November 20, 2007

NYC Bound?

Is it bad to choose what graduate programs you apply for based on the city the schools are in?

I've decided I really want to go to grad school in New York City. At least three universities in NYC have journalism/media graduate programs, and I think I'd be more than happy with a degree from any of them.

Sadly, because I am only deciding this now, I definitely won't be attending any Fall '08 classes. A cursory look at program schedules suggests I wouldn't be taking classes again until Fall '09.

Posted by Randy at 11:50 PM | TrackBack

May 05, 2007

The End

My time as a student at LETU is now officially over. I'll be heading to NYC on Tuesday for a few days. I begin work next Tuesday (or Monday, if I'm feeling like it).

I'll be back once my world stops shifting.

EDIT (05/17):

I haven't disappeared. I just still have no internet. Due to slow installation and external cable/wire problems, I won't get it until next week at the earliest. Pity me.

Posted by Randy at 07:05 PM | TrackBack

April 26, 2007

Drawing to an End

As far as schoolwork is concerned, today was really my final day as an undergraduate. I still have two classes to attend tomorrow because of attendance policies, but I no longer have any work to do for my classes. I do not have to take any finals.

I spent my final day of work appropriately, in my opinion.

I woke up a tad later than I had intended and almost immediately went to work. I needed to read and respond to two stories for my short story class as well as categorize every single story we read in class any way I wanted. Completing these two tasks took me almost two hours. I had to skip lunch to finish them before class. Thankfully, the teacher had announced her intent to serve us lunch this day.

As class started, my mother called my cell phone to tell me she and my grandmother were coming to Longview to deliver a bed frame and a few other items to my new apartment. Because I was in class, I didn't answer. She called again before class was over. She was in Longview by the time I listened to my messages. I called and told her she would have to wait until I was out of my next class.

Fortunately for her, I had a test in Personality Theory immediately following Short Story. Unfortunately for me, completing my assignment this morning left me almost no time for last-minute studying. I crammed as much as I could in the ten-minute break between classes. This study time was also cramped, however, when the professor offered us chocolate cake prior to the test. With my usual amount of willpower, I wolfed down a piece with a ludicrous amount of rich icing. The cake was great, and I think I did alright on the test.

With my usual tact for scheduling, I had signed up for an oral exam in Spanish shortly after Personality Theory ended. Once I completed the personality test, I practically jogged back to my current apartment and drove quickly across town to my new one. I had planned on using the extra hour between finishing the test and meeting the Spanish professor to refresh myself on conjugation and vocabulary, but my mother was waiting for me. I had about an hour to drive to my new apartment, unload a truck filled with my belongings, return to campus, and walk to the professor's office. When my mother told me she was bringing "a bed frame and a few things," she really meant was "a bed frame, a computer desk and chair, a nightstand, a bookshelf, numerous drawers to my now-emptied dresser, a good amount of my clothing from home, and a few other miscellaneous items." We unloaded as quickly as we could, spoke briefly, and went our separate ways.

I returned to campus with ten minutes to spare. I paused at my apartment long enough to look up a single word ("mudarse," or "to move") in case I was asked what I had been doing. The oral "exam" was really just holding a spontaneous conversation with the professor. He asked me questions about journalism and newspapers and what I wanted to do and where I would like to work, and I was able to stammer out decent responses. After completing the "exam," he informed me that I could have skipped it because I was graduating. I don't recall him saying this in class, but I apparently worried myself over something I could have simply not done.

Like so many other days since I started college, my final day of schoolwork was full of last-minute completions, frantic scrambling, and close calls. I can't imagine having it any other way.

Posted by Randy at 11:56 PM | TrackBack

September 27, 2006

Social Psychology & Gender

My Social Psychology class has just started a section about gender. The professor said she would likely be spending quite a bit of time on it. This made me very happy.

Tonight, for the first time in this class, I sat down and read an entire psychology textbook chapter in one sitting. I was surprised when I reached the end of it. I felt it had barely scratched the surface of the topic.

As a warning, I will probably be throwing together another post about my thoughts surrounding gender. I'm not sure when it will happen, but consider yourself warned.

That is all.

Posted by Randy at 08:55 PM | TrackBack

August 31, 2005

Classes Begin

This is beginning to look like an interesting semester. Here is a quick rundown of my classes.

Elementary Spanish I:
This class looks like it will be ridiculously simple. I studied Spanish in high school for three years, but between then and now I have forgotten the vast majority of what I once knew. However, the results of the placement test we took indicated I should be in Elementary Spanish II.

Western Civilization to 1715:
Comments reserved until after the second class period

American Foreign Policy:
There is going to be a rather interesting class dynamic here. There is quite a wide variety of personalities, including at least one person who chose this class because he didn't want to take another "American History" class. This is also the first class I have had with Nathan in quite some time, unless I've forgotten something.

The workload seems interesting. I have a minimum of fifteen pages I will need to write for this class. I'll also have four tests.

Literary Criticism:
I have a feeling that this class will contain the bulk of my work for this semester. I will need to write twenty journals and a formal paper. This will result in a minimum of twenty-five pages, but it will more likely end around thirty or so pages. An incredible amount of reading is necessary for all of that, of course. There is also the requisite group presentation.

The class itself looks promising, despite all that. How can you not like a class that will involve discussing meaning in literature?

Reading the Bible as Literature:
I have not yet had this class.

Senior Honors Seminar:
I have not yet had this class.

Posted by Randy at 03:19 PM | TrackBack

September 29, 2004

Front Page Material

I found a rather interesting surprise in my CPO today. I knew the newest edition of The YellowJacket was being distributed through the mailboxes, of course. Staff writers have the priviledge of knowing such information and, as some may argue, have the responsibility to spread said information.

