Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tongue Surgery and Writing > Talking

I feel like since my last blog post was focused on Pokemon (which I am intensely proud of an have no plans of deleting), I nonetheless owe a more serious one. Also, since I doubt anyone is really going to read this one if they already read the Pokemon one, I feel like I can be a bit more open here. Here we go.

Hold your tongue down to the bottom of your mouth. Now, keep it held down and try to talk. Feels weird, right? Apparently, when I was born, my tongue was attached to the bottom of my mouth. It took until I was around two years old for this to get discovered, when I said "I love you, Mom" to my shocked mother. This led me to having tongue surgery, which was successful. Whenever my mom tells me the story, she mentions that the doctors were having trouble waking me up afterwards, so they called her in to try and wake me up, which she was able to do. Cute story.

However, I feel like the damage to my speech was already done. I had speech therapy for a while when I was a kid and I think it helped for a little while. I am still really conscious of it, though, and when I get really excited, I talk so fast that it is pretty much a language that only my mom and older brother can understand. This is partially why I don't like talking to new people but why I can talk so much when I feel comfortable with someone. I don't feel like its really that bad or that big of a deal, but it usually causes me to avoid small talk and not make long, drawn out statements when a short answer is possible. Shorter is better in this case. I think this is also why I like writing so much and why I end up doing so well in writing class. In writing, you have the chance to go back, reword, and generally rework what you are saying or trying to get across. No awkwardness, no stuttering, no jumbled words. Just one of those crazy things.

I'm pretty sure that a lot of my teachers feel like I'm unattentive or don't care when I'm not talking in class, but that's really not who I am. Even if I wasn't so self conscious about this, I don't like being stared at. I don't have the compulsive need to make sure everyone in a half mile radius knows how smart I am or how much I studied the text book before class. That's just not me. I really hate people who have to do that. I feel like this could end up being a rant deserving of its own post, so I'll leave it there. To sum up the blog post: tongue surgery leads to speech therapy which leads to social awkwardness but enhanced writing skills.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pokemon Blog 1 aka My Lack of Creativity with a Looming Deadline

SPOILER ALERT: I'm a massive dork. You have been warned.

I don't really have anything compelling to say or any massive, philosophical revelations to convey this time around. This doesn't help my 650 word a week quota get filled, so I'm introducing a back up plan for whenever I need to get some posts out there. So, I'm gonna talk about Pokemon, or rather, a specific one. Last I checked, there were over 650 different ones to choose from, so that is like a seemingly endless supply of filler blog posts. Without further ado, let's get this going.

Today I'm gonna talk about Wobbuffet. Wobbuffet is essentially a blue blob that has two eyes that it never seems to open. It also has a black tail which, ironically, has a pair of open eyes on it. Go figure. It is interesting because it can't really do anything for itself. It cannot attack on its own, it can only counter an opponent's attack, but it does so in a way that deals back twice as much damage as it takes. You don't really need a strategy using Wobbuffet in a battle in the video games, just counter the opponent and if Wobbuffet is strong enough to take the hit, you've pretty much won. Yay for cheapness.

Wobbuffet is also fantastic comic relief, as seen in the Pokemon cartoon. Of the over 600 episodes of the series, a Wobbuffet was a part of the main cast for well over 500. It usually did not do much apart from saying its name and getting hilariously defeated, simply because its owner did not know how to use it properly. For entertainment's sake, I loved seeing it on the show.

While I was writing this I thought of something that would probably be more interesting to read by my classmates, but since I already finished this post, you're just gonna have to wait for that one.

... I may or may not have watched this video about 50 times.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Show and Tell

In an effort to try and stay ahead of my six classes of work for this semester, I have been trying to knock off each assignment as it comes rather than wait on a deadline to approach. To try and continue this habit, I'm going to work out the rough draft/bulletpoints of a show and tell presentation I need to give for my theater class. For this assignment, I need to take an item that is significant to me and talk about it for a couple of minutes in front of the class. I pretty much hate talking in front of a group, but I really need the gen-ed credits, so I need to do well on this. So, without further ado, I will now talk about something that means a lot to me. *This is basically what I'm going to try and stick to as far as the presentation goes.*

