My brother IM’d me with the text “RAMS DID IT!!!!!” at the exact same moment as someone in the hall shouted “RAMS DID IT!!!!” Not that surprising, but the timing was superb.
Monthly Archive for January, 2000
Well, it slipped my mind. Not that I would have watched it anyway, if I’d been thinking about it. I was working all afternoon. I had no clue who was playing until something like halfway through the game, when I overheard someone talking in the hall.
Now, while it’s true that the game is over and I already know who won… I would have rooted for the Rams, because that’s my birth sign. I work on such simple principals… At any rate, I’ve wasted enough time on that thing which wasted everybody elses time today. On to more pressing issues.
Work continues. I didn’t get the second ResComp job I applied for because the job suddenly became non-existant due to some interesting reorganizations that happened. So that brings us up to spring hiring for the 2000-2001 school year. I’ll probably apply for TC and SysAd, though that doesn’t mean I’ll get them or anything. Here’s to hoping.
School has been going pretty good this semester so far… Two weeks down, thirteen and finals to go. Of course, I haven’t gotten anything graded yet, and I’m still not officially enrolled in Asian Studies… But other then that, things aren’t bad. My classes just require a lot of reading. No big deal, other than I can’t even think about reading something for myself… I have no time.
Someone was telling me about a dream they had, and she was at a loss to describe a particular aspect of the dream, so she asked me if I’d ever seen “Wayne’s World”, and suggested that it was like the “buddleyboop” transition. Then, I went to the DC to eat lunch, and saw some of my floormates. So I went to sit down with them, and as I sat down, someone said “Have you ever seen `Wayne’s World’?” That afternoon, I went to the ResComp office, where an answer to the question of the week included “Sum Yung Guy”, which is a bit of a stretch, but it’s still a Wayne’s World reference.
In the short span of two hours in front of the television recently, I was
assaulted by more than 20 references to the coming of “the new
millennium” – from countdowns to limited editions. The onslaught seemed
I’m not sure what all the hype is about, considering there are a good 370
days until the beginning of the third millennium of the Common Era.
You see, back around 523 CE, the papal chancellor Bonifatius asked a monk
named Dionysius to prepare calculations for the dates of Easter. Instead of
continuing the tradition of counting years since the founding of Rome,
Dionysius chose instead to number the years since the birth of Jesus.
Dionysius, however, was not a computer scientist and numbered the year
in which Jesus was born as the year 1 CE instead of 0. Thus, the year
immediately before 1 CE was 1 Before Common Era (BCE).
A millennium is defined as “a span of 1,000 years.” Scaling down to a
decade, which is 10 years in length, we see that the last year of a decade
beginning on year 1 would be year 10, thus making the first year of the
following decade year 11. From this example, it is simple to see that the
last year of the second millennium is the year 2000, making 2001 the first
year of the third millennium of the Common Era.
Unfortunately, Dionysius’ calculations as to when Jesus was born were
wrong. The Gospel of Matthew says that Jesus was born under the reign of
king Herod the Great. Herod the Great died in 4 BCE, which means that
Jesus was born in or before 4 BCE.
What this means is that if you were looking forward to celebrating the first
year of the third millennium (or the last year of the second millennium)
since the birth of Jesus, you’ve already missed it, because the last chance
you had for that was about five years ago.
The first question, then, is why is there such widespread confusion over
such a seemingly straight-forward issue? The most obvious answer is the
triple zero explanation. The roll-over from 1999 to 2000 looks much more
significant than the transition from 2000 to 2001. The multiple zeros have
been the source of confusion in the past and led people to celebrate the
dawn of the 20th century in both 1900 and 1901.
Compounded with the Y2K computer bug, the triple zeros have set 2000
off as an exceptional year. The beginning of the new millennium is also an
exceptional event, and somehow these two exceptional dates have been
joined in the minds of the masses as being one and the same.
The second question is why has the modern media made no attempts to
correct this commonly held misconception? Back in 1799, the editors of
The London Times made it clear to their readers that 1799 was not the last
year of the 18th century.
Clearly, times have changed, as not only has no attempt been made by the
media to correct the error, but the media has only helped propagate the
Apparently afraid of telling the truth at the risk of contradicting a common
misconception and appearing wrong in the eyes of uninformed readers, the
media has given up its job of informing and educating the masses.
And this detail scares me more than the misconception itself. If the media
can’t be bothered with telling the truth, then how can I trust any news I
That’s not to say that Y2K isn’t a big deal. Certainly, the potential failure of
countless computer systems and the onset of the last year of the second
millennium are not to be belittled. But a few zeros should not be confused
with the dawn of the new millennium.
As we enter the last year of the second millennium, however, we should be
more aware than ever that the information we assume to be true – be it
from the Internet or in newsprint – should be questioned and verified at
This is what was sent to the Sun and the Californian. In other words,
this hasn’t been professionally edited, and it could be significantly different
in the published form.
