It’s the end of the semester, and you know what that means: It’s time to get screwed over by the VCU Bookstore! So I spent $400 on textbooks back in January. Today I went down to VCU and got a whopping $13.50 back in resale value. Half of my books wouldn’t be taken back because they’re proprietary, custom VCU books that have no value once used because they change every year. I have a big problem with that. That’s just ridiculous. I spent more money than that on cheese pies yesterday at the Lebanese Food Festival. I probably spent more than that getting my Xterra down there to the VCU Bookstore and back. Textbooks are a royal ripoff. Students such as myself are getting nothing short of scammed. It’s infuriating.
I’ve been doing a whole lot of deep thinking lately, especially yesterday. I could write a full-fledged post on each topic, and I might do that with some of these at a later date, but I just wanted to share what’s been running through my head over the past week or so. These are all randomly-ordered questions, ponderings, discoveries, and thoughts I’ve had.
– You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself and be a positive example for others to follow.
– When you put God at the center of your life, everything else just falls into place exactly the way it’s supposed to.
– If you try to do too many things at once you won’t get anything done at all. Focusing on one thing will get you a lot farther.
– Why is it that practically everyone I know is in a relationship now, and all over the course of the past month?
– I’ll be getting to that point in a few years when everyone I know is starting to get married, and man, that seems unreal. When did I get to this age?
– I’ll be twenty in July? Twenty? Two decades down. Wow.
– I finally know exactly what I want and that I am once again ready to be in a relationship.
– Am I only good enough to talk to or does she (come on you didn’t think you were actually gonna get a name, did you?) actually want something more with me?
– Why am I always second best, and how do I change that?
– Sushi from the VCU Commons is great at the beginning of the week, but practically a biohazard by Friday.
– I need to nail down what I’m doing this Summer job-wise, and really soon.
– I need to decide on my major for sure by next Fall. Graphic Design, Mass Communications, Film, or Business?
– The old saying is absolutely right: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
– Running is a great stress reliever.
– Change is constant and life is fluid.
– There are two options: Get in the game or be left behind.
– I need to spend less money on eating out, and that would also help me with my goal of getting in shape.
– I’ve got an incredible group of friends who are more supportive, caring, and genuine than anyone else I’ve ever been around in my life.
– I need to stop making this list and go get ready to head to VCU for my second-to-the-last day of classes.
Glad I got all that out. I feel a lot better now! Comment and share your thoughts.
A big congratulations goes out to Ashley Crossman, winner of Miss Virginia 2008! She’s the sister of one of my friends at VCU, and I had the privilege of designing her an ad for inclusion in the pageant program and other uses. Many of her sponsors were local businesses in her hometown of Montross, Virginia and had no logos for use, so I designed the majority of them. It was a lot of fun creating this and working with her. She’s incredibly nice, very talented, and is beautiful on the inside as well as out. She’s extremely deserving of her win. Here’s the ad I created for her in preparation for the pageant:
Me and Jen hung out after dinner at Monroe Park and played frisbee for a while. We had a squirrel friend, too. Nothing more to say, just a fun, chilled out Spring evening with my best friend. What could be better? Here’s a few pictures uploaded from the iPhone:
Well this is a new one. I can’t count how many times people have thought my name was Travis (though I still don’t understand why that’s such a common thing that happens to me, because honestly I haven’t really met any more people named Travis than Trevor in my lifetime, but I digress). Well this morning at the Cabell Library Starbucks at VCU, I ordered my usual pick-me-up, a grande nonfat Chai Tea Latte. They ask for your name with your order at this particular location because it’s so incredibly busy, and the lady asked mine twice because I guess she couldn’t hear me. But I ended up with Thomas on my cup. I don’t know I just found that interesting. How in the world do you get Thomas from Trevor? Yet more proof that I really don’t exist, especially at VCU, like I posted about a few weeks earlier. Thought I’d snap a quick picture of it. Too funny.
VCU Police made complete fools out of themselves tonight with me, Allie, and Katelin. We were walking back to our cars in a VCU lot when all of a sudden three VCU cops on bikes roll up to my car and surround me. It was two men and one woman. They violated several of my rights and made complete idiots out of themselves. It was seriously like something off of Reno 911! (The woman cop almost kind of looked like the one from the show) It would almost be funny how ridiculous they were if it didn’t insult me so much the way they treated us. Here’s how the conversation went down:
POLICEMAN 1: “How are you this evening, sir? How much you had to drink tonight?”
ME: “Uh, nothing at all?”
POLICEMAN 1: “Why don’t you go ahead and step out of the car, sir. You were walking a little funny back there.” (I was walking a little funny? I was walking the way I always walk, and if you really want to investigate a real problem, go across the street to the hundreds of people at the Hyperlink waiting to get in the door and check them out because it definitely smelled like pot and everyone was running around and making a racket)
POLICEWOMAN: “There’s three of them, let me take one.”
POLICEMAN 2: “Shut up, I can handle this.” (I’m seriously not making this stuff up)
POLICEWOMAN: “Somebody’s been drinking, this place reeks of alcohol.”
