Fall-Break Madness

As in every other college or university, also here at Graceland, we had high-quality time during our mid-term break. Some stayed on campus, some went home, while some as me and my friends had this crazy road trip to the big cities of the area. I say crazy, because in this kind of trips, where friends of different sexes and ages group together and let the fate chose the flow of their good time, always turns with exciting and funny surprises, some of which repulsive, while the others very pleasant.

In road trips, or just even parties, there would always be persons over 21, who are so funny to watch, especially when drinking, or better say drunk. There is this guy, who suddenly decides that he feels like jogging, and starts running around the neighborhood late after the midnight. This might not be so fun unless he wears a huge Mexican hat which bounces up and down as he throws his steps. What makes this situation even funnier is that past for about ten minutes or so of running, after seeing a gigantic pumpkin in somebody’s garden, decides to pick it up and run with it in his hands.

Now, just imagine people like this in a bathroom, and try to figure out why it takes for so long for them to get out. It’s because sometimes they forget what they’re doing and why they’re there, as they drift away in thoughts. A loud knock is always a good concentration maintainer.

Speaking of drunkards, it is pretty fascinating to see somebody else’s drunk ex-boyfriend catch you in a tiny room while wearing only your colorful boxers. It’s hilarious to watch him take more than 5 minutes of his “precious” time and use it on loud yelling, before he realizes that you are the wrong guy. Luckily guns are partially illegal, otherwise, who knows how that would have ended. In these cases there is always a quick and effective solution: Offer a guy a bottle of bier and some chaw, and he’ll be gone in no time. Bonus points: Compliment his boots and his big truck. Talk about simple topics as corn and cattle. Useful tip: don’t, under any circumstance, use force or common sense while resolving the situation with him, which could be disastrous. Instead, play dumb high school kid.

Fall-break is the perfect time for piercing, tattoos, and other crazy stuff you always wanted to do but were afraid to do it. Now you have your friends “supporting” you by taking funny photos of a two inch nail hanging on your tongue. Before doing anything, just check in advance if you’ll be using your tongue for the next two weeks.

While on a road trip, it is always somewhat refreshing to have a breakfast at 3pm (yes, 3pm, you read it right) at “Hooters”, who by the way make delicious chicken-breast sandwiches. Or maybe not, since it’s just your brain that thinks that way because of all that distraction and stuff. However, an unforgettable experience is to fill ones glass full of hot sauce (when you try this at commons, stir it well until the point where the sauce is completely diluted into the mixture of coke), and challenge them for a drinking competition, where the person who drinks it first, wins. People always drink half of the glass, before figuring out that they are drinking something extremely spicy. You should just see the expression on their angry faces. But you know what’s funnier than that? When, after a while, the person in a attempt to soothe his hot throat drinks from the same spicy glass he drank just a minute ago. Now that’s a thing you want to photograph.

Freshmen Evolutions

Note: The term “evolution” in this article is used with the meaning “changes over time”. For everybody who is offended by this word… well, it’s just a freakin’ word man! No freshmen were hurt during the writing of this article.

As I start writing this article, I could imagine my freshman roommate sitting in a chair, in a bright room, staring at an 11 inch TV, as different people start to appear, giving him advice and wisdoms of this life. Science: E equals to m c square; Exams: study early on; Women: who understands them!?; Safe sex: you can’t handle this yet; Laundry: quarters are golden; Style: change clothes often; Hygiene: don’t be afraid of showers… and then, a bright light comes, and those words appear: “Freshmen – the future is open”.

When I look at freshmen now, I see myself when I was a freshman. It’s amazing how much these guys progressed from their first semester. I remember the first day, when they were with their parents, looking all confused; look at them now: playing sports in the hallway, breaking neon lights every five minutes, activating fire alarm at least once a week, protesting for their right to have group showers, etc. I wonder what happened to those innocent kids.

In the very beginning, all these kids were polite towards each other, but look at them now, one can’t get respect anymore around here; they all got tough.  What do you call a person who is not a sophomore but not quite a freshman anymore? Well, I like to call them Freshomores (coming from a combination of words fresh and moron).

This is the period of their lives when Freshomores get different reputations for stupid things they do, which sometimes stick with them to the end of their college careers. It takes only once to pass out by the toilet dreaming about the girl you tried to impress by chugging the world, for the reputation to haunt you to the rest of your career.

