Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Finals are Over!

My first final was actually last week on Thursday for my ancient philosophy class. It focused almost entirely on Aristotle’s Ethics, which I found to be quite interesting. I still do have a paper to write for this class, but I had been putting it off until my finals were done, and now that they are done I really don’t have too much motivation to write it, but I’m sure once I sit down and get on a role the paper will just flow out of me faster than I can imagine…or at least I hope it will. Anyhow, this final I think I did very, very well on. I’m pretty sure I got only a couple wrong at most. I knew my stuff for this one.

Now onto my next final, astronomy. I had this one bright and early at 8 am Monday morning. I spent all day Sunday curled up in my bed or curled up on a couch with books in my hands studying for all of my exams. I didn’t think that that was enough so I also got up at about 4:30 am-ish Monday to study even more before my exams. I really don’t think it helped too much. I’m probably just going to take my astronomy class pass/fail so all I had to do was get like a 60 on the final to come out ok. If I somehow managed to whip out a “B” or better on the final, then I’ll take the grade. We’ll see how it worked out when grades come out.

Later on Monday I had my computational theory final. I had really been dreading this one because I knew it would be hard. As much as I enjoyed this class and the concepts that we covered, this class sure wasn’t easy at all. Coming into the final I was getting an 86 so I had to get about a 75 or better to keep a “B” going in the class. I don’t know if I quite pulled that off or not as the exam was pretty hard, but not so hard that I couldn’t handle most of it. I really hope I did well on this exam because it would be so nice to get a “B” in this class because I don’t think I’ll be getting a “B” or higher in my other computer science class for the semester, algorithms.

Well, since I brought up algorithms, let’s talk about that final a little bit. I had that exam from 5-7 pm yesterday, which was by no means fun. There were a couple of problems on the exam which I knew the final answer for, but I didn’t remember the steps of how to do it, and that is what he is really looking for, so I’m sure I didn’t do too well on those problems. I’m hoping that I do manage to do moderately well on this final because then I will not have to finish the last project I was working on. The project is frickin’ baffling and I don’t think I could finish it without a great amount of time and effort that I just don’t have right now. I might just have to settle for the first “C” I’ve ever gotten in a class. I really wouldn’t want that to happen, but I suppose I can’t go through college without getting at least one “C” for something. I just really don’t have the motivation to try and teach myself the stuff for this last project, program it, test it, and write up a lab report. Besides, I have that philosophy paper I have to think about and get done as well and I have a lot more motivation to finish that.

Well, now that my finals are over, guess what I get to go do today? SEE THE TWO TOWERS TONIGHT!!! Oh my goodness, I am so looking forward to this. I’m going with Kristin to get tickets early right when the theater opens so that we can get in and see it tonight. If we can’t get tickets, I think I might explode and kill someone because I’ve waited a year to see this movie, dammit, and I want to go see it tonight! After the movie, I think I might head out to the Red Carpet in St. Cloud to unwind with Chen, Vu, and Johnny. They’re having the dueling pianos and Chen has told me many times that they are great so I’m anxious to see them. I might not go, though, if Johnny or Vu doesn’t come with because I’m not really much of a bar person, but I’ll go to celebrate or chill with people I usually don’t get to see at the bars. Johnny never goes so that’s really the main reason I want to go (no offense Chen, but I see you every day since I live with you).

Saturday, December 14, 2002

I Love Being Lazy

It may be finals week (or at least the pre-final study days) right now, but even though it is I’m doing a lot more socializing and non-school related stuff than I should. I guess I don’t really function well until a deadline is looking me square in the eye and threatening me that I won’t be able to beat it. I have two finals on Monday, astronomy at 8 am and computational theory at 2 pm, and one final on Tuesday, algorithms at 5 pm. After that I’ll be done for the semester even though I’ll be up here until Friday because I have to work at the prep school. It’ll be nice, though as I’ll have the days to just veg out and relax knowing that I don’t have anything else hanging over my head. That is always such a relieving feeling to have when you know that the pressures of deadlines, tests, papers, presentations, and all that jazz have been lifted up off of your shoulders. It’s like I’m able to breath fully again. I’m so looking forward to it, but until Tuesday night I still have that extra weight on my shoulders.

