Saturday, December 10, 2011

I pretty much failed all of my classes

Well, not all of them, but pretty much. To be more specific, I'm probably going to receive 2 Ds, a B- and an F. Yea, I know, it's pretty bad. I guess the pressures of life and living on my own are really getting to me. I just didn't have enough time or sleep to handle school this semester, working full-time and such. And now, I'm on my way to taking the same classes I messed up in all over again.

Really, I wanted to pass Calc II more than the others. But as I stared blank-minded at my math final and suddenly realized how short 2 hours can be under pressure, I knew right away that I had failed. As the time tick away to the last 15 minutes, a swelling of anger and depression slowly crept up inside me and consumed my whole being. I have never felt so much disappointment and rejection in my life. I had never before felt so strongly that I just wasn't good enough and that I had truly failed for the first time.

That's a point I never want to feel again. I never want to feel that overwhelming disappointment of putting for so much effort and still coming up short.

--Koi

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Students: Before You Decide to Move Out....

I've been in college since Fall of '06. During that time, I have made a lot of decisions that have changed my life. I've changed my major about a half a dozen times. I've had many jobs in the past, a girlfriend that I moved in with, friends I've moved in with, and finally moved out on my own. I've even tried being homeless a couple of times: a few once with a job, and several times without one--either couch hopping or living in the campus library. I have done a lot of things to try and make getting through college easier, while at the same time trying to grow up, and what I've come to realize is that sometimes it's easier to take things slowly.

So what I've come to understand is that it can definitely be exciting, fun, challenging and stressful to make major life decisions on a whim. Even when I've given things a lot of thought and planned out exactly how I was going to go about things, it hasn't always been as amazing as I thought it would be. For instance, I hated the idea of working all the time just to pay rent and buy food. So I decided it was better to live in my car. I planned out exactly where I was going to shower (24 hour fitness), where I was going to keep my belongings (in my car), how I was going to make my food (hot plate), and where I was going to sleep (outside of friends' houses or in front of 24-hour establishments). However, despite my planning, things got out of hand. I ended up moving back in with my parents, still with my job, and later ended up quitting all together.

In college, it's important to try new things, and explore new possibilities, but sometimes, it's better to take things slowly. If you want to grow up, get a job, move out, and live your own life, try taking those things one at a time.

First, try helping out around the house. Perhaps volunteer at some place that sounds like you might enjoy it and try to figure out if you could even handle doing that full time or even part time while going to school. If you really want to make your mark on this world or live a comfortable life, school is important, and it should always come first.

Second, try getting a part time job on weekends. Make arrangements with your parents to pay part of the grocery bill, or the electric, or something small. This is great practice for when you really move out. It will give you a sense of how difficult it might be to keep your grades up without any serious repercussions of jeopardizing your how situation.

Then maybe try getting more hours at your job, or get another job that offers more hours. Consider who you would move out with (if anybody) if you did move out. And chances are, if you can't even manage living with your parents, you probably will have a hard time living with friends.

Once you sign that lease, however, you really only have two options: follow through with your obligation to pay rent for the duration of the lease, or mess up your credit for just about the entire time you will be in college. It's really not worth finding out whether you can handle it the hard way (by jumping right into it) because chances are, you will revert to survival mode and pick money over good grades like I have. And even if you manage to somehow pull it off, you might be jeopardizing your happiness instead.

Always remember: no matter how hard life gets, school is important, and no matter what your situation is, your life will always be harder in the future if you don't complete your schooling. Whether you want to help people or just make lots of money, you should always be focused on your long-term goals and realize what is more important, which is learning a lot of good knowledge and using that knowledge to achieve your goals and dreams.

Keep dreaming kids, but always remember what you must do to get there.

--Koi

Monday, November 14, 2011

Working at Walmart: Missing Work is Serious Business.... If you didn't call the 1-800 number

It's been a while since I've made an update regarding my days spent at Walmart, the soul-sucking international asshole of the world!

But recently, things have been changing, and so have I. So it seems like a good time to fill you guys in on what's been going on.

Working at Walmart is definitely a whole new experience. My first job was at Traffic Research and Analysis; all we really did was count cars, and the work was really sporadic and boring beyond belief, but the pay was good, and as a 15 year old with a pretty flexible schedule, it was alright.

Then I worked for Walmart as a cart pusher. That only lasted for about 3 months before I got tired of it. After my 90 day good-ol' Walmart checkup, where they they told me that I wasn't working hard enough to earn the extra .10/hour raise, even though I was constantly sweating my ass off and coming home with heat stroke every day, still just a kid in high school, I pretty much said, "fuck this noise," and bounced like a big bald dude guarding the door to a club.

My next job wasn't for a while. After Walmart, I wasn't completely into making money. In fact, I was pretty fed up with corporations--and yet, I still hadn't discovered punk music by this point; but one thing I knew was that corporations were giant conglomerates of assholes, bent on exploiting as many people as they could to make a small marginal profit that would earn the top-payed CEOs I bunch of money that they would spend on completely unnecessary commodities, such as limos, servants, jacuzzi's, big-screen televisions, and $100 plates of salad at some upscale restaurant for some hooker they were seeing behind their wives' backs. I guess you could say, I was pretty anti-consumerism all-together, naively thinking that people should strive to live on as little as is absolutely necessary to live a pretty good life.
Working at Walmart Sucks



But that didn't stop me from getting another job. Flash forward to my first year of college, only about a year or two later. I met a guy named Spencer who helped me get a job at Target. It was alright at first. The freight comes down the line, you put it on a pallet. More freight comes out, you put it on a pallet. You keep putting it on a pallet for a few hours, and then you go stock it.

But there I was, discontent again, and suffering from a recent heartbreak (and being young and naive again), life was miserable. Work, sleep, school, eat, and then do it all over again, was pretty much my life during those two very long months. I hated every moment of it. I hated every second. I wanted to grab a baseball bat and start swinging at anything that moves. I hated life. I hated people. I hated everything. It was a very dark time for me. So I did the thing that any self-respecting person would do: I quit. No notice, no nothing. Just said, "piss off!" and moved along with my life, and then, things were good again.

Life continued to be good until Hot Topic. I was there pretty much every day, riding the bus to the mall to get back to my parents' house where I lived, and I would stop by the store at least 5 days a week to see if they had decided to hire me yet. They finally did, and I thought it was finally the job that I had waited my whole life for. Sure, I realized that they were just another asshole corporation, bent on exploiting people, but I didn't care. I could dress how I wanted. I could talk to people. It was pretty chill--too chill. There were days when I wouldn't do anything for hours. It was boring. Really boring. And then my hours got cut after the holiday, now living in my first apartment with 3 other friends, down stairs from an apartment owned by 3 other, other friends. And things were pretty cool, but I didn't have any money. The only time Hot Topic called me is when someone else called off, and then I'd pretty much say, "If you wanted me to work that day, you should have just scheduled me" because I wasn't going to just drop everything and take a 2 1/2 hour bus ride to work just because those guys occasionally needed me, and I occasionally needed money.

My friends came up to me and said I needed to get some money or I was getting kicked out. I said, "Sure. Cool. I'll see what I can do." And not but a few hours later, my work called me to tell me they were letting me go because there wasn't enough hours. I wasn't butt hurt about it, and I didn't really care. In fact, I celebrated that night to being free from that apartment and being free from that job. I was living the life.

Then, I finally buckled down and got a job at CVS. It was cool--for a while! Then it was alright. Then it wasn't bad, but not very good either.... and then worse... and before I knew it, it just sucked. There would be, usually, only two people in the whole store, and every week it was the same old bullshit. The managers would threaten to fire me if I didn't start showing up to work or doing this and that, or stop harassing the customers (which was pretty much the only thing to do around there--but most of them were regulars anyway). But they never fired me, and every day, I just cared less than the day before. Thoughts started running through my head of what I could do to get away and what my alternatives were. And finally, I woke up one day, and I just stopped going.

Funny story about that one, my parents didn't know until half a year later that I didn't have a job anymore. Here's that story:
http://dailycollegestuff.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-was-going-to-yell-at-my-kidbut-then-i.html



Now where was I... oh yea... so anyway, that was pretty much it.... I went to school, I had a good time, and life was good again... Well, that is, until I worked for Walmart again. And that brings us to the real point of this story. That is: Damn this shit sucks!

