Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rubberband Man

So this guy, let's call him Omar, posted video on his blog the other day. That seemed pretty fun, so now I'm using this post as an excuse to try embedding a video on my blog.

Today's post is about T.I.'s song Rubberband Man. I used to love that song. So much so that I set it as my ringtone. But about a year and a half ago I made the mistake of setting it as the alarm soundclip on my cellphone. For months this is what I've woken up to. And now it has ruined the song for me. I can't listen to it without instantly feeling tense.

Just for fun here are videos for my other, non-dread-inducing ringtones.

My girlfriend gets Silent Shout by The Knife... for no particular reason... it just happened to be my favourite song a few months ago.

And everyone else gets Don't You Want Me by The Human League, but instead of posting the video, I'll put up the clip from the Mighty Boosh which originally turned me on to the Human League:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Addendum to last post:

Madison is dead at night, campus is empty and all the libraries are closed. I don't know of any place where people gather to study at 2, or 3 AM. If there was better lighting, and a 24 hour Starbucks, and if restaurants and libraries stayed open later maybe people would come out at night. At McGill I found it reassuring to know that I could go down to the engineering building at any time of night and study in the cafeteria... and I wouldn't be the only person doing so... It made me feel like the campus was alive and teeming with people eager to learn, no matter what time of day. The more I think about it, the more it bothers me that Madison doesn't have any good late-night-study spots.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A few months ago a guy got shot and killed on State Street near the university, and my apartment. And now a few weeks ago a girl was murdered after spending a night in the state street area at a bunch of bars that I sometimes go to. State Street Brats is a good place for sports games, and brats, obviously. Lava Lounge is a nice chill bar that I go to a lot, and I think they mentioned Amy's in one of the news stories - those last two bars are my default bars. It's scary to think that some poor girl got murdered by someone that drinks at the same places I drink at. What the hell? The weird thing is in a lot of ways Madison reminds me of nice safe cities like Ottawa and Kingston, but for some reason it seems like there has been a lot more violence here lately. It's like Busta Rhymes says: it ain't safe no more.

One thing that has always freaked me out about Madison is how dark it is at night. I remember at McGill the heart of campus was always well lit, and there was a recommended path for getting around late at night (basically just Prince Arthur). Not here. Libraries and even restaurants close up early. Even the McDonalds that we used to have next to campus would close at 11. And the area between the university bookstore and the student union hardly has any lighting at all. It just doesn't make sense, why would a campus teeming with students shut down so early? And there's none of those yellow emergency stations like at McGill, where you could just hit a big red button and a 911 call would go out.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Green Tea & Soda

Completely unrelated to that last post: I've stopped drinking soda. I have been soda-free ever since my girlfriend took off for Teach for America. The trick has been to drink Green Tea all the time. Like 1 gallon/day... Water's too boring, but with green tea somehow there's just enough flavour to keep me from looking for the nearest coke machine. Plus it's supposedly good for you.
Job Search - First Step

Went to a career counselor today. Step 1 of my job search! It was actually very reassuring: I had all these unanswered questions about what I'm qualified for, what my job search timeline should look like (am I starting a bit late, etc), and how to present some things on my resume. For example I taught a math for education course in the fall, and it went fairly well, but there were certainly many speedbumps... How do I put that on there? Well it turns out that the answer is to emphasize the aspects of the course that I took initiative on: like choosing the syllabus, choosing the teaching order, designing the handouts, and incorporating feedback mechanisms... The guy was right, it does sound way better when you write it like that. It beats the hell out of what I had written prior to meeting with him: "Designed and taught Math for Elementary Education III"...

The biggest worry I have is; what if I don't want a math job? I'm not sure of that yet, but I would like to know my options. If I want a math job, hey, no problem... I know where to look; AMS and SIAM have career booths at their conferences. But what else is there? The appointment was less successful in answering that rather important question, but at least I've started this process early enough that I've still got time to figure it out.