You know, I always like listening to Freshomores talking about their “wild” party life. I just listen silently without interruption, laughing my brains out, as they derive all these stories how cool it is to be away from home, being independent, not having parents on their back, etc. What a progress, just couple of months ago the wildest thing they ever did was dance with girls on somebody’s birthday, and look at them now, coming up with expressions like “Mainstream party house”, which they define as a part house where’s college kids all the time, where there’s always drinks, and where cops always show up. I’m impressed, I’m telling you, what a progress; one is out of the game for a while, and before you can realize it, there’s all bunch of new “cool” people running the place.

On the other hand, no matter whether you are a freshman, sophomore of junior, have a roommate or a single room, (if you are a guy) you always end up with this corner in which you prefer to pile up your clothes instead of  putting them inside of the closet. I was always bothered by this question: What’s the point of organizing your desk? By the next day, there will be the same things on top of it anyways: pens, papers, notebooks, chewing guns, toothbrushes, toothpick holders, Rubik’s cube, hole-puncher, letters, post it notes… I guess in that sense all guys are the same, part of the same species: lazy tv-watching sports-loving all-day-sleeping hungry procrastinators.

Of Chocolate Candies and Injured Shoulders

Candies are supposed to be good stuff, and you are supposed to enjoy them in the best way you can, like everybody in the world. Recently, I became one of very few persons who loathe candies. I instantly got this severe case of “candy-o-phobia”. How did I get it? I am the only person in the world who got seriously injured from a sweet little chocolate candy. Pretty ironic, isn’t it? I never thought that something so sweet and so good can be so lethal, so deadly, and so devastatingly dangerous.

But, let me go back, and explain some things. I had this role of a big red heart with the inscriptions “Hot Stuff” for my role in Graceland University’s Air-band competition (a homecoming mock competition for the best musical theater score). I was dressed like a  1970’s dancer with white bell-bottom trousers and old-modeled red shirt. Everything was perfect, well almost everything. We were supposed to corrupt the judges, in order for us to win the competition. We came with this simple, but yet effective idea: we will influence the judges’ judgments in a secret subconscious level, the way nobody thought of – by throwing candy at their direction. And, so, in this way, we started our dance, performed our routines and everybody threw candy; everybody except me. I was kind of too far away from my “targets”. My routine was coming to an end, when I decided to give it a shot. And after that, everything I remember is just blurred images and sound of people playing their roles, while me, after finishing my part, retreated to backstage, dragging my displaced shoulder with me. At least I finished my part without any major flaw. It was more than successful.

When you are in that wired state, your brain works in very uncommon way. I started meditating, trying to find the deeper meaning of this. I concluded that there is some kind of secret message. Beware of sweet stuff, even they can be bitter and sour sometimes. What was that supposed to mean? I have no idea; you figure it out for yourselves. But the real thing I learned were the real values of Orion house. My friends were there with me. “A friend in need is a friend indeed”, is a famous proverb from my place. I can’t forget my House President, who despite all those responsibilities, activities, obligations, even his birthday, stayed by my side, by giving everything up, until I got better. This is the essence of the values of ORION house. Even though we didn’t win the Air-band competition, we discovered this hidden and modest property we have. It can’t be measured by points; it can’t get the first place; it doesn’t need any judges, for it is the quality that lies inside you, emerging on special occasion, when it is needed the most!

Uh, man, this article is turning more serious every day. I’m growing older. Ah…

At least, I got some advantages after my shoulder dislocation. Girls just go crazy about my colorful shoulder sling. It’s some kind of special magnet, believe it or not. I’m not evil, but I use it to maximum, either by asking girls to carry my tray during the meals, or just for other stuff. I couldn’t finish my journal on time for the last week’s issue of “Tower”. It was kind of difficult to type the text with one arm wrapped in colors. In this way, I asked this one girl to help me type the journal on the computer. I’m not using people; it’s just how life is, tough! Man, I started philosophizing again….

Now here’s something more interesting. Did you know that for 700 dollars you can fly to Hollywood, and create an action figure of yourself? Yeah, seriously, they put you in this three dimensional scanner, scan your body, and make an identical action figure like you. I wonder how mine would look like. “Titi the tough guy”; fights crime and protects the innocent; in spare time teaches children to read; the famous colorful sling included as a special weapon; only $5, 25.