I thought it would be nice to move out on my own... and it was! But going to school, and working, and paying my own bills, and trying to make sure I have food to eat... it's all just too much! And the worse part is, my grades have been slipping because of it. I already failed one class, and now I'm in high risk of getting a "D" in another, which technically is Pass/No Credit, but that just means I got to retake it anyway. And this is coming from a guy who has NEVER failed a class before.

Plus, last week, I ended up doing calc ii homework for 8 straight hours because I didn't have any time earlier that week to work on it. I missed work, too, and I didn't even call. I thought about it. I really thought about just making up some lame excuse like, "Oh, I pulled a muscle," or something like that, but then I was like, "Fuck that!" I'm a real man. I don't need to lie about where I've been or what I'm doing or why I wasn't there. So I just didn't call at all, and the very next day, I went in, and my manager came up to me. He said, "Hey, brother. Did you do a no call, no show Saturday?" And I was like, "Yea!" So I got coached.

Getting coached is just like a write-up anywhere else. Anyway....

I wasn't really mad at him. I mean, he's actually a really cool guy and he's good at his job. If I was in his position, I probably would have coached me too because that's his responsibility, but I just started talking to him--about how things didn't make sense at Walmart, about how none of it really mattered because I wasn't going to be there in 2-3 years anyway (if even that), and how I wanted to really get out there and start doing shit. I was tired of waiting around in my little part-time, low-wage shitty ass job. There I was, getting written up for not calling in, when nobody even cares if you call in, as long as you use the number. Some people seem to call in at least once a week, and they never get in trouble. Nobody cares at Walmart, which is why it's so completely different.

You don't have to get your job done. If you don't finish you just pass it on to the next poor sap. You don't have to work just as long as you pretend to. And if a manager ever catches you goofing off (as long as it's not a serious safety hazard or violation of a serious safety regulation), they just tell you to knock it off and get back to work. It's like a perverted little game where we're all playing grown-up and getting paid for it. And yet, every fucking person in that whole fucking store acts like a little kid, especially the adults.

One day, I literally saw one of my co-workers from my shift just fucking standing there and watching as two other associates struggled with a pallet that was falling over. She was like hiding or something, just watching from the distance like a fucking idiot... like a goddamn child. It's like, seriously? And it's not that I really even care if people do their job, just don't fucking stand there and watch while somebody else does all the work. If you're going to go dick off, don't do it around people who are busting their ass; that's just bad manners.

See? Hot Girls can
Work at Walmart too!
I've never seen so many people who will just blatantly do nothing while you are fucking sweating balls and pulling muscles trying to get a job done all by yourself. They just sit there and watch you, hoping that you won't ask for their help, and even if you do, they've already got their response planned out. They already know how to tell you "no."

It's just worthless. Walmart is a shitty company unless you don't give a fuck, and then it's awesome. That's just the short and skinny of the whole thing. And it's a pretty alright gig while you're doing school, as long as you only work 2 or 3 days, not 5 and definitely not the extraneous shit I have to deal with on a daily basis.

And working while going to school sucks in general. Seriously, if you're a parent and you're reading this right now, you're a selfish son of a bitch if you just bought yourself some beer or some cupcakes (or whatever your fix is) and you didn't bother to even think of putting some money in an education fund for your kid, not even a fucking nickel. Cut your kid a break. Let your kid grow up when he's ready. He's not gonna wanna live under your roof forever, and by the time he says, "bye dad" or "bye mom" you're gonna be fucking bawling cause you miss him so much anyway unless you really are just a shitty fucking parent.

All I'm saying is that I'm done. I don't give a shit about this life anymore--my job, my rent, my credit. All those things are nice if I can maintain them, but I would rather give all that shit away and cling to my education because at least I know that's taking me somewhere--not this growing up bullshit; that's just holding me back.

And that's the word.

--Koi

Disclaimer: Though I am an under-paid, exploited employee at Walmart, that Walmart would love to sue for shit-tons of money, my views and the views expressed on this blog are CLEARLY not the views of Walmart. If you thought they were, even for a second, you're probably an idiot, and you need to leave, now! Seriusly, go! I don't want retards like you hanging around my website. But seriously, Walmart has nothing to do with any of these goings-on, except for the fact that they're a shitty company in general, and I work there. So please, Walmart, don't sue me.... for serious.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Possible Goals and Life Goals

  1. Get an internship pertaining to some important positive political action
  2. Quit my low-end, low-wage, demoralizing job
  3. Spend my life devoted to affecting sustainable positive improvement to the world and the country
  4. Succeed or die trying

--Koi

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Life Between Worlds

I often feel as though I'm living in a world somewhere between fantasy and reality. On the one hand, there is the world of dreams; a mystical place where everything is possible and there are no limitations as to what one person can do; where there is only happiness to pursue, and all ambitions lead to prosperity for all. On the other hand, there is the world of systems; where all aspects of life are governed by mundane processes, and where it is difficult to even continue to exist--where happiness is not a part of the question, but rather, part of the problem itself.

If I were to choose between these two worlds, instinctively I cling to fantasy; but in fear of losing my world of fantasy, as logic tells us it is bound by the limitations of reality, I harbor to the world of reality for guidance, creating somewhere between it, a world of constant confusion and frequent unhappiness, not beneficial to either world, or to the individual.

In recent years, my only loyalties have lied with the world of dreams. It was self-evident that this world is in all respects superior to the world of reality; however, as I began to accept more personal responsibility, this world seemed more in danger of complete collapse under the pressures of reality.

Now trapped between my desire to survive and my desire to be happy, I am often times conflicted as to where the balance lies. Unable to fully commit to the world of dreams because of the chains society has placed upon me, I must abandon freedom for intermittent servitude to the greater system of society at large, which as a collective group, has lost its desire for this world of dreams a long time ago. Yet, for the individual, nothing is more desirable.

As a man so entirely entranced by this world of dreams and so far from fully experiencing its glory, whose vision of happiness is so frequently eclipsed by the endless monotony of the real world, I would easily risk everything given the opportunity to fully rejoin myself with this world of dreams; yet, as the eclipse becomes more complete and the dreams become more distant, such opportunities become increasingly unclear; and left without the vision of a clear future, it is impossible, if not altogether too much burden, to try and find exactly where my lot is to be wagered in order to make such a daring attempt for freedom.

It is impossible for me, for instance, to understand how one of my acquaintances at work can routinely respond to me, "Same shit, another day," and having realized the fruitlessness of his continued day-to-day efforts, after having worked for the company for 3 years and having come to the point where his labors are all-together undesirable, if not for simply surviving, that he should become complacent in doing so, and having acknowledged his plight, continue to do nothing to better his situation. Caught in the world of reality, society at large, in this same manner, has abandoned the world of dreams upon taking up personal responsibility. Even the entrepreneurs are now giving in to the plight of society, giving up on the dreams that so inspired a younger more vibrant society.

And yet, given all of this, having acknowledged the state of society, and having acknowledged also my own personal plight, I am left without any clear understanding of my own dreams or how to get there.

--Koi

Monday, October 24, 2011

Procrastination Produces Better Results

Procrastination is a pervasive phenomena common among most college students. Rarely will you find a college student that says they rarely procrastinate, and you are never going to find one that says that they never do. (And  in either case, they are probably lying!)

Procrastination is one of few key mechanisms that students use to cope with the insurmountable amount of work that they have to accomplish each week on top of daily inconveniences such as work, socializing, and daily activities such as eating and bathing (which we would hope people do on a daily basis!). Most people regard it as a bad trait; however, many people I know (myself included) will regularly proclaim: "I do my best work when I procrastinate." And despite how counter-intuitive this may seem, I find it to be very true.

I, myself, procrastinate all the time. When I know I have a lot of work to do, my first instinct is to jump on it as soon as possible, but yet, after a few failed attempts of getting ahead (or even keeping up for that matter), I often find that under the enormous pressures of daily college life, I retreat to the comfort of procrastination, putting pretty much everything off until the last minute.

