THIS SO STUPID DUMBEST GAME EVER. ENJOY TEH WALL OF TEXT.
Much Ado About Nothing Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I suppose it is time.
Since October 1. Hum. Well, I briefly dated/flinged--flung?--a girl named Belle. Basically the first date went fantastic, which introduced super high expectations, that were later not met. It's entirely possible they were impossible to meet. Belle and I are still friends, though it took a couple months.
In the last couple days in Rwanda, we headed back toward the airport. On the way, we visited some orphans and widows, doing missionary work like a cop eats a doughnut. The woman my group met with was 51 years old and had an amazing, tragic story. Her husband was a fisherman and died drowning when she was in her early twenties. By then she had two kids, but her parents and parents-in-law disowned her. She couldn't afford the house she was living in, and had no where to go, so she lived, quite literally, under a mat for ten years. The neighbors took pity on her kids some nights and gave them food, some of which they smuggled in their shirts, so that's how the woman survived. There was something about her owning the house they'd lived in, but not the land it was on, and the man who owned it refused to part with it. He was planning on leveling the house, but since it was government-built, it was illegal. When we met with her, she was in the process of getting the government to step in. My favorite part was that she let us take the bench in her house, and pulled down some mats for herself. One of the mats, when unrolled, revealed a giant spider. I pointed it out, expecting her to whack it with a shoe, or ask me to. Instead, she slapped it, bare-palmed, it curled up, and she brushed it aside. My sister would have run to Uganda at the sight of that spider.
The day before we left the country, we had a one-day "retreat" for the World Relief staff. It was based around the five or six sections of the Lord's Prayer. We put out large sheets of paper with the section name at the top, then went around and wrote prayers that fit the section for World Relief and otherwhere. (Otherwhere passes spell check?) It was a fairly powerful experience. Afterward, it began to rain pretty hard. I walked out into it, getting soaked. The Rwandans thought I was crazy, which amused my team and me.
The day after we got back from Rwanda, I had tickets with my Microsoft team and Swood to see the Seahawks. We were to meet at a bar in Seattle, but I managed to leave my wallet in my bags, still packed, at home, and my 16-year-old face couldn't convince them I was 24. Our tickets were for seats literally the furthest from the field, the nosebleeds of the nosebleeds. We lost the game, though had we made the hail-mary field goal we would have won or gone into overtime. I don't remember.
When I went back to work, everything had changed. The two remaining members of the original project I was on had left to go work with my old boss. We had one new member, and two or three more on the way. Our code base had moved to an entirely different system. Seriously, I'm gone for two weeks and the team falls apart.
Within two weeks, I had to do my commitments. My boss helped me with those, and midway through, I realized, I'm not going to do these. It made setting them a bit easier, when then and there, I decided I was going to quit my job.
Obviously the next question was "What now?" The only thing that came to mind was teaching high school math, so I set my course, and looked for colleges. The only college that fit my schedule was SPU. For UW, I'd have to wait until the next October to apply, and start in spring of '13. Western, which would have been my first choice, had no Seattle satellite campus, and I don't want to leave my church. When I talked to HR about leaving Microsoft, she recommended CityU, but my sister is there.
A few weeks later, at one of my one-on-ones with my boss, he told me, as a friend and in no official capacity, that I should start looking for a new job. I started talking to people about my decision, outside of work (and with Athena). My Rwanda trip team (we're still meeting once every two to four weeks as we did pre-trip) was all very supportive, everyone saying I'd make a great teacher. My psychiatrist said she hears people frequently say they want to quit their jobs, and she always tells them to keep them, but in my case, that I should go for it. The only two people I told that weren't thrilled were my mom and Luke's wife--both teachers. My mom didn't want me to drop out of the computer field when she knows that's one of my (if not my) biggest passion, and she's been teaching for 35 years, is burnt out, and angry at what the government is doing to the system right now. Luke's wife is a second or third year teacher, and at the time, had been having a very rough year. Both of them are junior high teachers, whereas I want to teach high school.
I gave my two weeks' notice two weeks before Thanksgiving. My boss gave me the best compliment he could have: "Oh, I expected you to say you were going to Google or Amazon." My last day could have been the Wednesday before, but Microsoft has a long standing tradition of a farewell lunch, and I figured that everyone would be out of town, but be back by Monday, so that was my last day. Those two weeks were hard because it's Microsoft policy not to tell anyone except HR and your boss if you're actually leaving the company as opposed to changing groups. I spent a lot of it messing around with a MSR gadget, teasing out the peculiarities and attempting to train the guy who would take over my project. I spent a lot of it rereading QC too. The rest of my time, I spent talking to Vin on facebook. She is a wonderful person.
