The Good, the Bad, and th- Oh Dear God the Month’s Almost Over

What? How did this happen? Wasn’t Halloween just yesterday? Where did my jack-o-lanterns go?

Angry Bird Pumpkin - Jack o Lantern

Pretty damn good, if I say so myself.

This can’t be happening. I mean, midterms just happened, but they only just happened! And didn’t I just pass my 10,000 word mark on NaNo? Wait. Oh. I fell behind. Dammit.

According to the handy little stats chart, I’m supposed to reach 30,000 words by the end of today in order to finish my NaNo novel by the end of November 30th. Fu-u-u-u-u-udge me. The second week slump hit me hard, what with those silly things called “midterms” going on in the background. Turns out it’s hard to focus on writing a novel when you’re memorizing the difference between valid and invalid argumentative forms and writing code for a ridiculous program at the same time. I am unworthy of my Asian genes.

NaNoWriMo Word Count - F My LifeWhat I’ve been doing with NaNo so far is cranking out between 3,000 and 4,000 words a sitting and then letting my “novel” sit for two or three days and then crank out another 3,000 to 4,000 words. This does not a healthy sleep schedule make. Not that I was getting much sleep anyway, what with clips of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” existing on the Internet. [And no, I haven’t yet seen the revival of “Whose Line”… and I’m not really looking forward to seeing my Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie as… old people.]

Oh despair, despair. Start ransacking my room for inspiration, pulling books from recently re-organized shelves, boiling pots upon pots of hot water for tea, shut off my Internet connection…

Maybe I won’t go quite that far. After all, “Whose Line” clips aren’t just going to watch themselves now, are they?

Stay strong fellow Wrimos – the end is nigh! And in other news, how’s life? I feel like we haven’t had much chance to chat lately? How is your day going? No, I’m not going through a mental breakdown. I genuinely want to know about how y’all are doing. Please excuse my rat nest hair and craptastically short update. 

It’s Friday, Let’s Freewrite

The clock in the bottom right corner of my screen just changed from 12:43 AM to 12:44 AM, the result of a few lines of code marking arbitrary time. As I sit here wondering why I am still awake and why I haven’t attempted to shut down my computer, I look around at the random paraphernalia of my life: books, shelves, plants, clothes, guitar, cords, bags, clock… There’s that time again, except that clock is set four minutes faster than my watch (which actually reads the same time as the clock in he bottom right corner of my screen – down to the second).

The little autosave message at the bottom right corner of  my textbox informs me that a draft of this post was saved at 12:48:20 am. And it just saved again at 12:49:20 am. What does it mean.

If I sit quietly enough, I can hear the faint ticking of my watch. I sometimes hear it at night when I rest my hand under my head to sleep. It’s either soothing or disturbing or it’s not even there, depending on the day, depending on how tired I am. Recently, the insomnia’s been at it again, poking and prodding and nudging, too tired to go to sleep, too conscious to stay awake. What am I writing.

This is stupid. Time… Time for sleep.

Groundhog Day II: The Groundhog Hour

The savings are coming! The savings are coming!

Commercial-sounding intro aside, Sunday, November 4th marks the end of Daylight Savings. It is that time of year (unless you’re in Hawaii or Arizona because you’re just too cool for this), to set all the clocks in your house, in your car, in your office, on your wrist, etc, etc BACK one whole hour. At 2 a.m., to be exact. But if you’re like me and every other average shmoe, you’re not actually going to stay up/wake up to set back your clock at 2 in the morning. So you set it before you go to bed or tomorrow morning. Or, like some (me), you completely forget about this literal waste of time and are an hour ahead of the rest of the world (or just the population within your timezone. Unless you’re in Hawaii or Arizona. Or deep in a jungle with Mistah Kurtz. But we digress.) And you remain an hour ahead of your peers until you realize why you missed out on your morning cartoons, and why your girlfriend was furious with you when you finally arrived for what was supposed to be a prompt, timely, you-should-be-on-freaking-time, romantic dinner out. (Oh the horror, the horror).

But isn’t it weird? We add an hour to the day. So we effectively relive this whole hour. Kind of. Let’s get Bill Murray on this project now!

Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil - Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t seem too keen on the idea.

Mini History Lesson:

This Daylight Savings business officially began in Germany and Austria in 1916. The U.S. of A. decided to jump on that bandwagon in 1918. But it wasn’t until 1966 with the Uniform Time Act that it became a more consistent, nationwide practice that helped settle the confusion of local laws concerning Daylight Savings. And from 2007 in the U.S., Daylight Savings officially starts at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March and 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November. In some European countries, Daylight Savings lasts from 1 a.m. on the last Sunday of March to 1 a.m. on the last Sunday of October. (To read more about Daylight Savings Time, click here).
Failing to stop time
When I wake up at 9 a.m. or noon or 3 p.m., depending on how obnoxious my neighbors decide on being, I will look over at my clock and realize it is incorrect by the standard time. So I will groggily and mechanically mess with the digital doohickey and set it back to an hour when I was still sleeping. It shouldn’t be a mind trip. This manipulation of time isn’t actually manipulation of physical (or metaphysical?) time. It’s shallow. It’s a humanity power trip more than a mind trip. But all the same, it is fascinating how we can simply twist back a dial or push a few buttons and adjust the time of day.