ME: “Um, no, I haven’t had anything at all…”
POLICEWOMAN: “Yeah? What’s that under your seat?” (She points to an empty soft drink can wedged under my front seat, I pull it out, and she actually has the nerve to question it further)
ME: “I just need to clean out my car, I left that in there…”
POLICEWOMAN: “What did you have in that can and why is it empty?”
ME: “Root beer? It’s a soft drink can…” (She looks at it all suspiciously)
POLICEMAN 1: “Okay I’m gonna check your eyes out here real quick.” (He pulls out a pen and tells me to follow it with my eyes without moving my head) “What do you wear contacts for?” (You’ve got to be kidding me; what a stupid question… what do you think contacts are for?)
ME: “Farsightedness?” (I look at him in with that “Did you really just ask me that question, you idiot?” look)
POLICEMAN 2: “So do you have astigmatism or something?” (Oh come on)
POLICEMAN 1: “So has your passenger been drinking tonight?”
ME: “No, not at all.” (I later found out that while all of this was going on the policewoman was on the other side of the car questioning Allie and accusing us of hiding beer in a CVS bag in my back seat that had nothing in it but toothpaste and shampoo that I bought before we went down there)
POLICEMAN 1: “Okay, you’re good to go.”
Finally, we were free to go. I feel that several of our rights were violated in this situation:
1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe you can legally search someone’s vehicle without a warrant to find things that are not in plain view.
2. What was their probable cause? The fact that I was, in one of the cop’s opinions, “walking a little funny?” I was walking completely normal.
I’d also really like to know what in the world he was doing asking me why I wore contacts and was offended that he asked “how much” I had been drinking when the correct thing to ask would have been “have you had anything to drink tonight.” I do realize that they see a lot go on down there and have to be weary, but they completely jumped to conclusions and were accusatory to the point of being very unprofessional. They were poorly coordinated, argued amongst one another, and seemed to be on major power trips. They also completely fabricated several things, the biggest being that my car “reeked of alcohol.” There wasn’t, nor had there ever been, alcohol in my car, so I was completely bewildered, offended, and angry that they would make up such a blatant lie.
I was offended at how the situation was handled and feel that VCU Police are not doing a satisfactory job at all. I can’t speak for all VCU officers, but the unprofessional and unskilled behavior of this group leads me so far as to say that their salaries (that group specifically) are a waste of Virginia taxpayers’ money.
I feel this is something that needs to be shared, so pass it along.
I’m really starting to question my own existence. Yesterday was just my final proof that I don’t really live in this world. I guess I’m in some alternate reality or some crap like that. Okay, so I’m just being a tad bit sarcastic as usual, but it always seemed funny to me how I was left off of any and all lists that my name could be on. It’s not that no one thinks I exist, just anyone related to any educational establishment, apparently. Deep Run and VCU.
It started my Freshman year of high school. I had purchased a yearbook, but for some reason the lists at the end of the year had absolutely no indication that I had ever paid for one. The next year, when the student information sheets that everyone in the entire Henrico County Public Schools system receives to verify and update name, address, and other contact information, I didn’t get one, and they said they weren’t sure if there was a record of me in their information database. They had one somewhere and finally figured it out, but how’s that for strange?
Well, yesterday was my final indication in case I needed any more proof that I do not exist on this earth, at least according to any educational entity. I was at the Alpine Bagel Company inside the commons at VCU trying to grab a bagel before class. Not so much to ask, right? Well I guess I was wrong. The girl looked me straight in the face and took my order, I paid for it, and then she forgot she was supposed to make mine. After waiting for ten minutes while seemingly fifty more people were served who were in line behind me, she apologized and said my bagel was coming right up. Well, apparently it slipped her mind again and she served a few more people before I walked up to the counter and watched her make the freaking thing. I was like one of those dumb magic shows on prime time TV where they’re like “Watch closely as Veronica is sawed in half; this camera will not cut away…”. I barely blinked as she smeared cream cheese on my bagel until it was nestled safely in my hands.
So I wanted my typical Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks to go with it. I walked over to the Cabell Library to get my fix of my favorite drink, and, yep you guessed it, repeat situation. They forgot me once there, which I guess is a better track record than the bagel place, but wow. I’m gonna have to start lighting traffic flares from on top of my head and wave around sparklers or something to make sure people know I’m around I guess. Maybe a flashing LED “Trevor needs food just like everyone else in line” wouldn’t hurt, either. I’ll just wear it around my forehead or something.
Pastor Rick gave what I thought to be one of his most inspiring messages ever today. It was all about time management. He’s done some great messages in the past and is probably the most impacting and inspirational speaker I’ve ever heard, but today his message really hit home.
In the service today, Pastor Rick gave a lot of great advice and wisdom about how to manage your time:
Evaluate your time priorities. This can be done (as I’m going to do) by keeping track of how you spend your time over the course of two weeks.
Busyness does not equal productivity. I am always busy with something or another. The whole week it seems I’m never free. But I’m finding that a lot of the time I’m not doing much of anything of any real worth or significance.
