Thursday, March 27, 2008

Biology Experiments

I think my brother says on the site somewhere that I'm an aspiring doctor. That's a debatable statement at best. Apparently doctors have to go through an extra 4 years of medical school after college. I only recently found that out. For a long time I thought all you had to do was beat a guy up and steal his white coat in a challenge-for-dominance kind of thing. It was supposed to be a challenge because the defending doctor is allowed to use the stethoscope as a mace.

I am definitely studying Biology though. I guess I don't come off as a pro-science kind of guy because people give me weird looks when I tell them what I'm in school for. I don't really know why. Maybe it was my involvement in the local witch trials last month. You burn one person at the stake and people make assumptions about you for the rest of your life. It's really unfair.

I really like Biology. Most people ask if I'm on a med school track because that's what most Biology majors go into. I usually tell them that "No; I'm studying Biology so I can figure out Nature's weaknesses and kill her in a scientific battle royale," or sometimes "I don't know why I'm in Biology. I guess I've just always been interested in puppets." Obviously these reasons are jokes. I have no interest in puppets (because they're like midgets but rarely as funny) and Nature is already my filthy mistress--she need not be destroyed.

The actual reason that I study Biology is because it has to be the softest hard science ever to be created. Naturally I'm not counting Psychology or Political Science as real sciences (no arguments from anyone, those fields are both entirely made up). I barely even count Biology as science right now.

I still have to do a lot of core classes so the Bio course I'm in is a fairly low level. At the same time I take a low level chemistry to fill degree requirements. Both classes are large lectures. Both have a lab. Both of them are academically set up the same way (4 tests, little homework). But otherwise they're not really very similar. In Chem we're supposed to show up to the lab sections with pre-labs, post-labs, lab manuals, lab notebooks, lab equipment key, and an understanding of that day's experimental procedures. In the Bio lab we show up. Hopefully you have a lab manual--if not, whatevs. The Chemistry experiments take around 2 hours or more, with diligent data recording. The Biology "experiments" take about 10 minutes. They usually involved looking at something pretty in a microscope. And don't bother writing anything down, there's not going to be anything due, ever. We're just looking at the colorful slides.

The first week in Biology we learned what the scientific method is. I would punch myself in the crotch if any 7th grader, randomly approached, could not explain to me what a hypothesis is.

The notes I took in class today was the most awful waste of paper. And yes, they will be put online when I can figure out how to work a scanner. One huge upside to Biology (which will make sense when I scan my notes) is that a lot of cute girls take Biology. I think it's a save the furry little animal kind of thing.

Anyway, that's why Biology rocks my world.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

College Booths

At any given time there are several events being held on a university campus. Recruiting, advertising, celebrating, and organizing are all common themes to the little stands trying to vie for attention as we walk between classes. I currently have two favorite booths.

My second favorite are the "free stuff" guys. Guess what they do? They give away free stuff. I'm sure they do it for some reason like campaigning for their favorite political candidate or AIDS awareness or some craziness like that. I don't know, I've never gone near them. They hand out crap. I mean, I don't want to sound ungrateful to the guys that give away free stuff, but all they're pitching at me is Ramen noodles and toilet paper.

I'm a poor college student; those are the only things I can afford. Oh gee, now that I have free noodles I can takes that 29 cents I just saved and go buy a new iPod. I'll take "Things That Aren't True" for 300, Alex. The time it takes me to change my path and walk 6 feet out of my way is not worth one roll of gravel-textured toilet paper.

Also, when I walk by them, I get these weird flashbacks of my mom telling me not to take candy (and she may have mentioned Ramen) from creepy strangers.

Finally, it would probably help if they didn't bring the free things to campus in a heavily tinted, rust-covered pedo-van.

My new all time, never to be topped favorite booth was one I saw today. (Note: I always get weirded out when I use was and saw in the same sentence. A palindrome once ran over my dog.) I was walking to class and saw a pro-choice stand, which in itself wasn't really out of place: there's political propaganda all over the school. After I'd gone by it, I stopped, turned around and went back to catch the name of the club so I could mention it here (which I failed at because it turns out I didn't care enough).

The weird thing that struck me was that they were luring people to the stand with a piñata. A stand advocating abortion rights was publicizing with a piñata. Think about it. The piñata was in the shape of a little gnome or something, but all I could see when I saw it was a pregnant girl. I asked a friend of mine who happened to be standing there if she thought it inappropriate that a pro-choice stand was using a bat to hit a humanoid effigy in the stomach in order to make the contents spill out the bottom. The irony was lost on her, so maybe I'm over analyzing, but I really felt like it wasn't the most well thought out advertising tool.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Something New

Hello everyone. Just an update into my life (which, for all you new faces out there is that of a 23 year old freshman who is questionably employed and lives off checks that the government forgot to stop sending him). I started school again. And that’s… the end of the sentence. Maybe I’m just a naturally critical person because as much as I missed school when I was forced to stay away from it, I still feel a pretty strong sense of disappointment when I’m there. Kind of like the way our parents felt when our generation grew up.

I do like some stuff. I guess my classes are pretty decent. And I like puppies, but the people at UNM are ridiculous. Some of the stuff I hear the students say is just absurd, and not in the Andy Kaufman sort of way, more like the way in which the Iraq War Budget is absurd. Sometimes I can’t talk for a good 5 minutes because someone makes a really dumb comment and I’m so shocked that I just sit there with my mouth hanging open and stare at them and think “Seriously? No, seriously?” I actually think some of my classmates think I’m slow because of the blank stare I adopt when I do this. Maybe it’s the drooling.

To be fair though, it’s not just the questions people ask and the stupid things they think up and decide to share with the class. I’m not shallow enough to just judge people on their minds and personalities. I also hate they way everyone is dressed. I’m not saying that I’m the height of fashion. After all, I still wear aviator sunglasses, second hand shirts, cargo pants (I use the freaking pockets, alright?), and running shoes everywhere I go, so I don’t feel all upper class but some of the stuff my peers walk around in is just criminal. The one that really irks me the most is the large glasses that girls wear. These have to be the worst fashion craze ever in the history of mankind (I’m talking to you Paris). How am I supposed to adequately objectify a woman if half of her face is covered? In a society that uses a female’s physical attractiveness as an advancement criterion, why do we allow them to mask 60 percent of their face under huge lenses? You know, I’m pretty sure Iranian women were into this trend a couple of centuries ago. Sure they had equal pay, but look how they dress now. Slippery slope my friends, slippery slope.

The other fashionable thing these days that makes me want to karate chop a baby penguin in the face is the way some guys will cant their hats up and to the side. Why do you people do that? Maybe just the top of your head gets sunburned and you like a wide field of view. Maybe it’s some sort of secret signal that only other super-cool white hip-hop douchebag guys can interpret that signifies some sort of membership in a selective club. Some sort of brotherhood… hmmm.

So yeah. College is good I suppose. My brother is trying the get me to report more of my life and feelings. It’s hard to find the time though since I’m taking a full load of courses, working (that should be in quote marks probably), and also starting some extracurricular programs (Straightening Hat Brims National, etc). I’ll try though. Try like… um. Shoot I thought a cool metaphor would end this nicely. Try like a squid?