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What time is it?


Hello world, some announcements:

1. Tomorrow is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. So much happy up in hurr.
2. Fall term finals have fried my brain and left nothing but a tiny pile of ash. I know this because after I turned everything in and went to the airport, it took me five minutes to just to say the word “strategize.” 
3. While writing an essay about the fascinating dynamics between scholarship and educational policy, I spent a good ten minutes researching the word “compromisation” just to come to the sad, sad realization that it isn’t real. So, thanks for that, Spice World. 
4. HOW does Adele get through her own songs? I have yet to get through “Someone Like You” without crying like a baby. I’m actually not joking, you can ask my brother. 
5. During finals, I spent a good 25% of my time daydreaming of all the cool SKEWLS OUT SEEYUH Facebook statuses I could put after I turned everything in, and then I didn’t put anything at all. My life is very, very lame. 
6. I knew that Thanksgiving in El Paso was going to be a hit when I walked into Lucia’s room and saw her Justin Bieber backpack (pics later). At this point, I’m just crossing my fingers that she won’t outgrow him before I do. 

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Before I melt down and cry from the stress of finals/life..

haha oh wait, I already did that TODAY. On the way back from Econo Food carrying a ton of groceries. And then again in my apartment.The day I get to spend my life sitting at home eating blueberries and reading blogs and watching Justin Bieber’s “Somebody to Love” music video will be the happiest day of my life.

Seriously, have you seen that video? I am currently watching it in the library and this kid just walked past my computer screen and gave me a LOOK. This next part is directed at you. All I want to do in life (this is not a joke. NOT a joke.) is spend every breath trying to recreate this video. There are approximately eleven dance sequences that give me major butterflies inside, including but limited to: 1) backpack dance sequence  2) impossible footwork by Usher 3) Beat Freaks dance sequence 4) the HSM-style All In This Together sequence at the end. And (approx) seven other sequences that make SYTYCD look like a hot mess. This video is the bomb.

1. Do you know how I’m officially a boring senior? Because I spent last Friday printing a 500 (500!!!!) page reading. On Head Start. It’s actually sort of fascinating (I’m a nerd) but.. I mean it’s 500 pages. It’s a good thing Carleton’s insane tuition covers all printing on campus. I had to tell this hurried-looking freshman she should probably use another printer because I was gonna be there a while. I was that person. Since this monster was too big for the butch heavy duty stapler (which maxes out at 60 pages), the librarian had to find me a binder clip. Call this mundane but I feel pretty freaking accomplished right about now. 500 pages! Also, there is no way I am doing grad school after this experience. You can only brag about this sort of thing once, not once a week for 5 years so…

2. More complaining about school: Is it just me, or is the author of the article on the left trying to kill all of its readers? It’s 80 pages long and ALL OF IT is in yellow text with black background. It felt like one of those weird exercises where you stare at a thing and then stare at a blank wall and see Jesus or a happy face, only I kept seeing a purple wall of text about the environmental effects on IQ.


3. Pros and Cons of my African-American lit class. Cons: Waste of approx ten hours per week. Pros: Get to watch the film adaptation of “Waiting to Exhale” starring Whitney Houston (“and IIIIIII”), the guy who plays Turk in Scrubs, and Adele from Grey’s Anatomy. It’s like the Ghosts of TV Shows Past are reminding me that I still haven’t finished seasons 5- whatever.

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On Carleton Moving its S/Cr/Nc Deadline to Seventh Week
Sooooo for those of you who have anything to do with Carleton College, you are probably aware by now that faculty voted with a 67-21 majority to make several nightmarish unpleasant changes to the beloved S/Cr/Nc policy that has saved us in our darkest hours. Previously, the S/Cr/Nc (pronounced ‘scrunch’.. gettit?!) policy allowed students up until the last day of classes to designate a maximum of 6 credits (= one normal class) reviewed on a Pass/Fail basis. Students who anticipated getting a low grade in a class (or students like me who are anal about their GPA and cry every time they get anything other than an A-) could designate one class per term, six classes over all four years at Carleton, as S/Cr/Nc and receive either a Satisfactory (i.e. “Pass”) , Credit Received (i.e. “Barely Passed”), or No Credit (i.e. “Faiiiiil!”).

