released into the sea,
can end up anywhere.
Do not be impressed,
they merely did,
what they were expected to do.
Bob in the waves.
Second term is looking good! I mean, I'm still extremely bored of routine and school and work. I still never go outside of campus. I still eat all my meals in the same cafeteria that I'm growing to hate. I still sleep more than I should and want to sleep even more than that... BUT, I know some more people now and my classes are less difficult I think!
Here is a list of the classes I have this term
Computer Science 210 - Software Construction
We are learning Object Oriented Programming with Java. My professor's last name is "wolfman" and every lecture he appears wearing a tshirt with wolves on it. Its pretty funny. Hes even worn that Three Wolf Moon shirt and variants of it before. I'm not sure if other students recognized it though. Its sort of a meme before our time.
Part of our grade is a personal project in Java. Mine is going to be a Visual Novel Editor. You'll be able to create the whole dialogue tree with all the assets and then export it as a file you can distribute (hopefully). I tried to do this with python during the summer but pygame ran too slow (or maybe I'm just bad).
Economics 102 - Principles of Macroeconomics
I have a friend in this class!!! I took economics to increase my total amount of credits so that the meteor shower catastrophe that Math 120 did to my average would be slightly less severe. The teacher's lectures seem a little unplanned but its okay for me. Right now nothing seems all that difficult.
Mathematics 101 - Integral Calculus with Applications
Yeah I gave up on honours math for now. It is still a dream of mine to master math proofs. All of the coolest academics in history had that skill. They manipulated numbers to discover eternal truths. Facts that - unbeknownst to humanity prior - had been true since the inception of the universe. If I want to be an academic computer scientist I'll need to understand pure maths. Unfortunately, universities punish you for trying learn and I NEED my average to be good this term so that I can get into computer science next year.
I really don't like how this course is run. We only have two clases a week: Long class and short class. The long class is TWO HOURS which is much too long for me. The short class is okay but afterward we are given group work to do and group work is really annoying. Right now I am super behind. I didn't have all of the trig identities the professor expected us to know memorized so its really difficult for me to follow along with her examples. Its midterm break now though so I'll definitely catch up!
Physics 131 - Energy and Waves
Seems pretty easy!
Sociology 101 - Social Interaction and Culture
I LOVE THIS COURSE!!! It is probably the best lecture experience I have ever had. The professor is so good at presenting why his academic discipline is interesting. I honestly LOOK FORWARD to going to class. Although I was already slightly aware of what is being taught, learning about it in depth at an academic institution really alters how you view the world. I also added this course to off balance my deadly math 120 grade but I am very happy about it! I might take more sociology courses in later years!
Astronomy 102 - Introduction to Stars and Galaxies
I have a friend in this class as well!!! I sorta met him last term in computer science 121 but now we talk to each other in the cafeteria and stuff which is cool! Its giving me hope that I might form at least one long term friendship over my five years at UBC. I took astronomy because we need to take courses in a certain number of scientific disciplines. I didn't want to do chemistry so I took astronomy. Right now it seems pretty easy. Astronomy takes place in the Hennings building which has this lecture hall tat split people into table groups instead of rows of chairs. The design obviously attempts (and succeeds) to encourage discussion which I really like!
Another thing I love about the Hennings building is that it is haunted by an enegmatic presence...
At the same time every day, a bearded man who claims to be named "Marcus MacGregor" arrives on campus to stand by the doors of the front entrance to the Hennings building. In his left arm is stack of hand made pamphlets which he offers to students as they pass by. The contents of the pamphlets change at the beginning of every week. After seeing him for some time, I became curious and began accepting his writings. As of now I have collected 6 unique pamphlets and two duplicates. Here are their titles:
So Your Professor is an Alien
The Grand Unified Theory
Ok, so... Jupiter made the Rockies The Moon made the Alps Mars made the Great Escarpment and a Shoggoth wants to marry my Prof?
The Secret You Missed
Found Any Shoggoths Yet?