What people really want to learn from Susanna Kaysen’s story as it is
told in “Girl, Interrupted,” is whether or not they are likely
to end up in a mental institution like she did. “Girl, Interrupted,”
tells the tale of Susanna, who, after a brief interview with a retired
psychiatrist in the spring of 1967, signs herself into Claymoore,
an expensive psychiatric hospital. The appointment with the psychiatrist
was made by Susanna’s parents after she chased fifty aspirin with a bottle
of vodka, which she claims she did because of a headache.
The movie is based on the book of the same name by Susanna Kaysen,
in which she tells her true story of how she ended up in a mental hospital.
Having read the book some time ago, I was dubious when I heard that a movie
would be made. Each chapter of the book is organized around a different theme,
and the ideas which Kaysen puts forth aren’t
necessarily told with reference to specific events that happened while she
was institutionalized. This forced the screenplay writer to invent numerous
scenes where Susanna delivers important insight in the middle of otherwise
The episodic feel of the book was surprisingly well preserved
in the first half of the movie. Scenes from the book and scenes created for
the movie were strung together in an incredibly effective way, which helped
to give the viewer a much better feel for Susanna. Winona Ryder does an
incredible job of portraying Susanna as a relatively normal eighteen year
old girl who too much is expected of. We learn early in the movie that
Susanna is the only member of her graduating class who will not be going
on to college. Doctors at Claymoore diagnosed Susanna with “Borderline
Personality Disorder.” After reading aloud from a book the description
of a disorder which sounds like the personality of any teenager on the
verge of adulthood, Susanna exclaims seriously “Oh, that’s me all right!”
The second half of the movie, however, suffers greatly from an attempt
to add a plot where there was none. Angelina Jolie does an amazing job of
portraying Lisa, who has been at Claymoore for eight years. When the
writer decided that the movie needed a villain, it was Lisa who got the nod.
Unfortunately, Lisa is a sociopath, which makes her a poor choice for a
to be evil, because it’s very easy to sympathize with her. A more logical
villain would have been the institution which kept Susanna away from Society
for a year and a half of her life. Instead of embracing the opportunity to
question who decides what normal is, the movie plays this down. When Susanna
has an opportunity to escape with her boyfriend to Canada, she chooses to
stay with her friends in the institution, and tells him “if they’re insane,
Susanna ultimately leaves on Claymoore’s terms, and she is allowed back into
the real world. Georgina, played by Clea Duvall, watches “The Wizard of Oz”
as Susanna prepares to leave, which offers the suggestion that Susanna was
free to leave whenever she wanted. Instead of believing in her sanity,
Susanna allows herself to get comfortable in a place where she doesn’t
have to make any decisions. This idea puts the responsibility for
Susanna’s predicament squarely in Susanna’s lap, which makes it hard
for the viewer to feel sorry for Susanna, and makes it hard for anyone
to be a villain when the Susanna is doing the worst thing possible to
And finally, I’ve decided to teach myself Japanese. Why? I met a guy on an appointment a couple of days ago who taught himself Japanese.. He explained some of the basics to me, and it seems simple enough to do, so I’m going to go ahead and do it. I found a couple of good websites to help out, too. And since I’m actually motivated to learn Japanese, I might actually do it.
Unlike Spanglish… I mean Spanish.
I’m liking cogsci a fair amount, so far. The lecturer is better than a number of teachers I’ve had, but he has a few flaws. The most notable of these is just that he thinks that he’s a lot funnier than he is. Someone described cogsci 1 as a mile wide and an inch deep, indicating that we cover everything in very little detail. This doesn’t bother me too much… It sounds like Pscyh was last year, and upper division classes are what filling out the details are for, anyway. There are two main books, and I like one of them better than I like the other… But I’ll manage.
This class is early in the day on Tuesday and Thursday, so I haven’t had a problem staying awake in this one yet. And, for the most part, the lecturer is interesting enough and the material neat enough to keep my attention. Additionally, I’ve got friends in the class to poke me to keep me awake.
So the first thing you should do, before reading this, is go take a gander at this snapshot of my schedule, so you have some idea of what I’m facing here.
I’ve survived my first week. That’s right, I’m done with a whole week, already. It just flies by… But Tuesday and Thursday are both very trying. By the end, I’m ready to curl up and sleep the world away. That is, in fact, what I did after Thursday. I got home, ate, and then died.
Yep, I died. I came back to life, though. It turned out only to have been a near death experience. Death feels a lot like sleep, I’ve decided.
So far, I’m really looking forward to almost all of my classes… They seem very interesting, there’s little to no math involved in any of them, and they all in some way relate to each other, and thus, they all interest me.
Eh, it’s english. So far the essays we’ve read have been great, and the books all look good, including some stuff I read back in Mrs. Jacobs class. My only complaint about this class, I think, is that there seems to be a lot of poetry.
This class hits at the end of the day, which is very bad, especially since there are only like 15 people in the class. And I was sitting in front today as I nodded off… I’ll need to carry caffeine with me, I think, to make it through this class. It looks much easier than english last semester, though, which is a good thing.