Wednesday, September 30, 2009

justin timberlake.

i couldn't tell you why, but i really wanted to title this post "justin timberlake." probably for no real reason other than the novelty of naming a blog post after a member of n*sync. but hopefully by explaining myself, i'm...


with the explanation out of the way, the rest of this waste of time can continue.
for the unaware, last weekend--wait, two weekends ago--i fell ill. i had the pleasure of going to the health center, wearing a biohazard mask, and having a six inch q-tip shoved far enough up my nose that my brain started pushing back. just before the doctor put the thing in, she handed me a tissue and said, "when i do this, your eyes are going to run like crazy and your nose will probably do the same." and indeed it did. as soon as it entered my right nostril my left retaliated, and yes, the tissue was very much appreciated.

following the interrogation, i got to take the swab to the lab, wait for results, and then be told they weren't really sure what i had. but don't worry, they were still confident enough in my illness that they banned me from campus for the next four days. those four days were thursday, friday, and the weekend. so two days of no classes and then no church. made for an interesting weekend.

when i'd reccuperated, i returned to find my midterms happily waiting for me; staring into my eyes with they're own and grinning sadistically. all things considered, they went alright. because i was having to play catch up and study for all of them at the same time i didn't exactly ace them, but as i knew that was coming, i planned ahead and things should still be able to work out fine in the long run.

this weekend, though, i'm missing class for a weekend by the sea rather than a weekend with the chills playing my roommate's wii. that's a welcome difference. also, the drive to san diego should supply plenty of time to read text books and sleep, both of which i always insist i'll do when i'm sick. then i get sick, remember how apathetic i become towards everything, and wind up beating guitar hero.

so yeah, should be a good time. a pleasant break from things for a few days--at least in presence. if anybody would like me to bring you back some sand, just let me know. i'd be happy to. just get me a vial.

watch for my next post, "joey fatone." as i've named one post after a member of n*sync already, i think in naming the next likewise, i'd be...


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

dishonest clicking.

I have been asked what I mean by my word of honor. I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls-- ever so high, ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground - there is a possibility that in some way or another I will escape; but stand me on a floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of the Circle? No. Never! I would die first.
-Karl G. Maeser

for those reading that are unfamiliar with byu's ways and practices, this story will take a little bit of explanation. basically, when you sign apply to byu, and each year you continue, you agree to the byu honor code. it consists of a few basic groups of rules and standards you agree to uphold during your attendance at byu. some included are following church standards of dress and grooming, the word of wisdom (see link for explanation), and of course, academic honesty. it's nice because although i'd imagine you agree to something similar in regard to academic honesty no matter where you attend, at byu so much emphasis is placed on the students having agreed to follow the honor code that the professors are willing to trust the students with a lot more. and to be fair, i've rarely seen students abuse that trust.

on that note, i've a story to relate. if ever i have been tempted to cheat here at byu, i am no longer after this experience. in my biology class, we use iclickers throughout the lesson. they're basically little remotes that every student brings to class in order to answer multiple choice questions posed by the professor. each has an indavidual frequency making it possible for students to recieve credit for answering the question correctly, or answering at all. in this class, something like one point is given for a correct response and two points is given for just showing up to lecture and even being able to answer. well, twas a sad day for karl to look down upon, and a remarkably uncomfortable one for everyone else present. after one such question was posed by the professor, he asked for someone to explain his or her chosen answer. one eager student a few rows ahead of me raised his hand, and the professor called on him as he walked up the isle toward the student. the conversation between the teacher and student proceeded as follows, the professor speaking first.

"alright, go ahead and tell us why you chose c."
"well, i just saw..."
"wait. why do you have three iclickers sitting on your desk?"
"are you clicking in for students who aren't here?"
(mumbling) "um... no, i..."
"i think you are. that's academic dishonesty."

(a few second pause)

"well, i, i mean..."
"no, it is. you and i both know it."

(ten second pause. the entire class of around 150 students is dead quiet.)

"um... well... i..."
"alright. fine. well then. what was your answer?"
"um... it was... uh... i think..."
"fine. somebody else."

at this point, the entire class is so uncomfortable that we're all just scrambling to move on. thankfully some kid blurted out an answer vaguely connected to the given question and completely incorrect. everone was grateful for it as it made the professor correct him and move on. the kid, though, was able to have his crew of friends surrounding him pat him on the back and whisper (i'm assuming) assurances to him that the teacher was an idiot anyway.

yes, this was probably the most uncomfortable i've ever been in an academic situation. i felt bad for the kid, but at the end of the day, what was he thinking? honestly. you want to cheat, that's you're own choice. but to then be drawing attention to yourself, and then to be showing off the tools of your mischief, seriously. have a little tact.

as a follow up, after class the professor came up to the student and said, "i have the right to flunk you right now, take those i clickers and find their owners and flunk them all as well unless you did it without their permission." at this point i was too uncomfortable to stay and left before i found out if it was just a threat or something more. either way, that really must have ruined that kid's day.

so anyway, for as uncomfortable as i was simply being in the presence of this taking place, i can only imagine how i would feel being responsible. not like cheating was a huge temptation before, but it certainly isn't now. maybe professors should stage something like that at the beginning of each semester... use it as a learning tool.

anyway, there's the story. outside of this delightful experience, things are going well. nothing too exciting to report on, really, but things are going well. hope the same for all of you. so long.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

grilled cheese and get up kids.

to the both of you--
i just wanted to write and say that you two are the best, and i still enjoy your company. you may have been worried for a bit since we weren't hanging out as often. and outside of the usual "i don't have any bread" or "i forgot my headphones" excuses, yes, i wasn't seeing you as much.

grilled cheese, i've seen you nearly every day for the last week and a half, so you know that we're on good terms. it's refreshing to be able to see you again as often as i once did, though i know my double chin is probably even more excited to make a victorious return. because of that, we may have to limit our correspondence to tuesdays, thursdays, and special occasions. but still, you know i love you, right?

get up kids, you're probably a bit more upset with me. yes, i know that i swore i'd see your show tonight in salt lake no matter what, and now i'll most likely be cleaning toilets and listening to cds from eighth grade while you're performing. but i'll make good use of the chance to explain it to you when i find my live at granada cd. until then, just know that i have my reasons. some more practical and some more relate-able to your lyrics, but all ones justifying my absence as i'm sure you would agree. i'll buy you sodas next time you're in town.

but really, my two dear friends, i'm just happy to be friends again. you are wonderful and i do enjoy you ever so much. i apologize for neglecting our friendship for the past little while, but rest assured, such times are past. i'm glad i can finally see you clearly again without having anything taint the image. you and some more of my good friends were hard to be around for a bit, but all is well, all is well. i'm glad i can once again enjoy melodramatic lyrics and the taste of a bowling alley without reserve and be happy. forgive me.

best wishes, friends. i'll see you soon.