A Day in the Life of Me

RobertI have talked about many things during my time here at Wabash. I’ve talked about campus politics, Dork Club, sporting events, plays, and other things like that, but I don’t think I’ve ever really gone in depth about what my classes are like. Admittedly, I did get wrapped up in all the events and my own ramblings, but the other day I was thinking “Well, I want to show off what’s great about wabash, so why don’t I photograph my day from morning until 3:00?”

So, that’s what I did. Enjoy.

My day began with waking up at 8:00 in order to get ready for Latin class. I do not claim to be a morning person, and I did have a picture of me after I had woken up, but I doubt many of you would want to see a picture of me having just woken up. Anyway, after a quick shower and getting dressed, I gathered my things, made my way downstairs and made myself some tea.

Personally I prefer green, but English Breakfast Tea is a nice pick me up

Personally I prefer green, but English Breakfast Tea is a nice pick me up

I’d call myself reliant on caffeine, but that might be exaggerating a bit. Most of the time I am able to get a good night’s sleep, but every now and then I need just a little kick to get through the day. Enter tea; tea is sweeter and easier to prepare than coffee, so for a guy on the go it’s handy for just that extra push. Also, I think it probably constitutes as Heresy for me to drink coffee out of a Doctor Who mug.

Anyway, after preparing my tea I made my way to Latin Class. Latin is much like any other language class, except you don’t have to speak it as much, you get to trade a lot of dirty Latin jokes. Not that that’s the only selling point; you get to study a language that would not be offered regularly, and thus you are exposed to a plethora of different options once it comes time to choose new courses (Classics being a big example).

Professor Hartnett teaches us Latin (not shown: Eurovision)

Professor Hartnett teaches us Latin (not shown: Eurovision)

Next on my list of classes to go to was History. I like history. I’ve liked history since I was in elementary school, and Wabash has a good history course. We’ve been talking about network connections in the modern age, and all the ups and downs and misinterpretations that come along with that (read: a lot). You’re not going over the same facts over and over again; you are seeing how older philosophies still have an impact, and developing a view on how the world functions with all the networks and hierarchies competing with one another. Also, Morillo is funny, and I do feel engaged in the conversation as it goes along.

History 102 with Morillo. Discussion on world networks can get weird

History 102 with Morillo. Discussion on world networks can get weird

Before I go further, this was the weather today:

The scene from my walk to EQ. It is very pretty

The scene from my walk to EQ. It is very pretty

Anyway, the first half of the day ended with Enduring Questions, which you may remember from my blog post yesterday. It’s kind of like a philosophy class, but not really because it’s called “Enduring Questions”… and that’s a really lame justification. Today we talked about whether or not Tim O’Brian was “cowardly” for not standing against the Vietnam Draft, which he opposed, or at the very least running to Canada when he is drafted. Personally I think no, it wasn’t cowardly in the sense that Gandhi wasn’t a coward when he did his passive protests of English rule. I like that class because it gets me thinking about things, and you should think about things to otherwise you’re just going to be some corporate yes man for the rest of your life… or go into politics, which is probably not that great either.

I get to sit at a big table. Fear the big table

I get to sit at a big table. Fear and respect the big table

After that I went back to the house to have lunch. It’s not high class dining, but it’s better than Sparks Center. After that I had two hours to relax, catch up on my emails (which I recommend for incoming students: always check your emails as often as you can), and get ready for Poly-Sci. Political Science (at least the class I’m taking) is a bit more lecture heavy than some of the other classes I’m in, which are more discussion based. Not to say that’s a bad thing; everyone teaches differently, and some courses require different styles. Anyway, this particular course is on American government, all the judicial and legislative know how and political mongering, but in a somewhat good way because the U.S. really isn’t that bad, all things considered. It gives you a bit of perspective on the world, and if you don’t want to be some generic yes man then perspective is very valuable.

Discussion on Political Parties. Fear the Party... seriously, do. They're nuts

Discussion on Political Parties. Fear the Party… seriously, do. They’re nuts

We got let out of Poly-Sci early today, so I came back and started work on this blog. It’s a weekend, so we don’t have regular meal service here at the fraternity, but I’m good at improvising when it comes to food.

That’s an average day for me here at Wabash. Wake up, go to class, write. Things will change next semester, no doubt about that, but that’s what my Mondays and Wednesdays and Fridays are like… Honestly, I can’t complain. I get to go to a great school and learn stuff, what’s not to love?

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.

