TV homes in the country. Discuss why, in the era of deregulation, these rules still stand. Do you think there should be different ownership limits? Why/why not?
Look, if I wanted to learn about business, I'd major in fucking business, all right? I'm not interested in the distribution of the product. I want to create the fucking product. Get some soulless empty suit do the drone work and let me express myself, you bastards.
In case you haven't figured it out, I'm pissed the fuck off right now. Fucking bullshit semester from hell.
Hey, this uncensored stuff is kinda fun.
T-minus 12.5 hours until spring break. It can't possibly come soon enough. F**king bulls**t semester.
...Uh...have a nice day!
I just finished my history paper. It's done. Completely. It's not due until 9:30 tomorrow morning, and it's DONE!
...This may not seem like that big a deal, but this is one of the only times in my life that I haven't waited until the last minute to finish an assignment. I've been working on this thing for the last 10 days, and now it's freakin' finished!!! I could get used to this "getting done before midnight" stuff.
Annotated bibliographies make my head hurt.
If you write comments on a paper, then tell me to revise and re-submit said paper based on those comments, you could at least write legibly so I would know what the f**k you want me to change. I can't make any meaningful improvements when your comments consist of rectangles around certain words and a scribble that appears to say "befar."
What are you people getting paid for, anyway?
I'd just like to announce that I sacrificed two whole hours of my Saturday afternoon to do research at the library.
...Actually, I'm not sure if that's impressive or just sad...
Seriously, I hope nobody's expecting detailed political blogging for a while. Liberal arts requirements are making my life needlessly difficult. I'll make it up to you by posting the Grand Theory of Leftism over Spring Break (March 11-20). I promise.
As for the time being, I have two huge tests about an hour apart tomorrow, and I've barely studied for either of them yet.
In other words, I'm boned like a Crunchy Frog. Bye now.
Have I mentioned that the "people" on my floor make me want to do violent things to them?
Get me the f**k out of here.
UPDATE THE SECOND
Oh, and when I do get back to regular blogging, there are going to be some changes around here. Don't bother trying to crack that enigma. You'll understand when it happens.
I hope you're not expecting any major posts in the next week, because if you are, you're going to be extremely disappointed.
Introductory paragraphs are evil. Evil, I tell you.
You know what's great about mid-February? In every class, at least 30% of the people in the room are sick. Therefore, lectures are made more lively and exciting by continuous f**king coughing and sneezing for an hour.
History: "The te*cough*mper*cough*ance move*cough*ment be*cough*ga*ah-choo-choo-choo*n in the 19*cough*0*cough*0*cough*s as *cough* a form of *cough**cough* so*cough*cial con*cough*trol..."
Geography: "When *cough* spe*cough*cific hum*cough*id*cough*it*cough*y is e*cough*qual to *cough* wa*cough*ter ca*coughah-choocough*paci*cough*ty, *snnnnnnnkkk* *cough* it's *cough* known *cough* as *cough**cough* *coughcoughcoughah-choocough* the dew *cough* point..."
Archaeology: "The *cough* Deetz gra*coughah-choo*vest*snnnnkkk*one stu*cough*dy found a *cough* patt*cough*ern in New *cough* Engl*cough**cough*and repre*cough*senting *cough* *ah-choo ah-choo choo ahhhhh-chsnkkk* the de*cough*velo*cough*pment *cough* of *snkkkk* reli*cough**cough*giou*cough*s tradi*coughchoo*tion*cough*s..."
Just so you know, I am still alive, and I do realize that I haven't posted much, but there are two reasons for this.
1. I am really, really, really falling behind on my schoolwork, and I've been doing a lot of reading to catch up.
2. There's not that much to write about.
Yeah. Yay, college.
So, my RA started off tonight's floor meeting by saying, "In case you didn't know, I have the flu, and apparently, so does half the campus." After she said this, several people coughed and raised their hands.
Well, nothing's better for the flu than GATHERING US ALL TOGETHER IN A ROOM, YOU IDIOT!!!
Only a month until Spring Break...
I just spent the afternoon at HillTV as we finished the new episode of Syracuse Live, and it's online already. Check it out.
I ran VTR for this one, which means I got to sit in the control room pressing "play" and "pause" and switching between tapes. If you watch the show, keep in mind that whenever it goes to a PSA or out-of-studio segment, it's because I pushed a button. Fun stuff. We actually had to start the show 3 times because the decks kept screwing up, but it came out all right.
You know, when I was a senior in high school, I took a class called AP (Advanced Placement, for those who don't know) European History. I had to write a 3 page essay practically every other night, and each one usually took about an hour.