Wait A Sec, Is there A Chance I Could be A Shoggoth
The general premise of this series of pamphlets can be surmised with through this except:
"So the bad news is your profs are aliens teaching you garbage physics mean to cripple mankind. The good news is that they appear completely non-violent"
— So Your Profesor is an Alien
The pamphlets claim to have insight into astronomical behaviours that are not taught in schools. The reason given for why this information is supressed is that professors at academic institutions are Shoggoths from H. P. Lovecraft's Cuthulu Mythos. These Shoggoth's wish to limit humanity's power for some reason. There are elements of esoteric humour throughout the pamphlets so it is not clear if the Shoggoth accusation is genuine.
At the end of every pamphlet is the authors email. Using this, I tracked his presence through the internet. I found that he is the creator of a Game "Cloudy Earth", he wrote a book called "The Way It Is: A new perspective of science" (it is no longer available to purchase), and he had shared his ideas about astronomy many years ago on many forums 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 and youtube.
From what I've read, it seems he does actually believe the arguements about astronomy in his pamphlets. However, the alien element of the pamphlets is usually treated with jest. For example in The Secret You Missed he goes back on an alien narrative presented in an ealier pamphlet by saying:
"Heck, last pamphlet I implied that a Lovecraftian horror from the bowels of the Earth wanted to marry your Prof. That's absurd. Shoggoths are not monogamous."
— The Secret You Missed
Additionally, aliens are not mentioned in any of his forum posts. Because of this, I believe the alien narrative was adopted to gain attention so that he could spread his astronomy ideas about planetary flybys. It definetly is effective in gathering attention among students, although I don't believe it does anything good for his scientific credibility.
What is much more interesting to me than the pamphlet's arguements is their author. What is his goal? How is he able to spend every morning of the workday handing out pamphlets? Does he not have a job? Another question which I've alluded to ealier is his name. In the pamphlet Ok, so... Jupiter made the Rockies ... and a Shoggoth wants to marry my Prof?, he ends with "Have your figured out the secret hidden in my name? I knew you were clever. Email me." He follows this up in The Secret You Missed with a footnote after "Now let's reveal the secret you missed". The footnote comments "No, not the secret in my name. Nice catch."
WHAT IS THE SECRET IN HIS NAME?! Marcus MacGregor seems like a normal name. His astronomy theory involves the planet Mars so maybe thats related? Also, most birth names do not have secrets hidden within. Is the name he presents actually a pseudonym? Possibly created in 2010 to sell his book under? I've found his linkedin with that name so it seems unlikely. I really have no clue.
This is difficult to explain. Sometime during the winter break I had the great idea to pretend to leave my instant grammer account and give it to a social media manager? The joke is that its a lie because I'm not important enough to have a social media manager. I guess this idea was inspired by John Green doing exactly this for his twitter account? I've also heard that Selina Gomez has her instant grammer run by a manager. The concept of leaving social media because you believe it to be unhealthy, only to then hire someone else to create posts and perpetuate the existence of said unhealthy thing, is odd to me... Anyway, for a while I was pretending to be my own social media manager.
After sometime of this I stumbled upon another great idea: announce I'm taking a break from social media... as my social media manager. You see, this is funny because you wouldn't expect a social media manager to quit social media. To make it even funnier, I would actually deactivate my account. And to be even more funny, I would leave it deactivated for a long time.
I hate instant grammer. I hate seeing my peers post political misinformation on their stories (I've muted all of the culprits by now so I don't get that anymore thankfully!), I hate the practice of adopting "couples profile pictures", I hate all of the unfunny garbage on my Explore page, I hate the food pictures, I hate the "please tell me I'm attractive in the replies" pictures, I hate the "I just disrupted the status quo of my depressing life with something fun and now I need to upload images of it and send it to everyone who has ever met me so that they know I am cool and interesting and have friends" pictures, and I hate that the only thing anyone seems interested in sharing is boastful bullshit. Seeing my friends posts also forces me to realize how little I talk to them now and how little I know about their lives. Using instant grammer nourishes my misanthropy. I feel distanced from the rest of my generation. All these humourless, mindless, arrogant, boring, fake, dishonest, conformists. I feel resentful of the rest of humanity. All of these actors following a script they know to be evil. Preforming to make a monopoly money and the rest of us miserable. So... when I had the idea to quit the social network in a way that was funny (to me), I could not resist.
Its been a little weird. Sometimes when I felt bad I had a strong instinctual desire to post a "funny" story to make myself feel better. The longer I went the more I realized that my instant grammer story had been a significant element of my identity. It was how I expressed myself to the broad group of "people I kind of know". Unlike what might be expected, I allow myself to be much more vulnrable online. In person I have all these worries trained into me. I am completly free of that rubbish on the internet and boy do I make use of that freedom. I'm now like two months free of instant grammer and I feel like a large surface of my identity has been sanded off. I'm no longer the person that makes dumb jokes and carelessly shares them. To more people than before, I'm no longer any person. From the "You as the world sees you" aspect of my "self", I'm close to no one now. That combined with a loss of other attributes I used to see in myself, makes me feel like I'm undergoing some erosion of identity. Like I'm becoming smooth.
Work in the dishroom is boring. Bowls, plates, cups, and cutlery come through the industrial dishwasher. I stack the bowls, plates, and cups and I sort the cutlery. What comes through the washer never changes, and what I do never changes. I am in the dishroom for 2 and a half hours, 5 days a week. There is no goal. There is no finish line. There is no reason to care. At least I have earbuds.
On the 5th of February they took away my earbuds.
I was returning to the dishroom when a chef I had never met before stopped me. This chef was out of his uniform and just about to exit through the backdoor. He was off the job and leaving, but something about me had him stay in the kitchen a little longer. "HEY, we are not allowed earbuds. Like EVER."
I look directly in his eyes and slowly take them out. I turn back, walk around the corner, and put them back on again. Fuck that guy, he's not even my boss.
One minute later the manager comes into the dishroom and points at me. It seems that chef was so upset about my earbuds that he TOLD ON ME and had the rules changed. The manager had me take the earbuds out again and this time I had to respect it.
I am not sure why this chef was so upset about me wearing earbuds. I am not sure if it was jealousy that the dishworkers were able to. I am not sure if it was motivated by the desire to dominate someone smaller, younger, and lower paid. I'm not sure if its just because hes an asshole. What I am sure about is that his petty behaviour pissed me off. Due to one man's irrational rage, I would have to endure an even more severe boredom for my 40 dollars a day.
Once I ended my shift and returned to my dorm, I saw I had recieved an email.
To All Student Workers,
Please be reminded that using of cellphones and earphones while on duty is strictly prohibited. I have been receiving feedbacks lately about this matter.
This pushed me over the edge. I wanted to quit. I looked for other jobs. I was so close to applying, but then I thought of something better.
Yes, I ordered bluetooth glasses. And no, I haven't been caught yet.
Two months ago I shared a guide to the biol 111 course that I took last term on this website. At the start of this second term I shared the guide on reddit so that people taking the course might use it. I recieved some replies a few days after.
lol @ the prof making fun of your guide in class yesterday
[professor name] was not impressed lmao
If I was prone to taking a defensive position I might cry about the obscene cruelty in throwing my personal blog up on to the projector and mocking it to an auditorium of my peers. As I curl into a ball, I might call this an abuse of the authority one is awarded as a professor. Running home with tears in my eyes, I could weep about the injustice in targeting me, just because I wanted to help other students out. But I don't take defensive positions. I accept you as an enemy [unnamed biology profesor]!
I've been using the knowledge graph program I made over the winter break to take notes! Have a look!!!
I think its been pretty helpful. Of course I'd need a controlled experiment to know if its actually more efficient for memorization, but it feels like it is? I'm super biased though. When I use it in public, a lot of people around tend to ask me what it is. Most are pretty impressed except for one guy (who has joined the chef and the bio professor in my enemy list). Me and a few of my friends plan on lifting the concept into an actual website so that other people can use knowledge graphs to learn and maybe make their own to study and share!
Its currently the beginning of midterm break. There was an astronomy lab I was supposed to do which I had to hand in incomplete ackk. I watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes with my friends though which was fun. For the rest of the break I plan on just studying which kinda sucks but ehhh what are you gonna do? I feel like I've been more bitter in this blog post than previous ones. Thanks for reading it anyway, see you next month or so!