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Yes, there's an election the coming Tuesday =)

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

 “There’s an election, next week? Crap! I thought the next one was in 2012!”

This was the conversation I had with a friend of mine just two days ago. I know teenagers (and young adults) can’t be bothered with things like voting and elections, but I feel obligated to post this considering the election is just 4 days away. I’ll try to avoid sounding like a broken record. We’ve heard all of it before. We need to vote so that we have a say in our future. With the deficit in trillions, and the national debt exceeding 10x, our futures are essentially being mortgaged. This means higher taxes for all of us in the future – or major cuts in services.

But hey, that’s in the future! We can take care of it when we get to it, right? (If your sarcasm detectors aren’t going off here, you should consider getting a refund!)

To set the record straight, yes, there is an election next week (November 2 to be exact!). You have a chance to elect your Congressmen, one of the US Senators, the Governor and all the State and County politicians. These races, especially the local ones, have an impact on our day-to-day lives as students. Issues like funding for public schools, community colleges and even public transportation hang in the balance.

During times of economic strain, funding for schools, public colleges and public transportation are often the first to get cut. This seems really counterproductive, as one would expect more people going back to school (especially affordable, public ones) and taking the bus or metro during times of recession. The end result is spiked tuitions, schools and colleges cutting programs or maybe your bus cutting down on the number of routes. Part of the reason education funding is so easy to cut is because the politicians know that many of the chief beneficiaries – students – never dare vote.

 

Every election year we have an opportunity to change that and elect people who can change our lives for the better. Change doesn’t always come in the form of a charismatic leader – though that certainly helps; it comes when ordinary citizens like all of you decide to elect more accountable leaders.

 

Sorry for the preachy tone, but it had to be done!

Raise Your Glass

(Besith Pineda) Permanent link

Today’s blog is coming to you from Lakeforest Mall. Open invitation to stalk me, y’alls.

 Before someone, or no one, gets offended by me writing while technically at work, I will offer one explanation: I get work done. I’m a master multi-tasker. My boss left me with a task, and this task will be completed by the end of the night, like it usually is, or I wouldn’t have been employed here for the last six months.

 I got thisss.

It’s fitting, I think, that I should be writing from here. I spend a vast majority of my time in this first floor kiosk, flanked by racks of hats, to my right Hot Topic and its ridiculously attractive manager and the generally attractive staff… Holla.

I wrote a phrase in my last blog, something about the “incessant drone of humanity” that accompanies my days here. At any given point, people are walking past me, walking above me, asking questions of me, calling the phone…they are looking at me, sideway glances or conspicuous backward stares. Guys hit on me every now and then. My boss’ friends stop to say hi.

Artificial lights burn down, artificial air circulates. Security guards stall for a few minutes of light conversation. The owner of the two kiosks “next door” asks me about my day, and offers me cookies I always accept though I don’t always eat. My ex works about 20 seconds away of fast walking (this is how I measure my distances obvs), stopping by to talk briefly, we sometimes exchange texts across small time.

I guess I’m blogging about this particular job because it has, somehow, become so synonymous with me. Friends often ask where I’m working on any particular day and show up unexpectedly. I don’t think I’ve ever told them how much those visits mean to me, how they free me from the prison like glass windows around me.

And so it goes. This is the job that pays for school and clubbin’ nights.

I am currently in the process of embroidering on a blanket for a future father; his daughter’s name and a crown and the thread starts I imagine he sees when he closes his eyes.

Cheers,

Besith

 

 

Maybe computers are out to get us, operatic cookies and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

(Melissa Williamson) Permanent link

      Arrgghhhh! That would have been what you heard when I was taking one of the quizzes for the on-line Health class earlier. No, it wasn't because there were children around. It was technical difficulties getting the college computer to respond to mine. Usually when you take a Distance Learning test, it's very fast. You select your multiple choice answer or type something in the box and then click on “save” and in an instant it's all secure and you can go on to the next one. But today it was taking 10 or 15 seconds at times to register what I had done. Let me tell you, when you have a set amount of time to take a test and the clock is ticking away, that can feel like a long time. But you can't stop everything and start over, so I had to keep at it. Things seemed better half way through; then when I reached the last 2 questions it slowed down again and it was even worse than before. I watched the clock count down while I clicked “Save” more than once and checked to see if there was anything on my machine eating up the bandwidth. (There wasn't.) I had answered every question but the last one didn't register as saved as the timer hit 0:00:00. I had to submit the whole test then and it was irritating to read the little label telling me “You haven't saved everything. Do you still want to submit the quiz”. Well, no, I didn't want to send in an incomplete quiz. But I didn't have much choice.

      Sigh! It's time to use some more of the suggestions for calming down and dealing with stress, again. I'm trying to get through to the WebCT helpdesk, too, so that I can let them know that there was a problem. I think this is the first time it's happened in more than four years of taking DL classes, but it was still annoying.

     My family tells me (in a nice way) that I'm a little too intense about my class work and tests sometimes. I have a new nickname of "Hermione" as in the girl in the "Harry Potter" books. I think it's her line about "You could have gotten us all killed… or worse: Expelled!!" I don't think I'm quite that way. On the other hand, there are days when it would be useful to have the Time Turner:

  http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Time-Turner

     I did get a couple of interviews for jobs posted on the Montgomery College student employment page and that's encouraging. Here's hoping.  The Monday night seminar is all over except for the final paper and a two paragraph assignment. It was a great class.

     This is going to be very silly, but after so many years of "Sesame Street" there are some clips that I'm fond of including

An operatic "C is for Cookie"

 

 

  And the "African Alphabet" with Kermit the Frog and Ladysmith Black Mambazo (a great group) 

 

 


Faking Your Death

(Theo Eftimiades) Permanent link

Okay, so recently I’ve found that one of my childhood heroes, Tourettes Guy, faked his death in order to justify his not putting up videos on the internet anymore and to avoid hate mail. 


You probably need a little background on Tourettes Guy…but first a disclaimer

Due to the VERY offensive nature of his videos, I don’t think it appropriate to put him up on the blog, but it’s, of course, completely okay for me to enable you to go see him by telling you to look him up on youtube or at his site, http://www.thetourettesguy.tv/

So, here is a little background on tha Tourettes Guy…

Lo que dice el website, es que Tourettes Guy esta filmado por su hijo cuando esta borracho. La mayoria del tiempo, Tourettes Guy esta diciendo palabras malas y rompiendo cosas; podria ser porque esta borracho o por su Tourettes Syndrome. Lo que es ridiculo, es que los obstaculos para Tourettes Guy, su enfermedad y su addicion a alocohl, son las cosas que gente piensan chistosas. Lo demas, la realidad, desgraciadamente, es que Tourettes Guy no tiene Tourettes Syndrome o un addicion a alcohol.

Clearly then, one can understand how Tourettes guy had a significant amount of controversy surrounding himself—before he “died in a car accident.”

Emma O’Hara

Anyways, story goes that Tourettes Guy “dies” in a car accident, thus putting an end to all of the controversy surrounding his character. Website, which was notoriously poorly-run, goes down; All fans sad L. I, at the time, was an avid fan; I even went so far as to get a T-shirt from the website. I was sad. I sent a letter of mourning to the webmaster.

Let’s fast forward to a few years later
Noone knows except the both of us…
<3 that song

Anyways, Fast forward to a few years later, specifically until 2am last weekend, when I find that Tourettes Guy IS BACK—WITH NEW VIDEOS.

There is NO MENTION, no explanation, no nothing on the site clarifying how Tourettes Guy’s resurrection came about. As far as I know, it’s impossible to die for four+ years and then come back.

MY theory is that Tourettes Guy and his friends got tired of putting up videos and were getting too much hate mail, and so they faked his death. They’re now running a minimally functional site on the cheapest server they could find, trying to get as much money via donations as they can without having to do any work.

It is more than clear from checking around the site that Tourettes Guy is a desktop run operation. My rope-fish (which is like two years old and WONT DIE. So inconsiderate, being that I CANNOT bring it to college when I leave MC) could make a more intricately designed site on a Lite-Brite.  The worst part about it, considering that it is a home-run shindig, is that under the “Contact Us” tab, there is a letter written by the “webmaster,” claiming that he has absolutely NO contact with the filmers of Tourettes Guy and that he simply manages their site. He claims to have no knowledge of what’s going on with the actual filmers of Tourettes Guy, thus justifying his ignoring of everything sent to him, yet he feels knowledgeable enough to say “There is no official Tourettes Guy DVD, so I can't sell you one. I'm pretty sure there will be one in the future, but I don't know when yet.” IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY CONTACT WITH THE FILMERS, YOU DON’T KNOW THAT!

CLEARLY, SIR, YOU LIE.

This operation is run by awful people with no intention or motivation but to make money off of satirizing a real handicap. To be honest, I’m not even particularly offended by them satirizing the handicapped. (… and that sounds awful…) I’m more angry that, as a means of escaping DUE hate-mail responding to their comical take on Tourettes and Alcoholism, they FAKED HIS DEATH. MORE THAN THAT, they waited four years, BROUGHT HIM BACK, and put up a Contact Us page from a “webmaster” that claims no responsibility for, or knowledge of, ANYTHING going on, thus dissuading people from sending warranted hate-mail.  

Here’s the link to the words of the satan-spawn:
http://www.thetourettesguy.tv/contact.html

In conclusion, if I ever happen upon anyone associated with this site who is not too much heavier or muscular than myself, I am putting them into a Triangle Choke. If they are a lot bigger, I’ll probably throw something and run, or just do nothing to them, and then come home and bl0g. 

