This story is an example of why I lack any common sense whatsoever.
Yesterday at work a guy came in and said he was delivering phone books. Okay, no problem, bring them in. Oh wait—they are heavy. Okay, no problem, I’ll help you. Oh wait—there’s a lot of them. Okay, I’ll open up receiving.
Now at this point I’ll admit I thought something was unusual. But I didn’t question anything and proceeded to help these two guys unload 650 telephone books into our receiving area. With a staff of about 12, we really don’t need those many books. It was only after they had left and I went back to the front desk that I realized the order was probably meant to go to the college nearby and we got it by mistake.
After a quick call to the phone company we sorted out the problem, and the books will be picked up today. I feel sorry for those two guys though, because after I help them load up the phone books, they’re going to have to unload them a third time at the college.
This is just another example of how very intelligent people often lack basic common sense (I think it ties in the poor social skills thing too). If I had any common sense I would have stopped them and then asked someone why we were getting 650 books. But did I do that? Nooo. What an idiot!
It does make for a good story though.
The long night has ended.
Two good events have occurred in the past week to counterbalance this annoying cough that’s plagued me. Firstly, my new computer arrived on the 21st! Secondly, I am now officially done with high school.
With university approaching, I wanted a new computer. My former one, a Toshiba Satellite A70, was … performance-challenged, to say it nicely. It was a nice computer in its own right, but clunky from the start and it did not improve. While it did what you asked, the battery life was poor, and it ran too hot. It would not make a good computer for commuting between university and home. Time to upgrade!
With Seth’s assistance I went through the customization process on Dell’s website and had soon ordered my own Inspiron 6400: Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 160 GB hard drive. Oh, and Windows Vista. It was a tense two and a half weeks waiting for it to arrive. No one was home when the courier came, though, so I had to go pick it up at the depot. Luckily I‘ve got a great boss who let me drop by the depot while I was working to pick up my computer before the depot closed.
So on Thursday night, my computer sat in a box on my bed. I opened it, and there it was. Shiny. It was up and running in a few minutes, although getting all of my programs installed took considerably longer. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay very much attention to the Stargate series finale.
On Friday I transferred my personal files over from the old computer, and then everything was set up how I liked it. So far I am uber-impressed by the hardware. My battery life is around 4 hours. The fan is silent, but the computer doesn’t burn my legs—it’s a little hot, but all things considered, this is more than acceptable. The software, however, is annoying. Vista’s interface is great, but its functions are less than robust. Just yesterday I had to boot into safe mode because in Vista Home Premium you cannot enable the Local Users & Groups snap-in for the management console. It doesn’t let you.
Little does Microsoft know, this only motivates me to get kozier with Kubuntu.
And now I’m done school. Today was my data management exam, which was very easy. It was my last exam, and my last time in Westgate as a student. Next year I’ll return as an annoying alumnus who bothers his former teachers.
Please, when you come to Canada, change your money. It isn’t that hard, and it will save me some headaches.
Thunder Bay is close to the border, so we get frequent American visitors to the art gallery. For some reason, they believe it’s fine to just hand us American money. Canada’s just the 51st state anyway, right? I know that when I go to the States, I don’t flash my Canadian cash all around the place. I trade my money in for your pallid green bills.
Our cash register is not a hi-tech computer with a flat panel display and a high speed Internet connection. It’s a box with lights and a few buttons. The exchange rate is currently set to about 62 American cents for every Canadian dollar, and our boss has to change it manually. I honestly don’t even know how to do the conversion on the machine (there’s a button, but I’m never sure when to push it during the transaction…).
So please, take it from someone who has to deal with your cash. I’ll be happier if you change it to Canadian money. Our bills are shiny and colourful—you’ll like them as souvenirs. And if I’m happier, it means I’ll be nicer to you. And if I’m nicer to you, you’ll be happier. Welcome to the circle of life.
With my last full day of high school tomorrow (well, today), it seems only fitting that I announce a slogan for this summer.
It is: “Unite the plots.”
No, it probably doesn’t mean much to you. But I’m going to put it up on a banner on my wall and stare at it every day, for it shall be my overriding goal as I venture into the scary task of writing book 2. Three plots, lots of characters—and they shall be united around a centre of creamy moral ambiguity goodness.
I can’t wait for this week to end!
That is all.
2010: Dateline NBC: To Catch a Terrorist airs.
2015: Citizens may purchase and carry personal nuclear weapons as per the second amendment, as it is everyone’s right to protect his or herself from terrorism.
2017: Bleeding heart liberals demand tougher nuke-control laws after numerous drive-by nukings.
2020: The CW airs America’s Next Top Terrorist.
2025: Government introduces “Adopt a Terrorist” program. Families may “adopt” a well-known terrorist and attempt to eliminate him or her using any means possible. To help, government also legalizes sale and personal ownership of cruise missiles.
