Posts Tagged ‘university’

I officially booked my trip to Chicago/Denver. After wanting to cancel and take an aeroplane instead, I realised the difficulty of that and decided to just stick with my original plan and head out to Chicago before getting to Denver. Booking my hostel was the last step, and now it’s all finished up. To those that I’ll be seeing in Denver, I’ll get to see you just as much with either plan, and I’ll be there from Thursday, the tenth, until the following Sunday or Monday. I’ve already forgotten which.

In other news, summer is going… all right, I suppose. I’ve been working a bit more than thirty hours per week at my summer job down on Main Street. It’s hot and sweaty work, but there’s a lot of it that I really enjoy. I wasn’t expecting to feel so stressed about it this summer as I am, but I’m attributing that to the increase in hours and the bizarre weather that we’ve been having. It’s far too hot for June. This weekend has been the first time in three weeks that it’s been even remotely nice outside. Sorry, but I’m so sick of constant 37 degree days over and over again. I need to be in the Northwest stat. I’m pretty sure that I’m far too Irish to put up with these extreme weathers from the Midwest. It’s just not suiting me any more.

It’s all that I can think about any more: how much I don’t belong here. I used to only get upset about the Midwest because of the lack of culture and things to see and do, but now I’m finding that it’s far more than that. Even aside from the fact that I am meant for cool and rainy weather (oh, hey Northwest), the personality of where I live just doesn’t fit me. It’s been difficult to explain this to my mother who doesn’t understand why I’d ever want to leave. This is, after all, the place where I have grown up. But I just can’t stay here any longer; it’s like trying to fit a puzzle piece where it doesn’t quite go. Sure, you can keep it there, and from a distant it won’t matter, but in the end, you know that piece doesn’t go there. That’s the best way that I can describe it.

I’ve started looking into grad schools, and I’m so sure that I want to go to the Northwest. Everyone asks me why. They tell me that it rains constantly there and that people are depressed. I tell them that there are book stores and coffee shops and interesting people there. I tell them that I avoid the sun like the plague to begin with, so this would finally allow me to live freely. I’ll keep searching in other locations, too, but I can’t deny that I’d like to spend some time there. At least for the five years of grad school. After that’s all finished up with, I can decide for sure what’s right for me. That, or I can take my doctoral degree and get the hell out to some place else; sometimes these things take experimentation.

I’m just a little torn between the fact that I want to go to the Northwest, yet a large university near my home town also offers the degree I want (family and marriage counselling at SLU). Everyone wants me to go to SLU.

Well, everyone except me, I suppose.

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I was sitting in the middle of the living room, my face red, breathing hard, a purple bandana around my forearm, and ten rolled up socks in my Harry Potter bag.  I had just power walked from Dobson to Missouri Hall in less than two minutes, and my legs were heating up in anger at my over-exertion for nearly the fifth time in two hours.  I had been lucky.  I had survived.

I had survived the zombie hordes.

Truman State University is not unique in the fact that its students get together each year to play a game of life and death.  This game is called Humans versus Zombies, and it is the fight to survive (if you’re human) and to feast on the living (if you so happen to be turned into a zombie).

My purple bandana identified me as what I was–a human, a human running for life.  The rainbow bandana around my friend’s head signified what he was as well–a zombie, a zombie wishing to feast on my brains as I went to lock my door.

“Fuck…” I muttered, turning to Franz.  “You?  What happened?”

He looked at me with a defeated look, the bandana tied clumsily around his hair.  “Well, I dropped my phone, and it was raining, and I was ambushed.”  I shook my head as I walked around him towards my candy dish.

“We won’t be seeing each other outside of MO hall for a while, by the way,” I said, sighing as I kept myself from grabbing some Starbursts.

You see, Franz had been tagged by a zombie, which meant that he was now a zombie and must tie his bandana around his head rather than his arm.  He could have defended himself with Nerf darts or even rolled up socks (my weapon of choice), but an ambush was more tricky.  So, now he’s a zombie.

The rules of the game are simple: survive.  You can stun a zombie for fifteen minutes by throwing a sock ot Nerf dart at them, and they can tag you to turn you into a zombie.  Pretty basic stuff.  The game itself usually lasts around five days before every human has become a zombie or every zombie has starved to death (for they must eat one human every two days).