+6 Bows

+10 Bows


Something Like A MINI- Celeb

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So, ever since the Town Hall Meeting with President Obama, I’ve been something like a celebrity in my neighborhood and at Montgomery College. Yesterday I was walking into the library at school and there were two students sitting outside the library and I heard one of them say “I think I saw her on TV with President Obama”. Then, a couple days ago I was standing at the Metro station and a guy whom I didn’t know came up to me and said “Hey I saw you on BET, you did really good…are they going to show it again?”I couldn't help but smile, it was kind of cool to be recognized and I didn’t know that so many people actually watched it.

I wish the BIG people would call me, like MTV, BET you know J… I am a Communication major and could use an internship that would give me some experience that I could use in the future. Maybe I should take a trip down to the White House and ask to speak to President Obama (laughing out loud).

Here at MC a couple of my teachers are really proud of me and wanted to see my links, I wish I could’ve gotten some extra credit (especially in Statistics :-D). Being a part of the Town Hall meeting has opened my eyes in the direction of broadcasting. I think I would make a good broadcaster or newswoman… or maybe I’m just saying that now because I’m still in fantasy land.

But, on the not so bright side my grades are starting to slip and I really need to start practicing better time management skills and cut one of my many obligations. At times I feel overwhelmed because I have so much going on. It’s like I never have a chance to do what “Tierra” wants to do. And what Tierra really wants to do is just sleeeeeeeeeeeppppppp for like 3 days straight. Not having to get up, go to school, work, internship, community service site or do anything else. I know the typical full time college student lives off nothing but Starbucks, energy drinks, no-doz and other unhealthy things, but I’m tired. So tired… But it’s life huh? L

By the way guys, I have my second math test this Thursday in Statistics. WISH ME LUCK! Lots of it.

 

All in Favor Say "Aye"

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

My Dearest Trees,

            The strain is more than I can bear; long have I wrestled internally with my shamebut, alas, I must express my conviction. I have come to realize that our relationship has suffered lately. No. No. It’s not you; it’s me. Alas, I knew full well that academia is your worst nightmare and yet, I took off in selfish pursuit of it anyway. Yes, I betrayed you by dedicating my life to books, cursed books, that are inevitably printed on… paper.

            No, don’t look at me like that! I can’t bear the shame! I feel deeply guilty about this already; as I print twelve or more pages of homework, you groan outside my window and beg me to stop. Trees, you give so much and I give so little in return.

            You give me sweet smelling flowers in the spring; you give me cool shade to sit under in the summer; you provide a beautiful display in the fall and give me warmth in the winter as I callously burn your dead. You even give me the oxygen that I breathe! And yet, lo, all I can do is take.

            I use up pages of notebook paper doing math; I print out endless reports; I write hundreds of pages that I hope will multiply into hundreds of thousands of novels. I climb all over you. I tear the succulent fruit of your issue from your very limbs and eat them raw or bake them into pies. I pour your blood all over my waffles because it is so darn tasty.  And my room is a crying shame! Oh the paper! Such an abhorrent scene of sylvan carnage, reams of paper everywhere, leaking like blood from my notebooks and bookshelves, splashing across the carpet like gore of Antietam.   

            Alas my dear Trees, as much as I love you, I fear I must confess that I have been having a torrid love affair with books that I just cannot quit. Call it an addiction if you must; yes a paper addiction! And I have let that paper addiction come between us. Yes, that same paper addiction that prays on the mass of men, that same paper addiction that litters the earth also litters our love.

            Oh Trees! Don’t look at me like that! I’m doing what I can. I recycle. I painstakingly convert print documents to electronic format. Hark! I write a blog. Notice that I didn’t print this letter out but instead posted it on the Internet!

            Trees, there is hope for us yet.  Colleges across the nation have begun employing the Kindle or iPad in lieu of textbooks. More homework is being submitted online. Trees, I don’t know how you have borne centuries of human abuse with such dignified silence, but it is finally paying off. It’s my turn – it’s our turn – to give back to you.

            Oh! I think you may have moved me to tears. Give me a hug, thou beautiful trees! (But please… keep the Poison Ivy to yourself).

 

Fondest Love,

 

Sam Cam (And, doubtless, all the other tree huggers out there. You know who you are. And it’s high time there were more of you.)

Step One: Admitting You Have a Problem

(Brittany Sullivan) Permanent link

I am disappointed to reveal that I too have now become an addict. I have given into the peer pressure and constant media exposure. Yes, I am a Jersey Shore fan!!! I put full blame however on MTV, who for an entire weekend ran non-stop back-to-back episodes. It was inevitable that my chronic procrastination would lead me to be sucked in by the overly tanned skin, gelled hair, and oversized poufs.

For the entire first season of The Jersey Shore I adamantly avoided what seemed to me to be complete mind garbage. The two most publicized characters, “The Situation” and “Snooki”, seemed incredible self-centered and narcissistic and portrayed the exact opposite of what a role model should be.  Not being a fan in the least of The Real World, I simply took no interest whatsoever in all that was The Jersey Shore. However, this resulted in me being a complete outcast in numerous conversations on GTL and t-shirt time.

This led up to my recent breakdown where I set all of my taste, values, and morals to the side and watched endless hours of this Guido pandemonium. The major hook was when I witnessed the scene where Snooki gets sucker-punched in the face by a grown man at the bar. 


From that point there was no saving me. I became engrossed in the obnoxious relationship between Ronnie and Sammi, the incestuous attitude of Mike “the Situation”, and the constant tension between the house and Angelina.

I still stand my ground by saying that The Jersey Shore is complete garbage for the mind, and you can literally feel yourself loosing brain cells while watching it. However, I will still continue to watch. Hello, my name is Brittany and I am addicted to The Jersey Shore

A Little Bit of Greeness

(Marcia Myers) Permanent link

 So today I thought I'd cover an all too familiar and way over done topic. Being "Green". It's talked about everywhere all the time exhaustively. So much that I remember taking English 101 and being told I could write about anything except Global Warming because my professor was much too tired of reading student's papers about it.

However, walking around Animal Kingdom (the park whose total focus is on wildlife and the earth) I was struck again by the enormity of this topic. Is it really covered enough? The small things we take for granted - electricity, driving, clean water - these are things we use all the time and we're often wasteful  in our use of them. I think we need to take the time to be reminded that we share this planet with not only a lot of other human beings but a lot of other living things.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect or this crazy hippie. I leave lights on. I drive when I could take the bus. I like a nice, long shower as much as the next person, but looking around at some of the things Disney is trying to do gives me a little bit of hope and a reminder that I can make a difference. If I help a little bit and I inspire someone else to  help a little bit those little bits can add up to a whole lot of difference.

I'm often asked that when people find out I'm a vegetarian. Does my not eating meat really matter? In the scheme of things? Probably not. But if I don't eat meat and that causes someone else to eat a little less meat than I like to think I'm passing it on and doing a my part.

So my hope for this blog post is that you'll run off and do something! Maybe something small - like unplugging your coffee maker when you're not using it. Or maybe something big like volunteer at a local nature center. But no matter what I believe 100% that we can make a difference in helping the earth to last a little bit longer if we all pitch in.

"TO BE STRESSED? OR RELAXED?"

 Permanent link

 

So I have a really close friend, of course I won’t put her name out there but she knows who I am talking about.  We took EN101 together spring semester of 2009, but we never really “clicked” because I was the “outgoing, always asking questions and always raising my hand” student while she was the “quiet, do my work and leave” student. We then were reunited during a horrible MA101 class, in which she ended up passing… and me? Well let’s just say I didn’t do too well.

When we met she was rather quiet and sat all the way in the back of the class and seldom did she ever say anything to anyone. I sat a seat in front of her and I would always turn around and ask her, “Do you understand what the professor is saying?” Her response was always, “no”.  Our conversation was pretty much the same throughout the first half of the semester:

ME: “Do you understand what the professor is saying?”

FRIEND: “No”.

ME: “Me either”.

Friend: Smile. Then blank stare.

Me: laugh. Turns back around.

After about a month in a half of the same constant conversation, my friend finally warmed up and began to sit at the same table with me and another girl. Throughout the rest of the semester we began to develop into close friends and now we’re sort of like Siamese twins (laughing out loud).

The whole point of the story above is to give you some details on the foundation of our friendship and how we’re opposites. Now to get to the point,

My friend is the type of person who will obsess over class assignments; she will freak out and complain about how she did so horrible and how she’s going to fail and when she gets her grades back she ALWAYS does great!

Me on the other hand, I will be calm and cool and think I did well and when the grades come back I did horrible (tears).

So I am beginning to wonder if I need to be stressed and freaked out in order to do well? (Laughing out loud) because I’m really starting to believe that it may actually work…

 

 

I've got 99 problems but Calculus ain't one

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

 I’ve also had an interesting relationship with Math. I was always good at basic arithmetic. After an Algebra related scare, I quickly recovered and did fairly well. But somewhere along Pre-Calculus Math stopped making sense. It never “clicked” like it did before. All that has changed and I feel like I have my Calculus teacher to thank! By the way, my Calculus teacher is different from Sam’s but equally awesome!

            Gone are the days of teachers making up random acronyms or pneumonic devices. There’s nothing wrong with using them as quick refreshers, but I feel as if the focus easily shifts from explaining math into memorizing it. This has not been a problem with my current teacher! He actually derives the formulas to help us see where the come from. My classmates agree that appreciating the process makes it easier to appreciate Mathematics. Of course, sample problems designed to help us see patterns don’t hurt either. I don’t want you to think he isn’t creative or anything. He had a pretty cool rap about the quotient rule’s formula. Unfortunately I don’t think anyone recorded it. He also color-codes the formulas. This becomes especially helpful when you’re working with pretty complicated “double chain-rule” problems, which have multiple layers of derivative finding.

