Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Break update

As I write this, it is technically Thanksgiving Day. It is around 3 a.m. on Thursday morning. The week-long "Thanksgiving Break" from Concord University is nearly over, and so is most of my "celebrating." I'm not actually going to do anything on Thanksgiving Day itself - I did all that earlier. I spent the last couple days at my grandpa's house in Ripley, WV. It was fun.

As I mentioned on my Twitter account - - my grandpa bought me a lot of stuff for my new apartment. One of the reasons we (me & Kelly) went down was to pick up all that stuff. The other reason was because my old hometown is a nice, quiet place and I enjoy going back for a visit every now & then. It's fun to show off my old hometown to Kelly.

Click here to see all the stuff my grandpa bought me and Kelly for the apartment. That's a room in his house, and all the stuff is on the bed. The pig-looking thing is a really old "piggy bank" that my grandpa had laying around the house. He told me to put my change in it. He's always worried that I'm not saving any money.

If I can ever get around to it, I'm going to write a Letter to the Editor of my hometown paper. I talked to Kelly about it and then tweeted some details about it. After reading my tweets, I talked about it with my friend Bob. I want to write about what I've noticed every time I go back home to Jackson County (Ripley & Ravenswood).

The county is in such a state of change. It's so weird to see such "old" and "new" right beside each other. When driving down the street with Kelly, pointing things out to her, I will generally say something along the lines of, "That sign has been there since I was a kid. See that, that's older than me. Hmmm... That's only been there about 2 years. That's recent, I don't known when they put that up. Etc..." It will all be on the same street, too. Things are either much older than me, or less than 5 years old. It's like things happened, then nothing happened for about 20 years, and now things are happening again.

It was a good visit with my grandpa. Kelly and I left Sunday night, and came back Wednesday afternoon. As my luck would have it, scheduling a trip messed up things at work for me.

Pizza Hut has a General Manager, Janice. She's leaving soon to run another Pizza Hut. She commutes each day from Beckley and was getting tired of it. Taking over for her will be my friend Bob. Since he's going to be in charge soon, he was learning how to make the schedules. He was making the schedule and I was talking to him about my hours.

Pizza Hut is closed on Thanksgiving. I usually work on Thursday, so we were looking at what to do so I could make up some hours. It was decided that I would work on Friday, a day I usually don't work because of school. So, on Saturday, Nov. 21, Bob and I decided that I would work on Friday, Nov. 27, to make up for losing that Thursday. My last day to work was that Sunday, Nov. 22, so I left Sunday night and decided to come back Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 25), with two days to spare until I worked again.

The General Manager, Janice, took it upon herself to figure that since it was Thanksgiving Break, I would be available to work on Wednesday at 3 p.m. As fate would have it, I had decided to leave Ripley for Princeton around 2:30, so I was already on the interstate when Bob phoned me at 3:15 to let me know I was late for work.

So, that sucked. I was 2 1/2 hours late for work. But, I'm used to those kind of things with her.

She also decided that I could work Friday as well. And, I'm working Thanksgiving Day as well. Sort of. Somebody has to go in and prepare all the pizza dough for Friday. I've been given the unenviable task of doing that. So, counting that Thursday, I'll work 5 days in a row, Wed-Sunday.

I started my break off by doing nothing but laying around at my grandpa's house, and I'll end it by working nonstop at Pizza Hut. It is what it is.

* * *

While I was in Ripley, I thought of some interesting ideas for my newspaper column, "Communication Breakdown." As usual, it's all about me getting the urge to actually write them. Hopefully, I will.

Speaking of The Concordian, I didn't get to link any articles last week, since I didn't write an "SGA Blog." While I have the floor, take a look at the following -

PAD mock trial team takes third place in national competition ... Phi Alpha Delta won third place in the nation for their "mock trial," which is essentially them acting out a play. They won first in the nation three years ago. I don't know how many schools attended this year, but I heard the year they won first, that only about 10 or 15 schools actually participated. Still, it makes for a good headline, and that's what newspapers are all about getting.

Newest officer, Donald Ingram ... Piece about the new police officer on Concord's campus. He works the night shift, midnight-8 a.m.

