When School and Life get Mixed-up

Once the spring break is over, and the third round of exams starts, it becomes like a hurricane after a sunny day. I notice, all my conversations are around exams. I guess that’s a way in which we, pre-med kids, communicate the best, by relating to our great worries, which sadly happen to be exams. Even during weekends when I am partying, I somehow find myself in conversations about exams. Still more embarrassing would be the way in which I recently approach girls: “Hey, that vertebrate physiology exam was pretty difficult, don’t you think? So, wanna’ get crazy? Let’s dance!” Original are the compliments. Nowadays, Shakespeare is out of fashion; instead one would use: “Your eyes are like a conjugated cyclo-alkane with Pi orbitals in a phase, getting stabilized in resonance!” I know, I know, but hopefully if you take organic chemistry it will make much more sense; in chemistry language it is the equivalent of Shakespearean verse, rather than a nerdy comment.

This pre-med major thing gets me worried whenever we start learning for different diseases. The first thing that I always think is whether I might have that particular disease. I don’t know if I am becoming a hypochondriac, or it’s just a better way to remember all that data, but it sure feels weird. So far in my mind I have experienced things from appendicitis, to schizophrenia, including cancers and other terrible diseases, but in reality all ever became familiar with is shoulder dislocation (and I like to make a big deal about it, by writing in newspaper articles, and being proud of it as if it is some kind of superpower, when introducing myself to girls: “Hey what’s up baby! Wanna’ dislocate my shoulder!?”).

Right now, on my desk I have a book from library (On the Road, by Jack Kerouac) that is four days late. I’m still on page 207, and there are around 100 more pages to go. I’ve been reading this book for almost two months or more now, but I never managed to finish it. I made it a habit to bring the book back, and re-check it again (I did it couple of times now). I don’t now whether it’s because I’m reading like 4 books at once, or maybe because I have lot’s of exams, but I can’t see finishing reading it soon. At this point, one comes in conflict with himself: “Should I return the book and pay the big fine while I still didn’t read it, or I should read the book first before I return it and pay an even bigger fine?” In either case I will end up loosing money.

Does this happen to other people too, or it’s just me? After studying for o-chem exam until 3am, as I walk by the Administration building, I see a piece of chalk on the ground, and the only thing I come up to write is not my name, not a heart, or a catchy phrase, but a chemical reaction for tomorrows exam. If that’s not my brain telling me that it is getting mushy, what is it then?

Did you ever notice that in every subject there is always one certain answer that can somehow be applied to all kinds of questions. In organic chemistry it is: “resonance”, in psychology it is: “bad childhood experience”, in biology its: “enzyme”, in literature it is: “symbolism”, etc. I wish in real life there would be something like that, an answer that can answer all questions. I personally would prefer a simple answer, maybe a number 13. I would make things much easier. Q: How many times did you lie to me? A: 13. Q: What is the meaning of life? A: The number 13. Q: How many movies does your room mate own? A: More than 13. Q: Where’s that party? A: 13th Street. Q: How many bottles of “pop” did you drink tonight? A: 13. Q: What’s your phone number? A: 1313. Q: How much is the fine for your late book? A: $13. Q: How many times did you fake an orgasm? A: 13.

The Meaning of Life and Other Weird Theories

Ah, I just like college life; you sleep, you eat, you drink, you procrastinate, you turn in papers, and sometimes, if you are awake enough, you may learn something. I just like the morning classes; I am always at least 5 minutes late. Not only am I late, but half asleep as well, because I don’t drink coffee in the mornings. I have this weird theory that if your drink coffee, since it is a kind of a drug, you will end up increasing the amount as days pass, until the point where you become one of the people who own one of those super sized mugs, and take it with you whenever you go. I don’t know, but I just might be a little bit too paranoid.

