Just One More Thing

On any other week of this semester I would be in Documentary Photography right now but due to recent events I now have all this free time to blog so I guess it was a blessing in disguise. I’m actually surprised at how I’m taking this/reacting to this. To be honest I don’t really care that much (obviously writing two blogs about it would make you think I do but it’s just decent material so yeah). One F on my report card is bad but it’s really just not that big of a deal. I consider myself a pretty genuine person who usually doesn’t take short cuts around things like this. When I told Rob about this he even said “Oh god, how? That’s very un-Sam Stortz like.” I didn’t fake the pictures with malicious intent to flip my teacher the bird secretly. I just did it because I was out of ideas and it just didn’t seem like that big of a deal. My character hasn’t changed at all because I’ve failed that class.

I just find it funny because literally the one time I try to cheat I get caught. I attribute that to a lack of practice. This is just encouraging me to cheat me. As of right now, I’m 0/1 on cheats, that’s batting .000. If I get away with just one more cheat that shoots up to 1/2 and .500 which isn’t terrible. I’m not going to cheat more because I just don’t like it and I’m not good at it. Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to has said it’s not a big deal. Even the mystery commenter Tozan went out of his/her way leave a very encouraging comment. Despite the fact that I don’t know who it is, that actually meant a lot to me. I agree with their statement of “The episode you described has probably taught you more than the class anyway.” A week after this semester I would have forgotten literally everything from that class about photography. Also, at this point, I don’t think I’m going take do a summer course. I’ll probably heed Dave’s advice and overload either a 4 credit joke class one semester or a 2 credit class one semester and a 1 credit class in the other. I’ll save myself the money and the extra work will be negligible.

This is likely the last post I’ll write about that class, at least until I can think of something good to write about.

Lesson Learned

I debated about whether I should post this on the blog but figured I might as well. This was part of the reason that I haven’t posted lately.

I will be receiving an F on my report card this semester. The class is Documentary Photography. I’m sure you’re asking, ‘What tard could possibly fail photography?’ Well I’ll tell you folks, this tard can. After 10 weeks of work and only 3 weeks left, I was caught for academic dishonesty.

A month ago we were told to document something we did over spring break. Well, as some may know, I spent my break at home with my dad as the rest of my family was in New Zealand visiting Jeff. What did I do over spring break? Outside of drinking and playing cards, there wasn’t much. My initial thought was to take photos of my cats, the thing had to be 5-7 photos and I have 6 cats, perfect right? I took one of Winslow looking out the window which was average. I took one of Elvis while he was sitting on my chest and it was pretty bad. I tried to get one of Trooper and Elvis on the deck staring at each other but they just weren’t cooperating. After maybe 10 photos total, I threw in the towel on that idea. Before I knew it, Saturday rolled around and I was on my way back to school with no photos for the project. Simultaneously, Tom was blogging about his fantastic trip to NZ with his family. Brilliantly, I decided I would take his photos and claim that I went to NZ with the family. How could I get caught, right?

We handed the projects in and after a few weeks I still didn’t have my grade while Ben and Pane both did. I figured that meant trouble. She emailed me yesterday asking me to meet with her about it and I knew I was screwed. I went into the meeting and she told me she found my photos on Nicole’s Flickr and asked if I could explain. I said “Look, I’m going to be completely honest, I didn’t take those pictures and I didn’t go to New Zealand over break.” I followed that up with the cat story and whatnot and she said she appreciated my honesty and that horrible cat pictures would have been better because I actually took them. She then said that it’s a zero tolerance policy and that she was going to alert the Dean and give me an F for the entire course. I said I understand and got up to leave. She said good luck with your future and I replied with a “Thanks, cya later.”

So let’s go over this. There are several consequences of what happened. Obviously I get an F and my GPA drops but I don’t really care about that too much. I wasn’t going to get a 3.5 cumulative for my whole career and even if I get a 2.3 this semester my cumulative will still be above a 3.0. The real problem with this is that A) I have to tell my parents and B) my teachers/adviser find out about it. My mom spends good money for me to go here and the least I can do is attempt to get an education. She does not want to hear that I failed a class because I’m an idiot. I already told her and she didn’t seem too pissed, it’s pretty much a “you fucked up so you deal with it” situation, that’s how most bad situations have been when I tell my parents. What’s also bad is that my teacher found out. She was on the email sent out for the academic warning. This is mainly bad because I literally just wrote a paper tonight about a situation where my morals helped me through a tough situation. Her knowing that I plagiarized will not help my grade on that paper. A final consequence is that I’m likely going to have to take a summer course to make up the credits. This was essential a ~$1000 mistake by me because I ensure you that my parents will not pay for a summer course.

I understand that as a teacher, a student plagiarizing shows disrespect and they should have the common courtesy to make the pictures there own. It’s a simple enough thing to ask for. I understand that it should be pretty easy to make sure all your pictures are your own but just to play devil’s advocate, you could argue that my 8th amendment right is being violated here. Does the punishment here really fit the crime here? Does faking 6 pictures for a total of 5% of my grade really warrant an F for the class? The student handbook has two potential outcomes for a situation such as this, a zero on the project, or an F for the course. She could have given me a zero on the project. I can see it from both points. If I was a teacher I wouldn’t want to dick over some kid over after he put in 10 weeks of work, but at the same time, I would have little sympathy for someone who faked something as easy as a “what did you do over spring break” project.

Obviously, I’m the tard who faked it and I shouldn’t have to ask that question if I just did what I was supposed to do but I’m just saying that you can still raise the question.

End Easter

It’s been a while since I last posted. There’s a few reasons for this. I’ll start by just recapping my Easter. Saturday night Rob, Wacker, Mark, and I decided to do 40 hands because we had nothing else to do. I cruised through the first 40 in 9:30 but then hit a wall. I ended up finishing in 44 minutes. Mark and Rob finished close both around an hour. Wacker took forever to finish and everyone lost interest by the time he was done. Rob decided it would be a good move to smash the 40 against the wall while his hand was still taped to it. He suffered only minor cuts which was amazing but was still bleeding pretty good. I passed out mid-party and the shenanigans began. I was in my bed and they tried to lift my bed up while I was still on it. Rob said the thing got uneven and I rolled out of the bed and somehow landed right on my feet, stuck the landing, pretty incredible. They drew on me a bit and shaved my legs which is kind of funny I suppose. They also moved my mattress into the common room.

I woke up around 10 on Sunday morning andwent to brunch with the family. I was a little bit too hungover to really enjoy the food. I stayed home to play basketball and ping-pong with Tom. After that I watched almost all of the Masters and found myself much more interested in it than I thought I would be. I eventually returned to school feeling like absolute doody. The past 4 days or so were extremely unhealthy. I went to Elevation Burger, Domino’s, Scoogi’s, the Diner, and drank a ton of beer/malt liquor. It was just a really rough yet fun weekend and I ‘m ready to return to normal.

This is just a short post to let everyone know that I’m alive. I’ll try to get back on schedule.

Start Easter

Easter weekend started off right last night. Gourlay came up to visit and although there wasn’t that many people here, it was still a good time. Gourlay and I split a Horny Goat variety pack for $30 and started drinking around 5. Pong was going on strong so we signed up for a game. Gourlay and I managed to win 6 in a row and almost shut out Andy and Drowzy. Things were going normal until roughly 7 or 8 o’clock when the power went out for all of Ursinus. People in Reimert were freaking out and I grabbed the guitar because that was the only thing we could do. We had a nice sing along and then a few of us went down to 103. We were all in the bathroom lighting paper towels on fire and then grabbing them to put them out. Jay got angry when I lit a paper towel on fire and then threw it in the trashcan that was full of other paper towels. Things started catching and the fire grew, Satchel and I thought it was hilarious but Jay didn’t. We were pouring beer on it to put it out and fortunately it worked before things got out of control.

We went to 205 where I’m not banned from and hung out there for a while. Nothing too significant happened there but we were all drinking and talking and having a good time. I was on the verge of blackout and at some point someone decided we should go to the diner. I don’t know how or why but Rob and I ended up there in a booth together before everyone else got there. When the others arrived we refused to sit with them. Rob and I were man dating while Gourlay, Mark, and Satch had a table in the other room. I got the eggs benedict and it was incredible. Rob got up to go somewhere and I kind’ve fell asleep at the table. Little did I know Rob ran away with no intentions of coming back. Our waitress woke me up and asked if I was okay and where my friend was. I didn’t know the answer to either question. The other table got up to the pay for their meal and Satchel owed me $6 from last weekend which he refused to pay me. I gave him Rob and I’s bill and then walked out the door. I ran back by myself with Gourlay in hot pursuit.