The person I hadn't told, come Thanksgiving, was my grandpa. I was not really looking forward to that conversation, but I've got a bit more ... I don't even know the word ... than my mom or sister. Hostility isn't quite right; indifference; rebelliousness. Combine those but only take certain portions of each: hostdiffousnessity--the attitude of I'm doing this, and I know it to be right, so you can condemn me or not and it won't bother me either way. It's being a teenage daughter, except right. Anyway, I don't even remember how it came up, but I ended up telling my grandpa I had given my two weeks' notice and was going to become a math teacher. His response was, "Good for you!" My jaw almost dropped. I know he and Grandma knew that I wasn't happy there, in fact they were the first to know, even before me, but they'd always tried to push me toward Amazon or Google. When my mom had told him she wanted to be a teacher, he was disappointed, though my understanding is that it was because of the pay they received.
Thanksgiving went well for me. Well in general, except for my cousins and sister, I think, and except for one or two parts, it went well for them too. Good food, good company, an interesting game of Apples to Apples--interesting because some people played it literally, my sister and I didn't, and my two cousins were too young to understand "Woodstock." "I like the bird." But, as the party was breaking up, my grandpa said goodbye to my sister asking, "So, are you on track to graduate?" Since my sister's taken five years to graduate, he's quit supporting her financially (or so I've heard). His concern can be interpreted as aimed at her success rather than her wellbeing. Then, he turned to me and said, "Follow your dreams!" A few moments later, when he was out of earshot, my eldest cousin turned to my sister and said in a bitter tone, "Or, you can just not go to college and have no expectations placed on you at all!" Good ol' family politics, I guess. Still, beats presidential politics.
My goodbye lunch was bittersweet, half because I was leaving and would miss the people who attended, half because half the people I wanted to attend were out of town still. I'll admit it's a little selfish to wish the guy were at my lunch rather than at Disneyland with his family. A little.
Of the process for leaving, I was most upset that they didn't let me keep my badge as a memento. I was tempted to leave it home that day, but my good nature prevented it.
The SPU program officially starts in late July, so I had/have eight months of unemployment. What allows me to do this, and to live while in college without a job, is my recently converted buy-a-house fund, a large sum of money sitting in MSFT stock. Assuming Microsoft doesn't go out of business, or drop its value by half, I should be fine for living for 36-40 months, without taxes. What I don't have is the $17k needed to go to school, so I'm hoping to take out some loans for that.
Everything just kind of fell into place for this decision. Last June, I'd planned on moving into a house I wanted to buy by February, so that's when I set as the end of my lease. As "luck" would have it, February is when Bob's roommate is moving out. (It's now one week until the end of my lease and she still hasn't so I need to do some more prodding.) Rent at Bob's place is a couple hundred cheaper per month. It's not huge, but it's some. SPU's program is 14 months, which is about the amount of living money I have, and it's somewhat targeted at people leaving the tech industry who want to teach math and science, which is me. My mom's an alumnus so I think that will help with admissions and tuition a little bit. A dozen other small things have just left me feeling at peace with this decision. It's where God wants me to be right now, and that's enough. It's quite the turn around from where I was a year ago.
Christmas was good, mostly because I got to see friends from all over. Vin came back, so we had lunch together at a place in Seattle. Denna, whom I'm renaming once again to Nicci (having reread The Wizards First Rule, and deciding Denna doesn't really fit--and I'm not choosing Nicci because she's Death's Mistress [one should hope not], but because she turns into a dear friend of Richard's, though not his wife) visited, and I spent a day barhopping with her and her sister, brother-in-law, and roommate and his friend. That day, my iPhone was stolen from my car seat through my window. I forget that Seattle is not Redmond. It was really being used as a glorified iPod, since I've been using my Windows Phone for over a year. Still, it would have been nice to keep, sell, or give away. It's missing the chip that makes it act as a phone, so they'll have a little more trouble using it. After the barhopping, I took the ferry over to Port Orchard and hung out at her parents' house, with some of her other Port Orchard friends. I'd been hoping to get a chance to talk to her one on one, but it didn't really happen. At the end, it was me, her dad, and her. Her dad and I played a game of chicken, and I lost. I was a little disappointed, until the next morning when Nicci told me that a lot of wounds between her dad and her were mended and that they were on significantly better terms, which were my prayers while driving on the way home, and had been for months before. God is good.