As I was half asleep in one of my morning classes, I heard the professor explain something, and it made sense. People, I am proud to present you with the meaning of life; I’m not joking. Thanks to my superb thinking, I came up with the simplified version of my theory represented in a universal language – numbers. Before you read the following lines, please sit down, if you are standing, stop the car engine if you are driving, and turn the music down, because you may experience increased brain activity. The meaning of life is a simple ratio of 53%-47% (where 53% represents good things and 47% represents bad things). Ok, you may continue driving now; because the risk of brain collapse has ended (I have no idea who would be reading Tower while driving). As you can see my friends, your life is but a set of numbers. Everyday, you fight to keep the dynamic equilibrium as stabile as possible trying to get good things and avoid bad things. Let’s get an example to illustrate my theory. Let’s say you have a paper due for Friday; you don’t care, and decide to procrastinate until Thursday (you got something good); you realize that it is Thursday, and that you must write your paper, otherwise you will get a bad grade, so you frustrate little bit about it (get something bad), and start typing the paper (avoid good time of procrastination), in order not to get a bad grade (avoiding something bad). If this doesn’t make sense, and confuses the hell out of you, its okay, you will get it eventually; just keep in mind the magical numbers 53-47. (Sources for my discovery: morning Intro to Psych class, couple of weeks ago).

Now let me tell you something about this other theory of mine. I like to call it “Titi’s theory of campus time relativity”, according to which, there are ripples in space time continuum surrounding Graceland’s entire campus, resulting in different “time-zones” in different parts of campus. This can be proven by observing different clocks around campus, at the same time: they all show different times (some are 5 minutes ahead, while others are 5 minutes late). Furthermore, since clocks that we have are atomic clocks and are supposed to automatically set themselves, we can say that they all show the right time, and that it is the fault of the deformation in space-time that is causing all the trouble. This would be the reason why I always am 5 minutes late for my morning classes; they are all located in different “relative campus time frames”. There is only one solution to the problem: Instead of trying to set the clocks themselves, we have to remodel the entire space-time continuum, so that all of the clocks match each other. In this way, we not only solve the problem, but we contribute to future generations, who will never have to work about setting their “atomic” clocks again.

The Amazing Adventures of the Procrastinator

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s… the Procrastinator!? Wherever there’s injustice, he isn’t there. Whenever there is suffering, he doesn’t care. Wherever liberty is threatened, you won’t find… the Procrastinator. Behold, for he is the king of procrastination.

Like every other superhero that experiences some kind of shock or trauma , Procrastinators abilities came not from a bite of a radioactive spider or accidental spill of radioactive substances, his powers came to existence by innocently tasting a sip of fermented grape juice (or maybe it was fermented wheat; nobody really remember the events of that night very well). The next morning he woke up with a terrible headache, and a “superpower” to discover later. Until today, modern science failed to explain the effects of this mysterious drink and the real effects it had on our prospective “superhero’s” body and mind. But he was sure that he gained some special abilities (after losing some, of course). All of his worries went away; now he could relax and watch TV for the entire day, and not worry about his crazy pre-med homework. This mysterious drink turned him from an extraordinary overachiever to a guy who just doesn’t care! It was awesome! No more stress; no more worries; just the day to be enjoyed.

Unlike other superheroes, he didn’t even have to think about a fancy uniform. He was already wearing it: college t-shirt, plaid pajamas and flip-flops. But what are his superpowers? Ah, the discovery so charming, he couldn’t believe his own eyes. As he was lying on the couch one Thursday afternoon, doing absolutely nothing, by chance remembered his assignments for the next day. A big test in Organic Chemistry followed by four weeks worth of homework and an eight page paper in Humanities Honors. Well, you know, thought the Procrastinator, since I was doing nothing the entire week, I can give it a try. He went to the basement of library, and wrote half of his paper. After that he, continued with the study of weird geometric figures of O-Chem and doing the homework simultaneously. He wasn’t finished by 2:00am in the morning (the time when library closes). Well, he thought, I might just as well get a good sleep, and wake up at 7:00am; and so he did, by continuing to read the complicated chapters. He skipped his psychology class. His skills in judging things improved drastically (next time he was going to skip chemistry for typing his psychology paper).

After taking the exam in organic chemistry, he went to his workplace, where he had two hours of hard working; but you can guess how he spent them! He used that time to continue writing his humanities paper. Everything went good, until the point where he accidentally deleted his entire paper that he just wrote (well, every super ability comes with its stupid counterpart). He had only four hours until the deadline, and no chance of recovering the deleted paper. He had to stat it all from the beginning. After four hours, and all bunch of technical problems (with printer mainly), he managed to hand in the paper only 2 minutes before the deadline.

