Saturday, January 08, 2005

Motown: Part Deux


I am having a hell of a time with this Wi-Fi thing. I know so little about it that I can't figure out if it's my computer or something out of my control. On the bright side, I think I finally got the settings right, and am experimenting with PC/antenna placement. The reception is fantastic about 80% of the time, so I'm pretty happy about that, but it does do some weird things for seemingly no reason. I do realize that this is the nature of Wi-Fi, so there's little I can do about it, but I can tell you that, even this early in the game, I'm already missing my ethernet. I can't decide whether I want to invest in an indoor antenna, or whether that would even help the problem any. The weirdest thing is that when I run Azureus, a Bittorrent client, I can't access the web about 99% of the time, even though my bandwidth is only at one to three percent utilization. I've tried tweaking settings everywhere, in Azureus, Windows, and D-Link software, but nothing seems to help. I can't figure it out because, with 3Mbps ethernet, I had few problems downloading and surfing the web at the same time. Technically, my Wi-Fi connection should be good up to 22Mbps, and though I know that's dependent on a variety of factors, it doesn't make any sense to me. It's very frustrating. I think it's rather a cruel, ironic joke that I, someone who is such a geeky tech-head, should have such constant and consistent problems with electronics. Gaaargh. If it's not one thing, it's another. Why, God, why?? Anyway.. if you know anything about Wi-Fi and what my Azureus/web issue might be, PLEASE don't hesitate to comment or email me. I'm at a total loss and any help would be appreciated.

I totally forgot to download everything off my Charter webspace before I moved, so I'll be gradually going through my site and fixing broken image links and such. I have everything saved to disk, but since I started using Hello to host my pictures, I'm not entirely sure what I was hosting myself. I get 10 MB of webspace through school, which is both very nice and fortunate because I wasn't sure what I would do about image/file hosting. Just one of the lovely perks of being a university student.

So anyway.. about school. They made me pay $40 to attend the longest, most boring and painful event of my entire life. Eight fucking hours of nearly pure bullshit that I had to get up at 6am to attend in order to get my student ID and register for classes. I feel like writing someone a letter about the whole ordeal because it pissed me off so much. For one, we were all apparently transfer students, so it's not as if any of us were new to the college experience. Secondly, I can't believe I HAD to pay $40 to attend this torture session, plus they're still charging me extra for my student ID! They fed us, but the meals were nothing spectacular and I suspect one would normally pay no more than $5 for the 'continental breakfast' (meager choices of juice, water, bagels, donuts) or the lunch that was salad, a roll, rice, chicken, veggies, and cookies. Oh, and we can't forget the Mountaineer Mints they gave everyone. (No, I'm not kidding.)

I was dragged through hours upon hours of the same frippin' information given by various people. Here's the services available. Here's the clubs. Here's the activities. Here's the meal plans. Here's the parking situation. Here's the transportation deal. Blah blah blah blah blah. At one point, I had to get up and leave the room because I was so utterly and totally over the whole experience. I went and sat in the hall with all the student assistants helping out. Did I mention it was boring? I felt like ripping my hair out on several occasions. This was all stuff that could easily have been found out on one's own, or they could have saved me about seven hours and simply handed me a packet with all the pertinent information. Of course, the way they had set up the schedule for the day meant there was no way to skip the majority of it: ID pictures taken 8-8:30, boring shit for a few more hours, then a meeting with an advisor, then lunch, then more boring shit, then finally registering for classes and picking up my ID. (Me at 8 in the morning, not something you see very often.)

I hate to be so bitchy about it, but the whole experience really pissed me off. It was plainly obvious to me this was not meant to be a helpful informative session, but a way to squeeze another forty bucks out of us. I didn't need any of the extraneous information and all I wanted was to get registered, considering they made us wait until the Wednesday before classes start.. which is something else that irritated me greatly. I realize that current students have priority, not a big deal and totally to be expected, but how the hell does a university expect new students to get any of the classes they want or need with less than five days before the semester begins?

