Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 7

I am listening to Vernon Wall talking about Social Justice.
This constitutes a win.

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 6

So you might be asking yourself- "Hey, why is this guy posting at 7:00am?"
I, on the other hand, am asking myself- "Hey, why are you up so damn early? You went to the Big Gay Dance last night!"
You see, ACPA has these socials on Monday night, and that last one is the Standing Committee for LGBTQ Affairs social. A number of years back, Allies started attending en masse and it got the tag line The Big Gay Dance.
It is big, and it is a dance, and yes, I suppose it is gay.
It was, however, an absolute blast, as is evidenced by the fact that I actually danced...a lot. I don't dance- I actually fear it in my day to day life since I have the rhythm a broken squiggle pen. However, just as ACPA allows our LGBTQ brethren to be who they really are without fear at these conferences, it allows people like me to make total fools out of themselves while cutting loose.
Of course, I want to go to sessions today, so that meant getting back at 1:40am for a 2:00am pass out has left me a bit tired now. But hey, it is definitely worth it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 5

Today marked the beginning of the educational sessions. As of this writing, I have attended two and a half.
Starting things off, buying groceries was the right move as yogurt wins over nasty cereal any day.
Craig got down here nice and early, so I was able to show him around and get him acclimated to ACPA.
The first session was an interesting look at the spiritual development of college students, presented by none other than Astin and Astin. When listening to Mr. Astin speak, I could see the words out of his mouth and surrounded by quotation marks on a page written by me at some point in the future. It was a powerful presentation on a subject I didn't realize fascinated me. However, after listening to them speak, I now see ways to help my students develop as spiritual beings without being overly preachy or religious.
The next two (or rather, one and a half) sessions were based on trying to be a better advisor to student groups. While the first proved useful and informative (and will inform my practice), the second was more of a workshop and less of a way for me to learn how to advise those who donate their time to the wonderful student groups with which I work.
What is disappointing is that this was supposed to be a focal point of my trip. In working with the clubs of my institution, I have seen a need to develop a strong set of guidelines for the advisors (or rather, my supervisor has seen this and I wholeheartedly agree), and while these sessions have shown me some potentially strong methods, I am not certain how I will implement what I have learned when I return to my campus.
The great thing is I still have two days of convention left!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 4

So the conference has officially begun. Yay!
I picked up enough groceries to last me for the week, all for twice as much as lunch cost me. Go me for being cost effective!
The opening ceremony was nice. The convention chair was absolutely wonderful (Jonathon Poullard)and the keynote address by Greg Mortenson was nice, but lacked the fire and passion to back up his incredibly important message regarding education. However, he did give me insight into a great maxim: "When it's dark out, you can see the stars." I like that.
The reception was great and I got to connect with a ton of people (recurring theme for the win).
The most important thing, though, was how the opening ceremony reaffirmed my love for the field. After a exhausting job search and seven months of non-stop work, I feel that I have lost my way just a tad. The speeches lit a fire under my ass, and I want to go back to work, guns a blazin', so to speak. I went into this field to help students- to make their lives at college and beyond better. Have I done that? Yes, but I can do more. Somewhere along the lines I got comfortable and let some things fall by the wayside (my attention to detail, for example). This needs to change, and hopefully, after plunging my fist into the heart of my own personal Shou-Lou, I will return more powerful in the ways of student affairs.

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious... part 3

So my volunteer session is over, and part of me wishes I had more time spend volunteering. Alas, programs start tomorrow and I have an awful lot to do.
I did manage to catch up with a bunch of people, including a ton of people from Buffalo, which was nice. I also got to see Jay for the first time since Orlando, which prompted us both to exclaim it had been too long.
These days are great since I just get to spend my time meeting people. I am excited for tonight's cocktail hour and then getting into the conference proper tomorrow. But for now, I need a break!

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...Part 2

I'm wide awake- it's morning.
Okay, half of that sentence is a lie. I discovered the joys of being on call last night as I am woken from my peaceful and much needed slumber by a call from campus. Nothing major, but still took me a while to get back to sleep.
Breakfast was awesome. The food stunk, but I managed to meet two more people from the conference, which is just really cool.
The food...well, it's a hotel continental breakfast.
Now it's time to shower and get over to the conference site for a sold stretch of time.
A quick shout out to all of my friends following my misadventures over the internet:
Hi Boss!
Hi Trish!
Hi Dan- you called me by accident at 10:45 last night!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't laugh, I'm completely serious...part 1

ACPA is here! That means I'm in DC!
That's all, update over.

