(A)musings

Monday, October 31, 2005

Reflections on the Extra Hour

Having lived my entire life in Saskatchewan, I have never experienced the change from standard time to daylight saving time or vice versa. After gaining an extra hour of sleep Saturday night and getting to walk to school in the sun I have definitely become a supporter of Daylight time. We'll have to see how I feel in the spring when I lose an hour of sleep.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Darkness falls across the land...

Well, since it has been precisely 9 days since I last updated my blog, I thought it was high time that I put my finger to key and made a super-enormous update.

Since I complained about them in the last major post, you're probably wondering how my three midterms (happy birthday to me...) went. Let's begin at the beginning, with German 111 (Beginner's German I); no surprises there, listening excercises, identifying objects in pictures, answering german questions in (real) german (shocking I know) and a 100 word compostion on "mein Tagesblauf." All in all, it went well and I was out 20 minutes early. 30 minutes after walking out of my German exam, I began my History 111 (The Early Modern World) exam. As my professer,the eminent Dr. Andrew Gow is more interested in teaching us lowly undergrads how to read sources, "do history" in his words, the exam consisted of writing two essays on sources we were permitted to bring in to class with us. The essay questions were new but that was really the only challenging part of the exam. 60 minutes and 2 exam booklets later, I was on my way to my third and final midterm of the day.

If I had to sum up my Religion 200 (Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion) midterm in one word it would be, "Short." Having been given the 12 possible essay questions for the midterm ahead of time it was rather straightforward for me to prepare for the exam. One entering the classroom I sat down, received the exam paper, wrote the required single page single spaced on the two questions, and handed in my exam to my instructer. Total time elapsed from sitting down to standing up: eight (8) minutes. Yep, gotta love Arts courses.

Friday, I wrote my Religion 240 (Introduction to Buddhism) exam. I took the whole 50 minutes allotted to write the exam. Enough said.

In other news, my Mom, Dad, and Sister came up to celebrate both my birthday (27th) and my Mom's (30th - Happy Birthday Mom!). The family and I (include my roomate/cousin Rachelle) went to the Olive Garden and had a nice meal, complete with a server who didn't know whether or not they served club soda. Hmmm... Anyway, it was nice to have the family here for a couple days, and a trip to Costco to fill the freezer and cupboards was a definite plus.

I have also recently taken a page out of Anders's book and taken on some tutoring work. Interstingly enough, I'm tutoring first year Economics. I try to keep the fact that I'm a Religious Studies major quiet when trying to win a pupil, if only to avoid the inevitable conversation that always goes something like this:

Them: "so you're in your fourth year then"

Me:"no, actually this is my first year here, but my fifth year of University"

Them:"you're doing your Masters?"

Me:"no, I'm actually doing another Bachelors' degree"

Them:"oh, what's your major?"

Me:"Religious Studies, actually" (why I always say actually, I don't really know"

Them:"so what's your first degree in?"

Me:"Commerce"

Them:(in a puzzeled voice) "you did your degree in commerce, and now you're doing a degree in

Religious Studies? That's an odd combination"

Me:(looking at my shoes) "ermm, well, yes... uhm, what about those demand curves."

Personally, I don't think it's that big of a change. I mean, in Religious Studies we study people who worship all-mighty God(s). In commerce, we study people who worship all-mighty Buck. Tell me what the difference is.

On a totally different topic, for those of you who are interested, here are a couple of pictures of my house:
My Living Room:


My Kitchen:


My apologies if the quality of the pictures isn't that great, but they'll at least give you some idea about my new digs.

I captured the above pictures with my new webcam. Yes, I now have the technology to video chat with any and all of you who so desire (not that anyone is ever on when I am, but oh well...). I suppose I could also set up a live video feed from my bedroom so an entire world of voyeurs could see the intimate details of my life. Maybe I'll do just that, charge $20/month to supplement my tutoring income, although most people would likely drop subscriptions pretty quick, when the found the only exciting thing was me changing in the morning. (an awesome sight to see, I might add.) And I think that's quite enough on that topic for now.