That being said, I am actually a pretty good student. With a few exceptions (especially this semester), I have pretty much always gotten A's and B's my whole life, but at the same time, have rarely gotten anything done in a timely manner. In fact, despite my academic success thus far, I can positively say that I've been a chronic procrastinator pretty much all of my life.

However, I feel like this has only enhanced my work, not held it back. When there is a looming deadline right around the corner, my work actually seems to improve in quality. I say this having just finished another essay that I couldn't be more proud to call my own work.

Procrastination, though very stressful, can actually cause a person to become more focused and to understand ideas quicker, faster, and in a more connected sort of way. When pushed to get something done, our minds automatically jump to focus in on the important details and connect things in a way that will be immediately useful, which I hold is substantially important to producing good-quality work.

However, in contrast, when due time and preparation go into a project and the understanding of a subject has been spread out over a longer period of time, it is easy to dwell on unimportant facts, take shortcuts, forget large portions of the material in a time when it would be most useful, and even to be lazy, feeling an undeserved cockiness in your preparedness.

I'm not necessarily recommending procrastination as a method of producing higher-quality of work, as much as I'm marveling a the potential benefits. In fact, I would recommend pacing yourself when possible and then working in a manner as if you had  procrastinated. Then, after spending a good day or two of really intensive work, coupled with a very good grasp of the subject from several weeks of preparation, you can even have some time to go back and review your work once your done and fix any looming errors.

However, don't feel bad if you procrastinate, and don't beat yourself up for it either. You have to realize that we all do it, even in the "real world." It's perfectly natural in a society so hell-bent on working you to death and then still demanding more. Yet, at the same time, it is important to remember that it has its up sides as well.

--Koi

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I want to be a part of something bigger!

It's hard to imagine the future. I often sit in my empty apartment and wonder what I will be doing in five years. But no matter how hard I try, the question remains unanswered.

I spend a lot of my time either simply trying to stay alive, or working towards my future; but I've come to realize that I have no actual plan for the future.

That isn't saying that I don't have a goal in mind. My goal is to one day work towards a life that is better for all people, even if the difference is minuscule and completely unnoticed, for all people, for all of time. That is to say, that infinity time any (positive) constant is still infinity, and if I can manage to bring a better tomorrow for all people, I will have done enough.

Perhaps, even if I can bring a better tomorrow for even just the people of today, without making things worse for the people of tomorrow, I can die in peace, knowing that I have done well.

Yet, no matter how hard I try, and no matter how hard I think about it, I simply can't imagine what must be done to accomplish such an ambitious dream.

I feel like my path in life is to go through school and learn as much as I can. Then, and only then, can I possibly affect the world in such a way; but lately, I feel as though I am merely biding my time... or wasting it. What is really to be done about the world? What can one man do to accomplish so much? How can I, even with a library full of knowledge, help the world to be a better place?

And so, I feel as though education has become somewhat superfluous to my cause, as though I already possess all the necessary skills and knowledge that I need to make the world a better place, but am simply lacking the ambition to accomplish that which I truly desire--change!

But then, what change? What can I do by myself, or even with a team of people, that might help the world in such a way? Am I really prepared to take on such a mountainous goal when simply waking up in the morning and attending classes or even getting to work on time are so extremely difficult to accomplish? Am I truly prepared to dedicate myself to something greater than I am, and am I capable of doing so without the recognition of hard work and understanding which one can only gain through institutionalized learning?

"Oy vey!" I scream to the world as my unlimited potential goes to waste. "Oy vey!" I scream to myself as I watch the world change around me, without my contribution, and without the help I so eagerly wish to contribute. What is one man to do? How is one man meant to do so much, when he is so concerned with doing so little. How, when so desperately trapped as a man is, is he to do anything beyond the scope of his friends and his family; and how, I ask, is this, in itself, enough for one man to do?

I would sacrifice everything I have ever worked for if only I could accomplish my dreams. If only I could sacrifice myself knowing it would make the world a  better place. But NAY! Only by living and continuing this meaningless existence can I possibly bring meaning to life. Only be continuing to suffer can I bring about the necessary change that may help the world. And EVEN THEN, I am left to wonder if what I have done can even be understood as progress.

Then what? What am I to do? Am I to spend the rest of my days acquiring the tools I need to improve the world, only to realize all to late that there is no time to get anything done? Am I to watch the world suffer under its own self-destruction, as I idly bide my time for the opportunity I need to help others?

I just feel so conflicted. I am doing everything I can to help my small circle of the world, while spending most of my time thinking about how to help the whole world, and yet, the two ideas seem largely inconsistent. Am I really so selfish as to seek personal happiness before seeking worldly betterment? Or is there something I ought to be doing instead?

And so... I often feel as though my time has passed and my purpose is lost, and yet I keep on pounding on the walls of my cage, hoping for freedom, yet knowing it will never come.

The world's smallest violin is playing a melancholy song to honor my plight; and yet, all I can think of is how such a song might move the world in a better direction.

Oh sorrow! Oh pain!
Why does the world remain the same?
When people suffer, and people die,
Why is it always observed by the blind?

Is there no justice, or caring,
Or compassion for sharing?
Is there no heart and no soul
When the world is so blinded
And the poor are so poor?

Oh desperate! Oh Despair!
Is there no one who cares?
When the world is all gone,
Ad nothing is left.
Will the world seek revenge

For those whom were left
And for those whom are now dead?

I just feel that someone has to do something. And having realized this, I believe that someone is me. I feel that when a problem is identified, it is good in itself to complain, but with nobody there willing to lead, it's just another problem unanswered.

Those who have done well continue to do even better for themselves. With time, and money, and prosperity, they find much more devious ways to hurt the world. Very few among them are concerned with the betterment of society. So bountifully endowed, and yet, with all of their latent potential, they do NOTHING to help society. They do NOTHING to help the world. Nothing but small contributions. Nothing but marginal fixes to very serious problems. And even when contributions are made, there is nothing done to address the root causes of these problems.

Starving societies in Africa do not need FOOD! They need the means in which to provide food! They need infrastructural and working agriculture! They don't need shoes, they need significant development. They need education and industry. That is what the world runs on. Education and industry. Nothing else. Nothing else runs the world. Not good faith or charity, but EDUCATION and INDUSTRY!

And yet... and still... I feel powerless to do anything about it.

--Koi

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How is Working at Walmart Working Out For You?

Well folks,

Here I am again, with another update on stuff and stuff.

As of now, I've worked for Walmart for oh... almost 4 months. This is, of course, the second time I've worked for Walmart; the first time being in 2005 when I was a cart pusher and it sucked way way more. Like seriously, if you live in a hot state, don't ever become a cart pusher because it is just awful.

At any rate, I'm an unloader now, which means I do a ton of heavy lifting, and truth be told, I probably have the most physically demanding job in the entire store... That being said, I am loving what it is doing for my health and body and et cetera. Yea, it feels pretty good to drop a couple pant sizes just from doing your job and getting paid.

Anyhow, what I don't love about it is all the crap I have to deal with. I mean, sure, a job isn't supposed to be fun and amazing or they probably wouldn't have to pay people to do it, but it seriously feels like more and more each day that there are very few of us actually working and the rest are just lazy pieces of shit. That being said, it's not that bad. Why? Well, simply because there are so many people working in the store that even when you only have a handful of them carrying our the majority of the work, at least at the end of the day nobody gives a shit. And if they do, they give a shit in very small increments.

Maybe sometime later, I will upload
some of my own Walmart Fails!
This is both good and bad because on the one hand, very little personal recognition for achievements. When you do an excellent job, you pretty much have to wave it in front of the managers' faces to get their attention, but on the other hand, if you ever mess up, chances are nobody gives a shit.

That being said, dealing with people who like to throw temper tantrums, working with people who don't speak more than 5 words of English, and people who simply don't do their job and more or less just get in your way of doing yours all day can kind of be frustrating, especially when you don't have a supervisor, or even know when they are going to give you one, and refuse to raise you to that level but still expect you to baby sit people... it kinda gets frustrating. But at the end of the day, quite possibly one of the better/best jobs I've ever had... (Trust me, that's not saying a whole lot at ALL.)