           The occasional props certainly help. Demonstrating projectile motion by throwing a (non-working) marker to the side or taking a call from Newton certainly helps in sustaining everyone’s interest in the class. His office hours are generous and he’s taken the time to know everyone’s name.

           I’ve stuck to just doing the homework and going to class and I’m doing exceptionally well in that class. I knocked on wood when I wrote the last line…just to be safe…there’s still half a semester a go! Academic success isn’t what’s causing me to write this post, it’s the sheer awesomeness of Calculus. Things click again! Even stuff from as far away as Algebra! It’s a whole another language. Like Sam once told me, it’s a new way of looking at life – just like Philosophy!

I'm Back From France!!!!!!

(Katie Kaiser) Permanent link

    And….I’M BACK! Miss me?

    I miss Europe already. It honestly feels like another place over there. The food was amazing, the people beautiful (that’s an understatement), and the sites…breathtaking. Their countries just generate love and romance. It’s hard not to be swept up in the European dream world.

    Now I NEVER thought my trip would end out this way, and who would when you’ve thrown up four times in an airplane bathroom on the six hour flight it took to get part of the way there! Yes, that’s right, I put a few barf bags to use and I’m pretty sure the flight attendants hated me from the first one on. No worries though, I think it was just the plane ride mixed with some pretty awful food that did me in.

    Anyways, we landed safely after that in Brussels (Belgium) and were greeted by Mickael, Paul’s old French friend from high school. The first place we stayed was in Lille (northern France, practically a stone’s throw from Belgium) at his “other French mother’s” house. She only spoke French which was actually kind of nice. Her house was very cute, it had a beautiful garden, breakfast table, low lying beds, and in true European fashion minimal bathrooms including one without a sink (which made “potty” breaks just a little more challenging….).

    On the first Saturday, Mickael married his love Capucine. Their wedding was gorgeous and included a traditional civil ceremony, the religious ceremony, a cocktail hour, a brief break, and a reception that lasted until 5 in the morning. French weddings blow ours out of the water! Dinner was a five course meal: scallops and truffles, beef and veggies, cheese, salad, and of course desert! There wasn’t a traditional wedding cake but instead were 4 different kinds of cakes, cookies, pastries and even crepes with chocolate which were freshly made! The reception was simply fantastic. The music was mainly from America, and oddly enough included “YMCA”, “Macho Man”, and “My Heart Will Go On” (The main theme from titanic haha!).

     The wedding was just the beginning of our trip. We wandered the streets of Lille which was amazing! Cobblestone roads everywhere, simple bakeries, and oh my goodness the shoes! SHOES! I fell in love with every pair without fail! Next, we went to the beautiful city Brugge, Belgium. It’s nicknamed “the Little Venice of the North” and for good reason! Water channels went in and out of the city, little canal boats went under the cities bridges and all of the houses that were right on the water had little doors that opened literally right on to the canal.

    Our last big stop was in non-other than Amsterdam. What a city! The houses on the canal were amazing! They all slanted every which way, and it turns out that there’s a fifteen year waiting list for any one of them! We booked an amazing hotel (I was actually really afraid it’d end up in a bad part of town but we lucked out), took a romantic boat tour around the city complete with wine and cheese, and even made a visit to the incredible Anne Frank house. The whole thing was so moving, I mean I was in the house she hid in for those years, and I saw her famous diary and writing first hand…there just aren’t any words to describe it.  I was in the Secret Annex….that’s something to tell my kids one day.

    Overall, my trip was one to remember! Not many people make it over to Europe in their lifetime, I’m just glad that I did.

EDIT: So I'm having a hard time adding pictures today...as soon as I'm able to I'll make another post with some included!

 

Stress, Ways to Deal with It, Autumn and Quiet Music

(Melissa Williamson) Permanent link

 “Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.” - Anton Chekhov

 

I came across this quote from the famous Russian doctor and author of short stories and plays a a long time ago and it's one that I have never forgotten. I remembered it while studying for my Distance Learning class. I'm taking Health 101- Personal and Community Health and the chapter was on the topic of stress, something that we all have no matter what age we are. Once this week's assignments are done I think I should go over it again, not for any grade but to find more pointers on how to deal with things that are happening.

 

It's not just the usual things that happen every day or week like getting everyone up and off to school in the morning or dealing with homework (mine and the children's) or chores. It's the things that suddenly happen one after another with not enough space between them so that you can calm down and get back on an even keel. Things like calls from schools that one or another child is sick and has to be picked up or a truck knocking the mailbox off of its post by the street or eye glasses losing the tiny screw that holds a lens in place (at least I managed to schedule an eye exam for next week and I had a replacement screw). But this week it's a bigger problem but not a full-blown crisis. The plumbing in our house is having problems and along with the worry of water maybe going where it shouldn't is the unknown cost of fixing it. Don't get me wrong. I'm very glad that we have modern conveniences like hot water at the touch of a faucet, but fixing pipes is rarely cheap and I'm still looking for a job. At least it's not the bathroom. But it's going to involve a jackhammer breaking up part of the concrete floor of the basement and it could take 2 days.

Does anyone know of a nice quiet cave with internet access?

 

Anyway, I'm trying to find some way to feel a bit more calm. It helped that this afternoon was sunny for a while and at one point there was a rain of golden yellow leaves falling from the maple tree outside the dining room window. They were almost glowing in the noon light. Many trees still have their leaves but autumn is spreading the colors, the nights are chilly and soon the only green trees will be the pines and spruces. I wonder if we'll get snow this winter.


I feel the need for a couple of quiet pieces of music this week. If anyone reading this likes The Lord of the Rings here is the Tolkien Ensemble from Denmark performing “the Old Walking Song”. “The road goes ever on and on...”


 

And this is Tomita's electronic performance of a piece by Debussy

 

My Life At MC

(Besith Pineda) Permanent link

It’s problematic, really, to find inspiration in 11 hour work days. The buses, easy metaphors for trains of thought, have become routine and the volume on my iPod is inevitably turned up to hush the buzzing. One of my two jobs swallows me into its brightly colored interior, spits me out at the end of the day with mental walls pounding. The other one has become a welcome distraction; a skill I never I never thought I’d acquire. The AC or heat, on any given day, chilling my skin or making me sweaty; the background noise of the mall - that incessant drone of humanity - sometimes doesn’t leave my ears until several hours have passed.

It’s problematic, really, to write about my life at MC when I am guaranteed to spend 9 hours a week there, 12 tops. Classes follow a logical sequence. Work is assigned and completed. And I have learned how to work the system. Yes, learning is a joyous experience, knowledge is beautiful, but only if you make it so and if time allows.

I don’t have the time. I’m on a incomprehensible race to finish.

It’s just that lately. I’ve been more concerned with the leaves on trees.

I’ve been concerned with exploding colors; yellow, orange, red, blue blanketed with white. It’s not my English professor who speaks so eloquently and beautifully and almost makes a business-oriented class interesting, but the sunset that captures me. Its will to bend light into a million different fragments commands my attention, demands answers.

And I walk slowly from class to class, from parking lot to work, in an attempt to savor the stony air. The way it sneaks into the cracks of my clothes, and dances on my skin. My natural reaction is to withdraw, to pull my limbs and my organs and my heart close.

Lately, I’ve been more concerned with the shades inside of me, and mental apologies have been sent out to my friends.

Perhaps it’s more about how the colors look brighter this year when they are not hidden behind a layer of salty water. The simplicity and ensuing beauty of a kneeling sun signaling another day gone, ritual of many days past, attaining meaning; signaling forward movement, while drawing me back to a moment so complex. Once I’m there, I am held in place by sentimentality; a ruthless exercise in remembering.

The lines moved vertically and horizontally and sometimes slashed their way across the paper. My numbers stood piled in the margins, noting answers. In math class, one unassuming day. This is how I’m made aware of the lines carefully drawn to box pieces of myself in. I’ve lived the days, marked them off my calendar one by one.

Lately, Fall has been the season for memories.

I’ve been living simultaneously inside and outside of myself; reconciling the two in moments of clarity. And everything else I‘ve deemed unimportant.

Truthfully, I am not sorry.

falllllll


 

"A CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA"

 Permanent link

   Last Thursday, October 14, 2010 BET, MTV and CMT hosted a LIVE town hall meeting with President Obama. Among the 250 chosen audience members sat... ME, Tierra Washington :) a glorious Montgomery College student who was selected to ask President Obama a question LIVE on three different tv channels!!!!

All I could say was OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG when I received the phone call saying that I was selected to be in the audience and if I would be comfortable asking President Obama a question :-0. I was beyond nervous all last week and could not believe that I would be asking the President a question, in the same room, on LIVE television and on three different tv channels!!!!

I know some of you might be thinking I am overreacting or being dramatic, but it was such a wonderful once in a lifetime experience. I did not go to Inauguration so I felt like this was my chance to shine and meet President Obama, words cannot describe how wonderful it was.

We were all seated in BET studios about two hours before the show was scheduled to air (4pm), and looking around you could see everyone with there little pieces of papers with their questions on it in case they were chosen to ask President Obama a question. I was sitting next to a guy who was probably as nervous as I was and we just kept rehearsing our questions over and over to each other until about twenty minutes before the show started. There was more security there than I can count! I mean, duahhhh of course it was only the***PRESIDENT*** (laughing out loud). We were on lock down in that auditorium, if you had to go to the restroom you were escorted before the show started and when the show began you were not allowed to go or to leave your seat for ANY reason.