For the moment, I am still in the resistance.  I managed to walk a mile to class and a mile back safely, though I did stun two zombies who chased after me.  The girl ran faster and was gaining on me.  Quickly, I stopped and faced her, pulling rainbow socks out of my bag.  She edged around, ten feet from me, and I threw two socks, missing both times.  Finally, as she neared ever more, I threw.  And third try’s a charm, right?  Her friend came running after, panting and stopping to rest behind a dumpster.

“Sorry, I’m a fat zombie.”

“No worries,” I replied, “I’m a fat, slow human.  By the way, hi!”

“You introduce yourself?” He and the girl laughed.

“Yeah, why not,” I shrugged, grasping a pink sock in hand, feeling somewhat safe on the other side of the dumpster.  “I saw you guys leave Dobson, and I was just like ‘oh fuck!’  There was a girl in front of me, and she just turns around and stares.  And then I started running–”  And that’s when I threw a sock at him to stun him.

“Gotcha!” I yelled, happily moving forward to retrieve my four socks.

He looked down at the sock wide-eyed and then down to where it hat him, “You lured me into a false sense of security!”  The three of us couldn’t help but laugh.  I picked up the rest of my socks as we talked, wished them a good day, then walked through the park to class, completely safe.

Once inside, the zombies couldn’t touch me, so I let off my guard and sat by a friend who was also human.  He had a Nerf gun ready to go for when we exited class, and I’m happy to say that we both survived (for the time being).

Granted, I’ll probably die tomorrow while going to or from psychology, but that’s okay, honestly.  If I become a zombie, I become a zombie.  There’s not much stopping it.  But, if I can, I will try my darnedest to not get tagged.  Mainly because I want to be able to go as long as possible as a human; more for bragging rights than anything else.

So, we’ll see how tomorrow goes.  I’ll try to inform about the goings on.  Hopefully they’ll be exciting.

Here’s to survival.

Humans vs Zombies

Humans vs Zombies

Humans vs Zombies

Humans vs Zombies

These were photos that I used for the Humans vs Zombies website.  Get excited.

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I don’t need to be here.  In fact, I need to be reading my psychology text book and writing my speech for Monday’s public speaking course.  But, instead, I’m sitting at my desk on my laptop, trying not to fall asleep with the stress of not actually doing anything.

Procrastination and I aren’t friends; we hate each other, actually.  Yet, for the amount of dislike between us, we certainly do hang out quite a bit.

Yesterday was certainly fun, though, even with Procrastination nagging at the back of my mind.  R, N, J (my roomie), and I went to Oktoberfest at Truman, and it was windy and freezing–freezing enough that we exchanged our winter jackets for full coats before heading back outside.  From there, we wandered campus, exploring once again.  We found hidden basements, a bathroom that I swear must be the Chamber of Secrets (even more so than that other hidden bathroom I was talking about), and scary staircases leading to dead-ends.  All in all, a hell of a good time.

Later, we went back to the living room to play Rock Band together.  Soon, people from all over the house were coming to watch and play, and the four of us expanded to a good party of eight or so.

And even later, R, N, and I went to the “All Science Rave”.  It was your average dance, club atmosphere at a frat house, but there was no food and no beverages, so I felt pretty safe about the atmosphere.  Or, at least I did until two hours in, when a girl stumbled in with a gallon-looking glass jug of blue alcohol.  R and I looked over at her, looked to each other, and immediately went to fetch our coats from the other room.  N, R, and I ran out and looked back at the crowded frat party.

“Did that seriously just happen?” I asked.  It’s probably supposed to happen, I thought.  So, we met up with a girl who lives in N’s dorm, and we were hanging out in a lounge for another hour before leaving.

So, in a terrible rush, that’s what I did yesterday.  Fun until the alcohol-laden sluts ran into the science party.  And, yes, they were sluts, because they danced drunkenly on the table with each other, waiting for guys to think they were hot.  It was rather disgusting, and R and I were far away from there once those girls moved in.  In fact, it was because of them that we went to the entrance and saw the girl with alcohol walking in.  Good time, right?

It sucks that people are so into alcohol.  Why do something when you won’t remember it the next day?  It seems rather pointless to live if you’re always getting completely drunk.  Not to mention that it has a lot of negative side-effects both physically and mentally.  About a quarter of all college drop-outs drop out because of alcohol.  Great.

Anyway, that’s about it for the day.  I’m going to go freeze some more in the my room as I sit with Procrastination and think about doing my psychology and speech work.

