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Travel Woes… Again

RobertBy the time you read this, I will be home in Oregon. Had I posted the blog I was originally writing, it would have been a very bad note to end my Wabash blogging experience on (unless I decide to do this freelance).

The day started off fine. I put the last of my stuff in storage, watched a couple episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist (which is pretty cool, but not as cool as Avatar) and then got to the airport nice and early. I helped myself to a burger at Champp’s (not fine dining, but not a bad place for lunch) and then made my way to the gate.

That’s when things started to go wrong. Our flight was delayed by about an hour, and as I had a connection to make out of Denver that is a very bad thing for me. So I started panicking, and dreading the possibility of spending a night in Denver (I’ve got relatives there, but it still feels like I’ve fallen short), and I think I might have gone through the five stages of grief while waiting… or maybe I’m just exaggerating due to lack of sleep. Whatever.

But then, a light in the darkness appeared; the people at the front desk said that the flight to Portland would be held so people making a connection could get on. With that weight lifted off my shoulders, I was a much more cheery and personable person, and chatted up a few of the other passengers who were going through the same plight as me (some with less success).

This also marks the first time I have ever seen someone really flip out at the people at the desk. So, this couple was going to be on the flight to Denver, but due to the delays they decided to reroute their plans. There was a snafu and they would have gotten separated, and by the time they tried to get it changed the airline (Frontier, by the way) had closed everything down. The guy did not take this very well, and after some shouting he and his wife stormed off. It was both amusing and terrifying at the same time… kind of like a car crash.

Anyway, I got onto the flight to Denver, and to my further luck The LEGO Movie was one of the options for in-flight entertainment. So…

Everything is Awesome! /Everything is cool when you’re part of the team! / Everything is Awesome! / When you’re living your dreams!

During the movie, our plane happened to pass over a thunderstorm. I consider myself a religious person, and seeing a thunderstorm in general is enough to put the fear of God in you. Seeing it from above is a whole different level of awe-inspiring, and I could not help but feel that if God wanted, He could have struck us down with ease.

But God is on our side, and we can’t lose because we are very pretty.

And I think He was on my side. When we landed, I had less than five or so minutes to run down to my next plane. When I got there I was out of breath, my heart was beating really fast, and I couldn’t feel my legs. To top it off, I got stuck next to a 13 month old baby, although by the time I wrote this he seemed very peaceful. Go him.

And my nemesis the tray table strikes again. Frontier does have tray tables that slide out, but they don’t slide out enough and the actual tray is small (I can’t tell if it’s Delta small, but it’s still pretty darn small). My computer has no traction, so as I write this I have to work to make sure that it doesn’t slide around too much (no small task as we hit a bad batch of turbulence when I wrote this).

I shouldn’t complain about tray tables or turbulence or delays (or even babies for that matter). I’m going home, and I’ll be able to sleep in my own bed for the next three months. I’ve still got some work to do in general, but for now I don’t have to worry about the pressures of Wabash. I have to say that I look forward to having less pressure placed upon me. I need it, and I think all the students and faculty at Wabash need it.

So for real this time, this is my last blog post. Thank you for listening to my rants, and I thank Wabash for the opportunity to express these rants.

Dorkstock

RobertI wanted to post this Sunday, but finals caught up with me and I had to write a few papers.

Anyway, Saturday was a great day. I’ve been a bit stressed because of some things going on in class that I won’t bore you with, so Friday night and Saturday were great for stress relieving. Friday was good because I found out that The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is on Netflix, so that helped take my mind off things for a bit. Saturday was great because Dorkstock.

Like Dorkapalooza, Dorkstock is a larger scale event that the Dork Club participates in at the end of the year just before finals. It’s a time where we can come together and play a bunch of games to relax and not worry about finals, even if only for a few hours.

Anyway, the day began around 12. I spent a bit of time observing and eating some food before actually playing a game. Unfortunately, no one else brought 40K stuff, so my Space Marines did not get a chance to do anything last night. However, I did look to other games to pass the time, and I did play a few good games (didn’t win most of them, but that’s not the point).