When the show started and President Obama walked in I felt like I was in a dream world, I couldn't believe that I was actually there in the same room with him....it felt unreal, it seemed like all of my butterflies went away and I was more happy rather than scared and more calm than overwhelmed. The show lasted for an hour but to me it felt like ten minutes. When it was my turn to ask my question I was suprised at how calm I was and how my question just flowed smoothly.

I wouldn't trade that day in for anything in the world. I am still in shock and still looking at the video clip on MTV everyday! You can go online to www.mtv.com to find me :)...One word to express that day: PRICELESS <3

 

More Theatre Geeking(2)

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

I know that I am covering the same topic as Brittany, but the Theatre Department can always use more support (and they really deserve the laurels). I come from a different theatre perspective from Brittany, however, and perhaps bring something slightly different to the table.

            My parents met doing high school theatre and the passion for the stage shines on in my brothers and me. Being on stage, however, is more my brother’s shtick (both brothers in fact). Both have been tirelessly pursued to grace the stage due to the combination of their essential maleness and their beautiful singing voices. While I have forayed onto the stage (often making up for the dearth of males by portraying one) the core of my theatre experience is behind the scenes as a master electrician, lighting designer, set designer, props manager, stage manager, you-name-it.

            It’s been a few years since I’ve been in a musical. (I do sing. Usually tenor.) I had planned to start off college with a new theatre experience and audition for the musical. Once I saw my daunting syllabi, however, I decided to postpone my adventures on the MC stage until I get the hang of this college thing. I do not regret this decision. As much as I love working on plays, I also enjoy being an audience member - and being an MC theatergoer is a real treat!

            Like Brittany, I had seen several MC productions before, including last semester’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mom and I agreed that it was the BEST production of Midsummer we had ever seen. (Which says a lot: I’ve seen my share of Midsummers and even appeared in one as Peter Quince, the carpenter. As for Mom…she was a theatre major – she’s seen A LOT of Midsummer Night’s Dreams.)

            I persuaded a couple of my new MC friends (theatre weenies in their own right) to see Spelling Bee with me last Friday night. I went in with great expectations and was not disappointed.

            The marvelous tech crew (who never gets enough attention) transformed the stage into a middle school gymnasium. Since I’m a lighting geek, I’d also like to highlight the excellent use of light to alter the mood for the dramatic “I Love You Song” which more than held its own amidst a sea of whimsical comedy. Much can also be said of the energetic choreography and tight blocking (but I’m not a dancer and I would probably bore you if I went into any more detail about the directing).

            Theatre is first and foremost a collaborative art, which is why I strive to touch on all aspects of the production that contributed to creating the entire fabulously engaging spectacle. Before I go, I must therefore acknowledge the talent of our fellow students, who have the courage to stand on stage and share their endlessly entertaining, ever-valuable talents in singing, acting and dancing. I want to thank all the students and staff who worked on the production and I want to thank everyone who schlepped out to support the performing arts and their fellow students.

            Now seems as good a time as any to announce my intention to audition for The Tempest next semester. I hope to see everyone from the other side of the curtain!   

More Theatre Geeking

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

I know that I am covering the same topic as Brittany, but the Theatre Department can always use more support (and they really deserve the laurels). I come from a different theatre perspective from Brittany, however, and perhaps bring something slightly different to the table.

            My parents met doing high school theatre and the passion for the stage shines on in my brothers and me. Being on stage, however, is more my brother’s shtick (both brothers in fact). Both have been tirelessly pursued to grace the stage due to the combination of their essential maleness and their beautiful singing voices. While I have forayed onto the stage (often making up for the dearth of males by portraying one) the core of my theatre experience is behind the scenes as a master electrician, lighting designer, set designer, props manager, stage manager, you-name-it.

            It’s been a few years since I’ve been in a musical. (I do sing. Usually tenor.) I had planned to start off college with a new theatre experience and audition for the musical. Once I saw my daunting syllabi, however, I decided to postpone my adventures on the MC stage until I get the hang of this college thing. I do not regret this decision. As much as I love working on plays, I also enjoy being an audience member - and being an MC theatergoer is a real treat!

            Like Brittany, I had seen several MC productions before, including last semester’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Mom and I agreed that it was the BEST production of Midsummer we had ever seen. (Which says a lot: I’ve seen my share of Midsummers and even appeared in one as Peter Quince, the carpenter. As for Mom…she was a theatre major – she’s seen A LOT of Midsummer Night’s Dreams.)

            I persuaded a couple of my new MC friends (theatre weenies in their own right) to see Spelling Bee with me last Friday night. I went in with great expectations and was not disappointed.

            The marvelous tech crew (who never gets enough attention) transformed the stage into a middle school gymnasium. Since I’m a lighting geek, I’d also like to highlight the excellent use of light to alter the mood for the dramatic “I Love You Song” which more than held its own amidst a sea of whimsical comedy. Much can also be said of the energetic choreography and tight blocking (but I’m not a dancer and I would probably bore you if I went into any more detail about the directing).

            Theatre is first and foremost a collaborative art, which is why I strive to touch on all aspects of the production that contributed to creating the entire fabulously engaging spectacle. Before I go, I must therefore acknowledge the talent of our fellow students, who have the courage to stand on stage and share their endlessly entertaining, ever-valuable talents in singing, acting and dancing. I want to thank all the students and staff who worked on the production and I want to thank everyone who schlepped out to support the performing arts and their fellow students.

            Now seems as good a time as any to announce my intention to audition for The Tempest next semester. I hope to see everyone from the other side of the curtain!   

College Program Apartment Complexes

(Marcia Myers) Permanent link

So, an very important part of this experience that I've glossed over a bit is the apartment complexes here for the College Students! Here in the Disney College Program (Not the Professional Internship Program! Those students have to find their own housing), we have special apartment complexes full of other students doing the same things. They  all have the same basic things like washers, dryers, and mail rooms but there are some important tidbits you should know.

When I first checked into Housing they asked me which of the 3 complexes I'd like - Vista Way, Chatham Square or Patterson Court. (There's also the "Commons" which are by far the nicest but these are reserved for International students)  I looked at the woman and asked her the difference to which she responded - there is none. Which is absolutely 100% wrong. They are all very different.

Vista Way

This is where I live, and obviously where I can give the best account of amenities and what it's like. Vista is the oldest, and the cheapest apartments. They are the smallest in living areas, but their bedrooms are a bit larger than Chatham's. They are older, they have more wear in them but they are also located next to a set of classrooms. They are the only apartment complex with to a Learning Center - So Computer & Printer Access. They also have a movie & book rental library. The book selection is atrocious, but the movie selection is crazy huge. Like a free Blockbuster just a block or two away. Vista does not have the greatest parking - especially if you live in a building closer to the front or a main road. If you're in the back you might have 10 spaces near your building - in the front more like 4.  It is the only apartment complex with a Jacuzzi  along with it's pools and it has it's own bus stop. . To be fair, all of the negative aspects - like smaller and more worn - are just compared to the other complexes. In general they're really pretty nice.

It's also has a bit of a reputation - known as the sketchier or ghetto apartments but most of this is really rumor and hearsay. There are just as many crazy things happening at the other places :P

Chatham Square

Chatham is the middle of the road apartments, and probably where I would've chosen to stay had I known. They have pools, larger apartments, and a good amount of parking. Their bus stop is outside of their complex - which is a bit farther than in Vista, which has it right inside. They also don't have a Learning Center. Though you are welcome to go to Vista (which is an easy bus ride) check things out and then return them at Chatham's Front Desk. They are nicer than Vista because they're  newer and haven't had quite the amount of wear and tear. Chatham doesn't have any classrooms (the nearest are across the way at Patterson) and it is located next to Mickey's Retreat - A place where all cast members (not just college students) are invited to hang out with their families at tennis courts, barbeques and other cool recreational activities.

Patterson Square

I know the least about Patterson Square just because I dont have many close friends that live there. They are by far the nicest of apartments and also the most expensive. Wonderfully large pools and they  have plenty of parking. They also have their own set of classrooms. They are right across the street from Chatham (whereas Vista Way is about a 4 minute drive from the both of them) but do NOT have their own bus stop. You have to walk across the street to Chatham's bus stop. Which can be a pain if you're on the opposite side of the complex.
 

The Bus System is pretty great here at the Apartment Complexes - allowing you to go pretty easily from complex to parks or other complexes for free! That's right the transportation is free. There are even buses that go to the Mall and the Grocery Store (though I prefer to drive if I'm buying anything because there's not much worse than lugging things back through the bus).

So there's a bit of a review on the Apartment Complexes. It's really up to you - if you want to save the extra money each month (which can be helpful), stay in a prettier place, have more amenities, have more parking, or just be closer to friends. :)

 

 

 


The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

(Brittany Sullivan) Permanent link

 As a requirement for my Introduction to Acting class, I had to attend Montgomery College’s fall production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I was not very enthusiastic about going to this on a beautiful Sunday afternoon for three reasons. First, it was a gorgeous, sunny, warm day outside, and probably one of the last days like that we will have for a while. Second, I was forced to try out for this production as a requirement for my acting class. It is a musical. I don’t sing. To make a long story short I had to stand on a stage and sing Happy Birthday to a director who mirrored the looks of the American Idol judges watching William Hung sing “She Bangs”. Finally, I have sat through multiple Montgomery College theater productions, usually waiting for them to end. It is not that they are awful productions, I usually just find myself becoming increasingly bored. However, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee does not fall into that category.

