Everyone understood my need to scram, but I still felt bad about it. When there are only 24 other inductees it’s not easy to slip out unnoticed.
It all worked out by the end, however. I got the tassel and my psych final wasn’t horrible (I self-calculated getting an 80 percent at the lowest), which means I’ve officially completed my psychology minor requirements.
Though that doesn’t mean I’m done with school just yet.
And just like that I’m officially done with the last class for my Psychology minor.
My online final for Comm Law — the class I’m worried about — should be opening soon.
Once that’s out of the way, I’ll dive headstrong into my Gaming in American Culture paper.
So there are still a few steps, but I’m that much closer to getting my degree.
Unless of course I die of heat stroke at the ceremony, in which case I suppose this will all have been for naught.
But you all know I can’t die at the ceremony. If I did, there would be nobody to write a cringe-filled blog post about what an amazing time I had celebrating my academic achievement to bury deep-rooted fears about transitioning into the professional world.
For those of you who don’t know, GDQ is a series of video game marathons where games are played for record times, under conditions ranging from basic 100 percent completion to multi-player races and even bizarre hacks like randomizers.
All to raise money for charity while showing off cool tricks. Definitely worth supporting.
GDQ aside, after breakfast I made my way to Fullerton for the semester’s last CSUF Society of Professional Journalists meeting.
We ate pizza, discussed what did or did not work about our events and elected part of the board for next year. Most of the current group is graduating, so it’s a big old passing of the torch.
My girl Kristina, who is not graduating, will be taking over as President. And I know she’s going to kill it.
Guess I’ll have to update all my social media descriptions pretty soon to reflect all this graduating/moving on from things.
That’s certainly what I started doing last night.
In the meantime, why don’t you go back and read the thing I wrote about my Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe if you haven’t! That was a fun thing to pull together and it could probably use some more hits.https://t.co/F0k6HrkxCe
I’ll get back to that eventually. In the meantime, from SPJ I went to my next meeting in the Honors Center to try and complete a few more graduation requirements. Namely getting my Honors Project title page signed off on.
Which I did:
Now all I have to do is compile the stuff I’ve done so I can officially turn the damn thing in and move on.
While in the Center I had a lovely chat with Dr. Simoes as well. We spoke briefly at my presentation, but today he was more than happy to congratulate me for getting the project through this next step.
He even told me he’ll be buying a copy of my book once it’s published — so long as I sign a first edition for him.
It was very sweet.
After all of that I came back to Redondo and set up a meeting with Michelle to give back that lovely computer I’ve been holding onto. Too bad I never got it to full working condition on account of internet issue, but it’ll be much happier with a video editor where it belongs.
Once that was done, I went to probably my most important meeting of the day:
A meeting with the treadmill.
Because with all of this graduation stress on my shoulders it honestly feels great to go burn some calories and let off some steam.
Highly recommended stress relief, folks. Especially if you can watch some dope GDQ runs while you’re running!
My apologies for the absence this last weekend, oh loyal viewers — wherever the five of you may be.
I took a little time for myself following the Honors Conference (both my panel and a few friend’s panels I attended on Saturday) to focus on the last few assignments I have to complete before the semester is over. Next week.
I’ve also spent a good chunk of the weekend letting the existential dread of realizing that “this week is my last full week of college” drape over me like a heavy blanket.
Seriously, what? That’s not real. Who allowed this?
To be fair, I may go back to school one day and get a Masters or teaching credential so I can be a teacher in my later years. Seems like that would be a cool way to give back after I make a name for myself.
But that’s not really a matter for here and now. I’m mostly just nervous about the incoming inevitability of having no excuses to not go after that name.
But not really, because Amazon isn’t paying me. If anything, I’m paying them — or at least my family is.
I will say the re-listen has been pretty worth it. Not only does the audio book make it easier to reacquaint myself with differences between the written and cinematic versions while doing other work, the act of listening is that much more fun because Wil Wheaton is reading it.
Wheaton’s reading leads to some beautifully meta moments, because he is personally mentioned in the story.
For instance, Wade Watts (the story’s protagonist) talks about Wheaton as a great representative of user interests on an elected council in the virtual reality world of the OASIS.
He says those lines without a shred of irony or winking to the audience, and it’s great.
