Well, it was a good run, but I'm finally going to lay this blog to rest. Like the last couple seasons of The Andy Griffith Show, this place just wasn't the same after everyone left for the greener fields of Facebook. And just like the disappointment of Don Knots's movie career, Facebook has turned out to be far inferior to what we once had on pleonast. Unfortunately, we aren't bringing people back. That boat has passed, and besides, pleonast itself has failed to keep up with the times.
Also, pleovillin scares me.
So this is the end of my blog, but not the end of my blogging. For behold, a new blog arises, up from the ashes of the old, except not really, because it's in a different location entirely, but otherwise in a very phoenix-like manner! Ca-caw!
One of the nice things about having a 45-minute break between class and meeting with Dr. Trent is that it affords me time to update my blog. Now, to start taking advantage of that time...
So, the nice people at IT decided to replace my old office computer with a new one. They also brought in a new computer for Lance (my office-mate and oftentimes classmate) so we don't have to share one. Unfortunately, the new computer is frozen. I can't save anything on it. Why on earth they would give me a personal office computer that, for all practical purposes, is barely functional is baffling. But then, most things that any sort of administration does are baffling. It'll be nice if I can convince them to put a thawspace on my drive. Of course, that still won't help with anything that requires a registry change, since that's password-protected. I can't even install the Flash plugin!
You know, the only thing nicer than having the best football team in the country having the best football team in the country and having a good basketball team. I think I can say we have one after beating Kentucky the other night. There was a time during that game when we lead by twenty (twenty!) points. The look on Calipari's face at that point of the game was priceless.
Hey, is anyone up for some Age of Empires? Specifically, Age of Empires 2, Conquerors expansion, patch v. 1.0e. Hit me up if you want to play. You'll need to download Gameranger (and the 1.0e patch can be downloaded here.
You know what irks me? Well, lots of things. But commercials, too. Not because I hate it when my show's interrupted (that's a minor annoyance), but because so many commercials seem to have been designed to repel viewers rather than attract them. Take those annoying government-sponsored asthma awareness ads ("I feel like a wish with no wa-a-ater"), that stupid Toyota Camry ad with the family who drives nothing but Camries ("Why Camry?" "Reliability! Affordability!" Can you not speak in complete sentences, woman?), and pretty much every ad for Miller Light beer to have been released over the past several months (you know, the ones with the dopey guy asking for light beer and the improbably attractive but irritatingly snooty female bartenders). And then there's this ad:
Watched it yet? Can you figure out why I hate it? It's that bit at the end: apparently these people are too stupid, or too lazy, to do something as simple as adding their bills together. And Bank of America thinks promoting that ignorance is a good thing.
Having worked as a GTA at the University of Alabama, I've had plenty of exposure to this problem. Ostensibly, having a high school diploma means that a person has taken and passed all the classes required, yet every year we have six thousand students enrolling in introductory-level (read "remedial") math classes. These classes cover basic math concepts that are covered in 11th, 10th, and even 9th grades, and these students don't even know them.
It gets worse. College students taking MA 005 (the lowest-level math class) routinely ask me how to add fractions together. Fractions! Students are incapable of doing basic addition and subtraction without a calculator. They can't graph lines, they don't understand what it means to raise a number to a negative exponent, and they can't factor!
We're not talking rocket science here. We're not even talking calculus. This stuff is easy. I don't care who you are; if you can take college-level history, English, business, or anything else, you can take basic algebra and trigonometry, whether you realize it or not. Unfortunately, many people feel entitled to be bad at math. "Math is hard." "I don't like math." "I don't understand math." In so doing they not only allow themselves to be ignorant, they make themselves incapable of filling just about any upper-level job.
I realize there are other factors involved in our inability to do math. I'm not focusing on those now, though, because usually there's nothing a person can do about them. What a person can control, though, is their attitude, and it's the poor attitude towards math that causes so many people to fail in it.
I don't expect everyone to like math. I didn't like my English classes, but I still did the work and passed all of them with A's. It's not very much to ask of a person that they learn how to do basic math. You can either do that, or you can rely on an ATM to add numbers for you.
I like to think myself a man of the world. A man who has been everywhere, done everything, seen everything, and smelled not quite everything. A proud partaker of a plethora of pleasurable pastimes both popular and plain. To achieve this goal I must always be willing to try new things. It is for this reason that I have added to my sizable list of hobbies the sport of visiting Yahoo! Answers and leaving snarky responses to people's questions. It's really quite fun.
To those of you who haven't been keeping up, Alabama is the best football team in the world. Actually, even those of you who haven't been keeping up know this fact. Lots of football this Saturday, but the biggest game will be when Florida shows up in Tuscaloosa to get thumped...again. I'll cheer for Alabama no matter who they play, but I particularly dislike Florida. More than Auburn or Tennessee, even (neither of whom I particularly dislike, honestly). Oh, I really dislike Florida. And don't get me started on Boise State. Actually, do, just not right now.
Aside from football, the onset of the weekend means, not respite from study, but more time to study. Time is what I'm lacking during the week. When the weekend comes I can really pour it on and get some work done. And watch football. And spend some time with my lady, because she's coming down for the weekend.
I didn't intend to get into a relationship with the quiet girl I saw sitting by herself at the Bible study a back in March. I knew her, but not well at all, and that night I felt like broadening the scope of my friendships by getting to know some people I'd only just met before. By the end of the evening I was very much looking forward to talking to her again. She turned out to be everything I'd dreamed of, and more, so on August 21 I did the only sensible thing and asked her to marry me.
I don't think anyone expected me to propose when I did. I say that because not even I expected to propose that day. I knew I would, eventually, but I'd thought it would be a few weeks off, at least, until I was about to leave after helping her move into her dorm room in Florence and I knew that I was going to miss her when I returned to Tuscaloosa, and I thought, so what, I don't have a ring and I don't have a spiel, but I know what I want and I think she does, too, so here goes. She said yes, and I felt like I was going to pass out. But I haven't regretted it one bit. I only wish May 14 would get here sooner.
I passed my second qualifying exam this summer, which, so you know, means that I'm on the home stretch towards getting my doctorate. All that remains now is to finish up my coursework (12 more hours, six of which I'm taking this semester) and to write my dissertation. I should be done in two years. And when I am, I really will be Dr. Corndog.
I'm still a gamer nerd, as always. I still love coffee, although I've had to cut back a bit since my acid reflux started acting up. I'm still exercising regularly and on track to become the world's buffest math professor (not a very high bar to leap over, honestly). I'm still living in the town where resides the greatest football team in the world. So, I guess not a lot has changed. Other than my engagement.
Oh, her name is Becca Cobia. She's also the prettiest girl in the world, and a genuine nerd, although she won't admit it. Not as nerdy as I am, but nerdy enough.