He did it, he actually did it! He discovered the possession of his exceptional superpowers. He managed to do all of his homework in the last minute, just like a superhero. From that day on, he was a superhero, and his name was the Procrastinator, king of procrastination, with superpowers that allowed him doing and finishing his homework at the last minute. He was invincible. Well, all he needed was an enemy to fight; but the enemy was already there, it was called: “The System”. From that day on, he swore on concentrating all of his powers on fighting against “The System”. But, on the other thought, he just postponed it, at least until next weekend… At this very moment, he is fighting “the System” with what he calls “passive resistance” by lying on his couch, doing absolutely nothing.

A Dark Portrait of a Pre-Med Kid

It is Friday night. The moon is full and the night is young. A scrawny looking guy sits in his room patiently waiting, while in a serene way observing the ticking clock.

The time has finally come, and his metamorphosis has begun. He is getting unleashed from the rusty chains of his studies. He has no exams or papers due. He is free – as free as a pre-med kid can be. He is now an “animal”. All forbidden things are now allowed to him. He was a person visible, but unseen. You can see him now. His eyes are eyes of a predator. He is a vulture, ready to catch the prey. He hunts! He captures! He has a month long hunger waiting to be fulfilled! He feeds himself with the prey!

But behind the sharp claws, and dissecting eyes, a longing soul curses itself for the inability to have regular patterns. Why can’t I eat the way every other animal does – on regular basis? Why am I so different? I don’t travel in packs like wolves, I don’t swim in schools like fish, and neither do I fly in swarms like bees? What am I? I am a vulture! A lone hunter! I am a being of my own kind! I am…

When people talk about pre-med kids, it’s as if they’re talking about the scariest paragraph of a horror story. Come on, guys, we are completely normal, just like you. Yes, it is true that we have exams, quizzes and papers due nearly every day. I know, it sucks, but that is how we chose our direction in life to be. There’s nothing we can do about it (except the possibility to change our majors, but then, you’ll have to imagine a dull world without doctors and nurses).

One of the most awkward things that happen to me as a pre-med kid is that sometimes, while walking down the street, I just don’t pay that much attention. That is kind of a normal thing when taking into consideration how tired and sleepy I am, but it is no excuse when I pass beside people without saying “Hi!”. This thing makes people extremely mad, while they think that I don’t want to talk to them, or that I’m a snob, or who knows what… People! I’m doing it unintentionally! I have an excuse: I’m a pre-med kid!

Sometime a friend of mine would say: “How come you are not hanging with us anymore?” What do I do? What can I say!? If you have a pre-med kid in your hall, and you get the feeling that he doesn’t like to hang out and go partying with you and all other bunch of guys and girls, you are totally wrong my friends. No one likes partying more than pre-meds, but you must understand what I call “element-T”. Yes, it’s free time.

We are like delicate flowers that bloom only once in the season. There would always be this one night in the month, where no one parties better than the pre-med kids. And then, we would just disappear, without trace, for the next month or two. You don’t hear from us, you don’t see us, it’s as if we live in a completely different dimension. Your only contact with your room mate is just before you go to sleep, when you say “Good night”, or early in the morning, when he/she wakes you up for a class you are always 5 minutes late. The only place we can be located, is the Science Building; yes, we’re probably working for the third time on a lab we did wrong. Oh, man, I just love being pre-med kid, you can get any excuse by just one phrase: “Hey, it’s not my fault, I’m pre-med!”

Graceland’s Faust – the Myth of a Man-whore

Myth – somebody or something fictitious: somebody or something whose existence is or was widely believed in, but who is fictitious.

Man – virile person: the personification of qualities traditionally associated with the male sex, including courage, strength, and aggression, or somebody with such qualities.

Whore – an offensive term for somebody who is regarded as willingly setting aside principles or personal integrity in order to obtain something, usually for selfish motives (insult ). (The definitions were taken from www.encarta.com)

Sitting is his poorly lit dorm-room a young student called Faust, was studying for his exams. He remembered first days when he came to College, his thirst for knowledge was greater than anything. But now, he couldn’t take it anymore, his desire was exhausted from boredom. This big University City seemed so small all of a sudden. Philosophy, Medicine, Literature, all now were like big rocks on his back. He was hungry, but not just hungry, his libido was longing. He slowly started to feel as a wolf.