Anyway, doing that and going to school is kind of rough. A lot of times, in favor of getting sleep before work, I'll miss classes, or seeing as how I don't get off until 1am or later on any given day makes those early morning classes seem very unappealing. How bad is it? Well, for the first time in my ENTIRE life, I am going to fail a class. Not once in my life, high school, middle school, grade school, or even community college, have I ever failed a class, but I am about to; and to tell you the truth, I'm worried I might be failing two.

So maybe Walmart isn't very good for my future, but right now, it at least pays the bills.

Plus, if I need more money but am not scheduled to have more hours, I simply stay later and make up the difference that way. But then again, Walmart gets SUPER angry when you have overtime, so 80 hours per two weeks is really the best I could do in a good pay period.

Over all, what I would say about working at Walmart, is that for you poor fools like me who are stuck being trapped in dead-end jobs with little to no hope of any future potential just to get by and pay the bills (at least until graduation), Walmart isn't half-bad, especially if you want to lose some weight.

On the other hand, if you are thinking of working and going to school and have the option not to, I would go for that. And parents... for those of you who are concerned that your child doesn't want to work and just wants a free-ride through college and yada yada yada, but you are totally within the means of providing a comfortable life for your child as they go through school without putting yourself in serious financial risk and are unwilling to provide a stress-free living situation for your child as they do their best to get through college so that someday when you're old and dying they can take care of your sorry ass.... shame on you. Shame.

College is already stressful enough. Give your kid a break. Seriously. Do you want them dropping grades and failing classes just so that they can learn some responsibility? What kind of fucking prodigy child were you? You were probably off raising all kinds of hell as a kid and now you want to deprive them of the best years of their life just to teach them a lesson about getting older? Dude, they have plenty of time to grow up. Let them focus on school and get good grades so that they can have a chance to have a better future for you and them. Seriously.

Alright. Done.

--Koi

Now some legal shit:
These opinions and any opinions expressed implicitly, explicitly, telekinetic, sexually, or what you might have thought was an opinion but actually wasn't are not the opinions of Walmart or its affiliates. Walmart probably doesn't have any real views, but if they did, they probably weren't these ones, and let me make it clear that I do not speak for Walmart in any way, nor do I actually intend to. Cause let's face it, Walmart is way richer than me. Why would they hire me to ramble on about how working at Walmart is sort of okay. I mean, I didn't really just sit there and say a bunch of horrible shit about them, but if I was a multinational corporation with millions or billions of dollars, I probably wouldn't want some punk-ass kid who makes less than 20k expressing opinions for me. And if you at any point thought that I was in any way representing the opinions of Walmart, you are probably a fucking idiot.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is School a Scam?

Now most of you are probably thinking, "Oh no, of course not," or perhaps you already think that institutions of any kind are only in existence to mold you accord to the norms of society. (If the latter, you may or may not smoke too much pot.) At any rate, I have been feeling more and more lately like education is broken.

You see, I have been going to school since 2006, a nice long 5 years by this point, with nothing to show for it except my associates. But that's not really a problem with me, and it never will be. However, considering the ridiculous cost of higher education (even at some of the cheaper schools), I feel like I should at least get something out of it. And yet, despite all this time and effort, I feel like it has done very little for me. Especially as I learn more and more, it feels like school is completely superfluous to my education.

Now, I know that some people actually did end up taking calculus in high school. That's awesome. I didn't. And calculus was a very good class for me to take. But now I'm in calc 2 and constantly wondering why I spend so much time in class when I could simply sit there watching youtube videos and accomplish just as much in much less time. I'm not saying that my math teacher is bad, but yeah... she's not the greatest. If I wanted to sit there and watch someone go through problem after problem with very little explanation as to what's actually going on or why we are doing certain things, I could have easily just read a textbook.

What's worse is that youtube actually explains it BETTER than my teacher. I get a better and faster understanding of solving problems from a 10 minute youtube clip than from sitting in her class for two weeks.

Then there is intro to applied statistics. I actually took political statistics last semester, and yet had to take this other stats class for the sake of getting another degree in economics. They are pretty much the same class, but both of them seem completely superfluous to me. First of all, anyone who even uses a stem and leaf plot is an idiot. Histograms and frequency distributions are far far far more helpful than those stupid things. And second of all, since when is statistics hard? Once again, just another stupid course which teaches me things that I either already know or could have known very quickly and easily from other sources, without spending some ridiculous like $700/ credit hour.

I mean, really people. What the hell is the point, even? I feel like a degree is required in the real world if you don't like working at McDonald's or Target for the rest of your life, but what is the point of spending countless hours of hard work, time and effort just to get a piece of paper signed up some guy you probably didn't even know existed until your degree showed up in the mail? If I can already do integrals, why do I need a piece of paper that says I can? Wouldn't it make more sense for an employer to hire me based upon my level of understanding of things directly pertaining to the job in which I am being hired rather than some arbitrary degree which shows the recognition of some accredited institution which seems to have the aim of wasting time and consuming resources rather than producing workers which can actually have a significant benefit to society?

I just don't feel like I get enough out of my education anymore to really feel like the system is working, and it often makes me think that its just a self-perpetuating system, which exists, not for the benefit of society, but for the sake of self-perpetuation.

Countless dollars are poured into convincing people of the merits of a degree, and then society jumps upon the opportunity to take advantages of the supposed benefits of institutional learning in order to show hard-proof (some tens of thousands of dollars later), that they are capable of benefiting society so that some company will recognize them as worth their time.

Here is a great example of what I'm talking about. Let's say I want to be a programmer. I spent years of my highschool career playing around on the calculator, making games and simple programs to do all of my homework for me (which is completely and entirely true, by the way) so that, having already understood the concepts with ease, I could just create a program to career out that process that I already know I'm going to need to do and do the thinking for me... and then as my programming skills increased, I got bored of the slow processing of basic programming on the calculator and moved into more complex forms of programming like C++, C# and assembly, and eventually graduated to doing much more complex programs....

Anyway... so let's say I already have this knowledge of programming. Why does it seems like modern society is now set up in such a way that only people with degrees are acknowledged? Why does it seem like that actual content of someone's knowledge is completely superfluous, and at the same time, many great minds are wasting years of existence working for some shitty company that pays low wages, when they have the potential to do something greater?

Here is a more concrete example: At several times in my life, I have applied to be a supervisor, or even at times, a manager. Sure, I have never bothered to stay with a company long enough to reach this level. As it turns out, I happen to hate most retail jobs, and I sincerely don't want to do work in the food industry either. Though without my degree which says I'm better than everyone else, my options are limited and I'm stuck taking what I can get. Anyway, I've taken simulations and such and such, the sort of things that you must take to get such positions in some companies, and I've seen the kind of work that supervisors and managers have to do, and I am absolutely certain that I could do it.

In fact, I have had several supervisors and managers who were complete idiots. They were just down right retarded. I showed one Assistant manager how to use the register to do a return. The process was easy:

1. Push the return button on the touch screen
2. Scan the receipt, as prompted
3. Scan the item, as prompted
4. Hit the payment type, as prompted
5. Disperse money and party like a rockstar

That's it. That was all there was to it. And yet, this guy, for god knows what reason was a manager, and I found difficulty in even being considered for a promotion to a supervisor.

I suppose what I want to say, is what is really important to society? What is it about society that wants everything to be one simple streamline process. Parts go in this side; machines come out the other. There is no other way of doing things. Everything is exactly as it should be. Just get in line and shut your mouth until you've had your turn.

--Koi

Friday, September 23, 2011

Buying a Bike to Ride Around Your University? -- Read This First!

Anyone who has been to a university for more than a day knows the wonders of owning a bike. Parking on campus usually has a ridiculous price tag, and even after you get on campus, you often find yourself walking for at least 10 or 15 minutes just to get from one class to another-- just enough time to say hi to one of your passing friends for 2 seconds before bolting off to the next class.

However, anyone who actually has owned a bike understands the perils associated with it, including large crowds of people, other bicyclists texting or doing other stupid crap while riding, endangering you and other people, both walking and riding bikes, skateboarders, whom for whatever reason are more daring than anyone else when it comes to weaving in and out, including but not limited to people riding longboards or ridiculously small skateboards, and of course cars that think that you don't exist or for whatever reason believe they have the right of way. (God, how's that for a run-on sentence... I need to work on my punctuation; I'm pretty sure that sentence could have used at least 3 or 4 semi-colons, but let's get back to the point....)