Frank was also in town, and the Quad had a good night of Apples to Apples, and dare I say it, Quelf. They are the only three people with which I could play that game, though perhaps on a different timeline, it'd be interesting with Goose as well. Much blackmail material was generated.
A lot of people, people older than me mostly, have suggested that I should become a technology teacher, or assume that's what I'm going for rather than math. It's really hard, and repetitive, to try to explain that there's a difference between computer science and technology, the same as there's a difference between math and accounting. I would love to teach computer science, but first I'd have to find a school that actually teaches it. That might involve working for a few years, and then coming up with my own curriculum. I don't know how good the AP CS curriculum is, but that might also be an option.
In order to become a masters student, you have to take the WEST-B and WEST-E tests. WEST stands for Washington Educators Skill Tests. The B is basic--reading, writing, and math. The E is endorsement, so in my case, math. I took the endorsement test first, and it was fun. I got something like a 78, but it's a pass-fail test with a 70% bar. The WEST-B, I got in the high 80s/low 90s for reading and writing, and a 98-ish in math. The scores they give you are on a 100-300 scale, so calculating, I'm guessing, is not a straight percentage.
In order to take the WEST-E, you can't bring anything except a calculator, and they give you lockers for your wallet, watch, cell phone, and anything else on your person. I thought I'd be smarter than that, and leave all my stuff in my car. Of course, that stuff included my keys. And my wallet, which normally has my backup car key. I do so love when I outsmart myself. One of the women who worked at the testing center was super gracious, and let me use her AAA membership to unlock my car. She even gave me a little cash for lunch while I waited for them. It's so great to meet people like that.
The SPU application was due February 1, but to beef it up a little, I was encouraged to volunteer at a couple schools. I set myself up to volunteer in a math classroom at a high school in Kirkland, but the Monday that week was Martin Luther King Jr Day, and Tuesday through Friday were snow days. The Civil Rights Movement strikes again! The next Tuesday, I went back to Port Orchard and volunteered in my favorite junior high math teacher's classroom on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday was insane. Because of the snow, the kids were rowdy. Also, because of the days missed, they had pushed back the end of the semester to that Friday, which meant the kids' grades were basically set in stone. No failing student was going to pass, and no high A student was going to get a B. No passing student cares that much about a percentage point or two, nor will they fail. The kids basically had no perceivable incentive for listening. Further, Cedar Heights's schedule is such that on Wednesday, he didn't have a plan period. Last, and probably foremost, he's a little too lenient when it comes to keeping the kids quiet, so when he gives that inch and lets them talk during homework time, they take that mile and don't shut up when he's trying to teach. In one period, he even lost his temper and sent two instigators outside for the rest of the period. At the end of the day, I was wondering if I even wanted to teach anymore. Also, that day, my car was towed because it was parked awkwardly, yet a legal 6" from the curb. Neither that, nor the $216 it cost to get it out of impound, helped. I decided to tough it out and stay Thursday. I wouldn't say it was a night and day difference, but a world of difference, nonetheless. The biggest thing, probably, was that I was ready for it. Second, he had his plan period, and during it, I went to my mom's classroom to see how she teaches. Her classroom management (crowd control) skills are significantly, well, better. It helps that she's been teaching longer, and also that her classes are all of a single grade, and thus she can reinvent her teaching style each year, whereas the math teacher's classes are mixed-grade, and students have expectations year-to-year. Also, apparently, the class I visited third period was her best, most respectful class. I finished that day thinking, "Ok, so this can be done." Still, the experience confirmed in me that I want to teach high school and not junior high.
It was good to see all the teachers I grew up with. Having lunch with them was fun, and interesting. I got the feeling that these particular days were hard for most of the teachers, probably due to the end of the semester, and a lot of the time was spent "discussing" student behavior. One interesting comment was that a girl had asked another girl out and was rejected. She ran out of the classroom, hurt, and I think went to the counseling office. The comment was that the girl who asked the girl out was committing sexual harassment. I'm thinking, "Really? How is that different than a guy asking a girl out?"