I was surprised by what I found on the front page. What did I find? My story on new LETU professors as the top story. It was above both the story on Longview Blitz and the one on the freshman retreat.

I feel two ways about this placement.

I am incredibly giddy that my story made the front page. Who wouldn't feel happy that their story is the lead? The editors chose it as the most important story in the paper (at least as far as immediate relevancy is concerned)! I now have had a story published on the front page on a newspaper. Admittedly, it is a small campus newspaper, but surely that fact still counts for something.

Unfortunately, it is a boring story. Due to space requirements, the story just contains facts about the professors that I gleaned from interviewing them. It was supposed to present facts about the professors. There really is not much that can be done with a story like that unless it is turned into a feature.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I have a story on the front page of The YellowJacket. Hooray for me!

Posted by Randy at 08:38 PM | TrackBack

May 16, 2004

A Grade Change?

My grades were mailed to me yesterday evening. I did not rush to open them or anything because I thought I knew exactly what all of them were. When I did open it, I found a little surprise.

According to the little sheet of paper, I received an A in Computer Science I. I decided to check to see what Blackboard said about this, and it still claims that I earned a B in the class. While the news that I received an A makes me quite happy, I'm still a little confused.

As far as I can see, one of three things must have happened. The professor listened to my complaints and decided that I deserved an A, the professor accidentally put down the wrong grade for me when he turned the grades in, or whoever is responsible for mailing out the grades recorded my grade incorrectly. The last two options are unlikely.

Either way, that A increases my GPA to a 3.39. I am one hundreth of a point away from keeping my scholarship. It is still going to be reduced.

Posted by Randy at 10:15 AM | TrackBack

May 09, 2004

Computer Science I

I am rather infuriated with a certain professor at the moment. Please let me explain why.

Out of the six programs written for the class, I received a grade of 100 on four of them. I received a 90 and a 93 on the other two. Out of the eleven labs we did for the class, I received a 100 on ten of them and a 0 on the other one. On the three tests before the final, I received an 82, 86 and 90.

All of those (excluding the one 0 which should accout for less than 1% of the total grade) are great grades. These grades take into account 80% of the final grade for the class. Somehow, these grades were weighted so that I just barely had an A (a 90.1) before the final.

Let's review: program average of 97.17 (25% total), lab average of 90.91 (10% total), and test average of 86 (45% total). This gets me a total average (pre-final) of 90.1.

I believe that is a screwed up way to weight the grades. The programs take a great deal more work and more accurately reflect a student's ability in CS. They should be worth more than just over half of what the tests are worth. It is true that some students might try to steal code from others, but when the professor tells the class that the majority of "real" programming is copying code made by others that shouldn't matter!

I typically have no problem with the final taking the last 20% of the total grade, but I do believe that if it is going to be worth that much it should be comprehensive. I do not see the logic in making the final test worth extra if it is nothing more than a "glorified" chapter exam which the professor himself doesn't even bother giving.

In case you haven't figured it you, I made a B in the class. I received an 87.4 as my final grade.

I'm a bit upset about it.

Posted by Randy at 05:36 PM | TrackBack

March 31, 2004


by William Nicholson

Sheesh. I hate stupid legal stuff. Technically, since I am advertising the play, I have to put the name of the author, in font size no less than fifty percent of that of the title, immediately following the title. I also need to say that the play is being "Produced by special agreement with Samuel French, Inc."

Anyway, the play is going to be performed at three different times. These times are as follows:

Thursday (04/01) @ 8:00 PM
Friday (04/02) @ 8:00 PM
Sunday (04/04) @ 2:00 PM

All performances will take place in the Education Building. Student tickets cost four dollars. Tickets for anyone else cost five dollars. Honestly now, isn't that a really low price to watch me play the priest that marries Spaulding and Amy?

Come watch the play and give us your money!

Now, if you would like to read about the gripes a number of participants have concerning the play, please continue reading.

(All of the following are opinions expressed by myself. Some information has been gleaned from overhearing discussions between those more important in the production than I.)

I'm not really sure where I should begin with this. I guess I will start with one of the earliest gripes I heard surface.

We did not get copies of the script until about a month and a half before opening night. This was most unfortunate. I understand that the person responsible for taking care of all of it was quite busy during that time. The end result was that Spaulding and Amy, who naturally have the largest chunk of lines in the play, did not have a great deal of time to learn lines. Spaulding has had to practically memorize the entire play, and I applaud his ability to do so in such a short time.

Moving on to a slightly bigger subject, we have had quite a hassle concerning stage set-up. Thankfully, the play is being performed at the same time as Hootenanny. This gets that huge stage away from the storage room in the Advancement Building and gives us room to build and paint backgrounds and props. Unfortunately, we are not able to actually set up the stage until Wednesday afternoon. This means we may get a full dress rehearsal in on Wednesday. The administration has not been very helpful with Stage Right's needs. Despite the fact that we have to perform the play they selected on the date they set, we are unable to work on the actual stage in the room of the performances until the night before opening night. This has become more than a bit stressful.

We also have a limited budget. Basically, we used the profits from last year's production to pay for the majority of what we needed to buy. Since Lisa graciously took the responsibility of finding costumes for cast members, Stage Right both saved money and has a large number of good-looking clothes on stage. A number of the larger props needed are also being loaned to us from generous people. The majority of the money (I believe) has gone towards stage production and maintenance. This includes wood, paint, screws, etc. We don't have much money left to buy stage make-up. I am not even sure of the status of our make-up requirements at the moment.

