Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Funny, Freud never mentioned that one...

I would like to submit for your consideration the English major complex. We as English majors own a certain amount of arrogance. Don't get me wrong; most of us are delightful people who can still function as valuable members of society and get along with people, but deep down we're really quite arrogant. Why are we arrogant, you may ask? I'll tell you. Our arrogance mainly stems from two sectors: professors and the mocking public. English majors (no matter their emphasis) spend a fair amount of time poring over texts and expressing their opinions. Anything we say is valid as long as we can support it with evidence from the text, even if that evidence is as minor as the capitalization of a single word or the use of alliteration in a line of poetry. Our professors applaud us even when we are incorrect. This leads us to think that we can do no wrong.

We also draw our arrogance out of the defense of our major. People make fun of us and, rather than simply defending ourselves, we use the existing arrogance to make out that we are better than everyone else.

I would also like to mention that we English majors also plan to change the world. Not in a "Save the Whales" sort of way, but in an "I've written the most amazing book and you are all brought to tears" sort of way. Just a side note.

Principle in practice: a couple of my friends and I are taking a class outside of the English department to learn how to use Flash. Nikki and I, rather than asking for help from the professor, prefer to figure it out by ourselves away from the prying eyes of judgment. We do this because we don't like to be told we're wrong while we're trying to figure it out on our own. We know we'll have to mess around with the program and make mistakes along the way, but we also know that we'll figure it out eventually given the right resources. We don't want anyone to tell us how to do our projects. We want to be right and we want to get there on our own.

And that, my friends, is a look inside my head.

P.S. I'm really not a jerk...I'm just a little arrogant...and only some of the time ;)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How Microsoft Word Broke My Dreams

One of my favorite features of Word is the ability to add words to your "dictionary" so that the program will recognize it and stop underlining it with that vicious-looking squiggly red line. This situation presented itself last night as I was writing a response for an essay I read. The sentence read like so: "[The author] seemed to be making an attempt to quell the concerns of an ocean of trepidatious writers". As I reviewed with pride the line that I had written, I saw the the word "trepidatious" was underlined with that squiggly red line! I thought to myself, Surely this fabulous word is actually real. Could it be that I have made up a word that no one has thought to use before? I decided that whether it was real or not, I would leave it in my paper and add the word to my handy dandy dictionary (not to be confused with the handy dandy notebook). As I selected "Add to Dictionary", I expected the judgment of the red squiggle to fade away, leaving only the happiness of a new word learned behind it. Alas, this was not to be. No matter how many times I tried to add "trepidatious" to my dictionary, Word refused to actually add the word and the squiggle remained! Why, Word, why?! I questioned in pain. Why do you not allow me to add words to my dictionary? I really have no idea why it wouldn't work. I've added all sorts of words: French words, Shakespearean words, even Middle English. I was completely baffled.

The story ends thusly (which is definitely a word that I had to add to the dictionary): I printed my response out and turned it in, regardless of the opinion of my word processing software. Later, as I prepared to commit this tale to my blog, I looked up the word to find out once and for all if it was actually a real word. The answer...is yes! Trepidatious is a word! If you care to see the physical proof, you may do so here.

And that is how Microsoft Word broke (or at least attempted to break) my dreams.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Latest...

Last night we had a JCP party at Village Inn. As per tradition, I wrote a song. I like to re-write lyrics to songs for my JCP friends. Last night's was not my finest work. It's not unusual for me to write songs the night that I'll be performing them, but I wrote this one super fast and it's not the great. Nonetheless, I have chosen to put the words and video (taken by my friend/co-worker's phone) on my blog to share. To liven things up, I made knife puppets with the letters "J', "C", and "P" and handed them out to the audience. The song doesn't really have a title, and is to the tuen of "Dancing Queen" by ABBA. Here are the words:

Friday night here at Village Inn,
You've all been anticipatin'
Wonderin' if there would be a song
Wonderin' if there'd be a song
a song written by me.

Sharing stories and crackin' jokes
Dr. Peppers and Diet Cokes
Wondering what you should order
Wondering who will be here
at Village Inn tonight.

It's such a lovely sight.

Party with JCP
You and me in great company.
We are soooo awesome, yeah, wouldn't you agree?
Oh yeah!

Eat some pie! Eat a fry!
Having the time of your night.
Oooo- Tomorrow we'll work, but tonight we're free.
Party JCP!

You can watch the video here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Make it true, Alex, make it true.

What's this? What's this? A reference to my favorite game show on the planet? Heck yes! Your favorite Deathcab Cutie (or at least, I hope your favorite. How many Deathcab Cuties could there be?) has officially registered for the online JEOPARDY! test. This is how it happened. I received an e-mail the other day informing me of upcoming online tests. I decided to register for the College Tournament, but when I got to the page I saw that the locations for the next round of in-person auditions were all really far away. I gave up for the moment, but after receiving encouragement I decided to go for it anyway and see what happened. The second time I went to register, I realized that I wasn't eligible for the College Tournament because I'm graduating this semester so I decided to go for the Adult test and, lo and behold, there was an in-person audition possibility in Salt Lake City, UT! So I am now officially registered to take the test and will be doing so in two weeks. Even if nothing else ever happens, I'm really excited to just give it a chance, just to see.

How cool would it be if I got on JEOPARDY!, though?

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Yeah, it's the Rockies!"

Confession: I have seen Dumb and Dumber, and while it is far from my favorite and would not be my pick if given a choice, I will admit that there are some funny moments. One such moment is when Jim Carrey (I don't really remember their character names) tells Jeff Daniels that he's wearing an extra pair of gloves because they're in the Rockies, a moment I was reminded of when I pulled on an extra pair of gloves this morning. Today was the first day of the semester, of my last semester (!), and even though I only had an aerobics class that got out early I still got the rush that comes from being on campus and being among students. I love the first day of classes, when you make the trek up in the bitter cold (or sweltering August heat), search for your classroom and take a seat, anxiously awaiting the entrance of the professor and wondering whether you will actually know any of your classmates. I always feel the excitement to learn combined with the apprehension that comes of not fully knowing what the class entails or not being familiar with the professor teaching that class. I love it all. In some ways, I'm a little saddened that this will be my last semester, but I really think that I'm ready to move on with my life. I've finally become reconciled to the idea of getting a real job, moving out of my parents house, and depending on myself for my survival. This coming year holds a lot of major events for me, and I'm really looking forward to becoming an "adult". Wish me luck!