February 19, 2003

Why I am in a bad mood

Some days just suck.

Yesterday would be one of those.

It started very early in the "day."

Sometime slightly after midnight I decided I would go online and register my intent to return to the dorms next fall.

I had gotten a note about doing so in the mail a few weeks ago and remembered that the deadline for doing it was sometime in the middle of March, so I figured I would get it done early.

I usually procrastinate like no one's business, so I was actually a little bit proud of myself.

I needed to go online, fill out a form or two, make a down payment and then check the box next to "request same room in same hall."

So, I go to the U of Minnesota housing website and begin my task.

The first thing I read is the following (taken directly from the website):

"Intent to Return is available from January 21 at 1 p.m. through March 12."

I figure great, I am beating the deadline to declare my intent to return to the dorms by about 3 or 4 weeks.

Then I see this:

Scheduled Reapplication Times:

Round I - 8:00 AM Monday, February 10 until Noon Wednesday, February 12.

Round II - 8:00 AM Monday, February 17 until Noon Wednesday, February 19.

Round III - 8:00 AM Monday, February 24 until Noon Wednesday, February 26.

Round IV, Group 1 - 8:00 AM Monday, March 3 until Noon Wednesday, March 5.

Round IV, Group 2 - 8:00 AM Monday, March 10 until Noon Wednesday, March 12.

It is at this point I start to get a little confused/upset.

You see, "Round 1" is the round where you can request to live in the same room you are currently in, next year.

This is the round I want.

I begin to realize that, although the "Intent to Return" deadline says it is the 12th of MARCH, the deadline for round 1 was apparently the 12th of FEBRUARY.

For those of you that aren't into calendars and stuff, that was about a week ago.

So, basically, I missed my chance to reserve my room again for next year.

I went from thinking I was signing up 4 weeks in advance and doing a nice job to trying to sign up a whole week after the deadline for what I need had passed.

Now, obviously, I screwed up big time here.

But, what I am wondering is why in the world the "Intent to Return" deadline would extend all the way to March 12th when you can no longer participate in 4 out of the 5 rounds by that time?

Here I had been reading all the fliers around the dorm and I kept seeing the words "Intent to Return...March 12th" and that somehow got locked into my head as the time I needed to do it by.

I no longer have dibs on my room and apparently some kid named "Keith" is signed up to have it for next year.

I'm gonna send him an email and try to negotiate some sort of a deal with him, but I'm not very optimistic.

And I like my room!

It's on a good floor where I don't have to walk up 50 flights of stairs to get to it and it's near the end of the hallway, so when I do have to go down the stairs, I only need to go about 10 feet to get to them (did I mention I'm lazy?)

Plus, it's my room! I've been here now for almost 2 entire years and was planning on next year being the 3rd in a row.

In other words, come the end of this semester, I will have lived here for nearly 10% of my entire life!

And now "Keith" has it.

This website does get about a dozen visits a day from other people on the U of M campus, so maybe "Keith" is a reader.



So that was what happened before I even went to sleep.

It got worse after I actually woke up.

I went to my language class, which I have 5 days a week.

Seems kind of strange that a journalism student would need to take a foreign language 5 days a week when he only has actual journalism classes twice a week?

Well, YEAH!

That is the loveliness that is the "Liberal Arts Requirements."

I want to write stories about baseball games, but someone decided I need to be fluent in another language to do so.

By the time I graduate (assuming that time actually occurs at some point) I will have devoted 16.7% of all my credits to foreign language, a thing I am almost 100% positive I will never use in my job.

Add in the 8 science credits and the 4 math credits and you have about 27% of all my credits going to things that have absolutely nothing to do with the job I hope to get or even remotely related to the entire field I hope to go into.

Anyway, we have "weekly assignments" in class that are due on Thursdays.

This week's assignment was to get into groups of 4 and present a little 3-4 minute "skit" in front of the class.

Easy enough right?

I wasn't particularly worried and neither was the rest of my group.

We had been talking about getting together to work on it since we were told about the assignment last Friday, but it hadn't happened yet.

So, yesterday, I mention the fact that it is due the next day and that we still haven't finished our "script" (or even started on it, really).

