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Caught with my pants down, and getting shot in the rear

November 20, 2008

Whenever the Health Center is mentioned I hear about how terrible it is and hear things like: “Whenever a girl comes in with a stomachache, she is immediately diagnosed with being pregnant.” Or “Every time you go in with a sore throat, you have mono.”

My favorite story happened my Sophomore year. My friend Lindsay went into the health center for what appeared to be flu-like symptoms, but mainly because of stomachaches. The conversation went something like this:

“After running a few tests, we think you should take a pregnancy test.”

“There is no way I am pregnant.”

“Honey, even if you take all the neccessary precautions, you can still get pregnant.”

“I’m a virgin.”

“I would still get one.”

Hmmm. I guess the Health Center believed Lindsay looked a lot like Mary.

Anyways, every year without fail I get sick in the middle of November. Growing up, there were very few Thanksgivings where I was not sick with strep throat or the flu.

Because Senior year is so stressful with work, I decided to get the flu shot so I wouldn’t get sick for finals. However, on Sunday I started to sneeze uncontrollably and my nose ran like a faucet. So I made an appointment, so I could get better before I got actually sick.

No such luck. I got diagnosed with strep throat. The funny thing about it was that my throat never hurt. So thinking back on the all the stories about misdiagnoses and how the Health Center believes in another “immaculate conception”, I asked them to run another strep test. Positive.

I hate taking pills because I always end up forgetting one and once you start feeling better, taking the medicine seems pointless. One time I had strep throat really bad, they gave me a steroid shot in one cheek and 10 days worth of antibiotics in the other. Therefore I asked the ladies at the health center if they had the same thing, and I was in luck.

The thing I love about the Health Center is that everyone there is really nice and laugh at my corny jokes. So when the nurse came in to give me the two shots in the bum, I said something along the lines of, “Remember this is not a prostate exam.” It really wasn’t funny, but she had to sit down she was laughing so hard. So at least she boosted my self esteem.

The thing I learned about medical people is that they do not live by the counting standards we have learned since we were children. When you first jumped off a high dive with a buddy you would say, “1.2.3. JUMP!” However, shot givers love to shoot on 2. I was ready for her this time.

She said it would pinch a little and she would go on 3 (yea right). So when she counted to two, I had clinched my cheeks super tight. She started to laugh and tell me to relax, right when someone opened the door to ask the nurse a question.

So imagine the scene. I am standing up. My pants are down. She has rubber gloves and a needle. We are both laughing. My knuckles are white from clenching the bed so hard, and someone walks in. The person just kind of cracked the door and said sorry and slammed the door shut. I know understand the meaning of the phrase, “It’s like being caught with your pants downs.” I looked back at the nurse, smiled, and shook my head. It was as if we had this kind of awkward bonding moment.

I had to wait 20 minutes to make sure I didn’t pass out and during the time, I got to meet a lot of nice nurse practitioners. It is weird to say, but I actually had fun at the Health Center. They gave me a pass to miss class for the next two days and sent me on my way with two bruised cheeks.

The reason I wanted to write this blog is to hear what people’s reactions are to the Health Center. Have you been misdiagnosed? Do you think they do a good job? Have you ever been caught with your pants down there?

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GREEK SING CONTROVERSY!!!

November 19, 2008
Michael Baez wearing the "banned but not explicitly banned" skull & crossbones shirt, break dancing in front of Andre Burrell during Greek Sing 2008. Photo by Kara Wall

Michael Baez wearing the "banned but not explicitly banned" skull & crossbones shirt. Photo by Kara Wall/Minaret

I am trying out this whole “non biased” reporting. It is a difficult thing to do because I am one opinionated, hard-headed guy. So I after I heard that Delta Gamma and Sigma Chi got disqualified from Greek Sing, I went to find out why. I interviewed a few people: Travis Abercrombie (Judge), Jaclyn Carden (Greek Life Coordinator), Jason Wagner (Sigma Chi’s Greek Sing Chair), Amy Ryle (One of Delta Gamma’s Greek Sing Chairs). I tried to stay as unbiased as possible and to figure out exactly what happened.