Article that’s at least 1057 reasons worth

While to some people Valentine’s Day is just a high school holiday where couples make fun of singles, I see it more as a holiday that favors singles. Come on, admit it, this is the best time to ask that girl you always wanted for a date, and you have nothing to lose. It is kind of a win-win situation, even if the girl doesn’t want to date you; you are still in a winning position, because there are 1056 more girls on this campus you can still ask. (Statistics included in this “scientific study” may not be accurate, due to a lot of new faces on the campus, but as we science people do, let’s just assume this number is correct.)
How come, whenever I’m hungry, and I have my last 75 cents, that particular chips brand I want gets stuck in the vending machine? There’s nothing worse than an angry hungry man, kicking the machine, fighting for what is his. Here, the man’s real animal instincts come to play exemplifying the missing evolutionary link. Every one of us has little bit of savage side within. Thanks god, the vending machines don’t sell “Valentine Candy”. Who knows what would happen once the candy would get stuck inside, while the instincts are mixed with emotions. Results are unpredictable due to lack of experimental evidence, but I promise you, I will try that on somebody from my hall. Imagine me “borrowing” Mr.-Lady’s-Man’s candies that he bought for his girlfriend…
I don’t know for Lamoni, but from where I come from, we have parties all day long for Valentine’s Day. I know for a fact that the last four or five years, I have skipped classes on this day, just for the sake of parties and fun. I guess that this Valentine’s Day will be a whole new experience for me, since I will be starting a day with an exam at 9:00am and then probably having two more after that. There’s nothing more enthralling than a difficult little brain-boosting exam to remind you how special this day is!

Epistemological Quandary of Bathroom Mysteries

Since I came to college, I became more aware of a great number of mysteries and unexplainable phenomena that surround us. In this way, I started to deal with them. I would pose the question, examine the occurrence, and then try to solve it by formulating some kind of explanation or at least theory. I don’t know why, in college, you pay great attention to bathrooms, consequently there is this big mystery that bothers me, and I like to call it “the other side of the bathroom”.

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Why are college bathrooms always so out of the ordinary? Our dorm is divided in two by the shower room. It is weird, I know, but when you pass to the other side of the bathroom, everything is inverted. Everything that is supposed to be on the left is on the right, and vice versa. It is as if you have entered a new dimension, something like a twilight zone, where unknown phenomena are but usual occurrences. By rising questions I’m trying to find the roots of this complex issue and find the points that link and set apart these two sides of the place where you spend approximately 0.05% of your daily time (depending on what you ate). Still, I’m in a big dilemma while trying to find the roots of the phenomenon’s “problem”…

It is so interesting, how mysteries start. First time when I wanted to enter “the other side”, I missed the door, and entered to this guy’s room. The funny thing is that it was my first day in the dorms and “the other side” helped me integrate and know people better.

Who are the people who write funny stuff on the bathroom walls? Here’s one of those famous inspiring quotations I happen to read every time I sit on the toilette. “Here I come to sit and think, but all I do is s#^t and stink!” Funny thing is that I always laugh when I read this, so the guy in the next stall wonders what’s going on, on the other side of his stall wall.

How come this one sink is always clogged with “Ramen Noodles” and other macaroni looking substances? Are they going to unclog it soon? It floods the whole bathroom every time I use it.

Hey, how come that liquid soap we have in our bathrooms has that weird smell? Is there anyone who actually likes that smell? Isn’t there any other fragrance? When are they going to change it?

Why there are always two urinals near each other, when nobody uses them simultaneously? There could as well be one. In this way, we would save money, provide more comfort, and use space in a better way.

Our bathroom started to look like a barber shop. I wonder what that plastic chair is doing in the middle of the bathroom all the time. I think we should start to leave tips every time we enter…

The questions I posed are no doubt complex, and no satisfactory conclusion could be made. As you wallow in complexity, you conclude that as the number of questions is increased, the number of answers to be answered is doubled by the factor of x (where x is any number between infinity and infinity plus one)… One last question, who is the drunken kid who always encounters you in Gunsolley lounge, in the middle of the night and asks you politely for the ID to enter his dorm? Is he aware of the “other side” phenomenon, despite the fact that he doesn’t remember where he left his ID? Or maybe, everything is inverted for him, even the other side.

Turkey, Bisque, Fun and Engagement

My first American thanksgiving was a matchless experience! A friend of mine invited me and some other people to spend the thanksgiving break with her big family. When in a situation like this, it is always difficult to remember the names of everyone. I just couldn’t help laughing on my friend’s new nickname, which resembled the name of one of the video-game consoles (SEGA).

I don’t think there is something more discomforting than as you just got introduced to the members of the family; grandfather asks whether you or your friends play chess at all, and your friend points towards you saying “Oh, Titi’s a good chess player. He is really good!” Ok, that’s nothing compared to the fact that just five minutes later you get checkmated, in an embarrassing way.