Fast forward to the present. I'm a sophomore in college, so I should be better at writing essays, right? You'd think so. But it's taken me an entire freakin' night to write 2 pages of my 3 page history essay. I'm still not done, and the dang thing is due in 10 hours.
This is going to be a looooooooooooong semester. I just want to make movies, dang it. Why is that so hard to understand?
Well, 40 minutes later, I'm done. And the essay is basically crap. I must've typed the word "African-American" about 100 times. I'm afraid to overuse "black" in a class where the writing guide warns against "jingoist nationalism" (see Wednesday's post).
So, I've got a history essay due on Friday. My professor provided a handy guide for writing papers. Check out a couple choice excerpts:
When talking about the United States or the â€śAmerican people,â€ť do not refer to it or them as â€śweâ€ť or â€śus.â€ť [Incidentally, â€śUnited Statesâ€ť is singular; this is a philosophical and ideological, as well as grammatical, truth.] Plural first-person pronouns are not only historically inaccurate (e.g., were you really there when â€ś*we* beat the British in the Battle of New Orleansâ€ť?), but they smack of jingoist nationalism, as well.
Be conscious of the pitfalls of ethnocentrism, sexism, class bias, and so onâ€”and strive to avoid them. Not all Americans wereâ€”or areâ€”male, white, middle class, native-born, Christian, etc. And not all people are Americans. Do not, for instance, refer to females by their first names (â€śJaneâ€ť for Jane Addams); would you call F. Scott Fitzgerald, â€śScottâ€ť (or â€śF.â€ť)? And PLEASE avoid arbitrary use of male denotations for people generally. [In response to those who believe that â€śmanâ€ť and male pronouns are â€śgenericâ€ť terms, consider the implications of the following: â€śWe want to hire the best man for the jobâ€ťâ€”or the statement (correct by â€śtraditionalâ€ť standards of usage) that â€śSome believe that it is up to each individual to decide whether or not he should have an abortion.â€ť] In short, do not assume or assert homogeneity or consensus where it does not existâ€”and do not ascribe your attitudes, gender, identity, or beliefs to the world at-large.
I find the second one rather interesting, as the topic for the essay is this:
How did white Northerners, white Southerners, and African Americans understand the concept of freedom during the era of Reconstruction?
How exactly does one answer this question without asserting homogeneity or consensus?
I was reading a PDF for my history class, and something didn't seem quite right. Check out the screen shot below, and see if you can find the rather amusing mistake:
Typo, or Freudian slip? You be the judge.
You know what I love more than anything else? Going to the bookstore and finding that every book I need for my history class is sold out. Fan-freakin'-tastic.
(Inauguration? What's that?)
Hey, if you're in the Syracuse area, and you happen to hear a faint sucking sound in the distance, that's my classes for this semester. Holy crap. I have to buy about 15 books for 4 freakin' classes, and my professors all think they're high school teachers. One of them talks to us like we're retarded and refuses to let anyone leave the room, another one wanted to make a seating chart, another one forced everyone to sit near the front, and they all tell really lame jokes and then laugh as if they were actually funny.
Holy crap. They should be paying me to deal with this.
Okay, I want you all to take a look at this picture:
In case you can't tell, that's ice. On the inside of my dorm room window. A window which has been closed all day.
...Yeah, I really don't have anything else to say about this. I just thought it was weird.
Well, I'm back in
Chimptown Syracuse, and my first class is at 9:30 AM tomorrow. Uh...yay?
Well, here I am in Pittsburgh again. Yep.
That's about it. Why did nobody comment on the movie post yet? Don't you like student films?
YOU WATCH PINOCHLE NOW!!!
Hey, did you ever wonder what happens when the RAs don't bother to enforce quiet hours during finals week? I'll tell you what happens: THE FREAKIN' CHIMPS GO AHEAD AND MAKE NOISE ANYWAY!!!!!!!
Holy crap, I need to get out of here before I do something I'm going to regret.
Two more days...two more days...two more days...
Tonight at 9, school enforced 24-hour quiet hours begin in the dorms. The Chimps can actually be disciplined by the university for making noise after this starts. It's going to be awesome.
Incidentally, I decided to start a Facebook group dedicated to letting the world know that my floor is full of idiots. It's called "Shaw 4 Sucks," because it's dedicated to the 4th floor of Shaw, which sucks. Kinda makes sense, you know. Right now, the group consists of me and my roommate, but maybe we can get more people on board. The Chimps will be stopped!
Yeah...I'll write a good post tonight after the screening of my new "film" (it's actually a video, but you get the point). Until then...maybe you should go do something else.
