new year, new upgrades

Well, the spring semester is finally here. I’ll write more about that later but for now, the website is updated. There is a new resume section with information about me, the college courses section has been updated, the “Upgrades” page will have future upgrades and the archives will also contain of history of changed pages. Enjoy!
I’m still at a loss about the Calendar problems but I haven’t really looked into it. For whatever reasons, it comes out sometimes in Korean.

short filler

This is just a short filler for now. I plan on having a decent upgrade made to the site by 1/13/2003. 🙂
You all know what is really awesome though- I’m now a sophomore. With the Fall 2002 semester being added to the transcripts, that puts me over the 30 credit hour mark making me now a first-year sophomore at UT.
Anyhow, please look forward to the musings and whatnot that will be added around the 13th. I’ll try to have the College Courses site updated through the Spring 2003 semester as well as improving upon the HHS-UT section.
Oh, before I forget, I do realize something is wrong with the calendar site. It is not supposed to come up in Korean. I’ll play with the hyperlinks later and figure out a fix to the problem. Try just typing in That worked for me once.

transition, time travel and virginity

The semester is almost to an end already. For me, as of this writing, I have one lecture and one discussion left. After that, two finals and the Fall 2002 semester will be no more. There will only be one more semester of Random Musings from M0232- after that, I won’t be living in M0232 so obviously, I’ll have to rename it.
Back to the point of the ending semester, my long semester of college has been an interesting one. I’ve never lived away from home nor in any other town than Wichita Falls. I have almost always gone to school with my cohorts who graduated with me from Hirschi. This semester I have not performed to the academic level that I have come to expect from myself. The first semester is an unique one- being thrown into a whole new academic, social, spiritual and psychological environment. Not only must I adapt to the difference in academics but I must adapt to knowing almost no one, to not knowing what church to go to, to never living downtown in a metro area.
With all of the confusion and difficulty the transitional semester has made itself out to be, there have been many great aspects of it. I am now an active in the Lambda Omega Alpha fraternity. I have made contacts with Anderson International Baccalaureate High School as an intern to their chemistry department. I’ve met and meet regularly with diocesan officials with the Diocese of Austin. I work the front desk at the University Catholic Center. I’ve met so many great people; many of whom are becoming part of my close network of friends and contacts. While I am at school to be a student first and I have not achieved my goals in terms of that function, I am establishing myself. I would further assimilate myself into the world that is Austin, but perhaps time is the missing key.
On a different note, Newsweek is reporting of a new wave of virginity across American high schools. According to the cover story, the number of high school teens who say they have not have sex has increased ten percent between 1999 and 2001. Overall the story is very interesting mentioning the story of one El Paso girl who works at Hooters, won a pageant, models for Harley-Davidson and is a cheerleader but is still a virgin. It is interesting that while our society and our culture is turning to one that is more and more sexually driven, the effect of that culture on the teens of today has decreased. Interesting article though.
I did learn of something that really tripped me out this week though- The Time Travel Fund. This is a fund that you join by sending in $10 and when time travel is invented, they will pull you into the future where you will live a life of luxury living off of your $10’s compounded interest. Now, I won’t go into everything- simply check out the site. One thing I noticed, guess how much of your $10 contribution goes towards your future life? One dollar- yes, that’s right boys and girls- one whole American dollar. Another one goes towards a legal fund to pay for lawyers to run the trust, the other eight goes towards supporting the website. Okay, let’s do this, nine other people call me and send me a dollar. Then we’ll send them our $10. If it works, whoever gets pulled into the future can come back to the past and be like “Hey Brandon- I’m back from the future. That $10 Time Travel thing, well hey, it works.” Then we all would know to contribute $10 and presto- it works for everyone. Then there are all kinds of questions involved though involving theories of time- if we go back in time to alert ourselves to the success of the program, what would happen? Some say that the past is defined and no matter what, things would get in the way of anyone traveling back and changing it. The other thought, which I would subscribe to, is the alternative reality possibility. In that, a new reality would be created by us changing the past. In theory, there are infinite number of reality based on all the decisions we make. For example, so many realities would have me be a student at UT, so many other realities would have be me a student at…. let’s say the Catholic University of America. That’s enough time travel talk for almost 2 a.m.
Ricky wanted me to throw in that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an awesome game. I would have to second that. All in favor, say aye. Ricky, Brandon and Matt: “Aye” The ayes have it.
Matt wanted me to throw in that he’s freakin’ cold. It’s not only cold outside at MIT, but he’s cold in his room- he’s cold at his desk at work. Why? Too many windows with too much heat escaping. What have I personally learned from this? I can’t complain about it being 39 degrees.
Lastly, I’ll be working on the college and Hirschi-UT sections of the website over Christmas break. The updates will all be posted at once. When will Christmas break start? December 14, 2002 at 5:00 p.m. Take care until next time.