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As I was told, there is no good thanksgiving without a big majestic thanksgiving meal. For me this was something unique. Seeing nearly forty (yes 40) people of all ages, surrounding the tables which connected together to form a big T shape. It’s an interesting part of the experience to observe youngsters make fun of old people, as a part of pre-meal entertainment, especially if it is somebody that can’t hear well.

Now, every meal starts with a soup or something. In this case there was this cream liquid of pureed vegetables called bisque. The taste was good, but the look… well the look was odd, and youngsters were making fun of it. Just imagine more than ten college students passing plates of bisque from one side of the table to the other and vice versa, again and again, until there was no escape, and everyone had to try it.

It was interesting how this family organized the whole thing. Everyone had to participate actively. Some were responsible for “Bisque!”, while the others for salads and drinks. I was in this group of experts responsible for after-meal entertainment, and while being an honorable guest, I was given the assignment of starting the event with some kind of opening story. It’s not that bad, unless you find about it the last minute, while being unable to think because your inspiration was conquered by your full stomach. In this way, as I was standing in front of everybody trying to come up with something funny, one of the grandmothers asked one of her grandsons (the very one that made fun of her just a moment ago): “…and who is that?”, to which he answered: “Oh, that’s B’s fiancé, she is now engaged to him!” You should have been there to see the expression I my face, struggling in my distinctive accent to convince the elders that it was only a joke.

I’m wondering hat’s going to happen that I’m back at Graceland. Our hall has this interesting tradition, where we throw engaged guys in a lake as they announce their engagement, which is of course funny, unless you are “the” person, your engagement is just a joke, and the lake is frozen. Oh, God, please make the guy’s on my hall forget about this tradition, at least during the winter.

If you are in Kansas City at this time of the year, there are beautiful lights covering the whole city. We were there the day they majestically turned them on. Plaza resembled Times Square at the time of New Year’s Eve. People, music, crowds… It was fun to experience the atmosphere of lighting the whole city, except for my video-game named friend, who spent the whole time waiting for a cup of cold coffee in Starbucks. He was there, in the line, even when everybody left the square. He was there that long, that got good acquaintance with some hot girls waiting in the line. Interesting fact is that they were asking from us to wait him for five more minutes. Man, that’s when you’re waiting way too long. In the end, he even forgot to ask the for a phone number. What a situation!

Clothes, Sports, and Useful Tips

bettie-page-bikini-corn-field-photo2It is very out of the ordinary how people dress in college. It is some kind of mixture between formal and very relaxed dressing. When I say relaxed, I mean extremely relaxed. You have people who dress in their sports wear, other ones seriously dressed up, while there would always be a group of people wearing their sleeping pajamas. Oh, this is not all. As everywhere around the world, there are times when people have to wear special clothes for some kind of special occasion. Here at Graceland, almost every day is special day. You have “dress your roommate day”, where hilariously looking girls (generally blue fairies, military women, girl scouts, and farm girls) are dressed by their roommates. Then there is this “Beach party day”, where everyone is pretending as if they are on the beach (kind of cool for a place with a “sea of corn”). And among others, there is always this weird night, when freshmen guys run through the campus in their original outfit transmitted since the day they were born. It’s lots of fun, except if you get lost, and have to ask girls passing by for the directions.

I just like my hall. ORION rules! We do all kinds of cool stuff, starting from the house meetings, and up to sports we play “in” the hall. In this way, our one-meter wide claustrophobic hall corridor resembles a universal sports field, where you can play all kinds of sports, starting from skateboarding and roller-skating to Frisbee, running and American football.

We (my hall) invented this new revolutionary ball game. We didn’t name it yet, but I guess the best match is “Hall-Ball”. Here’s how it’s played: There are two teams situated in the two distant corners of the hall. You play it by more than five balls simultaneously. The goal is to hit as many players as possible from the opposite team, with a ball (tennis or baseball). Rules? There are no rules. You are free to hit anyone with a ball, anywhere you like.

It is also very trouble making sport-discipline; last week, we were playing it so much, that we activated the fire alarm three times in a row. So, keep it in mind, when you throw the ball, don’t aim at fire alarms on the ceiling.