I've had a series of problems myself with riding my bike to school, most of which having to do with the bike itself, but I've also heard some stories from other people and have seen some incidents which have given me some intuitive knowledge about owning a bike. Here's a few things I've learned, all in list order to make it easier to read than these big walls of text:

1. Lock your shit up! -- This is very important as your bike WILL be stolen if you don't. You can be like one of those annoying cheapskates who are too cheap to actually buy a lock and just drags their bike into class with them, but don't do that; just get a lock.

2. Lock that shit up good! -- Secondly, don't be cheap on your locks. If you get a cable lock, your bike WILL be stolen. It takes two seconds with the proper wire cutters to snap that lock off your bike and ride off into the sunset. Just ten minutes ago, I saw some douchebag running off with someone else's bike. Either that or he really likes riding two bikes at once, but I'll let you be the judge. Not only that, but if you don't lock up your tires and your seat as well, or take them with you, those will also be stolen. I have seen bikes locked up with a nice sturdy u-shaped lock, which is the only kind of lock you should get, but everything on it: tires, seat, peddles, handle bars--were all stolen because they decided to just go with a single u-shaped lock, and probably left the bike there for several days.

Personally, I have 3 u-shaped locks, and I lock at least one of them to the frame and to a secure bike rack, and the other two I lock to the tires and the bike rack, or I lock the tires to the main frame. On top of that, I have a fairly good wire lock to lock my seat down and would use another u-shaped lock if it fit on there. However, I am pretty confident that if it comes between a decision to steal my wimpy little bike seat locked up with a cable lock or a whole bike that's locked up with a single cable lock, he's gonna wanna take a whole bike; so I'll take my chances with that one (since I really don't want to carry that seat around).

Remember, bike thieves want the most money for the least amount of effort. They specifically look for bikes that are easy to steal, and the more locks you have and the higher grade those locks are (the u-shaped ones being known for being the best for their money--a more than sufficient in their own right), the less likely a thief is to even try to steal your bike.

3. Don't go with a really expensive bike! -- As mentioned above (kind of), bike thievery is a problem at university campuses. Don't go with a really expensive bike because you will really regret it when it gets stolen. Plus, unless you plan on taking it out for dirt biking and mountain biking and around terrain that is tough to navigate and usually reserved for more sports-oriented biking, you seriously won't get much out of a more expensive bike. In fact, the price of the bike doesn't at all necessarily amount to the quality of the bike itself. If you want a bike for more sporting purposes, look at things other than the paint job and the price tag; otherwise, just go with a good ol' cheap walmart bike.

Now, I've had my share of problems with cheap bikes, but most of the problems are associated with the cheapest and easiest to replace parts on a bike, including the seat and the peddles. If you get a cheap bike, it probably has plastic peddles, and unless you're a particularly small person, you might want to pay the extra $10 to get different peddles; but it's better to spend $80 + $10 (peddles) for a cheap bike than it is to spend $150 on a bike that's not all-too-much better, especially if you're not going to properly lock it up and just get it stolen anyway.

4. Register your shit! -- The last thing I want to recommend is registering your bike. Most colleges have some form of bike registration so that under the highly unlikely circumstances that a stolen bike is retrieved, they can return it to you. This is usually free and takes very little time. It's your last resort for keeping your bike safe. If you lock it up properly and such and such, you probably won't need this, but since it doesn't cost you anything or very little, might as well do it just to make sure.

--Koi

Friday, September 9, 2011

Still Living it Up in My Tempe Apartments!

So things have been good so far ever since I moved into my apartment at 1115 E. Lemon St. in Tempe about a month ago. The sink works well, the A/C works well (very important in Arizona!), it's super close to ASU, and I don't ever hear any complaints from my neighbors about the noise, probably because there is a brick wall on the one side and on the other, who really knows.... but anywho, other than having my neighbor occasionally knock on my door to ask why I'm not partying, I've really only had to incidents worth mentioning:

The first one happened sometime actually rather late when a drunk girl showed up at my door. I didn't know her, and she said she needed a place to stay. I was just kind of like... um... ok, is there somewhere I can help you get to? She ended up refusing my help (and even water) and just kind of wondered off where I never saw her again. My co-worker informed me that I should have taken advantage of her, but I am too much of a gentleman for that. lol.

But the other one is some random guy who wanted me to cash a check for him into my bank account and give him the money. He was saying it was a $2500 check and all that, and first of all, that sounds theoretically a bad idea, even if he signed it over to me, the bank still might be like... uh... no, and then I'm down $2500; not to mention that the guy said he didn't have his ID (which is why he couldn't cash it) and it could have easily been a stolen check getting me in even more trouble!

I was nice enough to let this guy use my bathroom (apparently his friend lives in these apartments, not him), and I drove him around to places where he could cash his check, just to be nice, but no place would take it, even though he said he knew some places that would, and I ended up just taking him back and going about my business.

But wow, really? No ID or bank account making $2500 in a single check?

Anyway, he came by my door at nine this morning knocking. I looked through the peep hole and saw it was him so I just ignored it, but if he comes to my door again, I'll probably call the police or notify management or something. It's not like I'm his friend just because I met him ONCE and was nice enough to try and help him out. And I really can't stand crack heads like him who always need something from somebody. Take care of your own damn self, fuck!

Anyway, it's been pretty mild other than that. It seems like parties happen a lot around here, and although there isn't a lot of crackheads, you do get the occasional one wandering through. It seems the apartments are pretty awesome though: they fixed my bathroom door quickly, the maintenance is always working on something, my neighbors seem pretty cool or at least tolerable, good location, et cetera, et cetera. I'll let you guys know later how I feel about it still. Until then~!

-Koi

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Awesome Apartments for ASU Students Near Campus!

August is here and the end of the Summer break is rolling in fast. I'm actually very excited to be going back to school, and I can't wait to start taking some more classes.

One thing that will make this next semester extra awesome is that I will actually be living basically on campus! After wanting for so long to have a dorm, I have finally did the responsible thing by getting a job and leasing out a new apartment. I will be moving in in approximately 48 hours!

The place basically looks like a glorified closet, only has a small fridge, and no dishwasher, but those are just about the only bad things you can say about these apartments at all.

The place is called Campus Pointe, located seriously like two blocks away from the main campus at Arizona State University. In fact, from where my apartment will be located, I can see the campus. (1115 E. Lemon St. 85281 Tempe)
They also have a very strict policy regarding pests, ensuring that your apartment won't have any pest problems, and other than the location, my favorite part about the apartments is actually how safe they seem. Just to get to your front door, for instance, you have to go through a small hallway where there is only one other apartment door. Other than that, there is only one medium-sized outward facing window to worry about. Plus, being that it is so close to campus, it seems to be mostly occupied by students.

I haven't had a chance to really know what it's like living there, but it's pretty damn affordable, in a great location, and is pretty much everything I wanted, paid utilities and all.

I will let you all know what I think about the apartments again when I've had some time to live there for a while.

--Koi

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What's it Like Working at Walmart? -- It's Awesome!

Alright, I'll be the first to admit it: when I was younger, I was one of those angsty down with corporations sort-of people, and to some extent, I still kind of am. I mean, I honestly think that there should be more smaller businesses because I believe it would be better for our economy and for our society, but the fact of the matter is that it's not Walmart's fault that they do so well. In fact, the only reason they do so well is because people want to shop there and continue to do so. It is up to the consumers to decide what they want to buy and where they want to shop; that is simply how capitalism works.

Well anyway, I started working at walmart about a month ago, after having quit their without a two week notice six years ago. Then, I was a cart pusher, which given that I'm in Arizona, which is retardedly hot, I was not down for that; but now that I work as an unloader in the back, I think that this is probably the best job that I've ever had, including: Traffic Research and Analysis--which was good pay, but boring work; Being a cartpusher at Walmart--self explanatory; Stocking shelves at Target--Oh dear God! The menotomy (I can say that word about as easily as I can spell it); working as God-Knows-What at Hot Topic; doing pretty much everything at CVS; and let's not forget that week that I worked at a Persian Cafe.