When we got back to the suite my door was locked. Mark and I were locked out and we had no idea who was in the room. Gourlay and I walked to campus safety at 2 in the morning to have them open the door for us. They let us in and we saw Ben passed out in Mark’s bed. That pretty much ended or night. I’m staying at school tonight too but I don’t think much will be going on. I’ll drink and have fun but it will probably be pretty low key.

School and Teeth

This upcoming weekend is Easter weekend which is sort of excited I suppose. I’m going home on Sunday to have brunch with my family and some friends which is always a good time. My 8:40 for tomorrow got cancelled so I plan on drinking tonight since I only have one class at 1:30. I don’t know why but just this week my motivation has dropped so much. I had two tests last week. Econometrics was really difficult but I managed to get a 78 when the average was a 70. Eric’s test was also pretty difficult. The average was a 157/250 which is really bad even for his tests. Normally it’s around 180 but people just bombed this one. I got a 191 so I was happy with that. Academically I’ve done well up to this point but the fact that this semester is almost over and that I have good grades is demotivating me pretty well.

Today was also a semi-big day teeth-wise. After almost 2 years of no braces I’m getting a small form of braces back on on May 15th. I could explain why but no one cares. I also almost scheduled my surgery for this summer. At the moment I’m hoping for a mid-May surgery because then it wouldn’t mess up my running at all but we’ll have to see if that holds. I don’t know if this teeth growing thing will ever stop but it’s starting to get on my nerves. The lady at the surgeon’s office said to me today “Wow I can’t believe you’re 20 years old, I remember you coming in here as a little kid.” It’s been 10 years and I’m still getting surgery for these retarded extra teeth. I don’t even know how many I’ve had at this point. Last time I saw my orthodontist he said “I feel I’ve documented your case pretty well up to this point, but I didn’t document it as if I was going to give a lecture on it. I would never have guessed that it would go this far.”

This post didn’t really have a purpose and I’m sorry to disappoint but that’s what I got right now. Enjoy your weekends.

Keyboarding

I didn’t have much to do in terms of school work tonight so I put my time to abnormal use.

 

I picked out every single key on my keyboard and cleaned beneath them. I was reluctant to do it at first. Initially I thought I would only do maybe 5 keys just to see how dirty it was. Then I started doing all the letters and numbers because they were easy to get off but I wasn’t going to do any of the big ones. Once I picked off the right shift key I figured I’d just go through with the whole thing. I ran into some minor problems but nothing I didn’t think I could fix. Getting them out wasn’t the hard part though, putting them back on was the hard part.

I started at the bottom with the space-bar and those to the left and right of it. I immediately ran into problems with the alt key and the windows key. I was struggling and figured I would come back to them at the end. Some of my F keys are crooked but other than that the rest of the operation went smoothly. I revisited the alt and windows key. I figured I could live without the windows key if need be but I absolutely need the alt key. If I didn’t have alt I couldn’t do alt-tab which I do countless times a day. It kept going in crooked and sinking down all the way without being able to come back up. It was pushed down so I couldn’t push the key in at all. Eventually, after 15 minutes of fidgeting I got the alt-key in. I figured I’d give the windows key one more shot before I just threw it out. Lucky for me I got it on the first try and my keyboard was back to normal.

It’s crazy how much hair and how many crumbs accumulate underneath the keys. I couldn’t really get all of the hair out even with the keys pulled out. Either way, it was out of the ordinary and I figured I’d blog about it even though no one will care.

Beat to Hell

That is a picture of my right Rainbow sandal. It is so worn down that two significant holes have formed at the big toe and at the ball and other parts are wearing down quickly. I can’t wear these when it’s even remotely wet out (even though I do anyway) because the water comes up through both holes and gets the sandal wet which makes the part on your foot all slimy and gross. I’ve had these for almost two years but because I wear them year-round I think they go a little quicker than most. People have been telling me for months that I need new ones but I’m reluctant to cash in on the lifetime warranty. I’d say they have at least another year left on them.

This particular situation got me thinking about how this concept of beating something to death and not getting a new one until I absolutely have to is very present in my life.

I have three pairs of shorts that I wear on a weekly basis and I have ripped the right pocket out of all three of them. The bottom parts of them are pretty ripped and threads are hanging down all the time. I’ve had them for way too long and they’re a bit too short as well. Needless to say I need new shorts.

I regularly put in 800+ miles in my running shoes just because I think the “Only 300-500 miles per pair” is bullshit. If I can squeeze out an extra couple hundred miles and a month or so of not buying shoes, I’m going to do it. I’m getting roughly 3 shoe lives out of two shoes, why not? (Because I have a stress fracture now, that’s why).

