Monday, December 31, 2007

I Resolve...

I resolve to be a Man About Town singing all the lonely dirges of my youth.

[London at Night]

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Week Ahead

School's out and I've got a short work week and lots of free time on my hands. Sure, I should probably buy some people some Christmas gifts. Maybe volunteer at a homeless shelter or something. Or mistletoeing. But pretty much all I'm looking forward to doing is planting my ass on the sofa and doing this:Seasons I and II. That's some Proper TV, bitches.

PS - I may have a little crush on Charlie, the "volatile loser who lives in filth and displays little ability to cope with day-to-day problems" (according to Wikipedia). Don't judge me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Actual Comments Made By My Fellow Students in Human Biology Class

To commemorate my last class (and the final exam) tonight, I thought I would share with you a list of actual comments and/or questions made by my classmates during the course of the semester. Believe me when I say I have not altered them in any way. Starting with the second class, I actually began writing these little nuggets down because I couldn't believe the crap I was hearing, and, well, I need something to entertain me during the 2.5 hour class twice a week. Enjoy - I certainly have.

  1. (Pointing to a diagram of a human body): "We gotta learn all that for this class? Fuck that. I'm dropping this shit." (As a reminder, this class is called Human Biology, so not sure what this person thought we'd be doing.)
  2. "I was told by somebody that if I go on a starvation diet I could actually do damage to my body. Is this true?"
  3. "If you were to, like, create a Frankenstein monster, wouldn't the body reject the different body parts because they'd have different genes?"
  4. "If somebody were to get liposuction, would the fat cells grow back?"
  5. "Is that (type of cell) what causes bladder infections? 'Cuz I got a bladder infection and I don't know why."
  6. "Buttered popcorn causes cancer."
  7. "Is it true Janet Jackson had one of her ribs removed?"
  8. "Wearing large clothing helps prevent Lyme Disease."
  9. "If the menstral cycle is 28 days, then what happens during the other 2-3 days?"
  10. "What is the best way to refrigerate or freeze the placenta?"
  11. "Diarrhea is a diarrhetic."
  12. "So I don't need to douche, then?"
  13. "I think people who eat meat are disgusting."
  14. "Can a 17-pound baby be delivered vaginally?"
  15. (In a discussion about the anal cavity): "It's not natural to have something up there, like homosexuals do."

Now that class is over, I guess I will have to find something else to complain about. Until next semester begins, that is.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Open Letter to My Fellow Group Presenters (Part II)

[Above is another photo representation of last week's group project. While ours looked nothing like this, there was definitely some face-hiding in shame, not unlike what is being acted out here. Also, I'm betting this group's presentation was probably more interesting than ours. I'll be the girl on the far right, who seems to be pretending she's not really there, kind of like I was by the time we were done.]

Hello Group.

Yeah, hi. Me again. Last week I gave you some pointers about how to be an effective and contributing member to group presentation project. You know, for the next time. I didn't want to overwhelm you with info so I thought it best to offer just a few tips at once, with the other half to come another time. Like today. Seriously, I do this as a favor to you, so that maybe you won't fucking fail the group you're in next semester. And, like the old couple who took my fucking seat over Thanksgiving, the next person you screw over for an A in class may not be as nice and forgiving as I am. So let's continue, shall we?:
  • So public speaking isn’t a strength. No big deal, it isn’t for most of us. We all get nervous. But remember when the teacher told us last month that points would be deducted if we read directly from our notes instead of simply speaking to the class and making eye contact? I’m pretty sure she wasn’t kidding. Again, we discussed this right? And we all said we were comfortable with our material. So for the next time, please for God’s sake DON’T READ DIRECTLY FROM YOUR NOTES FOR THE ENTIRE DURATION OF THE SPEECH.
  • If in the middle of our speech we realize we made a mistake, it is often OK to just continue on and not acknowledge to the class that we messed up. Doesn’t look so good for us. Chances are, the class stopped listening to what you were saying about 3 minutes into your seven-minute spiel. They didn’t even notice that you said “Canada” and not “Cuba" (its OK, I totally understand how you could get them confused). Honestly, you could have said “Thousands of new cases in my va-jay-jay” instead of “Thousands of new cases in Cuba” and they probably wouldn’t have caught it. For real: I saw one guy in the class haul out his laptop and check his Facebook while you were talking, for chrissakes.
  • Related to the above point, after we do make a mistake and feel some strange need to acknowledge it publically, resist the urge to turn around, look me in the eye and say to me – me! – “Oh. I just messed up.” While I am oddly flattered that you told me as though you thought I could actually do something about your flub, you’d be wrong. Perhaps you thought I’d break into an interpretive dance to somehow distract the class from your mistake? As cool as that might have been, I’m not that spontaneous. Bottom line: If you make a mistake, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF and MOVE ON.

That wasn't so bad, was it?

Good luck with finals!

PS - No, I am still not going to help you. You bitches are still on your own for that one.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I Love My Local Starbucks

I'm sitting at my local Starbucks studying, and my table is (unfortunately) right next to the bathrooms. Not really studying, however, as I'm just not into it. I'm pretty much doing everything but studying - reading blogs, texting Niner about poon, talking to my parents (yeah, I'm that distracted), figuring out a shopping list for Target. I've been here about an hour and have only read about 2 pages. Can someone tell me what the hell "Because homologous chromosomes may possess different alleles for the same traits, and there are many genes on one chromosome, the homologues are usually not identical" means?

