kitsjay: (Second Star to the Right)
Cornell is being called "the suicide school" because of six suicides in six months; UT recently was ranked among the top most stressful colleges in the USA. One of our school officials said this:

"She said despite competitiveness at the University, she doesn’t think the stress levels are abnormally high.

With a higher-performing group of students present at UT, students place more stress on themselves to perform well academically".

Today there were puppies outside of the FAC, because petting animals has been shown to lower stress levels. My guess? The ranking combined with the deaths at Cornell and the subsequent bad PR it's getting made UT officials start implementing measures to counteract this. Interestingly, and somewhat horrifyingly, I couldn't find any statistics on the suicide rate of UT.

What does this all add up to?

(A) Suicide has been shown to be highest among older people and people 20-24. It's also the second leading cause of death for college students.

(B) Instead of addressing the problem that maybe, just maybe, there's something wrong with the system that actively encourages stress by making GRE's, tests, and grades the ultimate goal, we're going to place the blame on the students themselves and...

(C) Put up measures that lower stress already there, instead of evaluating why there's so much stress in the first place.

While the measures Cornell and UT are taking are admirable, I feel like they're addressing the symptoms of a problem instead of attacking the problem itself.

I know everyone has been having more than a rough time this semester; it's been the semester from hell. I know it, trust me. I feel like everyone told me, "Oh, take as much time as you need!", "There's no deadline for getting over things like this!", but the pressure put on me by teachers to do well and take tests and show up for class when I wasn't ready was monumental. I had to force myself to start going again because one of my teachers, who seemed really understanding, apparently was only ready to be understanding for a few weeks, then it turned into, "Well, why aren't you over this already?"

So I know. It's monumentally hard for everyone right now and it feels like the pressure's mounting instead of going away. Call your mom (seriously, a study showed it lowers stress levels as much as a hug from her), pet some puppies, drink herbal tea, do something that relaxes you, but if it's still bad, please see someone or talk to someone. I know what it's like to be there, and though mine was more of an internal thing than external stress amplifying this problem, it's awful, and I'm worried about everyone. Some of you have work issues, some have family problems, some have both.

So really: be cool, be safe, be alive.

Finals week

May. 7th, 2010 12:24 am
kitsjay: (Secrets)
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!




*ahem*

That is all.
kitsjay: (So close)
This is going to continue to bug me, I know it. Erg.

Okay, so Problem of Evil in a nutshell:

I. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and wholly good.
II. Evil exists in the world.

So I kept staring at it, not seeing where the "logical inconsistency" arose from before it hit me that my problem was I was relying on Calvinist doctrine, which has two problems with this:

1. In my personal belief system, God is not necessarily "good" so much as "above reproach". This is not to say that He isn't good, but that the reasoning behind it is so ineffable that it's out of our understanding. So He doesn't have to explain anything to us, because He's above reproach.
2. Like I said, this is not to say He isn't good, but that He is so powerful and knowing in a way we cannot even comprehend, that to suggest our moral certainties are the same as His is laughable. Calvin and Augustine both seem to argue this, that basically, we don't know what God knows, so can we really challenge Him?

Take this as an example. You have a time machine. Awesome. Barring the fact that you obviously want to go back in time and buy stock in eBay, you decide to do the world a favor and go back in time to kill Hitler before he becomes Hitler. So you get in your fancy gizmo, go back, and gun him down when he's 20 on the street. You come back and everyone just knows you as "that person who shot an innocent man on the street" because they don't know who he would become because it never happened. Got that? From an outsider, you're suddenly a villain instead of the hero, because no one knows except you. So they lock you up in solitary without a chance to defend yourself or tell anyone what he would have become, and then pass judgment on you.

See the problem? I mean, I'm sure that's a flawed example, but it gets the gist of my conundrum across. Everyone I read who writes about this takes the whole "ineffable" and "above mankind's understanding" thing as a cop-out. Which it does seem like one on the surface, except put it into perspective like that and you realize that, no, it actually makes complete sense. You just did a seriously awesome thing, killing Hitler and saving millions of lives in the process, but it's not like you had a chance or the ability to tell anyone why you had to kill an innocent person to do that, and so from that outsider's perspective, you're just the person who arbitrarily killed a guy.