One gripe specific to me is that of publicity. Approximately one week before the play started I was given the responsibility of promoting the play. This meant orchestrating a chapel announcement (of which I passed the responsibility back to Pat), creating a sign for Saga (which was done quite poorly, I have no artistic talent whatsoever), and creating small flyers to post around campus (which would not have been done quite as well had it not been for my roommate). The job also entailed creating tickets for the play and making programs for the performances. The tickets have been created and are now being sold. The programs are currently just a sketch on a folded piece of lined paper. All of this has proven to me that I do not want to be in charge of promoting or publicizing anything ever again.

Posted by Randy at 01:53 AM | TrackBack

March 29, 2004


Wow. I did a lot of work yesterday.

Starting at Shadowlands practice at about two in the afternoon and going almost continuously to three in the morning, I got a lot of work done.

After reading lines for the second act, several of the less important actors went to start painting part of the stage. Since I was talked into heading the publicity part of the play, I worked on making a poster for Saga at that time. The poster is rather bland because I have no artistic talent whatsoever. With that in mind, please do not mock it too much. If I can ever get in touch with Alex I will get the poster and put it up in Saga.

After I completed that I returned to my room to begin working on my Biology II workbook. I hate that stupid workbook. It is nothing but busywork. Unfortunately, it counts as a test grade by the end of the semester. Once I had finished about a fourth of the workbook, I returned to help Alex and Joe paint more of the stage. After about twenty minutes or so, Jeanette joined us. After the first coat of paint had been applied to everything we had to paint, I left them to rip off canvas from wooden frames so that I could continue my homework. I stopped by the Hive on my way back for my first meal of the day. This was around 8:30.

I returned to my room and ate. This was the most time I had spent relaxing since I had returned to LU. After finishing my cheeseburger, I once again started working on that disgusting workbook. After finally completing the workbook, I went to my suitemate's room to help him with a Comp. Sci. I lab. When I finished helping him, I decided to take a shower. While working I started to notice a smell. I soon realized the source of the smell was me. After the shower I began to create a flyer to promote Shadowlands. With my roommate's generous help and Wilson's advice, I was able to create a decent looking flyer. Once it is approved by Pat (or Amy or Jeanette, whoever approves it first), it will be seen in strategic locations around campus. After completing the flyer, I began to work on Calculus III homework. After Calc. III, I laid the groundwork for a program due soon in Comp. Sci. I.

Finally, after a day that seemed entirely too long, I crawled into my bed at three in the morning and, eventually, fell asleep.
Only to be awakened by my roommate intentionally playing Eminem in order to get me out of bed fifteen minutes before my alarm clock would have rang. Yes, I know you think I said to wake me up at 7:30 if my alarm clock didn't go off, but I didn't. I told you it was set for 7:45. And Eminem?! Why do you make me hate you?

Posted by Randy at 09:59 AM | TrackBack

March 24, 2004

Next Semester's Schedule

After much advising (both official and other), thinking, and planning, I have decided on what I am going to be taking next semester. Once again, Bib. Lit. got bumped back to another time.

BIOL 3404 General Genetics
ENGL 2223 English Literature I
ENGL 3103 American Literature I
ENGL 3403 Journalism-Publications
HIST 2113 American History to 1865
HNRS 3553 World Literature through Film

Yes, you counted that corrently. Nineteen hours. Unfortunately, I need most of these this semester.


I have this horrible feeling that I am going to be buried underneath an ungodly amount of literature next semester.

Posted by Randy at 03:08 PM | TrackBack

March 22, 2004

Stench and a Cow Eye

There is a smell that seems to stick to my hands every Monday. Washing my hands seems to help it go away, but no amount of water and soap can get rid of all of it.

What is this mysterious smell?


I can't seem to get it off of my fingers. This evening I had the opportunity to cut up a cow's eye. Naturally, before I could get to it, it had to be soaked in formaldehyde and sealed in an airtight plastic bag for who knows how long. Strangely enough, I think that they kept the eye cold enough that the aqueous humor (liquid in the eye) was sort of gelatinous. It was really awesome.

Anyway, formaldehyde stinks.

Posted by Randy at 11:33 PM | TrackBack

March 09, 2004

Context? What's that?

I never realized just how much fun it is to wrench verses of the Bible out of context. I am having an absolute blast working on my Creation and Evolution presentation. My selection of a topic I disagree with is making it even more enjoyable.

Posted by Randy at 11:07 PM | TrackBack

March 02, 2004

In Case You Hadn't Heard...

Since I am apparently horrible at keeping my mouth shut, I'll go ahead and put it up here.

You know that change I was talking about in that last post? Well, do you want to know what it is?

Of course you do. Basically, I changed majors. All of the official paperwork has not yet been completed, but I have done all of it that I can do. I moved from engineering with a biomedical concentration to a double major of biology and English.

Why? Well, ever since Univ. Physics 1 I have been questioning whether or not I wanted to stay in the school of engineering. This choice presented itself for a second time during Univ. Physics 2. I hated Phys. 2 with a fiery passion. That class caused extreme anger to swell within me. Then, Circuits II was flung at me by a certain EE sadist/professor. Circuits became the bane of this semester as far as I was concerned. I was horrible at it. I then realized that this was the third class in as many semesters that caused me to question my chosen field of study. After putting much thought into the subject and discussing it with a few professors and students, I decided to go ahead and leave the engineering department for something I would enjoy doing.

That line of thinking caused me to move directly to the biology department. All of my favorite classes (excluding Inklings) have had BIOL in front of the course number. Biology is something that I am good at and it is something I enjoy studying. The possibility of following a pre-med program has entered my mind. However, I am not completely sure what I want to do yet.

Oh, right. I also chose to major in English. This has been the half of my current plan that seems to cause people to stumble over the double-major concept. I enjoy English. I enjoy grammar. I'm not (yet) perfect when it comes to grammar, but I have earned the title "Grammar Nazi" from my floormates for a reason. I am also interested in the literary aspect of the major. I like reading, and I like to think that I am a decent writer.