So, I really hate talking in front of people. Seriously. Hate it. Anyways, about three years ago I started taking karate classes basically so I could get out of the house and do something different. I had been at it for about a year and a half before I went to my first tournament, where in the performance (kata) category, I messed up majorly. It was an incredibly awkward and embarrassing experience which pretty much cemented the fact that I hate having people stare at me/judge me. It took me about a year to go to another tournament where I did  little better, but still placed in the middle of the pack. I think I did another after that, where I finally cracked the top two in the performance category, but still didn't make it to the top. Last October, though, I competed in another tournament, and for the first time I was the only one representing my school. I had worked hard to try to perfect a kata with a weapon that resembled a boat oar, and I felt like I had largely accomplished this. The weapons performance was first, and I ended up panicking and messing up. This effectively killed my momentum and I was pretty much resigned afterwards to leave, not competing in the empty hand performance category. I ended up staying, though, and the division I had for the empty hand category was nine people ranging from 17-39. Since I figured I had nothing to lose, I switched up my kata and did something that I hadn't practiced or prepared. I figured, why not? This couldn't get any worse. I ended up running this kata like a crazy person, yelling, kicking, beating the crap out of myself. When I was called back for my scores, I ended up being the only person who all three judges ranked in the 9-9.5 category; everyone else had at least one judge score them in the 8 range. Long story short, I won the division and the trophy. This trophy isn't that special as far as value goes; it looks like it probably cost about 5 dollars and is mainly made of shiny plastic. I don't care though. To me, this trophy means that I was the best on that day. It also means that incredibly shy, awkward, wallflower me is able to do stuff that I myself would never have thought of ever doing, and even succeed at them. This was the last tournament that I have been to for a while, but the memory of winning has me fired up for the next one.

I'll likely stick to this story in this style of presentation, with the exception of a lot of "ums," awkward laughter, and hurried talking.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm the Aggressor

Real quick blog posting before I go to sleep, something just came to mind. In my communication class today we were divided into groups and given a hypothetical situation to work out. Our group would play the role of a medical team with five kidney machines and eight people who required them, essentially meaning that we would kill three to save five. Each patient was given a back story, which basically amounted to a list of pros and cons for keeping them alive or letting them die. To add to this, a couple people in each group were given a counter productive role to act out in the group to impede the progress. Of course, introverted, incredibly untalkative me was "randomly" given the role of "aggressor," the person who basically shoots everyone's ideas down, pushes their own, and is incredibly sarcastic. This was funny to me since it is so unlike my real nature, but I decided to go with it the best way I knew how. A problem with this whole situation was that the room was so loud that no one could hear half of my insulting comments or snarky remarks, which diminished my effectiveness as the jerk that holds a decision process up for their own benefit. Kind of takes away from what I was trying to do. The other, probably larger, problem that existed was every time I talked over someone or threw out my own idea, the group tended to like my ideas. Again, hard to be aggressive when what you are saying is either the right answer or the most agreeable one. In the end, I pretty much failed my role as aggressor, but having this mindset did allow me to step away from myself without fear of coming off as a jerk, so it actually helped my participation. So take note, kids, if you are feeling shy or nervous, act like a complete tool. It kind of balances things out.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Days and Parking Nightmares

As I was driving to school this morning, around 30 minutes before my first class started, I was reminded of how much I hate snowy weather. This was not always the case, in fact, when I was a kid, I really loved the snow. The touch, the cold, looking out the window and seeing that everything outside was blanketed in white powder and clear ice was always a pleasure. Of course, snow days were a pretty significant part of my love of the snowy weather as well. What kid doesn't love a day off of school? Now that I am in college, though, school is rarely ever canceled. I think out of the year and a half or so that I've been going to school, I've only ever had two or three class meetings canceled because of the weather. There is really nothing for me to gain now by having a snowy day, so I guess the selfish kid in me just feels like since I can't enjoy them, no one else should be able to either. I feel like the enjoyment of snow days is just another casualty of growing up.

Anyways, what I was getting at with this story was a particular aspect of the snow that I don't like that just today occurred to me. I absolutely hate trying to find a parking spot on campus during the snowy weather. Today was not that bad as far as driving is concerned; the roads were fairly clear and wet rather than icy, which was better for driving and keeping the flow of traffic. Once I got to campus, though, I found that the first parking garage was full, not only of parked cars, but it was also completely gridlocked with cars looking for a spot. I would later find out that this could be attributed to the fact that half of the fourth floor and all of the top were closed for plowing/salting, thus displacing all the cars that would have parked there. This in itself is understandable, some weather needs to be handled this way for safety purposes. If this had been all that I encountered, I probably would have been able to deal with it.

What I absolutely could not stand about this situation involved the twenty car gridlock of traffic I found myself in five minutes before my first class started. I hate when I'm stuck behind a car that is waiting for a parking spot that someone else is currently occupying or exiting. I get that in some situations, like the one I just described, this is a smart thing to do, but it just irritates me. While I was stuck in this parking garage, I had to have been trapped behind three or four people doing this very thing. Invariably, the person who is entering their car is in absolutely no hurry, taking the time to start their car, get out of their car, open their trunk, put their bookbag in, check their makeup (if applicable), start a phone call, or any number of menial tasks that could just as easily have occurred about ten seconds from then when they were not holding up ten people. I guess the martyr in me says to just bite the bullet and keep moving, rather than wait for someone to pull out of their spot. Because of this added wait time, and the fact that the first parking garage was full, I needed to park in the other one. Long story short, I ended up about fifteen minutes late for the second class session of the semester for this particular class. There wasn't really a consequence to it, so I guess it could be worse. This was just on my mind when it came time to blog, so I figured why not write about it.

A short standard introduction will probably follow this entry at some point. Or not. I'm pretty sure this is around 650 words in and of itself. Yay for being efficient and productive.