But what could he do, even if he had the time? He was powerless; he was shy, inexperienced, not that good-looking, not popular, and above all, he had not enough time. How could he have time? Even if he had time, he would spend it doing deeds and favors for other people, to the point that they got so familiarized with him, that never thank him anymore. There’s no need, because he’s Faust, the role model, the person every body asks for favors, the paragon of a college kid. Ah, if he had some free time!

As he was reading his book, some kind of smoke or vapor started to come out of nothing but air, and there it was a human-shaped-ghost was floating in front of him.

“Hello, my dear friend! They call me Mephisto Diablo Satani! I’ve come a long way only for you! I have the solution to your problem. I know how you feel, and I can help you” said he with a weird accent. This is perfect, thought Faust, the right thing on the right time, exactly when I was tired of exams and studies. I need to party! “What if I can make you more attractive, and give you all the time of the world?” And what do you get in return, asked Faust? “Believe me, this is a win-win situation, there are no losers in this game! All I ask from you is your dignity and your honor, and as in exchange, I will give you the Power of seduction – you will be able to get every woman you desire! Isn’t that fair? This kind of offer comes only once in a lifetime. It’s so unfortunate that I need your answer now; we solicitors of wickedness are busy selling our offers!” Of course, of course, I’ll accept your offer; I’ll never get my second chance, hurriedly replied the young Faust.

And there it was – the pact that made him famous. In a matter of weeks, everybody was talking about magical seductive powers of a young man they started calling “Man-whore”. There were rumors that he is able to seduce two women in the same time, and still have energy left to flirt with more females. He became that famous so that he became people’s problem-solver. Whenever you would want a woman out of your life, you would just dial 1-800-Man-whore, and you would consider the problem solved.

The pact with the devil sure made him stronger, but to what degree? His friends started not to like him, because he was a threat to them. Girls didn’t like him as well, because of the gossips about his reputation. But what did he do? Did he deserve it? He sure did! But all he wanted to do was get away from his books for a while, and have some fun. He never intended to hurt anyone. After all, he was Faust, the guy that wouldn’t hurt a fly.

And again, out of nowhere, the vapory spirit appeared again, saying these words: “‘…as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape calumny!’ This is the curse you agreed upon by accepting my offer. It will now haunt you to the end of your College Career, and if you’re lucky, to the end of your life! Enjoy the power of gossips!”

Hall Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Senator

One morning, a long time ago, in a Galaxy called Graceland, when Artrit Bytyci woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a Senator. He lay on his back which was hurting from excessive studying for finals, and if he lifted his head, he could still remember the weird formulas of Relativity. “What has happened to me?” he thought. It wasn’t a dream. His room, a proper student room, all messy and untidy, lay peacefully between its four walls. A collection of science books laid spread out on the table – Artrit was a premed student – and above it, hung a picture that he had recently cut out of a biology book. It showed some kind of circle and a bunch of chemical names, with a big title “The Krebs Cycle”.

“How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense?” he asked himself, but at that moment his room-mate’s alarm clock started beeping.

Oh, my god! It was real; he was a Senator now, representing his Hall. “Does this mean that my silly days are over? Do I still view the Universe from my witty perspective? Well, I guess everything is the same, the way it always was.” Just to make sure, he started making connections in his brain, and associating every piece of information he had. While every Saga has a meaningful beginning, this one doesn’t.

He was proud to be a senator of College Federation of Gracelandia representing Orion – the Planet of Hunters. His tasks were difficult and full of responsibility. He had to be sure that the voice of the people that chose him would be heard loud enough. But how loud? In a place where Knights from Planet Aaron are trying to make a political consensus with the Crusaders of Closson ; where the Minervas of Han-thorn-ia conspire against the Aphrodites of So-la-h; where the special agents of Cheville Academy are always on-guard and ready to water-kill even the least suspicious hit-man; where Big Men on Campus are kidnapped by unidentified masked persons during Chemistry classes; in a place where campus-politics, strategy and intelligence come together to serve students and have fun.

