Random Ramblings

Procrastinating the Inevitable...

Contrary to Popular Belief...

By thePatrick

I'm alive!

So, this blog post will be a long, drawn out post to explain not really where I've been, but where I'm going to be and why. However, to explain where I'm going to be, I have to explain where I was planning on being.

Make sense? Good.

So, last anyone heard, I was applying to Graduate School. I applied to four schools: Indiana University, SUNY-Albany, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and University of Arizona. Through sheer luck and determination (and awesome letters from the professors who wrote on my behalf) I was accepted to all four schools. After talking about it with my wife, we determined that Indiana was the best place for us to go.

And we were going to go, too.

All we had to do was sell our house. We put it on the market in March. However, still no signs of selling. Bummer. But that's not the only reason that we're not going.

You see, I work at the library on campus at Utah State University. Which means I get benefits. And around April, we found out that we were going to be having another baby. This baby is due in January. So, since I have awesome benefits, we called up Indiana University and deferred school for a year.

But that's not all.

See, I was going to be in a dual Master's program and receiving a History M.A. and a Master's in Library Science. It is a three year program. Plus we were going to take a year off, so I would be done in four years.

But then, one day early this month, I was riding the bus to work and thinking. You see, Utah State doesn't have a Library Science program, but they do have a History program. And remember how I mentioned that I work for the university? Well, not only do I get health benefits for the family, but they offer half-price tuition. Which I wasn't able to take advantage of during my undergraduate years.

So, I emailed back and forth between the Graduate School and the History Department's Grad Studies director, rushed an application, got in touch with those professors who wrote letters for me in the past (no small accomplishment. One is still at USU, one is teaching at the University of Pittsburgh, and one is starting at George Mason University in Virginia), and applied.

Begging a million different people, emailing and phoning back and forth, it all ended in a new situation. Beginning Monday, I will be an enrolled Graduate Student in the History program here at USU. Amazing how plans can change.

So, we still haven't sold our place. We're not moving to Indiana. But I am going to school. We are having another baby. And we get to stay around friends and family. So if you all would take a moment and pray for my wife's sanity while dealing with a two year old, being pregnant/having a baby, and having a husband in Grad school.

Oh, and keep on keepin' on.

Do You Know What Time of Year It Is???

By thePatrick

March - The third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, and one of the seven months which are 31 days long. The name of March comes from ancient Rome, when March was the first month of the year and named Martius after Mars, the Roman god of war. In Rome, where the climate is Mediterranean, March is the first month of spring, a logical point for the beginning of the year as well as the start of the military campaign season. March has multiple holidays and observances, including but not limited to: American Red Cross Month, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Women's History Month, St. David's Day, National Reading Day, World Maths Day, International Women's Day, Pluto Planet Day, Pi Day, Save a Spider Day, St. Patrick's Day, St. Joseph's Day, Vernal Equinox, World Water Day, Pakistan Day, etc., etc., etc. Also notable is March Madness, the beginning of the Annual NCAA Men's (and Women's) Basketball tournament.

Mustache - facial hair grown on the upper-lip. The term implies that the wearer grows only upper-lip hair while shaving the hair on his chin and cheeks. Shaving with stone razors was technologically possible from Neolithic times, but the oldest portrait showing a shaved man with a mustache is an ancient Iranian horseman from 300 BC. In more modern history, moustaches have been worn my military men. The umber of nations, regiments and ranks were equalled only by the number of styles and variations. Generally, the younger men and lower ranks work the smaller and less elaborate mustaches. As a man advanced in rank, his mustache would become thicker and bushier, until he was permitted to wear a full beard. In Western cultures women generally avoid the growth of facial hair; though many are capable, the majority of these women remove it. Some women, however choose to embrace this growth, often in the form of thin mustaches. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo famously depicted herself in her artwork with both a mustache and a unibrow. Most men with a normal or strong mustache tend it daily, by shaving the hair of the chin and cheeks, to prevent it from becoming a full beard. A variety of tools have been developed for the care of mustaches, including mustache wax, mustache nets, mustache brushes, mustache combs and mustache scissors.

