Who Knows

A conversation that happened years ago:

Me: Why does the manual version of a car always have one more gear than the same car in an automatic?
My Dad: Because people like to shift.

I don’t know why that’s so damn funny to me right now, but it is. Maybe because it’s currently 5 am and I’ve been grading UBT’s on and off since about 10.

On an entirely different note, this is a comment I just left one of my students on their UBT. Numbers are questioned out due to MSU’s student protection policies:

Excellent UBT – missing only ??? criteria out of ??? is quite impressive.

Entirely unrelated to the grading, red text on a blue background is I believe one of the most difficult combinations to read because the two colors are on opposite ends of the spectrum so it messes with the eye.

Enjoy summer.

Can you tell how tired I am????

Grading UBT’s

Grading UBT’s is such a long boring process. The more interesting they are the more time I waste just reading them, and the less interesting they are well… then they’re just boring. Its a nice little catch 22. Damn all the CSE students getting 4.0’s, why can’t a 3.0 just be good enough? Overachievers!

Guess what Everybody

I’s been exactly two months since I started posting here. Doesn’t that just make you want to jump up and do a jig? It’s also the end of the semester, so I don’t have any more CSE proctoring or class time to fill with LiveJournal entires.

This leaves me at somewhat of a dilema… On one hand I really hate the general idea behind these LiveJournal / web log / whatever things. Also, it does really seem like a grand waste of time since LiveJournal posting is not going to get me a job.

On the other hand, I find it somewhat stress relieving and enjoyable to post random shit here. Plus there are at least a limited number of people who enjoy reading it and I wouldn’t want to let them down. Also, I have a tendency to procrastinate insane amounts anyway so it’s not like LiveJournal posting is going to have a significant impact on my overall time wasting.

Miscelaneous

I have decided that posting in my LiveJournal only during BT proctoring simple does not permit enough bullshit to flow forth into the world. As a result of this, I am now posting LiveJournal entries during class itself. That’s right folks, I am currently teaching a class filling the minds of young CSE 101 students with useless bits of information.

Speaking of which, I locked my self out of my house today. How did I do this, quite simple actually… When I went to leave for teaching fun, I shut the door and reached into my pocket for my keys. Only the did I realize that my keys were on the inside of the now closed and locked door. I then proceeded to walk all the way to class, which isn’t a bad walk, it just takes a little longer than driving. As said by a fellow CSE TA “The students aren’t that anxious to see me anyway.” So, I was 15 minutes late. Good thing it was a help room day and not a normal class day, that would have been absolutely horrible.

Oh, in case you don’t already know this, my basement currently smells like a sweaty rotting armpit due to beer and other alcohol resuming the process of fermentation. There’s also about two gallons of skunked Molson down there – I think the peer pressure got to my anonymous roommate (henceforth known as Paco the Magnificent) because I can’t fathom any other explanation for two mini-kegs of Molson.

Stupid People

I shall now regress to one of my previous rants… the one about stupid people. The main reason I care to go back to this is to relay a quote from a former CSE Student.

I was TAing like a good little grad student and answering a question for these two girls in the back of the room. Part way through the question, a guy in the class walked out the door (this was at the end of class), and girl A comments to girl B “There goes Tarzan” at which they both start half giggling half laughing.

I was slightly curious about this comment and the reaction it inspired and I looked at one of them with something like a “what the fuck is wrong with you” look, which if you know me, could easily be construed for any other unspoken statement since they all pretty much a look of disgust to an inferior life form, but apparently the look was interpreted as “what was that all about.”

Girl A the said something to the effect of: “He’s hot, but working with him is like talking to Tarzan.” Then in a Tarzan voice: “Jane use mouse?” This was quite funny coming from a student, and brings me to my point about stupid people.

This guy was dumb as a friggin rock. Several times over the course of the semester I would be helping him do something and he literally would not move the mouse without direct instruction to do so. At one point he was supposed to use a certain file that we had created in class earlier. I told him to open the file and he asked what it was called. HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHAT IT IS CALLED, YOUR THE APE WHO CREATED AND SAVED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. I swear, chimps can be trained to do more intelligent things than this guy.

This guy embodied my hate of stupid people. It’s not that he was just not computer smart, he just wasn’t smart. I think it was the steroids and pot based on the dead lifeless look that resided on his face. He took the class, and showed up for class but then used instant messenger during class making stupid comments to his friends like “what up g” and I’m pretty sure they were written just like that. Because of his IM use, it’s safe to say that he wasn’t entirely new to computers, he was just too damned stupid to understand anything more than the basic ‘click on name, type to friend’ that one of his bro’s had surely taught him.

I find it hard to put into words how stupid some people are, but I’m pretty sure everyone has been in a situation where they have met this type of person. This isn’t the casual, driving along and someone forgets to use their turn signal “oh they’re stupid” comment. This understanding comes when one sits down and thinks about what they have witnessed, gives the person the benefit of the doubt that it might just have been an off day, discards any possibility of a simple momentary lapse or simple foolish mistake and realizes that that person is just plain stupid and the best lawyers in the world could not convince a jury otherwise. How I wish there was a cost effective and proven way to keep them from breeding. Not to say that stupid is genetic, I really think it’s more in the raising of a child.

Seriously

Finally Microsoft has realized that office is not important enough that I need to have every application immediately available in my start menu and they created a folder to hold all the office programs. If only adobe would follow suit – how cocky is it of a developer to think that their software is so much greater than the other guys that they will create a folder, but also put a direct link to their program. It makes me want to smack someone and ask them if they just don’t get it.

