With a Hurricane Happening, I Figured…Why Not?
So here it is, my first post since the beginning of the summer. I have…not kept my word…at all…..Sorry.
BUT HEY! One post every three months is better than no posts, right?…..Right?
Anyway, a lot happened this summer, and then in other ways, not a lot that happened. Not really sure how that works out. I guess there were a decent amount of events that happened, but overall my summer wasn’t consistently exciting. That’s a better way of putting it. Well, I certainly can’t say that now given that there’s kind of a hurricane in NJ which literally just as I typed that, I found out that it took down Kingda Ka. Yikes. Looks like I won’t be going on that anytime soon.
So what exactly did happen this summer that I can sum up in a single blog post that won’t make this really unnecessarily long and boring. Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll…
I applaud anyone who actually takes the time and effort to actually read that.
Besides that, I am definitely looking forward to summer’s end. Also, I’m really glad that in my junior year, I finally have what I’m majoring in figured out. It’s mathematics with education, and I am not turning back at this point. Now I can relax and just focus on my work…and all of the other stuff I’m going to be doing this semester. You wanna know what it is? Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll…
…Nah, I won’t do that again. Basically it’s just gonna be a lot of work because I’m taking 3 math classes and then I’m gonna be in a musical while having a job that I’ll hopefully have 3-4 shifts at my current job (or any job for that matter) every week while making time for Christina and everyone else that I’ve missed this summer.
That’s pretty much it. I’m no longer sure how often I’m gonna update this, but it was fun to do this again.
I Actually had a Good Dream!?
No seriously, I had a legit good dream. The issue here was never about having constant nightmares. If that were the problem, I think I’d need psychological help or something. (Though some people will probably claim I need it regardless.)
The issue that has been present, really since the semester ended is that I’ve been having fucked up dreams. I unfortunately have forgotten about most of them now, though I can recall one that I had recently. I was in this hospital, but it was more like a golden palace than anything. All the doctors were really friendly, and I was like “Okay, this won’t be too bad.” Well, it turned out I needed to have surgery done on my stomach, and they were trying out a new method which involved separating my entire torso from the rest of my body for no adequately explored reason.
Basically, my head and legs were separated from the rest of my body, and I saw the outside and inside of my stomach….it looked like a burger….the top part of my body part was the top bun, the stomach itself was the patty, the guts and blood the sauces, and then the back was the bottom part of the bun. As all of this was going down, I started to hear myself groaning in the real world, but I wasn’t completely waking up, and the dream was still happening. The actual surgery was about to start, and I woke myself up before it actually started…..
I think my ratio of messed up dreams to good AND bad dreams is something along the lines of 5 : 1. I’d recite one that I had a few years back, but I don’t think the Internet is ready for it, so I’ll just say some key words from it. Gray zombies, explosions, and Queen Latifah. If you want me to actually tell you about it, I will be more than happy to in a less public area than the Internet.
As for the one I had last night, my friends, Jon and Dan, along with my girlfriend, Christina, had decided they wanted to go to California to see an exhibition Lakers game (and probably enjoy California ‘cause….well let’s face it, it’s freakin’ California). They had invited me, as well, but I could not afford to go with them. So I was very =(.
At this point something weird tends to happen, and then the weirdness would normally continue on. This time the weirdness actually adds on to the story, and makes it more interesting. I apparently find a way to make Google Maps and any camera work as a teleportation device to anywhere on the planet. So I direct Google Maps to the exact location of this Lakers game and teleport myself there so I can meet up with everyone. The teleportation itself is a little trippy, too, which makes it a lot of fun.
So I get there in a few seconds, and I find Jon, Dan, and Christina almost instantly, and everything’s awesome. The game ends, and they have to go catch their flight back to New Jersey, but Christina decides she wanted to spend some more time with me and have me take her back with my new-found method of travel. They understood and let us have our alone time.
