Prepping for Ecuador

Alejandroblog83  Glee Club this week has been bitter sweet. On one hand we have not been singing as much as I’d like to but on the other we have been learning about what we are going to be doing while in Ecuador for the month. Learning about our host families, the geography, and the culture and people of Ecuador is making extremely excited about this trip. What I am amazed about as well is that this time last year I would have never guessed that I would be going to Ecuador as a freshman.

Today I was interviewed to be  an orientation leader in August for incoming freshman and a question I was asked was “What study abroad opportunities are available?” among other questions. This was an easy one for because I know of upper clansmen who are in the process of applying and others that are currently studying abroad. Study abroad opportunities are very common and you can take advantage of them as a freshman. There are immersion trips where you can travel to Germany, Cuba, Washington DC during Thanksgiving break or spring break. These trips area available depending on what classes you take and when you take them. There is also your typical semester long study abroad programs that you apply for as sophomores and then travel as second or first juniors.

What is great about this is that you could even study in Ecuador as a freshman like I am. I get to be in Ecuador for a month, study about Ecuadorian culture, have the music director teach us Ecuadorian songs, and then travel with the Glee Club and sing in churches and schools. The best part is that the first two weeks of this trip are free except for lunch and the next two weeks are a very low subsidized amount.

The point is, traveling opportunities at Wabash are plentiful but to get to them you are going to have to look for them. Opportunities are not going to seek you out, you must find them, apply and want them.

CHAAAANGE?! YA GOT CHAAAANGE?! (No, we don’t want any)

RobertSometimes I think a lot of the problems in the world have to do with the idea of change. That’s not to say that change is a bad thing; rather, changing things in one’s life can go a long way at helping them become happier and more productive. I think the problem is when people try to force change on other people.

Tzeentch: Change We Can Believe In (Mutations and Insanity to follow)

Tzeentch: Change We Can Believe In (Mutations and Insanity to follow)

No, I’m not making a political statement here, just think of it as a philosophical one.

Last week (and for part of this week as well), we read excerpts from the Dao De Jing as part of Enduring Questions (Which turned out to be a rather interesting class, all things considered). One of the things I drew from the Dao is that trying to control and make the world conform to something you think is best is a bad idea. I’ve found that this is normally true; humans, as a whole, contain a high amount of what I’ll call “psychological inertia”. People, by and large, are very resistant to change in their lives, mainly because they like to live in a sense of normalcy.  They can choose to change something in their lives, but that would be just resetting what is considered normal for them. When an outside force (for sake of argument, a well meaning politician) comes in and tries to impart some kind of change on their lives, their reaction… will most likely not be all that pleasant.

I believe Iroh would support the colonials... except when it comes to their policy on tea

I believe Iroh would support the colonials… except when it comes to their policy on tea

As people have a high amount of “psychological inertia”, forcing a change on them is going to meet with resistance. People don’t like when you upset their normal way of life, because they are unfamiliar with it and might have been better off with the original setup than with this new arrangement. I do get a bit flustered if someone moves my stuff without asking me first, because I had everything set up to my specifications and needs. You move my desk, then I’m going to have to take all my stuff like my computer, my various papers and books, my Groucho Marx mousepad, my little stuffed elephant, my mustache and Doctor Who mugs, my girlfriend’s picture, and a bunch of other stuff and move it to this new location. As part of a fraternity, and just going to college in general, I will have to do something like this whenever we change rooms, but that’s different as I am choosing to change locations on my own, and someone else isn’t doing the moving for me without my expressed permission.

Forcing people to change is bad. The better alternative is to introduce whatever it is you want to change, and then let those that are the target of change adjust to it at their own speed. Think of it like the weather; as soon as the temperature drops below 50 you don’t just throw on every single heavy coat and pair of mittens you can find. No, you put on a sweater and maybe some longer pants, and continue to apply heavier clothing as the weather gradually gets colder (same rule in reverse for when it gets warmer). You must allow people to adjust and change themselves instead of trying to mold them to your own specifications, and you must respect and modify your views whenever people start to get angry or point out the flaws in your suggestion.

I admit to getting a little philosophical here, but I am a Wabash Man. I’m sure if I went to any other school (*cough*DePauw*cough*) I most likely wouldn’t be thinking too much on change and just going on with my life. But since we are actively encouraged to think and question the normality of the world, I feel a bit more challenged as I go through my life.