Just kidding. Today was easily one of the more exhausting days I have had in a long long long long time. Let's start at the beginning, which of any good exhausting day is actually the night before.
I had work, which isn't too bad. It was just the culmination of an incredibly long and taxing week. I love my job, but sometimes you just have days that make you go "seriously?" And work did not end until 2am, in all the loud sweaty glory of a college toga party (I love my job!).
Highlight of the night: my boss (hi boss) finally understanding why I get uncomfortable at parties after witnessing too many scantily clad individuals.
So since I was going to drive myself down from Westchester to Maryland (where I'm currently sitting in bed), I thought that I'd get up at around 11:00am and lounge my way down I-95.
My body had different ideas, waking my tired ass up at 8:00am. Thanks biorhythm.
So I'm out the door at a quarter past ten and nothing of note happens, aside from me seeing another car with a Manhattanville decal down in New Jersey.
No, nothing major happens until I hit Maryland, at which point, my directions are worth precisely diddley shit. What should have been a simple 4 hour trip turns into a 7 hour opus as I somehow end up in Virginia, crying at the top of my lungs as I dial my savior, Trish, who gives me three different sets of directions to finally get me to my hotel.
And not a moment too son, as I was mere moments away from trying to find a way to pee in a discarded water bottle.
So I check in and find a place to eat, gorging on my first cheeseburger in six weeks. It was nothing special, but I tipped the guy five bucks on a ten dollar bill because it hit the spot.
Even though registration is closed, I haul my ass over to the conference site. Lo and behold, in the car ride over I find someone who has a connection to me: she knows my cousin who currently is a first year at her school, and has met my aunt. Small. Fucking. World.
I end up at the site and run into some of my old program mates from Buffalo. Of course, then I run into Dr. Pope, and it was just great. Dr. Pope is the reason I am still in this profession, and just seeing her...well it made my day. Even after that horrid trip that proves that I am a horrible navigator...the day was a sum positive.
So, here I go again, trying to be a professional and keep my youthful streak alive.
I think it's time to pass out.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Here we go...again

It's time for me to make my third annual trip to the ACPA Conference, this time in lovely Metro DC.
I leave tomorrow. I still have to:
*Take out money
*Fill the tank in Obi-Wan (that's the Honda folks)
*Get directions to my hotel
*Copy down important phone numbers
*See everyone I intend to see
*Save the princess
*Set up my iPod playlist for the long ride there and back
Oh, I also have work until 2:00am. Good times.
This conference is different though; for the firs time I am attending one of these shindigs as a full fledged professional and representative of an institution. I don't have to carry around that "student" tag anymore. In one sense, it is liberating, as I do not have to concern myself as much with impressing potential employers. This is a huge relief. At the same time, I am a real professional now, which means that, you know, I have to act professional (which I do...just ask my boss...who said she'd be reading this. Hi Boss!).
I'll be missing the second Pauper PE, which sucks, but thus is life.
I will be blogging from the conference, thanks to my new super awesome deluxe lap top.
Off to work.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