Despite all this, Artrit Bytyci looked at the bright side; he had a bunch of connections with significant people, which will be very useful in the future games of politics, deception, and excitement. One of his contacts is the eminent Mr. Fun (also known as Kyle Eddleman) the head of Ministry of Fun (a.k.a. COSA), which is responsible for bringing joy, excitement and entertainment to people of Gracelandia. This young Senator will probably use this element in his advantage to manipulate minds of new freshmen. Or, maybe he will use the opportunity that he already is a close friend with the new prime-minister of Gracelandian Government (a.k.a. GSG president, Becca Loving) and in this way spread his political influence where it is still weak, such as the Ministry of Sports (a.k.a. Intramurals), or maybe the Secret Jedi Archives (a.k.a. SAC).

When his web of connections is big and powerful enough, he will try and do everything to contribute to people of Planet Orion, and its new ruler, fearless Emperor Drew the First, including all members of his new round table of house council.

Artrit Bytyci was still thinking/dreaming in his bed, while he heard his room-mate hit the beeping alarm for the second time. It was then when the strange idea struck him. He found the perfect way to bring fame to his Planet. Emperor Drew will eventually attack the Planet of Closson, in this way creating his own inter-collegiate empire, and by the use of the force, convince Jedi Knights and Aaron Knights to fight with each other. Will the plan succeed? Will my butchering of famous movies and novels achieve its peak? Will I get an A in Physics? Stay tuned for the next episode of politics, intrigues, deception, lust for power, and senselessness with “Hall Wars: Episode Two – Attack of the Clossons”!

The Lord of the Couches: The Fellowship of the Couch

Vladimir Volegov - The Red Couch

It is interesting how we like things more when they are free, like free food, free drinks, free prizes… Well I learned a lesson today; all free things are not as they appear, how should I say, at no cost.  Sometimes you have to put more effort on them, than it looks like. The entire thing started when a friend of mine who was moving out from our hall, offered me a free couch. This is a story of me and my quest of getting rid of the/a dilapidated old couch.

At times people are really kindhearted, on occasion there’s a special interest behind the gift; sometimes the gift is like that of Greeks’ – a Trojan horse, while every now and then there would be this not so fatal “gift” that would give you more problems than ever before. I don’t even know how I accepted the couch. I think it was after I woke up from my noon nap, still dreaming as I was walking down the Hall in the post-sleep quest of washing my face. “Hey, Titi, want a Couch?” Yeah, sure, everything that is free! And before I entirely woke up, the problems started. My house president wanted the couch out of the hallway by the end of the day. Oh, no, what do I do? All of a sudden I am the owner of the largest couch I’ve ever seen. My room already had a couch, and everybody else’s rooms were stuffed with furniture. Not a big deal, I just took a deep breath, and asked myself a simple question: What would my hero, Steven Segal, now do? (Man, I hate that guy.) Oh, no, wrong question. What would Fellowship of the Ring now do? They would return the Couch back to Mount Doom, so it can be destroyed in the underground fires from which it was primarily made of… Oh, man, I was still daydreaming.

And so, in this way, a bunch of brave men assembled a round table in the ancient Land of Floyd’s to discuss and decide upon the fate of the old couch. The ideas were from throwing it from the 3rd floor of Mount Gunsoley, up to chopping it to pieces and burning it in a fire near the Great Sea of Big G.  The couch was even immune to magic and spells of the great wizard of Siga-ville. The couch reflected the spell, and ignited a bright flame of fire in East of Land of Floyd’s. The task was difficult; it required special leadership skills, nothing like the ones you gain in the freshmen year’s Leadership class. The Couch needed a solution, and these brave men had to find one.

After having a healthy meal prepared from the fairies and wizards of the Land of Floyd’s, the fellowship of young brave men found the solution to this problem of life and death.  With the special permission from the Dan-olas Koch-ggins the mighty ruler of Orion Kingdom, and the help of fearless men of Gracelandia, the couch was allowed to be putt on use in the Lounge of Orion Kingdom Palace. Titi the brave, returned as a hero to his lands, where he took another short nap. He still uses story of the quest of the couch in his advantage, as a part of his election campaign for a senator of the Kingdom of Orion in the land of Gracelandia. He is even thinking to write posters like: “Vote for Titi, the Couch Donator!” However, the end of this quest is the beginning of a new one. This quest is far from over, the couch as to be removed from the Lounge by the end of the semester, where the new quest will start. Stay tuned for The Lord of the Couches:  The Two Couches (and the enthralling final episode of: The Lord of the Couches: The Return of the Couch, expected fall 2003).