Monday, March 12, 2012

This Shit's Got to Stop Right the Fuck Now!

Birth control is a GOOD thing!
Over the last couple of weeks, Republicans have been driving me, and anyone else with a functioning vagina or penis, batshit fucking insane! I was content to mostly ignore this sudden rampage against women's access to birth control until someone I follow on Twitter referenced this article about New Hanover, NC county commissioners rejecting funds for local family planning services. Once this crap starts happening in my home state, I have to speak up.

Now, understand that I'm about to make my case in a perhaps inappropriate way, with details which you probably don't want to read, but I have to get this out into the open. I'm not sure exactly who Republicans think they are controlling, punishing, or otherwise dictating, but you would think that people who have fucked as many individuals who AREN'T their wives while still espousing "family values" would understand that women are made for more than just birthing babies! In fact, these despicable Randian Conservatives who "don't want to have to take care of" other people should love giving out free birth control on every street corner, as there would then be fewer people around to need taking care of.

Now, depending on the type of birth control, and to what amount a woman's insurance may or may not cover the birth control, a year's worth of birth control can cost as much as $1000 a year, not including the medical consultations required by the doctors who must act as gatekeepers for the birth control. If a woman is living on the edge, financially, this cost can be too much to bear. Even for a woman who is living a relatively comfortable middle-class life this expense can put a stress on her financial situation. The Conservative argument is that if they think they can't afford it then these women should keep their legs closed, as one of these brilliant luminaries recently suggested that women should use a Bayer aspirin as birth control by holding it between their knees!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Taking a Break From All Your Worries

I'm trying to consume healthier sweets
Now that it's Spring Break, I have some time to catch up on things.

A couple weeks ago, I went to Student Health Services to have my blood glucose checked. After the whole Dunkin' Donuts fiasco I was worried about my health. The doctor there recommended that I lose at least 20 pounds, and try to eat healthier, of course. My test results were emailed to me a few days later and reported that, while I wasn't officially diabetic, my blood glucose level was high enough to be considered "pre-diabetic", a term which means I'm basically screwed if I don't do something about my health soon. I guess it is better to know than be in the dark. Since I got the results, I've been trying to cut back on sweets, and eat more vegetables. I still eat sweets 2-3 days a week, but that's better than the 5-6 days a week I was doing prior to going to the doctor. Since the blood test is able to detect glucose levels for a three month period, I'll try to go back for another glucose test in the fall to see if things have improved.

During the two weeks prior to Spring Break, all of my courses held their mid-term exams. I managed to make a 100 (A+) in Behavioral Research, and B- in Philosophy of Science. I don't know, yet, what I made in Modern American History or Western Lit, but I feel pretty confident that I made at least a B+ on each of the exams.

Speaking of Western Lit, the Sexy Scot implied during class a few weeks ago that she is a lesbian. I don't have any problems with gays or lesbians, but I still felt sad when I heard the implication. Why did I feel sad? Well, because my professor clearly won't be having sex with me since she is in a relationship with another woman. It has nothing to do with me being fat, old, broke, or one of her students! No, potential lesbianism is apparently too strong a piece of evidence for even my incredibly strong power of self-delusion to set aside!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Meeting Challenges

I could only eat six of them.
This was an eventful week with an abundance of meetings. Tuesday, I met with Johnnie at the Dunkin' Donuts to attempt to eat a dozen doughnuts in under 40 minutes, the time it took him to eat a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts during the Krispy Kreme Challenge. I was able to eat six of the doughnuts in 17 minutes, so I was well on my way to beating his time. However, I started to feel lightheaded and stuffed. The problem is that Dunkin' Donuts are 1) slightly larger than Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and 2) denser than Krispy Kreme doughnuts. So, eating six Dunkin' Donuts is like the equivalent of eating nine Krispy Kreme doughnuts. At any rate, I lost the challenge miserably, and had to apologize personally, and publicly (on Facebook), to Johnnie for calling him a pussy for initially complaining about having to eat the doughnuts during the race. And, I felt really lightheaded and sluggish for the remainder of the afternoon. I really hate having to tuck my tail between my legs on things like this.

On Wednesday morning, I attended the weekly lab meeting with The Good Doctor. The meeting was largely uneventful, as usual. However, a considerable focus of the meeting surrounded a side discussion about applying to graduate schools. A friend from the lab is currently in the application process, and was lamenting her chances to get accepted. She was concerned because her GRE scores, while good, weren't as good as she was hoping. However, her GPA is considerably higher than mine, and she has the benefit of being multilingual, and has experience from a study abroad program in which she took part. The discussion actually aroused anxiety in me, since, if she is having worries about getting accepted, I REALLY should worry. I did considerably better on the GRE, apparently, but my GPA isn't all that close to hers, and I don't have any sort of extracurricular experience to promote on a CV for grad school. Further, she applied to about ten schools around the country. Since it costs $100 for every grad school application, not including the cost of having the GRE scores sent to multiple universities, I simply do not have the sort of money to send out more than a couple of applications. And, I've been wanting to keep myself in North Carolina, which further limits my options for getting into a program where I would fit. I've been hoping to somehow stay at NC State, and get into one of the professors' labs here, if not even stay with The Good Doctor; but this week's set of meetings has thrown the fear of God into me about getting accepted into a program. And, as I've mentioned in the past, I don't have a backup plan in the event that I am not accepted.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kreme of Consciousness

The Fourth Floor of Poe
I just finished the fourth week of the semester, which means I'm now one fourth the way through this one. I suspect that this post will be mostly an annoyed tirade, so I wanted to warn you if you aren't into that sort of thing. It does get more upbeat after the break.