Everything’s all romantic and stuff, but then I check to make sure everything’s in working condition for us to get back ourselves. My phone has run out of battery, and that was my only camera around. So I look for anyone who might have a phone charger that’s compatible, but then I remember that I was a step ahead of myself and I brought my own! We teleport back to Jersey. I take her back to her house, and we hug and kiss and say our good-byes. I wake up.
I might say it’s the best dream I’ve ever had for me personally. Don’t get me wrong, I love weird dreams every now and then. They make for the best stories the next day (and in some cases for years). But I think that’s the first time I’ve ever woken up from a dream, and just felt great about everything.
And it’s not like that dream wasn’t weird or unrealistic, either. I teleported to and from California using Google and my phone! But it was just enough weirdness to keep the story entertaining and to not just make the story about the weirdness.
Some of my dreams can be and have been analyzed, too. But I don’t think this one needs to be. Christina’s just been awesome lately, and I miss hanging out with my friends from Ramapo. Not sure why Jon and Dan were the only ones there, because there are plenty of people I’ve been wanting to hang out with. In any case, I’ve never felt better waking up from a dream than I did with this one.
Okay….I Kinda Failed
I apologize for not updating for God knows how long. A fairly busy semester kept this blog as sort of an afterthought. Summer’s here now, and today in particular, I found myself doing absolutely nothing except eating, talking with my girlfriend (who is awesome, do not get me wrong), and listening to Journey (including songs from their new album Eclipse, which I hated at first, but listening to the songs again made me realize just how catchy some of them were. Lots of them rock, too, and I like when Journey rocks.) Did a little exercise but nothing too strenuous. Point is, I should have more time to post stuff.
At the same time, I’m not sure this summer’s gonna be interesting enough to continue with any sort of regular blog just telling you guys about my daily routine. I’d essentially be like, “Hey! I went to work and then hung out with friends! We may or may not have seen a movie, as well! And this movie may or may not have been good and/or fun to watch!”
So, instead of doing something like that, what I’m probably gonna end up doing is writing reviews on albums. If there’s one thing I’ve become relatively famous (or infamous) for, it’s my sometimes vehement beliefs in music and certain bands/artists that I may love or hate (or both in the case of Limp Bizkit). That isn’t to say I won’t give those that I hate with a passion a chance. Example, I do not like Lady Gaga at all, but I do believe that “Born This Way” is actually a good song and that she does have actual musical talent. Ke-dollar-sign-ha is one of the worst artists known to man (IMO), but somehow, “Take it Off” is the one song of hers that I don’t mind listening to. Justin Bieber has a lot of overrated songs, but I do know that he has actual musical talent (and the 800% slowed down “U Smile” was pretty interesting).
But yeah, you get the idea. I’m also not sure if it’ll be continued using this blog, or if this’ll be done somewhere else. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!
This Semester is Looking Pretty Good
At this point, I have taken all of my classes (except my Music Performance class) at least once. I think I have an idea as to how this semester is gonna go down academically.
Number Theory - Amanda Beecher
Hard to say if I like her as of yet. It’s been two classes, and though her explanations for some of the material were kind of confusing, it looks a lot better in my notes…I think. I’ll have to see how she does with some of the harder concepts that are bound to come up in class.
But, she does make up for it with a seemingly interesting personality. She’s very vibrant for a math professor, and hasn’t assigned any homework yet, which could either be good or bad depending upon just how much I need to work with the material before I actually feel prepared for any sort of exam. All in all, the class isn’t looking to be overwhelming, but it might take some time getting used to, which is what I expected.
Principles of Information Technology - Timothy Burns
I had heard this guy is good, and I figure I’m still relatively interested in learning about how stuff in computers works. So maybe I’ll take an Information Systems minor. Still not 100% on that, but all I know is this guy is one of the coolest people ever. Yesterday, I got out of class an hour early in a 1.5-hour class. That’s practically unheard of!
