Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dead Week Game Plan

The week preceding Finals Week is collectively referred to as Dead Week. I am not exactly sure of the reason for this macabre nickname, but I have a few guesses.

Many classes are canceled this week, so the campus might seem a little less populated than usual. Even the people who are on campus often times seem to be preoccupied with finals. The overall feel on campus is one of dread and dismal acceptance of the imminent academic rigor. An almost palpable feeling of somberness is evident.

One silver lining that is present this week is the fact that there are many Christmas parties happening that I will be attending. Monday evening there is a Christmas party at one of my jobs (the OU Communications Center). Wednesday one of my professors is taking our class out to lunch. Friday for lunch the Prospective Student Services offices will be getting together for a delicious catered lunch. Friday evening the sorority that I am a house boy for will be having a Staff Appreciation dinner. So this week there will be lots of delicious meals made available as I prepare for my examinations.

I only have three exams I will have to take during finals week, but they are all in the early part of the week. I have two tough projects due during Dead Week that I need to go work on, but this projects are in lieu of an actual final examination. Monday afternoon is the final exam for Freedom in Greece, but I have done well enough on the first few exams that I have some breathing room as far as what score I need to secure to clinch an A for the class. Tuesday afternoon I have a final exam in Systems of Criminal Justice. Similar to Freedom in Greece, I have an A already. All I have to do is avoid a colossal choke on this non-cumulative final and I will lock up the A for the course. Wednesday morning is my last final, and it may prove to be the most contentious. The class is History of Journalism. I have an A in there, but it is not a very high A, and the final is weighted pretty heavily. I will dedicate a lot of this week to preparing for this exam and hopefully a 4.0 for the semester.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Post-Thanksgiving Post

Last week I drove home Tuesday for a eagerly anticipated five day weekend. No family came to visit, so this year it was just my mom, my dad, and me. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at home. I definitely got caught up on rest. I watched a few movies with my dad, and I got my review for Funny People published, which can be found here.

I really enjoy that movie and definitely recommend it. Jason Schwartzman plays a really funny character in the movie, and he also contributes some songs off of his 2009 album Davy to the soundtrack. After preparing for the review, I just couldn't get some of his tracks out of my head. I have been meaning to pick it up for months, but this finally convinced me to purchase the album, which is by Schwartzman's one man band, Coconut Records. It is a fantastic album. Clocking in at just under a half hour, I have listened to the entire thing, start to finish, multiple times since buying it. It is definitely an outstanding album, top to bottom.

Thanksgiving itself was great. My parents prepared a delicious feast, which comes as no real surprise. We drank some good wine and enjoyed spending time together. I definitely came away from this break only anticipating the month long Christmas break that is so close yet so far away.

A friend of mine from high school who attends another university came over on Friday afternoon. We played video games and commented on how much we were looking forward to the break. Over the course of the break we will definitely be spending a lot of time over at my house doing just that.

December 16th is my last final and December 18th is when I will leave Norman for the month-long furlough. I have to finish strong.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Post

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. I usually enjoy this holiday. As a child I remember waking up and watching my parents bustle around the kitchen, preparing a feast. I would watch the Macy’s Parade with my sister. One year I remember playing board games with the parade on the television in the background. I really have no idea why this memory has stayed in my head, but one Thanksgiving morning I distinctly remember participating in a heated game of Battleship.

My junior year of high school was definitely a unique Thanksgiving. A few days before the holiday that encourages feasting, I had oral surgery. The removal of my wisdom teeth happened to come mere days before Thanksgiving, thus eliminating any possibility of me enjoying a good Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of my usual feast I managed to barely get down a meager serving of jello amidst all of my medical woes.

This Thursday I am very excited to watch the Green Bay Packers play the hapless Detroit Lions in Detroit. The Packers won today against the San Francisco 49ers. Last week the Packers beat the surging Dallas Cowboys in Green Bay. If the team can put together this three game winning streak successfully, they will have a legitimate possibility of winning their way to a wildcard slot in the playoffs.

The greatest possible outcome imaginable would be for the Packers to defeat the evil Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs. While unlikely, this scenario would mirror the 2004 season. The Packers beat the Vikings twice during the regular season, but they lost when it mattered most during the wildcard round of the playoffs. The Packers have lost both games to the Vikings this season, but history has proven that it is extremely difficult to beat the same team three times in one year.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spiraling Towards Semester's End...

There is only more week until classes are canceled for a long Thanksgiving break. I am very excited to go home for an extended amount of time and prepare for the final home stretch before my final exams. This semester my finals week could potentially turn out to be the best schedule for finals that I have ever had. I will look ahead to finals week and see what sort of academic rigors lie ahead.

During finals week, I have a test Monday afternoon at 4:30 for Freedom in Greece. I really enjoy that class, and depending on what my score is on the essay test I took in that class last Thursday I should have a low to mid A going into the final. The final is weighted slightly (it counts as two tests, basically) so I will need to do well on it, but an A is definitely attainable. Last semester in Freedom in Rome the final was Friday at 4:30. It was literally the last final on the campus. This was absolutely terrible. Having the final be on the first afternoon of finals week rather than the very last one is a major improvement.

