Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What They Didn't Tell Me About College (but should have)

Kimber grumbles.

1. Undergrad work is less like college and more like high school. You'll probably get marked down for poor attendance (regardless of whether or not you learned the material on your own), your professor will spend at least a full day (possibly two) blabbing about the syllabus, rather than expecting you to read it for yourself, and the cafeteria food mostly sucks.

2. The people you were glad to leave behind in high school will be replaced by people who are even worse. I hated the kid in my 12th grade English class who thought everyone was stupid for reading the book, yet still had some stubborn opinion about what the author was trying to say. He didn't make it into college, but now I have to sit through a British Novel class with a kid who read the novel back in high school on his own, and so feels that he is more insightful, as he was drawn to the work naturally, whereas everyone else is just reading it because they have to and so cannot possibly have enjoyed it. This kid is also a major brown-noser, but just like in high school the teacher can't see through it, so he gets extra credit just for showing up, while the rest of us have to slave to earn a 'B'.

3. There are still preppy girls, dumb jocks, and counter-culture losers. I thought the admissions process was supposed to screen these people out and leave me with only hard-working intellectuals who were earnestly interested in discussing the more arcane aspects of baroque music composition, but it turns out that the admissions process only really screens for a GPA, a pulse, and whose mommy can write a tuition check.

4. You will not feel any more competent or enlightened at college than at high school. In fact, you will probably be more confused and feel less capable. I'm told this is normal, and that it only means that I'm learning, but I'm pretty sure the people who are telling me this are starry-eyed idealists who have never stayed up all night beating their head against a wall while trying to figure out why Sappho has any relevance to their life, and why finding that connection should mean the difference between an 'A' and an 'F'.

5. If you go into any creative field of study, people will always offer you their ideas in casual conversation. For example, I am an English major with the intent to become a screenwriter. I have had seventeen separate people tell me to watch Shayamalan's movies (he has such great twists!), read certain books (the 21 Day Movie Method is the best; it lets the movie in your heart out onto the page!), or offer to let me help them write their film (which of course will make me--and them--millions of dollars as well as get a heart-warming message out to the people, who will subsequently learn to get along and eliminate all of the world's problems, not the least of which are these horrible teenagers with their awful hair and baggy pants). If you are a liberal arts major, or even just a particularly ambitious geology major, do yourself a favor and tell everyone that you are majoring in accounting, but that you specialize in South Korean currency conversions (this will minimize the chance that someone will ask you for help with your taxes).

6. An internship is completed as part of college, not after it. Apparently this is basic knowledge, but knowledge that I was not made privy to until I'd applied for graduation and started looking around for internships. Turns out that I was competing against college sophomores and juniors (and even some especially ambitious high school seniors) for the opportunity to copy and collate papers, when I should have been competing with fellow college graduates for an opening in the mail room of those same companies.

7. Choosing what you want to eat and when is fun, but there's a lot of work involved. One of the things I looked forward to in college was cooking for myself. I could have steak seven nights a week, make my gumbo as spicy as I wanted it (no teary-eyed, weak-tongued sisters to complain), and try any new recipe I liked without worry about whether anyone other than myself would like it. All of this was true, but it also meant I had to get a job so I could buy food, and that I had to go shopping for myself, rain or shine. I actually enjoy grocery shopping (retail therapy really works for me, even if I'm just buying Wheaties), but I don't always enjoy carrying those groceries. Utah is pretty cold in the winter, and sometimes I have to park my car very far away from the store. On weeks like that I usually elect to not shop at all, but instead see what I can make with a can of salmon, a cheese stick and some saltines (answer: not much). Needless to say, the dreaded "freshman fifteen" is not a problem for people too lazy to buy food.

8. Technology is actually hindering education, not helping it. I love my little laptop, I love wireless internet, and I love, love, love all the stuff JSTOR has online ostensibly for preservation but really just to help out lazy people like me who don't want to go to the library. Using these things I can literally start a term paper at three in the morning, write it in bed, and e-mail it in the next day without ever setting foot on campus. However, the total number of teachers who will accept an e-mailed paper is surprisingly low. Most of my teachers don't really understand how computers work, and so still hand out photocopies of stuff. The teachers who do understand computers usually go way overboard and post dozens of supplementary materials online. They then expect you to read all of them, possibly thinking that the new ease of distribution has also made learning faster. I've had a total of two teachers who used their laptops and the internet competently and to their students' benefit. The rest just horribly screwed everyone over. I know we're in a transition state, but I wish professors would realize that being able to post their syllabus online is not an excuse to make it three times as long.