GUY #1: F**k you!
GIRL #1: F**k you harder!
GUY #1: I f**king hate you!
GIRL #1: I hate you more!
GUY #2: I like both of you.
I have to listen to this every. single. day.
Make it stop.
Have I mentioned that I live with a bunch of chimps? Here's a paraphrased sample of the kind of crap I have to put up with:
RANDOM GUY #1: YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!
RANDOM GUY #2: YEEEEEEEAAAAHHH!!! AWWWWW YEAAAAAAHHHH!
RANDOM GIRL#1: (from several doors down) YEEEEEAH! I'M SO HYPER!!!!!
RANDOM GUY #1: YEEEEEEAHHHH!!!! *clapping*
RANDOM GUY #3: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! HAW!!! HAW!!! HEH HEH HAW HEH HAW HEH HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!
RANDOM GIRL #1: WHOOOOOOOO!!!!!
I don't even know what the friggin' morons are reacting to.
(And yes, she really did scream "I'm so hyper" down the hallway. I'd rather not know why.)
So, I just completed class registration for next semester, using the craptastic online scheduling program known as MySlice. I know you're all fascinated by every tiny detail of my life (hey, stop laughing!), so here's a list of the classes I'm taking (this could change, but I doubt it):
-ANT 145: Introduction to Historical Archaeology
-GEO 155: The Natural Environment
-HST 102: American History Since 1865
-TRF 235: Television, Radio, and Film in Society
...Yeah, I'm definitely going to be spending a lot of time at HillTV next semester. Otherwise, I may go insane from the almost total lack of anything relevant to TV/film production (TRF 235 is just a theory class, which doesn't help at all).
The good news is that if I survive the academic limbo that is Spring semester, I'll get to take a ton of TRF and Political Science classes for the rest of my college career. I hope it'll be worth it.
The other good news is that I ended up with only one class on Tuesdays, which will give me lots of time for blogging. Yay!
...What? You say I should use Tuesdays to study? Where's the fun in that?
My school spirit just dropped a bit.
What Kerry lacked was simplicity. Bush had one message; Kerry had dozens. Bush had one issue; Kerry had scores. Bush ended his sentences when you expected him to say more; Kerry went on and on, adding one prepositional phrase after another, until nobody could remember what he was talking about.
I thought I was having deja vu or something, but then I realized that my political science professor said this almost word for word in this morning's lecture. Except he claimed it was his theory as to why Bush won. Right down to the "simplicity" thing.
So, basically, he either stole his theory from William Saletan, or he is William Saletan.
Any ideas as to how I can use this?
The Chimps are wearing costumes. Again. And they've been out in the hall screaming for the better part of an hour. Some girl with a beer in her hand blocked the path to my room as I was trying to carry back a delicious slice of snack bar pizza. I can't take this.
On a positive note, I did see a rather creative costume: A guy wearing regular clothes, with a sign around his neck that said "nudist on strike."
My dorm is full of people in Halloween costumes. I feel it's my duty to inform them of two things:
1. You're in college, not kindergarten.
2. It's October 29th, you idiots.
This wouldn't bother me so much if I didn't have to get up at 7:15 tomorrow morning (more on that later). I know these friggin' chimps aren't going to let me sleep.
Incidentally, I will refer to the people on my floor (excluding my roommate and one RA) as "The Chimps" from now on.
(Cynicism is fun)
Does anybody know how to build a machine that stops time? Because that's about the only way I'll be able to do everything I need to do in the next 2 weeks.
By the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm too busy to post just about anything other than this crap. I don't like the fact that the most stressful 2 weeks of my life also happen to include the most important presidential election of my lifetime, but...hey, priorities, man. Don't expect a lot of punditry until mid-November. And even then, I may take a total hiatus. We'll see.
NS: Long day ahead. I'll be back at like...Friday.
I'm continually amazed by the number of marijuana users I work with. It's just...mind-boggling.
My psychology professor talked about cognitive dissonance today. As an example of this, she said something like, "Bush needs to convince himself that he's a good leader, but he knows that Iraq isn't going very well."
At least come up with something creative if you're going to put Kool-Aid in your coffee.
Also, my TRF professor thinks that the questions in last night's debate were...wait for it...biased against Kerry.
Do these people even inhabit the same planet as us?
CD: Did you see that Christopher Reeve died?
NS: I heard.
NS: ...About time.
Sometimes, I worry about people.
Yeah...Wednesdays are not conducive to blogging.
But don't worry, because I'll be watching the presidential debate tomorrow. I'm sure you can all draw your own conclusions with the information I just gave you, so I'm going to get back to real life now.