Time. Time is fleeting. Time is mysterious. The fourth dimension. We can possess it, take it, race it, lose it. Calculate and measure it. It flies and slips by. It can be right or wrong, hard or easy. We can have a whale of it! And it can not exist without you, without matter. Existence itself is the mother of time. (And is Time its own Father?) Newton wrote of a “universal flow of time” for our universe to work. Einstein (and Hendrik Lorentz before him) blew (and still blows) our minds with the relativity concept. All in all, we still don’t completely understand it. So we just use it, abuse it, and hear it tick tocking on the mantelpiece, a crude representation of Time’s passing – if that is how it actually works anyway. The Nobel Prize is up for the taking: one could spend loads of time ruminating on Time’s nature. But frankly, right now, I don’t have enough of it.

So what are your thoughts on Daylight Savings Time? And what are you going to do with your extra hour?

I know what I’m going to do:

Garfield Sleeping

Zzzzz…

Gotta’ Take ’em All [Classes, I Choose You!]

Life… is like Pokemon. Let me explain:

I’m walking along this strangely straight and repetitive 16-bit path, when all of a sudden, a large field of strangely square and repetitive 16-bit grass appears. I can’t go around it. Can’t dig under it. Can’t fly over it. So I have to walk through it. It’s annoying as all get out, but Ash Ketchum’s got to do what he’s got to do.

Awesome Pokemon Graphics

Anyone with a decent childhood knows what I'm talking about.

After two seconds of walking through the 16-bit grass…

A wild HISTORY OF ASIAN ART appears! Holy crap on a cracker! I want that!

That Freaky Glitch Pokemon

We all remember this freak

Class, I choose you! Oh wait. I’m out of pokeballs. To the PokeMart!

Yes, life is just like Pokemon. No, let me amend that statement: picking college classes is just like Pokemon.

In my previous post, I talked about my experience concerning college freshman orientation. It was fun and informational and it’s making me freak out with excitement. However, picking classes was painful. You heard me: painful. I know I said in the previous post that it was way easier than I had thought it would be since all the required major courses were already picked out for me. There’s a flip side: flipping through the book, I had a heck of a time trying to figure out what elective classes I wanted to take because literally two dozen courses looked interesting and amazing. Maybe that’s the academic animal *cough*nerd*cough* part of me, the side always thirsting for knowledge and striving to become a learned, respected “Renaissance [Wo]Man.”

When picking classes, you have to ask yourself a few things:

X-men Beast

Academic Beast

1. How many credit hours do I want to load myself with? This question comes with sub-questions: Am I going to be working one or several jobs this term? How many clubs/activities am I going to participate in? How much homework can I handle? If you are going to be working, you don’t want to take 17 credit hours that term (unless you’re a rabid academic beast with superhuman skills that don’t require sleep and fatigue). It’s all right to take a relatively light amount of classes – but do so with caution. Make sure you’re taking enough to stay on track for graduation. Extra time in college means spending extra moolah, something you may or may not be able to afford.

2. Is this a class I want to take? Maybe you don’t have a choice. You have to take the class whether you like it or not. But if you get to choose, try to pick something you’ll enjoy. If you love art, but hate English, why would you willingly choose “Analysis of Anglo-Linguistics” (is “Anglo-Linguistics” a word?) over “Study of Modern Design?” It’s a no-brainer! However, I know it will be next to impossible to create a perfect schedule with all classes you love. If the class sucks… don’t take my advice; I haven’t even started college yet.

3. Then why am I even listening to you? Okay, for one, you’re not listening to me. You’re reading words on a screen. My mouth isn’t moving whatsoever, so it doesn’t require any effort on your ears’ part. Secondly, I like common sense, so I write about common sense. Novel idea, eh? You might think I lose merit for not having even set foot in a college class yet, but I’m just saying what makes sense. Please, I implore you to correct me in the comments. Seriously.

 Now, if you’re done with your sassiness…

4. Ok, ok, fine. Um, how does this all connect to Pokemon again? Oh. I started with a Pokemon comparison, didn’t I? Now, I have to follow through, don’t I? All righty then, here it goes:

Classes are like Pokemon – I want to take them all. There are so many of them that it would take me a long time to actually take all the classes that I want. I mean, I’ve lost track of how many thousand gazillion Pokemon there are now in addition to the original (the best) 150. Do you remember how excited you were/are when you do the “Pokerap”? As a child fan of Pokemon, that was your goal in life: to catch all 150 (plus 1 if you count Mew – or is it Mewtwo?) Pokemon and be “the very best that no one ever was.”

Masterball is awesome

Masterball. Now we're talking.

Your available credit hours are your pack of Pokeballs. In the game (at least in the Red and Blue versions), you can only carry 6 Pokemon with you, stored away in those inhumane, cramped spaces within the Pokeballs (animal abuse is a whole different discussion). In college, you’re only allowed a certain number of classes. You can’t take 10 classes because, well, you’re just human. And you know what? That’s okay. You don’t need all 150+ Pokemon to become a Pokemon master. To become a master, you need to know how to use yourself and your Pokemon to the best of your ability. Likewise, to become a successful college student, you need to know your strengths, weaknesses, and limits and you need to learn how to use all of that to your ultimate advantage.

So even though you want to catch/take ’em all, you can’t. It’s something us academic animals just have to come to terms with. And if you feel small, overwhelmed and defeated, just remember that this:

Splash does nothing

Splash does nothing

Evolves into:

Gyarados Hyper Beam

Effing yeah.

So are you as excited about the variety of college classes? Care to share what you’re taking or what you want to be taking instead? Finally, what other comparisons can you make with Pokemon relating to college? Let me know in the comments. Unleash your inner child.