9. Your grade point average does not indicate how smart you are, or how much you learned. Based on GPA alone, many people would not consider me a successful college student. However, that doesn't mean I wasn't successful at the ultimate goals of a higher education (learning new information, learning how to explain that information in a competent way, learning how to form your own opinions based on that information, and learning to find new information), it just means that I wasn't successful at following the system the college had in place.

10. Things don't matter as much as people tell you they do. What really matters is if you are happy with the way things are going. If you want to waste time in a water color class, even though it has nothing to do with your degree, do it. If you want to lighten your credit load even if it means taking an extra year to graduate, do it. Constantly racing for validation and approval is silly. Regardless of how much you suck, someone else in your school will suck worse, and no matter how amazing you are, some one else is going to steal the spotlight. In the end, all you're responsible for is your own happiness, even if that only comes down to sarcastic list making.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

you gotta be kidding me.

first item of business. My birthday actually wasn't that bad.

Second Item of business, heres a comic that was rejected for not being as "cool" as some others.

Ever wanted a Sea Monkey?

Well after reading this I do.
Sea monkey story

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Birthday Alert!!

This is Devin.
Tomorrow is Nolan's birthday. To celebrate we're getting him a giant cake with a gay stripper inside. I think Nolan should enjoy that. If you want to celebrate then call me up and we can throw a party where we partytime him.

The Daywalkers Return

Kimber reports.

Nolan and Devin are back from Texas, and we are all very glad. However, Nolan did not write the next blog post as everyone voted he should, so I thought I'd pick up some slack. I don't really have anything to say, but I need to look like I'm typing because if I don't it's very obvious I'm just surfing the web.

On that note, I hate this professor. I'm sure everyone has had the unenviable experience of taking a class from a joysucker. Joysuckers take a fun, interesting subject, and suck all the joy out of it. They bog you down with MLA format, and formulaic, uninsightful discussion. They make mundane observations, but expect everyone to treat them as though they are incredibly insightful. If a joysucker is leading a class, there will always be a yes-man idiot who agrees that how you reference the quote is more important than what you say about the quote, and that noticing the obvious Christian symbolism in a work is the most brilliant thing one could have done, despite the fact that it's a religious text.

I filled out a university survey in class today, and I'm afraid I let the bulk of my rage out on them. Count yourself lucky, there were a lot of angry words. Perhaps the university will publish it as the prime indication that they should no longer hire joysuckers en masse. Or perhaps the university will write me off as an angry young woman who just hasn't yet fulfilled the goal of her undergraduate education, which is to get married. Apparently that's very important here, because it was referenced several times on said survey.

I hate it here.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

PARTY TIME!! (also known as unwanted rape-age)

So Texas here is sometimes really boring. I know all the proud Texans would Disagree and intelligently say: "NU-UH TEXAS IS THE BEST! WE HAVE THE BIGGEST EVERYTHING ANYONE WOULD EVER WANT!!! THIS INCLUDES GIRLS!!!!!" But I still say Texas is sometimes boring.

To cure this boredom I either watch one of my uncles movies, or I play Left 4 Dead on his computer. I've gotten pretty good at that game, In fact I am a well known Deity in the Left 4 Dead "world." People worship me, I have had shrines built in Awesome Opossum's (my Online name) honor. But there are some days I really suck, like the one time I was getting "Party timed" by my cousin and my brother. The phrase: Party time, means to have two homo's dance up and down and in a third unwanted party's face. After The dancing goes for about a minute or two Inappropriate caressing occurs for instance... never mind the details are too horrific to mention. The third and final step includes ME GETTING RAPED IN LEFT 4 DEAD, my team then calls me a noob and I now have emotional scars that will never heal. The Shrines Built to Awesome Opossum are now desecrated, the statues are pulled down, no more Graven images of me are available. The gift shops are gone I am reduced to a noob.

So in an ironic sense hen you're raped in the the real world you're raped in the cyber world

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Am Spartacus

Kimber tells about her new dog.

Over the weekend my family got a dog. We haven't had one since I was in ninth grade, which was back in 2000. Now I feel old. Anywho, here's our new puppy.

Just kidding, that's one of the MGM lions. Here's what our dog really looks like.