We agree that we need to work on it for a little while.

So, I say, "How about after class? Can everyone stay for 15 or 20 minutes?"

Guy #1: "Sure."

Guy #2: "Yeah, I can stay."

Girl: "No, I have a class after this."


Me: "Okay, how about getting to class early tomorrow morning to work on it before we have to present?"

Guy #1: "Sure."

Guy #2: "Yeah, I can do that."

Girl: "No, sorry, that doesn't work either."

At this point I am getting somewhat angry.

This girl knew all along that the assignment was due Thursday and I assume she knew we would need to work on it at some point outside of class.

I didn't want to hear the answer to my next question, but I asked anyway: "Okay, so when can you work on it?"

Girl: "How about 10 o'clock tonight?"

At this point, if I had had some sort of weapon, I would have used it.

I am not sure if it would have been on me or her, but it would have been used.

We've known about this little assignment for almost an entire week and this girl knew we would need to work on it at some point and must have realized we were waiting until the last minute.

And yet she didn't feel the need to mention the fact that she couldn't work on it before or after class.

But, I wasn't exactly sure that I had any other options at this point, so I regrettably agreed to meet everyone at 10 to work on it.

Girl: "Okay, so we'll meet in the lobby of Centennial at 10 tonight."

For those of you wondering, Centennial is another dorm at the U of M.

It happens to be about as far away from MY dorm as humanly possible.

It is literally on the other side of campus.

I pointed this fact out to everyone, along with the idea that it would take me about a half hour to walk there and a half hour to walk home after.

They didn't seem to mind.

You see, all 3 of them lived near Centennial (including the girl, who lived in Centennial), so it was damn convenient for them to meet there.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against physical activity and I realize excercise is a good thing.

That said, when you tell me that I have to walk a half hour each way at 10 pm to meet with 3 people from a class I don't like, to work on some meaningless little weekly assignment that I know is going to be a piece of crap anyway...well, I am not real happy about it.

In my book, the only acceptable reason for a girl making me go outside, in the Minnesota winter, at 10 pm and walk a half hour to her dorm is...well, I don't want to finish that sentence, because I am pretty sure my mom reads this blog every day.

Anyway, I spent an hour walking there and back and missed the entire second half of the Duke/Maryland game, the end of the Timberwolves/Nuggets game and all of Letterman.

All to work on some crappy little assignment that is inevitably going to be horribly done and that we'll just as inevitably get a good grade for doing.

I mean seriously, when is the last time someone had an assignment to do a "skit" with 3 other people in a class at a University and received a bad grade?

I have a feeling I could up go up there drunk and start speaking Pig-Latin and the teacher would give me a B+.

So what have we learned in the last 24 hours?

1) I am a complete idiot.

2) I lost my room for next year.

3) Some kid named "Keith" has it and is holding it hostage, although he doesn't know it.

4) I want to write about baseball when I grow up but somehow am forced to take a foreign language class every single day of the week for 4 entire semesters.

5) I don't like walking long distances at 10 pm when the final destination is arriving at another dorm to work on a "skit" with 3 people I am not particularly fond of.

6) It is a good thing I don't have a weapon.

I'm sort of in a bad mood still.

Can you tell?

What's that you say? You came here for baseball content?

Oops, I forgot.

Well, as you can see, I am in no condition to do much good analysis.

But, here are a few links that I think are pretty good...

Alex over at Bronx Banter just posted part 2 of his interview with documentary film maker Ken Burns.

The always entertaining John Bonnes of TwinsGeek.com takes a look at Eric Milton's "wounded knee," which is starting to get me very worried.

In his latest column, Rob Neyer discusses the possibility of Brooks Kieschnick being the first true 2-way player (hitting and pitching) in a loooong time. If a team can find someone that can effectively pitch 50-60 low-impact innings a year and serve as a pinch-hitter/part-time starter, it would do a lot as far as giving the team some added roster flexibility. Kieschnick is property of the Brewers, so he could pitch, hit, sell popcorn, sing the national anthem, sell tickets and announce the game and they'd still finish in last place. But, it's still interesting.

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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