High Stress

ECE 932 – This class is currently causing me severe amounts of stress… I don’t have a group, a project or a good idea and time to research it for my next presentation on Friday.

My gun broke, the slide catch no longer works… this just sucks, because now I have to spend time going to Gander Mtn. returning it, going back to pick it up, and after all that I still have a fear that it will be a recurring problem.

Summer… yeah, I still haven’t a clue what I’m doing this summer, or next year for that matter. I emailed the right people, but they didn’t email me back. And I can’t really go applying for jobs until I have some clue what I am doing between now and then.

Stereotypes

No stereotype is true all the time, if it were, it would be a fact of life, not a stereotype. Not all stereotypes are bad or wrong either. Lets take an example. I drive to class most days, some days are uneventful, others are littered with people failing to observe the general rules of the road. Now, if I notice that 9 out 10 times that I observe some traffic incident (many of which occur in roundabouts) there is a woman driving, I am going to develop a stereotype that women are bad drivers. Obviously, this is not true because I am sure I pass many women on the road every day whom I pay no attention to because they drive as well as anyone else on the road. But the fact remains, that when I observe a traffic incident there is a 90% chance it is the fault of a woman. Because of this, if I see a traffic accident of some sort, knowing nothing about the driver I’m am going to think it was a woman. Because I am male and I believe no women can drive, or that if it were a man it somehow implies that I’m a bad driver: No. Because statistically, based on my own experience there is a 90% chance that I am correct with that guess and only a fool would go with the 10% option.

Now, the above is entirely fictitious. In the few traffic issues I see, I would estimate that there is equal distribution between men and women, but that’s really not the point here anyway.

So, next time you care to call someone racist, sexist, or any other such label, take a look around you first. If in normal observation, you see a higher percentage of cases agreeing with their view than disagreeing then they may not be prejudice at all, but only logical. It makes more sense to base your opinions on past experience than to ignore that experience in order to be politically correct.

The Penis Game

Alright… you know that ‘game’ where two people take turns saying penis slightly louder than the other until one gets caught. No?… oh well, maybe it’s just a Northern Michigan thing. Anyway, that’s the idea the loudest yelling of “penis” without getting caught wins. Maybe I’m slightly misguided about the rules of the game, it never really made sense to me anyway, but that’s not the issue here.

I was up North a few weeks ago, and we went skiing at Crystal Mountain. Now, on one of the dull rides up the chair I got to audibly witness to young ‘uns engaging in a bout of the penis game, but as far as I could tell, they didn’t quite fully grasp the concept. When there’s two of you on a chairlift, you can’t get caught. Since the danger element of the game was taken out, they played a slightly different way. Basically it was a penis shouting match, both were equally audible, equally stupid, and equally missing the entire point which was not getting caught.

If it were a fair world, they both would have fell off the chair and decapitated each other with their skis when they hit the ground, thus purifying the future of the human race.

Driving

Ok… I admit, I’m not the most amazing driver ever. The fact that my jeep resembles a huge blue golf ball confirms this. However, I follow the general rules and laws of the streets. Specifically, I can comprehend and abide by the governing principle of roundabouts. And, yes, it can be summed up in one principle – stay in your lane. If you do this, and avoid the obvious, like stopping in the middle of the damn thing, you will navigate the roundabout correctly. Now, what all does this one simple guiding rule imply:

1. If I am in the roundabout and you are in the right lane approaching it: If I stay in my lane, and you stay in yours then I can leave the roundabout at any time without worrying about hitting you.

2. If I am in the right lane and you are in the roundabout: I should be able to make my right turn regardless of what you are doing with out the risk of being broadsided by you, because you stay in the left (middle) lane.

3. If I am in the roundabout and you are in the left lane: If you have room to pull out in front of me, do it. If not, don’t. This works like any other time you are trying to enter moving traffic.

4. CATA busses are the root of all evil, since they do not seem to be capable of staying in one lane when entering or exiting a roundabout. If anyone has the motivation and willingness to bus bomb a few CATA busses you will be my personal hero for a week.

As usual, if everyone does it right, roundabouts are quite efficient and safe. It’s when you get that lone stupid person who disrupts the flow that all hell breaks loose. Other cases where this applies:

People going too slow on highways or freeways – slower is not better folks, you just became an obstacle for everyone else.

People getting into the left turn lane a quarter mile before their left turn – not what it’s for, someone coming the other way might actually want to use that lane the right way, but now your hurdling at them at full speed just asking to cause a wreck.

People who drive while entirely consumed with another activity, for some this can be as simple as talking on a phone – if you can’t multi-task well enough to talk on a phone and drive, then don’t, and if you do, you deserve to die in a fiery ball of twisted metal, just make sure you get in a wreck with a telephone pole or something inanimate.

People who drive when they’re not actually driving – guess what, you’re not giving valuable advice, your a distraction, shut up.

People who insist they know what you should have done if an accident does happen – guess what, looking back everyone can see what they should have done, would you have done it right the first? Odds are against it.

I swear someday I’m just going to hit someone in a roundabout. I’ll see them coming, realize they’re going to cross that nice double line and just keep going in my left lane. Hopefully taking out their front end. Like my jeep couldn’t handle a few more dents.

Speaking of white lines, if you need help with the concept of roundabouts, go look at the one on Shaw Lane and Bogue. The lines apply to all roundabouts, even if they’re not painted on. If you still don’t understand, take another look – preferably as a CATA bus comes through and squashes your head like a bug.