Travis Abercrombie

The first person I went was Travis Abercrombie. Travis was my adviser Freshman year and he recognized my name from that, so he immediately got bonus points in my book. Travis has been a judge for about four years, and loves what Greek Sing has to offer this campus, but wished that the people who attend Greek Sing would show up for sporting events and that maybe Greek Sing should be before a basketball game or something along those lines.

I asked him what he thought of Pi Kapp’s performance and he said, “I loved it. It was very original and something that hasn’t been done before. It was hilarious too, but I have to admit that I had to look away a few times when they were doing aerobics in tights.” I couldn’t agree more. Travis went on to say, “You have to remember that all the judges were my age and we grew up on Mario (they did a tribute to the video game, read my last blog), and that definitely factored into the decision.”

He said that people should be more aware of the rules, so there is no confusion when it comes to the decision of disqualifying. Therefore I asked, “Was anyone disqualified?” He told me to talk to either Jaclyn or Melissa. So I decided to ask Jaclyn.

Jaclyn Carden

Jaclyn loved the energy of Greek Sing and how the crowd consisted of both Greek and non-Greek members. She had been to other schools where they held variety shows, but Greek Sing definitely topped it. She was there to show her support for Greek Life and did not act as a judge for the event.

When asked about the disqualifications, she responded, “There are rules and standards to live by that everyone should be held accountable for. This should also be used as a lesson to be learned for the future, that unrecognized organizations should not be supported.”

I liked her angle here. She had no decision whatsoever in this mess, but she still showed support for the people in charge of the decision, while still supporting all the organizations. She is a very good Greek Life Coordinator and very fair. It should be noted that she was a Delta Gamma as an undergrad, and it was her sorority that got disqualified… thus she does not show favoritism. Much love, Jaclyn (Pound chest twice).

Melissa Muratore

It was difficult to get in touch with Melissa as she is a very busy woman with being a nursing major and handling the debacle of Greek Sing. I feel bad for her because it is difficult to make tough decisions, and she definitely should be respected for standing by her decision because she felt it was the right thing and not the popular thing to do.

She said that Sigma Chi and Delta Gamma were disqualified because they displayed “skull and crossbones,” which directly correlates with Kappa Sigma. After Delta Gamma showed off their skull and crossbones, members of the fraternity formally known as Kappa Sigma started chanting “Delta Gamma” as a thank you. “This should send a message in the future that we are not to show support for an unrecognized organization.” Sounds like some people have been talking.

Jason Wagner

Jason Wagner was the “Greek Sing Chair” for Sigma Chi. He was in charge of choreographing the dance as well as organizing practices and keep 20+ ADD boys in line for 3 hours a night. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that job.

I asked him what he thought about the disqualification and this is what he said: “Obviously, I am disappointed, we had put in over 50 hours of work and all we got was a sad excuse why we were disqualified. They said we were promoting a ‘unrecognized organization’, but that is the furthest of what we were trying to do, plus that wasn’t even a rule. We had issues with Kappa Sigma in the past, and we wanted to send a message, that the past will be the past, and we don’t want any problems in the future. There are a lot of good guys in Kappa Sigma, and we should be friends with them and not hate each other just because we wear different letters. Speaking of letters, that was the only rule we had. We couldn’t wear another fraternities’ letters and I don’t know about you, but a Skull and Crossbones does not spell out “K E”. Greek Sing is about unity and that’s what we were trying to get across.”

I then tried to play Devil’s Advocate and said, “Kappa Sigma is not recognized in part of Greek Life.” To which he responded, “You’re an idiot, if you don’t think Kappa Sigma is still running. They are still a large force and have a bunch of guys living on their ideals of the fraternity. It doesn’t matter if the school recognizes them or not, they are a fraternity. There are great guys in that fraternity, and should be reinstated into Greek Life, because despite a few mishaps, they still did good things for the campus.”

When asked if he would do the same thing again knowing the consequences, he said, “Of course, that was the message of the dance…Greek Unity. We didn’t violate any rules and a bunch of Kappa Sigma’s came up to me at the bar and said they liked it. So we got our message across. I just wish the people in charge would see that and not disqualify us on 30 seconds of a 10 minute dance.”

