One of our writers is pregnant.
One of our writers has contracted a very violent and contagious disease.
One of our writers is afraid of the Internet.
One of our writers woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
One of our writers was left in the drier.
One of our writers was mauled by a mythical animal.
All of our writers are out of ideas.
One of the above excuses is true.
Please give us some time as we sort this out. We will be on sabbatical until the first of November.
Ideas are appreciated in the interim.
Thanks and see you in a month.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
One of our writers is pregnant.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My goodness this is lonely. I've been standing here for eight hours and no one has paid attention to me.
A week ago, someone came and wiped me down, brushed off some crumbs and made sure I was ready for service. I like it when that happens. The people who take care of me are really nice. I have lived a hard life, but they make me feel good.
The cold is making my legs ache. They feel really hard. I wonder if someone fiddled with the thermostat again. Turning the preferred temperature down wastes energy and is not considerate of those who are unable to leave the room of their own accord.
But people generally ignore chairs, especially the ones that are a few years past construction. Two years ago, an angry boy kicked me in the legs and knocked me over. I don't know what he was mad about but I was left stranded on my back for several minutes. I have never felt so neglected. Some time after that, a toddler gnawed on my left leg – one of them anyway. His teeth left some deep marks that will probably never go away. I heard talk about having something done to get the marks fixed, but no one really cares enough to get the ball rolling on the idea.
Finally, someone entered the room. It must be Thursday, because no one comes in this early on a Friday. He's a nice guy who doesn't rock back and forth or adjust his seating regularly. He is not abusive of his chairs. I hope he will come sit on me, but he takes the ugly seat in the back. Darn.
Oh my. There's Ingrid! She's the class hottie. She sat next to me the first day of class, but sat in the back every class thereafter. I wish I could raise my hand and get her attention. I wish I had hands so she would notice me. Her pretty eyes scan the seating. I can tell she is evaluating the pros and cons of each chair. I wish for the umpteenth time that my legs didn't have toddler bite marks. She must be looking at those. Ingrid sits next to the nice guy in the ugly chair and they start chatting. Darn.
Several more people filter into the room. Some hesitate before they sit, others take a seat without a second thought. Then Big Rob enters. Big Rob played defensive lineman in high school and, from the look of things, has not been to a gym since he graduated. The floor thunders and the outer edges of his massive thorax jiggle with each step. There is one chair left in the second row. It is me. Rob takes five labored steps, catches his breath, and finishes the trek to me. I take a deep breath just before he sits down. Darn.
My legs really hurt now. I preferred it when I was lonely.
Posted at 6:55 AM
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
What's your Jung-Myers-Briggs personality topology? How do you rank on an IQ test? Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Two of these are common online personality surveys. The other is a popular TV show that reveals what we already knew to be true: Pretty people aren't always smart people.
When the online personality craze began -- or when messages related to the craze first entered my world through a Facebook notification -- I considered these tests to be sophomoric exercises in vanity designed to entertain teenyboppers and the reserve army of the unemployed. I still believe this, of course, except now I identify with these people categories and am perfectly comfortable spending a few minutes every day psycho analyzing myself.
I wonder if the shrinks who design these quizzes know how addictive they are. They have to have an incling. I think they even plan the "Internet connection failed" glitches that force you to go back and reenter all your data a second time. After all that work punching in our info, we can't leave now without knowing our four character typology! I need my IQ number! So instead of acting out my intelligence, I press the refresh button and start over, hoping for a better connection next time.
This morning I was tackling one of FB's numerous personality profiling tools. It doesn't matter which one; they are all the same, only with varying spelling and grammar errors. I figured I would knock out a quick test before breakfast so I would have a good idea of the intelligence I would have to work with for the day. It was like checking the oil on your clunker before hitting the highway.
I was happy with how quickly I was moving through the questions. Each response was simple and there were usually only one or two options per query. I could see a pattern behind the test's construction and worked deliberately to create a positive result. My Internet connection was solid and it looked like the oil would come out full. But I started getting hungry. Page after page of questions filled my screen and I started to wonder if I was completing an IQ test or e-Harmony's notoriously extensive personality profile. I was pretty sure I was over 29 levels of compatibility by now.
40, 50, 60 questions I answered, obediently watching the little firefox circles turn as the pages advanced. I knew I was doing well, but this was taking a long time. I made a mistake on a question and had to go back to fix it. I ran into a question that required some thought and opened a new tab to enter a term into my Quicktionary. That search took too long (Quicktionary is almost as bad a misnomer as "JiffyLube"), and I guessed on the answer. Then Quicktionary found the term and I had to go back and correct the guess.
I spent just over forty minutes mulling, revising, answering and reanswering the questions. Then, without warning, the screen went white. Did I want to support site's sponsor? Did I want to purchase a discounted vacuum cleaner? Did I want to become more virile? These are the questions I had to answer before the Internet would reveal my score.
Then it happened. My number appeared. That couldn't be right. I was well below average. I knocked the monitor with my palm, as if the impact would jar my score to another percentile. This was my worst test yet and I had passed a shorter version the day before with flying colors. How could it do this to me?