I regret having seen this on the last day, because this review really serves no purpose, as I cannot tell you to go and see it. I merely write this to applaud Montgomery College for finally producing a show that is witty and casting leads that can actually sing. Being a fan of glee, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee captured that same essence of oddball personalities and threw them into one room together. Whether it be William Barfée and his famous “Magic Foot” method, Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre who has two homosexual fathers, or Leaf Coneybear who comes from a family of hippies and makes his own clothes – there is someone for everyone to relate to.  The cast wrapped up their final show with a standing ovation from the audience, and I believe that it was fully deserved.

I would love to see Montgomery College continue to put on productions like this, it was the first time in a long time I didn’t check my phone to see what time it was and was genuinely laughing at the raw humor. I guess you could even say it was slightly educational; I left having added a few new words to my vocabulary. 

RideOn Survival Guide

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

I have bad RideOn mojo. This means the bus leaves exactly 11 seconds before I make it to the bus stop. I can run after it like a mad man but the driver doesn’t usually stop. This problem gets especially worse when I have papers due or a big test. This problem has only gotten worse because of the budget cuts that RideOn has faced. For a while I was actually convinced that the RideOn bus drivers were part of a secret cult who travelled from the future to make me miss class. So I developed this RideOn survival guide.

 

1.     Learn how to surf – This will come in handy a lot. You’ll be standing in the bus quite often. Balancing yourself and dodging stray objects is essential.

2.     Explore taking other buses ­– 46 and 55 are the RideOn buses that usually take you to Montgomery College. But other buses (like the 45) come within walking distance of MC. This is what I usually do when I’m really pressed for time.

3.     Know your stops – This is similar to #2. If there are other bus stops near your usual one, check out what buses stop there and if they stop near MC.

4.     Plan for multiple delays – I wish I could say there’s been an instance when the bus has been on time on the way to MC. I really do. I plan for 20-25 minute delays and I still make it with just a few minutes to spare.

5.     Get used to sensory overload – Overlapping sounds, unusual smells, strange temperatures and random screams are extremely common. I have major respect for people who manage to study amidst all the noise.

Best of all, don’t get stressed out!

Taking On-line tests, Good Things Do Happen, Job Searching and an Animated Cat

(Melissa Williamson) Permanent link

Yesterday afternoon I forgot an Important Education Tip for people taking Distance Learning classes: don't take an on-line quiz or test just when your children are going to arrive home from school. Once you click the “Start” button” you can't stop it and once the time is up, you can't re-take it. So, if there's anyone around when you're going to take a test you should make sure that he/she/they know about it. You may still get interruptions, but it's OK to remind them (through gritted teeth if necessary) “I'm taking a test now” and with luck they'll go away for a while.


But yesterday I didn't make the announcement. First, the older boy started banging around in the kitchen looking for a snack. Then he wanted to talk to me, but he did go away after I told him that I was in the middle of a quiz and I would be with him in a little while. But then our youngest child's bus arrived and he made a bee-line for Mommy. I hugged him, then asked his big brother to take him somewhere else for a few more minutes. I got through the quiz well enough, but I'll try hard to plan ahead for the rest of the semester so that no one is around at testing time.


Other than that little flap, yesterday had the good news that all of the miners in Chile being rescued. Sixty-nine days of being underground in ninety degree heat and ninety percent humidity sounds grim, but what a marvel it was that they survived and were found after seventeen days. The original prediction was that they wouldn't be out until Christmas. But not only were they more than two months ahead of that schedule but the capsule mechanism worked so well that they were all out in less than twenty-four hours instead of the nearly two days that the officials thought it would take. Apparently, as small chamber was going up and down it was knocking off bits of rock and making the passage more smooth, so it could go faster as time progressed. Sometimes good things do happen and this was one of them.


Along with family and classes, the other thing that is taking up my time is trying to find a part-time job. I'd always intended to go back to work (outside the home, don't let anyone tell you that a stay-at-home mom doesn't work) once the children were old enough. But now that they are, we're in a recession. Sigh. My professors told me about the college's employment section and the people there have been very helpful in guiding me on how to write a new resume. I've even been on a few interviews, but so far haven't gotten anything. But I'm going to keep looking.


Here's a video of Harvey Keitel reciting a poem that I've found helpful as a reminder to keep going:



and a cat who wants to come in

 

On Metaphorical Walls and Closets

(Besith Pineda) Permanent link

 Hello.

As you’re reading, keep in mind that I have written, hit backspace and rewritten this particular paragraph/introduction a frustrating number of times. Thoughts aren’t quite aligning with words today, so that’s an issue.

Hey, it’s October and it’s LGBT Awareness Month! Last Monday was National Coming Out Day, which was awesome and each status busting down a metaphorical closet door on my facebook news feed made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Perhaps, then, I’ll interpret the poorly coordinated efforts of my fingers and brain as a sign to talk about some “gay things” today. 

Remember that time when I was really sad and really confused and I had no idea what my incredible attraction to that girl on the soccer team meant? You probably don’t but I do. And if this is you at the moment, with some minor variations to your story, I’ll suggest, quite simply: Tegan and Sara.

Canadian indie-rock superstars. Pretty much the most popular band you’ve never heard of, they have this uncanny habit of writing songs about heartbreak (and just love, in general, and aren‘t those two quintessentially the same anyway? Ha) that kind of…seep into your skin and make you want to curl up into fetal position, or go love someone, get your heart torn to shreds and then proceed into fetal position. The best part: they’re twin sisters, both gay. I did not find out about this until I had become a huge fan but it was such an added bonus! Check them out.

 

What else? What else? Autostraddle.com!
I stumbled upon this website about a year ago, and it has slowly become the only reason I kind of sort of what’s going on in the world. Self-defined, autostraddle.com is “an intelligent, hilarious & provocative voice and a progressive online community for a new generation of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies.”

It is unapologetic, gutsy. It’s the future of this generation defined, and I love it so.
Check it out because the editors pretty much cover any topic imaginable (baking tips anyone? I kid you not) in an exceptionally refreshing way . Additionally, this website hosts some of the wittiest, most intelligent people (and conversations) I have ever e-met.

It’s been 8 weeks of blogs, y’all, and I’ve hit a wall.
Enjoy the rest of your week!

 

Doodle Bug

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

Who would have guessed that my muse and I would reconcile so quickly! Inspiration comes at odd times I guess. Anyway, here’s the entry I promised:

 

            I am one of an odd minority of people who find math fun. (To be honest though, I would never have typed those words until last year when I suddenly understood concepts that had eluded me my entire school career.) Nevertheless, I was feeling a bit drowsy in Calculus on Friday. My head drooped against my left hand. I held my pencil loosely in my right hand and jerked it up and down the page like the needle of a seismograph.

            My math professor strolled past my desk as she made her way to the front of the room and noticed my open notebook. My calculations are organized like a battalion; each problem is a company of infantry standing in militantly straight lines, facing the left hand margin where their major (the problem number) stands and surveys them. The Colonel (the heading on the page) sits on horseback, keeping an eye on the troops for his absent General (my professor). The effect of my orderliness, however, is ruined by the crazy, lazy doodles which ooze around and between my calculations.

            As my professor noticed my busy, (sometimes) bizarre drawings, she smiled and said, “You know Samantha, they’ve done a study about doodling. Apparently it’s a method of concentration. It’s a way of focusing. A lot of U.S. presidents doodled.”

            The words of my Calculus professor exemplify a few of the things that are awesome about MC. First of all, observe that my Professor knows my name. If you think about it for a minute, you’ll realize how cool that is. How many freshmen at Big State University can say – with absolute certainty – that their professor knows their first name and calls them by it? (The answer is: not many.)

            Second: notice that my teacher wasn’t upset that I was doodling in class. My high school teachers either pointedly ignored this annoying habit of mine or gave me a stern look when they caught me at it.

            Not only did my Professor take the time to learn my name and comment on my doodling habit, she also encouraged me to keep doing it! Pretty awesome, right?

            Prospective MC students, I’m not here just to tell amusing stories or share mind-blowing revelations with you. My job is to help explain why MC is special. Here’s the moral of the story in case you were wondering: if you are (like me) the type of person who learns best in an environment where the teacher can be everyone’s personal coach, then Montgomery College is one of the learning environments that will suit you (but not the only one). If you’d rather just melt into the crowd, well, yeah, MC has a lot of students…but everyone is so unique, it’s kind of hard to disappear completely.

Doodle bug

  My Calc Notes

 

 

Book Worm

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

I am presently having an argument with my muse over her irritating habit of ignoring me when I have time to write and talking to me when I am too busy. I have resigned not to talk to her (for the present) and she likewise is busy sulking. It’s not particularly productive and so far the only result is that I have no inspiration for my blog other than a vengeful list of 12 books that have inspired me more than my muse.

 

Twelve inspiring books (in no particular order):

  1. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

This is a quirky story about the end of the world. Vonnegut has the amazing ability to make even Armageddon seem funny. A lot of people see this one as being really weird, but that could be part of what drew me to it.

  1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I read this for the first time when I was 9 years old and it was, without a doubt, one of the most captivating and magical experiences I’ve ever had. It has quasi ghost story elements to it, but mostly tells the story of how nature changes the lives of 3 very sour people.

