Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The FINAL Countdown

This is it, folks! The last two weeks of my first semester back at college. They're going to be busy ones. I have seven tests and/or oral exams between now and December 13. Allow me to detail:

Tues 5 Dec - Trig (math) exam
Wed 6 Dec - Drafting presentation (oral exam)
Thu 7 Dec - Plans & Specs Exam
Fri 9 Dec - Microcomputer Applications Exam
Mon 11 Dec - Construction Lab Final
Tues 12 Dec - Math Final
Wed 13 Dec - Building Construction Systems Final

I only have four "finals" - drafting, lab, math and BCS. But of the remaining three, the trig exam and the Plans & Specs exam will be brutal. Trig, because it's Trig(onometry) and Plans and Specs because it's over the 29 pages of plans, plus the specifications, for a Wendy's Restaurant. The Microcomputers exam will seem like a vacation compared to everything else.

Of my four finals, I think Drafting and BCS will go the smoothest. BCS will be "easy" because it's vocabulary only, and I have all the words written in note form so all I have to do is refer back to my notes if I need help. (Jim lets us use notes for his tests.) Drafting is a little scarier - it's an oral exam, where you have to convince Jim (the same guy that teaches BCS) that he should "hire" you to build an addition on to his cabin. I have the drawings 99% done: I only have to modify one thing, and then I have to put the presentation together, and that will take a while. I'm mostly nervous about what questions Jim will ask and what "extemporaneous" drawings he'll expect from me. I'm not good at extemporaneous.

The Math and Lab finals I am NOT looking forward to. Barry teaches both of those classes, and Barry has a nasty habit of tossing in "distractors", things that can confuse you and make you screw up. The worst thing about it is, Barry seems to really enjoy watching you panic. I would say that he has a sadistic streak, but outside of his tests, Barry is an incredibly nice guy. He's given me lecture notes to help me study, which is why I don't understand the reasoning behind his test-writing. Maybe he has an evil twin, or something.

So the countdown to the end of the semester has started. Two weeks from today, at 10 AM, I will have officially completed my first semester in the Architectural Technology program. One down, four to go.

Pass the chocolate!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

This Is Just Wrong

The Iowa Hawkeyes are going to a bowl game - The Alamo Bowl. This is unbelievable, because the Hawkeyes went 6 - 6 on the year.

Here's a list of the teams they beat:
Iowa State
Northern Illinois

Not exactly a list that will have you shaking in your boots, is it?

Here's a list of the teams that beat them:
Ohio State

There's a couple games in that list the Hawks were supposed to have won, but their quarterback, Drew Tate, has a severe case of Brett Favre-itis. That means he throws alot of bad passes that are caught for interceptions, and Tate (like Favre) has a bad habit of slinging the football anywhere in the hopes that one of his team-mates will catch it. I don't think either Tate or Favre have come to the conclusion that this is a bad idea, because they keep doing it, and they keep throwing interceptions. Sheesh.

There's two reasons that the Hawkeyes are going to The Alamo Bowl this year. Reason One is their former coach Hayden Frye. (or is that Fry? whatever) Anyway. Frye is originally from Texas, and when he coached at Iowa his teams were spectacular, which made Frye an icon of collegiate football, thus "his team" gets to go to "his state" for bowl games. Personally, I think they should call The Alamo Bowl "The Hayden Frye Bowl". It's his clout that gets the Hawks there. Reason Two is Iowa Hawkeye football fans. These people are seriously rabid. They paint their homes black and gold, fly tacky little Hawkeye flags from their car windows, wear ridiculously tacky outfits to all of the games, and are usually the ones the media puts on TV, thus perpetuating the myth that Iowans have no life. They'll travel anywhere (and I do mean anywhere) to watch the Hawks play, and they make arrangements with travel agents months in advance so that they can get trip packages to whichever bowl the Hawks get. And they spend tons of money in the bowl's hometown, boosting that town's economy. Hawkeye fans will take over the bowl's town for an entire week, and there will be 10 Hawk fans for every opponent fan. That's why the minor bowls trip over themselves to get teams like the Hawkeyes to come and play at their venues. They know that the fans will spend obscene amounts of money, and they want that money.

But I wonder how many really decent teams will sit at home this year, with 7 - 5 records, puzzling over why they're home and the Hawkeyes, at 6 - 6, are at The Alamo Bowl. I think it's vastly unfair to teams with better records that they don't get post-season play while Iowa does. It's also a little pathetic that there are so many minor bowls that take mediocre teams. I liked the old system better, before the BCS computer and the minor bowls. The Big 10 always played the Pac 10 at the Rose Bowl, and that was a game to look forward to. It had tradition. It had class. It had impact. But now, a computer decides which teams play in which major bowls, and the minor bowls go around and jockey for second-rate teams just so they can suck money away from their fans.

This is just wrong.