Monday, 30 April 2012

The Further (Mis)Adventures of Yu

Ok, Blogger hopefully won't end up deleting this post. A lot has happened to Yu in the past few weeks and none of them are really good. In fact, it has gotten a bit ridiculous and I'm not sure how much of it is true. But I'll let you decide for yourself. Posts about Yu are here and here.

Where to begin? Well I think we should start with Yu's recent re-hospitalization. From what I heard, he suddenly passed out during a final and had to be carted away in a stretcher to the hospital.

This is not surprising. The kid brags about how he sleeps in random places on campus instead of going home, fueled on Red Bull and other energy drinks. And then when he's feeling stressed, he takes double if not triple the dosage of whatever prescription anti-anxiety drugs he currently has.

The outcome was never really in doubt.

He claims that the reason why he was in the hospital was because not only did his stomach ulcer re-open, but also because he had an aneurysm. That's right, an aneurysm.

Yu, I'm fairly certain that we would have noticed signs of this much, much sooner if you had actually had an aneurysm. Also, I don't think they'd let you out of the hospital only after a day or two had this occurred. Of course, if anyone out there is more knowledgeable about these things, feel free to share.

So, Yu comes out of the hospital. Do you think he's learned his lesson?

Of course not.

Looks like the guy is only school-smart.

This is further confirmed during one of our study sessions. I see him guzzling more energy drinks as he tries to stay awake long enough to read through his notes. He fails, crawls under a table and tries to sleep. Maybe he was tired of me telling him that energy drinks are bad, and that he should go home and get some proper rest.

Then he gets up, tries to study again, drinks more Red Bull, mutters random incoherent messages to himself and then start shoving cigarettes up his nose.

Followed by "Yo man, my cigarettes are wet".


But the other day I get a message from Yu and it looks a bit odd. A bit of backstory first, he had recently found some other drug that was supposed to boost your memory. To give you an idea of how suspicious it sounded, my girlfriend Theresa didn't recognize the name, and she's getting close to graduating from the top of her  Pharmacy class.

Yu decides to take triple the recommended dosage the day before his last final.

And the message he sent me went something like this:

"Hey man, I don't feel so good. I should have listened to you. I don't think I should have taken so many of those pills. I haven't even covered half the material yet".

Off the charts.

And where is Yu now? Not sure. He's been fairly quiet. But now that we're done classes maybe he'll start taking better care of himself.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Oh wow, 100 posts.

I had my post ready to go, the one meant for last time but Blogger deleted. Today's post was going to be about Yu. For those of you unfamiliar with he escapades you can read about them here and here.

But then I noticed something. This is going to be my 100th post. This is a pretty significant milestone if you ask me. It took me nearly 9 months to reach it but hey I did.

I guess we should celebrate or something.

Mother Nature celebrated by snowing again. I'm not kidding. It actually snowed again.

But I'm done all my exams now. All the papers have been handed in. I'm actually able to sleep and what not so that's great news. Actually being able to get 8 hours of consecutive rest is amazing. And I'm waking up before noon.

Ok, it's more like I keep passing out before midnight so it's sort of like I'm sleeping responsibly. I think the sleep deprivation from the rest of the year is catching up to me. But let's focus on the positives.


So I'd like to thank everyone who continued to visit even though I've been neglecting everyone else's blogs. Now that I'm pretty much free I'm going to be able to put a bit more effort and time into my posts. As opposed to the hastily written and fairly similar ones about me being tired or covered in schoolwork.

Now you guys can watch me try and cook again, Jean and I will be trying to do some things over the break and same with my friend Adrian. Hopefully I don't waste my entire summer break in front of a computer playing Starcraft.

Master race reporting.

And hopefully I can get a decent paying job. I wasn't able to grab one last year and it would help me out tremendously if I could finally earn a bit of money. I'm still several thousand in debt to my parents.

Oh, and Theresa is gone for two weeks. Off on a Pharmacy rotation. And then when she gets back, she's going to be gone to China for a month.

Man, I'm going to be lonely.

Accurate representation of what I'll be like during her absence.

But yes, thanks again to everyone who reads and comments. Any suggestions for topics or criticism is appreciated as usual. Just leave a comment or even send me an email.

Next post will be an update on Yu. Don't worry, as of the time of this post, he's still alive.

I think.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

I'm Not Enjoying the New Blogger Format

In my tired stupor I managed to post and publish something but now Blogger has gone and deleted it.

This is just great. I'm not going to bother retyping it, I'm going to bed and I'll figure out something later. I guess this counts as a post that I didn't make on time but it's Blogger's fault so I'm ok with that.