So why is this important? Because it's Mustache March!!! Woot! So, celebrate like you mean it. Guys and girls, grow that upper lip hair. Salvidor Dali, Burt Reynolds, Borat, Frank Zappa, Albert Einstein, Teddy Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin. It doesn't matter who you emulate, but participate in the greatest month long holiday there is. It'll make you proud to be alive.

Happy President's Day...

By thePatrick

Because Presidents are awesome, and because I'm lazy:

Click here.

A Message About Tonight...

By thePatrick

Ladies and Gentlemen...
I was born in Utah. I was raised in Utah. I moved out of Utah, but only by 7 miles. Really, it was the Utah part of Idaho. I graduated from Utah State University. Pretty much, all this Utah influence means that, yes, I am a Jazz fan.

I'll wait for you to finish laughing.

Anyway. The after beating the Clippers last night, the Jazz are riding a 9 game winning streak. Tonight, the Lakers come to Utah.

I hate the Lakers.

Not so much them personally, I just think that I hate the media love affair with the Lakers. Also, I hate people who cheer for them even though they have absolutely no ties to Los Angeles. I hate the fact that Kobe Bryant plays injured and everyone talks about how tough he is.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

The Lakers last game was in L.A. against the Spurs. Kobe didn't play. Tonight will be their last game before the All-Star break. And there are rumblings about Kobe coming out tonight to play against the Jazz.

Why is this news?

Now, a personal message directed to Kobe Bryant:
Dear Kobe,
Don't do it. What do you need to prove? You're team is in first place in the West. There will not be anyone who catches up to you. It's just not going to happen. So you don't need to step onto the floor tonight. Rest your weary body.
If you do decide to step on the floor tonight, be warned. I will hunt you down. I will be like a ghost. You will not see me coming. Because everyone knows that the scariest thing that a professional athlete has to deal with is a 5'10" History B.A. who doesn't own a firearm, or have any large friends who are willing to go to jail, or any money to buy a hit-man.

Long story short, I hate the Lakers. I hate Kobe Bryant.

Go Jazz!

Remembering Orangeburg...

By thePatrick

Consider this my return to the blogosphere. However, this isn't going to be the feel good post of the year, so those of you who are looking for some witty sarcasm, you're really going to be disappointed. I promise my next post (and I'm planning on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule), will be more along the lines of what you'd expect. However, I spent a vast majority of last semester reading and writing about TODAY in history, realized that it would make an awesome Master's Thesis, and would feel a bit off if I neglected the importance of today.

I'll try to keep a Semester's worth of paper writing down and just hit the main points.

On February 8, 1968 Delano Middleton, Samuel Hammond Jr., and Henry Smith were shot and killed on the campus of South Carolina State University. 27 others were injured. All but two of the students were shot from the rear or the side. The shooting was done by members of the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. Students were shot by law officials.

There was only one arrest made in connection with the Orangeburg Masscre. Cleveland Sellers, a representative of SNCC who was on campus trying to establish a Black Awareness group, was arrested and charged with arson, inciting a riot, assault and battery with intent to kill, destruction of personal property, damaging real property, housebreaking and grand larceny. His bail was set at $50,000, a staggering amount for the time.

Similar events, most notably the Kent State Shootings, came about after and evoked national attention, while Orangeburg was largely forgotten. One major reason: the students at Kent State were white. South Carolina State was a black university. The victims were black. In 1968, coming on the heals of the cry for Black Power, the shootings of black college students was ignored by the general public.

Every February 8 from 1969 onward, South Carolina State College (now University) has held a memorial for the slain students. This event should not be forgotten. Hammond, Middleton, and Smith are not as recognizable as Martin Luther King or Malcom X, but their story should still be told. There is an awesome documentary call "Scarred Justice: the Orangeburg Massacre 1968." My dad texted me the other day and said that it was being shown on UEN in conjunction with Black History Month. I have a copy if you want to read it. Jack Bass and Jack Nelson wrote the book on the massacre, called simply, The Orangeburg Massacre. I highly recommend it.

Sorry for the long post. Hopefully this little post will get stuck in the tubes of the interwebs so that there is my little take on Orangeburg. Thanks for making it this far. Until Wednesday...