Probably the game I played the most last night was Formula D. I think I mentioned this game in a previous blog post, but as a refresher Formula D is a game where you control a race car and race other people around the track. I seem to be a bit too cautious of a driver, as downshifting into lower gears always sees me get into the back of the pack (or even causes me to crash… it happened). And somehow Professor Morillo’s daughter is a god at this game, pulling so far ahead that the others can never keep up. It’s a pretty fun game, and very amusing to watch people crash (but then when isn’t it?)

I'm the car in yellow (what isn't shown is me later taking a turn too fast and crashing)

I’m the car in yellow (what isn’t shown is me later taking a turn too fast and crashing)

As the night went on, I got a chance to play another game I have been looking forward to playing for some time (some time being when we got it a few months ago). That game is Ikusa, a Risk/Axis and Allies hybrid where you command one of five warring factions in Feudal Japan. The goal is to kill off the other players’ Daimyos and conquer Japan, and you do that by building armies of samurai and peasant spearmen and gunmen, and hiring the occasional ninja to go assassinate someone. My forces were somewhat scattered across the board, but I did manage to get a nice concentration of power in the northeast. From there, I moved south and west, and on my last turn I managed to kill two Daimyos and secure a nice chunk of land. We called it quits soon after on account of some of the other guys wanting to play Diplomacy (which I highlighted in an earlier blog post) so I, Professor Morillo, his daughter, Professor Porter and one of my Brothers sat down for one last Formula D race. I came in third on account of blowing up my Brother with mind bullets (actually an engine malfunction, but mind bullets sounds cooler) and Professor Porter hitting the wreckage and crashing, and once again Morillo’s daughter swept the race.

War in Feudal Japan, so much fun! (I'm Orange; you can see my army in the northeast)

War in Feudal Japan, so much fun! (I’m Orange; you can see my army in the northeast)

Things were dying down, and as some of the others left I sat down for a small scale Star Wars RPG. Our mission was to infiltrate an Imperial base for a little sabotage, and things went well until one of the Imperials called for backup on account of there being dead bodies in the trash compactor (long story). Our group quickly got involved in a firefight with Stormtroopers and Imperial soldiers, and I managed to take out a few with only a few small wounds to worry about (although there was some cheating; due to lack of planning on behalf of one of my squadmates I got shot, a lot, and should have died had Porter not said that I was merely “stunned and ducking behind cover). By then it was bout midnight, so I decided to call it a day and go home to get some sleep.

I am incredibly thankful that Wabash has groups like the Dork Club. Without it, I probably would have been panicking with stress for the past few days, not to mention a bit more grouchy over the course of the school year due to a lack of some way for me to relieve my stress. And I’m sure this isn’t exclusive to Dork Club; there are other groups here at Wabash that can be just as effective at relieving stress, and I encourage all incoming student to get involved in something they love to do so that they can relax for a few hours and not have to worry about classes and papers.

Also, as this may very well be my last blog post of the year (I say may because the time slots are a little weird. I might give you another travel log), I want to thank you all who have read my blog and followed my Wabash journey. I might not know most of you, but I feel happy that I have had the chance to reach out to others and show them just what Wabash has to offer.

Semi-Goodbye

 

RobertWell, Finals Week is upon us. Yay.

I talked about Finals Week last year just before break, so I won’t rehash my feelings about Finals and tests. I have a few papers to write, some work to compile, and a Latin Test either Monday or Thursday. Either way, I am going to be busy until next Friday.

Really, I’ve been busy a lot. I spend quite a bit of time doing homework and writing papers (and these blogs). And really, I think that has made me a more effective person. I’m not the somewhat introverted, uncertain loner type who came to Wabash last August. I am more confident and well learned, and I feel that I am more open to seeing the big picture than just being another apathetic citizen. The year did have its rough patches, but all in all I think it was a pretty good start to my Wabash career.

And, of course, I loved telling you guys about my time here. It’s nice to have a connection to the outside world, and I hope that I can continue to tell you guys about whatever happens here at Wabash.

But this isn’t goodbye; there’s still one more blog post that I have to write. My last Dork Club event of the year, and let me tell you it is going to be great.

Check in Saturday when I talk about my experiences at Dorkstock.