Anyway, Walmart is awesome because it is one of the only jobs where I can actually take day classes and still be able to work a decent number of hours. On top of that, everybody I work with is pretty awesome, it's a big store so there is always work to be done, which keeps me from getting bored, and on top of that because there are so many people to share responsibilities around the store, nobody expects you to be superman if you're not able to do everything but still respects when you do an excellent job.

Working at Walmart
I'm not saying Walmart is the best place to work; I would still rather be doing something that helps a shitton of people and actually makes a substantial difference in the world while receiving a decent pay, but I guess that so long as I'm still just taking my first few steps on the corporate ladder and more importantly, while I finish up school, Wal-mart is actually a pretty good thing that happened to me.

That being said, I wouldn't even have this job if I wasn't so desperate for my own place. It is finally time to get moved out of my parents' house for good and get my own studio apartment. I've already signed the paperwork and am ready to move in in just over two weeks from now. I'm so excited! It's right next to campus, it's a very safe place, not too expensive, and I finally won't have to deal with my mom's 30 cats or any of their other problems. This will be just excellent.

--Koi

(None of the views expressed in this blog are the views of walmart or represent any views of walmart; this blog is not affiliated with walmart, nor is walmart involved in creating this blog; this is a completely independent endeavor and in no way should be associated with walmart in any sort of way--hope that clears things up!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why Pokémon Is A Great Game For College Students

A lot of people grew out of pokemon only a few short years after it became popular. Before we knew it, pokemon fell into the same category as barney-- immature and uncool. Though some of us stuck with us. Others of us (like me) fell out of the scene and them reemerged. And now, oddly enough, Pokemon is cool again. Why?

Well, Pokemon is actually a fairly complex game and is an awesome RPG. And even the storyline is getting more and more involved. With the latest installment Pokemon Black and White, the story hinges on a philosophical question of whether trainers should have Pokemon at all, or if by owning them we are hurting them. And as like other Pokemon games, the fate of the world (as we know it) rests on your shoulders. But now, they have gone out of their way to make  you even more involved with the story and its characters, adding much-needed depth and attachment to the story.

What really makes this a great game for college students (aside from being something to do over the Summer) is that it's a very complex and constantly evolving game. Due to new abilities like Moxie and Sturdy, as well as new attacks much like Power Share, the game continues to become more and more difficult to master. To further complicate things, their are a total of 650 Pokemon now. To top it off, their are stats known as EVs and IVs which add even more possibilities for strategy, making this an expert game for anyone who likes strategy.

I'm 22, and I still play Pokemon. I probably will play it forever. Haha. It's just a great game.

Here's a pokemon versus banner that I made earlier today:

Pokemon Versus Banner

Cool huh? It's modeled after my gaia avi which became a female years ago due to some really complicated crap with this one girl I was dating at the time, which is why the avitar has boobs, though it does look fairly androgynous I think.

Anyway, that's all for now....

--Koi

Friday, May 27, 2011

Summer and Weekend Jobs for College Students

Being a college student can be tough. From exams, to homework, to busy schedules. But what is the toughest thing about going to college is money. Even with help from FAFSA, grants, and student loans, it is hard to go to college without having a job.

This creates an interesting problem because faced with already full schedules and lots of assignments, it's hard to find time for a job, and even harder to survive.

After avoiding the experience for over a year now, having had many jobs in the past, many of which were during school semesters, I am now faced with the age-old question again: how am I going to provide for myself?
Maybe I Should Try This?

I honestly don't want to live with my parents forever and their thirty cats. I'd really like to get moving in my life and get my own place again. It is really difficult to find a job, but if I can find a decent job I can do on the weekends when school starts, I will snatch it up in a heart beat.

Alas, to my dismay, it is really hard to find a job outside of sales, retail and food service that pays decent money and that I won't get bored with or hate in a few months. What am I to do?

What kind of work do you do? How do you get by during college?
Let me know below in the comment section.

--Koi

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 Kids Stole Mp3 Players, Phones, and DS Games From My Friend's Car at Forest Park Apartments

My friends and I had a pretty crazy night the other night.

It started out like any normal night for us. I drove over to my friend's house, and he, his girlfriend and I took his car over to my friend's apartment at Forest Park. The four of us and another friend of ours hung around the apartment for a while and then were gonna head out for the night, but when we got back to the car, we noticed that a bunch of stuff got torn up and started to notice a few things missing. This of course took place after the security guard warned us that his inside light was on and the door was left over. Within seconds, we put two and two together, and we realized what had happened. While we were inside for just a few minutes, our shit got stolen.

The security guard told us about a report of five kids who had hopped the fence, and another report from a tenant that they were looking in cars. On a hunch, my friend when driving around the nearby streets to see if we could find them, and sure enough, we did. Fortunately for them, the security guard got there first.

One by one, we got out of the car and confronted the kids. They were all pretty young and pretty suspicious looking. We told them, "Just give us the stuff back, and we'll forget about the whole thing," but they denied the whole thing. A few of the kids went over to a dumpster to "pee" but we soon discovered that wasn't what they really were doing. We stood and waited for the cops (the security guard had already been on the phone with them for a number of minutes by this time), and we just stood around to make sure they were still there when the cops showed up. But while we were waiting, one of the kids ran for it, and even though two of my friends chased after him, they soon lost sight and he wasn't found again.

A cop pulled up a good fifteen minutes later and immediately started trying to figure the situation out. He made the kids stand with their hands on the back of their head and patted them down, took out everything from their pockets and made them all sit on the ground. One of the kids wasn't cooperating and the cop exclaimed, "Keep your hands out of your pockets or I'll shoot you in the face!" The kid of course was much more cooperative after that.

After figuring out the situation some more and scanning the area, he cuffed the kids to each other, two to a pair of cuffs. One of the kids thought he was smart and started messing with his hat so the cop went over and stepped on his leg, forcing him to give it up and then threw it on the overhead parking shade structure. At this point, the kids were feeling real tough reinforced by the company of their friends, but that didn't help their situation at all.

Justice Prevails
We later scanned the area for any items that the other kid that ran might have tried to ditch, but we had no luck, but when we were coming back, the cop had already found a stash of cell phones and one of my friends Mp3 players. The kids were only thirteen to fifteen years old, but we still didn't recover all of our stolen property, and we were feeling rather merciless given that we had asked these kids several times to give up the stolen items and they wouldn't even admit to stealing them. Knowing my friends, I can honestly say that we would have just gone about our own business and left them alone if they had just given them back, but since they didn't, we are filing for restitution.

Perhaps its not the best story in the world, but it sure made my night interesting. For one, I've never had anything actually stolen from me before, and secondly never had a cop actually do anything that benefited me  at all, even that time I got shot at in my own apartment complex after witnessing someone breaking into another person's car. Needless to say, I didn't have much faith in law enforcement. But maybe this will be a lesson to us all: my friend will probably lock his car more often, I will probably trust the law more, and hopefully those kids will change their ways, but I doubt it.

Oh, and if anyone in the Phoenix area finds my Pokémon Platinum game, though I doubt they will, or knows where I can re-purchase it, I'd really appreciate that. I had a lot of progress and a couple special event pokémon I will probably never get back. It was taken by a young black kid about 13 who was wearing purple hot topic pants, a white shirt and a black cap.

--Koi

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Meet People in College

Going to a new school can be a little strange because you don't know the landscape, you don't know very many people or any at all, and its even more confusing when you're going to college. By this time, you've probably already honed your socializing skills and are comfortable meeting people, but if you were anything like I was when I first started going to college, I was completely accustomed to one group of friends and didn't meet new people too often in high school. So going to college for me was a whole new experience where I had to learn how to meet new people. However, after having been to two different colleges (Phoenix College and Arizona State University), I've gotten the swing of things and am now pretty good at making new friends all the time.

I go to ASU, and there are quite literally 70,000 other people who go there. There is just a TON of people, and we're one of the biggest colleges in the United States. So it's no surprise that I've met quite a few people in the year and a half I've been going there. The key to meeting new people is really just as easy as going up to people you don't know and initiating conversations.