Anyway, my advisor had somehow mostly finished my schedule by the time I arrived after lunch, so that was rather easy, though I had very little input. Not that big of a deal, though, for a few reasons. I discovered a few things in my meeting with him that made me quite pleased; first, I'm considered a sophomore instead of a freshman, which I suppose is not that big of a deal, but it was kind of sad to me that after all the classes I have taken, it felt like I was starting at the beginning again. Also, several of my classes I transferred from other colleges, that WVUP had not given me proper (or any) credit for, are being applied in fantastic ways toward my degree. They're letting me use all my theater classes as electives (very awesome, considering I took those mainly for pleasure and didn't expect any real credit for them), the intense 5-unit Ecology class I took for biology credit is being applied, the Human Anatomy and Physiology class is being applied as Animal Physiology (my advisor said he thought they were close enough and said that when he was attending they didn't require that class and he "turned out fine".. he also mentioned that the AP class is incredibly difficult and much-hated by students, and that they would all be envious of me being able to get out of it. Whee!) . These are all classes I'd previously been told wouldn't count toward anything, so I am beyond elated. Especially the Ecology class; it was an enjoyable, but difficult, class and I was so proud of the B I got in it. Besides, I've always loved and excelled in Biology, so I was really hating the fact that despite my proficiency level, I would be stuck having to sit through Bio 101.

Also, as you might imagine, I'm rather proficient in English, and back when I first started college, I fought tooth-and-nail to get placed in the correct English class. I had to take the placement test three or four times -- which pissed me off greatly because I felt as if they weren't even reading my tests -- but I refused to be put in the dummy 101 class. I did eventually place into English 1A, a first-level university English class, and the semester after, I took English 2. So you can imagine, after all my fighting and work to pass those classes, I was more than a little peeved that WVUP was calling both classes equivalent to English 101. It was a pleasure to see that WVU credited me with two separate English classes that work into my final total.

I seem to be in a rant-y kind of mood, but really, I'm quite pleased overall, now that The Day of Mass Irritation is over. Because I have sophomore status, and I'm being credited with most of my general ed stuff, I get to dive right into the core stuff for my major. Because of how WVUP applied my credits (or didn't), I thought I would be stuck with at least another semester of boring general ed crap. I still need to take Intro to Calculus, at the very least (my advisor said he thought the math I did at WVUP would cover my College Algebra requirement, so we'll see), but aside from one or two more cluster requirements, I am nearly done with the extraneous stuff. This is most pleasing to me because I've had a strong desire to begin working on my major, you know, taking classes that really interest me, learning things that actually apply to my field.

I ended up dropping one class for a few reasons, and will take it next semester. Otherwise, I'm taking 13 units and this is what my schedule looks like (or in visual form, if you prefer):

Mon/Wed
FOR 240 (Intro Computing - Ntrl Resource - LEC) 9:00 - 9:50

Tue
PLSC 206 (Principles of Plant Science - LEC) 9:30 - 10:45
WMAN 150 (Principle - Conservation Ecology) 12:30 -13:45

Thu
PLSC 206 (Principles of Plant Science - LEC) 9:30 - 10:45
WMAN 150 (Principle - Conservation Ecology) 12:30 - 13:45
FOR 240 (Intro Computing - Ntrl Resource - LAB) 14:00 - 15:50
WMAN 493T (SPTP: Sci and Mgmt - Nat Res) 16:00 - 16:50

Fri
PLSC 206 (Principles of Plant Science - LAB) 14:00 - 16:50


Thursday is going to be a long day, but ah well. I'm excited about my classes for the most part, especially when I discovered I have a Plant Science lab in the greenhouse. Funness! I am also excited that I saved $65 on textbooks by using Half.com. Of course, since WVU made us wait this long to register, almost all of the used books at the bookstore had been bought. One of my books, a rather thin text called Hartmann's Plant Science, was a whopping $110 new! The whole textbook thing is such a racket, I can't even tell you how angry it makes me. The bookstores and publishing companies essentially are squeezing blood from stones -- essentially ripping off people who don't have much money to begin with. I would be less up-in-arms about it, but for the fact that the publishers put out new editions every couple of years, making it often impossible for students to sell their books back. And even when you can sell them back, you get some insultingly paltry sum back, even if the book is in magnificent condition. Frankly, it's like flushing money down the toilet, which I guess would be less annoying if the books were not set at such astonishingly inflated prices. How could someone in their right mind ask $110 for a 200-page book? That's outrageous and ridiculous.

In any case, if you are a student and haven't discovered Half.com yet, I highly recommend it. The bookstore is convenient because you can charge books to your financial aid, but as I mentioned, I saved $65 on my books (including shipping). You can't beat that.

Anyhoo, I think that's it for now. The headache I've had for three days seems to be gone (All hail Excedrin!), so maybe next time I'll be less rant-y. :D

My New Years resolutions: Stop smoking cigarettes and smoke less MJ. Be more motivated and productive!



Currently Playing...
Song: Moby - Star Wars (Rave Remix)
Book: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Obsessing Over: iPods! Help me get one free by clicking here -- then get one yourself!

No comments: