Sunday, 30 December 2012

Happy (almost) New Years!

With the end of 2012 rapidly approaching I was planning on doing a look at the previous year, or go-over or renew resolutions, something simple and easy to do.

I opened up a new post and I couldn't write. It's not writer's block or anything, I'm not feeling well. I think the last few posts I did kind of reflected this too. I'm going through a few personal problems and I'm not sure how they're going to play out. And I'd rather not discuss them until the problems have run their course and I can determine the most appropriate course of action.

I try my very best not to let my emotions get to me. I try to be as logical and objective as possible but that only does so much. I've done my best to get out of the house as much as possible, distract myself so I feel less miserable. I don't want to be alone with my thoughts.

Virtually no one else knows about this, and I plan on keeping it that way. I hope things go in my favor but I'm not holding my breath.

Happy new years to everyone. I apologize for being so depressing but this blog is really the only place I feel comfortable enough to vent through.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Generic Holiday Post

Hope everyone had a good Christmas with lots of presents and good food. I personally love getting things because I'm probably a bit too materialistic for my own good. Just a little bit.

We went to my Grandma's apartment for dinner and on the way I could smell the food from everyone else's homes. I was a bit jealous because I would have loved to have some ham or gravy.


My favorite thing that I've gotten so far is a new headset from my siblings. It's a lot better than my own microphone which hurt my ears after about an hour. Unfortunately, my computer appears to have a loose speaker port or something because the sound quality has been dubious and yet the headset works perfectly fine on my brother's computer.

Other gifts included additions to my backlog of games, a horrible gag t-shirt that keeps getting passed between families as a joke, and a companion cube which will never threaten to stab me.

I will!

I'm also giving myself a gift, I'm finally upgrading my desktop computer. My buddy Jean is going to head out with me sometime before the Christmas break ends. It's kind of sad actually, I went and took a look and why all the memory on my computer was being eaten up and...

It's because 80% of it is dedicated to computer games. Yeah. Computer games. I might be an addict but don't let my Mother know she was right.


I know a lot of you are back to work already, I'll be back in classes soon enough. But I'll save that droll discussion for another post. Maybe after new years.

I want to forget all of that and enjoy the rest of my break.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Whatever you Believe in

So because the world hasn't ended I guess that means we are going to have Christmas and New Years celebrations after all. Which is good, few things make me happier than watching crazy people flail and scream before realizing that they look like idiots.

Now all we have to do is wait until some new apocalyptic theory comes about to stir them up into a frenzy again.

Maybe this is what will happen to all of us.

In the meantime, enjoy the holidays before the next end of of the world craze. I'm just happy to be able to sleep in, buy things at greatly discounted prices, and be unproductive in front of a computer all day long. It's a good feeling.

What's not a good feeling is trying to buy Theresa something and have her turn it down. She's been needing a new computer for a while so I contacted a friend who was selling his old gaming computer. Would have worked prefectly.

If she had room for it.

Except it didn't fit.

She claims she's going to get a new laptop soon around the Boxing day sale and if she doesn't, I'll just run out and get her a new one. Seriously, her current laptop is over 4 years old and its age is really showing. The cooling pad I got her can only do so much.

The rest of my family has their gifts ready. Unfortunately, some are still on their way via mail. It's scary how you can order something at the beginning of December and still not have it by the end of the month. Maybe next year I'll start ordering more things online even earlier.

Or maybe they use pigeons to send stuff I don't know.

Anyways, enjoy your time off with your family and friends this holiday season. I know I am.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

End of the World Post

Assuming all the crazy people are correct, tomorrow marks the end of the world, meaning that this will be the last blog post I will ever write. Sobering thought isn't it?

Which means I should probably put some effort into this thing.



Yeah, I'm not taking the whole apocalypse thing very seriously and neither are most rational people. I'm spending the day with Theresa and at a party. You know, so if the world does somehow end I'll probably too boozed up/unconscious to care.

Anyone from Australia? How you guys handling so far? Europe? Anyone not from North America still alive?

They'll be fine.

Anyways, I'm off to waste enjoy my last moments of existence. If you want to join me you can start by watching stupid videos of stupid video games doing stupid things they shouldn't be doing.

It's pretty stupid.


Monday, 17 December 2012

Guest Post!

I've never been asked to do a guest post before. I guess no one wants to have a sleep-deprived Asian rambling on their blog. But Grumpster asked me to do a post for his students who are currently working through their finals.

I don't know what the thinks of it, and I don't know when it'll appear on his blog but the link to his blog is there so why not visit him in the meantime until my guest post goes up?

Thursday, 13 December 2012

I hate it when a plan falls apart

Finals may be done but not in the style I would have liked. Continuing from my last post, all I had left to do was my Cognitive Psychology final on Monday and a paper for my Social Influences class due on Wednesday. Easy enough, especially considering how I was almost done the paper already.

The plan was: exam Monday morning. Go home, finish paper, send it to the Professor to review, date with Theresa Tuesday, revise paper after date, submit the paper Tuesday evening for grading, enjoy my winter break on Wednesday.

I know my limitations so I'm able to fairly accurately know how things should occur days if not weeks in advance. I'm generally able to account for hiccups and delays and factor them in as well.