Yeah, I'm still tinkering with the new format. Not fun to come back to your blog and find everyone asking "Where's the video?" on your last post.

In better news, all my finals are done and I just have papers left so I'll finally be able to do my rounds in the Blogosphere again. I'm excited to see what everyone else has been up to lately.

Now if you'll excuse me, sleep time.

EDIT: Great, now Blogger is claiming I have comments to publish but when I go to moderate them the screen is blank. Hopefully this issue resolves itself soon.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Final Final

Yeah, I've been fairly bad for commenting back to everyone and I apologize for that. The last of my finals and papers will be finished by Tuesday so expect a proper post and visiting schedule after that.

In the meantime, I leave you with this video of a crazy guy who likes knives a lot.

Apparently this guy is a proponent of the "21 foot rule". Basically, it's a hypothetical situation where you have two people in a fight and one guy has a knife and the other with a gun. Provided that the knife guy is within 21 feet of the gun guy, he should be able to run and stab the gun guy before he can draw and fire the gun.

I personally think the guy is crazy. Also, this isn't the only video he's uploaded so if you're in the mood for more crazy have fun watching more of his stuff.

I have no right to judge him though.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have more work to do. I'll see you guys on Tuesday.

(Sidenote, Blogger's format finally updated for me. Bear with me as I try and work out the kinks and "improved" features".)

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Unhelpful Teaching Assistant

I'm not sure what it's like in other Universities but here, the teaching assistants, or TA's, don't really do all the much. We'll only see them at exam viewings or proctoring exams. They never really help with the teaching of the course.

And that's fine. If that's how the University wants to pay its Grad students so be it. Who am I to judge?

But when you have a TA that is extremely unhelpful to the point where it looks like she's trying to make your course unnecessarily difficult, that's just wrong.

Why are you doing this to us?

It seems like such a long time ago. Last week when I had all those papers due. Some of you might actually think that I dislike papers, that's not the case. I generally enjoy writing, I mean, I do own a blog right? Writing papers comes naturally to me, or maybe I've just had really good training.

So for my Developmental Psychology course, we were given the option of making a Developmental Psychology video or writing a research paper. Given my past ease with paper writing obviously I went with the paper. I don't want to act and talk to a camera for all my classmates to see.

Within a week, I wish I had done the video project.

And a large part of it was due to the TA. I don't think she really knew what she was doing or what she wanted from us. For example, she wanted us to review some stuff, write a paper on it and submit. Most of us assumed it was going to be like the paper our prof assigned us earlier so we wrote in a fairly informal style.

And we all lost marks on it. They was no indication that the TA wanted something written in APA format (basically, scientific Psychology paper style), no rubric whatsoever. And actually the same thing happened with the final paper. No concrete indication of what she expected or wanted. I can assure you, it is quite difficult to write a paper when you don't know what exactly is expected of you.


Ok, I know some of you are saying, "Damian, so why didn't you just go and talk to her". Fine, completely reasonable IF she was ever available. Twice, I went to see her at her office during her scheduled hours. Twice she wasn't there. Turns out, her hours were wrong. And she didn't bother to inform us until the term was NEARLY OVER.

She also gave us a phone number to call (she never responded to any of the voice messages I left her), and an email address (that she never replied to) BUT eventually I got my meeting with her.

Because I ran into her in a hallway. And we had an impromptu meeting right there.


I could make a second post about all the crap this woman didn't help us with. There's a lot, I've barely scratched the surface. A vague, confusing project that probably required more work than necessary and supervisor that was unhelpful and largely unavailable. I mean, during the week that this paper was due, she sent us an email in advance telling us she would have no office hours. At all. I didn't even bother emailing her for help, she probably wouldn't have responded.

Luckily, several of us have come forth to the prof who was surprised and concerned. For our troubles this paper will be marked much easier and the TA will be getting "constructive criticism" in May.

And I'm glad, I have never spent so much time writing something and felt so insecure about it.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Mother Nature Hates us

Stereotypes. A popular belief about a specific group of individuals. I stole that straight from Wikipedia. One my favorites is that it's always snowing in Canada, no matter what. And as much as I'd like to say this isn't true, this last month has not been convincing.

March was nice and clean. It was warming up and most of the snow was gone. And then like some sick joke, it snowed on April Fool's day.

But it got warmer, the snow melted. All was well. It looked like things were back to normal.

Until one week later.

We probably got hit with about 20cm of wet, slushy snow that just coated the area. Trees all over campus were snapping in half and having branches torn off. I even managed to snap a picture or two with my phone before running inside. Because you know, I'm an idiot being in this weather with just a hoodie for protection.

Unfortunately my phone isn't working so here's what the pictures mostly look like.

