As you may have noticed, climate change has decided to drop by for a visit and screw with everyone. Last week, we were waking to temperatures in the 50s, gliding mists vanishing like ghosts in the morning light. By lunch time, we were looking at 72 degrees and folks taking out their frisbees and crop-tops. This week decided that it’s going to stick with a theme and that is “Mid September,” a.k.a. “Unpleasant.” Personally, I rather enjoy the rain, especially when it’s this warm. It feels … cleansing.... Read More
One of the big advantages of living in the dorms is that you are surrounded by potentially interesting people and perhaps new friends. Thing is, a lot of people are too shy to take advantage of this. They’re too worried that going to a stranger’s door, even if it’s standing open, and saying “Hi” will make them sound desperate for socialization, or too peppy, or that the encounter will be awkward for lack of common interests, or any number of other things. Well, I hate to say it, but that’s all possible. However,... Read More
You know those classes that seem like they’ll be easy? I’m sure you’ve heard of them. In my own studies, I’ve taken a few that people have responded to with envy. They say “That sounds so cool!” or “Why do you get all these fun classes?” or “Dang, that sounds easy. Do you actually do anything?” I’ll tell you right now that, while those first two responses are justified, the third one is NOT. “Robinson Crusoe and Zombies” sounds easy until you’re a week in and have to write a paper relating John Locke’s and... Read More
There are all sorts of ways for you to exorcise your demons. I know it’s early in the semester, but many of us are feeling those classes closing around us, suffocating and crushing, like we’re sinking into a tarry, black pit. Some people manage pressure well. I happen to work optimally when a little stressed. Too much, though, and I’m as liable to break as anyone else. I’ve seen enough of my friends walk around with hollow eyes or those little twitches you can get from sleep deprivation, and I’ve seen one of... Read More
If you’ve been following this blog (in which case, my condolences), then you’ll notice that a recurring theme here is about productivity. That is in part due to my parents’ various bits of advice and in part because of my complete inability to follow it. I have a problem focusing. Not from A.D.D. or any actual excuse. I’m just lazy and easily distracted. In order to remedy this, I’ve stumbled across a little trick that sometimes will help me at least get going. When you were a kid, I bet that your parents or... Read More
School and society as a whole want us to believe that, in order to succeed or get what you want, you must assiduously attend to whatever work is put in front of you and otherwise submit to someone else’s course. That means always doing your homework, putting everything into your job, getting involved in your community however you can . . . the list goes on. This is a mindset that’s pounded into our heads from the moment we start preschool. You want to go play in the sandbox? Well, Jimmy, you have to learn your... Read More
By “Big Day,” I don’t mean anything as specific as graduation or a wedding or any life changing event like that. What I refer to are those days that you have planned for months and months in advance and have committed to, come Hell or high water. In some people’s case, that’s a trip. In others’, a concert they are attending or performing in. The list goes on. In mine, it was a whole series, from an a cappella competition one week to Anime Boston and surgery the next. The point is that, no matter what it is, if... Read More
For those of you who haven’t quite made it to UMass yet, we just had our Blarney weekend. While the university does not technically recognize the event, the students around here get very … enthusiastic about it. Let’s just say that, because St. Patrick’s day happens during spring break, we have our own (minimum of one) day of debauchery here in lieu of the usual shamrock-filled festivities. It's a campus tradition, I guess. While immensely popular, this sort of event happens during the day, when I tend to get my... Read More
I spent about five hours playing Dungeons and Dragons on Saturday. Normally, when Saturday hits I’m completely wiped after the week and partying on Friday night. I often sleep until 11 A.M., maybe noon, then try to do some reading for Monday, typically fail, and spend the rest of the day and evening recovering, hitting the gym, and pretty much not thinking. The Dungeons and Dragons session, however, dragged me out of bed at 11 A.M., no dawdling or dozing, and compelled me to be awake. That by itself was a victory... Read More
Last year there was a major scare that drove people away from the humanities in, well, droves. We’re still seeing the aftermath and are recovering from that bit of absurdity. I’m sure you’ve heard the rhetoric that fueled it: “English is an easy major.” “You’ll never get a job with a degree in history.” “The sciences and business are where it’s at if you want three square meals a day.” Yeah, that’s all worth about as much as what you’ll find in a horse pen once the horse has left. Aside from the statistics... Read More

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