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I feel pretty ahead today, even though it’s clear that I am not.  It’s probably more that I’m not rushing to get reading done before classes.  Another fifteen minutes of reading and taking notes from my speech book, and I’m relatively finished with everything that must be read for a class today.  But, tonight I’ll scramble to get my psych reading done before tomorrow morning, and I’ll inevitably accept that I won’t have it finished until Wednesday night.  So, there you go.

I have an art group that I have to go to in about forty minutes that I’m not looking forward to.  Our art teacher is pretty much insane, and we see no point in the project that we’ve been assigned.  It’s not like we’re learning anything from it.  In fact, we haven’t learned anything from the class in general.  Our last test literally concerned learning ten artists, memorising the years they were alive, their style, and their nationality.  Sure, now I know that Albrecht Dürer lived in Germany during the fifteenth century (or something like that), but how does that help me with art?  How about we study his paintings and sketches, learn what makes them unique and a tribute to art.  Let’s not just memorise facts for a couple days so that we can release them from our sponge-like brains later on.  Who ever thought that this style of learning was effective should be shot, or at least made to take a semester of their own class.

I don’t know how this just turned into a rant, especially since my original plan was to talk about how it rained today and that made me happy.  I like rain; it’s refreshing to the soul and mind and body.  It keeps the river of life moving.  Not to mention that it’s been far too long since Kirksville last saw any precipitation that was not just fog lingering over the campus.

So, today’s going to be all right.  And if it isn’t, stuff it.  I’ll make it all right.

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As following the Bible, Saturday is my day of rest.  Granted, it seems to be a more reasonable practice than a holy one, but who has the patience to study seven days per week anyway?  So, Sunday is back to work since it’s the first day of the week.  And, on the subject of weekends and breaks, I’m pretty sure that Americans need to make up their damned minds.  Either go to church on Saturday and keep your calendar, or make Sunday the last day of the week if you want to go to church so bad then.  Silly inconsistencies.  Good thing I have my own views of the work week: Sunday is the first day, Saturday is the last, so Saturday is the day of rest.  That way, I get a day off at the end and beginning of each week.  It’s rather revitalising.

And now today is Sunday and time to get down to business.  The only problem is that I woke up at eight and still haven’t done anything–and it’s now seven hours later.

Maybe I need to stop reading things online and actually read my history textbook.  Then, I’ll read my religions text book.  And then half a chapter of psychology.  Ugh.  I need more tea from just thinking about, and I’ve already drunk five cups today.  Which was a rather dumb idea since it made me jittery and unable to concentrate on anything.

So, now the fall from the caffeine has set me in a stupor, but I like it.  It was completely needed to be able to function.  Now, maybe I’ll finish up some things.  Or maybe not.  I enjoy procrastinating.

A goal would probably help; or a reward.  I might just make myself finish history and religion before I allow myself to eat dinner.  And dinner is left-over pasta, so that seems like a pretty good reward.  I’ll stick with it.

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After typing my 1200 plus word blog, I cleared my mind by eating lunch.  I wasn’t all that hungry, and maybe it’s because my mind was too busy, but I set out to eat something before the cafeteria shut down until dinner.

While there, I ate beef strogonof and an array of vegetables, and I have to admit that the beef was terrible.  Or, at least, it was in my opinion.  I really haven’t been eating much meat lately, and my friend is encouraging me to become vegetarian since I’m only eating about one or two pieces of meat per week anyway.  I’ve been putting thought into what he said lately, and I know that it really wouldn’t be that difficult to become a vegetarian.  Besides, I’ve stopped drinking milk for soy milk, I already refuse to wear leather, and I’m really not that big of a fan of meat anyway.

Plus, meat is really difficult for your body to digest, which can lead to intestinal problems (thank you Skinny Bitch for that information).  Not to mention there are a lot of antibiotics pumped into meats that mess with your immune system.  And while there’s the worry about pesticides in vegetables, you can buy organic at the local farmers market.  If you’re worried the label “organic” is false, buy from the Amish woman rather than the man wearing a ripped t-shirt.  It doesn’t work every time, but it makes me feel a little bit better about what I’m eating and who I’m funding.

Aside from that, the Amish woman was nicer and gave me five tomatoes for a dollar–not half bad.

