Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Weekly Roundup, or With New Enemies Comes a New Hope

Okay, I totally didn't mean to abandon the blog for a week! Once again, it seems life got in the way. I'll try to give a review of sorts to the week's events along with some thoughts on the big debate between Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin.

I meant to post something on Sunday, but, well, I was feeling decidedly anti-social. Actually, that may explain why I didn't post anything this week perfectly. I've been fairly depressed lately because of my money situation. That is to say, I have no money situation, because I have no money with which to have a situation at all! I don't think I ever mentioned that I lost my job about a month before school started this semester. I had been working for Clear Channel in Raleigh for TEN YEARS when I was fired (Clear Channel owns a large percentage of the radio and TV broadcasters around the US and a growing number in Europe). To be honest, I should have left the job around 5 years ago, because it wasn't challenging, fun, or at all redeeming in any way. I was working overnights, by myself, and the schedule helped to isolate me from people. I only continued to work there for a paycheck and insurance, because medications can be pretty expensive. By the way, if you have a Costco nearby, get your prescriptions filled there. They are SUPER CHEAP! Instead of paying $275 a month for drugs (now that I have no insurance), Costco only charges me $90 a month!

So, anyway, I've been desperately waiting, longing, dreaming for my financial aid money to get sent to me. I was expecting it to arrive the last week in September, but due to a holdup in paperwork (Okay, I forgot to fax an enlarged copy of my driver's license to the bank for my records) the loan money didn't get disbursed in time for the first checks to be sent out. Now, I'm hoping that the money will be sent out on October 10th, because I've been living off of fish sticks and Lean Pockets for a week. That's a step up from the Oodles of Noodles and beef stew diet from the previous week.

Monday: I didn't get around to posting because I intended to work on a paper that I needed to turn in Thursday. I didn't do it, choosing instead to spend my free time surfing the Internet. Then, I had to volunteer at dance classes, so by the time I got home I had time to download Countdown with Keith Olbermann to my iPhone, watch it, and go to sleep.

Tuesday: I got my World Civilizations test back. I should know by now that if I ever think a test was easy, I failed! Well, I thought the first test was easy... However I barely made a D on it. By the professor's own admission there were only a total of 8 A's and B's in the whole class. There were a few Cs, but there were 8 D's and 8 F's. He had the nerve to call that a "perfect bell curve"! Bell curve my ass! That's a drop off into an ABYSS! What an ass! It should be illegal to be that psychotic in class and THEN be a hard ass on your tests! Forty points of the test was devoted to essay questions, and he wanted lots of specifics. One of the guys who managed to make a B said he wrote essays that were two pages each!

Later in the evening, I had to conduct a training class for potential volunteers to the dance academy. It went well and I had an okay time during the session, but it lasted 2 hours. At least I got fed pizza and cookies for a change.

Wednesday: I don't really have an excuse for why I didn't post on Wednesday. Again, I convinced myself I was going to work on that paper that was due Thursday. I didn't... Again! It wasn't that big of a deal. I just had to put into words (two pages of words, double spaced, to be exact) an outline that I had already written up in class describing my ideas for how best to judge a written paper. It's for my Humanities 220 class. Now, maybe you know why I like the class! It's easy, breezy, beautiful, Covergirl.

In the morning, I had a test in my College Algebra class. The best I could have gotten was an 80 because I had to skip 3 questions since I had no idea how to do them on my calculator -- change that, my NEMESIS, the TI-84 PLUS graphing calculator! And then, because it took me so long to do the rest of the problems by hand I had to skip one of the last two questions on the test. I was hoping for a C, but I was worried about getting a D.

Thursday: Okay, Thursday was unique. Thursdays are already my long day. I have class from 1230 PM until 5 PM. World Civ was dull and boring as we had to sit through a lecture on Africa. And since there aren't many written records about the various tribes throughout the history of Africa, the professor could only show us a slideshow of famine, disease, cattle, and give explanations of what the African indigenous people had to go through in order to survive. All that stuff is interesting, but it was nothing that I haven't seen or read a hundred times before! After that class was over I went to my HUM 220 class where there was some discussion about the final chapters of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Then, we headed to the Automotive Department to see the progress on the motorcycle. The head of the Automotive Dept. went through a meticulous explanation of the things he had done to the bike over the last week and how it seems to run. However, there are still obstacles in the way of getting it drivable, such as the carburetor, which is probably filled with rust or dirt, and the gas tank which needs to be completely cleaned out.