And for everyone who has had the pleasure of driving in winter conditions you know how the snow melts in the day, becomes a slushy mess to walk through and then freezes during the night.

Well, now we have a driving and walking hazard. Sheets of ice layered all across the city in every conceivable place. Oh, and now the snow isn't nice and soft anymore. It froze overnight too so have fun breaking you fall with one of those.

Pretty much.

But again, things warmed up. The weather got nice again. Rained a bit which is normal. Things are looking good now that my finals are nearly finished. I'll be able to go out and do things with Theresa again.

I look out the window this morning and what do I see.

It's snowing.



Looks like I can't get a break no matter what I do.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Final Week

I'm still alive. By some stroke of luck I haven't collapsed or gone insane like some of my fellow peers but more on that later.

So, from these two posts you can tell I've had my work cut out for me. Well as I mentioned before my workload had suddenly tripled. Some of you may remember my research problems, numerous technical errors and other small problems impeding the project. Good news is that I finally fixed everything and was able to start running people through it.

The bad news was I had 4 days left until the end of the term and I still needed 15 hours worth of data to go through. This required me to stay on Campus until 8PM several times. Plus there was the day that I forgot my key, and the day that the printer stopped working. Tons of fun little disruptions.

This also stole time away from the rest of my work. And if you know anything about me, I compensate for less time, by not resting.

And babies and dead people.

But that's not all! I realized that on the same Wednesday my papers were due I had not only a presentation to prepare for, but I was also expected to lead a discussion on a paper for a seminar. Things were not looking good for me.

I am pretty good at BS'ing my way through things. It's one of my few talents. But there's a limit to how much I can pull off. And on that cold Wednesday morning, April 11th, I was staring at a computer screen and realizing I had hit that limit. There was no way I could prepare for both presentations and papers even if I pulled another all-nighter. Scrambling for a solution I began reading through syllabi, hoping for some of salvation.

And then I saw it.

Developmental Paper Due Friday April 13.

Friday 13.


This was pretty much my expression.

I had got the due date wrong, I had more time than I anticipated. And with this new information I focused on my other work. It gave me enough time to focus on my other paper and the two presentations. All in all, I thought that Wednesday went fairly well. Well, as well as a day can go when you have that many things to do and turn in.

At the moment I'm finishing up my last paper. I have everything planned out it's just a matter of putting it altogether in a coherent fashion. If I'm lucky, I might be able to go to bed soon and sneak in 2 hours of sleep before class.

But another unexpected problem popped up. Who remembers the friend that I had that probably had some form of mental problem? The guy who was possibly doing and saying a lot of things for attention seeking purposes? Well he's back and crazier than ever. And not in a good way.

Seriously dude, go back to your therapist. There's nothing I can do for you anymore.

So I walk into class, Yu comes to sit beside me and goes "Hey man, Damian look at this."

He rolls up his sleeves and all over his arms are these cuts and slashes. He's written words like FOCUS and A++++ all over his forearms. And I'm sitting there in disbelief, I mean, this is what Junior High kids do to themselves, not 4th year University students ready to graduate.

And when I ask how he's doing it, he reaches into his bag and pulls out... 

A scalpel. Like, the kind of scalpel that a surgeon would use.

And then here's where it gets even better. He starts cutting himself. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LECTURE. 

Just. Why.

So I'm sitting there, trying to concentrate on what the prof is saying while Yu is sitting beside me, wincing in pain as he's slicing his arms up. At one point he even goes "Hey man, here you go." And dumps a chunk of skin in front of my laptop.

I tried my best to ignore him but inside I'm starting to panic a bit. I half expected him to go feral and start stabbing me. And I hope no one dares ask why I didn't try to take the scalpel away from him (which he claims came from his Anatomy class). Would you want to try and wrestle a sharp object from a potentially deranged person? No? Neither would I.

For whatever reason, he also decided to make a Facebook status update inbetween his cutting sessions. Something along the lines of "SOS, someone on campus help me please!". And well, he got his help. Some people responded and due to mutual friends I managed to get a group of people to escort Yu to some mental health clinic. I couldn't go with him, I had research stuff to do.

But what really caused me to shake my head was as Yu left, he turned to me and said:

"Yo Damian, my arms really hurt.".


(I cannot wait for this term to end.)

Monday, 9 April 2012

Another Improper Post.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure most of you know about the papers I have due at the moment. Turns out I underestimated how much work I need to do because my workload literally just tripled.

And for whatever reason, almost EVERYTHING is due on Wednesday. If I can survive past Wednesday the rest of this term is a cakewalk for me.