  1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I’ve read this three times and gotten something new out of it each time. It’s a science fiction story about children who are sent to outer space to train for an impending war. Ender’s Game won both the Hugo and Nebula awards

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

This is the only book I’ve ever read that begins with “It was a dark and stormy night”. This is an amazing science fiction story about two outcast children who travel through space-time to reclaim their father from and evil force known as “It”.

  1. Dune by Frank Herbert

Yet another amazing science fiction. (Are you seeing a trend?) This story follows Paul Atreides and his descendents as they join an intergalactic power struggle over the valuable resource, “spice”, which can only be found on the desert planet Arrakis. (For those of you who have read the book(s): “Fear is the mind killer”.) 

  1. Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

I’m not being erudite; I genuinely enjoyed this book. The story of the Compson family may seem pointless but is nevertheless gripping (in my opinion).

  1. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

This was my favorite Dr. Seuss when I was a kid and I find it especially relevant in light of current ecological debacles. (If you haven’t read this you should. It will take ten minutes.)

  1. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

Technically, this is really 13 books, but since I couldn’t choose just one, I picked the whole series. The series is an account of the Baudelaire children and all of the ridiculous but horrible things that happen to them after their parents die in a mysterious fire. Lemony Snicket is a master of dark humor and satire; despite the bleak set up of the books, they are really hilarious.

  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker

Especially because of the modern teen vampire hype, I am suggesting people read this book. This is a horror story and (at the time it was written) borderline pornographic. Of course, if you watch Saw and Vampire Diaries, you may not see it as either of these things, but if you really get into Stoker’s style, you might find yourself leery of fog and bats. 

  1. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Yes, this is a comic book (or graphic – very graphic – novel, if you prefer.) Set in New York City in an alternate 1985, Watchmen includes amazing atomic bomb related symbolism and a chilling commentary on America. (This won a Hugo.)

  1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

I’ve read this book at least 14 times. I fell in love with it when I read it in fifth grade, and since, it has been the book I read when I am sick. Ella Enchanted is a Newbery Honor book about a willful girl who is magically forced to obey all direct commands.

  1. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Again, this one is really a series of 12 plus books, but I couldn’t pick one I liked the best, so I just put down the whole series. Harry Dresden is a Private I in Chicago. The twist? Dresden is a wizard and specializes in paranormal crime. Dresden has terrifying run-ins with all kinds of demons, faeries, vampires, fallen angels and even other wizards but his internal noir-style monologue has just enough hilarity to protect readers from terror induced insomnia.

 

And I know I said 12 but:

 

  1. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Mostly this is on here just because my Dad would disown me if I didn’t include them. (But they really are good books.)

 

P.S. I am planning to post a more conventional entry later in the week, but hopefully this will keep those of you who read my blog as a method of procrastination occupied. 

Marketing You

(Marcia Myers) Permanent link

So I've been taking a wonderful class down here at Disney called Marketing You. It's a 4 hour class every Saturday for 12 weeks and it's been pretty fun. It's not a normal lecture class, it's more of a worksheet, discussion, with a little bit of lecture class! I have some great teachers and fun classmates.

This last class was challenging. Marketing You is all about discovering and thinking about what you want to do with your life and mostly career. From what you'd be good at with your current skills to what you'd enjoy doing. It's been really enlightening since the focus is not on the job market, or what career you think you'd like, but the simple things that a lot of us can't answer easily. What are the 10 most important values in your life? Love, Justice, Honesty, God, Family? Which is your #1?  What are your goals for the next 6 months? 3 years? 6 years? They sound easy but when you try to put it down on paper it gets tricky.

This last class we were discussing our skills and traits. I was making fun of it since on our list of traits there was several that I considered silly - "Outstanding", "Exceptional", "Unique" - the only one missing was Modest :P. But some of them were harder - am I Flexible? Calm? You really have to dig deep and think quickly at the same time.

I also had the fantastic opportunity to talk with the head of the education department here. That's a big piece of advice I'd give - don't feel shy to ask to talk to someone about their experiences here, or what their career has been like. To them it's flattering and they're usually excited to do it! Gloria and I were talking for over an hour and a half after class!

So if you come down here to Disney - make sure to sign up for a class. Yes, it's 4 hours and it seems like it'd be annoying, but the fees are CHEAP (and I mean like $22-30 for a class. Period. 3 Credits) and the class itself is wonderful!

Dress for Success

(Brittany Sullivan) Permanent link

             Last week I had an amazing opportunity to be interviewed for a slot to be a part of the Town Hall meeting, hosted by MTV, BET, and CMT, where I would meet President Obama and ask him a question pertaining to the youth.

            My drive to D.C. was one that I wish to forget. I probably got flipped off, cussed at, and cut off more than I would in a month of driving around my town. Needless to say I much prefer my country roads to that of the city. However, when I finally reached the beautiful Madison Hotel I became once again focused on the task at hand. The concierge pointed me in the direction of the ballroom where interviews were taking place, and I joined about 50 other people seated waiting for an interview.

            What was supposed to be an 11 o’clock interview ended up being a two-hour wait to finally be seen. During this time I treated myself to enormous amounts of free coffee and slightly stale cookies that they had lying around to keep people preoccupied. I, however, kept myself entertained by doing one thing I love to do most, people watching. I believe you can tell a lot about a person by their body language, the way they interact around people they don’t know, and the unconscious things they do when they don’t realize anyone is watching them. However, one thing that I was drawn to the most was the way people were dressed.

            I have been through multiple interviews, so therefore I know the demeanor of how you should present yourself. In cases such as this, first impressions are everything. Most men were dressed in suits, while women were in dresses or pantsuits. However, there were those people that stood out to me, and not in a good way. As a girl crossed the room I thought to myself that this was possibly a straggler from one of the hotel rooms above coming to steal some free food. As she came around and took a seat next to me, I soon realized she was here for an interview as well. I don’t know about you, but if I were applying for a position to meet the President of the United States I would not wear a sweat suit and Uggs like I had just rolled out of bed. Then there was the girl who sat a row in front of me. Her friend had come with her and whispered in her ear, “see, aren’t you glad I told you to put something nice on.” This baffles me once again. Do people just not think anymore? Not only could you potentially meet the President but you would also be aired on national television.

Personal appearance is something that matters no matter how much you wish to say crap like “individuality” and “self-expression”. As people it is of our human nature to make assumptions about people; it’s what we call “first impressions.” I feel that today’s youth is caring less and less about the way they present themselves and the identity they are forming. It boggles my mind why people upload pictures of themselves doing outlandish things, which I’m sure they would be ashamed of if their mother were to see. Everyone does dumb things, but that does not mean you should publicize it to the world to know. The saying goes, “dress for success,” and as young people getting ready to enter the workforce I believe it is something we should possibly pay a little more attention to.  

Midterms are almost here!

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

So midterms are almost here and things are going pretty well so far. Academics have so far been pretty challenging without being overwhelming - but the onslaught of projects on the future promise to change that very soon. I have pulled no all-nighters and have managed to hold on to that little sanity high school has left me with :)

            On another note, the mid-term elections are almost here. I’m still feverishly checking Politico and 538 for the latest news and polling updates.

            I’m in high spirits and the Montgomery Scholars deserve most credit for that. Whether it is the witticisms, late night randomness on Facebook or just plain awesomeness. I like how many words in that sentence ended with an “s”…anyway, college so far has been great! Here’s hoping midterms won’t change that :)! GoRemy (http://www.youtube.com/user/GoRemy) and of course my high school friends deserve the remaining credit!

P.S. I just found out that Cramster is a great (free) resource to check most answers from textbook exercises without buying the Solutions Manual! There’s a paid option too but the free option works just as well for the odd exercises.

 

Montgomery Scholars Travel Commandements

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

Montgomery Scholars have developed some unofficial commandments that we employ whenever we travel together. Most of these were born out of our trip to the Freer and Sackler Art Galleries today.

1.    You shall plan – We compulsively plan everything out and coordinate through a mixture of text messages, Facebook and randomly waving (dancing?) until others notice us =]!

2.    You shall travel in groups – This goes hand-in-hand with the planning thing. We always travel in groups and coordinate it in such a way that no person travel’s alone.

3.    You shall leave no Scholar Left Behind – We travel together and leave no one behind…well sort of anyway. Today, for example, one of the Scholars noticed that one of our friends was not on the Metro. So he stayed behind and waited for her so she wouldn’t have to travel by herself. No Scholar Left Behind! (And two is totally a group)

4.    You shall educate your fellow Scholar – Whether it is explaining the fare cards machine or that pulling the cord signals the RideOn bus driver to stop the bus, we always help each other out =)

5.    You shall find a way to play Scholars Ball – Some of us scouted out locations on the National Mall where we could play Scholars Ball (details about Scholars Ball in an upcoming post). But because of time constraints, we had to return to Montgomery College…but we ended up playing it anyway (most of us anyway).


In conclusion, traveling with the Montgomery Scholars is super excited!!!

 

Here's a funny (and unrelated) song about the DC Metro :) For you Metro virgins out there, it really isn't half bad (minus the fare hikes) :)

Too Much Happening At Once, Children's Books and Pirates?

(Melissa Williamson) Permanent link

      There's a set of three picture books by Rosemary Wells that my family like very much, The Bunny Planet books. In each one a child has a bad day with various things happening (shoes full of snow, late bus, getting sick in class, tackled by several boisterous cousins and so forth). By evening she or he “needs a visit to the Bunny Planet” where they experience the day that “should have been”. Well after yesterday I told my husband that I needed the Bunny Planet.

