Monthly Archives: August 2011

Abidail: A Bio

Letters in this title may have been altered to protect the (supposedly) innocent.

Many of you have probably seen my first bio post about my friend The Rock. If so, you will understand this post, which I have written at the request of the charming Abidail. If you have not seen said post, click here.

And now, without further adieu, the bio!

Name: Abidail

Born: In a galaxy far, far away

Known Aliases: Sugarplum; Buttercup; Snake Eyes; Dragon Killer; Bob

Last Known Location: Behind you.

Last Guessed Location: London, in 1644.

Skills: Spelling; marksmanship; death stares. Probably speaks French, but only in the future.

Weapons: Only a sharp tongue and her bare hands. Also, very sharp sticks.

Notes: If sighted, do not engage. Back away slowly if you want to live.

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I Laughed, I Cried, I Finished my Homework Already

Dear Internet. Dear, dear Internet. Today I bring you news from the far off and exotic land known as College Algebra. If you read my last post, you know that I took the difficultly I initially had in finding the math building to spell bad news for this class. I now see that finding the building was the hardest part. You see, Internet, today I attended that class. We learned about graphs. No, no some fancy kind. Nothing with a z-axis. Just good old 2 dimensional graphs.

Now Internet, I never claimed to be a math whiz. I mean, I’m an English major for a reason. But seriously? I learned graphs in about 7th grade (Hurray for Pre-AP Math!). The last time absolute values threatened to throw me for a loop, I was six inches shorter and still hoping for my Hogwarts letter. Ok, so I never really gave up on the Hogwarts thing, but you get my point.

When I first walked into class today, I sat down in the front row, partially because my track record in math classes is full of high B’s and I really want an A in that class (and if I don’t get one, feel free to laugh and point- I’ll deserve it), but mostly because my preferred seating area- 2nd row and slightly off center- was occupied. Of course, I now realize that I could have just sat in the back and resumed chasing the dream I gave up on at age 10- that of making the perfect paper airplane. (Come to think of it, that wasn’t my dream- it was the dream of all the boys in my 5th grade class. But they’re probably taking classes that actually involve learning, and someone has got to carry the torch.)

When the professor (and please note that I’m not blaming him for this. It’s my own fault for taking a class that is ridiculously easy- he was just doing his job and covering the material in the textbook.) first started teaching, I almost laughed. Granted, he said it was a review, but still. The information he was covering has been considered a given in all my classes for the last 5 years. Surely, I thought, this will get more difficult. He’s just mentioning this stuff before we get to the actual teaching. But no, my fair Internet, he was not just mentioning that stuff. We proceeded to cover graphs for an entire class period (the point at which I realized that graphs were the day’s lesson was when I almost started crying). And our homework? More graphs. I finished in 10 minutes.

Oh, and I skipped to the back of the textbook, just to see what was there… and I already know most of it. But hey, at least some good has come of this class. I mean, I got a blog post out of it.

What about you, Internet strangers? Ever signed up for a class that was way too easy? Did you laugh, cry, and/or fall in love? Tell me in the comments, or I will eat this entire pound of butter. YES I WILL. DON’T TEST ME.

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My Sense of Direction- Called into Question

Dear Internet, I come to you today with an important announcement:

Staying put will no longer help me when I am lost.

I would know, because I’ve been lost approximately 47 million (give or take a few) times since I arrived on campus last week. As I ventured out of my dorm last Monday, the sun was shining, the temperatures were unreasonable, and I had to figure out where all my classes were. Besides various other misadventures, I somehow managed to get lost for an entire hour and a half while looking for College Algebra (I know, the difficulty of my course work is astounding). Besides adding credence to my theory that math desires nothing more than my suffering, this incident resulted in my discovery that keeping moving is the only way to get unlost on a college campus and, therefore, remain alive. Contrary to popular belief, there is no magic Directions Fairy; had I stayed put I would surely have perished somewhere near the agricultural science building, slowly baked to death by the unforgiving sun of the semi-arid plains.

They really ought to have covered this in drivers’ ed or something.

Ok, so maybe it's not QUITE this bad.

So, that’s one childhood myth debunked. However, the old warning to always look both ways before crossing the street has definitely stood the test of time. There are a multitude of streets here, filled not only with cars but also with cyclists, some of whom tend to believe they are above the law. To complicate matters, only about 50% of them stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, so at any moment crossing a street is like flipping a coin. Heads, you get to class. Tails, YOU DIE. Thankfully, in about a week my benevolent father is bringing me a bike, so I can join the ranks of the lawless cyclists. Outta my way, lowly pedestrians! Ahahahahaa!

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An Unwanted Win, or, I’m Completely Ridiculous

Dear Internet, I do not know what is wrong with me. I can only win contests that I do not want to win.

It all started out innocently enough. I was scrolling through Facebook (because I have no life and must therefore live vicariously) when I saw a seeminlgy harmless link to a career caption contest. I don’t know why I clicked on it. I just did. At any rate, I skimmed through the rules, looked for a moment at the picture that needed caption, and commented appropriately. Then I walked away. I didn’t expect to ever hear of it again.