The new policy doesn’t completely eliminate the S/Cr/Nc option, but is pretty radical nonetheless. For starters, it changes the S/Cr/Nc designation deadline from the last day of classes (end of 10th week) to the Friday of 7th week. It also requires the course professor to sign off whenever a student wants to Scrunch the class, whereas before the professor wasn’t contacted about the student’s decision until after all grades were submitted, and some higher power (the registrar’s office?) changed Scrunched classes’ A-F grades to S-NC grades.

I have beef with these changes. (Did I say that right, Jersey Shore Cast? Probably not. )

I think these changes suck. The new policy changes the Scrunch deadline to 7th week regardless of whether you’ve gotten enough graded work or feedback from a professor in a class to make an informed decision of how you’re doing. Two of my classes (English and Political Science) this term didn’t give me graded work back until 6th week, in part because they didn’t assign anything until 5th week (wtf..). Ernesto’s Biochemistry class schedules all of its TWO exams 6th week or later, and hasn’t yet heard how he did on the first one. The 7th week Scrunch deadline would be a terrible indicator of whether it would be a good idea to Scrunch a class when we’ve only gotten one or two assignments graded by then.

I have scrunched one class* during my time at Carleton (science, physics-related, required a graphing calculator and a comfortable knowledge of high school-level math that I have tried very hard to forget.. you understand this). It wasn’t an easy decision either time, mainly because whether to Scrunch or not depended on how I did on the second exam before the final, which typically got graded after 7th week. While I know that some students might be 100% sure that they’ll Scrunch a class from Day One, most people wait until 8th, 9th, and even 10th week to make a decision based on graded assignments and returned exams.

Assuming that I pass all my classes and don’t fail comps and eventually graduate in June, I’ll be far, far away from this campus by the time these policy changes get implemented in Fall ’12. So what do I care.  But it irks** me to think that what used to be a useful policy that gave students the flexibility to choose how a course was to affect their GPA, transcript, etc, is now essentially being rendered moot by an earlier deadline.
* Edit: I thought I’d scrunched two classes, I’ve actually only scrunched one
** I believe this is the first time I’ve ever said “irk”

This post was originally going to be about a bunch of other thoughts, but my stomach is pretty much yodeling right now, so I’m gonna go tend to more important needs.

Take-away point from this rant: Carleton has very efficiently been deteriorating since I got here, I just want to leaaaaaaaaaave.

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Dia de los Muertos

Today is Dia de los Muertos, and I wanted to share something my bff Pablo Neruda wrote. If you live in Salamanca, Gto., you’re lucky enough to have his poems scattered all over the street (one of the town’s very, very few perks..). Otherwise, you can read it here. 

¿Quien muere?
Muere lentamente quien se transforma en esclavo del hábito, repitiendo todos los días los mismos trayectos, quien no cambia de marca. No arriesga vestir un color nuevo y no le habla a quien no conoce. Muere lentamente quien hace de la televisión su gurú.

Muere lentamente quien evita una pasión, quien prefiere el negro sobre blanco y los puntos sobre las “íes” a un remolino de emociones, justamente las que rescatan el brillo de los ojos, sonrisas de los bostezos, corazones a los tropiezos y sentimientos.

Muere lentamente quien no voltea la mesa cuando está infeliz en el trabajo, quien no arriesga lo cierto por lo incierto para ir detrás de un sueño, quien no se permite por lo menos una vez en la vida, huir de los consejos sensatos.

Muere lentamente quien no viaja, quien no lee, quien no oye música, quien no encuentra gracia en si mismo. Muere lentamente quien destruye su amor propio, quien no se deja ayudar. Muere lentamente, quien pasa los días quejándose de su mala suerte de la lluvia incesante. Muere lentamente, quien abandona un proyecto antes de iniciarlo, no preguntando de un asunto que desconoce ono respondiendo cuando le indagan sobre algo que sabe.

Evitemos la muerte en suaves cuotas, recordando siempre que estar vivo exige un esfuerzo mucho mayor que el simple hecho de respirar. Solamente la ardiente paciencia hará que conquistemos

una espléndida felicidad. 

He who follows the same routes every day, who never changes pace, who does not risk and change the color of his clothes, who does not speak and does not experience, dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion, who prefers black on white, dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer, that turn a yawn into a smile, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings, dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy, who is unhappy at work, who does not risk certainty for uncertainty, to thus follow a dream, those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives, die slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read, who does not listen to music, who does not find grace in himself, she who does not find grace in herself, dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem, who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops, dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing. Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.