During these weeks, I was intensively concentrated in my studies. Except studying, I was intensively involved in discovering new cracks inside the system. One thing I noticed is that, you can actually overpass the whole “show-your-ID-thing” when going to girls’ dorms. Instead, jut say that you have aerobics class, at Aerobics Room, and you gain instant access. Now, when I go to my “aerobics class”, I just say: “Hi, I’m regular! I don’t need ID…”

College Black Holes

Living on Campus while being a freshman student sometimes is pretty hard. A lot of weird things tend to happen to you. Sometimes, you even think that you are in a completely new dimension. Let me give you a specific example. I just keep losing stuff, and finding them a week or month later. Nearly a month ago I lost this small notebook with ideas and important information. I was angry for weeks, trying to figure out where I left it, until one of these days my sister said to me: “Hey, here’s your notebook, sorry for keeping it for so long…” I don’t even remember when I gave it to her. Or, maybe I didn’t, probably some kind of black hole in my pocket put it in her backpack. Same thing happened to my shampoo bottle. It simply disappeared one day, after I had a shower (I knew there was something weird with those showers). In the same way, I was struggling to find it, and suspecting in black holes, when one of my hall friends told me: “Hey, I have got your shampoo. It stayed in bathroom/shower-room for too long, so I took it before the others could notice it…” But, sometimes, late at night, when suddenly waking up from a deep sleep, I still think of those “black holes” and deformations of space time continuum, that act on my personal objects, and displace them in other peoples’ backpacks or wardrobes. Yes, that must be true, because, until now, I never forgot where I put a single thing. Oh, well, welcome to college, where you keep forgetting everything, starting from the students’ names, and up to small notebooks, shampoos, and wristwatches. Oh, didn’t I tell you? I was searching for my “lost” watch for half an hour in the bottom floor of the library. It was when I went to my room, and told my roommate “I lost a watch today! Can you believe it…”, when he answered quizzically: “You mean, the watch that is laying beside the TV set?”

The Purpose of Bullshitting

Note: The term bullshitting here is used in strictly philosophical terms. This article can be considered as a response (adapted for college audience) to the views of Frankfurt and/or Walters.

In college settings, freshmen and seniors are the ones faced most directly with bullshitting. Freshman before coming to college had to write those tiresome admission essays, while seniors have to write even longer ones for their grad schools or work applications. I don’t think I will make it to go to medical school if I don’t bullshit since I have to write that essay stating “why I want to be a doctor”. Somehow I have to come up with an essay without saying the cliché expression: “I want to help people”. So I must bullshit. I must come up with some kind of touchy-feely story that would appeal to admission officers. If I just write what I really want, I run the risk of being rejected, since my writing might be either too dull for them, or way too eccentric. So I must play their game, by their rules, and instead of foot-ball or basket-ball, I must use bullshitting. No wonder even philosophers preoccupy themselves with this problem; society nowadays is full of Bullshit. In order to get admitted to college, grad-school, or even work, you are judged based on one sole parameter – your bullshitting ability.

On the other hand, practical uses of bullshit are undeniable. I even have a theory that it has to do something with our survival. For example, when there is a bunch of girls dancing at a party, and as time goes by they get surrounded by twenty guys hitting on them. Naturally, they need a way to escape, and they use bullshitting as a tool. All seven of them, at once, announce that they have to go to the bathroom and that “they’ll be right back”. I guess that bullshitting is quite beneficial and practical, but what about it’s philosophical implications?

Generally, bullshit has negative connotation with philosophers. A person that bullshits is termed as one that doesn’t really care about the truth, no matter whether he/she is telling lies or facts. A bullshitter is a person who doesn’t believe in his/her own words. But is bullshitting that bad?

In college you will discover this thing called philosophy. It is like fire, it gives you light, but if you touch it you get burned. Inevitably you will learn new things, and new things can really stir your brain. When learning new things, we risk in abandoning the values that we once had, and in this way creating a vacuum without values (which can be quite dangerous). To prevent this period of non-existing values from happening, we have to bullshit to create a “virtual” set of values that can be turned on and off whenever we want. If we don’t overcome this transition period, it can lead to what is known as nihilism.

When learning today’s philosophy, it is very difficult not to fall in despair of nihilism and loose all your values. In this case, bullshitting is a pretty good transition tool for the rough period (which I think is essential in achieving enlightenment) in one’s thinking. Bullshitting allows the person to “multitask” in his/her philosophical quest when exploring new ideas and not abandoning the old beliefs.

Back to my med-school applications, I am desperately waiting for my MACT scores, as if they are a verdict from a jury about the future of my life. Everybody knows that good scores don’t really determine how good of a doctor I will become, but these scores still keep the fortune of my life written in them. Life is like a game, you have to play by the rules (even if you don’t like them). Because of this, sometimes you have to bullshit your way through. Bullshitting is a tool that enables you to play the game better, hence it (bullshitting) helps us in our survival. It serves not only in protecting our current values, but also protecting ourselves. And by the way, all this was just me bullshitting.