So, I basically swapped one insane course plan for another. I think I just might be a closet masochist. Fortunately, a surprising number of classes overlap for the two majors. I have also completed a good chunk of the general education requirements already. Best of all, I will now have a legitimate excuse to hurt people who make glaring grammatical errors. I can take those errors as an insult and react accordingly.

Posted by Randy at 01:43 AM | TrackBack

March 01, 2004

What a Change...

I just did something rather odd. I changed something in my life. It will greatly affect the course of my life.

What did I do? Heh. That's my little secret. Well, not really. Wilson knows about it. My roommate, my RA, and a few others on my floor also know about it.

As for the rest of you, you will all just have to wait until I know for sure that the change has taken place.

Posted by Randy at 01:58 PM | TrackBack

February 26, 2004

The Opposite of Stress

Something really weird is going on inside my head. I am fairly sure that I did well on both my Circuits II test and my Anatomy & Physiology II Lab exam today. However, I have this horrible lurking feeling that I just wrecked my grades for those two classes this semester. I'm not sure how those two conflicting thoughts are skipping merrily together inside my head.

Now that I have taken both of those tests I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. In reality (or should I say metaphorically?), only a couple decent sized pieces were chipped off of a giant boulder. After all, I still have a Circuits II design problem to comprehend and complete by Tuesday, a Gen. Biology II Lab exam on Monday, a Comp. Sci. 1 test on Wednesday, an Anatomy & Physiology II test over the immune system on Thursday, and a program due relatively soon.

Despite all of this, I am strangely calm. I feel almost no stress or pressure about any of it. I know this isn't due to confidence in any of those classes. I think that I might have stopped caring. If that is the case, I need to start caring again soon. All of this apathy does not go well with my scholarship.

Posted by Randy at 04:28 PM | TrackBack

February 19, 2004

Biology Labs

WARNING: Biology stuff is mentioned below. I am not liable for any reactions you may have by reading the following.

Education. One of the single most important aspects of a young person's life (ideally, anyway). This semester I am taking two different biology classes. What is the best way to educate students in biology classes? The answer is surprisingly simple. Have them look at dead carcasses.

What have I gotten to look at this semester? So far, I have looked at a plethora of dead bacteria. I have examined several plants that were dying. I have cracked open an egg to examine a three-day old chicken fetus. I have held and played with the heart of an adult pig. Later today, I will be performing a dissection on a fetal pig. All of this has been in the name of science, of course.

One thing I have discovered outside of class is that people react strangely when given information about biology labs. For example, when I tell people that I have aborted a chicken fetus, the most common reaction is a jaw drop follewed by an exclamation of "What?!" It is particularly entertaining to watch someone react to "aborted chicken fetus" when a chunk of chicken is in his or her mouth. I really don't understand that reaction at all. Most of these people eat eggs. All I had to do was crack the egg at a different stage of development. People don't like to think about that, though.

The fetal pig I will be dissecting later today should be interesting. I'll be examining that with people who are as interested in it as I am instead of generic General Biology students who are just getting their general science electives out of the way.

Posted by Randy at 01:50 PM | TrackBack

February 09, 2004

Long Days

If you had to describe the past few days with a single word, what word would you choose? I know my choice.


That's right. These past few days have just been one big "blah" after another. Calculus III homework, Circuits II homework, Gen. Biology II homework, and all sorts of applications have taken up the majority of my time. Seriously, how do these things always get piled up like this? Sunday night was extremely stressful, and Monday has just been a very long day. To top it all off I may be getting sick. Again. I am going to be extremely pleased when I crawl into my bed in a few minutes.

These past few days haven't been all bad, though. I have decided that I will be going to China this summer. That is, of course, if they accept my application. Over the weekend I managed to secure both of my references for the application. Unfortunately, I am going to have to ask one of them for a separate reference letter so that I can apply for LSM funds from LeTourneau. Argh.

Another thing I am happy about is that a committee has accepted a paper of mine and I will be presenting it at the C. S. Lewis conference at LeTourneau in April. From the sound of the email Dr. Solganick sent me, he may still need papers to fill time slots. Even if that is the case I am still happy that I get to present a paper I worked on for a long time. Unfortunately, I now have to fine tune and format the paper so that I can read it aloud easily. That shouldn't be too hard. However, since this might be presented to a good number of people, the perfectionist in me is going to be screaming at me up until I actual give the presentation. I can't complain about that, though. I knew what I was doing when I submitted the paper.

Anyway, I'm crawling into bed now. Maybe I'll ramble more tomorrow.

Posted by Randy at 11:55 PM

January 15, 2004

Intellectual Masochism

So, the new semester has been going for almost a week now. I've been to almost every class (the 1-hour seminar is tomorrow) and have pretty much estimated the workload. The end result? I'm terrified.

The amount of memorization I will have to do for Human Anatomy and Physiology II and General Biology II is going to be revolting. The homework for Circuits II and Calculus III is probably going to cause me at least a couple of all-nighters during the semester. The tests in three of the above classes will cause me great stress. I'm not as concerned about CS1 because, if all else fails, I can ask my roommate to help me, but it is still going to be the first time I've ever programmed anything. I have no idea what that Creation vs. Evolution seminar is going to be like.

Now, if I had taken this last semester I wouldn't have worried at all. However, this semester I have to get enough A's to raise my GPA from a 3.33 to a 3.40 or I'm going to have my scholarship reduced.

Why do I do this to myself?