Amy Ryle

I have been friends with Amy Ryle since freshman year, and I know when she puts her mind on something, she leaves nothing behind. I talked to her about the situation, and she had to fight back the tears when she told me that her girls have spent since of the end of the September practicing 4 days a week and 35 hours the week of Greek Sing and spent over $2,500 on the event. $2,500?!?! What in the world could they spend that much on?

She replied, “$500 sweatshirts. $300 camo t-shirts, $80 tank tops. $300 black t shirts, $350 boxes (wood-wheels-screws-tools-wood glue-(this isnt including the paint and fabric needed). $200 on props/ masks,canes,gloves,ties,glow in the dark spray,paint for the boxes (that we had help building two days then finished by hand on our own). Plus each member of Greek sing paid $20 out of their own pockets for shirts so the 38 of us all together spent $660. Also we spent $75 on black lights plus the light expenses which i have no idea about.” Which comes to a grand total of over $2,500! Unfortunate, but hey, it was still a good show.

What Amy was most upset about was the fact that she asked one of the Greek Sing chairs, Ryan (from Theta Chi… hey I am new to investigative reporting) if they could wear the skulls because she heard rumors from another sorority that they would get disqualified. So Ryan asked IFC chairmen Ryan DeBock who asked a few others and we promised it would not factor into the decision.

However, as we know now that they were indeed disqualified for the skulls on the T-Shirts. Therefore she stated, “I just can’t believe that he would say one thing and do the other. Basically, he lied to my face, which made me in turn lie to my new girls.”

I asked her why she would even wear the skulls if she was worried about it in the first place, to which she responded, “The song was Rhianna’s “Live your Life”, and Rhianna’s clothing is nothing but skull and crossbones. So is every member of Greek Life not allowed to wear a skull and crossbones? Ryan is my neighbor, I can’t believe as a neighbor he would lie to me.” Sounds to me like she should TP his house. (Don’t do it, but if you do it, don’t blame me… it was a joke.. I am not liable).

My Take

One thing I failed to mention about Jason and Amy’s testimonials was they nobody told them they were disqualified. They both had to seek out Jaclyn to find out if indeed the rumors were true. Both of them felt like the Greek Sing Chairs were too chicken to tell them.

I think it is unfortunate that both teams were disqualified. However, I don’t know if it would change the decision anyway, because Pi Kapp and SDT had phenomenal performances. It is a shame that they both got disqualified because it opens the doors to “what if’s.” I am guilty of that, because I have a lot of pride in my fraternity, and think we could have won, and that takes away from the winner, Pi Kapp.

I am happy for Pi Kapp that they won. They have been through a lot in my four years here at UT. They got kicked off campus, had money issues, drug issues, and basically had to rebuild their fraternity. In a short time, they came together and pulled off a hilarious performance, so good job Pi Kapp.

I wish the Greek Sing Chairs didn’t have to go through so much scrutiny, because they did what they felt was right, and are going to have to face the wrath of unhappy sorority girls. I like how Amy took the high road and told me that they didn’t care they didn’t win and that SDT had a great performance, but what they did care about was they were misinformed when they asked a direct question. I feel for DG there, because they took the necessary steps as a precaution and ended up getting disqualified.

Finally, I think I have to be the one who says it: Who Cares? Greek Sing was an awesome show and I was entertained. I don’t get too wrapped in the winners and losers, because nobody really remembers who won last year or the year before. This will all blow over in a month, and be forgotten, but this seems like the ideal topic for that good for nothing website that people waste time spreading rumors and mean things and don’t have the courage to say who it was from… Juicy Campus.

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Greek Sing: Year of the Upset

November 18, 2008

What’s a Greek Sing without a little bit of controversy? The five IFC fraternities and five panhellenic sororities competed for the best performance Monday night. Being a part of Sigma Chi, I went to show my support, but I brought along my notebook to take notes about each one.

Recap

Each fraternity and sorority had at least a “interesting” performance, but a few stuck out to me. I had respect for Delta Tau Delta going first, but when it came time to shout out each fraternity, they left out one: mine. Minus 10 points.