Yesterday, which was our official study day here on campus, was the perfect relaxation day for me. When I went to bed last night I fell asleep content, relaxed, happy, and not worried about a thing. Needless to say, when I woke up this morning the realization of what I had left to do before finals slapped me in the face again, but that’s besides the point.

I started off by getting up around 9 yesterday (early for a day off, I know, but I have a hard time sleeping in). I went and registered for a job fair in the cities, dropped off my resume with the on-campus interviewing office, set up a meeting with a career counselor, changed my graduation date to December of 2003, filled out all the forms for my philosophy major, got it approved by the head of the department, talked with my ancient philosophy professor about my paper, grabbed a quick breakfast and went back to my room……….all before noon. Talk about productivity! After I got all of that done I knew that the rest of the day was going to be a nice, no-work day.

I went shopping in the afternoon with Kristin to finish off our Christmas shopping for the year. I’m done, and I think she’s pretty close, which is good since Christmas is fastly approaching. On a whim, while we were in B Daulton Books, I picked up “The Abolition of Man” by C.S. Lewis. It was recommended to me by T-Rob, my philosophy professor, and remembering that I decided I’d pick it up and try to read it over break (it’s a short read so I should finish it in a day or two). After shopping we went to see Star Trek: Nemesis (mom and dad, I hope you guys don’t read this). The reviews made it out to seem like it was going to be a so-so movie, but I really liked it. It was easily on par with First Contact.

The thing that amazed me so much about the movie is all of the philosophical topics it managed to touch upon. Topics such as genetics vs. environment in social development, inequality in intellect & the possibility of changing them, cloning, and some other smaller topics. I would love to have a philosophy discussion session with some of my professors over this movie and what it brings up. For being a stupid sci-fi movie, it was deeper than I expected, even if it was somewhat clich├ęd in how it brought up some of the topics. Even if you aren’t a Trekkie, go see this movie because it is just great.

After the movie I was treated to a wonderful home-cooked meal at Kristin’s house by her family. It tasted so good to have something to eat that I didn’t have to cook myself or that was microwaved. As much as I love to cook, it is still nice to have a meal you don’t have to cook occasionally. We chilled at her place for a bit and then she had to head off to work and I went home to finish off the relaxation process of the day.

I got home, went over to Jeff’s for a bit since he was on duty and I hadn’t visited him for a while. When I got there he surprised me with a wonderful Christmas gift—a monkey bobble head! It’s frickin’ sweet cause it’s one of those monkeys that wears a fez and had the cup for money. Jeff, you made my night even better than it possibly could be! Thanks, dude. When I finished visiting with Jeff, I went home, talked with the apartment-mates for a bit, did a little reading, and then peacefully drifted into sleep. Why can’t every day be just like that?

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

I'm a Champion!

Yesterday was a pretty low key day. I had class and work in the morning, just like any other day, and then went lifting like any other day. A good portion of the afternoon was spent philosophizing over Aristotle and his ethics as I have a test on it tomorrow that I have to take. I am pretty sure that I have most of it down, but I’m sure that I’ll look it over a good amount later tonight and tomorrow morning. I want to do really good on it as it is one of only three things we’re graded on in this class. I’m always a little bit wary when a class is graded on a small amount of things because if you have a bad day or somehow screw one thing up, your grade is severely hurt.

After a good amount of reading over Aristotle’s Nicomachaen Ethics and taking a quick nap I sat down for a little different type of philosophizing—watching the Simpsons. I am always amazed by this show and the sheer amount of small in-jokes, layers of humor, and social commentary. My mommy called in the middle of one of the episodes, though, so I wasn’t able to fully focus on the television, but I’ve seen every episode more than once so it was no big deal. Besides, it’s always nice to talk to the parents every now and again. My mother informed me while we were on the phone, and I had also been told this a couple of days ago by my dad, that my little brother, Ryan, had just gotten his own four wheeler.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Gambling My Money Away

What a weekend, what a time. Let’s just start by saying that there was not a whole lot of sleep had over this last weekend (this seems to be a recurring weekend theme, doesn’t it?). It all started back on Friday. Let’s reminisce back to that day, a long 62 hours ago.