We named him Spartacus, not from the movie 300, but from the Stanley Kubrick film Spartacus. It's a pretty good movie. If you've seen it, you'll be able to laugh that his collar actually says "I Am Spartacus". It's pretty sweet.

Spartacus is a very smart dog. He's learning things fast, though he gets a little too excited about it. We got him a doggie bed, which he looks adorable on. I'm very happy with him. That is all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

For Your Gee-Whiz Collection

Some assorted facts collected by Kimber.

There are fewer than ten cars for every thousand people in India, as compared to forty cars for every thousand in China, and four hundred and fifty cars for every thousand people in the US.

A pearl will completely dissolved if immersed in vinegar.

The average number of sesame seeds on a hamburger bun is ninety-six.

Tigers have striped skin along with striped fur.

Duck-billed platypuses have no nipples.

In the seventeen hundreds, people used to take pills made of pulverized mummies, believing that this would grant them long life.

Flossing daily increases a person’s life expectancy by about fifteen years.

Little kids don’t like spicy food because their taste buds have not thinned yet. Adults have less taste buds than children do, and so enjoy more flavorful food.

Scientists now believe that there is a fifth taste. The first four are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The fifth is called “umami”, and refers to meatiness, relish, or savoriness.

75% of people make up three-fourths of the population.

Rigor mortis goes through the body from head to toe, and leaves the same way as well.

Ancient Etruscans bathed by dousing themselves in olive oil, and then scraping it off. Obviously, perfume was a very popular product with them.

Bats are the only mammals that can fly (flying squirrels only glide).

Platform shoes were first used in the middle ages by the wealthy in order to elevate themselves above the refuse in the streets.

Up until the 1920s, pink was a boys’ color.

If an engagement is broken, who keeps the ring is determined by who initiated the break-up. If the girl dropped the boy, she gives the ring back. If the boy dumps the girl, the girl keeps the ring.

Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, was allergic to carrots.

Honey is actually regurgitated nectar, or bee barf.

Mammaries are actually modified sweat glands; milk is just especially nutritious sweat.

There are 110 dimples on a golf ball.

The first food to be microwaved was chocolate. It was an accident, and lead to the development of the microwave oven.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pool-Time Fun

Kimber reports an awesome occurrence.

Since I am an unabashed mooch, I always travel with my sister when she goes to her gym meets. This last weekend she went to Phoenix, Arizona, where her team took first place at the Hard Rock Meet. That means they won a Fender electric guitar, which was really cool until I found out that I was the one who had to carry it around for the rest of the weekend. It made me look like a rock star, until I dropped it on my foot and cried like a baby.

The main point of this post though, is to write about the amazing thing I saw which Devin hinted about. Since we had four other relatives coming to see Karina compete we got a really big hotel suite in a really nice resort. My grandpa had to sit through three hours of some horrible lady trying to sell him a time share in order for us to get the major discount which allowed us to book the place, but he slept through most of it anyway, so it was okay. As my mom was showing us all the nice features of our suite (mega-huge bathtub, full range of cable, sweet gift basket, etc.), she pointed out that there were two separate pools; a family pool which had water-slides but was only open during the day, and an adult pool which was smaller, but stayed open all night.

When I looked out the window I found that there were people using the adult pool. For sex. I wasn’t sure initially if they were really doing it, or just humping each other, but a second look confirmed that they were naked and connected in an intimate manner. I was shocked enough that I forgot/didn’t care that my mom, my little sister, and my grandparents were in the room. I pointed and yelled “Are they? They are!”, thus properly drawing attention to the situation, then threw open the window and hollered “Oh, baby! Get it on!” The couple pulled apart immediately, but didn’t leave the pool. They just stared up at us like I was the weird one.

My mother was scandalized by this whole event. She yelled at me every time I burst out laughing for no reason for the rest of the weekend, because I was usually laughing at what she thought I was laughing at. My grandparents thought the incident was funny, but wouldn’t let on because they didn’t want to be a bad example for their grandchildren. I later caught my Nana giggling over it with my Great Aunt Peggy though, so I know I’m not the only one who thought it was funny.

P.S. Yes, I did almost immediately text everyone I knew to tell them that I saw people having sex in a pool.

P.P.S. Devin, you’re the one who left us, and you’re the one who wanted this blog to stay fairly clean. You’re the poo-bah in this situation.