To wrap things up, today's german word is, "anders." It means, "different" Seriously!

PS. Caitlin complains about being sick of undergrad. Caitlin, it could be worse, you could be finished a degree and tacking 3 - 100 level classes with 299 idiotic 17 year olds. Not that I'm complaining, just putting things into perspective.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yuck!

Why do people insist on talking on the cell phones in public washrooms? I mean, isn't that a little disturbing?

Television is the opiate of the masses

I have decided that I have a love/hate relationship with my television. On one hand, I love the fact that I can turn on the Tube and allow myself to passively accept whatever the powers that be have decided is worth my attention. On the other hand, my scholarly sensibilities cause me to balk at the idea of failing to critically engage the arguments and phenomena that are presented to me. Television has also become the new pac-man of my productivity. For example, I came home yesterday (5:15pm) and intended to watch CTV NewsNET just to catch up on the headlines for the day (since Newsworld had a documentary on) and ended up finally turning switching off at 11:30 after Lloyd was finished speaking to me. I'm hoping that the pressure of studying for midterms will give me reason to avert my eyes.

On a side note, John Leguizamo has joined the cast of ER as the efficiency minded Dr. Ernesto Clemente. Well have to see if he's a good replacement for Sherry Stringfield as Dr. Susan Lewis. Why is it that John Leguizamo always seems to play greaseballs or assholes?

As alluded to earlier, this week I'm going to be madly studying for midterms this week. For those of you interested in the gory details, I'm writing my Theories and Methods in the Study of Religion, German, and World History (yes 3!) midterms on the 27th of October (what a lovely birthday present...) and my Intro to Buddhism midterm on the 28th. I'm definitely going to have to make up some kind of schedule so I can get all the studying that I need to done.

I'm looking forward to the weekend; Rachelle and I are going to the Bears footbal game Saturday and I should have plenty of time to study (if I can tear myself away from the squawk box).

Today's new German word is "die Geige" = "the Violin"

Monday, October 17, 2005

Of Contests and Debates

Sometimes I am amazed at the way that things work together and bring about wonderful new experiences and intellectual growth.

This may shock some of you but on Friday night I actually willingly went to a live hockey game. The U of A Golden Bears played the UBC Thunderbirds. In spite of my overall lack of interest in team sports I found myself drawn into the contest and was rather pleased when my new home team won. Now, I'm not sure if I'm actually experiencing a change of heart towards team sports in general or if my enthusiasm was merely a product of the "liquid fun." At any rate I'm planning on going to a Golden Bears volleyball game this weekend. We'll see if my enthusiasm has waned or not then.

In another arena, Sunday night I went to a lecture given by Dr. Denis Lamoreux DDS PhD PhD (and no, that isn't a typo) entitled "Beyond the Evolution vs. Creation Debate." It was actually quite interesting as Dr. Lamoreaux is both an Evangelical Christian and a beliver in evolution. While I'm still not convinced either way, (as yet I fall into something of an agnostic category in this sphere) it was interesting and refreshing to hear that it is possible to be a christian and accept evolutionary theory as truth. Dr. Lamoreaux's lecture wasn't about evidence's for or against creationism, ID, or evolutionism but rather about how the dogmatic division between Creationism or Evolutionism and all the baggage that goes along with it is really unhelpful.

Today I learned a new word in my German class. der Fisch. It means "the fish"

All in all, I had an informative and recreational weekend, now it's back to the old grind of reading, lectures and the whole bit.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Pre-weekend Edition

Here I am, sitting on the fourth flour of the Cameron Library at U of A, wondering if I really should go to my Anthropology class today. I know I can get the notes from a girl that I sit near, but I don't know if she's going to be there today. It's also Friday, and the class doesn't start until 2:00. I think I'll go, not because I actually want or have nothing better to do, but because I'm cheap. I can't stand the thought that if I don't go, I'm not getting everything that I can for the $500 that I paid to take the couse.