Now, that’s not the only thing I like about this class. I like it because it seems to me that we’re actually going to get to learn about the basics of programs that we’re going to be working with. Yesterday, for example, we made a Powerpoint that consisted of 3-5 slides with at least 2 different types of slides, some images, and adding effects to the slides themselves. I think to most people in that class, that was baby work, but it is pretty much the basics of Microsoft Powerpoint. We’re going to be learning about Microsoft Access. I don’t know crap about Microsoft Access. So, now that I know he actually starts with the basics and goes about teaching in a relatively organized fashion, I don’t think learning Access will be too difficult for me. I’m looking forward to more of these classes.
Calc II - Ken McMurdy
I don’t really need to say anything, because I had this awesome person last semester for Discrete Structures. Though his grading is a little different, (He put more weight on the final, essentially) I’m expecting just as enjoyable of a class because it didn’t even take a full class for him to crack his first really awkward joke, which is what is just so awesome, not to mention he’s a fantastic teacher, and I’m slowly starting to get a grasp on Calculus again after not taking it for a year-and-a-half.
Theories of Coaching - Kathleen Finnegan
This is the class that I had to get into at the last minute to get credits to keep a scholarship. It’s an 8:00 AM with someone who clearly is interested in the subject matter, but hates 8:00 just as much as every student in that room. She showed up 10 minutes late, and had short bursts of energy, but it wasn’t there for most of the class. Also her showing up 10 minutes late pissed me off because we got out 20 minutes early, which means that if she had been on time, we could’ve been out by 9:00 instead of 9:10. That’s not going to make or break the class for me, but it was kind of annoying.
On the bright side, it is a 2-credit, which means the workload won’t be that painful, and she’s supposed to be one of the easiest teachers to have. Some of the subject matter did seem kind of interesting, as well, and I’m not that into sports, so we’ll see how that plays out.
All that’s left is Music Performance with Mack Brandon, so I’ll see if I can post about that tonight, but I love music, and I’ve heard great things about this guy with this class. I’m expecting to enjoy this class to say the least.
Until then, best/worst professor…GO!!!
It’s Been Such a Long Time
I don’t think I should be going, though. Then I couldn’t write this.
But wow has life gotten intense since I got back to Ramapo. I’m on campus now, and that means that I’ve gotta worry about a whole bunch of things. Take into consideration, my roommate (who didn’t show up I think until Friday lol). Now he’s a nice guy, don’t get me wrong. So are my suitemates who actually showed up on Wednesday. But it just doesn’t seem like we would connect at all on just about anything except for maybe some morals. Morals are boring, though.
Well, I live in the section of the college called the CPA’s. And one of my very good friends lives in this area as well. Not to mention in a place with a single room, which means it would just be the two of us. So I get a text from him asking if I wanted to switch rooms because his roommate not only hasn’t shown up, but my friend’s room is labeled as having a vacancy. Well, needless to say, even though we won’t find out until February 3rd if I’m actually going to be living with him or not, we’ve still started unofficially moving me into his room. And let’s just say, this is going to be an awesome room.
Let me give you an idea. This dude has some of the most random stuff you can find. All sorts of outfits, a disco ball, paintings of I don’t know what, and to top it all off, he’s got plenty of musical instruments. We’ve got plenty of stuff for this room.
Now, I wanted to separate this because this is where we both come in to make the room even more awesome. Now he has the PS3 (which has admittedly gotten some better games recently) and a PS2. He’s also got a Wii, but he didn’t bring that with him. Luckily, I have every home console made by Nintendo (going from NES all the way to the Wii) along with an Xbox 360. I have the original Xbox as well, but the system hasn’t worked properly for years, and it sucked anyway. We both have Nintendo DS’s as well, and I have the original Game Boy. So, to reiterate, here’s what we got, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment System, 2 Nintendo DS’s, and a Game Boy. It’s not everything, but I think we’ll be okay.
And this is only the beginning, next semester is gonna be even better. I can’t wait.
So, since I love asking questions at the end of my blog, what is the best OR worst experience you have had living on campus. (I think I know some people’s answers.)
See you next time!
Last Fall in a Nutshell: Other Stuff
In one of my previous posts, I mentioned two shows that I was in. One of them being a short one-act and the other being a play that my good friend wrote.