The day started like any other with classes and work and then a nice long run in the afternoon. Friday night I took Kristin out to Cold Stone’s for ice cream since she’d never yet been there (and she lives in St. Cloud, nonetheless!). I love eating at Cold Stone’s and I could probably live off of their ice cream. I don’t really vary what I get when I go, it’s usually French vanilla ice cream with cookie dough and chocolate chips mixed in…mmmmm…so good! Anyhow, the ice cream was good and after we finished we went back to SJU for the Johnnie/Bennie showdown. It was supposed to be like a take off of Double Dare or other challenge games like that, but we had no clue what was going on during the entire thing since we were sitting way in the back and the microphone system wasn’t working. It looked like it might have been fun for the people in it, but we were just thoroughly confused most of the time. The rest of the night we just watched Amanda play video games and hung out. It was a really fun night.

Saturday I got up pretty late, about noon-ish. Burns was nice enough to cook breakfast so we were all treated to a nice pancake breakfast meal. John also brought over some banana bread which I’m sure everyone enjoyed, it’s just I’m not a banana bread fan so I didn’t really have any. In the afternoon we had a special weekend frisbee practice because Katie had a couple of girls up to visit who are possibly going here next year and who play ultimate. She wanted to show them our team and have them play a little with us to show what type of people/team we were. It was a pretty fun time even though a group of soccer people took half of our track space that we DID reserve. We’re just too nice of a team to kick them off like we should have. Oh well.

Saturday night Vu, Chen, John, and I all took off for Mystic Lake Casino down in the cities. I needed to get to the casino. I hadn’t been there since summer and I missed playing blackjack. We started off at the blackjack tables and Vu got up about $90 within a half hour. I was also up about $50, but I kept playing alongside Chen while Vu picked up and left for the time being. I managed to whittle my winnings away back down to breaking even. We wandered around for a while then and got all the free pop we possibly could before we decided we’d try our chances at Bingo for a while. Of course none of us won at Bingo either, but it was fun for the time being. After Bingo it was time to go hit the blackjack tables again. Vu managed to pull off winning another little load of money and ended up winning a total of $115 by the end of the night. Chen and John were both down about $30 or $40, I think, by the end of the night. I left only being down $3 so I basically broke even. We then ate with Chen’s parents at the little diner they had there and then headed back to Chen’s place for a little rest before we headed out early in the morning.

Sunday consisted of me trying to get a little sleep in the morning and then I got up to go shopping with Erica in the early afternoon. She had to pick up a sweater for her mom and I needed to finish some of my Christmas shopping. We also had lunch/supper at Fazzoli’s, my absolute favorite fast food restaurant. I love how you can get a plate of spaghetti and unlimited breadsticks for $1.99. Yummy. When I got back home I tried to study my philosophy, but it didn’t work so well as I would frequently nod off and then wake back up knowing I had to be studying. I finally got fed up with it and just slept for like an hour before the Vikings game. I was so mad that we couldn’t pull off the upset. After the game ended I headed off to disc practice and then to bed. Now the next couple of days I have to focus on getting an algorithms project done, studying for a philosophy exam, writing a philosophy paper, and studying for my other finals. It’s gonna be busy so forgive me if I don’t get a lot of new posts up. I know all you other college kids understand.

Friday, December 06, 2002

Uggghhhh... Work

Do do do do, do doot doot do doot do……don’t recognize the Catina theme from Star Wars, because that’s what that is and that’s what I wake up to on my alarm clock occasionally like I did this morning. Today was different, however, in that I really really didn’t want to get out of bed. As I turned my alarm off I rolled back over in bed and planned on falling back asleep and just forgoing attending work this morning. As I lay there, though, the guilt of knowing I’d be skipping work weighed in on me so I drug myself out of bed and came this morning. I was starting to regret it because I know how much I would have enjoyed that sleep, but then as I was checking some of my news sites I came across the NBA standings up until yesterday. This made my day because right now, our NBA champions, the LA Lakers, are 7-13. Guess what else? They’re also in LAST place in their division. Oh, how I love to see that. In case you don’t know, I can’t stand the Lakers, Shaq, Kobe, Fox, or anyone on that team. It’s about time they got put in their place.