But yeah… That has basically been my life. Everything y’all missed over the last couple days, other than helping a few friends through their own stressful life situations and watching Kill Bill with my family. Alyson had never seen it, and we needed to rectify that.
I know it’s a hot take for me to say it, but that movie is genuinely still incredible. A visual splendor.
If you need a little stress relief, like I have with all this impending graduation fatigue, go watch yourself some Tarantino. Or play a little Don’t Starve.
I had a lovely afternoon with fellow members of the University Honors Program at the 2019 Honors Gala in the Fullerton Arboretum.
This Gala was essentially a big send-off for graduating seniors in the program. It was one part a chance to sit down and eat Italian food provided by the Monkey Business Cafe (and dessert pastries from Porto’s) with our fellow Honors students, one part a venue to receive our graduation stoles, and one part time for us to cry about the Honors Project Conference this weekend.
Though on top of a stole, I also received these niceties from the Honors Program:
The certificate is a lovely recognition from my mentor Dr. Rizzo, which makes me feel terrible because I may or may not have missed the window to sign her up for an outstanding mentor award in return.
It’s all great — even though my friend Mimi caught me with sudden-onset dinosaur arm syndrome while accepting the certificate from Honors Program Director Sandra Perez.
Seriously, why did I do that?
I like my watch, but not enough to be showing it off like a punk.
Ah well. At least I got some other pictures with a few different people in attendance, including Mimi (with one goofy snark-filled photo), Chris Trinh and Dr. Perez.
There were a few other people I could have, and probably should have, taken photos with. But at least one notable example left the event early for class stuff, and now owes me fancy dress photos.
Maybe I’ll even up my game a little bit more for that next time. Because I think I underestimated the bar of “cocktail attire preferred” given how I compared to everyone else.
Though to be fair, my dress was probably less awkward than my attempt to talk about myself when they suddenly dragged all the graduates on-stage to speak for the crowd. Guess who got to be the first guinea pig?
That’s about all I’ve got for this glorified photo album. I’m actually off to prepare for my presentation tomorrow morning, so that should take up the rest of my night.
Very glad we got one final as a program before I possibly lose all credibility with them.
He stood alongside the other six members of my party quite well:
There was Teflonto, a wood elf ranger; Celia, a wood elf monk; Jeff, a half-orc fighter; Phil, a gnome bard; Rein, a half-elf cleric; and Silver, a human paladin.
Our Dungeon Master was the Professor, wielding an unending spring of knowledge, a set of golden dice and a lot of monsters.
Thus the adventure began.
We started in a tavern, where Jeff nearly got beheaded trying to steal from the bartender and Phil spat Mario-style fireballs from a potent whiskey.
The quest kicked off when a sheep arrived. But he was not a sheep, he was a wizard transformed by a dastardly ex-assistant with a grudge.
Mr. Evil Wizard’s mercenaries arrived in search of the former mentor-turned-livestock, and our first battle began.
An eight-foot bear in a robe mauled Jeff as the animal-loving Teflonto was horrified by Thokk nailing a wolf to a barrel using a crossbow bolt.
That is, until he learned the animals were humanoids turned beast.
After a handy beating, the mercenary leader gave in and conferred his great sword to Silver. He escaped with a lie that the remaining wolf was his unfortunate wife.
A night’s rest later, the party made their way to the hollowed-tree tower where Mr. Evil Wizard hid.
Celia was able to use a mass sneaking fog to get the party past a gang of dice game-playing wolves, then get inside by climbing the bark and hanging a rope out.
Suspicious at the sudden fog filling his tower, Mr. Evil Wizard used his transmogrifying wand to turn his bed into a bed dragon that absolutely exists.
While hiding in the fog, Phil cast blindness on the wizard before running out, climbing the dragon, stealing the wand, climbing down and THENescaping out the rope-strung window.
You should have seen the DM’s face when he kept failing rolls to prevent all of that.
After getting back to the ground, Silver attempted to use the wand to turn our sheep companion back into a man. Yet, even Thokk’s guidance spell could not help his luck as the poor NPC turned into a Cronenberg monster before exploding.
That drew the attention of Mr. Evil Wizard, who approached riding his bed dragon with an army of wolves and a bear.