I had almost forgotten the contest when an email telling me I’d won showed up in my inbox. My reaction was something like this:

You see, it’s not that I wasn’t pleased I’d won. I certainly was. And by a staggering five votes, no less, beating out my second place competitor by a mere one vote! The suspense! The drama! The… oh, wait. Nevermind.

Anyway, the problem was not that I’d won some random internet contest. The problem was that the prize was a 3 month premium subscription to a career help website. This is the last thing on earth that I need. I’m just starting college- my idea of a career is a part time job that I keep for multiple semesters (for the next few years, anyway… then the Master Plan begins). Therefore, the email is rotting away in e-limbo, and the poor commenter who got 2nd place has been deprived of an opportunity to advance their career by some mouthy upstart kid.

Oh, and since I’m discussing ridiculous first world problems, I might as well mention that I just set my new printer up, only to realize that I’ve forgotten printer paper. Sheesh.

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Advice to My Little Sister on the Eve of Her Middle School Career

Dearest sister,

As you have no doubt noticed, I possess a great deal of wisdom and knowledge of the type that only an older sibling can have. Sure, our parents could give you advice, but it would be dated and probably smell like the 1970’s. Nope, for middle school advice I’m afraid I’m your best bet. (Scary, huh? If your hair isn’t standing on end right now then I haven’t done my job.)

Before I begin, I want to make it clear that I actually want to help you. Middle school can be tough, and no one should have to go through it without a military background and a SWAT team standing by. I mean, sure, I did, but you know that scar on my cheek? That wasn’t there before 7th grade. Also, I can’t visit Bangladesh now, but perhaps that is a story for another time.

So! To the advice. Firstly, I want to make it clear that no matter what horrible worst case scenarios you’ve imagined, the other kids will not hate you. They won’t whisper behind your back about how your face is stupid if you just mind your own business. That being said, don’t give the other kids a reason to think your face is stupid. Middle schoolers can be a gossipy bunch when provoked.

However, you should still feel free to stand out. Just do it in the right ways. At a time when most people are just trying to fit in, it can be tempting to sink into the background. While I can not in good conscience advocate doing crazy things, such as dressing up as the solar system (save that for high school), there is no reason to repress your wit or intellect. Just don’t be obnoxious about it. (Not that you’ve ever been one to not speak your mind…)

Finally, please try not to panic. I know this seems like the end of the world now, but believe me when I tell you that, though this next couple years may be a strange and on occasion uncomfortable time (awkward, boys are seeming less and less awful by the day, and OH MY GOSH you have to use deodorant now OH THE HORROR), you’ll get through unscathed. Just keep this in mind: if middle school killed people, the human race would have died out by now.

Good luck!!!

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The Rock: A Bio

The Rock has requested that I write her a bio. Because I am nothing but a humble word slave, I have done so.

Name: The Rock

Born: In the mists of time

Known Aliases: Bane of Darkness; Ms. Sparkles

Last Known Location: Siberia

Last Guessed Location: I dunno… Mars, maybe.

Skills: Ability to win at life through lack of procrastination; good at gymnastics; can appear harmless when necessary

Weapons: Mind beams; mind rays; teeth

Notes: Likes Russia. Do not provoke.

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The Girl Who Cried Bee

In a twist of fate I totally saw coming, the old story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf took on a new significance today in the life of my friend Página.

The day started out innocently enough- I infiltrated a third world country woke up at the crack of 9:30 and headed out to a local waterpark, along with Página, The Rock, and The Engineer. When we arrived, my so-called friends immediately tried to kill me by making me ride the most terrifying waterslide they could find. To be clear, this was no ordinary waterslide. Instead of just sitting down and pushing off, the unfortunate rider is made to stand on a small platform, which drops from beneath you following a terrifying countdown courtesy of an automated voice. I understand that whoever designed this feature probably imagined it would add excitement to the ride. However, when facing a drop to my death I prefer to keep added excitement to a minimum.

My friends, being hooligans, seemed to enjoy the experience. At least now the theory that I have nine lives (well, eight after today) has been verified.

Following my untimely death, we headed to the concession stand for lunch. The meal was proceeding unremarkably when a bee started buzzing the table. The Engineer, stoic that she is, continued to pick at her chicken strips while The Rock and I watched with some degree of apprehension. Página, however, did what I like to call “completely freaking out.” She screamed and backed away from the table at high speed. Though she did try to return to the table and so continue her lunch, she was eventually forced to retreat to another table along with the Rock. The Engineer and I stuck it out a bit at the bee-infested table, because we are independent spirits, and also because walking requires effort, man.

The day carried on normally enough afterwards, although Página was jumpier than usual, on the lookout for the bees she was sure was hunting her; tragically, we ignored her concern.

Then, in route from a waterslide, it happened. Página, batting at what she thought was a leaf that had fallen in her face, was stung on the finger.

After we had taken her to the first aid place (clinic? location?) and she had calmed down a bit, we began to get some perspective on the situation. All day, Página had been far more worried than the rest of us about bees, and yet she was the one stung. Though my first thought was that our lives are nothing more than a sadistic English teacher’s attempt to explain irony, I have now realized that Página is just really unlucky in retrospectively hilarious ways.

Better you than me, my friend. No one wants to be the Girl Who Cried Bee.

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