25 Random Commons

So back when the 25 Song shuffle was popular on facebook, Brian David-Marshall told me I should do 25 random notes about 25 random commons. I'm going to do that now, well after the meme has passed.
How I did this: I hit random card on Gatherer Beta until I hit a common.
All commons must be potentially legal for online Pauper play, meaning common and from a set beyond Mirage (even if the set isn't on MTGO yet).
I will skip Basic Lands.
Here we go:
1: Crown of Flames- A strictly better Firebreathing, I am sure people want Auras to be good, but they just aren't. In order for one to be good, it really has to do something special, like Armadillo Cloak.
2: Keeper of Kookus- I remember years ago, for my birthday I got a box of Visions. As far as Pauper, this card could be tech in the Goblins mirror match. Of course, Goblins are not a popular choice right now.
3: Sandstorm Eidolon: The Eidolons provide a free form of card advantage, if you pack your deck with enough multicolored cards that is. As of now, there just aren't enough cards to make a deck featuring these cards viable.
4: Craw Wurm- The iconic common green fatty. I remember seeing this card in my first packs of revised and being instantly hooked. Totally worthless in Pauper.
5: Coordinated Barrage- One of the biggest problems with Pauper is that Wizards uses commons to help push a set's theme and make interesting cards for draft. That often leaves a healthy portion of commons absolutely worthless for most serious Pauper decks. This is such a card, unless a great Soldier deck shows up.
6: Barbarian Bully- What was I just talking about? Sometimes there are cards that aren't there to show off the theme as much as to be limited filler with the theme tacked on.
7: Whimwarder- I like this card as some MUC sideboard tech for those decks featuring Errant Ephemeron.
8: Footbottom Feast- some people like these types of cards. I do not, as they require far too much work to make work well.
9: Reckless Abandon- This will appear in some mono-red weenie decks when it comes online. I remember a humorous article in a Duelist years ago about a deckthat ran 8 of this card.
10: Giant Growth- Another iconic green card. This one rarely makes the cut, as (Predator's Strike) is far more exciting.
11: Restless Dreams- I really love the tensions of this card. It used to be on my short list of black refuel cards until Grim Harvest came along. My first exposure to this card was as a great late game breaking in Prismatic Stairwell Highlander (like Stairwell Highlander, only 5 of each color in each casting cost slot).
12: Nacatl Savage- I love cards like this, but sometimes i wish Wizards would be a little more creative in retreads.
13: Rat's Feast- I do not think anyone has ever cast this gainst me. It is far too slow to matter.
14: Magma Spray- I love elegant cards like this. If Stinkweed Imp and Blind Hunter make a serious comeback, I am prepared to run this bad boy out there.
15: Enfeeblement- I have no idea what to say. This card could be good for Pauper if it was not black. I think that sums it up.
16: Strangling Soot- I love non-traditional card advantage. Soot is not only a fantastic limited card, but an under appreciated removal spell. If a Rakdos Midrange deck ever emerges, or the Rock wants to splash red, this card makes the cut, no doubt.
17: Taunting Elf- So many people want Elves to be a good deck. Those people eventually run into Crypt rats and cry.
18: Goblin Sledder- Goblins, on the other hand, have the burn to back up the beats. My first successful Pauper deck ran these guys as a way to increase damage output. Now, this card helps to fight off Tendrils of Corruption.
19: Rofello's Gift- Sucks. No constructed Pauper applications. However, I did attend the Urza's Destiny Prerelease in Florida, after I scrubbed out of the JSS Open. MaRo was the head judge (I think), and I passed up an opportunity to take a picture with Richard Garfield, who my father had started talking to (not knowing who he was at the time). My reasoning: I was busy in a game. Apparently, when told this, Dr. Garfield smiled.
20: Regeneration- Another aura. I do love the original Quinton Hoover art, though.
21: Keldon Mantle- So many auras.
22: Path of Peace- At some point, this might have been a staple. Now, with cards like Oblivion Ring and Sunlance, it's just another bad card for theme decks.
23: Sonic Seizure- I love this card; I love this art, I love dealing damage. Sadly, this card just is just not good enough for competitive Pauper (yet).
24: Zombie Cannibal- Once again, another card that fills a role for limited. Come on random algorithm, give me some something good for number 25!
25: Norwood Ranger- I could not have asked for a better punch line.


Monday, March 2, 2009

I have been working here for six months, and already I have had more snow days here than I had during my entire career at Binghamton. Speaking of snow...
There are albums that really just seem to be made for snowy cold days. Polar Bear Club's "Sometimes Things Just Disappear" is one such album. If I wasn't such a lazy bastard, I was going to put on that album and walk around the in snow. The anthems that are drenched in the despair of Western New York seem perfect for a day like today.
Instead, I was a lazy ass and took a nap on my couch. No Polar Bear Club, although I doubt they would have approved of my waling, unless of course I was drunk. Which I was not. Sorry to disappoint.
Spring Training is underway, and I for one am excited. I can't wait to start rooting for the Mets and watch them lose in the clutch again. Baseball is the ultimate nerd sport- it's all about statistics and absurd arguments. I mean, that's what nerds to for fun?
it's also the game most nerds think they can play- guess what, you are wrong nerds. Baseball seems to me to be incredibly difficult to play at any level and most people who proselytize about the game that aren't professional broadcasters probably stink at the sport. Unless, of course you don't. In which case...don't hurt me!

EDIT: This song is really doing it for me today.