Friday, November 11, 2011

Zumba: Pitting my self-esteem against reality

How I feel when I'm doing Zumba:

How I realize I look when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror during Zumba class:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This is grad school, grow up.

In case you don't know this, I am in grad school. I have an undergraduate degree in Business and Human Resources Management, and this does me absolutely no good in being a homemaker, housewife, homeschooler, or however else you want to categorize me. So, this semester I went back to school for a Master's in Elementary Education and Childhood Development.

This is GRADUATE SCHOOL. At a well-ranked state school, to boot. I know it's not Harvard, but still. Everybody in this program has completed a bachelor's degree, and probably did pretty well. They took an entrance exam (either the GRE or the GMAT) which was no cake walk. Most people in this program are either working full-time and supporting themselves while doing this program, or they have taken a sabbatical from work in order to get this done. There's a lot on the line for most people. 

Why, then, are people not paying attention in class? Talking, dorking around on Facebook (not taking notes about the lecture, as they are pretending to do), texting, and just generally goofing off?

The girl sitting next to me last night actually laughed whenever somebody answered one of the professor's questions out loud.

She laughed at somebody who thought they knew the answer and was brave enough to say it out loud.

One group of people, who tend to sit together most weeks and I secretly refer to as "The Idiots," routinely roll their eyes any time somebody asks the professor a question. They press for him to wrap up class early, and to postpone exams. They mutter under their breath and complain about it "taking forever" to get through a lecture.

Remember, this is Tuesday night. The class is scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. What in the world are you needing to do on a Tuesday night that can't wait until 8:35?

Last night, we were covering information that will be on our exam next week. We were running a little long, and it was clear that we were going to keep working right up until 8:30. But there is an exam- worth one third of our grade- next week. This is fairly important. And it wasn't like he was just re-hashing the same stuff over again, some of this was actually brand new information. The Idiots actually stopped taking notes, packed up at 8:25 and sat there, talking at normal-conversation-volume until 8:30, when they left the room, not waiting for class to officially end.

Six people, just got up and left together, apparently not noticing that the professor was still talking.

He defined a key term less than thirty seconds later. Then he paused, and promised those of us still in the room that this key term would be tested heavily.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to be a jerkface at Disneyworld

I suppose this post could also be titled "How to be a jerkface at any theme park."

Rule #1: Always assume that you are the only person who paid to be here. If you must admit that anybody else paid to be in this theme park, please remember that your money is far more important than theirs, and they all probably got discounts (whereas you paid full price, of course), and therefore the fact that you paid to be here is far more important than the fact that they paid to be here. In fact, their money is worthless compared to yours. You paid to be here, and you are entitled to get your money's worth, no matter what it takes.

If you can keep Rule #1 in mind, the rest of this will be much easier, I promise.

Rule #2: Get everything done as quickly as possible. This, of course, ensures that you will do as much as possible, thus "getting your money's worth" (see Rule #1). There are several sub-rules to accomplish this:

Rule #2a: Walk very quickly everywhere you go.
Rule #2b: Cut in front of people whenever possible.
Rule #2c: Pull your loved ones away from "time wasters" like games, street shows, scenic views or anything else you deem "boring," regardless of how much they seem to be enjoying it. Because face it, they don't know what they want, and they aren't the ones who paid to be here. (See Rule #1)
Rule #2d: Be sure you are holding a Fastpass for something at all times. Yes, you might have to run in a crazy zig-zag pattern all over the park all day long to do this, but remember, if you are moving quickly, then you are doing it right.

Rule #3: Push to the front. You want to make sure you are the first person in line for everything, regardless of its importance, or whether or not it matters. You want to see one of the cool 3-D shows? Get to the front of the line. Once the line lets you into the holding area, get to the front- as close to the doors as possible. I mean, sure, this means you get one of the worst seats in the house for the actual show, but, come on, I am sure you can think of a jackass way around that, too, right? (See Rule #4)

This also means that you need to push to the front when exiting places and rides, too. I mean, what is the point of paying to be here (See Rule #1) if you are not the first person out of the show, the first person off the ride?

Rule #4: Ignore Park Rules. When they say "Please move all the way across the row and make room for everyone." They don't mean YOU should do that. They mean EVERYBODY ELSE should do that. Everybody else should climb over you to get to their seats. Safety, schmafety. When they say "No Flash Photography" that obviously doesn't apply to you. Yes, it ruins the ride for everybody else, but you will get the perfect picture. And, after all, you paid to be here (see Rule #1), so you deserve a perfect picture of the inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Rule #5: Assume that you know everything about the park. If somebody tries to "help" you, sneer at them and use your most condescending tone to let them know that you, in fact, have been here before (in 1986). Sure, the person trying to "help" you might be a Disney blogger (so they say), or a cast member on their day off (a likely story), or a local who has been here more than a hundred times in the last two years (*insert eye roll*), but they do not know this park as well as you do. Again, there are a few sub-rules to clarify this:

Rule #5a: Never accept directions from anybody. You have a map, dammit. It is colorful and all-knowing.
Rule #5b: There is no such thing as a "friendly tip." The bathrooms are all the same (none of them have shorter lines due to being in out-of-the-way locations), the food carts are all the same (none of them sell the coveted churros you are searching for), and there is no better place to take a picture or eat your lunch than in the exact same place that everybody else is. Duh. That's why everybody is here. It is the best (or only) place to eat or take a family photo.
Rule #5c: There is nothing "secret" or "special" about anything, ever. Different sized horses on the carousel for kids and adults? LIES. Ways you can earn all-day fastpasses? MYTH. Get exact recipes for the best dishes from Disney restaurants? FABRICATION. Places to meet the most popular characters with no line? FALSE. 

Rule #6: Forget that this is a family destination. Who cares what the original intent of the Disney parks was? You should say whatever you want, wear whatever you want and do whatever you want. It's not like this is a "school" or a "mall" where kids are supposed to be or anything. The F-bomb is perfectly acceptable in all its forms, no matter who is around you, and any conversation that wouldn't make your grandmother blush for its explicit content is a conversation wasted.

Rule #7: Get angry at as many cast members as possible. Your lunch at the super-packed quick-service restaurant didn't come out in less than thirty seconds (at noon)? Yell at the seventeen year old behind the counter. It is his fault, and the more you yell at him, the faster the service will be. (I know, it looks like he's having to stand there, not filling orders, while you yell at him, but I promise, the food will magically be cooked faster because you yelled at somebody)

The sign said "20 minute wait" but you waited 23 minutes? Yell at the guy telling you what row to sit in. It is his fault. He could have made there be fewer people between that sign and the front of the line if he wanted to.

Buzz Lightyear needs to "recharge his batteries" for three minutes just when you get to the front of the line? Yell at the character escort. It is her fault. She could make Buzz Lightyear stand there all day in the Florida sun, with no breaks, if she wanted to. She is doing this just to piss. you. off. Remember, you paid to be here (see Rule #1) and you want a picture with Buzz.

There you have it, folks. Seven simple rules for being a jerkface at Disneyworld (or any theme park, or place that people gather in droves).

Did I miss anything?