Things have been relatively light, despite all the reading that I've complained about in the past. Western Literature is enjoyable, although I dislike the Sexy Scot's habit of always making the class get into small groups to discuss the daily readings. I much prefer discussing the readings within the larger class group. I'm not sure why, but I just find the smaller groups tedious and unnecessary.

And while I'm in the mood to complain about little things, my Philosophy of Science course is really bugging the hell out of me, too. I should be loving this course. Philosophy, science, and religion are some of my favorite topics. We are, of course, talking about the controversy surrounding creation science, or intelligent design. Actually, it would be more to the point to say that the professor is the one talking about the controversy. We are just supposed to keep up with readings, listen to him lecture, and respond to quizzes and tests online. One problem is that the course is a 200-person auditorium class, which greatly interferes with the potential for the students to get into classroom debates. Personally, I don't think any philosophy course should ever be more than 40 students to a class. But, with all the financial cutbacks the university system has endured the last decade, what could we expect.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scottish Fiction

Shirley Manson makes me want to visit Scotland
I should probably be reading right now, instead of writing this post. However, this is ME we're talking about, and when in the history of ever have I actually done the things that I'm SUPPOSED to do in a timely fashion?

Thankfully, I received my financial aid money this morning. The timing couldn't have been better, as my bank account only had about $2.80 as of last night. Before heading to school this morning, I went online and got my bills caught up, which consumed around $700 of my money in a few minutes. By now, though, I'm rather accustomed to this twice yearly routine, as I always end up letting my bills fall by the wayside for a few months as I survive on a steady diet of macaroni and cheese until my next hit of economic prosperity arrives such that I might eat like a normal person until the end of the next semester.

Today's class load wasn't too bad, as I only had to deal with Great Works of Western Literature and my Behavioral Psych Lab. I also got to have lunch with my friend Johnnie, which was nice. We had the opportunity to trade stories about our hot professors. Apparently, we both got lucky this semester. My literature professor is hot in that academic sense I mentioned previously. She is likely in her early 40s, with long brown hair, and a slim physique. Usually, I don't prefer skinny women, as I've always liked boobs and butts. Unless a woman is literally "tits on a stick", as they say, thin ladies just don't have an abundance of things for my hands to play with. That said, Ex was thin, as a dancer, and I found things about her body that I enjoyed.

Monday, January 9, 2012

About to Drown

What $180 buys you. I'm so gangsta.
My first day back for the new semester was cold and wet. Come to think of it, most of my first days of the semester since coming back to college have been rainy (and cold for the Spring semesters). My Behavioral Research lecture doesn't start meeting again until next week, so for today I merely had Modern American History and Philosophy of Science to deal with. And, even though first days are typically non-eventful, I still found myself feeling a bit in-over-my-head by day's end.

As luck would have it, both courses are taught in the same lecture hall in Withers, so I get to sit in the same seat in the same room for two hours every Monday and Wednesday this semester. My history professor is a middle aged woman who seems pretty nice overall. She assured us that we weren't going to focus so much on names and dates, but rather on historical trends of consistency, continuity, and change. That said, there is a great deal of reading that will need to be done for the course, and our grades consist almost entirely on a short paper, a mid-term exam, and a final exam. On Fridays, we will have discussion groups led by the professor's TAs, one of whom I found particularly attractive in a sort of bookish, sexy, academic way. It doesn't hurt that the TA in question was wearing some really nice black leather boots, as I discovered early last year that I apparently have a previously unknown boot fetish! Although, with my luck, she probably won't be the TA for my particular discussion group.

The entirety of my Philosophy of Science course sort of bothers me, however. I don't think the material will be challenging in and of itself, since I do enjoy reading philosophy and science, already. The problems for this course come out of the fact that the professor seems rather pedantic. He is a nice, older man, but he spent an hour today explaining to us about how he did an in-depth statistical analysis of his prior courses to determine what sort of studying behaviors led to good grades in his courses, showing us the results of that analysis, and trying to instill upon us the necessity of regular, consistent studying versus cram-style studying. As both an old man, myself, and a psychology major who has taken Cognitive Psychology, I was already well aware that cramming isn't an effective way to study. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop me from doing it every so often, as I did at the end of the last semester! Another problem with the course is that all the quizzes and tests are online, something I have always detested because I tend to forget to do them when they aren't placed right in my face during a class period.

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