Lights, Sheep, Pigs and Cows

RobertIf I could, this blog would be done as if it were a silent movie. Since I can’t physically put myself into the blog, I’ll just have to tell you about Stage Lights, which closes tonight.

Stage Lights is a wonderful play that catches the spirit of the Little Tramp films. The Tramp is a rather innocent, happy go lucky type who always tries to help those that need help (even if doing nothing would help him in the long run), and while he is subjected to bouts of physical comedy the real strength is that the actor is able to pull off plenty of deep emotions without saying anything, which is a beautiful thing to see because most people take the physicality of acting for granted when really, physical action is what makes acting work. If it was just a whole bunch of people standing around doing nothing while saying their lines, unless it was labeled as Post-Modernism it’s not going to be very good (looking at you Shyamalan and The Last Airbender). And a lack of dialogue means that the actors and writers can be rather clever in what they want to do onstage, and a nice amount of physical comedy helps a lot.

So if you haven’t seen Stage Lights yet, go see it tonight before it closes. If you don’t live in Indiana and thus aren’t able to see it… well, you missed out on a great thing.

The Classics Club prepares the sacrifice (No stuffed Animals were harmed in the making of this photo)

The Classics Club prepares the sacrifice (No stuffed Animals were harmed in the making of this photo)

Speaking of things you missed out on, today was the day of the Classics Club’s Suovetaurilia… Have no idea what that is? Well, a Suovetaurilia was a Roman sacrifice to the gods where they would kill and then roast a pig, a sheep, and a bull. Since we can’t do the whole killing part, we just had the roast along with a bunch of other traditional Greek and Roman dishes that the Classics Club prepared. They even did a reading from The Iliad, a mock sacrifice involving rolled up meat and a stuffed tiger, and a Roman/Greek prayer asking Ios to bless the meal and give Wabash victory (specifically over DePauw, but we were doing pretty good in the baseball game when I left). The Greek and Roman gods probably don’t exist, but it is cool to see that old traditions and ideas are being honored, and it’s fun to spend some time eating meat and watching baseball. Sadly, unlike Stage Lights a Suovetaurilia can’t be a repeat performance unless you want to spend a lot of money on meat and other such items, and even if you did have money then you’d have to be careful to make sure that it stays fresh and doesn’t get stale (meat is good, but too much meat is not).

Specializaton vs. Flexibility

RobertSpecialization is both a positive and a negative attribute to have. On one hand you’re really good at something, and thus you are able to get the most out of performing that task, service, what have you. On the other hand, if you’re too specialized then that’s all you can do, and if someone asks you to perform some other task that doesn’t fit in with your skills, well then you’re in a bit of trouble.

I think my thoughts about specialization today came from a Youtube ad, of all things. I was watching something and an ad came up for people who had been hit by semi trucks, of all things, telling them where they could get an attorney to sue the company of those trucks. Issues of when and when not to sue aside, it seems rather odd that they would have a law firm that specializes in semi truck accidents only and… well, not much else. Sure, an argument can be made that there are claims and avenues that might not be seen by any other attorney, but you think that the law schools that these men and women attended might do some basic training in these various specifications so that if a specialist can’t be found, a person still has someone that can defend them.

Then that got me thinking; if someone does all their studying for a specific field, what then? What if there are not many jobs in that particular field when they leave college, or what if the job they’re applying for asks for a skill that they don’t have? I’m sure this problem is nowhere as widespread as I think it is, but still, it could happen, and if it does then all the skills and what have you that the person has developed suddenly aren’t that useful anymore.

Wabash prevents that from happening by teaching you a variety of skills that can be applied across multiple job sectors. The multiple courses can and are often tied in with one another, and can help greatly when dealing with different topics (knowledge of history and good writing are said to be very useful in business). I try to keep my skills and interests varied so that I never get bored, and if and when the time calls for it I can better react to a situation presented to me. Flexibility is a very good thing, and the flexible people like those here are Wabash will be the ones to get ahead of the pure specialists.

So my advice to any incoming Freshmen that happen to read this (there must be at least one out there), take a variety of courses. Mix things up, develop some new skills that you might need in the future. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your “calling” in something you didn’t even know you liked.


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