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March 19th, 2003

08:47 am - I got to take myself a permanent vacation, the sky's the limit but my plane won't fly

Mid-Terms are finally done. My response to how they were is a very firm "Hmmm". I was never able to build up my normal and necessary mid-term panic which meant I never got that charge I usually rely on to get stuff done. On the other hand I did finish all my work and that's good.

I took a couple days of rest and a couple sick days before writing this. I've done that far too frequently recently, updating this journal about as often as our esteemed president gets within a stone's throw of pronouncing nuclear properly. I want to get back into the LJ habit.

- Last Monday I had a paper for my bad CC class and a mid-term in psychology lab. I did the paper as best I could on monday morning and I think it came out at least half decent. I am predicting a B B- on it since it was unpolished and this professor is a tough grader. I don't really care though. That's new.

My Mid-Term went somewhat better I think, I didn't find any questions I couldn't answer and I think my answers were decent. It was REALLY long though (42 multiple choice, 24 short answer essays plus extra credit) and I almost fell asleep during the middle of it I was so tired. Maybe my exhaustion made me overestimate how I did, I don't know. Most other people didn't do great either though so I should be fine there.

Tuesday was a day of rest and a LITTLE studying in the evening. Nothing major.

Wednesday I had my weird American Politics mid-term which is the STRANGEST exam I've ever taken. During the semester we've been assigned a bunch of quotations from all our readings that we were expected to notate as we read. Of course they were never given to us until AFTER The class they were due on so we basically had to go back and reread the stuff to find the darned quotations. Anyway I managed to actually get this done and notate everything, but when we actually went to the oral exam instead of just asking about the quotations and their context our professor started asking us to compare them. Like just grabbing a quote from Ben Franklin and one from Tom Jefferson and asking us to compare them. Poor Andrew, the first victim, was taken totally unawares. THEN after that the professor not only went on to explain all the connections and comparions she felt Andrew had missed but she invited the rest of the class to comment on everything to. This wasn't done in a way to humiliate Andrew (I.E. "Hey class, what did Andy MISS?") but rather just in the spirit of discussion. The class ended up being much closer to a seminar than an exam. This is especially ironic since the class is normally closer to a lecture than the seminar it is supposed to be.

Yeah.

Anyway to top it off, the last 15 minutes were cancelled after a fire alarm went off. I shit you not. And she didn't even collect our quotation sheets becuase we are CONTINUING THE EXAM A WEEK FROM TODAY. The people who didn't go yet are going to have two extra weeks to prepare. I guess that's fair.

in CRAZY land.

I also had my CC exam which was a little more normal but I think I did poorly on it mostly because the questions were TERRIBLE. They were like "Write an essay on the nature of the enlightenment movement with in depth reference to four authors in 45 minutes." How is that even close to possible? I have no clue. It's not like our professor is some kind of genius who underestimates the quality of her students either. Not that that'd be an excuse since genius and speed are not the same thing.

-Thursday. I didn't have much to do. Just a silly lab meeting that I went to where we all basically discussed what we would be doing over the next month. I also met with my professor and got a little more work assigned to me. I really need to get started on my pile of lab work but it's hard without a strict deadline. I am going to do my best to get at least the first project finished over the break. That shouldn't be too hard and should put me in good standing to get the rest done before he returns.

Friday: The last day of the midterm cycle. I had a lab report due and I did my best to do a decent job although NOBODY quite understood the assignment. We'll see how it turns out but this one is totally on the TA who didn't do a good job of explaining the assignment at all.

So that was my mid term week. Since then I've mostly been relaxing, taking it easy, fiddling around with my Dreamcast and trying to build up the energy before the final push. I also really need to look into getting a job for the summer, which will suck because I have a very very slim resume.

Today's college students focus so much on working and studying etc...etc... and they all build up great extra cirics and no critical thinking skills. I've been pretty shocked at the utter lack of critical thinking ability in my school and I blame that in part on the scheduled "I must do X if I want to achieve in life" mentality. That's probably also one of the reasons cheating is rampant these days. When you're just focused on getting that A so you can get your average to a 3.9 or getting that plum internship to open doors for yourself then it doesn't seem so bad to just download a paper off the internet in order to do so. Process baby, process.

Next up: Me on politics. You can hardly wait.

09:49 am - No one here is getting out of line, this time I've really lost my mind and I don't care

So...how do the rest of you find the handbasket this country is traveling to hell in? Comfy enough? I would have prefered something wicker or hand made but you can't be too picky. It'll burn up before we reach the lakes of fire anyway.