Posted by Randy at 07:54 PM

December 03, 2003

The (Almost) End of Physics

I learned today (Tuesday) that I made an 80% on my last pre-final Univ. Phys. II test. I have never thought I would be this happy about getting a C in a class in my life. One last test to go and then I will never have to take another physics class again. Of course, Statics and Dynamics have their own little circles of Hell, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Now I have to start preparing for finals. Joy.

Posted by Randy at 02:12 AM

October 29, 2003

Fall Fest

Idiots are running rampant around campus. Morons dressed in ridiculous costumes, chalk messages written on the sidewalks and other things, and photos of people doing unusual things can be seen everywhere. This can only mean one thing.

Fall Fest is back.

From my own floor's decision concerning a queen ("Save the cows! Vote for chicken!") to 41's horrible idea for their queen ("Erin in Wonderland"), my general disdain for this joke of an event (the climax of which is a banquet that costs $10 to attend) has greatly increased since last year. 4B's tradition concerning bodyguards around their king and queen and the decision of Quad 1 to nominate Ashley Ross (no relation that I know of, but I now see "ROSS" everywhere I look) aren't helping my opinion of the week.

Some people say Fall Fest just breaks the monotony of the last half of the semester, and I have to admit that is true. Even if you don't participate you still get a slight change of scenery. However, I still think the whole thing is a waste of time.

Two other things:

1. If you are reading this, you should either vote for Ardith for Fall Fest Queen or write-in "The Chicken" (or Chikin) to win.

2. Happy 18th Birthday Katy!

Posted by Randy at 06:28 PM

October 28, 2003

Physics Fun

This is how I spent my time in University Physics II today:

"Sitting here in UPII for what feels like the fourth straight hour, I am convinced that Dr. Ball has learned how to slow down time. These past ten minutes have felt like an hour. He's talking about stuff we learned in Circuits, except he's doing it in physics-speak. You know what I'm talking about, right? He takes extremely easy concepts and makes them into horribly disfigured bastards of theories. Since I have been doing fairly well in Circuits I'm hoping I will do really well on this next test and increase my grade in this class.

From looking at my watch, it would appear that I have discovered the reverse of Dr. Ball's time-crawling curse. Another ten minutes have gove by since I took out my spiral notebook and started rambling on paper. I probably could have written much more if I would stop pretending to pay attention."

Right after I had written "attention," Dr. Ball said we could leave early. I was almost disappointed because I had to stop writing. Well, maybe next time I'll start writing earlier.

Would this same method make Differential Equations interesting? It's worth a shot.

Posted by Randy at 11:52 PM

October 14, 2003

Bones and Research

Oh, the joys of playing with human bones! They're just great. The femur is my favorite. It looks just like a club. I wish I had a femur bone that I could keep. Any volunteers? Anyone?

The only downside to studying bones is the freaking huge test that I have to take over them. It is absolutely hideous. I have to know the bones, the joints, the grooves, the crests, the holes, and the jutting ends of most of the bones. All of that crap almost quadruples the amount of memorization. I would be complaining a lot more if I didn't find it interesting.

I've also got a research paper for which I need to find a topic. Basically, I can pick anything relating to C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, or Charles Williams. This is so huge a field I don't even know where to begin looking. Any suggestions? Anyone? (No Freud, please. I don't want to go near that subject for this paper.)

Other than homework and tests I really don't have anything to rant about or discuss. I am ready for fall break to arrive.

Posted by Randy at 12:02 AM

September 19, 2003

Why Do I Do This?

Right now, I feel like my academic life is one huge mess. Physics II, Circuits I, Human Anatomy & Physiology, and Only Inklings have enough homework (or memory work) combined that I back myself into a huge corner every week and begin almost every week with a mad homework dash.

Why do I do this to myself? I have the time to do the homework if I would just spread it out. But I don't. I waste time and procrastinate until I have six Circuits problems, a handwritten Physics assignment, electronic Physics assignments, around a hundred pages of different books to read, and several charts/tables/figures/whatever to memorize for Monday and Tuesday.

And if that isn't enough, I've also got tests, quizzes, etc. Most of these I don't do as well on because I do the homework in a mad rush.

This weekend I am determined to spread that homework load out. This weekend I am determined to not go crazy in order to complete homework.

Posted by Randy at 01:11 AM

September 16, 2003

School Crap

Time for a general update:

After cramming last night and this morning for a test in Human Anatomy and Physiology, I have discovered that the tests (or at least this one) in the class are easier than the quizzes in the lab. I find that a bit screwed up since we have a quiz every week and four practical exams in the lab. We only have seven class tests and a final.

I have a Physics II test on Thursday that I need to start preparing for. Considering my current track record with Physics II, I am not expecting to do very well on the test. I will be elated if I get a C on it.

I haven't heard anything about tests in Circuits or Differential Equations, but I'm sure they have to be coming up soon.

Also, if you have noticed the new link over on the left side of your screen, I suggest going to it. It belongs to an Escaped Code Monkey who disguises himself as my roommate. His blog is new and very entertaining.

That's all for now. Until next time...

Posted by Randy at 12:49 PM

September 09, 2003


Between homework and CAPA problems for Physics II, daily homework for Circuits I, and memorizing figures, tables, and charts for Human Anatomy and Physiology, I think my brain is going to explode.

Posted by Randy at 05:25 PM

September 01, 2003


As I was sitting on the floor next to the side wall of the assembly building during chapel today, I took my spiral notebook out of my backpack and wrote down my thoughts. I will share them and then add to them.