Delta Gamma’s performance was interesting up until the point where after shouting out each fraternity and sorority, they turned around with shirts with skull and crossbones on them. It appeared to me as a tribute to the fraternity formally known as “Kappa Sigma,” who in return chanted “Delta Gamma” which ruined the next part of the routine. Much More on this later.

Theta Chi’s performance was funny and kept the crowd entertained and AXO followed up with a Michael Jackson routine, and everyone loves his music. Plus 10 points.

The only thing that stuck out about Sig Ep’s performance was that they threw out real money, which put me at a moral crossroads. Do I succumb to temptation and run out and take the real money and ruin their performance, or give them respect and watch. Unfortunately for my wallet, I chose the latter.

DZ had nice uniforms and produced the best female dancer, Bigi Sann, who was ecstatic about the award. Pi Kapp brought me back to my childhood with an homage to Super Mario brothers, and kept me interested and laughing the whole time. Rumor has it that they made it up the night before, but it didn’t show because they performed real well.

AGD had a little trouble getting going due to technical difficulty, but thanks to the host, Jabari Bennett, provided the crowd with some laughter with his beatboxing skills. Once they got going, they produced a lighthearted, fun dance and did not give into booty shaking.

My fraternity was next, and I tried to give an unbiased view. When they came in, they had by far the best costumes with glow sticks in the shape of stick figures, which got the crowd going. However, when they were in the glowsticks, the dancing was mediocre, until “Paper planes” and semi redeemed themselves. At the end of the dance, Mike Baez wore a “Kappa Sig” shirt to pretend to fight, but then ended up shaking hands with Andre Burrell and performing a synchronized dance. More on this later.

SDT went next and as expected put on a phonemenal show. They had a jungle theme and collaborated with the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha. It was by far the best show put on at this Greek Sing.

According to my notes, if I was a judge, this would be my rankings: 1. SDT 2. Delta Gamma 3. Sigma Chi 4. Pi Kapp 5. Theta Chi 6. Delta Zeta 7. AXO 8. AGD 9. DTD 10. Sig Ep. Don’t hate, just perform better next year. What would your rankings be?

The Reaction

As expected, SDT won for sororities, and AGD won for best “unity”. Bigi Sann won best female performer and the big guy from Sig Ep won best male performer (I asked around for his name, but nobody knew it, but the award was well deserved). Pi Kapp won the best fraternity performance, which I couldn’t argue with but I thought Sigma Chi gave a good fight. The shock of the night however was when Pi Kapp won the best overall performance. The best part about it… Pi Kapp already left the gym, so it was silence. Just crickets.

I decided to become a postgame interviewer, and used my pen as a microphone. Casey McLear from Sigma Chi said, “It was a disappointment, but we had fun with the event.” A little too politically correct for me.

An anonymous fraternity guy from a rival fraternity (wimp wouldn’t let me use his name) said, “This is definitely the biggest crock of ****, and ****ed up… call this the year of the upsets.”

A Delta Gamma responded, “We got robbed, but SDT definitely had a great performance too, but it is a shame that our hard work didn’t pay off. I don’t even remember Pi Kapp’s dance… how did they win the whole thing?” That’s what I like to hear… put it on Juicy Campus.

The Master of Ceremonies, Jabari Bennett stated, “Greek Sing was fantastic, definitely enjoyed the energy from the crowd and it was evident that all the organizations put in a lot of hard work. Also the awards were well deserved.” Another boring politically correct statement.

Later on the night, rumors started to go around that both Delta Gamma and Sigma Chi were disqualified for having shirts with skulls on it. This conviently sets up my next blog.

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No Stage Fright Allowed

November 14, 2008

Have you ever seen the movie, “Waiting”. The movie was about the restaurant industry, however, one of the more hilarious parts of the movie was the character Calvin and his problem with peeing in a public restroom.

This happens to my friend Paul all the time. During the 7th inning of a Rays game, Paul and I left for the bathroom. If you have ever seen the inside of men’s bathroom at a sporting event, it is a bit crowded to say the least. Basically there are about 30 urinals lined up and each one has a line 10 deep and you just kind of wait your turn to relieve yourself.