I'll let you guys know if I survived on Thursday. See you then.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Final Papers Post

Yeah, normally around the end of April I start to panic because of finals. This is normal, fairly standard student behavior.

This year is different. This year, I get to start panicking at the beginning of April and not because of exams but because of papers.

Tons upon tons upon tons of papers.

And they're all due soon.

The sad thing is that this is probably pretty close to how much I have to read and write combined.

I know I've mentioned the paper Hell that I've been in but I've never gone into too much depth as to what I'm writing. Well, I actually have papers due for all of my courses. They are as follows:

Research paper for my research project.
Research paper for a small study we did in another class.
Paper about theories on memory.
Paper about what I did for a research class.
3 bonus mark research papers.

The worst part is searching up things to talk about and discuss.

The two big ones are due next week and the rest are due at the end of the term. But those two papers are both really big ones that I have to write, probably at least 10 pages of dense numbers, charts, graphs and data analysis. And that's not including looking up other research papers to quote and back up what I'm saying. I'm really not looking forward to writing these especially since I've barely started.

And just because the others are due later shouldn't be reason for me to relax. Those are due roughly when I have my final exams. So the sooner I get those out of the way, the better. You know, so I have more time to study.

Seriously, that might be the only good thing. If I can get these papers out of the way quickly, my workload is significantly reduced at the end. I only have 2 finals this term, everything else is papers.

Sort of a silver lining I guess.

So that's how I'll be spending my Easter weekend. Not relaxing but doing papers. I'm already spending half of it on campus working on my research projects. It sucks, it really does. Having to wake up early to do more work.

There better be a ton of discount Easter chocolate after this chaos is over. I might be male, but that doesn't mean I don't like gorging myself on sugar and fat.

I could go for a box of these right now...

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Resolutions Update 3

I still can't believe I'm following through with this. People generally stop trying or forget by this point but here I am trudging on. I deserve a gold star, a cookie, or something.

Even though I've been kind of too busy since the last update to have made much progress.

I'm giving myself a high-five anyways...

Goal #1:
Yeah... It's not easy to do push-ups when you're sleep deprived. I would know, I've tried. I'm still stuck on week 4 of the 100 push-ups challenge. I'm finding that my wrists are getting sore and that a way to get around this is to use fists instead of open palms.

The problem with this is that now the push-ups are significantly harder and my nails are digging into my palms. I guess I can alternate between the two methods until I find something better.

Oh, and I've joined up with a site called Fitocracy. Basically, you do various exercises, you get points for doing them, achievements, and level up. It works based on an honor system as no one can really prove that you've done the exercises but lying about it only hurts yourself. I find it's a good way to keep track of what you're doing and even though all I do is sporadic push-ups, it's still something.

You can follow me if you want. Just search for DWei and we can encourage each other in our bid to become more healthy.

Could be worse I guess.

Goal #2:

The job hunt has not gone well. There is virtually nothing for Psychology students. Nothing. I have looked all over and in my city, all they want are Engineers. You know it's bad when you search for "Psychology Internship" and the top results come back as "Engineer Internships".

Right now, this is the only kind of Engineer I want to see.

I've extended my search to neighboring cities and I'm even considering the Canadian Army. Apparently, if you have a degree that matters more to them and you start off better. So I've heard. I'll give more details into this as I look into it, my courses have been eating up a lot of my time.

A fellow Psychology student suggested that I look into Speech Pathology or a similar career route. All I'd be required to do is take a few more years of courses in Linguistics. I've never even considered this but I'll certainly look into it when time permits.

Also, has anyone else been getting paid significantly less from advertising? My traffic has gone up but my earnings have dwindled. Seeing as this blog is major part of my current income I'm a bit concerned.

Oh and current debt to parents is currently $5200 Canadian.

Goal #3:

Looks like I'm just really bad for finishing things. I have a project on hiatus with my friend Jean, my hollow book is almost done however, just need to make a few more cuts and I'll post pictures of the finished thing.

I've also decided to finally get my full driving license. I've had my probational one for long enough so I can take the test but I want to get more practice first. Getting the full driver's license counts for this goal as it is something I've wanted to do for a while.

And Theresa has been hinting that I should get it so I can drive her around. So yay, more encouragement. Though I won't take the test until after finals most likely.

And let's hope this doesn't happen.

Goal #4:

This is probably my worst goal so far. I've only done one book review so far and I haven't had time to finish other books or games thanks to my workload exploding. I'll probably make up for it in the future by doing two a month or something. Same applies to Goal #3.

And now I need to run off and continue studying for a midterm. I'll see you guys on Friday. A lot of people asked questions for my last post and I'll try and answer them as soon as I have a chance to properly read them all.