Tuesday afternoon I have a final in Systems of Criminal Justice. However, I might not have to take this final. Depending on my grade going into the final, (knock on wood, fingers crossed) I might be exempt from taking this exam. Needless to say, this would be absolutely outstanding. I have a paper due in that class this Friday. I need to get a good score on this paper to keep the hopes alive of not taking the final.

Wednesday morning, bright and early at eight, I have the final for History of Journalism. This is not a cumulative final, so that is always helpful. I need to do well on it, but I definitely believe I will end up with an A in that class.

There is not a final exam for The Wire class or Intro to Professional Writing. I have some projects to turn in for both classes, but I think that on the whole I ought to be finished with these classes by the time the week preceding finals rolls around. Hurray.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Last night on network television, Fedor "The Last Emperor Emelianenko" defeated the previously unbeaten Brett "Grimm" Rogers in the second round of their heavyweight battle. Fedor is widely considered the best heavyweight mixed martial artist of all time. This was his first fight inside of a cage and only his second fight in America (in October of 2006 he triangle choked Mark "The Hammer" Coleman in the first Pride show to take place in America). Despite Fedor's thrilling victory, I am still unsure of how he would fare against the large, wrestling behemoths that comprise a good deal of the heavyweight roster in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Rogers busted Fedor's nose with the very first jab that he threw. He also managed to avoid several takedown events by the veteran Russian, and once Rogers even managed to sweep Fedor from the bottom. It would appear that Fedor had a little bit of trouble adjusting to the massive size of Rogers. Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, and Cain Velasquez are all potentially dangerous match-ups for Fedor. These physical specimens might have the tools to take Fedor down and hold him there. Of course, Fedor's defensive guard from his back is one of the most dangerous in the heavyweight division. So Fedor might be able to throw up an armbar and submit any one of these challengers. This is why these compelling fights need to happen.

Unfortunately, at least for the time being, Fedor is locked into an exclusive contract with Strikeforce. This means we will not see him inside the UFC octagon for some time. Even when his Strikeforce contract expires, it is doubtful that the much sought after Russian will lend his talents to the UFC. Negotiations have fallen through on multiple occasions to sign the talented heavyweight to the UFC. Dana White, the President of the UFC, has been very vocal in his dislike of the business tactics and outrageous demands of Fedor Emelianenko's handlers. Only time will tell what will happen next.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The First of November

Today is the first day of November. As this penultimate month of 2009 begins, I am completely shocked at how quickly this entire fall semester has flown by at rapid speed. I really have enjoyed my semester. In fact, I am worried that this semester has been so fantastic that I have no place to go but down next semester. I may have inadvertently set the bar too high.

I only have three semesters of school left. Of course, my long term goal is to attend law school. So that would tack on several more years of education. But as far as my undergraduate pursuits are concerned, I am fast approaching my conclusion. I am having some difficulty grasping this concept.

Tonight there is a free Owl City concert in the McCasland Field House. I have never really listened to Owl City much. But the most downloaded song on iTunes is by Owl City, so I feel like this is a rather big deal. I gave to go help the bands load in a few minutes. I know Owl City is not a traditional band with lots of members. There is just one guy. But I am so unfamiliar with Owl City I could not be able to identify the guy out of police lineup.

Today the Green Bay Packers play the dread Minnesota Vikings. This game will be played in the fabled Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The last meeting between these two heated rivals was contested in the Metro Dome in Minnesota, and unfortunately the noble Packers were felled to a superior opponent. I feel as though the Packers are going to really play with a rare intensity in this game though. Brett Favre is making his return to Green Bay, suiting up in the visitor's locker room for the first time in his illustrious career.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

First Post in So Long

I have unintentionally neglected this blog for quite some time, and for that I apologize. I will try to be more thorough about getting new posts up, but as the semester continues to grind along I am getting busier and busier with various projects.

I am continuing to review products for, and I have actually fallen a little behind in my reviews. I have two television series I need to publish a review for, in addition to several documentaries. I also some products I need to review in other publications. I plan on writing for the local campus newspaper, The Oklahoma Daily.

I watched the movie Paranormal Activity yesterday at the Warren Theater in Moore. This movie has received a ton of buzz after a fantastic marketing campaign that features the terrified reactions of audience members. Also, the movie's budget was a paltry 15,000 dollars.

Whenever I watch a movie that has such a vast amount of hype behind it, often times I leave the theater disappointed. Sure enough, the same amount of people told me that Paranormal Activity was overrated as those that told me it was positively horrifying. I was extremely excited to see the movie, but after getting some lukewarm feedback I tempered my expectations slightly.

The movie ended up being very frightening. The story is told in a pseudo-real manner, and no credits run (except one, to establish copyright). The entire movie was filmed in just one week. I really enjoyed it, but I fear that a whole slew of copycat movies will flood the theaters now because this low budget horror movie has become such a rousing success.

Next week is homecoming, so I expect I will be rather busy with various school-spirit-motivated deeds. I hope that the weather is nice for the parade on Saturday. I'll check in with a post-homecoming update, for sure.