2030: Donald Trump launches TerroristMarket.com. Users may “invest” in a terrorist organization (like buying stocks in a company) and receive dividends if the organization is successful.
2032: Government legalizes terrorism in order to tax it. Experts call move brilliant, citing terrorism as a “reinforcing team values” and “encouraging conformity to a single, unifying set of social morals”.
You heard me. I’m now among one of the elite who have read War and Peace from beginning to end. Not only that, but I am among the elite who read it for pleasure instead of being forced to read it for some other purpose. If only I could read Russian. This actually happened last week, but I never got around to blogging about it.
Yes, War and Peace was excruciatingly boring at times—particularly when Tolstoy described the battles. I don’t care about battles, but at least make it interesting, man! Don’t describe the formations. Give me something to stimulate my imagination, honestly! The interaction among most of the main characters was great though.
After reading this, it strikes me that Tolstoy is essentially the Dickens of Russia. He is an excellent storyteller, but a terrible writer. Sometimes he gets lost in the social commentary and forgets that he does have to advance the plot once and a while; that’s what made it boring at times. After all, the last part of the epilogue is just an indulgent treatise on his views of history and how events happen.
It is worth it, though. It is boring, and it takes way too long to read, but if you sit down and can finish it, then it’s actually pretty good. Maybe you should try it the next time you’ve got nothing to do on a rainy day.
School is not over yet; exams have yet to come, but tonight I went through the complicated tribulation of the graduation ceremony and emerged (although somewhat tired) unscathed. The ceremony was long, and at times dull, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless. I cried when our teachers sang, because not only did they sing well, but I thought about all they‘ve done for us during our schooling. It’s part of the reason I’m going into teaching, I think—not to sing, but just to affect others‘ lives in such a profound manner. I’ve been lucky to have a great number of dedicated teachers who do more than impart facts. They‘ve supported me and shaped me as a person. Similarly, valedictorian Cassie Graham’s speech was moving and flawlessly delivered. I mean, Dr. Seuss?! That alone deserves mucho kudos—there are very few people wiser than that man, and the quotation that Cassie chose was spot-on. But it was much more than that. It was personal. There was something in there that let everyone stop and nod and say, “That was me.”
It was surreal, in a sense, as I walked away from the stage, proceeding out the auditorium doors and into the much-needed fresh air. I‘ve graduated high school. It’s one of these seminal moments that define our culture, the kind of special ceremony portrayed with honour and reverence in TV shows and movies. It is our coming of age. I‘m also so focused on the future that I forget the present. I’m a seventeen-year-old who has just graduated high school.
I‘m scared. I’ve been coddled for the last 17 years. Now I’m on the cusp of adulthood; now I have to make my own choices and actually guide my own life. While I am intellectually ready to move on to higher learning, I’m going to miss the social setting of high school. I am not a terribly social person, but I still have my little group of close friends, and they mean a lot to me—and I‘m not sure if I express that enough.
I’m going to Lakehead University next year, so I won’t even be leaving the city. My goal is to become a high school teacher. Rather simple, eh? But it’s what I want to do (and write novels!). Many of my friends are staying here to go to LU or Confederation College, so I will still see them. Two of my closest friends, Cortney and Vivike, are leaving for southern Ontario to pursue their goals, and I’m going to miss them so much—and this is an awareness that has only quickened recently as the end of the year approaches.
For you see, I am afraid of change. A basic aspect of my personal philosophy has and always will be that change is good. Change is a fundamental aspect to humanity without which we would not survive. We should embrace change. Yet I‘m afraid of it all the same. I’m scared of what’s out there, this big unknown in front of me. What am I going to do?
This isn’t unique, I know. And right now, that’s the only thing keeping me on track: the fact that I know I’m not alone. It’s just an expression of what everyone goes through at multiple points of their life, when they reach this crucial turning point that will define a new portion of their story. It’s not even poignant or profound, but give me a break—after all, I just sat through a three hour ceremony. My diction isn’t exactly well-rested.
I’m not even sure what I wanted to say anymore. I just wanted to collect my thoughts about this whole graduation experience. After all—now we‘re people. And I just wanted to say how immeasurably proud I am of my peers, and especially of my friends, for all of our accomplishments, and for our bright prospects.
I’m going to miss high school, and I‘m going to love university. I’m sad to go and happy to move on…. I don’t know. I’m going to stop now, because I‘m not making any sense, I don’t think. There’s just too many emotions clashing in my heart right now to talk about any particular feeling. I’ve done my best, too, to avoid as many of these cliches that seem to dogmatically follow graduation (although I‘m sure there’s a few in here somewhere).
Here’s a random thought! We’re six billion apes crammed onto a moist rock hurtling through the vast expanse of space. No steering wheel, no brakes. We think we‘re special because we’ve got fire and a stick.
And yeah, I think that digital watches are a neat idea. I‘m Ben Babcock, and I just graduated high school. Now someone gimme a stick. It’s my turn to make fire.