And what's with this assumption of what "good" is, anyway? Is it good to kill someone? No? What if it's Hitler, is it okay then? What if it's a guy who's about to kill you, who is a convicted rapist and pedophile? Some people can't even agree on hating someone. You ask a Jew and they might say it's completely okay to hate Hitler, but as those of you who recall To Kill a Mockingbird might remember, Atticus Finch says that it's not even okay to hate him.

Just someone, please explain this to me why we can accept such murky terms as "good" but then debate for pages on what "omnipotent" really means. Srsly.
kitsjay: (Default)
Three more weeks until Spring Break... three more weeks until Spring Break... three more weeks until Spring Break...
kitsjay: (Hot Cocoa)
So Audrey, Court, and I were talking about graduation when I jokingly said, "Yeah, I'm nearly done with both my degrees so I have this horrific vision of me getting bored and adding another one."

"And here I am ... with my one degree," Audrey laughed.

I really was joking, but later I thought, "I wonder how many more classes another degree would take?"

One.

One extra class to get a third degree in Latin.

Life Hard

Jan. 16th, 2009 05:37 pm
kitsjay: (Gingerbread)
Books this semester cost me almost as much as my rent for a month.

I hate putting things into perspective.
kitsjay: (Surfer)
I am officially all moved in and such. Several things worked out in my favor, like the last resident forgetting to shut off the electricity. I've been conserving it, but considering the minor fiasco that occurred while trying to purchase it, I think a week's worth of free electricity (free to me, at least) is mildly deserved. A girl's gotta eat, y'know.

Speaking of, no microwave, so I woke up at 7:45 this morning and made oatmeal over the stove, enjoying it with a cold cup of juice on my little table. Aside from the pile of boxes left from unpacking everything, my apartment is quite nice. I'm very happy with it, though the wall is cracked and the pseudo-landlord is having it fixed Saturday.

Today Courtney and I went to campus so that I could get a new ID (my old one's in San Antonio) and talk to financial aid, with the added bonus of figuring out the bus system. I had never ridden on a bus in my life, save for once with Alicia and Courtney when we went to somewhere or another. I am so afraid of getting it wrong that it is honestly bothering me more than upcoming classes. Dead language I haven't taken in five years and three upper-divsion English classes scare me less than where my bus stop is. Gah. I'm a country girl through and through, y'all. Anyway, for now if I can just figure out how to get to campus tomorrow, I will be happy. Gradually, I'll add more things onto my repetoire like how to get to HEB and Court's apartment later. Maybe one day I'll be an old pro at this. Probably when I graduate.

So yes, new ID is pretty aside from the fact my hair will never, ever look domesticated, but my face doesn't look like a chipmunk anymore, so happy about that. Also, the financial aid lady said that apparently I had a grant given to me for spring semester that never came through until after the semester ended, so they basically deposited an extra $2,200 into my account, hoping I wouldn't notice or something. This is good, but also a bit vexing since I would have liked for them to have told me this, but free money is free money.

Aaaand my computer is still not working (I am on Dad's now, using Court's internet), but my mom got a call from the computer place and he said to call her back. She thinks maybe they forgot to do something or it may not be my computer at all... hopefully I'll have Crush back! I miss him so.

Was going to post my schedule, but photobucket has no love for broke chicks.

I hope everyone else has a great school start!
kitsjay: (Default)
Happy birthday, Court!

And to my brother, too, as he just turned twenty-one yesterday.

Other good news: Mike is building a house up in Lago Vista, near Lake Travis. I rode with him one morning to keep him company. Afterwards, he told me he had the entire day free, so we went up to Austin to check on my financial aid. The man I spoke to said everything was in order, so I should be good when I move in around ten days from now.

Mike bought me lunch at Kearby Lane, we talked, and then headed back home.

