Academia. It’s that bittersweet beast which all of us in college subject ourselves to for better or for worse. The other day, I went to the MSU Bookstore to purchase my books for Summer I. All used books, not including one that I already owned, came to a grand total of $194. Well, I’m still not very sure on this but it sounds like one of courses also requires me to purchase an access code from WebCT. That is something that well, I just don’t like. I’ll grant that this e-pack will have material that may not be presented, or presented as well, in the book. I really doubt I’ll use it though.
Anyhow, I begin classes on Monday. I have my first test, over chapters 1-5 of the sociology text on June 9th. For that course, it’ll be about 100 pages of reading a week with one test a week administered online at my convenience (as long as it is submitted on or before June 9th). I have yet to hear about art or political science. Political Science doesn’t really scare me at all. Art Appreciation, well, I have the feeling it’ll include memorizing a large amount of artwork. I can do that though, right? The classes are for two hours a day, Monday through Thursday through the first week of July. Due to budget issues, there will be no university operations at MSU on Fridays. I can handle that. 🙂 I’ll keep you all updated on how things are going on here though.
Most, if not all, the people I have talked to think I’m crazy for attempting sixteen hours in a summer session. Well, perhaps I am. To underscore my reasoning though, my first year was not a great one- all told, I failed to complete a semester at full-time. My idea is to catch up this summer and try to get myself in a mindset of work. We’ll see if it works.
Lastly, Chris from Cyberstation called wondering whatever happened to my website. Hmm… yeah, I was pretty sure I had said I already switched providers in e-mails to him before. I think he’s just trying to save some business- yeah, a little late for that.
The Great American Job Hunt. Why do they call it that? It’s not a great experience at all from what I know. I spent most of the day today dressed up in a suit going to so many different businesses only to have most of them flat deny me or give me one of those standard “we won’t consider it but I’ll tell you we will.” What is killing me is that I will just be a summer employee- nothing more. I’m not exactly something businesses in Wichita Falls needs.
Food service is always an option. I was hoping to stay away from that though. My Food Handler’s Card for Wichita County expired earlier this month so I would have to go through that sad sad training again. It’s just something I really don’t want to do anymore. I have experience in other things. I’m not saying food service is a bad job but I don’t like to settle for something when I know I can do more. That’s all for now.
Ok, I just made myself mad. I had written a decent-sized entry and then I deleted it on accident. I don’t do that too often and it really bugs me whenever I do. I’ll try to recreate the post…
I decided to start more of a weblog layout to the site. Recently, I haven’t had either the time or the inspiration to write a long musing at any one time. However, I have had small amounts of both many times so I’m going to post small nuggets whenever I have the urge in a somewhat weekly format. I’ll play with it a little but just so you know, look out for it. Also, Cyberstation still sucks. I’m using them for dial-up ISP access now and they still don’t understand that I cancelled my webhosting services with them (after they stopped providing me service). The Cyberstation nameserver still points brandonkraft.com to their servers so I can’t even see my website! (A nameserver is what directs traffic to brandonkraft.com or any other named site to the numeric IP address of the server. Most IPs run their own using information sent out by the different domain name registrars- hence why it takes between 24 and 48 hours many times for a new- or changed- domain name to be seen by everyone.) In short, if you see any problems, please let me know as I can’t view the pages after going through server-side processing.
Yesterday, I paid my tuition for Summer I at Midwestern State University. I realized how much I really do enjoy The University of Texas. I say that in this context simply because of how smooth everything, for me, as been in Austin. I worked for the University- I applied online, filled out I-9, W-4s online, submitted time sheets online. I attended classes at the University- I submit some assignments online, check grades online, check out offline assignments on the class’ website, I check and pay all my bills online, change my addresses and phone numbers online, appealed my parking ticket online, priced and bought my books from the Co-Op online, checked buyback prices online, etc. At Midwestern, after surfing their site, I seriously think I had the one professor last summer who actually has a website. I haven’t had a class at UT yet that didn’t use either make their own site or used a template site like Blackboard or Nicenet. MSU does have online registration but honestly, I bugged me to death. Every five minutes, I had to log-in again- using my SSN I might add. I wanted to override a prereq for a course- I couldn’t do it online. Hell, I couldn’t even do it over the phone. I suppose it isn’t that bad but I am thankful I’m a Longhorn.
Well, for the moment, I’m going to go and be productive outside the virtual world.
It’s about time that I got back to writing a musing. First things first, a little plug- Before The Throne, the Praise and Worship Ministry at the University Catholic Center that Michael Raia and I started now has a Demo CD! I’ll make a page for the songs later but feel free to get a sneak peek.
School is finally out and I’m not too sure what to do with myself. I went home for a couple of days and then I found myself (see below) driving back to Austin and staying at a friend’s apartment. Sure, I had things to do in Austin and Wichita Falls both but I had no real reason to drive back so fast. Nor do I have a real reason on why I shouldn’t have. I enjoy being in Austin more I believe but most everyone is not here. Almost everyone has driven back to their respective homes. I think going home will be good for me though. It’ll be great to hang out with a few people I haven’t seen much of in the last nine or so months.
It has been sometime since I’ve been able to post a Random Musing. A quick recap of the reasoning: First, Cyberstation deleted the website again. They’re still billing me (got one today) but still has yet to reactivate my account. Never use Cyberstation of Wichita Falls. I give them two thumbs down. Anyhow, after a couple of weeks of waiting for them, I opened an account elsewhere. So far, they haven’t deleted my account- a good sign. Between the domain transfer and reconfiguring what I had setup, this is the first chance I’ve had to update this site.