I’ve had the same Guitar Hero guitar since 10th grade and the thing is a wreck. The whammy bar is broken and you can just tell how worn down it is. It’s been this way for years. Even though I don’t play nearly as much as I did, you would figure that at some point in the past 3 years I would have gotten a new one just because I put so much time into the game that I might as well.

I kept the same razor head for way too long and every time I went to shave it really hurt. I figured I was just being a poon and there’s no reason to replace it if I can get a few more quality shaves out of it. This goes along with an electric razor. I wanted one for so long but figured I could just use the normal ones forever. It took Jeff going to NZ and leaving his razor behind for me to finally get (steal) one.

All summer Jeff and I traded Barney back and forth. I’d say that 90% of the time the gas light was on. We would ride that thing as low as possible before one of us finally gave in and put $10 in. We were going to have to put gas in anyway, it would actually save time if we just put a whole tank in because we wouldn’t be going to the gas station every week.

I could keep going but you get the point. There’s two potential reasons for this in my opinion. Money is one. I want to get the highest value possible out of everything. I’ve realized however that the few dollars you save by prolonging a purchase severely decreases satisfaction and it is easily worth it to man up and buy the thing to make your life easier. I have a good amount of money given my situation and it’s not really an issue to spend some extra money here and there. The other potential reason is laziness. Buying a new pair of shoes or a new razor requires driving to the store and actually getting it. It’s a chore and for me it’s something that routinely gets put off until it absolutely has to be done. I think it’s a combination of both things as to why this is so present in my life. I know I can’t be the only one who lives like this.

Epic Songs

Most songs are between 3-5 minutes in length. If I recall from middle school music class, (I could be wrong) the reason for this is because way back when they recorded things on records, the max length they could hold was roughly 3:30 or something like that. That pretty much set the standard for all songs to follow. You don’t hear very many songs today that are longer than 5 minutes. I think a reason for this is the fact that it probably wouldn’t get played on the radio. People don’t have the attention span to sit through a 10 minute song on the radio so they don’t bother playing them. With all of that said, here are six long (long is defined loosely, 8+ minutes?) songs that I picked out that I really like. I don’t expect many people to listen to all or any of these but in case someone is interested and has some extra time, here they are.

Roundabout (8:29) – Yes
Instrumentally speaking I think this song is incredible. From the really catchy bass line, to the guitar solos, to the crazy keyboard throughout the whole song, and the drums. All of them get the chance to make their impression and all of them make it happen. I really like the part when the song switches from the verse to the “In and around the lake…” part. I don’t know many songs by Yes but this one in particular I like a lot.

American Pie (8:33) – Don McLean
This song is a classic that pretty much everyone has heard before. It’s actually about the day Buddy Holly died which McLean cites as the day music died. It starts off slow and then builds up into the real song. The piano throughout the whole song is pretty bad ass and the chorus is one that everyone will remember. It’s really catchy and fun to sing along to and just really good song. There are very few times where I would elect to change this song.

That Was a Crazy Game of Poker (8:42) – O.A.R.
I always knocked this song because some of the rhymes seem like they were written by a 5th grader, such as “And I said, watcha lookin’ at? He hit me ‘cross the face with a bat”. However, I really like this song. There’s a cool intro guitar solo and fun licks/solos throughout. The song could end 5-6 minutes in but they keep it going and it doesn’t disappoint in my opinion. The repeated part that begins “I said Johnny whatcha doin’ tonight? He looked at me with a face full of fright! And I said, how bout, a revolution! And he said right.” and goes on is really fun to sing along to. One of the ultimate bro-songs.

Jesus Of Suburbia (9:08) – Green Day
This one barely counts because it is split up into five parts. This is off Green Day’s album American Idiot which is one of only three albums that I ever purchased. This one is easily my favorite song on the album. My two favorite parts within the song are City Of The Damned and Dearly Beloved. The song keeps your attention by switching parts every two minutes or so. Out of the instruments the drum fills for the whole song stick out to me. I don’t what else to say other than the song rocks.

