Tuesday, February 26, 2013

To drink you're damned, to not drink you're damned (by anon)

I recently got a write up for breaking the alcohol policy in the residence halls, but I don't think I deserved it and here's why: A group of people, me included, were hanging out in a friends dorm. Some of my friends were drinking and some weren't. I was not. I left for about fifteen or twenty minutes to go talk to someone on another floor. I got back down to my friends room the same time that two R.A's were talking to my friends because they smelled alcohol outside of my friends dorm room. The R.A's knew that I was good friends with these people so they assumed I was with them and they gave me a write up for drinking as they did everybody who was in the room. When I had my meeting with the Complex Director I argued that I shouldn't be written up because I wasn't even in the room when everyone was caught. One of my friends had told her that I was in the room earlier but that I wasn't drinking. She told me that regardless of whether I was in the room or not, I was guilty by association so I was in fact going to be written up. According to the "rules" I should have alerted somebody that there was drinking going or I should have left the situation completely. So this lady expects me to either tell on my friends, or not hang out with them at all?

Let’s face the facts: drinking is very popular in college, there will be situations where somebody who doesn't drink is around people who do drink. This whole “guilt by association” thing does nothing but let those who don't drink know that if they are around it they are going to get in trouble, so they might as well drink and get the same consequences. People who don't drink should be acknowledged for their good choices, instead of being put in the same boat as everyone who makes bad decisions.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Day God Died (a short story)

I wish someone would believe me.  No one does.  How could they?  Everything that happened before didn’t happen after all.  Well, it did, but then it didn’t.  So how can anyone remember something that didn’t happen when it actually did?  It’s all terribly confusing so I’ll just tell you what I know.

Ten days ago the world was involved in its most horrible world war yet.  World War XX had already spelled the worst for Brazil, Peru, and Argentina, and the Syrians were gunning for the whole continent.  Over ten million were dead from the concentration camps alone and the Venezuelans were next to be interred.  I was sitting in my apartment in Puerto Ayacucho with my AK-47, my lucky fishing knife, and the last of my rum.  I had already heard gunshots, and I was pretty sure mine were going to be heard too.

So I waited.  Then I fell asleep in probably under five minutes.  I was never good at waiting.

I woke up to find myself sitting in an enormous, beautiful, larger-than-life garden.  I had never seen anything so glorious.  Even the leaves of the ferns and the petals of the flowers seemed to glimmer and have a radiance that would wipe away darkness from anywhere.  I didn’t move.  I didn’t want it to end.  I was starting to think I was dead.

Then I saw him.  I knew who it was immediately.  Everyone would know.  The flowers, ferns, trees, and grasses all bent toward him hoping to get closer.  I felt the draw too, but as I was about to get up and follow him, he was sitting right next to me.

I sat there not knowing what to say for what felt like years, then he began to speak.  I mean, what do you say to someone like him, but he spoke the most eloquent prose about the garden, its intricate features, and the way they all weave together to form a symbiotic whole.  He said, “This is my creation.  It is good.”

Remembering Venezuela, my shyness fell away.  “Why not bad?”  Life is certainly not like this everywhere, I thought.

He smiled a great smile and said, “Not bad.  Creation as a whole is better or else I would not create.  There would be no point to my existence otherwise.”

Wrapped in my own head trying to understand everything meant by that, I offhandedly asked, “Why is something necessarily better than nothing?”

He pursed his smile, thought about the question, and a speck of doubt crossed his face.  It was the most horrible thing I’ve ever witnessed.  He said slowly, “I do not know.  What would be the point of my…”  And with that his body turned a foul smell and exploded into a million maggots.  Within an instant, the garden, once so beautiful and radiant, was a wasteland of fuming disease, excrement, and ravaging maggots.  For miles around, only death and the harbingers of death could be seen and smelled.  God just died.

I woke up back in my apartment, in my chair.  Instinctively I reached for my gun, but found nothing.  After the mental reorientation needed after vivid dreams, I surmised that the Syrians had not killed me and…something was different.  The morning light felt a little cheerier than normal.  No gunfire could be heard.  Only people.  Lots of people.  I peeked out my window to see the streets bustling with the old street market back in full force with hundreds of happy shoppers.

Didn’t they know there’s a war going on and that we’re next?  Maybe they were tired of living scared and decided to give life one last hurrah.  I went outside and bought an apple.  It never tasted so sweet.  So I asked the vendor about what would happen if the Syrians came right now.  Would she just give up?  She said, “Syrians?  All the way over here?  I guess I hope they have lots of money to spend!”  Giving my best puzzled while frowning look I ask, “Aren’t you afraid of getting killed?  What about the war?” 

Dumbfounded she says, “Silly boy, people don’t kill people.  That wouldn’t be a very good thing to do now, would it?  What do you mean by ‘war’?”

Confused, I leave the vendor and walk down the street.  I pick up a newspaper, peruse it quickly, but read no mention of any war.  I go to the gun shop thinking I’ll get some straight answers, but there’s a bakery now standing in its place.  My head’s spinning.  I ask the bakery clerk what happened to the gun store and he asks, “What’s a gun?  Is it a new food?  This bakery has been here for over a decade, son.”

I walk outside and breath the air.  Sweet.  Life.  I buy a flower from a vendor.  It glimmers.

There was never a war.  No one believes me that there was.  People have a hard enough time believing that I made up such an awful word as ‘war’.  After checking the library archives, I find that there has never been any war on Earth.

I lean back in my chair, fail to make sense of it all, but think to myself: this is good.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Group work assignments just suck (by anon)

Group assignments should not be required. Everyone has been in a group where one person absolutely does nothing but shows up at the last day to present. Why should we all share the same grade but all did not put in the same amount of work? I understand that group work supposed to help us get along well with others but it’s actually doing the opposite.  I dread working with others because college students schedule are busy dealing with work, classes, organizations, or even kids in some cases. Trying to find a time to meet up with other busy college students is a hassle. I was once in a group where we all had great ideas but no one wanted to compromise and let go of their idea. It was a battle because we did come to a conclusion about one topic but the other group members seemed to be uninterested. You cannot put students in a group and force them to work together because they might all have different backgrounds of education. You cannot assume that they will be on the same level. Group work is not for everyone. There’s other ways to show that you work well with others. I just believe that group work is not one of them.