    I usually write papers out in long-hand and then type them. I suppose that it's old fashioned, but the ideas come along as I write and I also make notes in the margins for citations and other ideas that come to me. I was trying to type a clean copy of a short paper yesterday morning, then I was going to take the printed copy over to my professor on the Germantown campus. The morning had two different family members call asking me to bring them things that they had forgotten. Other phone calls also derailed my train of thought. (Have you ever wished that you had a sound-proof room?) Oh yes, and there's a new germ that seems to have followed one of the children home from school that I seem to have caught. I delivered both items, which took two separate trips in opposite directions. Then I called my professor to ask how late she would be at the campus as I also had to take my daughter to the dentist at 3 PM.

 

      Just after I got off the phone with her my glasses frames broke with one ear piece coming off in my hand. Sigh. We went to the dentist with my glasses perched on my nose and I went to the optician in the same shopping row to see about a replacement. They had no frames that would fit my lenses. Ok, then the next step is to take my daughter home and gingerly head over to our regular eye doctor. They didn't have any whole frames, but the wonderful office head found a spare ear piece, got it attached and covered it with shrink tubing. The glasses can't fold up, but I don't care. They're secure so that I can see and it's time for me to get my eyes checked anyway. By that point it was nearly time to start dinner and encourage the children to do their homework. (We'd had a meeting with the high school teachers the day before on that particular subject). By that point I was exhausted.

 

      Well, at least it isn't raining today.

 

       Today I'm working on my on-line class and figuring out what else needs to be done today. I hope that everyone has all that they need and there are no calls from either school.

 

       The videos this week are about a childrens' book

 


    And movie music with instruments some people may not know about: handbells

 


  

It Gets Better.

(Besith Pineda) Permanent link

“I lit this candle in honor of the young men who killed themselves.”

The statement stilled the room, crowded beyond capacity with over 30 people centered around the tiny fire dancing on purple wax. Some sat on chairs around the conference table; others took a seat at the back; three or four students sat on a counter to the side; a number of us huddled on the floor, ears tuned upwards to the statistics falling from above.

This past Monday Oct. 4, I attended “Being LGBT on Campus: A Discussion of ‘The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People,’” held at the Takoma/Silver Spring campus, led by Profesor Loraine Hutchins.

The decision to go: spontaneous, easy.
My expectations: unclear.
What ensued: a passionate discussion of the study itself, the first ever of its kind, that surveyed over 5,000 LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual) professors and students on campuses across the nation, and a conversation of the experiences of LGBT students at Montgomery College.

I could sit here and throw statistics at you, but I have a feeling that I would lose your interest as a reader. I certainly know that this is true for me.

Rather, let me present to you, as Prof. Hutchins did to us, the names of nine boys, ages ranging 13 to 19 who committed suicide during the month of September because they were mercilessly bullied. Reports confirm that all of them were subjected to anti-LGBT harassment, though it is unclear if all of them were gay.

Billy Lucas
Cody J. Barker
Seth Walsh
Tyler Clementi
Asher Brown
Harrison Chase Brown
Raymond Chase
Felix Sacco
Caleb Nolt
 

All of them human beings. All of them sons, friends. A few, perhaps, brothers. They were bullied, oppressed, demoralized and, ultimately, broken, because they were suspected of someday being boyfriends, of someday romantically loving another male.

At one point during the discussion, I built up enough nerve to offer my input. I talked about “breaking the silence” that stifles gay culture; this, subsequently, being the first step towards ending bullying culture, which feeds on the quiet of its victims. How quaint a saying, I thought, as I walked away when the meeting ended.

How easy for me to say, after spending years being "out." And how easily I have forgotten the nights I spent agonizing over my sexuality, dissecting the future, coming to terms with who I am but didn’t, at one point, want to be. How easy to say when I have seen so many others quietly endure what I went through, when I have seen them come out, at the other end, okay and alive and breathing, if only a bit scratched. How easy when I didn't become a statistic, but spent a long time on the verge of becoming one. When the headline on a news article could have been about my best friend, and we would have never met.

The owners of the nine names up there never got the chance to speak up, but it’s the words printed on newspapers and the stories on the internet and the meetings like the one on Monday, a progressive step for Montgomery College, if I may add, that speak for them now.

As such, I find it my responsibility to break my self-imposed silence, specifically on this blog, on which I have never mentioned that my sexuality deviated from hetersosexuality. 

Hi, my name is Besith, and if it matters, I’m gay.

Though it might seem like it, me publicly declaring this is not such a big deal to me. But it is a testament to the work of those who came before me who fought for gay rights that I'm allowed this openness. A nod to those still fighting. And I can only hope, some sort of light for those who haven't reached this place yet. 

It gets better. Break your silence. Get help.
This is just the beginning.


 

Always, I want to be with you

(Theo Eftimiades) Permanent link

 If you don’t want to have to listen to me, just click:

http://apps.facebook.com/robotunicorn/play.html

Please listen to me, though. If you dont, I'll cry, get bored, and then play Robot Unicorn. Don't feed my addiction. 

Anyways, Robot Unicorn is an Adult Swim game that pits a robot-unicorn, (surprised, right?) against purple rocks, as one poor robot unicorn is forced to either Jump or Dash through a perpetually speeding-up world, in an attempt to collect points. If the robot unicorn collects enough points, he/she(?) saves the world! Unfortunately, you can never get enough points L Every 5000 points, Dolphins jump at the bottom of your screen as if to say “No thank you. It’s not like you even gave us any fish anyways, Robot Unicorn” in obvious attempts to discourage you.  

And, by god, don’t get me started on the song that plays in the background of the game, I have WAY too much to say about it! Oops, my blog, I can talk about it anyways.  Always, by Erasure, is possibly the greatest song of all time. There is nowhere that this song is inappropriate to be played. The tune in the background is magical and loops, so it can entertain you while you do your homework. The words are deep and inspiring, so you can listen to them over ice cream when your significant other breaks it off with you. Apparently, it was popular in the 80’s, so your parents will probably like it too! If you come across someone who does not like this song, they are likely spawn of purple rock and probably want the world to end, so don’t talk to them and give them dirty looks when you can.

I admit, R.U. has taken over large portions of my life. When I get bored, I Robot Unicorn; such has been the progression of the past couple of days: Homework—bored—robot unicorn—sleep—eat—bored—robot unicorn—homework—robot unicorn—sleep—school—sleep—school—bored—Robot Unicorn—get ready for date—go out on date—bored—robot unicorn—get left at restaurant—cry—bored—robot unicorn…

Hopefully none of my teachers read this, but if the laptop’s out in class, I’m not taking notes, I’m playing Robot Unicorn, brah. I’d much rather save the world and defeat the taunting dolphins than learn about stuff anyways, seeing as how I wont be able to learn if I don’t save the world first—duh.

I encourage you to friend me, http://www.facebook.com/theoe , and beat me in Robot Unicorn. I must warn you, me and my 88k high score do not play around. 

F.O.I.L
First, Outside, Inside, Last


Also, Waka Flocka's new album, Flockaveli, came out today. 
Support illegal things, go buy Flockaveli! 

Always



Contains Live and Active Cultures

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

I enjoy Greek culture: especially at lunchtime and Saturday morning breakfast. No, I do not spend my mealtimes ruminating on the Oedipus’ relationship with his mother, or Pythagoras’ fixation with numbers or Aristotle’s erroneous theories on women (which are so offensive I shall not link to them). I do, however, consume about a quart of Greek yogurt every week.

MC is one of the best places to absorb culture (of both yogurt and human distinctions). As I sit in the shadow of Macklin Tower eating my Greek yogurt, I assume the part of the bug on the wall and watch, transfixed, as the cultures of the world parade past me.

There are two boys over there who are playing chess and goading each other in Arabic. A couple of dark skinned girls just walked by, conversing in rapid French. That girl sitting under the crepe myrtle tree with the cell phone clapped to her ear has a faintly British accent. There are boys wearing yamakas and prayer shawls. There are girls in chadors, girls in saris, girls in western clothes.

In my mind’s eye, I see a rowdy group of teenagers standing in a circle and hitting a much-abused (but loved) volleyball to each other. The group is composed of Pilipino, Indian, Egyptian, Panamanian, Brazilian, Russian, Guinean, Scottish (that’s me) and more than I can list here without losing your attention.

Because MC is so multi-cultural, it offers a unique out-of-classroom learning experience. In the two minutes it takes to cross from Macklin Tower to Science East, I encounter people of no less than ten cultures. In each of these people is a wealth of knowledge that is easily accessible; it is a five-minute conversation away. For an aspiring writer like me, MC is a jackpot ripe with stories to be told.

Like this one:

I was eating my lunch when a girl came up to talk with one of my friends. I realized that I recognized the girl so I smiled and wave vigorously. She returned the smile and the wave and said, “Hi, I’m Diana.”

“I know,” I replied. “I’m your cousin.”

She looked at me intently, then recognized me and ran over for a hug. (In her defense, we are second cousins once removed and we usually only see each other on Halloween; you can understand how she didn’t recognize me at once).

I guess the point I’m making with this is that at MC, you may encounter people and practices very foreign to you. You may also encounter the familiar. In my case, the familiar (my cousin) was more foreign than the foreign.

So open your eyes, open your mind, and listen to the stories resonating across campus. Embrace new cultures. If you’re an avid yogurt fan, then I highly suggest Greek cultures.