Knights of Shame (11:50) – AWOLNATION
If you’re going to take the time to listen to any of the songs in this post, listen to this one. Mark and I still listen to AWOL pretty much daily and this song is the king of them all. Just off the little bass line in the first 10 seconds I can’t help but do the “Sam Dance”. There’s so many catchy little diddy’s in the entire song that you find replaying in your head over and over again during the day. Like some of the others songs already mentioned, it does a good job of switching it up every couple of minutes so you don’t lose interest. I really like Bruno’s voice in all of his songs but especially so in this one. There’s a two minute stretch that’s all rap which is a total twist but it works really well. He doesn’t rush through anything which I guess is why it’s so long but also why it’s so good. It’s something different but really good in my opinion.

Echoes (23:31) – Pink Floyd
This is what I would call an epic. Pink Floyd was always pretty experimental and this song is the result of some good lab-work. The song is so freaking long and just takes you through a whole deal of soloing and huge changes that’s all awesome. If I were to ever take shrooms or acid, this would be the song I would listen to. Starting at about 11:00 it gets really weird and has all these crazy sounds that phase in and out. This is the part that would put you on a bad trip. It’s honestly scary to listen to. At 15:00 it starts to come back into a real song a little bit with the repeating piano note that is in the intro. The guitar kicks in at 16:15 and by 19:15 you’re rockin’ out again. The ascending/descending guitar riff always sticks out to me as a favorite aspect. If you have the time, this one is definitely worth a listen. Like Knights of Shame, it’s definitely different in it’s own way, but it’s really freakin’ good.

 

As always, if you have a song you like that’s really long, I want you to comment and I’ll take a listen.

One More Gone

Saturday started with Ben and I going to the Reading Terminal Market for a photography field trip. I’ve been there multiple times but never really gotten food there let alone went with the intention of photographing anything. We got there around noon and food was the first priority. I asked Gourlay if he wanted to join us and he said yes. He biked down there from La Salle which took him a while but it was still nice to have some extra company. I had a breakfast sandwich from Smucker’s which is some Amish place and it was really freaking good. Next Ben and I bought some fried chicken and again, it was really freaking good. I capped off the trip with a slice of cornbread and an apple, it was a successful day and the trip wasn’t as dreadful as it could have been. We were back by 4 and ready to have fun.

The plan for the night was to have a case race with the teams being me and Satchel against Rob and Wacker. Rob was having heart problems so we had to find a last minute replacement which Shiloh volunteered for. It was a 24 rack of Natty Light, the teams weren’t really fair and we knew that going in but we didn’t really care. The four of us and a few others sat in my room bro’ing out the the whole time. We listened to music and talked about man things. A little less than 2 hours in I was about to finish my half with Satchel right behind me. For whatever reason I decided to be a hero and chug a large portion of the last one in order to finish. That proved to be a costly mistake as I puked all over the toilet moments later. It didn’t really matter because we won by so much but it would have been nice to not puke. I was pretty hammered afterward.

A group of us including Satchel (I only say that because he’s the only one I specifically remember going with) went to Olevian for some party that was there. I remember us being in the bathroom on the 2nd or 3rd floor trying to shotgun beers. I ended up shotgunning two because Jordan challenged me after the first one. Those two shotguns sealed the deal and I was in blackout mode. I know I went to Shreiner and to lower but that’s really all I vaguely remember. I woke up this morning with the third worst hangover I’ve ever had. I don’t know why but it was absolutely terrible. I tried to go to brunch but I could barely stand up. Going down the stairs my legs felt like they were going to completely give out. I was in a full sweat by the time I got to Wismer so I took my sweatshirt off. Two minutes later I was freezing cold and had to put it back on. I ate two pieces of bacon, two sausages, and a few pancakes before I pretty much passed out at the table for 15 minutes. I eventually made my way back from the suite and proceeded to pass out for 2 hours.

I’m feeling much better now but this morning was a disaster. I don’t have much to do for tomorrow so I’m going to have a pretty lazy day/night. The end of the semester is near and I’m not thrilled about it. I don’t really want to go home for summer but it does bring some positives like being able to run again. Regardless it’s not really my choice so I suppose I should embrace it.

Crash

I was sort of reluctant to post this but I’m going to.

My stomach hit the floor when I watched this. It left me speechless. It’s just a disturbing thing to watch. There’s no reasonable way you can say anyone in the car survived that wreck. I couldn’t help but thinking about what was going on in the van moments before. It’s just like any normal trip somewhere, maybe there were joking around or listening to some music and in an instant, it’s over. There’s a good 5 second window where the people in the car knew they were out of control and saw the semi coming directly at them. What was going through there mind at that point? The thoughts/feeling those people had in those 5 seconds is probably unlike anything I will ever experience. I don’t know why but this video hit particularly hard for me.