My confidence is shot. I worry that everyone I meet will have seen my sub-par scores and will question my intelligence. I am concerned that nothing I say will be taken seriously because all will focus on my two digit IQ instead of my ideas. This one test has cast me into an eternal realm of intellectual irrelevance. Here will I sit in the spongy mire and pity myself...until tomorrow when I can take another quiz.
Man, I am starving...
Friday, September 04, 2009
One of my hall mates approached me yesterday on my way to class and threw her catchy campaign slogan at me. I liked it. See, she's running for freshman class president and is trying to raise support. I encouraged her, promised her my vote, and kept walking.
This morning, one of my other friends accosted me in the college cafeteria at lunch and declared his intention to run for freshman class president. He promised, in a very Pedroesque style, to make all my wildest dreams come true if I vote for him. I encouraged him, promised him my vote, and went back to eating my hamburger-turned-meatloaf-turned-goulash-turned-chili.
I'm in so much trouble. There's a few options I have to fix this situation.
- I vote for the guy. We become BFFs. My unit mate hates me. And unless you're a girl in a dorm, you have NO idea how much drama that would cause. Seriously... I have goosebumps just thinking about it.
- I vote for the girl. We become BFFs. I influence her to have hand lotion dispensers put in the women's restrooms all over campus. The guy hates me, but my wildest dreams have come true anyway. Come on, free hand lotion, right!?
- I abstain from voting. No hand lotion, no wildest dreams coming true, but neither friend has cause to hate me. So boring.
- I lie about who I voted for, and tell each one not to tell the other friend who I voted for. Sneaky. So secret agent-ish. But this is a Christian University and that just doesn't feel right.
- OR... I run for freshman class president. I beat them both. They hate me, but can't help but be happy for me. I get the hand lotion dispensers. How hard could it be?
I don't know what to do. What do you, the omniscient and wise faithful few, think I should do in this situation? Is there really a "right" way out of this mess?
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Hey Shannon, can you add a link to this post to the sidebar or put it somewhere easily accessible for incoming readers? Thanks.
Really Simple Syndication. We thought Blogger had it all lined up until a new reader contacted us to complain that our feed wasn't working. As we near our 800th post and get ready to celebrate that joyous occasion with all the apathy our college student muscles can muster, FCN figured that a working RSS feed would be important. So, in a completely out of character move, FCN overachieved. We went out and created a few blog-specific RSS feeds that you can use to follow FCN from afar.
(NOTE: If you have no idea what the above paragraph is talking about, check out this page).
You can now follow FCN at the following links:
Posted at 10:54 AM
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Hey guys I need your help. No, I am not stuck in a bar with a crazy woman who only wants my body. Can you let that go? That was months ago. I have a restraining order now and I'm doing my best to turn my body into a soft, unattractive mass that no longer tempts crazy ladies. Seriously, why did your mind go there first? Actually my request relates to my first day of advanced philosophy class.
It's the first day of class: Everyone is bored, knowing that we'll probably get out early and be able to knock some of our extensive social obligations that afternoon. Some of us are even coordinating those obligations via text message. I think boredom showed on our faces because the teacher became more animated and worked with each labored sentence earn our attention. She was failing. In my mind, I was already filling out the end of semester class evaluations and marking down her lecture points.
Just when I was in the throes of developing a scathing review, the instructor said something that jolted me from my reverie. She asked a question to which I knew the answer. The question was a hard one -- the sort of thing you learn at the end of first semester philosophy -- but because of the course's prerequisite, I figured about a third of the class would be able to answer correctly, half would get the right answer out of a list of choices on an exam and two-thirds would be able to start toward the right answer with a wandering response.
But I knew the answer. Not only did I know the answer, I had written a paper on the issue in high school, was familiar with the concept's key proponents and detractors and could dissertate on the issue with some ease. She had pitched a slow one right over the plate.
My question: Should I swing?
Late in the semester, when a good participation grade is riding on answers to arcane questions, the correct response would be a no-brainer: Always answer if you think you can even lead in the right direction late in the semester. But early on the equation is different. Many professors base their semester grade on student's ability to learn material through the class. Improvement is valued more than end knowledge. A student who starts with nothing and learns a lot will get a better grade than the student who starts with a lot and learns nothing.
So should I swing? The teacher's silent stare betrayed an expectation. She wanted someone to put themself out there on the first day of class, to answer her query and prove their knowledge. But this is a class stuffed with seniors. We are wary of the bait. And our professor only has an MA! That's only an extra year of education than we have. We simply don't respect her as much as the teacher's who have devoted their lives to their career.
The silence is getting longer. Maybe the other students genuinely are unaware of the answer to the question. NO! They are bluffing. They, too, are familiar with the post-modern grading and effort-based pedagogy of the modern classroom. They are holding back in the hope that I will betray my knowledge and create a harder semester for myself.
Maybe I don't know the answer to the question. Maybe my idea is wrong and I based my paper on faulty assumptions. Doubts creep into my mind and I force them out as the silence stretches on.
The teacher looks disappointed. She wanted an answer. But her savvy class gave her none.
What about it, guys? Did I do the right thing? Should I have answered her question?
Posted at 6:19 AM