 

BREAKING NEWS**********

 Permanent link

UPDATE NO.1: I passed my math test!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOO I was so happy when I didn't see a big fat "F" on my paper.  I have a guy friend who tutors me in math, he helped me pass MA101 and now I wish he would help me pass MA116! This previous week we were supposed to meet up and go over some math problems I was having difficulty with, but of course when you need people the most they are never there. My math test was last Thursday, I was supposed to meet with my tutor last Tuesday.... he didn't show up until thirty minutes ago when the test is over and the grades are in :-o. Good thing I passed or I would be highly upset right now. The deal was that I help him with his English and he will help me with my math. It seems as though his English is on point but, my math is not ( laughing out loud).

UPDATE NO.2: Recently I have been feeling down because my life isn't exactly how I want it to be. I sometimes overlook all the good things in my life and let the bad things have the spotlight. I have been reading a lot of inspirational life quotes and I have found a few that really inspire me. So I have decided to share one quote a week with you guys and hopefully uplift or inspire someone everyday.

This weeks quote is:

"ITS NOT WHO YOU ARE THAT HOLDS YOU BACK, IT'S WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE NOT".

May I Borrow a Pencil?

(Brittany Sullivan) Permanent link

Throughout my life I have always heard the funny one-liners used to pick up girls. However, I have never had any used on me before. That is until I came to Montgomery College. Both guys were very different and used different approaches. One gentleman failed miserably, while the other left me intrigued. You can be the judge on this one.

            About a week ago I wobbled over to the library with my backpack and laptop in hand determined to make great strides on the exceeding amount of homework that was piling up. Determined to have no distractions, I went to the second floor where it is clearly labeled “silent study”, but if you happened to miss the huge sign you could infer that from the silence where you could in fact hear a pin drop. As I busily started trying to accomplish the many tasks that I had that day, a young gentleman sat down next to me. “May I borrow a pencil?” he asked. “Sure,” I said grabbing him one without moving my eyes from the text I was reading. Without opening a book the guy continued to stare at me, and I could feel his gaze without looking. “So what class are you doing work for?” he asked. “English” I responded trying to indicate I had a lot to get done and didn’t have time to talk. “Oh really. I had that class to. What book is that?” he asked. The kid sitting across from me shot a dirty glance implying he was trying to focus as well, and was also being bothered by the chatter. I lifted the book up to show him so I wouldn’t have to speak. “Oh man, you got the new edition. I guess you were just too lazy to get the older version and save the month, right?” he exclaimed. “Ya, I guess that’s it,” I replied a little taken aback by his rudeness. I shifted my body so my back was towards him indicating I was done talking. However, he did not take the hint. “So what classes are you taking?” “Just general stuff,” I replied. “Well what classes did you have today?” Sensing a slight stalker vibe I rambled off some classes that weren’t on my schedule. “You take psychology? Me too!” he exclaimed grabbing the attention of almost everybody in the library at this point. “We should study together sometime. What’s the best way to reach you?” At this point my mind was drawing a blank and I was wishing I had saved the rejection hotline number. However, I just tried to be polite and said, “I’m sorry, I just don’t give my number out.” To put it bluntly he did not take this very well and preceded to shout in a loud voice for everyone to hear, “Well I didn’t ask for you number. I asked what’s the best way to reach you. Like do you have an email?” At this point my face most likely resembled a tomato I was so red and I replied frankly “No.” “Well fine I thought we could study together, but never mind!” he shouted grabbing his bag and leaving my pencil behind. Needless to say I did not get very much work done after that.

            Today though I had a much different experience sitting in the hallway in the Theater Arts building. A guy walked by and casually asked, “Hey how are you doing?” I responded with the generic, “good, thanks. How about yourself?” Then he proceeded to say, “It was good to see you the other day.” At this point I am having one of those moments where you have no idea who the person is, but you don’t want to be rude. “Do I know you?” I asked feeling like an idiot. “John, don’t you remember me?” he replied. “Hold on,” he said grabbing his cell phone to take a call. As I sat there I was trying to remember how the heck I knew this guy feeling like a total jerk. As he puts his phone away and started walking towards me I said, “I’m sorry so how do I know you.” You don’t,” he said “I just thought you were beautiful.” Then he proceeded to shake my hand and walk away leaving me completely baffled.

            Both of my experiences left completely different impacts on me. Whether it be from their execution, style, or timing I am not sure. Needless to say one left me irritated and embarrassed while one left me wanting to know more. Whatever the art to picking up a girl is I am not quite sure. However, I would have to suggest not starting with the line, “May I borrow a pencil?” 

     

Living with Roommates 101

(Marcia Myers) Permanent link

 

 

So as you probably know, here at the Disney College Program we all live in apartments and you can have up to 7 other roommates. Personally, I have 5 and it's pretty nice. I'd warn anyone coming to avoid the mistake of living in a 1 bedroom. One of my really good friends was not having the best time because she came with a friend and they decided to live by themselves. I think the 3-5 other people (maybe not 7 though I hear you get another fridge) can help the situation. So you already have friends when you come home from work, especially if you aren't as outgoing as others.

Now I'm not saying that everyone is lucky as I am, with five ridiculously awesome roommates, and that's why I'm writing this list of sometimes obvious, but still great tips for living with other people.

1. Be Prepared to Share

It makes everything a lot easier. Our first two weeks here we all bought our own groceries because we were afraid of what would happen if we tried to share - we all like different foods and I'm a vegetarian! But after two weeks, and realizing that we now had 3 loaves of white bread we all looked at each other and decided it was a bit ridiculous to be doing it this way. So we go to the grocery store and share things. I obviously don't have to help with the meat, and they don't eat my meat substitutes. It's worked out really well and if there's something that's really special to you, just put your name on it. Also, one of the best things I've done is shared my favorite dessert recipes. Now all my roommates know how to make cake, doughnuts, and cinnamon crescent rolls. Which is sometimes a bad thing. :P

2. Compromise

If anything happens, bring it up and be prepared to lean a bit either way. One of my co-workers tells the story of her and her roommate. She liked to listen to music before sleep and her roommate didn't. So she turned her music way down and her roommate got earplugs. (Earplugs aren't a bad investment if you need complete quiet to sleep - most people make some sort of noise when they sleep and if you aren't used to sharing a room this could be really helpful).

3. Talk About It

If something happens do NOT let it just sit there and happen. Bring it up. I know it sounds hard but usually it's not a big deal if you just nonchanlantly say "Hey who's been leaving dishes everywhere? Can we keep them to the sink?" That person was me by the way. I didn't care that they said something - I'm glad they mentioned it so that I could fix it. :)

4. Be Ready to Be Independent

My roommate Angelica came up with this one and it's a really awesome point. You can't depend on just knowing your roommates here at Disney. For one thing, you all have to keep pretty different hours depending on when you work and you don't want to be stuck with no one when your day off comes and no one else is around! So go to the social events, talk to co-workers, and the best way to meet someone new? Surprisingly, the bus. Just think if they're riding the bus you have at least one thing in common - you both work at the same park!

So those are my tips! Hopefully they bring a little insight. On a completey unrelated note, I found this super-awesome website that is hilarious! Comments & Roommate Stories Welcome!

 

Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

I would like to profess my undying love for the MC Scholars. We all know that when writers are in love, they must express it in poorly rhymed iambic pentameter. However, unlike the love-struck Orlando in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, I have resolved not to drape my verses over tree branches; that would be bad for the environment. The Internet is a much more eco-friendly way to convey my depth of affection.

            Ahem:

 

            Succumbed to laughs upon the Twister mat,

            we do not seem remotely erudite.

            Scholars, we’re called, but I know no one that

            could party as hard as we did last night!

            Schoolwork never so tight a friendship made,

            save for the bonds forged by homework that all

            looks so scary but I am not afraid,

            because I know you’ll catch me if I fall.

            You know when to work and when to have fun.

            How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

            I love you in the rain and in the sun;

            I’ll love you all to the end of my days!

There cannot be another love like ours;

            The Greek gods will put us all in the stars!

 

P.S. Man, I love you guys!

 

            

Rainy Day RideOn Adventures

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

Despite the pouring rain, I decided to brave it out and make it to MC. Armed with an umbrella, a hooded sweatshirt and my usual backpack I left the house. 

This isn’t a dystopian videogame I came up with. This is how my day started Thursday. Cars splashing me on the way, the rain sometimes making it hard who or what was in front of me. I know it sounds bad but in retrospect this isn’t all that bad!

            As the wind picked up, I began to understand why “wind-resistant Umbrellas” sell for over $50! After waiting a few minutes, I got onto the RideOn bus, which was already pretty crowded. I’m used to crowded RideOn buses. This wouldn’t have been half bad had the bus not broken down every minute. The humidity inside the bus, my watch ticking (not really, it’s digital – but still…), and the sweatshirt didn’t help either. It would have been an embarrassing day for me, but fortunately I apply more deodorant than normal people just to be on the safer side! I don’t want people to get the wrong impression. I like the idea of public transportation and I have immense respect for the bus drivers who work in heat and humidity, snow and sleet; but yesterday couldn’t have realistically started off any worse.

            My hopes of a more relaxing ride home were soon quashed because of the power outage, which left most of MC without electricity. Predictably classes in those buildings were soon cancelled at around 3 p.m. So naturally, lots of students descended upon the bus stops just in time to make a partially full bus packed! If there was a maximum capacity for that bus, we reached it! No description can do justice to how crowded the bus was. It wasn't all bad though, it brought back pleasant memories of riding the bus in India :)!

 

P.S. I hope you noticed the awesome alliteration of the title! I couldn’t find an appropriate synonym for “Adventures” that started with an “r”, else I would have used it!

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