It only took 58 years from the end of World War II and America's conscious decision not to remain isolationist for this country to turn into an agressive impirical power like the Romans or, yes, the Soviets. Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those idiots who wants to make a moral equivalence argument between Bush and Stalin (like that guy on the Daily show who claimed that American talk radio has less diversity than talk radio in Stalinist Russia) or anything. Perhaps Bush and Julius Ceasar would be more appropriate? I think so, although it gives Baby Bush FAR too much credit as a military strategist. Anyway I'm aghast at how the Iraq situation has degenerated. Bush has always struck me as a crafty fellow and I figured all this war talk was just hard line diplomacy. It wasn't. Now I'm not sure if he's actually this stupid or just this heartless. It boggles the mind. My only last hope is that he knows something that we don't. Like he's made a secret deal with the Iraqi military so that it will surrender and just allow the American troops to march in, take out Saddam's loyal forces, and kick the dictator out of the country with minimal civillian casualties. Either that or there is reason to believe Saddam will actually leave.

How could Bush have done things better? Well if I were in his position I would try to test how far Saddam would let us get. I would send in an armed and VERY well protected force to try and trap one of those mobile chemical weapons factories, but with strict orders not to fire on other targets unless fired upon first. If Saddam would accept forcible disarmament without regime change then that's what we want. If he attacked our troops then it would be HE who was declaring war (although you could say taking potshots at our planes is pretty close to that). Either way it would at least be morally and ethically consistant.

I don't like the fact that we're invading a country for what it MIGHT do in the future. That after we dismantelled a regime for "harboring our enemies." These seem EXACTLY like the kinds of excuses a Stalin might make for taking over a lesser country, and then installing a puppet or satellite government. While I dont think we will be commiting stalinist attrocities or even putting our own governments in place, we will certainly be dictating a certain range of government (From liberal democracy to conservative democracy) and probably be demanding loyalty to the U.S. from whatever government is put in place.

Whoops.

I don't like what's going on one bit, and Bush is looking more and more like a crafty vicious SOB who engineered a war to help people forget about Enron and all the other scandals that plagued his administration at the begining and are probably still going on right now beneath our notice.

People mock the isolationism post WW I but I think it showed a lot of foresight. When you have this much power you NEED to bottle it up or it will flow out and flood the rest of the world, damaging it possibly beyond repair.

Offensive idea of the day:

In a recent New York Times editorial someone wrote in saying that the recent revelations of rape at the Air Force academy show that HOMOSEXUAL males are not the most disruptive force to service unity, rather it's the macho culture. Why are we blaming the macho culture and not the females? I don't mean that the females are responsible for being raped, that's obviously stupid, but rather that females in a macho culture can be extremely disruptive and it's the addition of a few females into a bastion of maleness that is causing these problems which probably can't be solved without turning the military into a bunch of simpering PC wimps. To me these rapes problematize the policy of shoehorning females into places where they don't fit and will never WANT let alone HAVE anything resembling equal representation rather than saying anything about the admitedly silly don't ask don't tell policy.

10:25 am - I am one of those melodramatic fools.

I wanted to post this seperately from my last post because I think it's a seperate issue and an important one too.

I think many of the world's ills could be solved if leaders were forced to publicize photographs of themselves naked AND do several kooky dances publicly before taking office (For those who might be paralyzed or otherwise unable to dance, reciting kooky poetry or lip synching to They Might Be Giants songs is acceptable.) The reason for this is that I think many of the world's ills come from people, especially "leader" types, taking themselves way too seriously. If everybody knew about birthmarks or their small penises or droopy bosoms then maybe this wouldn't happen.

I think we need to humanize our leaders. Make them realize that they have faults and flaws just like everyone else and need to address eachother as people, not MERELY powerful forces or representatives of our country. I'm not stupid. I don't think that this would solve all problems or that lunatics like Hussein or Hitler would even agree to participate in it, but it might help somewhat in both weeding out those who want to attain public office in order to get prestige and in forcing people to act like people. If I was desingining a utopia that would definitely be a rule. Forced humility upon the upper echelons. Leadership by the meek. Underneath the golden silk and titles everybody has visible veins and hair on their butts.

My only worry would be that this would promote even MORE lookism among voters but hopefully that would not be the case. Maybe I'm overestimating the public AGAIN though.
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