Categories
Reflections

diverse? we aren’t!

Another week has gone by in this Spring semester. I’ve skipped too much class already. I really need to stop doing that. If you hear about me skipping again, yell at me. I’m serious. Call me up and yell. If you don’t know my number, then IM me and tell me to get off the computer and go to class!

I’m going to start on a quick light note- my roommate Ricky has decided he is going to be the UT Superhero ending any and all crime on campus. However, the job position of superhero is not one you can just walk into so he needs your help. If you have any ideas for costumes, a name, a theme, any symbols, etc, please shoot me an e-mail.

Now my second topic of the week is bound to upset some people. If you happen to be one of those people, feel free to contact me and voice your opinion. Okay, diversity rallies- I don’t like them. I am not saying I don’t like diversity. I just don’t like the rallies. For those of you who do not know of my high school background: My high school was diverse. We had a pretty even mix of white, black and Hispanic. It wasn’t a “white” school. We had a pretty open flow of culture between all the ethnic groups. Blacks were 26% of the school population, Hispanics were about 16%. About half were “white, non-Hispanic” and the remainder came from Native Americans, Asians, et al. We never made any big deal about being a diverse campus- we just were diverse. The district allowed all 8th graders to choose which high school he/she would like to go to and we ended up being a diverse school. I’m at UT now and I’ve heard stories from A&M about diversity rallies held at the two campuses. I just laugh when I heard about this. UT has only around 16% minorities total. A&M has a total of 14% minorities. Although I hate to admit this, our campuses are not that diverse. We hold diversity rallies to celebrate our diversity. What diversity? We aren’t diverse so we try to act like it. What the hell good is that? A rally will not change anything. It won’t magically add minority students on campus. I love black people, I love Hispanic people, but what I love most is when I’m around people of other races and it’s not a big deal. Instead of holding a rally to act like we’re diverse, let’s become diverse. I don’t want to parade around campus telling myself we are. We aren’t. It’s as simple as that.

This will upset people as well but that’s the kind of musings this will be this week. The MLK Statue on the East Mall was egged on the previous Monday causing an uproar (story 1, story 2) on campus. I do not think that it was proper to egg the MLK statue nor do I condone that action. However, everyone made such a big deal about this. Some students reported seeing flowers around a statue of Lee on campus. Well, two other buildings (ACE and GEO, the Daily Texan newspaper said RLM which is not what police reports state) were also egged the same night. It sounds like some kids were throwing eggs around campus. Were they trying to send out their political message of hate on campus? Maybe. Were they trying to get a cheap thrill? Possible. The MLK statue is the only one on campus guarded with video cameras. Adds a little to the thrill factor. I know many people will take this the wrong way and I’m prepared for that. I just don’t feel that a statue being egged is that big of a deal. If they hung a sign on it saying racial slurs- that’s a big deal. If they tried to destroy or deface the statue- that’s a big deal. Throwing some eggs at a statue and two other buildings. I just don’t see that as a clear racial hate issue. Some people will bring up that the statue of General Lee on campus had flowers around it. No one reported this to the police as vandalism and only the newspaper had a report of a student seeing this. The people who threw eggs could be connected to that, it could be someone else who has a racial issue or who knows. I really just don’t feel the eggs were that big of a deal. According to the Daily Texan, Student Government “voted unanimously Tuesday [Jan. 21, 2003] to pass a resolution condemning the statue’s defacement and urging the UT administration to adopt and implement a racial harassment policy.” Great for them. There is no reason why we should allow racial harassment on campus. When was the last reported harassment due to race on campus? I have no idea. There has been nothing in the police reports for this school year about it that I can recall. Take that for what you will, if you think I’m wrong.

On a much lighter note, Saturday the 25th was the first “Whose Date Is It Anyway?” date auction at the University Catholic Center. It was amazing. For all those members of STRONG (if any) who check out this site, you did a great job. I am impressed and that isn’t easy to do. All in all, from what I heard, around $4,000 was raised to help complete the new center.

Adam asked me this week why I had Matt’s weather online but not his since he was in fact colder. I checked it out and he’s right. Adam is colder at Grinnell College than Matt is at MIT. [as of when I wrote this on the night of January 26th. Weather does change.] Also, if you need to know any random facts about cars, Adam knows what you seek. I’ll mention some of his random facts in the weeks to come.

That is that for this week’s musings. Matt’s stats are below as they were last week. I’ll be setting up a page so you can track his progress towards 100% soon. Also, if you have any idea for RM232, shoot me an e-mail. I have some ideas in the works but any feedback would be great.

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Categories
Random

back to the futures, computers

First off, as some of you may have noticed, the camera view has changed some. For the moment, the camera is focused on my laptop screen. Why did I move it? The camera kept off falling off the window ledge and I wanted to use the camera for video creation more. While I’m talking about website details, I am going to start trying to update this on a weekly basis.
Recently, I found a copy of the Back to the Future trilogy in my room. I forgot how much I enjoyed that movie. The concept of time travel has always amazed me. (If you remember my mention of the Time Travel Fund in a previous RM232). Did you know that you can still by a DeLorean? On the DMC website, you can go to Buy Your Own DeLorean and order a DeLorean. Prices start at $32,500 so I will not be purchasing one soon. In either case, that’s simply amazing. If I had the money, I would drive to Houston and pick one up tonight. Back to the Future is my favorite movie and to have the same type of car would make my day. I’ll talk more about the time travel aspects later.
I have been involved in fixing some computers lately. At first, I worked on fixing Tracie’s computer. Among other things, Internet Explorer would not open so I suggested she uninstall it. That caused Windows ME to completely stop working. Yes, that really sucks. I’m still working with her to get that computer back on it’s feet. However, I started working on Kami’s computer. She had a variation of a virus. Using the Remote Assistance feature in Windows Messenger and Windows XP, I removed a couple of rogue programs and some registry keys that loaded the virus. So, I’m one for two on fixing computers in the past week. To Tracie: We’ll get that computer fixed! I promise! Thanks for putting up with your old one while we get the new one fixed.
Matt wanted me to mention the weather in Boston again. Instead of just mentioning what the weather is at the moment I’m writing, I am placing a banner with the current conditions on the left. For comparison’s sake, I am also including an image with Austin’s weather.
While I’m mentioning Matt, here are some exclusive stats on his progress towards 100% completion on GTA:VC:
Matt has played a total of 53 hours and 29 minutes according to our time thus elapsing 254 days within the game. During that time- within a year virtually- he has killed 4140 people- 174 via headshots. Yet he has only sniped four seagulls. Some people might say he is a violent man in the game, but no, he has only killed four seagulls. This man is a friend to PETA (no link since I don’t think they’ll agree). He has even fed thirty-four fishes according to the game stats! So while he’s only made it up to 4 am national TV for the 674 “wanted stars” he’s attained, this man has never ran over a dog in the 1447 miles he has driven. So remember, when people say that GTA is a violent game- look at who they’re looking at. They’re talking about violent against people but the game is obviously not violent towards animals. Remember that people.
Categories
Site Info

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.
Categories
Random

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 http://calendar.yahoo.com/kraftychat/ That worked for me once.
Categories
Random

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.
Categories
Church

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.