the pope and the rosary

Once again, it is my time to update this once again. My apologies for The View from 232 being offline so long. The camera got knocked off the window sill and I just never got around to at least pointing it outside until just now.
Also, I do realize that most of the links to the left do not link to these great pages that you all expect from me. I’m getting it done- just chill out. I did however update the index to the College Courses section of the site with catalog descriptions. I’ll be updating each page slowly over the next week as well as preparing pages for the Spring 2k3 semester so it won’t be eight weeks into it before those pages are ready.
This week, Pope John Paul II entered into the 25th year of his pontificate at the Vatican. During the celebration, he released Rosarium Virginis Maraie, an Apostolic Letter on the Rosary. In the letter, he called for the year between October 2002 and October 2003 to be the “Year of the Rosary” (no. 3). What really was amazing from this letter was the proclamation of five new mysteries to the Rosary. The luminous mysteries, or mysteries of light, are for suggested mediation on Thursdays. Can Pope JPII do that? Well, he is pope. The mysteries of the Rosary are not part of dogma and is not something that is essential to salvation. That is, whether or not you pray and reflect over the ascension of Christ or his baptism makes no difference. He did not change or add any tenants of faith. With the exception of the Our Father, all prayers have been handed down to us through tradition. Granted, some prayers have been said to have been revealed to us by God but nonetheless, adding a new set of mysteries is not anything close to completely adding new dogmatic teachings. The new mysteries are 1. Christ’s baptism in the Jordan, 2. Christ’s self-manifestation at the wedding at Cana, 3. Christ’s proclamation of the Kingdom of God with his call to conversion, 4. Christ’s Transfiguration and 5. Christ’s institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery. The letter, overall however, is about the Rosary itself and what it really is- what it reflects on and how it reflects upon it. I haven’t read the entire thing yet but what I have is pretty interesting. He knows how to write!
This week, I have so many tests coming up. It is not even funny so don’t laugh. For that reason, I’m ending my Random Musings for this session and bid you all farewell.

the first one

Welcome everyone to my ever-improving personal website devoted to whatever I feel the need to rant and rave about. With time, I’m hoping that this becomes a site where I at least can get something out of it. For the rest of you, well, its my personal site with the keywords being my personal site. Nothing but good feelings to you all but that’s my thoughts on it.

Before I go on farther, I must give credit where credit is due. I obtained the idea of Random Musings from Dr. David Laude, a Professor of Chemistry and Assistant Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. While I have yet to have him as a professor, I came across his Random Musings and thought to myself, “That is one hell of an idea!” I was just wandering around the 1st floor of Welch one Wednesday night/Thursday morning and found it on a table. Inspiration comes in many forms, be sure not to ignore it when it comes.

Now that I got my personal site rant as well as giving proper credit to Dr. Laude for the idea, please let me introduce myself. My name is Brandon Kraft and I’m currently a freshman at The University of Texas at Austin. I’m officially a Chemistry: Opition III (Teaching) major while unofficially I intend to duel-degree in History. Teaching option you ask? Yes, my current career plan places me within the halls of academia teaching a classroom of students the awesomeness of chemistry or history or whatnot. I’m in the UTeach program that currently has me placed at Campbell Elementary School in Austin to teach at once every few weeks. I would like to note while the kids there are great, my goal is not teaching elementary.

Moving on, I’m an alumnus of Hirschi Math-Science International Baccalaureate Magnet High School in Wichita Falls. I’m a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wichita Falls currently calling the UT University Catholic Center my home away from home. I’m a member of countless organizations including the Sigma Pledge Class for the Lambda Omega Alpha fraternity, the Jester East Residence Hall Association (2nd floor wing representative), Freshman Leadership Organization, Texas Exes Student Chapter, Math and Science Teachers of Tomorrow (MASTT), Students Helping Admissions Recruitment Efforts (SHARE), and Longhorn Scholars. As well, I’m a Deputy Voter Registrar of Travis County as well as the webmaster for The Mol Science Club at Hirschi.

For all those who care, I try to keep my calendar public and online. Since I am just a mere college student, I lack the funds to maintain a properly staffed office. Due to those staffing restraints, I have no secretary to maintain my calendar and provide copies of it to all those who wish to know it. Granted, I don’t have that many people asking for my time but all the same. Also, please realize that as hard as I may try, I may not have everything on the calendar so no harsh e-mails detesting me for some sort of event of yours that I failed to add to my calendar.