Now I also saw something very disturbing to me as well this morning. As I was waiting for my computer to log me on (it takes 5-6 minutes to log me on, no joke) I was checking out the Scheel’s ad because it was one of the few things to look at that was sitting at my desk and I got to the section for hunting equipment. There was your usual things advertised—gun bags, ammo, scopes, and other accessories, but also in that section was a little baby dressed up in cammo gear. What the hell? Why would you have a baby in the same section of an ad alongside .50 caliber guns? If we see a baby next to a hand gun are we more likely to buy it? “Aww…what a cute baby. Oh, and he’s next to a shotgun. I really should pick one of them up for my baby sometime.” I don’t get it. All it accomplished for me is making me go “Oh my God, why did they do that.” I think if I ever did want to buy a gun I’d be even less inclined to buy it from them.

Anyhow, yesterday seemed to go by unnervingly quick. I had work and classes in the morning and after I got back from classes I read and listened to some new cds all afternoon. I don’t know where the time went. Usually I get tired when I have to read for more than like 45 minutes straight, but I managed to go all afternoon. After I realized that my afternoon had flew by I made myself some food, watched the Simpsons, and then headed down to the Palestra to do some lifting for an hour or so. I’m still in the process of losing my Thanksgiving pounds (along with other various pounds I had put on before break). After lifting, I played some disc for a while and then headed home and watched the T-Wolves game with Megan. She didn’t have any homework to do so she was hanging out at our place when I got home.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Not Enough Sleep

Ok, if this thought seems extra random or incoherent it’s because I only got a little over 2 hours of sleep last night. I stayed up WAY to late watching tv with Kristin and my roommates. For once it was I that was the last person to go to bed instead of the last. I am so looking forward to 1:00 when my classes are done today so that I can go home and take a nice, solid, quality nap.

Anyhow, yesterday I took care of almost all of my Christmas shopping for this year that I hadn't already done. At this time of year I have kind of a love/hate relationship with shopping. I have a blinding hatred for crowds, and this season is the worst time for them. I usually try to go on off days and times to avoid people during this season, so that is why I went yesterday on a Tuesday afternoon. There were still utterly too many people around for my tastes, especially too many stupid people. One thing I noticed while shopping at Walmart is that shopping is a very elitist activity. As I was walking through the aisles picking up what I needed I noticed something. Other college students, mainly those who were male, and most men in general, were polite and made room for me to get around while they looked and I returned the favor as well. Now if I were to encounter a woman in an aisle instead of moving or saying excuse me or anything they would just stand there and ignore me and I would have to just sit there for them to move on from where they were or go around. Also when I would come to an intersection in aisles, men would kindly let me through and I would do the same—I think it’s a male understanding of sorts—we know that this is a dreaded time for us all so we try to help each other through. Women, on the other hand, would just walk right past me, cutting me off and caring less that they were being impolite. Do they all just think that since I’m a male college student that they can just ignore me and inconvenience me? I guess they do, unfortunately.

Now on the flip side, we have my love of shopping during this season. Mainly I love it because I get to go out and try to find the perfect things for my family and the people I know. I always hate getting gifts, but I love giving them. I managed to pick out Christmas presents for both of my grandmas, my mom, my dad, and a few friends yesterday. This also leaves me short on the money now, but that’s fine with me because I know it was money well spent.

On an unrelated note, the Rogue Squad played last night in the first round of the playoffs. Could we win our first game of the season to keep our season alive? Could we really do it? Are you kidding? Of course we couldn’t, winning just isn’t in our vocabulary. We’re like Wimplow from Kung Pow in that we think losing is winning for some reason. It seems like we approach every game by using the “our groin to their fist” maneuver. Oh well, I didn’t really care too much. I had fun and that’s what it’s all about for me during intramural season. Come tournament time, I’ll be hard-core and focused completely on winning, though, so don’t worry about me getting all girly in my sporting attitude. The game was also a lot of fun as Karl, Jeff, Jared, and I put on face paint before the game for intimidation’s sake. Pictures of us can be found here. We looked sweet.

After the game I watched Lilo & Stitch at my place. Great movie. Highly recommended. Go buy it on dvd now and watch it…………so what’re you doing still reading, go watch it—you won’t regret it.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Thanksgiving Break = Me + 5 Unneeded Pounds of Laziness

Man, it’s been a bit since I’ve put up something new. Sorry for the long drought, but I was on Thanksgiving break and away from my computer. I tried to type out my thoughts and post them via telepathy and telekinesis, but neither one worked out quite so well for me. So would you like a run down of my break? Would you really? No? Well, you’re going to get it anyways so live with it. Let’s start with Tuesday.

