Monday, September 22, 2008

On the Fabrication of Dubious Correlations

Today I became the treasurer of the newly revamped Social Science Club. This was only it's second meeting, but we were already overdue to appoint officers. There were only six students there, so most people had to take something, and I was appointed treasurer as no one else would do it (apparently it had something to do with them saying that the treasurer is the only member of a club government who actually has to do anything). At any rate, I am the treasurer now. We spent most of the day planning events for the next couple of weeks, which led to fabricating a dubious correlation between Super Smash Brothers 3 and Sociology ; )

I'm happy that the club is going on though. It will be something of a Renaissance for it as it was just about dead by last year. So now we are all new officers, and hopefully it will be fun.

I got my score back from my first test today in Oral Comm; I got a 94, which is cool. I just finished my topic approval paper for my first speech in that class, I decided to do it on heating with wood, as I know a lot about that. I had considered doing it on Anthropology and saving the wood topic for later, but I couldn't figure out how I would narrow the topic down to something that would be acceptable for a five minute informative speech and still be interesting and not to technical (or require and insane amount of research on my part for that matter).

I have two more tests coming up this week. The first is in Sociology and the second in Math. I must say I am somewhat more nervous about the math one : 0. I know how to do most everything we've been taught so far, but I don't think we will be allowed to use calculators on the test, and some the more simple arithmetic things are what really slows me down for some reason. Math in general is one of major giants in my mind that I knew I would be facing, that I've never been able to beat before, and this is probably my last real chance.

My first paper for Medicine in Society got back to me this past Friday. Dr. Clark is the first professor I've had that I think really reads my papers and gives constructive criticism on them. I got an A-, but when I first opened it up I was worried because there were comments written on just about every other line. I actually prefer that though (so long as I still get a decent grade). I would rather get an A- with a lot of suggestions than one without any.

I got to watch the movie Sicko in Medicine in Society last week, and it was very good. It's a Michael Moore film, so I thought I would hate it, at least for what I had heard about him. I have to say I agreed with most of his points though, and the movie was very entertaining, whether you agree with his conclusions or not.

So that is my post for now I suppose.

- Andrew

Friday, September 12, 2008


Here is a video about one the products that we sell at ThisWarmHouse (where I work) I did some editing and cutting (mostly cutting) so we could post it on youtube.

The Social Science Club (hopefully soon to be renamed) had it's first meeting today, and although I was one of only four students in attendance I'm still very exited. The new Anthropology Professor is great, and I think this is now going to be what I had hoped for (not that my hopes were ever very specific) when I first decided to major in this department. I think about three times as many people will be there once we get the schedule worked out. Dr. Clark talked about some attractive possibilities for field school (maybe as soon as next summer) to learn the art of contract archaeology. After you do that, so he said, you will be able to get a job at a dig every summer. So it should be good. And I think a lot more people will show up once we get the schedule worked out (we all knew of about 8 or 9 that had conflicts). So this is good. And week three is over.

- Andrew

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Nice and the Not-So-Nice

Wow. It's been a little while since I posted. Two weeks of school have come and gone, tomorrow being Wednesday of the third week, and I haven't said a word about it. I actually haven't been extraordinarily busy... just more in a different frame of mind I suppose.
The first week was kind of rough. I ended up dropping a course: Composition 1. I did for a couple of reasons the first of which being that I was afraid I had underestimated the amount of writing I would have to do (I am taking Oral Comm and a writing intensive Anthropology course also this semester, and between the three of them I would have had fifteen or so major papers to write). And second (and mainly) because the Prof, to the best of my discernment, was not a nice person at all. She seemed to have something against actually teaching much of anything, preferring to demand things and then leaving you to figure it out from either books or other people. She also referred to former students as morons seven or eight times during the intro class. So I decided to drop that one. I found our later from an adult friend who had taken the same course with her, I probably made a good decision. Still, I was depressed for a while because I had been hoping to take a heavier load of fifteen credits this semester, and am now down to twelve. To make it worse, one of my courses is a remedial on for Algebra, since I'm really bad at math of all kinds, the credits from it don't count toward graduation, so my real net take away from this semester is only going to be about nine credits. Still, it's not like I'm really in a terribly great hurry to get anywhere, and looking back just last year, that thought that I would be going to a University full time would have seemed pretty far out. So I guess I'll take that as enough to vindicate myself of failure in my own mind (at least in that one area).

The math course is primarily stuff that I should have learned in high school, but couldn't. I just have such a hard time with it though. It sometimes makes me wonder if there is something wrong with me. I have a 4.0... so apparently I'm not retarded... and yet I'm probably one of the slowest people in the class (which is not exactly made of of math geniuses either). So I don't know what my problem is. And unless I have some sort of breakthrough in the near future here, I may not even be hanging on to that 4.0 for much longer as Mansfield, being a liberal arts school won't let you slip through without taking any higher math courses.

All my other courses are going well. I am particularly enjoying Social Stratification (a sociology course) and Medicine in Society(an Anthropology course). Dr. Molla, my adviser last year left Mansfield, and was replaced by a new Professor, Dr. Clark. I wasn't really too sad about the change as there had always been a bit of a communication barrier between Molla and I, he being from Bangladesh (not that there is anything wrong with that). Dr. Clark is great, possibly my favorite professor yet. I will probably have more to say about him later, but it's late now, and I have Oral Comm early tomorrow, so I should be signing out here.

One good thing about my slightly relaxed schedule has been that I've been able to work more, and also participate a little better in Navigators. I just had my first Bible study with the guys this evening in fact. So I think that will be good. I'd like to make some more friends with guys I think, as I never really have had any. For some reason I've always done much better with girls, or with guys who are much older than me. On the other hand, I could be leaving for a long time next semester, so I'm a little hesitant about building too many relationships at this point, in my department, or out of it. I don't know why there always seems to be some sort of complication to everything. I guess that's just life though.