The final battle for our lives began:
We were fucked.
But… We were fucked with 10 minutes left. Because three hours goes by fast when you have to account for seven players.
Rein and Thokk conjured magic, ethereal weapons to strike Mr. Evil Wizard as the rest of the party threw darts and shot crossbows.
Teflonto was mauled by a pack of wolves. Silver attempted to persuade the wolves to play a dice game with him, but to no avail. The wolves kept at it and Silver just watched.
Luckily, the almighty power of Deus Ex Machina was applied by the DM — who wanted the bell to end our one-shot campaign.
The wolves and bear turned against their master with the promise of being turned back to humanoid form. As Celia, Phil (now changed into a sheep) and Rein suffered splinters from the dragon’s breath, Teflonto stood up and shot an arrow into Mr. Evil Wizard’s face.
Once he and his dragon fell, we gained access to a convenient number of transmogrifying spells. Everyone was turned back to normal.
It may have been “cheap” that we were helped out of a bottomless hole by the DM because of time constraints, but it was justified by the journey.
All of our luck from the initial tavern fight and stealth mission came crashing down in the most spectacular of ways, and we undoubtedly would have all died without the handicap.
So in my personal headcanon, I like to imagine our party fell in the search for treasure and conquering evil.
However… In reality, none of our party fell.
Which means that Thokk lives to one day return, perhaps enlightened by his experience fighting the tyrannical Mr. Evil Wizard man.
All-and-all, I would say it was a very successful class.
Definitely worth a semester’s worth of anticipation, and definitely more than encouraging for me to go back and play more D&D in the future.
Now it let me add “forum moderator” to the list as well.
For the last few days, the program has been holding Open Forums to introduce students to the three finalists vying to be next year’s Associate Director.
Co-Curricular Coordinator Tyler reached out to see if I wanted to be a student representative and ask some questions, given I already had some clout with the Honors Center as an Ambassador.
I saw no reason why not. Sure there are superficial benefits to the event being résumé filler and something to do on a Friday (slyly for blog purposes), but it also seemed like fun! An extension of personally sitting on panels.
Plus I was slated to run the forum for Craig McConnell, who I know pretty well.
Figured having slightly different pictures to go along with the slightly different messages on each platform would make sense.
Perhaps I could have been more creative… But practice is practice.
Plus, there weren’t a lot of opportunities to get diverse pictures given the paltry audience we gathered on a Friday at the commuter college.
The event was mainly for Dr. Perez (left) and Tyler (unpictured), as they are going to be voting on the new Associate Director soon. Other students were there mostly for McConnell to address and field questions from.
I featured two quotes in those social media posts, but those were drawn primarily from the start of the Open Forum.
We also went into specific ideas for improving the Honors student community engagement (because commuter campus) and the possible role of an Associate Director in helping students figure out their career trajectories beyond course adjustments.
Yet as vaguely self-serving as that was, Dr. McConnell had a good response:
“I think colleges should give students a few years to expand their minds,” he said of his concern that traditional schooling is too tunnel-visioned about post-grad careers. “But I’m also aware that it becomes more important every year for schools to help students find jobs as soon as they leave.”
He pivoted on my question quickly and easily, so I was impressed.
The only line of questioning I was unfortunately not able to delve into was arguably the most important.
I should have asked him what he thought of the Star Wars Episode IX teaser! It dropped about a half an hour before our event, so that would have been a perfect barometer of his cultural absorption.
Everything I talked about is great, and I genuinely learned a lot from Therese. But I write the vast majority in ~30 minutes while sitting in the Main Branch Public Library with less than 20 percent battery.
The ticking clock of my power situation, on top of knowing it’s a topic I will return to, led to silly things like stuffing information into a slideshow.
However, in spite of my reservations about the execution, Therese loved it. So much so that (after I made adjustments to inaccurate dates), she shared the piece with Admin.
Suddenly this interesting, somewhat half-assed look at historical goods in my alma mater made my dinky personal blog blow the hell up.
That’s pretty awesome.
I don’t know about you, but when I have a burst of popularity it comes with baggage. Most notably the desire to follow-up with something significant and not disappoint those newcomers.
I’ve been stressing over what to write for a while now.