Friday was best of all, despite the Friday mayhem. During third period, I again visited my mom. She was teaching persuasive writing. The entry task was to pick a topic on the board and write a note to their parents trying to convince them of something. The topics were like "push back my bed time" or "let me dye my hair" or "give me more allowance". After a few minutes, my mom collected all the papers then redistributed them to other students. The task then was to write a reply as their parents, countering the arguments. I looked up at the board, read through the topics, and asked, "Do you realize you just put some kids on the wrong side of 'quit smoking'?" It got me a good laugh. I made a few more comments like that, and asked my mom at the end if I had been too disruptive. She said no, that having me had been good.
Some Saturday in January, I went to see Goose's play. She played Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. The part fits her almost perfectly; Goose is a nicer person. I went during a matinee because it was the last day, and I know that casts have parties after the last showing, which was that night. I wanted to see her afterward, but I didn't want to impose, having not seen her in a little over a year, and that being when she broke up with me. The play was fantastic, I thought. It was no new epiphany, but Shakespeare was brilliant. It kicked off a bit of a Shakespearen binge for me. I didn't actually do a whole lot--I read a little bit, enough to discover that so much is lost without the acting--but I thought about it a lot. Someday, I want to write a play, a comedy I'm sure. It always comes back to plot, though. It's the same reason I haven't written a book yet, either. The only thing I seem to be able to write about with any degree of skill is myself.
Most of the binge happened on facebook, and a friend of mine, a girl
A wall of text is something that is frowned upon in most, actually virtually all Internet societies, including forums, chat boards, and Uncyclopedia. You should not make walls of text because it can get you banned anywhere unless it is a place that encourages walls of text. I highly doubt any place does support something so irritating and annoying, but anything can exist, but not really because unless you are in heaven then that can happen. But no one actually knows that was just a hypothesis, a lame one that is. Actually not really lame. You can create a wall of text supporting site, but you would be hated if you do that, so do not. But you can if you like, but I discourage that. Now on to the actual information of walls of texts. The wall of text was invented when the Internet was invented, but actually it was slow at that time. So whenever it became fast. But there would need to be some free or not free community for people, and that community would be able to have walls of text. But that community probably wouldn't have actually invented the wall of text. So basically, no one except God and Al Gore knows when or where or how the wall of text existed/was invented. Noobs probably invented, but probably not. Who knows. Walls of texts are usually filled with a lot of useless information and junk. Information and junk can be the same, but only if the information is junk or the junk is information. But who cares. The information/junk inside a wall of text are usually related to wherever the wall of text is located, but the best walls of text, which are actually the most irritating, most eye-bleeding ones, are completely random. Walls of text usually make the reader asplode or have their eyes bleed and fall out of their sockets. A number of people can stand it, but not read them. Actually some people can stand and read them. Those people do not have short attention spans. These are boring and patient people who have no life or have all the time in their hands, which are the same, but not really. The punishment of what making walls of text varies of the strictness of the community. But it doesn't really matter. Nobody cares. Walls of texts should be free of links, different font colors, strange characters, which are those other symbols used in society, and capital letters because it ruins the whole purpose of the infamy of walls of texts. It makes them look ****ing dumb and weird. Walls of texts are obviously free of huge spaces and outstanding things like capital letters. Of course, paragraphs should never be in a wall of text. Walls of text are known to create nausea, confusion, head explosion, and others. The others being something I can not think of either because I am lazy or if I do not feel like it or I can not actually think of anything. Like what the ****? That was a rhetorical question right there. What the ****? You are actually not requesting a satisfactory answer, you just say that because you try to be funny or you feel like it or if you are pissed off. You must get a proper *****-slapping to stop making walls of text, but if you are weird then that doesn't apply to you. Walls of text are defeated by deleting them or splitting them into paragraphs.