The one-act was called Surprise! And I played a psychic who could see two minutes into the future. The story was that me and this girl are at this place and she’s about to dump me because she can’t take me anymore, but unbeknownst to me, the waitress who helps us and has served me in past outings that have led to being dumped actually likes me, and that just happens to be the one thing that I don’t predict.
Unfortunately, I happened to catch a bit of a cold for two of the performances, but fortunately everything worked out, and I’m pretty sure no one got sick from me (unless they did and I didn’t realize it, which would make me feel really bad, and I apologize).
In any case, the one-act went over really well, and I owe that to a great cast, and a great director. It felt really good to work with a director who really helped bring out the personality in each character. It certainly made it easier for me to work with her because sometimes I’m not quite sure how to portray my character, and it leads me to just sort of play myself. But she gave really clear directions on where I should go with my character, and it made the experience all the better.
My friend’s show, Monsters, was a much bigger and much more involved show despite the fact that it was only an hour long. However, we only had a month to get the show ready with very little rehearsal time every week. But our director (who was also one of the characters in Surprise!) was also very good for the show and got our blocking done quickly. The cast had their lines memorized a couple of weeks before the show, the set was taken care of the week before, and props were also taken care of early on. It was the most organized and least stressful production I’ve ever been involved with.
It really does make me think back to when I did productions in high school. I think there was only one play that I was ever involved with that had few issues when dress rehearsal came, and that was the first show that I ever did there. Every show that I performed in afterwards had last minute issues going on even right before opening night. Props were missing, set pieces were missing, lines weren’t memorized, and in some drastic cases, some stuff still needed to be blocked. It made doing those productions so much more stressful than they needed to be, and it was a nice change of pace to not have to deal with it this time around.
On a brief side note, who’s excited about the Jets winning? See, I’ve never been much of a football fanatic, but it’s always a good day seeing Belichick’s team beaten. It makes me think back to the 2008 Superbowl. Yeah. That one.
Actually here’s a little end-of-the-post question: What is your least favorite football team?
Let the sports wars begin in a mostly theater related post!
Last Fall in a Nutshell: Trojan Women 2.0
I’ll start with Trojan Women 2.0.
Seeing Trojan Women 2.0 was interesting. For starters, everyone gave fantastic performances and portrayed their roles very well. I actually saw it twice so the experience for me was different each time.
The first time I was very focused on how the play itself was built and presented. The set was awesome. The audience was actually on the same stage as the performers, and where the audience would usually be, was a huge wooden ramp that they used for epic entrances from some of the characters. They also used it for very tragic moments and very well choreographed moments. The only thing that bothered me about this was that since the audience was sitting in front of the ramp and not behind it, and most of the cast was looking in the general direction of the ramp, they often had their backs turned to the audience. The traditionalist in my was like “Face me, dammit! I wanna see people!” The same thing happened when people were appearing in the highest areas of the theater that were literally right above the audience, so unless we strained our heads and they were in a convenient location, we couldn’t see who these people were. It was later explained to me that it wasn’t about the faces, but rather it was about hearing the voices. And given the setting of the play and how it was presented, I can understand that.
The second time I watched the production, knowing what I had issues with the first time, I just decided to cast them aside and focus more on the show itself. I enjoyed it a lot more. Though I’m still not a Lady Gaga fan, all the songs were very well-performed by all the cast members as was the show itself.
So for all of you theater people who read this, what would you say is the weirdest/most interesting show you’ve ever done?
Last Fall in a Nutshell: Academics
So I finished the last semester pretty nicely. I ended with a 3.514 GPA, which is literally just above the cutoff for making Dean’s List (3.5). I’ll give a brief overview of each class…how I did, and how I felt about the class as a whole. I’ll start with my worst overall experience.