My first inclination was to write about my recent purchase of:
There’s a bit of a story behind that purchase.
Yesterday, WayForward announced that they are on the verge of releasing the fifth game in the Shantae series — a collection of games that have been around since the Game Boy.
Today we're thrilled to announce Shantae 5! You're invited to join Shantae in a brand-new adventure later this year on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC… AND the newly announced Apple Arcade! Stay tuned for more details! Learn more about Apple Arcade at https://t.co/KwXqXtb2ftpic.twitter.com/SFc1iOswHT
The important thing is that I’ve continued to make adjustments to my novel’s continent Drocux in the weeks since. Namely adding names to every location, but also adding details like rivers and roads for more realistic topography:
HexTML continues to serve me well, and it has been fun writing out lore to explain outlandish names (such as the Xilbalar Canyon above being named after a prominent Elven activist).
But I’m still adding new ideas almost every day, and if I’m going to deep dive into my EXTENSIVE LORE, I would like to do so with the complete product.
Thus, two ideas have been struck down.
And I couldn’t come up with a decent third.
By the time I combed through possibilities, I was home and had my magical encounter with the InstaPot in my Featured Image.
The rest, as they say, was history.
Hopefully you newcomers don’t feel like this was a waste of time — or get too annoyed at my somewhat blatant attempt to throw a lot of my old posts at you. All I needed to add was something about my journalism awards to give the full flavor of Jason.
Speaking of, tomorrow I’ll probably have a more serious post about the next Society of Professional Journalists meeting.
Assuming I don’t change my mind, I’ll look forward to possibly seeing you there.
One of them was most available today around 12:30 p.m.
Because I was the one who fucked up, I couldn’t try to waive off their best time because it wasn’t convenient for my do-nothing day. So I went to Fullerton to deliver the card.
The whole meeting took literally two seconds. It was ostensibly just a hand-off, and they left immediately after the product was given.
So yay. An hour’s worth of a drive for two seconds of pay-off.
On days such as these I usually try to find things to do so that my time is not wasted. When my attempts to reach out to a couple local friends all ended in failures, I resigned myself to whittling time away in the Honors Center with homework.
By working on homework, I mean working on Comm Law homework. Because that stuff takes hours — and in fact I was working on it all four hours I sat in the Center until it closed at 5:00 p.m.
Then I spent even more time on it after I got home from my ~hour & fifteen minute drive.
As much as I’m enjoying the class, the sheer amount of work is absolutely killer.
Yet, the lectures we had to look over this weekend spoke to me more than usual. Our topic was the one and only:
Now I know what you must be asking yourself. “You don’t have any intellectual property, Jason. Why did this speak to you?”
First off, rude.
Second, given the requirements for copyright (having an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression), I would say I have copyrighted intellectual property in both my journalism and whatever I’ve written on this blog.
Unlike trademarks, which pertain to brands and aim to create an association with product quality so consumers can knowing what they’re buying. Because capitalism.
I don’t have a brand to protect, and trademarks only begin the moment they are put into commercial use. So I can’t claim I own that as easily as I do copyright to an extent.
Now. I’m sure some of you must be asking yourselves a different question. “Jason, why the hell are you spouting Comm Law nonsense at us? This isn’t a lecture.”
The point I’m aiming toward is that I’ve taken the opportunity to think about copyright further than just my journalistic writings. I’ve been thinking about a copyright that, at least to me, feels a bit more important in the moment.
I’m working on having a copyrighted work in the completely original intellectual property of my Senior Honors Project novel.
Though it’s obviously a pipe dream for a product I haven’t finished yet, something about learning the bundle of rights that come with a copyrighted work made me kind of giddy.
Five rights come with copyright that pertain to how one wants to divide up and license out their work:
I’m not going to say I expect my novel to hit the same heights as, say, the Harry Potter series (which we used as an example).
Don’t think I’ve seen ice fall out of the sky since Elementary School.
But that’s not the point of why you’re all here. You’re here to read my writing on how the event panned out — assuming you didn’t follow my live tweeting (or you’re reading this years in the future).
I’ve discussed my road getting here numerous times in the past, but for the sake of catching everyone up quickly: I became a University Honors Program Ambassador after not nabbing a space on the Advisory Counsel, as the Co-Curricular Coordinator wanted to put the creative power of all us interested parties to good use.