When we walked out of the bathroom, Paul looked at me and said, “Damnit, it happened again.”
Me: “What happened?”
Paul: “I couldn’t go again.”

I never knew he had that problem, but I guess it happens to him quite a bit. It is pretty common for guys, and usually they could combat that with the “shy guy” stall, but then you run the risk of a non-flusher.

You might be wondering why I am talking about such a taboo subject, and I don’t mean to make anyone feel uncomfortable. However, I was forwarded an email about this bathroom in the middle of downtown Houston, Texas.

The Outside of the Toilet.

The Outside of the Toilet.

It is made entirely out of a “one way” glass. Nobody can see you from the outside, but you can see out. How weird?!? I don’t know if I trust it. What happens if there is a spot where people can see you…talk about getting caught with your pants down.

I guarantee Paul could never use it. I on the other hand, would love this contraption. I would put my butt against the window and knock really hard and think that people could see me mooning them. In reality there would be no way they could see me, but it’s the principle.

I think the best thing would be looking at the line behind you. Imagine the guy who really has to go number 1.

Stage 1: The bounce. The guy would start to sway back and forth just hoping that you would be done soon. Then you just wait a little longer for stage 2.

Stage 2. The crossing of the legs. Right over left, or left over right…it doesn’t matter because both are hillarious.

Stage 3: The pain in the eye. This is where I would start to feel bad and get out, but if you think outside of the box, you did the guy a favor. He is going to appreciate this pee, and definitely get over his stage fright. I’d do that for Paul.

The Inside of the Toilet... Could YOU use it?

The Inside of the Toilet... Could YOU use it?

I still don’t know how I feel about this toilet, but it is definitely cool. I think it is something like skydiving, you have to do it once in your life. Therefore I am going to add this to my bucket list. I figure if I am going to use it, I am going to enjoy it. So I will wait after 20 or so wings settle, grab a nice book and make an event out of it.

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Registering for the Last Time: Part 2 aka “Mini Midlife Crisis”

November 11, 2008

One thing I forgot to mention in the last post was the most annoying thing about registering. After you go through the annoying process, what if the class you wanted was closed? Now you got to rearrange everything! I hate registering for classes.

However, by registering for the last time, it means that soon I am graduating from college. So what happens next? Get a job, a family, put the kids through college so they can repeat the process? It reminds me of one of my favorite movies: Fight Club.

Tyler Durden: My dad never went to college, so it was real important that I go.
Narrator: Sounds familiar.
Tyler Durden: So I graduate, I call him up long distance, I say “Dad, now what?” He says, “Get a job.”
Narrator: Same here.
Tyler Durden: Now I’m 25, make my yearly call again. I say Dad, “Now what?” He says, “I don’t know, get married.”

What I am trying to say is that this sounds extremely boring to me. Graduate High School with good grades so you can get into a good college. Get good grades in college so you can get a good job. Get a good job so you can raise a family comfortably and you measure your success in life by how well you did this process.

So for the last couple of weeks I have been trying to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life. I don’t recommend doing this because it puts you through tremendous amounts of stress. I called my parents to ask for advice because they are usually awesome with this kind of stuff and their response, “It’s okay, it’ll work out, it always does. If you can’t find a job, then go to grad school.” Not the profound response I was looking for. However it is nice to know that they don’t care if I become a professional student.

Therefore I went to others for advice. My roommate Jason Wagner is graduating in December, so I figured that he already has this stuff figured out., only to find out that he is in worst shape than I am in. He is freaking out because he doesn’t know what to do, all he knows is that he doesn’t want a 9-5 job.

As I was talking to Jason he introduced a nice parallel to me about this situation. He compared what we are going through to people who spent their life in jail. Stay with me here. You have heard those stories (Shawshank Redemption) of those guys who spend most of their life in jail, and when they get out the first thing they want to do is go back in. It is all they know in life and it is what they are good at.