With the completion of old business, new business comes up. Remember my parking ticket- well, I appealed it saying that half my car was legally parked and there were no other spaces open. The Appeals Officer decided that I deserved some slack and reduced my ticket- by half. So, half my car was parked illegally so I get fined half the usual amount. Last night, when I was driving home from The Pines, I was pulled over and given a citation for speeding. Going 82 in a 65. One ticket down, one to go.
First, If you sent me any e-mail to a @brandonkraft.com e-mail address during the last month, I didn’t get them! Damn ISP! If you did, please forward to a working address. Secondly, some mindless images to help you all through the day.
If you suck at chemistry, you may end up dying.
Also, I wanted to throw in this picture I think you will like. UT’s PTS gave this to me on the 24th around 1:30.
Next up, do you remember the diversity column I wrote? Remember the little rant I had at the top of the page a week or so after that? Adam from Grinnell, IA sure does. He wrote me a reply, like I asked any of my viewers who disagreed to do, telling me that in fact, I am wrong. On the rant, I mentioned an event at a UT fraternity about how one of the members dressed up as a black person for a costume party of some sort. There were complaints filed to the University because of the incident. I said that getting all pissed off and trying to fix college students is not the best way to stop the problem. Here is Adam’s e-mail in it’s full glory:
I must respond to your comment on the comments you made about the racial situation at college. While I am not a student at UT and I don’t know about the “events” you mentioned I have a problem with your analysis of the students. I know it is not your intention but you are making excuses for the racist ideas of the students. You say that they are beyond change and teaching and if this is true then why do we bother educating them if they cannot change their ideas on a subject. Your statement:
“For everyone calling out for racial respect after the fraternity incident, realize that these people came probably from “white” suburban areas. They do not understand the culture nor the complexities of trivializing it. It is not a good thing but that is just how it is.”
You are excusing their behavior because of where they are from. College above any other place should be concerned with and able to change the perceptions of people and to educate them not only academically but also socially. Don’t you dare say such a narrow minded comment as “that is just how it is.” THAT excuse is one that has allowed such racist and bigoted ideals to continue. Just because they have held the idea for years and are at college doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be expected to change. Also don’t discount the accomplishments of the civil rights movement. I don’t know if you intended it, but know that there are serious negative connotations to the word “tolerance”. I was largely disappointed by the comments and I hope that you don’t truly feel the way that you came across. Also might I suggest the following link: http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/initial.html
p.s.: I have no hard feelings against you…I am just writing a letter to the editor.
First off, I must thank Adam for voicing out. One of the goals of this site is for people to be able to exchange ideas in some form. Not the greatest but, eh I’m also only a first-year college student with no time.
In response to the letter, I never meant to imply that bigotry was acceptable or that we shouldn’t try at all to change people’s opinions and thoughts at this point in the game. At college age, however, many people are set in their ways. The ability to transform someone of an adult age is much more difficult unless he or she wants to be transformed. I am not saying let the racists be racist but I am saying people should put more effort to stop the root of the problem rather then just the result of the problem. Teach about diversity and being colorblind in elementary, junior high and high school. It is along the same lines as the premise of the D.A.R.E. program- for those who do not know, D.A.R.E. is designed to teach elementary-aged students to stay away from drugs before they really get into the situation where they will be faced with that option. Focusing on college students would not be the best time to deter drug use as most kids start/try drugs at an earlier age. It’s the same thing with racism- yes, try to get college students aware of the issues but focus your time on a younger group. Teach kids before they get set in a mindset that the mindset of racism is wrong. The civil rights movement did accomplish goals. Black people attend class with me, vote with me, do whatever they want to with me. Yes, the civil rights movement accomplished a lot. The mission still is not complete, I agree. I disagree with college students getting pissed off at other college students without trying to figure out why they are that way. I know black people who are incredibly racist towards white people. Am I upset with them because of this? At first yes, after talking to one of their friends, I realized that they grew up in a mostly black neighborhood and the only real interaction they had with most white people fell along racial lines. They didn’t like me because most of the other white people they have seen were racist towards them in some fashion.
Back to the point, I do think that the college students who committed this acts could have a narrow mindset and that is not proper, not right and should not be allowed- however, while attempts should be made to open their minds, why are we not trying to keep their minds open while they are in a 99% white school in suburban Houston? They are racist probably not because they hate or dislike black people. I don’t think they’re anti-Black. I think it comes from a lack of understanding of the cultures. Now, don’t get me wrong with this next example- I’m trying to connect it to a general topic not so heated. Aggie jokes. We’ve all heard them at some point. When I was in elementary school, most of us shared them even though we did not have a grasp on what A&M and UT were really about. My experience through school was to keep an open mind about all colleges and so I applied to both UT and A&M with no preset determination where I wanted to go. After interactions with both schools, I did choose UT. Now, I play with my Aggie friends but I don’t really mean to punk on their school. How does this relate to race? Follow the metaphor a little farther, the students who committed this told these jokes throughout school and somewhere along the line, never learned that it was wrong and mostly unfounded. It’s time to decide where to go to school. Of course, Aggies are nothing but idiots so of course they’re going to want to go to UT instead. They don’t realize the error of their ways and knowing hardcore Aggies and hardcore Longhorns, it’s not an easy thing to change. With race, it’s not very different. The student never realized it was wrong and for the first time, it really being called on that. After having this mindset gel for 19 or 20 years, it’s really difficult to break the mold. It’s possible and it needs to be done- however, the student must want to think differently. If we have, for a lack of a better word, diversity education in these 99% white schools, the mold will have a less of a chance to be placed into effect and thus the lessen the likelihood of gelling.
It is the way it is. It’s not a good thing- I admitted to start with, but it is true. I am not saying that it can’t be corrected but you must solve the problem, not just the symptoms.
Am I still wrong? Did I piss you off for another reason? Let me know.
P.S. Adam, it’s all cool. I needed a topic for this week anyhow