Tag: life

Humans vs. Zombies: A Social Experience

by on Jan.27, 2010, under life, thoughts

Last semester, some students from my university worked with university officials to get a game of Humans vs. Zombies going.  After hearing about the game, I decided I wanted to join up to play the game.  It was going to be a two-day game: starting Friday at 5 PM, and ending Sunday at 5 PM, as a trial for the university.  Unfortunately, I was going to be off campus that weekend, so I wasn’t able to sign up.  However, as soon as I heard they were doing another round, I knew I had to do my best to be on campus for the game.

So, working with the university some more, these students organized a three day game: starting Thursday at 5 PM, and ending Sunday at 5 PM.  The students wanted to have a week-long game, but the university wanted to see how the game would work with people travelling between classes before they allowed that.  I got a Nerf gun for Christmas, and was eager for the game to get started.    I attended the necessary meeting to sign up for the game, and just had to wait until Thursday to start playing.

Now, after the game is over, I have this to say: I can’t wait for the week-long game which is planned for some time in April.  Humans vs. Zombies is not only a great excuse to run around campus with a Nerf gun, shooting people for the fun of it, but also a great way to be social and meet new people.  The teamwork and strategy involved is amazing, and I definitely met some great people I would have otherwise never said hi to.  Needless to say, I’ve been disappointed to find out that some college campuses refuse to allow the game to happen. (continue reading…)

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Why You MUST See Avatar

by on Jan.09, 2010, under life, thoughts

By the time of this writing, I have seen Avatar three times: twice in IMAX, and once in RealD 3D.  The first time was for the midnight premier in IMAX.  Then, I decided I wanted to see it again, so got a bunch of people to go see it in IMAX.  The third time, a couple people I knew were going, and I wanted to see the movie a third time.  I’m contemplating going to see it a fourth time.

Now, after reading this article and seeing the movie, you may feel the movie isn’t good enough to see it three or four times, and that’s fine.  But if you go see the movie and think it was bad, then I think you’re just looking for something to complain about, so you found something.  The only people I’ve heard of not liking this movie are comments I’ve read online.  Every person I actually know that saw it thought it was a fantastic movie.

But, really… Why should you go see Avatar?

1. The plot line

This is the complaint I see most often, so I’m going to address it before anything else.  I’m also fairly certain that this complaint comes mostly from people who haven’t seen the movie.  I’m not going to argue that the plot isn’t cliché, because… well, it really is.  But, that’s a terrible reason to not see a movie.  First off, if the only complaint you can find about a movie is that the plot line/story has been done before, then I’d say it’s a pretty damn good movie. Overall, the basic plot line has little to do with whether a movie is good or not.  Let’s face it: almost all movies have a clichéd basic plot line.  The reason you like a movie is how the plot line plays out: character development, how the end is reached, tests that characters have to go through, etc.  Most people would rather see a story they already know because it’s less confusing, and less to follow.  You know what’s going on, you just have to sit there and go along for the ride. (continue reading…)

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Physical “Education”

by on May.05, 2009, under life, thoughts

You know what class this is?  P.E.  You know what that stands for?  Physical Excersise.

This quote is attributed to a P.E. sub at my high school.  I’m paraphrasing, because I don’t remember the actual words, but believe me: this phrase was actually uttered by a substitute P.E. teacher.  Perhaps this wasn’t the best way to start of the blog post.  Let’s go back a bit.

A couple weeks ago, I needed a form signed so I could go on a field trip.  All of my teachers need to sign a form saying that it’s OK for me to skip out on class, and acknowleging that they realize that I’m not going to be in class that day.  Granted, most teachers just sign the form without looking at the date, but that’s beside the point.

On this form, we also have to write which class we have each hour.  So, for my seventh hour class I wrote the following: Gym.  Seemed fine to me.  I go up to my teacher and have her sign it.  She first crosses out “gym” and writes “PE”, then signs the form (all without saying anything to me).  I thought this was slightly humorous.  I didn’t think much of it because, after all, the form was signed.  However, I’ve started to think more and more of this small action.

To me, and to most of the world, PE stands for Physical Education.  Education, to me, implies that I will learn something.  It could be useless information, and it could be useful information, regardless, I should learn something.  I would attribute a class like Health to this title.  It suits all the requirements: physical — You learn about how your body functions and how to keep yourself healthy; education — did I not just use the word learn?

Let me make this a bit more clear.  Here’s how Google defines eduction:

knowledge acquired by learning and instruction

Once again, the key words here are knowlege, learning, and instruction.  These are the three important requirements in order to have the “education part.”

I would define my “P.E.” class this year as anything but that.  It consists of:

Today we’re playing tennis.  Grab a ball, racket, and partner, and start playing tennis.

No instruction, no guidance, no help while attempting to play the sport, just a: “This is what we’re doing.  Go.”  So, where, then, does the education come in?

Freshman and sophomore year was different: we actually learned about the muscles and bones in our body.  We learned about what excersises work which muscles, and we were taught easy excersises to help keep us in shape.  Once again: we learned.  This was not gym class, it truly was physical education.

So, I suggest a reform of the class.  Because Illinois is the only state that still requires four years of gym P.E. in high school, we must be true to the classes title: teach us.  It doesn’t even have to be individual attention (although that would be nice).  But, at least inform us of the rules of tennis before telling us to play.  If you want to get really crazy, try to make us play by the rules.   If we are going to take Physical Education, let’s keep the Education there.

Although, I’ve heard an alternative suggestion: make P.E. half-classroom.  This alternative would suit Illinois perfectly.  We could still have a P.E. class, but we would actually learn.  Once the program got started, the school could start offering “specialized” P.E. classes, where you can learn about one specific topic.  You could then take the P.E. class that sounded most interesting to you, instead of being stuck in a general gym class.