I don't know why, but whenever I start to update my blog, I always feel like I'm being incredibly pessimistic. I don't feel overly pessimistic, it just seems like my tone is really negative. Huh. To positivize this post: HOORAYY, I ACTUALLY HAVE INTERNET AT HOME!!!! (and cable TV too). As I'm sure many of you can relate, I used to think that I could stand to be unconnected from the web but in the words of Joni Mitchell, "you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone." When I get my computer back from the shop I may become much more prolific in my posting, emailing, and MSN-ing activities.

On Thursday, I got my first paper back in my Theories and Methods class. Now, you must understand that this is the paper that I wrote late at night, hopped up on as much sugar as I could get. After reading my learned professor's comments throughout, I was convinced I had failed on this assignment. However, much to my surprise, on the last page of the essay I found waiting for me not the, "F," I had expected but an A- along with the comment, "Daniel, I was a little bit harsh on you in my marginal comments. Why? Because you wrote a strong paper, well written and thoughtful, and I thought you were up to the challenge. Good Work!" Needless to say, I was quite pleased with my results and nearly skipped home. It seems that going into Religious Studies was the right decision after all.

Hopefully my next foray into the world of Academic writing will be at least as successful as the last. Though it's a book review rather than an essay I think it will be pretty good. The book I'm reading is The Crime of Crimes: Demonology and Politics in France 1560 - 1620. I'm thinking that the book will at least be an interesting read.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Relatively Happy Return

Hello again to all of you from the scenic (but not as nice as the U of S) campus of the University of Alberta.

I've returned from a brief excursion to Saskatoon for the Thanksgiving holiday with a full belly and a full car. By full car, I mean that my roomate and I now have roughly enough food in our fridge, freezer, and pantry to feed a small army (or last until Christmas). We both had a good time visiting and catching up with our shared family. Our trip home was rather uneventful, save for a brief encounter with the persons-in-blue known as the EPS. At least I'm not paying the fine. As to the exact details of said encounter with persons of the policing persuasion, in the immortal words of a slightly intoxicated student, "ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies."

In spite of all the curses, threats, and attempts on its life my computer is still on strike. How can I post without my computer, you ask? Well, the University of Alberta has generously provided its students with free (and relatively unfettered) access to the world wide web. Though I appreciate the access I hope this will be a relatively short relationship. With any luck, the nice people at my local computer fixing shop will be able to convince my computer to come back to work with me, albeit without any increase in pay.

So, there you have another brief post from me, hope you all enjoyed it, and have a great day!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Update the Third

Greetings all from slightly-less-cold-than-Edmonton Saskatoon. I'm here in town to see my parents and the rest of the family for Thanksgiving. Hooray for free food and plenty of leftovers to take home and fill my fridge!

In other news, my notebook computer has decided that it doesn't like running Windows anymore. Grrr... For the time being, I've re-joined the ranks of the un-connected masses, drifting from public access workstation to borrowed computer and back. Hopefully the good people at Compusmart will be able to make my computer like me again. Until then, I'm going to be slightly less prolific with emails and updates.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good feast!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Jumping on the Bandwagon... Again.

I'm going to follow Luke's example and publish my movie journal for the last month. I'm not going to put anything more than title's 'cause those of you who care probably know all you need to know about movies or are smart enough to find out for yourselves.

Sept. 8

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Sept. 9

12 Monkeys

Predator

Sept. 10

Robin Hood – Men in Tights

The Transporter 2

Sept. 16

The Believer

Murder in the First

Sept. 17

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Sept. 21

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Sept. 23.

Die Another Day

Secret Window

Sept. 24.

John Q
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Enemy at the Gates
The Red Violin

Sept. 30

Blade Runner – Director’s Cut

The Beginning of a New Era

Allright, Allright, since Anders has been pestering me to start my own blog, here it is. I make no promises or warranties about deep thoughts, incisive comments, or wise words, but I'll do my best. For all I know, I might be famous someday and you'll all be able to say, "Hey, I read his blog," or something like that.