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01 March 2007

220 Years

Yep, that's right. February marked the 220th anniversary of the founding of the University of Pittsburgh. And to celebrate, big news that made the front pages of both The Pitt News and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: the Cathedral of Learning is getting a much-needed bath starting in March. I mean look at it.

The Post-Gazette even set a slideshow to music on their website... music I'm proud to have been a part of making. Although you can tell that they cut and spliced the music to no end, looping through about three times to get it the right length, the Theme from Planet Krypton (arr. Dr. Mel Orange) is clearly being played in the background, by none other than the University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band. That was a kind of interesting surprise when I went to view it.

But enough about the University; it's been a busy month for me, too.

First of all, as I mentioned in my last post, Mondays have been bad this term, and this one was no exception. I got back the two lab reports for CHEM. One was good, one not so much. And very little explanation as to why points were taken off. Not to mention that that was followed by a very tedious titration experiment that ran long.

Also Monday night, in MATH, we were talking about multi-variable integration by Fubini's Theorem. It doesn't matter what that is, but if you're really interested, that's why I provided the link... to scare you. Anyway, the point is it provides two routes for solving certain types of problems. Our professor said sometimes one is easy and one is hard, sometimes they're both easy, and sometimes they're both hard, but you only need to follow one route to get the answer.

He then pointed to the example on the board and asked the class which route he should take. A smart student recognized the easier one on sight. The professor then said that that was good, but that he was going to intentionally go against that judgement to show what we could get into. He went through many steps, evaluating the first integral and getting something even more complicated. Faced with the task of integrating that mess again, he drew a big arrow and wrote the words "Give up" on the board. He actually wrote it. I never thought I would see that happen in a math class.

But the point is, the problem was much more easily solved via the other route. So it wasn't so much giving up completely as giving up on that option.

Continuing academic news, back on Friday 23 February (Craig's birthday) the first of two 7- to 10-page papers for my PS course was due. That was a fun time. But I did finish it. I did turn it in. I will get a grade. I am hoping it's a decent one, considering that it'll be a third of my final grade for the course.

Since I feel like going backwards today, I'll continue going in that direction. On Thursday in our service learning class, we got something we'd really wanted for a while. It was decided that rather than "wasting" 75 minutes twice a week having non-productive meetings, it would be better if one of those days each week was actually spent on the project. So we don't have to go to class on Tuesdays anymore, and it automatically frees up a time slot each week that is compatible with everyone's schedules so that we can actually get some work done. This has eased almost all of my frustrations with the project.

Hmmm. What else?

Laurel is in Mississippi, and that sort of makes me sad. Who ever shall I talk to? But then again, she's out doing good in the world, so I guess I can make the sacrifice. She'll be back.

But I'll be gone by then. Over spring break, I'll be going to both the women's and men's Big East basketball tournaments to be held in Hartford, CT and New York City, NY, respectively. And so, depending who wins and/or loses and when, I might be home for two or three days in between the tournaments, and I might not be home at all.

I have some work to do over the break, so I hope to use at least parts of long bus rides to accomplish that. Considering that I hardly ever watch movies, though, I know someone'll put something in that I won't be able to tune out. But along the same lines, they will be some pretty long bus rides.

So how about this kid named Jay hasn't posted a comment to my blog in a very long time. Granted, on 01 January 2007, there were comments posted from his account, but those don't count because it was really Andrea. So I checked, and you have to go back to 22 July 2006. And even then, the comment was a response to Andrea's earlier comment. Rewind a little further, and we see a comment posted on 06 July 2006... in response to my last petition to get him commenting again.

Ugh!

Go back to 19 June 2006 to find a genuine unprompted comment. My post on graduation. That was soooooo long ago! If you're not going to read anymore, I understand; you're busy. But don't just disappear like that. Say your proper goodbyes and be on your way. Although I hope it doesn't come to that, because I keep hearing we have a lot in common.

Feb'y has passed without much incident, for which I'm thankful. Although it's been stressful. And it hasn't been without its emotional moments. But all is well, I think. At least for now. We'll see what March brings.

A couple weeks ago, I saw an Internet advertisement for a movie. And I had to click on it. I just had to.

You all know I'm a math nerd. And you ought to know that I like the number 23. Well, appropriately enough, on 23 February (once again, coincidentally Craig's birthday), a movie came out: The Number 23 (R), starring, of all people, Jim Carrey.

I was heartbroken to hear that it got such poor reviews. The Boston Globe likened it to "spending more than 90 minutes watching somebody else complete a Sudoku puzzle," and the Chicago Tribune called it "ridiculous and dull." Filmcritic.com got straight to the point and said that "[t]here are at least 23 ways in which The Number 23 sucks," that "there's not nearly enough weed on this planet for its supposedly deep observations to blow your mind," and that "[w]atching 95 minutes of 23 trivia would actually be more entertaining than the film itself."

Brutal.

Nevertheless, Yahoo! says the film has already raked in $14.6 million. Sad to say, it's not quite 23. Yet. On average, Yahoo!'s users seem to like the film slightly better than the critics did.

I don't know if I'll go see it. It sounds like a renter to me. Although, then again, didn't I already mention something about not really watching movies? But it certainly piqued my interest. I don't know how many people I know have asked me about this movie, or "brought it to my attention." So just so you all know, I found it first, without any of your help. Even independently of the email that my grandfather sent me. But I thank you all nonetheless.

Which reminds me, not only is Laurel in Mississippi, but my grandparents are in Africa on vacation! So that's cool.

Boy, did I get interrupted a lot while writing this. It took me forever. I mean, I started this post last month... haha! And I've still got to update the template of the Cousin Club blog because it's March now. It's a good thing the ends of my weeks are awesome. Because now I can coast right into break. Except I'll be travelling. And I'll have to leave at 03:45 Saturday morning. But it'll be a welcome break regardless.

Random tangent: I'm really getting the hang of this random, sort of off-the-cuff blogging thing. Or maybe I just haven't been coherent at all since I came back to school. I don't know.

Photo credit: Darrell Sapp, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

6 comments:

Lexi Elizabeth said...

if it makes you feel better, that jay kid only comments my blog when i tell him to (for the most part) and he never comments laurel's either. it's just not important to him. yeah, i think he should comment, but i can't force him.

anyways, you mentioned laurel and jay and craig in your blog, and the only time you mentioned me was when you were commenting about jay.

i vote that next post should have some long story about me :D :-P

Tim said...

Hey, not everything can be about you. I'll try to mention you though in the future.

Lexi Elizabeth said...

Hey, not everything can be about you.


umm....yes it can. :-D

Miles C. said...

Hey guess what! It's me! And it's a real shame that you told me to comment this post, cause I was going to comment anyway.

I guess this doesn't count, and I'm going to have to comment the next post too :D.

By the way, not everyone will post about you. Sorry.

Um, my math teacher did almost the same thing when she taught integration by parts. She didn't write "Give up" on the board, but she said, "if your problem just looks harder by now...just give it up. You messed up a long time ago..."

I know I got out of the hang of blogging even before the school year, but it's really lost its appeal now that I have to do it for English as a requirement. BLEAH.

Emily said...

Band trip movies are so special. If I have to watch Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle one more time, I will destroy the DVD.

Lexi Elizabeth said...

jay i was just joking.

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