After all this, I have to question my school’s definition of P.E.  I was always taught that P.E. stood for Physical Education (acronym finder agrees), but it seems the crazy old gym teacher is right: PE stands for Physical Excersise.

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How to Fix the Economy

by on May.01, 2009, under life, thoughts

Phew… It’s about time I’ve made another blog post.  Show week always keeps me busy…

Anyway, let me preface this post by saying this: I’m 18.  The following contains my view of things from my perspective.  I could be completely wrong.  In fact, it would be awesome if some economy expert visited my blog and posted a comment about how wrong I am, but that probably won’t happen.  Now, on to the actual post!

I get annoyed when watching TV sometimes.  It’s one particular commercial strand.  From Wal-Mart, at that!  It’s their commercials about how going to Wal-Mart to get food is cheaper than going out, so you should buy food from Wal-Mart, because you need to save money in these poor economic times.  Makes sense, right?

Wrong.  In fact, this advice will only help destroy the economy wrong.  Wal-Mart is absolutely right: our economy isn’t doing that great right now.  However, they suggest a terrible way to fix it: stop spending money.  This is exactly the opposite of what needs to be done, and what the governemnt is trying to get done to fix the economy. (continue reading…)

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Gym in High School

by on Apr.14, 2009, under life, thoughts

I often hear from my friends (and I’ll admit to helping spread the rumor) that Illinois is the only state that still requires four years of gym in high school.  Technically, the rumor is eight semesters, but I’m still not sure of its validity.  I’m fairly certain that this is a state requirement, but is Illinois the only state with this requirement?

Being a computer geek, I’ve always found gym slightly useless.  A class where they make you run around for however long they feel like it, for no reason.  Usually, the teacher doesn’t even participate in the activity, or give demonstrations for activities.  Teachers in gym seem to not be teachers, but lesson planners.  They plan what the class will do each day.  Sometimes, as is the case in my high school, this isn’t even up to them.  The department chooses when each class will do each activity.  Although, it’s still up to the teachers to decide how to go about doing this activity.

Regardless, gym has always seemed to be more of a punishment than a class.  This is due to the fact that they only have two punishment options: make us fail (which doesn’t work for one-time offenses), or make us do more physical activity (running, usually).  Because physical activity is so often used as a punishment, we learn to associate it with punishment.  Let me give an example.  Let’s say that you enjoy, or can at least tolerate, doing push-ups.  You can do 30 push-ups without any problem.  Your gym teacher decides to make ten push-ups a punishment for some offense.  You don’t really mind push-ups, so you end up goofing off.  You get “punished” once, twice, three times.  However, you don’t realize that you’ve already done thirty, so keep goofing off.  Eventually, you’ve done forty, fifty, sixty push-ups in a day: way more than you’re comfortable with.  Now that you’ve been made to do the extra push-ups, you associate push-ups with punishment, and now loathe doing push-ups. (continue reading…)

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Why the Wii still costs $250

by on Apr.13, 2009, under thoughts

I read an article recently talking about the manufacturing price of the Wii.  This article pointed out that the manufacturing price of the wii had gone down by about 45% since the time the Wii came out.  Yet, the Wii still costs $250 for consumers.

It’s simple really: people are still willing to pay $250 for a Wii.  As long as Nintendo can sell Wiis for $250, and make a huge profit while doing so, they might as well.  While Wiis are becoming easier and easier to find, they’re still flying off the shelf.

It’s worth noting here that Nintendo has, from day one, been making a profit from every Wii sold.  So, it stands to reason that they’re now making a HUGE profit on every Wii sold.  Taking away 45% from $250 means that the Wii should now cost about $137.

But there’s something else.  A small note that’s often forgotten.  Nintendo will have to drop the price of the Wii eventually, so they can boost sales again.  When this happens, Nintendo will be able to drop the price by $100 – $150!  This will be an insane price drop, and ignite intrest in the Wii once more, making them hard to find.  This price drop could put the Wii anywhere between $100 and $150, making it, once again, the cheapest current-gen video game system.

Nintendo has, yet again, found a way to print money.  Make a system that is the cheapest current-gen system when it launches, with the fun gimmick of having motion-sensitive controls.  Then, let the manufacturing price drop while you keep your price the same, and every other system lowers the price.  Wait until interest in your console dies down, and… drop the price, and make it the cheapest current-gen system again.  Nintendo knows what’s going on.

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There Just Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day

by on Apr.12, 2009, under life

As a senior in high school, it often seems like there just isn’t enough time.  Go to school from 7 AM to 3 PM, participate in extra-curricular activities, eat dinner, work 15 hours a week to save up for college, do whatever the family planned, do homework (for AP classes, at that), and have some me-time? Yeah, right.

Every week day I get up at 6:15 in the morning (which some of my friends would say is late, even), eat breakfast, and go to school.  While my first class doesn’t start until 7:30, I get there early to have some socializing time/for the convinience of my parents, who drive me to school.  I have classes (including lunch, and five-minute passing periods) until 2:50.  This includes two AP classes, which are, luckily for me, spread out: on in the morning, one in the afternoon.  By the end of this day, I’m pretty mentally exhausted.  But that’s not all.  I participate in the theatre tech crew at my school.  I’ve been a member all four years, and am even getting an award for my work.  So, every day after school, I go to the theatre to work on whatever show we’re working on until 5:30/6:00 on normal days.  On show days, I usually just stay after school until the show, run the show, and get home around 10 PM. (continue reading…)

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