And if so, will you take my final exam for me?

Anyway, awhile ago a young woman went into the bathroom. About 10 minutes after that, her boyfriend knocked on the bathroom door and asked what she was doing. In a really loud voice she responded:"I'M TAKING A SHIT, OKAY??" Classy. So very.

15 minutes later she's still not coming out of the bathroom and suddenly there's two cops banging on the door demanding she come out. I ask you: I bet this shit doesn't happen at your local Starbucks, does it?

Now the two cops are questioning both the girl and her boyfriend outside the store. Apparently, there may be some drug usage involved (ya think?).

Friday, December 07, 2007

Open Letter to My Fellow Group Presenters (Part I)

[This photo sorta represents what our group looked like on Tuesday during our group presentation. Except we weren't as organized as these folks were. Nor did we look as excited. Or Asian. I'd like to think of myself as the fat one, third from left, in this scenario.]
Hello Group:

I realize this letter is a little late in coming, since our Group Presentation was on Tuesday and all. But who at that time would have thought it would have turned into such a disaster? - certainly not me.

Considering we've had about 3 weeks to prepare and that we've met a few times to go over our roles, responsibilities and what we would say, I guess I was a little taken aback by how, well, ill-equipped and unprepared we seemed to be. I imagine that the audience may have seen us as "nervous" or "disjointed" or maybe even "a bunch of douche nuggets."

And note that I say we here -- after all, there's no "I" in "team" and all that bullshit, and we're in this together. When one of us does good, we all do good. When one of us can't pronounce certain simple anti-TB drug mediations, because, well, Monday was a particularly good episode of "CSI: Miami" then, well, I guess we all can't pronounce certain anti-TB drug medications, right?

And I know we're all a little busy, particularly now that we have to study especially hard for next week's final (where before Tuesday I was hoping I merely just had to study "all regular-like" - so thanks for that, btw), so I'll make this rather quick. Here's a partial list (I'll send the other one next week) of some things that maybe you could keep in mind next time you are in a position to be a successful, contributing member of a group presentation:
  • If you volunteer in advance to be the person responsible for printing 30 copies of the slide deck to use as class handouts, then please God by all-that-is-holy DO IT. Don't show up to class empty-handed saying that you “got too busy at work to print them out" and that "it won't be a big deal anyway." Couple things: Yes, it actually IS A BIG DEAL that we don't have handouts. It makes us look UNPREPARED and gives us a big fat zero on the teacher’s evaluation sheet under the section called – oddly enough - “Handouts.” Secondly, don’t give us that whole “I’m really busy with work” bullshit excuse. What the hell do you think the rest of us do all day? So help me, I’ll shove my weekly “MBD SaaS and Business Intelligence Report” draft right up your ass if you tell me again how busy you are at work.

PS – I actually did spend some time and thought in making the presentation and handouts look pretty. I probably wouldn’t have spent so much time on it had I known that you weren’t going to bother printing them off. Even though we agreed you would. But that’s water under the bridge. Let’s move on.

  • Related to point #1, if you are assigned a specific task and find that for whatever reason you cannot do it, it is acceptable and even welcome to PICK UP THE PHONE AND TELL SOMEONE. We know you have a cell phone; we've seen you use it to talk to your friends during lecture (since we're on it: there's something called "indoor voice" btw). I passed about 3 Kinko’s on the way into class Tuesday. I could’ve made some handouts. Not a big deal.
  • As you know, we had 12 minutes to give our entire presentation. We discussed this, right? Several times? We also discussed structuring the presentation so that each of us was to speak for about 3 minutes. 3 minutes x 4 people = 12 minutes. So I’m still scratching my head to figure out why some of us spoke for seven minutes. Seven minutes! – that would be more than double the allotted time per person. The only thing I can think of as to why this would have happened would be perhaps you – I mean we - didn’t rehearse ahead of time. So here’s a tip: REHEARSE IN ADVANCE. We might be surprised at what we learn. Like, maybe, “Gee my section of the presentation is waaaaay too long.” Considering we also get points taken off our grade if our presentation goes over the allotted time, this is something we all may want to keep in mind next time.

I’d say that should about cover it for the moment. I've got a few more pearls of wisdom to share, but I'll wait until next week for those, since it might take you a little while to just digest these. Thanks for listening, y’all.

PS - Good luck on the final. And I mean that.

PPS - And No. Sorry, I will not help you study - you bitches are on your own on that one.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Why I Like Chicago in Winter *

So last night leaving class I planned to write about how much my just-completed group presentation sucked (very much so) or some of the things that really bug my about the Christmas season (Zales commercials, people who forgo their Thanksgiving evenings to camp all night in the parking lot of a shopping mall just so they can be first in line for the 4am opening, etc.), when - bam - the city was hit with a beautiful, magnificent snow storm.

Once or twice a year (tops), Chicago gets a snowstorm that isn't nasty or a major inconvenience; it is just pretty and kinda peaceful. Last night was one of those times. I even took the long way home from the train to marvel in it - the big, whispy flakes, the way it drapes every surface in a calming white blanket. I also shoveled the front walk of my apartment building when I got home just so I could spend more time in it (no, I wasn't drunk). It was the kind of snow that reminds you how cool it can be to live in Chicago during the winter.

* Ed. note: This is a companion to the upcoming "Why I Hate Chicago in Winter" posts that are surely on their way over the next few months.