Anyway, as I sat at an empty table, eating the beef as quickly as possible in order to get to the good parts of the meal (i.e. the noodles, peas, green beans, and onions), a girl asked if she could sit next to me.  Of course I said yes; I enjoy meeting new people since you never know what they’ll be like.  She was easy to talk to, and we ended up finding that we both loved Muse.  After a long conversation, I felt that I had made a new friend, which was fairly exciting.

And, the reason I bring this up is because I was surprised by it.  I’ve lived here for a month, and I’m still meeting new people.  With that, I’m still gaining new friends.  It just goes to prove that people you can appreciate can be around you all the time, but sometimes, you have to open your eyes to see them.  And, meeting someone new may seem trivial, but who’s to say that trivial encounter won’t yield a friendship or at least aquaintance?  Life is funny, and you never know how things are going to work out.  Just remember that, as much as life is a raft ride down a river, sometimes you have to take the initiative to get yourself into a new river if it looks better.  It may be as trivial as pushing your hand across a rock, but who’s to say that it won’t lead you to a greater ride?

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I fully realise that no one looks at what I’m writing, and that doesn’t necessarily bother me. I write for me, for my own personal enjoyment and well-being, and because there are so many things to write. It’s why I’ve kept a diary since freshman year of high school and have filled thousands of pages. No one will ever read those stories and traumas and ideas, but they’re noted down because they represent a portion of who I was and who I am. That’s why blogging for an empty audience is appealing. I can type, which is much faster than my detailed cursive, and I can still write for me.

When writing for an audience, you don’t tell the truth, either. It’s like how, when psychologists are doing studies on people, they try to make everything blind, including themselves. That way, they don’t look for things that aren’t there or try unconsciously influence their study subjects. Well, writing for an audience is similar. You change styles and try to make things different in order to be better liked or received. And that just doesn’t seem very fair to myself, and I like being fair to myself since I feel that I have a very unique and amazing relationship with me.

I don’t necessarily mind if people read this. Truly. I just prefer to write as though there is no audience, even if the style and talking sounds as if I’m speaking to an audience of the like-minded. And let me clear that. I write as if speaking to a great audience (and it’s the same way as in my diaries), but I like to think that the subject matter is uninfluenced by an actual, watching audience. It makes little sense outside of my head; terribly sorry. Just another example of the connection I have with myself that doesn’t quite translate into the material world.

Sometimes I wonder if everyone has that kind of relationship with themselves. If everyone learns about themselves and works with it. Or, if other people are just shells, walking along, following, moving through the steps. Yes, I don’t doubt that we all think and have conversations with ourselves in our heads, but I sometimes wonder just how strong of a relationship we have between soul and mind. Or between mind and mind. I don’t always know which is correct when talking about this subject. But maybe this is all the psychologist in me.

I’m outside right now, sitting in the middle of the quad, under the cover of an oak tree and a maple. Truman’s campus is beautiful, as is the weather of Kirksville during the fall, and other students are taking the same opportunity as I am to enjoy the last moments of sun before the infamous midwest winter comes to play. They’re sitting on blankets, tapping their pens on notebooks, reading, talking, typing. I start to wonder what makes them… them.

There’s a girl lying next to her friend about one hundred feet from me. She’s a hard-core lesbian and makes it known to everyone on campus. I don’t mind this; I admire her strength. One doesn’t have to share a similar view-point to find something amiable about another. The girl beside her is chatting. She is very liberal. Again, I don’t mind this. I like people to believe in something, even if it’s not exactly the same as me. A young man walks passed holding his art supplies and a cigarette. My eyes squint and nose wrinkles at the smell, but it’s not my right to think ill of him. There’s a girl sitting beneath a tree and staring off into space. I start to wonder if she’s thinking the same things that I am. Or who she is. I wonder why she stares as opposed to the four people on cell phones who move their heads but don’t see anything. And, all the while, I can’t help but analyse people. Why does she sit with that posture? Why did he look awkward while sitting on that bench? Why does he turn his head to look behind him every couple of seconds? What are we and why are we? Are we all vast minds, trapped in shells. Or are only some people trapped? Or are only some people empty?

These are too many questions for a Thursday afternoon. But, if they aren’t asked now, when?

And, for the record, when I analyse people, it’s not judging. Judging people for what they like or how they do things is backwards. Judge character. Judge kindness. Judge who they really are, not just reputation. You’ll find it much easier to get along with people who are different from you.

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