Establish time systems. This could mean many things. One example Pastor Rick gave was his own schedule. Every day, he gets up early in the morning and spends time in solitude praying and having study/research time to plan his messages. He’s also at home every night at 6:00 PM for dinner with his family. These two recurring events are set in stone in his weekly schedule, and are obviously very important to him. I need to figure out which things are the most important for me to do, and plan everything else around them on a recurring basis like he has done. Having set things to do at set times and days also makes it easier to say no to people when they ask you to do something, and that’s a big thing for me. I find it hard to tell people no when they ask me to help with or commit to doing something.
Eliminate time wasters. As you’ll read below, I’ve already gotten rid of a lot of my time wasters, but this is something I really need to work on more. Pastor Rick spoke about how you should delegate what’s important and find new ways to use wasted time, such as reading or catching up on something that needs completing when you’re waiting (for example at a doctor’s office).
I have some of the worst skills when it comes to time management out of anyone I know. I always have really good intentions of getting lots done, being productive, and accomplishing everything I need to do. In fact, despite my lack of priority-based planning, I have one of the most immaculately-organized iCal calendars ever (that picture is a screenshot of how my iCal looks on a weekly basis). It’s broken up into sub-calendars, the main ones being home, school, and church. I have everything from my classes at VCU to my weekly breakfast with Tori and dinner with Jen. From the looks of it, you’d think I was one of the most organized people ever, right? Not so much.
So why doesn’t it all work out in the nice, structured way it seems to by looking at my iCal? There are a couple of reasons. First off, I don’t seem to be able to stick to what should be my top priorities. It’s sometimes out of stress, lack of will power, tiredness, or sheer laziness. Other times it’s because something fun comes up and I end up going out with friends. All I know is I need to increase the amount of time I spend doing some things, reduce others, and maybe even completely eliminate a few. Most things are fine in moderation, I just need to find the right balance.
Sometimes the time I allot to certain tasks ends up getting wasted because I’m multitasking while I should be focused on a singular goal. I also get distracted (and spend too much time on) my Mac and iPhone. The biggest distraction involving both devices? Facebook. Up until today, I had a ridiculous connection to Facebook. On my computer, there’s a desktop program that flashes a little box in the upper right hand corner of my screen notifying me when someone writes on my wall or does some other action on my profile, I get an email with the same information, and then a text on my phone. Sometimes the Facebook email also goes to my phone. Now before you send out the “whitecoats” to haul me off to the nut farm, please understand that some of these notifications were in place from the time I first registered my Facebook account (almost two years ago), for example the emails. I just added one thing at a time and now I’m at this ludicrous level. I’m happy to say that as of today, I’ve completely eliminated all of my Facebook notifications on both my Mac and iPhone, turned off incoming email to my phone, and turned off the new mail notification sound on my computer so I don’t automatically open my email client and read it as it comes in.
In summary, here’s what I plan on changing with my schedule starting this week:
- Allot more time to studying, working productively at church, and exercising
- Spend less time on the computer, doing less-than-productive things, eating out, and not necessarily hang out with friends every night
- Come up with the best balance of school, work, volunteering, and fun
I’m excited about finally getting a handle on my life and make time for the things I need to do and be able to accomplish so much more.
VCU tested their Emergency Alert System today at noon, sounding sirens, displaying messages on flat screen TVs in buildings, sending out text messages and emails, and updating their VCU Alert website. The previous test that was conducted last Fall was largely unsuccessful because the single siren on the Monroe Park Campus couldn’t be heard. Five were added on the campus, bringing the total to six on the Monroe Park Campus and ten total between that one and the MCV Campus.
Last time, I was in class at the Grace Street Theater, somewhat removed from campus. The sirens were still audible, though, even if it was somewhat faint. However, today when the sirens went off, I was in class at Hibbs, right next to one of the main sirens that’s mounted on the roof of the Cabell Library. I could barely hear it! In addition, I didn’t receive the text alert (nor did anyone around me) until a full fifteen minutes after the test! In my personal opinion, the test was yet another failure. In some classrooms such as mine, students would be unaware of an emergency, and text alerts coming in fifteen minutes late is ridiculous. The harm could already be done by that time. I think it’s a good thing that VCU is putting systems like this into place, but they have a long way to go to make it effective and useful.
Here are some pictures of the news coverage on Shafer Street outside of Hibbs today:
Wow, I saw some weird things today at school. First off, there was a guy riding a unicycle down the sidewalk in what looked like a genuine attempt to get to class rather than a spectacle. Second, a group of ten guys were in the bathroom at the library standing in a line, backing up one step at a time to see how far back they could read the small print “Please wash your hands” sign. There were a couple other things, some of which I won’t even repeat on here, that I guess are just commonplace at VCU. The funniest thing about all of them, though, is that nobody even thinks anything of them at all. I’ve always found people watching to be interesting, but never so much as at VCU.
On a kind of sad note (for me), it looks like my best friend, Jen, is probably going to end up going to Liberty next year… if so it’s really gonna suck here without her. We’ll see what happens.