Exhibiting the warning signs of super-nerdy syndrome

I mentioned it before.  This semester has been, for me, so far, to use Californian slang, hella hectic. All my classes are time-consuming. I’m trying to both be social and not fail out of college at the same time. I haven’t even had time to go to the gym. I haven’t even had time to blog. I’m at the end of my tether.

And when a person’s at the end of their tether, survival instincts kick in. Except when you’re me, a stressed out college kid, survival instincts actually means super-nerdy mode. 

Yes. I’m no pre-med student, but I have diagnosed myself with super-nerdy syndrome. Not the I-like-video-games-and-comics-nerd, but the I-study-so-much-I-need-glasses-also-I-don’t-sleep nerd.

I might be wrong on this, though. There are greater nerds than I. Read the symptoms and tell me what you think.

1. I study until I am about to fall asleep on my textbook

Seriously, I determine my bedtime by the time in which I am about to pass out. Sad? Yeah.

2. I passed on watching anime to study instead

3. I had this conversation with my sister

4. I react to this Noah and the Whale song like this:

I have a problem. But it’s alright. Grades are good for something, right?

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I HAVE A NEW FRIEND. I AM SO EXCITED I HAVE TO WRITE A POST ABOUT IT

LOOK AT THIS FRIEND I FOUND.

IT’S A CHARIZARD! A BIG, PLUSHIE, HONEST-TO-GOODNESS CHARIZARD.

Why am I so excited?

Well, I broke one of my mugs recently and wanted to replace it. If you’re me, that means going to the nearest thrift store to pick out a nice, hopefully unchipped cup that reads something like “Pikes Peak, Colorado” or “Fabulous, Las Vegas!”

So I stopped by my local Goodwill Outlet store for a nice dig. And when I say dig, I mean actually dig. While Goodwill stores are nicely laid out in pretty racks and all that, Goodwill Outlet stores are usually just huge bins of clothes and knickknacks for people to sift through.

Like this.

And, while browsing, I dug this fine fellow out of a bin of unmatched boots. Why was he there? Why had no one claimed him? Why was he abandoned in the first place? I was asking myself all of these things as I tenderly drew him out of the pile.

I was astonished. Stunned. Amazed. Overjoyed. I stood for a good two minutes just staring at the Charizard in total, utter amazement.

I unabashedly walked up to the front counter. There was no price tag on this poor Charizard. How much would he cost? 5 dollars? 10?

One dollar?! How could the price of this fine Charizard be so low? This guy obviously deserved better than this. I took him home in a blaze of glory.

So now I have a giant stuffed Charizard sitting in my room. A nice run through the washing machine and he’ll be good as new. Don’t worry– he has other friends to keep him company!

Yeah. I like my pokemon.

Minus One. (#85-91)

A note from the author:

“Whoa! What is this? Why did the comic suddenly jump to the present day?! Wait, and all those comics were taking place a year ago?”

I hadn’t originally planned the comic this way– it was supposed to be linear, from the start of Max’s story to the end! However, my comic was going to be implemented into the study (you know, the real-life one where people are actually using this cell phone app) when the participants were already a year in. Therefore, my boss wanted me to start the story when Max is already a year in, so people could relate better. I still wanted to have the stuff from when he started using the app, though, and somehow how to integrate this in. And thus, the time jumping. I know it’s a bit confusing in the first couple of weeks, and I apologize! From here on out time shall proceed normally.

Spontaneous comics from a scatterbrained student

This is my life right now:

I’m sure you all understand. School, work, life– they’re busy, yo!

So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t write a proper post, but instead regale you with the disorganized, sporadic ramblings of a stressed college student. Whatever. This is my blog. I do what I want!

(I thought cooking for myself meant I would eat less. I’m not eating in the buffet-style dining hall, after all. WRONG!)

(I like to keep myself in denial about my schoolwork. Speaking of denial…)

(It seems like only yesterday that it was a beautiful 80 degrees… how is it the first day of fall tomorrow?!)

(I totally still want to make a video blog, though. Even if I suck at it.)

And that’s all I’m giving you. There are so so so many posts I want to write, but haven’t found the time for. I apologize profusely– I’m a bad blogger, I know, and as the semester continues to build posts may get more and more, uh, sporadic. I’ll keep doing my best! You do too!

(I’m pretty sure that’s the closest to a stream-of-consciousness post I’ve gotten. I’ll try not to go all Holden Caulfield too often, I promise.)

Welcome to the world of mobile internet

My parents did not know what to get me for my birthday this year. They decided to ask me directly.

I, never opposed to receiving things, answered swiftly.

My mother was especially distressed. She did not just want to give me money, as she knew I would save it away in my bank account forever and ever. Yet all the things I wanted were not really practical. She consulted my dad, who happens to be in love with his newfangled Blackberry Playbook:

And he decided to get an iTouch for me. Now, I’ve never had a smartphone/smart device before. I actually just got texting last year. I’ve always believed that, while smartphones are nice and all, there’s no need for one. I remember my middle school days when kids would always get iPods and iPhones and whatever newfangled devices were out there.