Think about us. We have been going to school since we were four years old. Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, High School, College. I am 22 years old now which means I have spent over 80 percent of my life in school. So I guess I should just go to grad school right? Get a few letters behind my name, CFA, CPA, PhD, BAMF. Maybe then I can get a really good job.

I think I am at that crossroads that Frost talks about. Which road do I take, the road less traveled? Well thanks to him, everyone is taking that road, so which one is now the less traveled?

So, after a few weeks of contemplating I have gained little ground on the goal of figuring out my life. However, I did come to a few conclusions.

Number 1: My parents taught me that no matter how much you disagree with something you still have to “play the game.” This is really tough for someone that is hardheaded as I am, but I do understand why it is important. If the people who will hire you and pay you that nice salary believe that a college education is pivotal, then get the damn diploma.

Number 2: College teaches you so much more than class material. I moved 1,000 miles away from the comfort of my house and lived with complete strangers. By doing so, I learned how to compromise in living situations and learned about myself through other people. I have found that everyone has something different to bring to the table, and it is up to you to learn from them.

Number 3: Self reflection is dangerous. There is a poem that I came across called “Man in the Glass.” The poem tells you that you can fool rest of the world, but you cannot ever fool the man in the glass. I tried convincing myself that I knew what I wanted to do after graduation and that I am going to be successful, however the “Man in the Glass” reminded me that I have not even applied for a job, got an internship, and have a resume that at best “needs work.”

After taking all of this in consideration I decided that in order to decide what I want to do in life, I had to backtrack from the end. Therefore I decided to attempt and set a few goals for myself. First I thought about what I want to accomplish in my lifetime and what it would take for my life to be successful in my eyes. I thought about stupid cliches “Life is not about the moments you make, but about the moments that take your breath away.” As soon as I thought about that quote, I questioned my manhood.

I decided that for me to be truly successful, I would have to live a life that had meaning. How could I make that goal a realistic goal? I came to the conclusion, that when I looked back on my life, it wouldn’t matter about how much money I made or other materialistic things, but to better someone’s life. I am a man of great ambition, so I don’t want to settle just on one life, but a magnitude.

Time to wrap it up before I lose you. I still have no idea what I want to do after I graduate, but I feel as though I am making babysteps in the right direction.

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Registering for the Last Time. Part 1

November 7, 2008

I just registered for classes for the last time and I have mixed emotions. On one hand, I am ecstatic that I deal with the mess of registering. On the other hand, reality is sinking in and pretty soon I will have to go into the real world.

Registering for classes is just a big pain in the ass. First you gotta find out what classes you need to graduate on time. Prerequisites are annoying because you can’t put them off, and then going through your degree guide to make sure you satisfy their high maintenance goals (social science, writing intensives, non-western, physical science). I swear sometimes I think the school is more high maintenance than a girlfriend.

After I figured out that I only need two more major classes and a social science I thought that my last semester could be relatively easy. However, I need to have 17 total hours to get the mandatory 124 hours. Damn the fine print.

Therefore I was looking for classes like basket weaving, badminton, or some other fun class. I already took scuba this semester, and thought about advanced scuba until I saw the $265 lab fee. In some colleges they have a “wine” class, where you can taste test different wines and figure out the differences between a merlot, cabernet, pinot noir, etc. I would pay infinite amounts of money to be able to drink for a class. Unfortunately, University of Tampa does not offer a wine class, so my liver can breathe a sigh of relief.

After I found out what fun classes I want to take to cap off my UT career, I had to get them cleared by my adviser. My adviser is awesome and she just lets me email her my schedule and she signs off. I’ll be damned if I had to actually get up and walk over to Sykes if I don’t have to.

Then after you think you are fine to register, you check SpartanWeb and you have a hold on your account. So i had to get up walk the whole 300 steps to Plant Hall and up four flights of stairs to get pay the school to get my hold taken off. Then walk ALL the way back to register.

When I finally get situated, I start to register. My friend Kyle and I have four classes together this semester and we do a good job studying together, so we decided to take our last two classes together, which are primarily group projects. He registered before me and I could not get into the same class. Damn the system.