Or some other things that would work but will take hours to think of. People are considered a nuisance if they create walls of text. This might be the end. If you hope this is the end, I am not sure. But if I was not sure then I wouldn't be talking. I should know. Or should I? The best way to make a better and good wall of text is to copy and paste what you previously typed or write. Hey, that reminds me. Walls of text aren't always on the internet! They could be anywhere that is able to produce symbols. D'oh. A wall of text is something that is frowned upon in most, actually virtually all Internet societies, including forums, chat boards, and Uncyclopedia. You should not make walls of text because it can get you banned anywhere unless it is a place that encourages walls of text. I highly doubt any place does support something so irritating and annoying, but anything can exist, but not really because unless you are in heaven then that can happen. But no one actually knows that was just a hypothesis, a lame one that is. Actually not really lame. You can created a wall of text supporting site, but you would be hated if you do that, so do not. But you can if you like, but I discourage that. Now on to the actual information of walls of texts. The wall of text was invented when the Internet was invented, but actually it was slow at that time. So whenever it became fast. But there would need to be some free or not free community for people, and that community would be able to have walls of text. But that community probably wouldn't have actually invented the wall of text. So basically, no one except God and Al Gore knows when or where or how the wall of text existed/was invented. Noobs probably invented, but probably not. Who knows. Walls of texts are usually filled with a lot of useless information and junk. Information and junk can be the same, but only if the information is junk or the junk is information. But who cares. The information/junk inside a wall of text are usually related to wherever the wall of text is located, but the best walls of text, which are actually the most irritating, most eye-bleeding ones, are completely random. Walls of text usually make the reader asplode or have their eyes bleed and fall out of their sockets. A number of people can stand it, but not read them. Actually some people can stand and read them. Those people do not have short attention spans. These are boring and patient people who have no life or have all the time in their hands, which are the same, but not really. The punishment of what making walls of text varies of the strictness of the community. But it doesn't really matter. Nobody cares. Walls of texts should be free of links, different font colors, strange characters, which are those other symbols used in society, and capital letters because it ruins the whole purpose of the infamy of walls of texts. It makes them look ****ing dumb and weird and dumb. Walls of texts are obviously free of huge spaces and outstanding things like capital letters. Of course, paragraphs should never be in a wall of text. Walls of text are known to create nausea, confusion, head explosion, and others. The others being something I can not think of either because I am lazy or if I do not feel like it or I can not actually think of anything. Like what the ****? That was a rhetorical question right there. What the ****? You are actually not requesting a satisfactory answer, you just say that because you try to be funny or you feel like it or if you are pissed off. Now I just copied and pasted part of this huge wall of text, which is actually not. Wait what? Nice right? Ba boom a rhetorical question right there. Is this the end for the sanity of your eyes? What the **** did you actually read up to here? Or did you skip to near the end and read this? Either way, you fail in life. Just kidding. Or was I? Oh well. Congratulations, or not, actually not. Get a life right now. I found a cheap life on eBay, but cheap lives are rare. Well, good luck in finding one. Not! Okay go kill yourself, but I wasn't meaning that. So go sit in the corner in your house. I do not care which, just stay there and rot. If you are not in a place with a corner, then lucky you. Find one if you can. There is no other option because I said so. Now if you pity yourself for reading this like most do, then do something productive and useful to the environment. My goodness. OK this is me here. I am starting a new section of this article. I didn't read anything in this article above here, but nevermind, because I have something important to say, and you really have to read this. So just skip everything above and just come to this part and start reading and agreeing. The wall of text was invented by engineers using typewriters. Everything was in typewriter font (because it was made on typewriters - remember when I explained that in the previous sentence?) and the point was to use all of the paper, because paper was very expensive back then, it had just been invented I think. So anyway, the point was, no margins at the top or bottom or sides. If you left a quarter inch on the sides of the paper, that was very bad. And the guiding principle was "This was hard to write, so it should be hard to read". Because they were software engineers, not writing engineers. Is there even such a thing a writing engineers? Probably. But anyway, please go back to the top of this article and read it over again. You'll get the point after you read it for approx. 10 to 15 times. OK have you done that now? Good. Now let's be honest - you're not reading down this far. Are you? Nobody would read down this far, unless they were a crazy person. Are you a crazy person? You might be. Now I'm afraid - it's just me alone with a crazy person. No one else has read down this far, just you, so it's just the two of us alone together here. Are you going to do something crazy? Maybe you will. Please don't hurt me. If you promise not to hurt me, I'll give a coupon good for a free Grand Slam Breakfast at Denny's. OK? Now just do this one thing for me, read the article over again, just one more time, and if you really truly don't agree with everything in it, then fine, I'll retire from my job with the railroad and we'll call the whole thing off and just go dancing, just the two of use, me (the writer) and you (a completely random crazy person who has actually read down this far), and boy won't we turn heads when we show up at Rockefeller Center with the entire Donner Party in tow! We'll dance all night to strains of the Lemon Pipers while the Italian 12th Armored Division prevents the Allies from thrusting into our rear! Ah, what memories we'll make, I'll never forget you, my completely insane random person. By the way this is magnificent example of wall of text. You have to be proud you read it all. Now please read article again, and this time pay attention.
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