Since then, I’ve been meeting with the Coordinator, Tyler, and a fellow Honors Program student Melina, once a week to plan a panel about interdisciplinary networking tips to find jobs and make connections within jobs.
Today we finally got to take over the Honors Center on campus:
We’re about 30 minutes out from my #networking panel in the @csuf Honors Center! If you’re part of the Honors Program, come check it out and escape the rain.
Unfortunately, the visual arts representative we invited got sick this morning and could not make it out. But she was gracious enough to send us documents with the kinds of tips she was going to share so we could lay it out for attendees.
Without her we had three speakers and a moderator, Cassandra Thompson — College Career Specialist from the Career Center.
Dr. Sandra Perez — University Honors Program Director and Pre-Doctorate Program Faculty Coordinator for the Graduate Studies Office
Dr. Shaun Pichler — Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology Associate Editor
Spencer, true to form, was late to the event because he was covering a story. Even hung out a bit afterwards to turn in his copy before we went out to dinner.
Gotta love that man.
I’ll admit that I didn’t personally absorb a lot of what got discussed at the panel. I was too busy live tweeting.
But that said, I did get a lot of great tweets out of the event:
“For me, networking is, as a student, meeting with professionals who are doing what you want to be doing in the future,” @PichlerShaun said when @cassthompson suggested most students she speaks to think of the activity as just going to a mixer and exchanging cards.
“I would not have the career path I have were it not for people who were willing to help me. I’m thinking specifically of letters of recommendation… These connections that open up possibilities,” Perez said of how important networking has been to her career path. pic.twitter.com/QQ729gP3y7
The only other hitch was that I was a dolt and forgot the Fandango gift cards that were planned to be prizes for our networking practice activity at home.
I’ll be bringing the winners their prizes within the next week or so. It was simply yet another reminder that you always have to be ready to improvise, because something perfect on paper might have some last-minute problems in execution.
However, as far as I could tell the audience we had was sizable and decently engaged, in spite of whatever problems we had with late/missing speakers and delayed prizes:
By the end of the afternoon we went well over the hour-and-a-half time slot planned out, and people were sticking around afterward to chat.
So… Yeah. I’d wager that my first ever adventure in event planning was some kind of success!
While I had a great time working with Tyler and Melina to set this whole thing up, I’ll admit that I’m glad it’s finally over. The Ambassador event was a decent time suck while I’ve been low-key stressing out about my Honors Project, Internship hours and midterms.
But hey, all that stress had to be worth it based on comments we got about attendees learning a lot.
That’s the whole reason we put this together in the first place.
As I battle the unholy combination of impulsively long writing and too much content in the form of video game mechanics and aesthetics for my first Gaming in American Culture paper, it’s about time for a break.
Because my 4-6 page restriction has long since been surpassed by a 10-page first draft, and I’m electing to take advantage of the Sunday deadline’s opportunity for procrastination.
Instead, why not write a blog post?
In lieu of something substantial (as I have spent my afternoon writing about video games and listening to Ender’s Game), I figure why not take advantage of the Cognitive Psychology student presentation I watched during class this morning?
As I’ve briefly discussed in the past, our main grade outside of exams in Cog Psych are coming from presentations we have to give on a professional study which will become the subject of our research papers.
The presentation given today was about the spacing effect: In which we memorize better by spacing out information rehearsal over long periods of time than with condensed study.
To show us how this worked, the group’s activity involved learning obscure vocabulary terms intersperced by periods of rest and cat videos.
It’s a simple but poignant term. Nihil-, the Latin word for nothingness, mixed with the suffix of different jobs — reminiscent of words like librarian, technician, etc.
While the word was used to help us learn a facet of psychology, my introduction to nihilarian engaged an entirely different part of my brain.
Now I’m going to look for any excuse to use the phrase to describe a character in my novel. Because the Honors Project is such a hodgepodge of influences from my daily experiences that I may as well.
Perhaps it could apply to one of my new mantis people.
See, I very recently had the drive to include a race of praying mantis-like characters. The idea came serendipitously in a dream I had last night — which I suppose is the kind of intuition I’m listening to now.
Next thing you know I’ll be a full-blown spiritualist.