What I wrote during chapel (slightly edited):
"Ok, so after waiting in line for over five minutes to scan in my card for the 'new and improved' way to get chapel credit, I walk into the assembly building and discover that the short worship section of chapel had already started. Naturally, since I arrived so 'late' from Circuits to get in line for chapel I could not find an open seat anywhere near me. So I went and leaned against the wall, waiting until the two remaining worship songs concluded. Dr. Carl then started his chapel by sharing a 'totally unrelated' list he thought was funny. (Loose quote) 'If a person's excuses about not going to church--or chapel [insert glare at audience]--were applied to other things.' His actual chapel is yet another rendition of the 'fruitful vine' service. If you have heard it once you have heard it a thousand times. I don't yet know how the line to leave chapel will look like, but it should at least be interesting."

What I want to add:
The line to get out of chapel was as long time-wise (for me anyway) as the one to get in it. I'm still not sure how that worked out since I was sitting in the back this time. I really hope that they get better at this and that Circuits will be dismissed a bit earlier than it has been recently. I don't like sitting on concrete.

Posted by Randy at 05:46 PM

August 30, 2003


Today is a good day. I have been able to do nothing and have greatly enjoyed doing it all day. The network problems have been greatly lessened in Mabee (and I assume all of Trinity), and I also received some good news from my family. As much as I would like to ramble on about the good news, I don't want it on here. If anyone is really interested feel free to talk to me about it.

I have Circuits homework I need to do and I will probably start on Differential Equations homework eventually. But right now, I'm doing nothing. I love Saturday.

Posted by Randy at 02:58 PM

August 19, 2003

Busy Day

Really busy day today.

Started the day off with a good three hours of Senate "training," which consisted of one hour of learning about bills and resolutions and two hours of listening to Dr. Brent Ellis (Is he a Dr.? I'm not sure.) and Dr. William McDowell ramble on about stuff. Nothing against these two (They were in fact semi-interesting), but if I am going to be forced to use official "parliamentary procedure" I want to learn it so I won't sound like an idiot. I will be spending time with that tomorrow.

After a great lunch (Compared to yesterday's crap, anyway. That was disgusting.), I got to attend a FOUR HOUR seminar on "Cultural Competency." I was pleasantly surprised by it. I was thrilled that it wasn't some politically correct indoctrination about diversity and tolerance, etc. However, I was disappointed it was about subject matter that I had already come to a conclusion about: respect and appreciate the cultures of other peoples as long as they follow biblical principles.

Then I got to go play mini-golf with some of the people in Senate. I was last place on my team but did a lot better than I had expected I would.

And my dorm room is partially clean! Still need to get shelving up, however. If I remain in IMPACT for next year, I am going with the people who stored my floor's stuff so that my shelving isn't put at the very bottom of a large, heavy pile of stuff.

Posted by Randy at 10:19 PM

July 28, 2003

Eastman, Financial Aid, and 28 Days Later

Today was a busy day.

I had to get up around 8:30 and go back to Longview to meet with the Eastman Community Advisory Board. I got to eat some decent Mexican food and listen to pro-Eastman propaganda concerning their safety procedures. Boring. For some reason, they had a Longview Transit bus come and take us two blocks into the factory to look at the computer they had been talking about in the meeting. It then took us back to the company entrance and left. I wonder how much they had to pay to get that bus out to Eastman just to carry twelve people a total of four blocks.

Then I had to deal with LU's infamous Financial Aid staff. Somehow they had it in their computer system that I chose to reject a student loan. How they got that information I do now know because I accepted all financial aid both in the email they sent to me and in a letter sent to my parents. My mother and I just got finished with the Sallie Mae people and finally got pre-approved for their loan.

After that, I finally got to watch 28 Days Later. I had been wanting to watch this movie for a while, but no theaters in Nacogdoches or Henderson were playing the movie. I was pleased with the movie, although I do believe that it was not nearly as scary as people made it sound. The movie did need better (or any) music to set the tone in several scenes. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes horror/sci-fi movies. I will be getting it when it is released on DVD.

I think that this movie needed more character development. Yes, we learn that Selena is a ruthless woman who is deadly with a machete and willing to do anything to survive, but is this different from how she was before the tragedy happened? Yes, we learn that Jim is a fast-learner and good at adapting, but what was he like before he woke up in this nightmare?

Also, if you go see it, make sure to stay to watch the alternate ending after the credits. I think that the alternate ending fits better with the rest of the movie than the one they decided to end it with.

I think I will leave you with these opinions:

If you bring any kind of kid to any kind of movie, I don't care how you are related to them, make him SIT DOWN and SHUT HIS DAMN MOUTH! I think that it should be legal to shoot anyone who walks into a movie theater and asks loudly "Is it scary?" during a scene where you are trying to listen to what the characters are saying. It should also be legal to bound and gag anyone who will not keep his damn mouth shut so that someone can beat the crap out of him after the movie is over.

Posted by Randy at 07:51 PM

July 11, 2003

July Edge

I'm back from LeTourneau. I can't wait to move back to LeTourneau.

For those of you you do not know, I made the epic hour-long journey to LU in order to help out with July Edge. For the most part I enjoyed myself. I met a good number of incoming freshmen, met some returning students I hadn't met before, and, I think for the third time now, met Doug Wilcoxson for "the first time." Of course, I can't really say that I am a difficult person to forget, but after he introduced himself to me once he learned I was going to be in student senate I am surprised he forgot again.

I had the pleasure of staying with the Cynic, Gecko, etc., in their apartment. While I have known who Gecko was, this has been the first time that I have ever interacted with him.

Anyway, it was a good time and I am hoping to go back for a little while before I actually move back in August.

Posted by Randy at 10:49 PM

April 26, 2003

Partial Bliss

I'm very happy right now. I have completed and turned in the two major projects I had been working on for the past week. I have been back from the Machine Tool and Design Lab for almost an hour now, and I will never have to go back there in order to work on a lathe again. I have, unfortunately, decided to not go home this weekend. I have two papers that I need to write and I need to start studying for my calculus and English final exams. After listening to the cynical one last night, I will from here on out refer to my current English prof as the Nameless One.