Tuesday I headed down to the cities to visit Brittany, a friend from St. Thomas. I got to see her very spacious and exquisite apartment. I’m so jealous of the great amount of space they have there. Two levels, four bedrooms, a huge living room, fireplace and nice and clean, just like most girl apartments are. She also had a lovely and cute little dog that I so enjoyed playing with. I really love animals of any kind and I so much miss not being able to have pets here in our apartment besides my fish. As soon as I get my own place I’m going to have either a cat or dog……or maybe both. I just love the companionship of animals, and it felt nice to see my pets at home this weekend as well, but I digress. I hung out with Brit and her roomies for a while and then we went to go see The Ring. This was such a good movie and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good scary movie. It’s not perfect, but it is so much better than most of the crappy horror movies that have been put out over the last few years. After the movie, Nikki came over and we just chilled for the rest of the night.

Tuesday night I stayed at my uncle Dave and aunt Melissa’s place in Apple Valley. They have such a nice place and I can only hope to have such a nice place some day. Dave, along with my little cousins, Alex and Thomas, woke me up bright and early at 6:30 am to say hello. Alex and Thomas had to go off to day care and I just chilled at their place while I chatted with Dave and watched sportscenter. I was going to go to the Saliva concert at the Quest that night with my brother and some of his friends, but the show ended up being sold out so I just headed home to see the family a little early and go to our Wednesday night church service.

Thursday was Thanksgiving Day, of course, so what did my family do? Cook a turkey and all the fixings, silly. We had a wonderful day to just ourselves. We had a big meal, watched some football, went to Die Another Day (with Karl, our neighbor, Sheryl, a good friend, and her cousin in tow), then came home and relaxed and went to bed. It was a wonderfully relaxing day and I’m telling you, I needed it.

Black Friday. Was I stupid enough to go shopping on that dreaded of shopping days? Well, of course I was. Me and my two brothers were outside Best Buy at 5:15 am waiting to get in on some monster deals. We ended up making a good haul. My brother, Randy, got some speakers and a new hard drive for his computer. My other brother, Ryan, got Grand Theft Auto. I made a nice little haul and got myself one of those nifty portable DVD players, a new hard drive, some cdrs, and some DVD’s for my parents to give me for Christmas (I know that it’s kind of sad that I pick out some of my Christmas presents, but my parents think it is better than them buying me something that I don’t want or need). I’d wanted to get a portable DVD player for so long and I finally managed to get one. I was SO happy! The rest of the day consisted of me hanging out with my family and then watching Kung Pow! with my mom and dad that night (let’s just say my mom didn’t care for the movie so much).

Saturday was more hanging out with the family and also with Sheryl and Daniel for a little while in the afternoon. It was good to see them again and catch up. Later that night Randy left to go to a wedding reception, Ryan left to visit friends, and my mom left to go to a concert with my grandma, so it was only me and dad left at home. Since we didn’t have much to do, we broke into the DVD collection and broke out Pi, a movie we knew the rest of the family wouldn’t really watch, so we figured it was our chance to watch something a little different. I absolutely love this movie and it must have been the third or fourth time I’ve seen it. Anyone who is interested in math, conspiracies, insanity, reality/unreality, and thinking should definitely see this movie. I cannot recommend it enough to you. Anyhow, after that Ryan came home and I spent the rest of the night playing NFL Blitz and Demolition Racer with him on Dreamcast. Fun times.

Sunday was church and then the drive back to school. I got back, unpacked, did some running (I have to lose the poundage I amassed during break), and then went to visit Nicole and Amanda. More fun times. Then I got up this morning and had to go to work and classes……fun times had ended. Well, it’s not all that bad, I guess. I enjoy my classes that I had today. I guess I just didn’t like waking up early and going to work again. Oh well. I have to get back into the swing of things quick, though, as I only have two weeks until finals and I’ll be having three cumulative ones so I’ll need to start riding the study horse soon. Well, that was what went on while I was gone. I hope this extra long thought (for those of you that made it all the way to the end) was able to make up for the days of no updates.