One of the easiest ways to get to know people is to keep your eyes open for people you already know, either from a class, from a previous school, or someone you've talked to before, and just drop by to say "hi" even if you've gotta run off to your next class or are just ready to go home. Often times, they will be talking to another one of their friends, and its a great opportunity to exchange names and get to know some new people.

How to meet people in College!
Another great thing to do if you have the time is to just find a club or student organization that you're interested in and just go check it out. It doesn't matter if you don't know anyone there or if you think it's not something you'd want to be deeply involved in, who knows, you will probably meet some pretty awesome people and maybe even find a club that you really love. And from my experience, clubs are always very welcoming and very friendly.

Finally, you can just talk to people. It's not a huge deal, and most people that are either just standing around or sitting somewhere looking bored probably would really appreciate having someone to talk to. Literally, all I do is go up to someone and say "Hey, mind if I join you?" and then bam! instantly made a new friend/acquaintance. It's pretty simple really. Give it a try, be bold. Just do it.

--Koi

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Taking 20 credit hours at Arizona State University (ASU) and now I've gotta stay up for the next 48 hours doing homework

This semester (Spring 2011), I signed up for 20 credit hours. A lot of those classes are upper division and are pretty tough. I wish I could say that is the reason I haven't updated often, but it's really just been for a lack of things to talk about.

Never-the-less, here I am, and it's the end of the semester. Needless to say, after being sleep deprived and loaded up on caffeine pretty much every day, I am ready for this semester to end. In fact, I highly doubt I will take any more than 4 classes from here on out. It's actually been really tough to manage all of my classes, even though for the last two semesters I've been doing 5 classes each semester. Now, taking 6, I realize that the 18 or 19 credit hour limit that Arizona State University (ASU) puts on each semester is actually pretty reasonable.

Not getting sleep sucks!
Even though I'm pretty accustomed to only getting B's and A's for each semester, having only gotten two C's ever and having never failed a class, I am now actually legitimately concerned that I might. As such, seeing as how next week kicks off the beginning of finals, I think I'm just going to spend this entire weekend, that is the next 48 hours, just busting balls and getting stuff done.

For one, I have an essay on Uncle Tom's Cabin due pretty soon, and I haven't even finished the book yet! I haven't had time in between doing hours of calculus homework and all the other homework constantly laid on me to do much of the reading for classes except right before they are immediately needed to be read, and I have even missed a ton of classes just so I could either catch up on sleep or do homework.

On top of the fact that I've been working my butt of this whole semester to get good grades and doing a poor job on it left and right, I have also had little time to mingle with my fellow students or go to different clubs and events that I'm interested in. Normally, I would wonder about campus meeting people often, checking out the tables, and looking for cool things going on around campus, but this semester, I have mostly made a point of passing by these opportunities and usually have headed home right after school so I could recharge and be ready for the next day.

I have, none-the-less, kept up with my model united nations club. It is extremely important to me, and we did excellent at the 61st session of model united nations far west (MUNFW). So in the end, all of our hard work had paid off quite handsomely, and I had a fantastic time.

However, things like the Chess club that I wanted to check out, going to MU After Dark, which is a program that ASU puts on every Friday to come and relax and enjoy a bunch of free entertainment and discounted food, and hanging out with a lot of friends has just been put to the side almost this entire semester, and still, I find myself struggling in some classes.

All in all, I think its safe to say that I WON'T be doing this again. Taking 20 credit hours was just a horrible idea, and it is way too much work for me to handle in one semester.

Have you taken too many classes before? Did it make you hate your life, or were you able to handle it pretty well. Did you ever do it again? Leave me some comments below and tell me about your experiences with class overloads or just leave me a comment about whatever comes to mind.

--Koi

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Model United Nations Far West (MUNFW) 2011 Session 61 "People on the Move" United Nations High Comissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Serbia team for Arizona State University (ASU)

April 8th through April 12th, 2011, Arizona State University (ASU) had a Model United Nations (MUN) conference at the annual Model United Nations Far West (MUNFW) conference, of which I had the honor of being a part of. My school, ASU, represented Serbia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) also known as North Korea, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (UK). I had the honor of being on the Serbia team for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees committee (UNHCR) which deals primarily with refugees and displaced persons. The 2011 conference, the 61st MUNFW session, was appropriately titled "People on the Move" as it dealt primarily with the issue of refugees, displaced persons, and migration. Serbia, being one of the largest recipients of refugees as well as having many internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to its current situation with Kosovo (who had declared succession from Serbia and their independence in 2008, though not all states recognized Kosovo's independence and is still not recognized as a sovereign state by the international community). Due to the overwhelming interest of Serbia in matters pertaining to the discussion of refugees and internally displaced persons, Serbia was an excellent choice for this conference on "People on the Move" especially for the UNHCR committee.

At the offset of the conference, our teams were very highly prepared. We had spent at least half a year preparing our policies and getting ready for the conference. Having several hundred pages of information to sort through, I felt especially prepared.

Immediately, I jumped into the committee with reckless abandon, having gotten a position rather far down on the speaker's list and eager to assert my position. With a series of p23's (short speech or comment) and a great number of p25's (points of inquiry), I successfully established my position and had taken a strong hold of the committee. Within the first handful of speakers, I had already began working on my first resolution, and by the second caucus, my resolution was very well developed and gathering a lot of attention.

As the conference went on, others were demonstrating their eagerness to assert their own position, and in a spirit of democratic compromise, I had made appropriate changes to my resolution to accommodate the differing views of the committee. Looking back, this may have been a mistake, as this caused parts of my resolution to be less cohesive to my policy and more absurd. This problem was perpetuated when, after being guided by the suggestions of my advisors as well as the chairs and secretary generals, I integrated my policy with another, further causing the resolution to be filled up with absurdities and diluted ideas.

To this end, I had eventually resolved to kill the very resolution that I had worked on. After withdrawing sponsorship and fighting strongly against its passing, I feel as though I may have lost the support of several delegates in the room, but not to such a great extent that I had disabled myself from working with them all later.

I found great allies in the delegates from Bosnia and Saudi Arabia, the latter of which was a surprise even to myself. I'm sure there isn't a great amount of animosity between Serbia and Saudi Arabia; however, the two working together seemed misplaced. Thus, I kept it quiet and proceeded with caution in developing further diplomacy with the delegate from Saudi Arabia, as he was one of only a few who had a good grasp on the direction of the committee.

Eventually, resolutions had been drafted, submitted and discussed. There were six on the floor, and naturally, many of them just had to go. In particular, the one that I worked on was no a monstrosity saying all too little about some things, and stating absurdities on others. However, South Africa, who by that point was repertoire, was fully in favor of it and gathered a lot of support. The resolution was eventually passed with an amendment from the DRPK which in all reality completely and utterly destroyed that resolution, but the group in favor of it took the amendment with great zeal, believing it to be an extraordinary contribution to the resolution, even using the toxic amendment as support for why it should pass. Surprisingly enough, it had.

The second topic was something even more surprising. Saudi Arabia had decided, for one, that it was time to increase their presence in the committee. After having a shouting match with Israel about the ongoing conflicts between the two nations, energy was brought back into the room.

Further more, although I had began to draft a resolution and eventually integrated it into another, I saw that this resolution was going to suffer the same idiotic fate as the last, being perverted by the contributions of other resolutions which either did little or simply watered down the impact of the resolution itself. I had gone through no efforts to withdraw my contributions to the resolution, but instead drafted my own with a very solid foundation of preambulatory clauses supported by very strong operative clauses.

By this point, the conference was drawing to a close. I had initially wanted to go to voting block, believing that if we could make it far enough, we would have many hours after the conference officially ended to finish the voting block, but seeing as how we had 10 resolutions to consider (most of which absolutely needed to be destroyed), it seemed that the likelihood of doing it PROPERLY was out of the question, and if we had to rush through the process and pass a bunch of resolutions without proper consideration, I could not possibly tolerate that.