The absolute worst part about registering is trying to get the classes to fit into together and work for you. I don’t want hours between classes, nor do I want one in the middle of the day… I got stuff to do. Also, you want to have a good teacher, so you gotta check ratemyprofessor.com and check. There’s no class that is worth a bad teacher.

Besides MGT 431, FIN 491 and Crimonology 101 (stupid social sciences), I wanted to take classes that interest me. So I picked Latin Dance, Journalism, and Job Search strategies. I picked those because every class I did want to take, with the teacher that I wanted, overlapped a mandatory class by 15 minutes.

If a class ends at 2:15, other classes on campus shouldn’t start at 2. That happened to me at least three times. I could have taken COM 224 instead of Crim 101, but then I wouldn’t get the teacher I wanted in MGT 431, and not be able to Latin Dance and so on. It became this complex problem and I actually had to get pen and paper out and map out my week.

My advice to the younger crowd: Get your mandatory stuff done early! Get your social sciences, physical sciences and electives done. Find classes that take care of your non-western, IG, writing intensive all in one class. Dance 200 takes care of writing intensive, non western, IG and art-athestic, plus Susan Taylor Lennon teaches it and she is awesome. (She is the one responsible for motivating me to keep on writing. So you can either thank her or blame her for creating a monster.)

So, get all of those “dumb classes that you are never going to use later” done within the first two years. Take summer school if you have to. By doing that, you can focus on your major for the next two years, and then take fun, interesting classes and have an easy senior year.

So because you have to figure out what you want, what teachers to take, how its going to fit in your schedule, get signed off by the adviser AND the Bursar office, I am happy that this is the last time I have to register for classes. Now I just have to deal with reality sinking in…

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Vending Machines: Murderous Munchie Salvation Distributors

November 6, 2008
The machine looked similar to this but had 4 boxes on top and bottom. It weighed about 400 pounds

The machine looked similar to this but had 4 boxes on top and bottom. It weighed about 400 pounds

As much as I want to talk about my reaction to the election, I decided that everyone is sick of election news and I don’t want to be contributing to hair pulling or people going crazy. Therefore I decided for some comedic relief with an interesting story about my life.

My mom forwarded me this article about how vending machines have killed people. This may seem like a weird article for a mother to forward her son, but it may not be as weird as you think.

Presidents Day (sometime in Feb) 1992: I was five years old, and my mother just picked me up from Kindergarten with my brother. We went to Shop n’ Save to get some groceries and at the check out line, I asked my mother for a quarter to get a gumball. My mother just blew me off and refused to part with her George Washington silver.

I decided to take matter in my own hands, and I reached my tiny (above average for a 5-year-old) hand up the machine, grab hold of a gumball and pull down. I guess it happened because of my super strength, but the entire machine toppled over me.

I tried to run away, but the machine snapped my wrist and crushed my back. After seven adults managed to lift the machine off of my body and two more pulled out my mangled wrist, I was free to yell in pain. My mother immediately ran to my aid, but my brother was distracted by all the toys, candy and money that were scattered on the floor.

I kept yelling for my dad as my mom cradled me on the floor. I probably yelled for my dad because he would have given me the quarter for the gumball. The nine people who helped me formed a circle around me to block me from the rubbernecking shoppers.

I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a broken back and wrist. If the knob from the machine would have landed a quarter inch to the right, I would have been paralyzed for life, but instead my growth plates were shattered.

This is what infuriates me the most. If I would have not broken the growth plates in my back, I would be 6’3 instead of 5’10, and my size-16 feet and mammoth hands would fit in more to my body. My friends always made fun of me how I wore my pants so high on my body, but that is where my hips are. I probably have the shortest torso in the world, but I play it off well.

Present Day: If you look at those machines in grocery stores across the nation, they are all chained up to the wall because of me, at least I like to think so. Shop n’ Save fronted the bill for the hospital and sent me all the contents of the machine to me. It was the best thing in the world for a 5-year-old, so I was happy at the time.

My parents decided not sue the store because they believed it was my fault and they believe in the whole “what goes around comes around” theory. That should come to a surpise to you because my mom was too cheap to give me the quarter.