Speaking of last night, I had a lot of fun. Last night was really the first night this week where I could do absolutely nothing and keep my grades up at the same time. I made up for a week's worth of missed game time as well as spent a few hours talking and listening to several other people involved in the Honors Program. Too bad that is the last time we will be meeting like that this semester.

Posted by Randy at 12:21 PM

April 24, 2003

Work, Work, Work...

Today has been another busy day. At least today I woke up on time. Anyway, I went to English class and made up that horrible test. I think I did ok on it, but I'm not too sure. I printed out the big sheet for my Engineering Graphics final. Now all I need to do for that class is turn in all of the little sheets. I made progress in Manufacturing Processes Lab. I turned down and threaded the shank of the bolt and made the shoulder for it, so now I need to chamfer the head and cut it off. Then all I have to do is finish the knurled sleeve and make the hex sleeve. I will have to do this during the four hours I can work on it Saturday morning.

I'm tired. I'll probably be going to bed early tonight so, hopefully, I will hear my alarm in the morning.

Posted by Randy at 10:33 PM

The Good and the Bad

To steal the quote from Anna, the glass is both half-full and half-empty. Lots of progress made today, lots more needs to be made tomorrow.

Today has, overall, been a living Hell for me. I slept through my last Fundamentals of Engineering Design class, I skipped Engineering Graphics and discovered he gave a review for the final, I did not do a Calculus assignment because I didn't know about it, discovered I had a crapload of English homework due Thursday, and I had to make up a missed Physics I lab. I only had about an hour to work on Manufacturing Processes Lab stuff, and I almost lost my temper while working on Engineering Graphics. Mechanical Desktop makes me so mad that words can not truly express my anger and frustration with it. I have also had little time to study for the make up English test I'm taking tomorrow.

However, today had its good moments. For most of the day, my allergies have not been aggravating me; partly because of the rain, I know, but it still made today easier. I found out that with no studying and a few notes in my calculator, I made a 64 on the replacement comprehensive Calculus II test. It wasn't great, but I think it was good for no studying the night before. Except for printing it out on a huge sheet of paper, I have finished my Engineering Graphics final project. I made a small amount of progress in Manufacturing Processes lab, completely finishing the nut. When I went to make up the Physics lab I missed, another student walked in to make up the same lab, and working with him made it a bit easier and faster. My parents also came to the school today and we went to Texas Roadhouse to eat. They also brought me some more photos of my sister.

And speaking of my sister, I have found that my mind wanders to thoughts and memories of her more often than I wish it would at the moment. I hope that that statement doesn't sound as heartless to everyone reading this as it does to me, but I have too much to do over these next few days to be thinking about what my sister will never get the opportunity to do, what she had done, what she liked, etc. (Before you think anything, the reason I'm blogging at the moment is to take a break from English) However, at the same time, I am scared about getting to the point where I don't think about those things. The thought that one day I will go an entire twenty-four hour period without thinking about my sister is even more disturbing to me than thinking about her so much that it becomes a distraction. How I long for those happy mediums that are almost never a reality.

Posted by Randy at 02:26 AM

April 21, 2003

School Rambling

Here I am sitting in a dark room in front of my computer at midnight on either Saturday night or Sunday morning (depending on your outlook) while my roommate is watching Good Will Hunting on his computer while laying on his bed. Strange how many thoughts you can cram into one sentence by using prepositions.

I finished all of my calculus work and did a lot of Engineering Graphics over the weekend. Tomorrow I have to find my sadistic English professor to get worksheets to do homework for his class and find out when I can make up the test I missed in his class. I have to have some meeting with the team that I am in for my engineering design class tomorrow. I've got to do physics homework eventually and I may have to do some rescheduling to get my physics lab done early so that I can work on my Manufacturing Processes Lab crap.

Work sucks. Sometimes I wish I could just sit down and do nothing for days on end. Too bad reality says that I can't do that and have good grades. I truly envy those who can do that here. I did that all through high school, but I can't here. Oh how I long for the days in which I could play games and other things all day, do a few minutes of homework, and get A's in all my classes. That was the "great" thing about high school, it wasn't challenging. At all. At the time, I loved it, but now I wish it hadn't been that way so I would be better prepared to not procrastinate.

This post went a weird direction. I guess that is just how my mind works. Start one way, ramble for a while, end somewhere completely different.

Posted by Randy at 12:16 AM

April 20, 2003

General School Update

Well, as far as the addition of a photo, I haven't even asked for help yet. I'll get on that after I'm caught up with everything. I have the actual photo picked out, but I need help with actually putting it on this site. It will all work out eventually.

I didn't get near as much work done today as I wanted to do. I got a large amount of the Engineering Graphics final project done. I believe that the prof has decided to punish our class for the incredible lack of attendence. Out of my class of about twenty or so students, about five attended class regularly. That would piss me off if I was teaching the class. Maybe if the class wasn't so freaking stupid and pointless more people would decide to go to the class instead of going to lunch early. I also caught up slightly on some of my Calculus homework. Still have two assignments for that class to do, though. Fortunately, we are working on the same stuff in Calculus that we have already done in Physics. Hopefully, it won't take me much time to finish these next assignments.

I wish that I didn't procrastinate. I put off all the work I was going to do on Friday for Saturday, and I didn't do much of that work today. Part of that might be because I brought a game back to school with me. I need more willpower.