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

Always Look On The Bright Side of Life (and going outside)

RobertOn Thursday, the Classics Club had a special viewing of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Probably one of my favorite scene from the movie is the final scene; Brian’s being crucified due to bureaucracy screw ups, and he has been abandoned in no short order by his friends, the government, his followers/stalkers, his girlfriend and his mother. Things are looking pretty bad for him… until one of Eric Idle’s characters starts to sing a cheery song about looking on the bright side of life. The message is simple: things in life never really turn out how you want them to. You might fail a test (not saying that I did, I’m just using it as an example), you might get sick, your flight home might get delayed a few hours, but you shouldn’t let that bother you. You should just smile and press on and not worry about all the things that have gone wrong in life. It’s kind of like Everything is Awesome in a way; you shouldn’t worry about screw ups and failings, and instead focus on everything that has gone right in your life because that matters more in the end.

Me for example, I’m not a perfect straight-A student, I’ve been unceremoniously fired (sort of) from a past job, and I’ve damaged both my parents’ cars on separate occasions. Do I worry about that? No, I’m thankful for my parents, who understand me and encourage my creativity. I’m thankful for my girlfriend, who also understands me and tolerates my weirder moments. I’m thankful for my sister, who comes up to see me every now and then and we go out for lunch, and that always gives me a nice energy boost. I’m thankful for my friends, both here at Wabash and back in Oregon, who share my interests and are also capable of putting up with my weirder outburst. I’m thankful for my extended family, who have been an inspiration to me and have encouraged me and enjoyed my work. And I’m thankful for my skills as a writer, without which I’d probably be a much more boring person.

So I say look on the bright side of life, because more often than not the good things in life will outweigh the not-so good things. Those you should lock away where you can never ever ever EVER find them.

Unikitty thinks you all need to be more friendly

Unikitty thinks you all need to be more friendly

Anyway, on to other topics. It’s a really nice day here in Crawfordsville. Nice enough that I went for a walk, and had a great time of it except for the parts when the wind picked up. Not to say I don’t like wind (I love it), it’s just that I don’t like it when twigs and dirt fly in my face. But I shouldn’t complain, it’s not like it’s a sandstorm or something. Anyway, I went for a nice walk, just some time to get some fresh air, clear my mind and get some ideas flowing, and I took this picture of  the arboretum:

It's pretty!

It’s pretty!

The grass is a bit dead and there are no leaves on the trees, but it’s nice to see some green after several months of brown. In a few weeks the leaves should come out (I think; it’s easier to tell in Oregon), and everything will be all nice and pretty. I’ve said before that I’ve got finals and hard work ahead for me, so it’s times like this when I can get outside (and Dork Club, never forget Dork Club) that I am able to keep a level head and not freak out too much.

And never forget:

I’m not failing history (again)

RobertOn the down side of things, finals are coming up and the task of having to write two 1,500+ word papers and a few other things is looming over my head. To say I’m stressed is like saying the Dead Sea is a bit salty. However, I can say that I will only fail history if I do absolutely nothing or write a paper about the socio-political significance of the Lollipop Guild, and not because I killed my history professor again.

Last night at Dork Club we played a few games of Sails of Glory. Now, Sails of Glory is much like the game Wings of Glory which I mentioned earlier in the year, except instead of flying around in WWI era fighter planes, you command Napoleonic Era warships and try to blow other Napoleonic Era warships out of the water. I love the age of sail, so this game was just what I needed to calm down after a rather stressful day (I won’t get into details, but it was stressful).

Anyway, we started the night with a brief overview of the rules before moving on to actual gameplay. I was in command of Le Swiftsure, a 74-gun French Ship of the Line (that was probably stolen from the British, but that wouldn’t be surprising as ships swapped hands plenty of times back in those days). Professor Porter was commanding a similarly sized ship on the other side of the map, while Professor Morillo, his kids, and one other Dork Club member controlled a small variety of British ships, two of which were in similar classes as the French ships. Everyone seemed to gang up on Porter, so his ship was taken out rather early on in comparison to some of the other ships. Me being on the other side of the map, I had a little more time to do some damage, but ultimately I lost due to just not having enough structural integrity left.

Professor Porter's last stand

Professor Porter’s last stand

After that game, we reset and started over, this time three vs three. Once again, being on the other side of the map had its advantages, and I managed to survive until the end without taking too much damage. Porter and our new teammate got the worst of it, although they were able to bring down quite a bit of the enemy fleet by the time I arrived. Towards the end, the ship that Professor Morillo had been controlling (he had to leave early, though) got stuck, and the win was eventually given to me as I could just maneuver to where I could not be shot and keep shooting until the other ship sank. In the end, I had the highest number of ships sunk (three), and that made me happy. Admittedly I’ve been rather stressed out by a few things around campus, but once again Dork Club provides me with a way to relax and not worry about things too much.

Also, one of these days I need a chance to sleep in. Heh, like that will ever happen.