Thursday, June 12, 2008

IN THE NEWS: TA spotteed at bar

This happens to me all the time, except I'm on the other end. How embarrassing...

T.A. Spotted At Bar

September 15, 1999 | Issue 35•33

STATE COLLEGE, PA—Drew Phelan, 26, a Penn State University graduate student and teaching assistant for History 107: Introduction To Western Civilization, was spotted at the Bulldog Brew Pub last weekend, Section Four sources revealed shortly before class Monday. Read more

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

STUDY ANTHEM O' THE DAY: goes on a field trip

Too much classical musical driving you crazy? Sometime when studying, you need to hear some words. But words in English would be too distracting. That means it's time to hear a song with words you don't understand, you know, like, in a foreign language. In the grand ol' USA, we often forget that people speak other languages. But they do. And sometimes they even sing in them, too. Here is a great example of just that. This song will chill you out, take you to Ibiza, and return you to your college town just in time for your deadline.

José Padilla - El Sueño De Ibiza

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

VIEW FROM THE IVORY TOWER: my thesis just killed a tree

Here is a paper draft of my thesis as seen on a background of Denny's Formica. Yes, now both my thesis and my waistline are measured in inches, and unfortunately, both of them are rapidly growing. Would you like a Moon's Over My Hammy with that rambling lit review? Yes, yes I would!

(Photo by me and my camera phone)

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Study Music Solution Have you heard of it? It has changed my study life. It's like a radio station that you can program. You tell it what you like, and it will guess other music that you like. And you can create multiple stations, for your multiple moods. And it has preprogrammed classical music stations, for when you need a little serious studyin', but you don't know Bach from Beck.

PS. If you're really nice, you can ask me privately, and I'll maybe give your the address to my personal music stations...

Music Quiz
Can you identify the musicians above?
(Hint: Could be either Van Halen, Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, Chopin, Bach or Avril Lavigne)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Another Weekend, Lost Forever

(a poem)

There once was a mis'rable grad student

who always tried to be prudent

but when friends knocked on the door

or called him a boor

He’d drop his books though he shouldn’t

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Getting the Most of your Degree

Now that my time as a miserable grad student is almost up, and soon I will return to the "real" world, I want to get the most out of the university experience. Too little, too late, you say? You're probably right.

But I bet you didn't know that my university offers ... wait for it ... drum roll please ... WATER AEROBICS!!!!! And I bet yours does too! For a mere $15 I have bought myself the opportunity to enter the all-you-can-aerobic buffet line.

As long as you don't mind entering the university grounds in a swimsuit, it's one hell of a deal. I tried it this morning, and other than a case of chlorine-skin, it was a blast. And after I was done, I laid out on a pool chair and worked on my thesis/stared at the hot, undergrad lifeguards. It beats the library, trust me.

What's the weirdest program you have joined at your university?

(Photo by Tim Ross)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Study Stomach Ache

Ugh... I just ate a full bag of extra butter popcorn to help me write the conclusion chapter. And at my house, popcorn is not a matter one approaches lightly. My roommates hate the smell, so i have to wait until all three of them are gone (which is almost never). Then i open all the doors and windows, and get to popping my contraband.

In this extra-stressful situation, extra butter is not enough. So I drenched the little explosions of goodness in tabasco sauce and poured on the salt. Needless to say, the food high was fleeting, but the stomach ache is here to stay. At least it's a whole grain, and it least I got a little studying done in the process.

Photo by Fir002

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Graduation Scavenger Hunt

A couple days ago I (gasp) applied for graduation. According to the ticker at the top of this page, I am about 28 days early. ... Or 2 years late. Depending on the way you look at it.

The process of applying for graduation led me on an Alice in Wonderland round of adventures. I started at the registrar, line No. 7. Wrong line. I was rerouted to the bill collector upstairs, who is either the Queen of Hearts or a lady straight out of a Seinfeld episode : buffont hair, glitter claw nails, a real witch's wart on her check. And the whole time she processed my graduation fee, she was singing along to 70s easy listening in a Jersey accent ... or yelling "Off with their heads!".

Along with my receipt, Ms. New York gave me a "how was your time in college?" survey and a golf pencil. I checked "highly dissatisfied" on the "how long did it take you to graduate?" box. But I also felt guilty doing so, since the tardiness is my fault, not the university's.

Back downstairs to registrar, line No. 10. The college worker took my receipt, my survey and my golf pencil and gave me a different receipt, this one said "congratulations" on the top. Except that my name, which will appear on my (gasp) diploma, was misspelled, so I had to go back to the registrar, line No. 7 to fix it. Then to another building to pick up a 70-page thesis format manual. And finally, to the student gym to sign up for yoga. The yoga classes are not a required portion of the graduation process, but i figure that after all this stair climbing and form filling out-ing, i'll need to stretch a little.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Concluding Anxiety

All I have to do is write the conclusion. And yet I am trapped at a coffee shop staring at a blank page and feeling the bile rise in my stomach.

Ok, the page isn't exactly blank. I have an outline. But it doesn't do much good. The entries say things like "results," "implications," and "future directions." But, there is nothing under those headings. So now it's time to figure out what exactly are the implications of this 200-page document.

(Photo by Thomaseagle)