So for any people reading this that haven’t made up your minds about Wabash, come here so you can think and expand your intelligence and reasoning.

Also, Space Marines. And cool Classics stuff.

FIJI Island

AudieThis weekend was Phi Gamma Delta’s Psi Chapter FIJI Island party. Being one of the biggest, if not the biggest, function of the year. An event that a large portion of Wabash Men and visiting females attend; and I do mean a lot of females.  10151845_10202904562129358_2159517745065978431_n

My pledge father's girlfriend, my pledge mother, Caroline

My pledge father’s girlfriend, my pledge mother, Caroline

We make two large sandpits in our parking lot, a tent, DJ with lasers , a volleyball net, and make it an island theme. On top of this, during the week we host our faculty dinner with libations for the faculty, and proceed to put on that FIJI swagger in hopes of making our professors love us even more. We participated in the Sets on the Beach volleyball tournament, hosted by Phi Kappa Psi, and I believe won it; maybe.

Blurring weeks and Stimulation

RobertSometimes it seems that the days kind of blur together. Overused cliches aside, the last few weeks have passed by rather fast. I find April going by and I still feel unprepared for what’s to come in the final weeks of this semester (but I’m not worrying; I’ll get it done, and look on the bright side of life). Dork club is winding down, but we’ve still got a few more events coming up (I’ll be sue to talk about what happens when it happens).

And the weather is being stupid.

I shouldn’t complain, since I’ve put up with crummy weather in the past when I was back in Oregon, but seriously? We have a nice weekend in the 70s and today was in the 40s. Not fun. Fortunately for me it was my off-day so I got to stay inside. Yay me.

Although, I think I’ve said this before but it’s really important to find something to do to occupy your time when you’re not going to class. I do have my other writing to keep me occupied (Shameless Self Promotion time: your homework is to go to and read Kyoshi Rising and then tell other people about what an amazing writer I am… or not, I won’t pressure you into anything), but inspiration tends to be sporadic with most everything, including these blogs here. So in between inspiration, I’ve got to entertain myself in other ways. Which is where I think I need to improve; I’m not a sports guy so while I do have the option to go out and maybe throw a frisbee or other such object that can be thrown, I’m not exceptionally good at it and would probably slow more people down than I would help. I’m not in the play, so I can’t go over motions or stage directions (it’s the silent one, remember?) and… well, it was cold today, I was inside.

But still, I encourage you to look for something other than Youtube videos to pass the time between homework assignments (no matter how good those mashups of Attack on Titan and Pacific Rim are). Go on walks, write, play some kind of amusing little games (but intelligent ones, otherwise you just turn into some kind of couch potato type), watch some good shows (*cough*Avatar*cough*), just do something… I know watching Youtube videos is kind of doing something, but do something stimulating.

On a different note, there was a lunar eclipse last night. I was asleep, but I guess it was pretty cool.

Too bad a fish had to be punched for it to happen.

'tis a crazy general punching the physical embodiment of the moon in the face, nothing more

‘Tis a crazy general punching the physical embodiment of the moon in the face, nothing more

Looking back and these next three weeks

Alejandroblog83It is that time of the semester where assignments are stacked higher than the B.S. coming out of a Mexican politicians mouth. That is a lot by the way.

I am not here just to moan about all that I have to do because even though it may be a lot, not any of my papers that I have due are uninteresting or boring. One of my papers for my Public Policy class is about obesity amongst the youth and how policies created by the FDA could push the youth to make better dietary choices. As much of a research paper that it may sound like, I get to tie it to economics and paternalistic policies. Basically it is a topic I am highly interested in that I got to pick and because of that, the paper is basically writings itself. (I Wish)

This semester I lucked out on having too many written finals because I only have to take one for my music class. The rest of my finals are papers on topics of my choosing. But even thought I only have that one final, it does not mean I wont be studying hard for it. I am sure I will be in the library like I was last semester working hard. Maybe not as hard I was in this picture. I am in three different spots if you didn’t notice. Going to be a stretch these last three weeks but there is no where else I would rather be for college. I have made bunch of great friends here and the culture and feeling of Wabash can not be matched anywhere else. No mistakes made in choosing Wabash. Got to get back to writing papers. Check back in tomorrow.