After school, I came home and just relaxed for a little while until the Vice Presidential Debate between Biden and Palin started. I was able to watch it on Once again, despite my predilection toward the Obama/Biden ticket, I have to say I was surprised to see Palin actually able to string solid sentences together after her embarrassingly laughable performances recently with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric. However, I was annoyed with how she upfront told everyone that she wasn't going to answer questions the way Moderator Gwen Ifill, or Palin's opponent Joe Biden, wanted her to, but rather the way SHE wanted to answer them. At least she was honest about that if nothing else. Never did she seem to answer a question with an answer appropriate to the question. She seemed almost like she was reading from a teleprompter, her responses so prepared and perfect. She spurted out McCain Campaign talking points as though she had been indoctrinated as a child, Aldous Huxley-style, with the campaign agenda playing over and over in the background as she slept. I half expected her to accidentally blurt out, "Gammas wear such ugly uniforms. I don't like the color brown!"

Friday: And, finally, Friday. I really shouldn't have woken up, dressed, and wasted gas going to school. My Abnormal Psychology class was cancelled due to a family emergency for the professor, so that left me with just my College Algebra class. Unfortunately, I've missed all the classes I can and I have to attend everyday until the end of the semester, no matter what! I did get back my test, and I found that I was able to make a 74.5, a C. I was happy about that, even though I COULD have made a B had I been able to operate my Nemesis! The professor also gave us our cumulative scores so far, and I am only making a 59, an F! I've missed a few quizzes and I didn't turn in the first Excel Lab. There is still time to bring the grade up, but I'd do alot better to bring it up if I didn't have to struggle with that damn calculator! Of course, once again, my Nemesis had to ruin my morning. We did a rather simple lab on exponential growth and decay. It involved M&Ms and adding or removing them based on how many Ms were showing. I was able to gather the necessary data, but as usual had NO IDEA how to calculate this on the TI-84 PLUS (I'm guessing the PLUS means "PLUS the desire to rip your hair out by being dangled over a pool of hungry crocodiles after eating a warm bowl of camel crap and drinking it down with a tall glass of cow urine!") A few of my classmates attempted to help me, but it basically came down to them having to do the calculations for me, which just made me angrier. I'm a genius, I SHOULD be able to figure this out myself! So, before turning the lab in to the professor, I just balled up my paper, put away my stuff and left the class.

After cashing a check for my rent from my grandmother and getting something to eat at Waffle House, I paid my rent, which is still a month behind because I'm waiting on my financial aid, got to my apartment, stripped down to my boxers, and went back to bed!

So, did this week at least teach me anything? Did I learn some nugget that I can pass along to you guys as at least a small lesson of life? Well, I found out that it feels really good to vent. Oh, and after I stormed out of class Friday, I got an email from one of my classmates because all of us on the front row are supposed to turn in a group project on Monday that I'm supposed to be writing. They were naturally worried that I was dropping the class and wasn't going to come back. I told her that I had every intention of returning to class. Even if I flunk the class I'm still going to take my punches like a man. I explained that I'll write the paper, which is going to be super short when you factor in the charts and graphs of our data, and email it to them by Sunday morning. She emailed back and told me, "OK we just got worried! Don't get so flustered over a calculator... you'll get it if you keep trying and stay positive! We're always here to help you too!"

DING! DING! DING! No matter how you think things SHOULD be, don't let pride or ego stop you from asking for help. Even if you think you'd be a burden to others, ultimately people don't want to see people around them fail. Schadenfreude is only for people you don't have a direct connection with. And, as cheesy as this is, maybe asking for help doesn't have to be a sign of weakness. Perhaps we don't have to live as islands unto ourselves. We can be vulnerable without being endangered. Just because you're weak in one area doesn't make you weak in all areas. Enjoy your strengths and accept your weaknesses, and make asking for help one of your most important strengths. Things just might turn out alright in the end.

Have fun, and keep living life...
hopefully it's better than my current approximation thereof!

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