Never-the-less, South Africa, being the repertoire, believed that the United Nations was now "South Africa and Friends" and began barking orders, imploring people to go into voting block and more specifically to withdraw all sponsorship from all but four resolutions, mine not included, also making a complete ass of himself by abusing the microphone, writing on the chair's giant pad of paper, and even declaring that everyone needed to "come causes with [him] so that he can issue an executive order."

At that point, I have no idea where anyone got off listening to him. It was clear to me that if that was the real United Nations that everyone would have viewed such actions and language as a clear move towards violating the democratic principles of the United Nations in favor of a regime under South Africa; however, people instead seemed to think of him as a leader and went along with it.

Having only 3 minutes to discuss each resolution, having had no time for amendments, me, my other delegates (dprk and uk) as well as Saudi Arabia saw that voting block could not happen and that we had to destroy these resolutions. In a very short amount of time where questions were in order for each resolution, I had single-handed ripped apart about half of them and did a fantastic job at destroying the rest during caucus. Furthermore, seeing as how others were still desperate to quickly vote yay or nay on these resolutions without proper consideration for each, we had decided to stall the committee, which we did, with a series of p28s, p25s, p27s, et cetera, which we successfully did for about an hour until the secretary general came in and forced us into voting block.

Well, it was unfortunate that our position, although clearly valid and correct in all respects, that discussing topic 3 was a much better decision than doing a half-assed voting block for the purposes of pretending to have accomplished alot, was marginalized by a higher authority and over-ruled, despite the fact that she said she would allow us to do as we pleased.

Well, we were still very successful in doing what we needed to do.

Next year, my school, Arizona State University, will surely do a much better job at running the show and keeping to the true democratic nature of the United Nations.

The highlights of the conference were when South Africa stupidly voted "no with explanation" for his own resolution, when the failed resolution number 16.2/3 was destroyed by South Africa and Co. by a toxic amendment that they fully supported, Saudi Arabia's shouting match with Israel, United States declaring that they would open up their borders to immigrants (stateless persons), stalling the committee for about an hour for a very valid reason, and when Saudi Arabia declared that "not just one clause needs to be divided, but about 9" for a resolution that had 9 clauses, proceeded to go through each one despite the chair's dis-contentedness, and the declared "you guys are turning this committee into a Banana-Circus."

It has truly been a fantastic year, very much worth all the work, and I will be back next year to mess things up again if ever necessary.

--Koi

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hanging Out With the Guys

Before I went to college, I never did much of "hanging out with the guys." Certainly, I had a lot of guy friends. In fact, the large majority of my friends were guys. However, on an every day basis, I would only see one or two of them, and at a few points in my life, JT was the only of them that I would see more than once a month.

However, after beginning my college career, I was quickly introduced to a whole new group of friends. And before I knew it, I was hanging out with them every day. Life was great, and I had never had such a consistent group of people to hang out with before. These days, the group is very much divided and we very rarely all meet in one place anymore, but 2 years ago, we would all hang out all the time, and it was very common that all of my closest friends would all be in the same room.

We used to give each other a lot of crap, especially us guys. (even then, we outnumbered the girls.) Some of my fondest memories are actually when I was with my ex girlfriend. Not because we had necessarily the best relationship, but I suppose that's because those were the points in my life when I was freest and when my friends were closest.

My ex Tara and I used to be all lovey-dovey all the time in front of our friends (at least for the first two months we were together), and my friends would often play jokes and mess around with us and these times were quickly known as "moments."

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This is definitely one of those moments I will never forget. Obviously, Thunder and Fox were giving me complete crap about always having moments with my at-the-time girlfriend Tara, but it wasn't mean or anything like that; we all gave each other crap all the time. It's a guy thing! It's like when you're younger and you fight with your siblings, I suppose. Sometimes, it's a bonding experience. (Oppose to a bondage experience! Ha!)

Here's what happened later that night...




Yep, I suppose you could say we've had a lot of great times. But we still have a lot of great adventures together... just not so much as a group anymore. The last big adventure we had was Flagstaff, but I will talk about that another time.

--Koi

Random College Road Trip For Summer

So the other day, we went to San Diego, CA. It wasn't planned or anything like that. What happened was is that I didn't have any gas money; so my friend Thunder, who's mom lives on my side of town, drove all the way out to see me (which doesn't happen very often). Then, as we were hanging out, our friends Travis and Corina wanted to know what we were up to. So we told them we were hanging out at a park, and within the next 15 minutes, they Corina had convinced Trav to drive all the way out there too.

Some time had passed since we had heard from them. Apparently, Travis needed to take a shower and so they took a really long time. Thus, Travis got a "piece offering," which was an 18 pack of Fat Tire. It seemed like the plan for the night was to hang out in a park and drink, but little did we know what we were really in for.

After passing by the park, Travis had a bad feeling about it, or whatever, even though I assured him that on the West side nobody really gives a crap. Never-the-less, we set out for a different park, heading even more west of Phoenix than I already lived. Without finding a single park we already made it to Goodyear, which is kind of like this middle-of-nowhere town.




Yep. That's how it all happened. We just started driving, and before we knew it, Travis was like "We're going to the beach," and then we did! It was a good 6-7 hour drive from Phoenix to Cali, but that didn't make any of it any less exciting. We drove through the night listening to a random assortment of music complimentary provided by Corina.

Without a pillow or blanket, snacks, clean clothes or even deodorant, we headed out to Cali to see the beach. Other than the fact that Travis was still kind of still using his tank-like vehicle as a sort of mobile home, we had left completely unprepared and penniless. The only one of us who had money was Travis. Thank God he had enough to get there and back!




We reached Cali and ended up going to the harbor and not the beach... my mistake! I figured anywhere there was that much water there had to be a beach, but I guess it was only in designated areas on the map. Never the less, we were able to keep ourselves very entertained for the next 24 minutes, thanks to the 2 quarters we had between the four of us for the meter.

We found some statues around the harbor and took some pictures with it, observed the giant war-boat replicas and watched the crabs walk up and down the rocks. We also got bombarded with a whole bunch of homeless people (some of which seemed to only be able to talk in mumbles) who would without fail ask us for spare change.

Our meter ran out, and we headed out north towards the real beach. However, by this time, we were all very hungry, and yet, all very poor. Once again, it fell on poor Travis to provide for us. So he told us that we only got one meal for the whole day. Therefore, we went somewhere cheap: Jack In The Box. We ordered a whole bunch of sandwiches and tacos and crap and keeping in mind that we might not be able to eat anything until we got back to Phoenix, we all crammed it down our face holes as fast as humanly possible. I hadn't eaten that much JITB in many years!




We finally made it to the beach! Using gym shorts from the back of Travis's car, we all went swimming. We crashed against the freezing waves (which eventually didn't feel so cold anymore), and tried body surfing against the big ones. Then, we headed for the pier to check out all the crazy things growing on the giant support beams like clams and crabs and even a starfish, but the lifeguard yelled at us. So we went back to wave surfing and finding sea shells. After a while, we ended up heading over to the other side of the beach where there were all sorts of rocks and caught two small crabs and put them in the backpack. (I enjoyed that especially since now I can say that I went to Cali with my friends and got crabs.... and then, our friend Kara didn't have crabs; so we gave her crabs... hahaha.... childish, I know... but still funny!)

We got yelled at by the Life Guard again two more times: one for being on the wrong side of the pier, and another for swimming two close to it. Then, the Life Guard thought it was necessary to warn about rip tide, where it pulls you under the water and drags you out the the middle of the ocean. But although I was pretty far out there, I knew exactly where the rip tide started to pull you on (based on where I was in relation to the pier), and I knew I was fine.

We also got buried. Corina buried all three of us in sand, which was a lot of fun, though my leg started to kind of cramp up. After Travis and I finally broke free, we ended up packing all of our sand on Thunder and restrained him for as long as we could under the sand. Hahaha. It was fun.

By the time we were all done at the beach, we were all exhausted, dehydrated and sunburned. Travis drove around in circles for a while, losing his mind, until we eventually found a place to go to the bathroom and we bought a whole bunch of money on Travis's mom's food stamp card that he had just realized we could use. We pigged out and then all napped in the car for at least an hour or two before driving home.

It was a hell of a lot of fun, and although I was really sick today, I still don't regret it. First college trip of the Summer: huge success!

--Koi