Also awesome, I found out that I got into my final class. My schedule is now set, with my shiny new American Realism class in place.
kitsjay: (Default)
So instead of studying for my sociology test this Monday, reading Heart of Darkness, going to the gym, badgering my mother so I can finally get this FAFSA in, or even doing anything remotely resembling productivity, I have instead ate pizza, watched a marathon of due South, combed through the summaries of four seasons of Northern Exposure on tv.com, run out of bandwidth downloading episodes of Corner Gas, convinced myself to become a forest ranger, and spent a truly ungodly portion of my time sucking down Coke Zeros and scouring the 'net for good fanfiction.

... and it was glorious.
kitsjay: (Default)
* Minor success this morning at the gym! There is an extremely cute guy who works there, swiping people in. I see him every morning and try to make a point to smile and say, "Good morning." I came close to giving up on my assault until this morning, he was swiping a mass of boys in. When he got to me, I was pleasantly surprised when he looked up, made eye contact, smiled and said, "Good morning," and held my gaze for just that second longer.

* On the way out of the gym, I passed a group of NROTC guys jogging past. One of them physically turned around while running to look at me. Very nice.

* All of the fire extinguishers on my floor are gone. I passed by an empty case the first time and thought, "My, that's strange!" but the one by the laundry room has disappeared as well. Slightly worrisome.

* My mother has (almost) given me all the information I need for my FAFSA. I sent her a list of questions I needed answered and got about three answered. So I sent the remaining questions, got a few more answered. After about four emails, I am down to three questions I need answered.

* I should probably start figuring out what we've been doing in sociology, since I really haven't been paying attention. At all. Ever. Something about butsudan and matsumuri, I think.

I wish this post was more interesting, but alas, I am boring.
kitsjay: (Expectations)
Ingredients:

1 Facebook game
2 assignments
2 classes
0 idea of what's going on
5 cups of coffee


1. Take two assignments, due Monday after Spring Break.

2. Mix with ridiculous game that is impossible to stop playing.

3. Download football movie with Keanu Reeves and laugh hysterically.

4. Wait until 4:00 a.m., then gently introduce panic, whipping into frenzy.

5. Write something completely random and hope he grades easy.

6. Enjoy! The panic part of this recipe, not unlike frosting, will stay good for the next two years. The flames of hell, or school, will reheat as necessary.


In other, not entirely unrelated, news, Mom found these self-heating coffee things so that I don't have to keep buying Kinsolving coffee. I have very little idea of what coffee is supposed to taste like, but I'm reasonably sure it's not like that. If they told me that the stuff I was drinking was actually a small, dark alien crouched cunningly in a paper cup, I would believe them. It's when they tell me that it's coffee that I become a skeptic.

The point of this, however, is that they're amazing and brilliant and I've discovered coffee. More accurately, I've discovered coffee equals three hours of sleep.

I never have to sleep again!

This means I'll actually have time to do my homework instead of making it up as I go along and hoping my professors don't notice! This is... really new for me, actually.
kitsjay: (Pfui)
Well, today started out like a particularly bad dream.

Here was the plan:

1. Get up at 9:30.

2. Go get breakfast.

3. At 11 a.m., register for classes.

4. 2:00 p.m., go get lunch with Courtney.

5. Wait for all this to blow over.

What really happened:

1. Got up at 12:03 because alarm clock failed to go off.

2. Frantically try and log onto computer, only to find that it (a) shut itself down, meaning I lost every single thing I had downloaded between the last time I shut it off and today, and (b) wasn't letting me restart at all.

3. Fight with computer, finally get it to restart.

4. Try and pull up Internet, only to find that everything I did to make the Internet work in the first place has gone back to its original settings.

5. Get that figured out, go online, find registration has passed for me. Gone. I have tomorrow from 3 to 12 to figure it out.

6. Realize this means I'm going to get the crappiest classes out of the McCrap crappy pile.

And I didn't get breakfast.

I have got to get this computer fixed, but right now I have no way of backing up any of my files short of buying an external hard drive with money I don't have.

Screw that. I'm counting it as a needed educational expense. I can't do any work on this thing until I can back it up, crush its soul, reboot, and have it grovel at my feet like it's supposed to. None of this computer rebellion for me, thank you very much. I have things to do, places--well, things to download, at least.

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