Well, I didn't expect a hiccup of this variety or this magnitude.

Let's go back in time for a moment. Monday afternoon. I've just finished my exam, I'm excited, I'm almost free, all is well. I'm really tired having barely slept in the last few days but the adrenaline from the exam is still keeping me going.

Either that or the 710ml of Coke I drank to keep me awake during the exam.

I stop by Safeway to grab a bowl of soup and a bread bowl for lunch because I love soup and I love bread bowls. Decided to treat myself. Got home, and half way through my bread bowl I feel oddly full and more tired than usual. I decide to take a quick nap and then get started on my essay.

I wake up a few hours later wanting to vomit, my intestines were cramping up and I'm still as exhausted from before I took the nap.

Yep, stomach flu. That's just great. Well, fairly certain it was stomach flu and the soup that did it to me. Last time I checked, Coke doesn't cause stomach problems of this magnitude.

I then spent the next 48 hours huddled up in bed, feeling terrible, not eating anything solid. Liquid in, liquid out to say it nicely.

Note that this doesn't change the deadline of my paper.

So come Tuesday evening when I finally feel coherent enough, I  drag myself to my computer, finish my paper and send it to my prof early Wednesday morning in hopes that she'll still take a look at it.

And then waddled back to the bathroom to have my insides explode.

The good news is that a few hours later I do get an email back from the prof. The bad news is that because I sent it to her on the day its due she won't provide any help with it.

Well, gee thanks.

And it pisses me off even further because I could have had that stupid paper in her inbox for review on Monday if I didn't get sick. Or at least, Tuesday evening if I wasn't so sick.

So I looked over my paper several times in hopes that my own editing would be good enough and submit it for grading. I probably looked something like this:

Tea is soothing for the stomach.

I'm still slightly sick. The thought of eggs and greasy foods still makes me queasy. But who cares? I'm finally done now.

Just, not as elegantly as I would have liked.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Final End of Term Update

One last exam and one last paper. Almost done here. I'm seriously running out of motivation to keep working though. Or maybe I'm running out of energy, especially considering how much sleep people get when they keep pulling all-nighters.

I also think I've completely ruined my sleep cycle now. Yep, I'm running on Hong Kong time or something because I'm sleepy and brain dead from 10AM to 6PM but after that I'm wide-awake and ready to take on the world.

And by world I mean my notes.

Can't wait to be done. I'll see you guys Thursday and I'll revert back to my usual schedule of posting every 3 days and visiting everyone nearly every day.

Also it's snowing and windy over here. Hope you guys have better weather.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

An Unexpected Hiccup

On my checklist of things needed to get into Grad school was reference letters, and I needed 3. This wouldn't be a problem. I asked Patt, my Conservation Psychology prof, to write one for me and he was more than happy to. Though this was at the pub and we both had a bit to drink so maybe I'll send an email reminder later.

Next was one of my supervisors for my research project. He too was more than happy to oblige me. That's 2/3. So far so good.

And then I got to the Professor who I'd been doing research under for years. We'll call him Prof Cap.

And he told me no.

Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit here and I haven't given his explanation yet. See, he was than happy to write me one, until I told him I was trying to get into Speech and Language Pathology. Then he looked me in the eye and said, "Damian, I don't think my reference letter is going to help you get in. Your GPA isn't that competitive."

Ouch. Harsh but probably true.

Don't worry, there's more.

He goes on to tell me that he's written more than half a dozen reference letters over the last few years for students trying to get into the program. And only one got in, the one with the ~4.0 GPA. Remember that mine is at ~3.3.

Oh and it gets better. One of the people even did research with a SLP professor for a year and STILL didn't get in. If this isn't enough of an indicator that the SLP department (at least at my University) only cares about marks, I don't know what is. 

I mean, I'm fairly certain that knowing that a student can properly conduct research is a better indicator of a good grad student than, I don't know, an arbitrary number on a piece of paper. Just because you can memorize definitions from a book doesn't mean you can do things in real life.

Fairly certain that the department admins look like this.

That being said, ALL of the students my prof wrote reference letters for were women. Maybe I could stand a chance by being male? You think they'd give me a special exception? Hopefully?
Either way, Prof Cap had two pieces of advice for me. Either start applying to the SLP program at other Universities in hopes that they aren't as competitive, or start looking for a different graduate program to get into. I'm definitely going to start exploring these options, I need to make a back-up plan after finals.


Oh, side note. Patt is also written at least 2 reference letters for students trying to get into the SLP program. And Prof Cap and I think we know what SLP is so popular/competitive. There's a huge demand for Speech Pathologists and it might have to do with the surge of autism in recent years. And we both think it's the new ADHD.

Autism is a real disorder, but whether or not the huge numbers of people being diagnosed with it are legitimate cases found due to better diagnostic methods, or helicopter parents being helicopter parents has yet to be determined.

Monday, 3 December 2012

End of Term Update 3

Looks like I unintentionally changed my posting schedule to every 4 days instead of 3. I've got two exams for tomorrow and hopefully they'll go alright. I've got plenty of time throughout the day to review so I should be fine.


If you want to read something more interesting, my previous post about the GRE is up. Go read and comment on that post instead, it's better than anything I'm sharing today.