Class: Computer Science II Professor: Scott Frees Grade: W
Any computer science person will probably call fail on my labeling this class my worst experience of the semester because this professor is supposed to be one of the best in the Comp Sci. department. I’d like to quickly clarify that it wasn’t solely the professor’s fault for me giving this class such a label. It was a combination of a few things.
- This class has very hard material to grasp, especially considering it brings up things from Comp Sci I which were hard for me to get towards the end.
- The class itself was a 3-hour night class, which I got really sick of last Spring. (He has a much earlier 1.5-hour class two days a week this upcoming semester, which would perhaps make things somewhat easier to work with because it’s not presenting so much material at one time.)
- Frees is intelligent, but not very interesting to listen to.
- I lost interest in the subject as a whole.
- It’s my first (and hopefully last) that I have (and hopefully will have) withdrawn from.
So the good news is, I took a W instead of a probable D/F and didn’t have to worry about that bringing down my other grades. The bad news is, I lost my slight credits edge that I had with taking some extra 1 & 2 credit classes before along with my Calc AP credits, but I’ll live.
Class: Russian Political History Professor: Ronald Hayashida Grade: B+
Now if we wanna talk worst class of the semester that I actually saw through to the end (because I really had no choice), it would be this one. This professor is disgracefully bad. He has the most unorganized powerpoints and the most boring way of presenting them. This is the first professor that I’ve tried my best to pay attention to, but I just can’t. It’s physically impossible.
The tests SHOULD be pieces of cake to study for. All they are are some definitions and then one essay that you choose from a bunch. The keyword though is SHOULD. Though it’s decent for preparing for essays, it’s god awful for vocabulary because not only are some words missing definitions, but some words are missing completely. It makes you have to take a chance with online definitions, or I think some people were just able to sort of coerce him into giving them the definitions right to them. I don’t know, but all I know is that in some cases he was really easy, but in most cases, his class was just really annoying to deal with.
The only bright side was the amount of work that we didn’t have. But I really don’t think it was worth it. I didn’t get a single thing out of that class.
Class: Leadership Skills I Professor: Sarah Dwyer Grade: A
Okay, I’m going to try to be a little less aggressive with this one because this professor hasn’t been teaching at RCNJ for 30 years. This was actually her first class ever. I won’t say she did a good job, because she didn’t, but the outside assignments she had for us had some level of engagement, and I did learn a little about myself. It wasn’t much, but it was a little.
The thing was, she didn’t really teach. She skipped over about 75% of the material on every powerpoint. Okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit, but she skipped over a lot, and really made it so that we didn’t have to read the textbook in order to get an A. Now don’t get me wrong, I know this is a 2-credit class, and I don’t mind an easy A, but I thought I might get a little something out of the class that would make me want to be a little more of a leader. If she doesn’t teach, then how am I supposed to learn?
All in all, the class itself was okay, fairly disappointing, and I don’t think I’d want this teacher for a 4-credit class. I’ll give her time to get more experience and learn from her mistakes before I give her another chance.
Class: Public Speaking Professor: Sharon Pierson Grade: B+
Despite having James Hollenbach taken away from me before the semester started, I still thought this professor was okay, though sometimes I wasn’t quite sure when she’d give an A for a speech or a B. That was my main issue with her. I’d see speeches that have plenty of flaws get A grades (which means that there should be like one flaw, and it should be negligible). Hell, my final speech got an A, and I didn’t even think I deserved that. I was happy, don’t get me wrong.
But really, while there are many advanced topics in this class, there are only a few things you needed to get out of it in order to do well.
- Vocal variety - Don’t be monotone
- Volume - Can we hear you?
- Topic - Make sure your topic is relevant to the audience
- Know your material - ‘Cause otherwise you just look dumb
- Eye contact - Look at your notes every now and then, but focus on all of your audience members for the majority of the time.
- Organization - This was a huge problem for me up until the very end. Make sure one thing leads into another relatively smoothly.
- Introduction - Have an intro that clearly defines your position and what you’re talking about, but also give it a hook like a question or a quote, or something with audience participation.
- Conclusion - Make sure your conclusion doesn’t bring up anything new and just wraps up what you talked about with a brief summary.