And really, at that age, there’s no need for one. Now, though, I’m in college. I’m almost not-a-teen! I could use an iTouch, right?

Regardless, I was super excited to get my iTouch. I mean, the internet! Instant knowledge whenever I wanted! I could go on Wikipedia at any time! Google things! Look up maps when I was lost! Yes– I would never be lost again! I opened the box with the greatest reverence.

And you always read about all those fancy new apps people are designing. I read PopSci. You can turn your iTouch into a remote control! Use it to start your car! Deposit checks! The possibilities are endless! I had an incredibly powerful piece of technology here, one that could do anything! I just felt so incredibly advantaged to have access to this technology. This was it!

So now, what was I going to go with this little technological marvel? Why, what anyone else would do, of course.

Yeah. I guess I’m just another spoiled suburban kid.

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(Okay, okay. So I do check my e-mail and stuff on the iTouch. And I finished reading The Picture of Dorian Gray as a result of this iTouch. I DO THINGS WITH IT! I SWEAR!)

Do you remember 9/11?

Last July I visited New York City with my German host sister and my real sister. We decided to visit the nearly completed 9/11 Memorial, built where the World Trade Center once stood. The memorial wasn’t quite open to the public yet– to get in, we had to line up at the 9/11 Visitor’s Center and get tickets.

The memorial featured two gigantic waterfalls and reflecting pools in the two exact spots where the Twin Towers were. Around each pool, the nearly 3,000 names of the deceased were carved in bronze. The pools were surrounded by trees, stone walkways, and newly planted grass. All around the plaza, we were dwarfed by the construction of the new World Trade Center.

Visitors were cheerfully walking around, chatting, and smiling for photos. It was a warm July day, after all, and sunny, and we were lucky enough to have gotten into the memorial before its official coronation. The place was packed with people.

The September 11th attacks happened over a decade ago, in 2001. I had only just turned eight. That September, I was just starting the third grade. My teacher that year (Mrs. Casey) had a little morning activity called “Casey’s News.” Each day, she would assign one kid to look up the weather and another to look up current events. The next morning, these two kids would come into class, stand inside this big cardboard box painted to look like a TV, and present what they had found. It was a fun little tradition she had been doing for years in the hopes of getting kids to pay attention to the news.

On the morning of September 11th, I was assigned to get the current event.

My school, unlike most schools in my area, didn’t close that day. My sister tells me that many kids were picked up by their parents, though. I simply remember taking the bus, walking home, and checking the internet to see what was up and happening in the world.

Naturally, you can imagine what I found.

In all of the horrifying images and videos, however, I just didn’t understand what had happened. I don’t know why. I was only eight. My vocabulary was limited. I had watched war movies before. I just didn’t quite get the news articles I was finding. I recall asking my mom, that day,

I don’t remember her face when she answered.

Although I didn’t fully understand the scope of 9/11, I knew that it was big. I therefore proudly presented my newsflash the next day.

The horrors of 9/11, then not fully understood by my eight-year-old self, quickly vanished under bigger concerns like “How do I write cursive?” and “I don’t want to eat this gross school pizza!” It’s been 11 years since then. I admit that I don’t think of 9/11 often, or at great length. I’ve seen the photos, read first-hand accounts and cartoon recollections, and I know how terrible that day was. But I never truly understood, or perhaps, been able to begin to imagine the horrors of that day until I visited the memorial. Seeing those massive, black holes where the Twin Towers stood put into perspective the scale of the disaster, and the terror and suffering that went on that morning.

So I’m writing this post as my own remembrance. For those who went to work that day, only to find their office in flames. For the people who ran into the building, searching for loved ones. For the rescuers who risked– and lost– their lives for those they had never met. For the survivors who still feel the effects of the attacks today.

I know I wasn’t there. I know I’ll never fully understand what happened that day. I’ll never quite comprehend the fear, the bravery, the tragedy, the despondency. But I can remember.

And I hope that you, dear reader, can take a moment to remember it too.

So I ask: where were you on September 11, 2001? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.

To be honest, I only know how to make frozen waffles.

I recently moved back to school, which is why I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a few days. Class and work and catching up with friends made things immediately busy.

Those are normal, though. This year I have something else to take up time:

This year I’m living in an apartment-style dorm. (Still on campus, mind you. Northeastern kids are required to live on campus for the first two years.) Having a kitchen means I’m not required to get a meal plan. I happily opted out.

And that means for the last week I’ve had to cook for myself. Here’s how it’s been going:

Alright, so maybe I’m exaggerating. I can cook more than just stir-fried vegetables. Why, I can even make

Fine, I admit it. I don’t actually know how to cook. I’m not the perfect domestic woman, it’s true. But I’m trying to cook healthy! And go to the gym! Except, of course, I’m in college…

Whatever. We can’t all be perfect model citizens.

So let the year begin!