Posted by Randy at 01:40 AM

April 07, 2003

Books and Other Updates

Well, not much has really happened since the last time I updated this. I went to Hootenanny, the annual event at LU where students produce and compete in skits for cash prizes, on Friday. Supposedly, this has been one of the best Hootenanny's in a long time. The dance skit entitled Phantom of the Opera won. It was a short dance based on the Phantom of the Opera and was danced to a techno version of the famous theme song to it. I think that it was definitely the most skill-intensive of all the skits and deserved to win.

I got through book five of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and found an incredible passage in it which seems to summarize C.S. Lewis' intent when writing these books:

"'It isn't Narnia, you know,' sobbed Lucy. 'It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?'
'But you shall meet me, dear one,' said Aslan.
'Are--are you there too, Sir?' said Edmund.
'I am,' said Aslan. 'But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.'"

This passage is incredible when one remembers that Aslan is strikingly similar to Jesus. I can't help but wonder how many children went searching for someone that resembled the great lion Aslan after reading, or after being read, this book. Anyway, I'm through five of the seven books now.

On a completely different literary note, I have finally found a hardback copy of The Stand by Stephen King. I have been looking for one for quite some time now. It is a rather nice copy of the book, too. It even has a few illustrations in it. And I mean a few. After flipping through the book, I have found three full-page illustrations. I am sure that there are more, but they are few and far between. I'll probably start reading it after I finish with Narnia.

I also made a B on my Calc II test. I need to finish writing my part of the research paper. I've got about four pages of it written so far, with at least one more page to go. Hopefully I can finish it rather quickly. I have a Themelios meeting at 5:30. Themelios is the student-volunteer organization which provides to help with incoming freshman during the fall semester, and we are hoping to do more than just help in the fall this upcoming year. At 9:30, I'm going to some ice cream place with some of the other people on my floor to discuss the direction that we want to try to lead our floor next year. Almost all of the upper-classmen are leaving our floor to go to the honors apartments. I've got the GPA needed to move over there, but I would much rather stay where the majority of my friends are at.

Posted by Randy at 03:00 PM

April 04, 2003

School and Other Things

Well, I'm about to go and take a Calculus II test. Hopefully, I can do as decently on this one as I have with the previous ones. I've realized that I've done a lot of complaining about school work, so I'm going to talk about something different.

Lately I've been reading the Chronicles of Narnia. So far, I've read throught the first four of the seven books. C.S. Lewis is a genius. In the first two books (chronologically, The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the parallels of the creation of Narnia and Aslan's death and resurrection with the creation of our world and the death and resurrection of Jesus are amazing. He continues with Christian parallels throughout the series. These books may have been written for children, but I would highly recommend them to anyone.

In Chapel today they school invited a bluegrass band to come perform. Why? Well, they were a gospel bluegrass band. I'm not a very big fan of bluegrass. Never really have liked most forms of country music, although, like every type of music, it does have some good songs in it. Apparently, however, a large number of students did like it. Which probably means that good ol' Chaplain Carl is going to be bringing back more like that group. As long as I keep up on my Chapel attendance, I don't really have to worry about having to sit through another hour of bluegrass anytime soon.

I have also decided what I want to do this summer. I'm planning on going to Brazil with a group of students from other colleges for a summer mission trip. I'm really looking forward to it. The trip was highly recommended from the RA of my floor, who went on the same trip last summer. The only thing is this trip is going to cost money. Lots of it. I will be getting money from LeTourneau Student Missions, but I will also be writing letters asking for support to practically every relative I have. Maybe even to some other people I know.

Posted by Randy at 12:44 PM

April 03, 2003

Busy Me

I have now realized why so many college students update their blogs at this hour. This is often the first opportunity given to sit down and collect one's thoughts, especially at LU. Thinking about how much work I've done over the past few days, I'm amazed.

I spent at least a good six or seven hours doing nothing but research for and writing of notecards for that sadistic English professor. We were informed today that my group will be turning in its paper and giving a 20-25 minute presentation on next Thursday. One week to write for my group to write the individual parts, integrate them into a 12-18 page paper, and create a semi-entertaining presentation. That is ridiculous. I've also spent about three hours doing Engineering Graphics homework. That wasn't hard, but it was very tedious. A good three hours of Calculus II homework, an hour studying for a Calc II test, and at least two hours on Physics, and I don't understand a lot of stuff from those classes still. With a test in Calc II on Friday, I've got a lot more studying to do for that class . And none of these times include actual class time, either.

College is fun, but it is a lot of work. If I don't get a good job after three more years of this, I might just go crazy.

Posted by Randy at 01:30 AM

April 02, 2003

A Bit of Stress

Well, I have tried to update this thing twice since my last post. The first time, I couldn't even get to the update post page. The second time, I was informed that Blogger couldn't publish anything. I now know why some people blast Blogger on some of their own blogs. Anyway...

[rant]I hate research papers! Especially when I am forced to do notecards and source cards. These things are so freaking stupid! You do not need source cards because you have a bibliography at the end of it. You do not need notecards because they are basically your freaking researcher paper printed on 3x5 cards. I would not mind actually doing the paper if it wasn't for that pointless busy work. To top it all off, I only have a limited subject on which to get these 40 notecards. Forty would be a halfway decent number if I was doing the entire paper on my own. But when you are in groups of three and each person must find twenty sources and make forty notecards in one and a half weeks, the prof is being absolutely ridiculous. To top it all off, I also have a Calculus II test, Physics I test, and Engineering Graphics final project all coming up way too quickly.[/rant]

On a happier note, it seems like the floor has all but finalized room plans for next semester. I'm moving across the floor with another guy and my current roommate will be rooming with his friend in the room right across from it. There will also be a few interesting editions to my floor from the third floor. I have a feeling this floor will be a bit louder next semester.

Posted by Randy at 12:24 AM