- Visual Aid/Powerpoint - Everyone pretty much used powerpoints, so make sure that they’re interesting to look at, but have no more than 3 backgrounds. Also make sure there’s not too much info on one slide (like my RPH teacher did)
She knew her stuff, but there’s only so much that the textbook and class can teach you, which is why you’re required to actually present speeches. You’re only gonna get better at speaking in front of an audience by actually speaking in front of an audience. Her actual criticisms were on par for the most part, but sometimes people got grades that I didn’t think they deserved, whether they be higher or lower.
Class: Discrete Structures Professor: Ken McMurdy Grade: A-
Yes. This was my best class last semester. This was part of the reason as to why I wanted to change to a Mathematics major. Because professors like this guy know how to make math interesting. Now, I might be a little biased because Math has always been one of my favorite subjects, but I don’t know a single person in this class, passing, barely passing, or failing, that didn’t like this guy. Even if you don’t like the subject, you still gotta love the somewhat dorky-in-a-cool way he presents himself and the random and sometimes awkward jokes he has.
But seriously, the main thing that was awesome about this guy was that he knew when students were having a difficult time and wanted to make sure that students got the material. He provided numerous examples of each topic presented so that we could get a better idea as to what we were dealing with. He didn’t put any surprises on tests. He made sure that the material on the tests was the same material that we had been learning.
So that was my Fall 2010 semester, and all in all, academically it could have been worse. This semester I’m taking 4 4-credit classes, and I still need to find a 2-credit class to keep a scholarship. I’ll see if I can get into something during the day so as to keep it outside of possible conflicts with the play that I’m gonna be in this semester.
Calculus II - Ken McMurdy (Awesomeness!)
Number Theory - Amanda Beecher (She’s new, but apparently she’s okay, so hopefully the class won’t be too bad.)
Principles of Info Tech - Timothy Burns (Looking into a possible Info Tech Minor, and I’ve heard this guy is really good)
Music Performance - Mack Brandon (This one’s mostly for me, but I am also thinking about a Music Minor. At the same time, I’m hoping this will strengthen my instrumental skills as well as my vocal skills.)
There’s still more to last semester, but that’s it as far as academics goes.
Oh Hey, I Have a Blog that I’m Supposed to Keep Updated
How long has it been? And what has happened since my last one?
Well, for one thing, I have a girlfriend now, which is kinda big for me (also awesome because she’s awesome and I love her). Also, that was what the Chicago tickets were for. Though we couldn’t end up watching the broadway show together, we still watched the movie together and she and her friends set up this thing in one of the lounges with little street signs and a sign for the ambassador theater made out of paper to make it as if we were watching it on broadway. It was totally awesome, and that was when I was like “Yeah, I like her.” And that’s as more than friends.
Unfortunately, we were only able to spend a couple of weeks in the same part of New Jersey as a couple before we got separated for a month since we got together near the end of the semester. We were able to get together a couple of times, and we grew closer because of that. As the days go by, we continue to discover some things we have in common. We can laugh at similar stuff, which continues to surprise me just about every day because of some of the stuff I laugh at. The music that we first listened to might differ, but we’re gaining a mutual respect for each other’s tastes. But one thing we do have in common as far as our tastes in music, is that we both like artists that demonstrate actual talent (AKA NOT Justin Bieber or Ke$ha).
The good thing is, people move back into Ramapo on Tuesday, so I’ll be able to see her and all of my other friends fairly soon. This isn’t all that’s happened to me in the last month and a half, but I figured I should probably start with the something that kinda changed my life.
So, I know I’m quite a bit late with this one, but 2011 is still fairly new territory. And since I can’t think of a creative question…What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Mine is to lose more weight in fat and gain more muscle…lets see if I can get down to 160 lbs.
I’ll get back to updating this more frequently.
Now That Everything Else has been Posted…
I’ll start posting new stuff more frequently. I apologize to my friends whose news feeds I probably just clogged up with all of this.