Jeff Yeager speaks about SGA Presidency ... If you regularly read my blog, then you've likely already read this story and the Q&A session that the story was written for. I just felt like putting it up here again.

Cross Country Q&A: Coach Mike Cox ... A question-and-answer format, kind of like what I would put in my blog with the football coach, with the Cross Country coach, Mike Cox. Doesn't dig that deep and really get "interesting," but for what it is - just the facts, it does well.

Communication Breakdown ... My weekly column, looking at gossip and talking behind peoples backs. Not one of my most interesting pieces, but it's better than some of the shit that's been on the Opinions page this semester.

Rachel's Random Rants ... To put this in the nicest way possible, Rachel has had this problem all semester with oftentimes getting the facts she bases her opinions on incorrect. That happens again here. Read the article and then read the comments on the article.

Parking ticket fury, more spaces demanded ... Jessica Fowler has jumped into the most useless debate on Concord's campus - parking. She also broke a very important rule - it looks like she wrote this piece while she was upset about getting a ticket. Writing while enraged blocks rational thinking, something I have been guilty of a time or two in the past. Some interesting comments are featured below the article.

Both Rachel's and Jessica's article has similar comments on them and I'd like to address that. Rachel is criticized for not doing proper research for her article. Jessica is criticized for poor writing skills. The next comment in both articles is pretty much worded the same; Rachel suggests the guy criticizing her could write a follow-up and (I'm guessing) Samantha Ricketts urges people criticizing the poor writing in the paper to quit complaining and join the staff.

I don't agree with that. In all my years on the paper, I have never encouraged anybody without journalistic aptitude to join the newspaper. That doesn't mean you have to be a journalism major or anything, I have only encouraged people interested in joining the newspaper staff to join.

The "quit complaining and write for us" attitude is something I've loathed for so long. It's along the same lines of the criticism I've received from a lot of people - "How about instead of complaining about the SGA, you join them and try to fix it." That's a faulty line of thinking. That's not my area of expertise. Writing/commentary is what I'm good at. I can notice what I think is wrong with the SGA, but I'm not experienced enough to roll up my sleeves and fix it myself. All I can do is point it out and hope the elected officials can do their job.

Same with the newspaper. Instead of asking this girl to join the staff and quit complaining, why don't we just have the current writers do a better job? I bet if the current writers show a little interest in improving their work, the complaints will decrease. That's just my theory.

Speaking of journalism, check out the last entry I posted - "This is the kind of journalism I want to do..." 

Also, click here to see a Part 1 of a blog I started back in June but never finished. It was from the last time Kelly and I went to Ripley to visit my grandpa. We basically kept a video & photo diary from the two or three days we were there. We had several photos and probably 8 or 9 videos or "vlogs." The reason I never updated it was because I had really slow Internet back in June and it took over an hour to upload that 28-second video. Some of the videos were 5 minutes or longer, and I didn't have the patience for it. Some of the videos are pretty funny, so I may try to upload them in the future. Kelly put most of the pictures up in a MySpace album, so click here to see those.


  1. The Mock Trial Competition has, on average, between 10-15 teams competing, usually a school will bring more then one team, like Concord did and has done in past years. This year there was 16 teams and roughly 12 schools. This was a decent amount and each team was difficult in their own way. To be good enough to make the top 4 teams is a great acheivement. I rather think it is unfair and very arrogant of you to insult something you have not done enough research on, in an opinion blog, when you seem to like to bad mouth your colleagues at the Concordian over the same issue. (See your response to "Rachel's Random Rants")

  2. I said only about 10 or 15 schools participated and you said 12 schools were there. That's within the range I gave.

    I don't think saying that the "mock trial" is similar to acting out a play is insulting. In fact, that's how I've heard it referred. The name essentially says that - a "mock," i.e. staged trial.

    The point I tried to make about the "1st in the nation" thing I said - that may have gotten lost in translation - is that "1st in the nation" doesn't sound as impressive when it's against 10-15 schools, and not 50-plus.

    About Rachel, I don't consider saying that to be "bad mouth-ing" her. She got her facts wrong and I noted that. It's happened before this semester.