Putting Out the Vibe Random observations from my day-to-day life

February 13, 2010

A revealing year’s end…

Filed under: Growing Up,Halloween — Tags: , , — Matthew @ 1:09 am

A friend of mine recently told me that my posts should be shorter and more frequent.  Unfortunately life’s been too busy lately and I haven’t even had time for this.  I suppose I’ll give it a whirl
.

  Top Credit Card Transactions of 2009 My Defense
1 STADIUMBAR I had to front my whole Stadium Bar volleyball team’s entrance fee (and they have a pitcher race).
2 WAL-MART US STORES Walmart is too cheap and I’m too poor.
3 KOHL CENTER ATHLETIC O/L Badger basketball
4 PAYPAL PRO My Halloween costume
5 AMOCO CAT CES I don’t drive a hydrogen car
6 RILEY’S WINES Riley has good wine
7 STATE STREET BRATS Wing Night
8 AMAZON.COM LLC Duh…
9 COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT San Diego Interview
10 EXXONMOBIL CAT OUTSIDE My car is green but not “green”
11 KOHLS 223 Clearance rack
12 RESIDENCE INN Portland Interview
13 SPEEDWAY/SUPERAMERI-CAT I hate the environment
14 AMYS CAFE INC Half price drinks
15 KARAOKE KID The real KK needs no explanation…

I have a feeling that once I’m out of school my days of having the Stadium Bar as my number one transaction are numbered.  I do have valid reasons for everything on the list though.  This “short” post ended up being medium length.  Good thing my project team chose to meet at 9:00 AM tomorrow (Saturday)…

November 17, 2009

My current totem pole

A friend of mine, who also happens to be the Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering, brought this cartoon from www.phdcomics.com to my attention on facebook the other day.

The main thing that’s surprising to me is not that Football coaches make over a million dollars, but rather the gross overestimate of Grad Student salaries.  If I made $17,784 right now, I’d be living a lavish life of Qdoba, Spotted Cow, and Tostitos hint of lime chips, instead of El Monterey frozen burritos, PBR, and “badger” chips.  Nonetheless, the graph got me curious.  Here’s my current totem poll at UW-Madison (from the WSJ UW-Madison Salary Database):

  • $91,870 – my band director (who I’ve learned more from than most of my professors)
  • $103,000 – my supervisor
  • $141,707 – my supervisor’s supervisor
  • $164,933 – my department chair
  • $244,525 – college of engineering dean
  • $400,000 – Brett Bielema (bachelor’s degree in marketing)
  • $600,000 – Barry Alvarez

September 2, 2009

It’s finally official!

Filed under: Hilarity,Madison — Tags: , , , , , — Matthew @ 11:01 am
Marsha Rummel, 6th District Alderwoman who sponsored the Resolution to make the Flabongo the official bird of Madison

Marsha Rummel, 6th District Alderwoman who sponsored the Resolution to make the Flabongo the official bird of Madison

After years of hard work – transforming plastic flamingos into flabongos and drinking beer and the occasional franzia from their beaks – it’s finally official: the flabongo is now the official bird of Madison.  I would like to personally congratulate all those who made this possible, including my brother, roommate Andrew, Chilla the Gorilla, Warren, IIE, The Badger Short Bus, Creepy J, and of course Marsha Rummel – the sponsor of the city council resolution.  I’m relieved that the Madison Common Council members are holding firm to the platforms for which they were each elected.  Now if only the university would let me take FAC for credit.

April 15, 2009

UW-Madison Socio-Academic Campus Zones

After ballroom dance class today, I was on my way back to the Engineering campus and ran into my roommate, Lee, who asked, “what are you doing over here?” – a very valid question actually, since I haven’t been required to go to the east side of campus for a legitimate, academic reason since sophomore year. He, although an engineer himself, was actually on his way back from Art History. The truth is, the non-engineering areas of campus do have a completely different disposition and when I venture to the east for either choir or ballroom dance, it’s like visiting an unexplored, foreign world. Without further adieu, I am proud to present my most recent result of procrastinating both work and school – The UW-Madison Socio-Academic Map: My take on how our campus actually breaks down.

Figure 1 - UW-Madison Socio Academic Map

Figure 1 - UW-Madison Socio-Academic Map

Nerd-Land:  Home of the College of Engineering, Computer Sciences, and Wendt Library, Nerd-Land is the dwelling place of some of the most socially inept students on campus.  In traversing the halls of Engineering, one might witness 10 people surrounding a single game of chess, an intense conversation comparing notes on respective W.O.W. (World of Warcraft) characters, or even over hear numerous jokes about μ (“mu” – the coefficient of both static and kinetic friction), all in only a few minutes.  Spend too much time in Nerd-Land and your standards for the opposite sex will drop dramatically (until an eye opening journey to the east brings you back to your senses)

Nerd-Limbo:  I believe students who spend much of their day in the orange zone to be in Nerd-Limbo – still interested in a practical, technical education but capable of holding a conversation about something other than what they got on yesterday’s Thermo Exam.  The hard sciences (not meaning difficult, but the opposite of soft), such as Physics, Chemistry, Biochem, Genetics, and also Math and Stats* find their home in Nerd-Limbo.  People who are regulars in this area of campus may even have interests that lie outside of academics.
*Grainger Hall (School of Business) appears in purple above because it is considered an overlap of the orange and blue zones.

Liberal Arts-Ville:  Venture too far to the east and your existing schemas of what is a normal classroom environment will be greatly challenged.  Students studying Social Sciences, Music, Dance, Languages, and also all of the students on College Life who represent the entire demographic of our student body so well, attend class here (as needed).  College Library also falls within this zone.  Expected attire in Liberal Arts-Ville requires that all students “try” before class (sweat pants strongly discouraged).  As a result, this is where many of the campus’ best looking people, who seem to only emerge nocturnally at the bars on Friday and Saturday, spend their weekdays.
The location of the Psychology building seems to be an anomaly, surrounded by both Nerd-Limbo and Nerd-Land.

Places I only go to drink beer:  A couple times a week I migrate from my familiar world to another familiar world (think Oregon Trail, except no one has ever died of dysentery out at the bars).  Unfortunately, since I live on Lathrop St. (lower left corner of the above map), traveling from my classes and/or house requires navigating through unfamiliar territory, which is commonly avoided via taking cabs.

Coastie-Island:  Also known as “frat row,” Langdon Street is as unfamiliar to me as the internet is to my Grandma.  Hundreds of girls wearing gaucho pants, ugg boots, north faces, and huge sunglasses (regardless of the weather or current sun intensity) and guys with fohawks, popped collars, and probably tribal armband tattoos dwell in this region.§♦
§Coastie Island slightly overlaps with the Places I only go to drink beer only because of the less than ideal location of the State Sider Apartments.
The recently constructed Lucky Apartments, located in between Liberal Arts-Ville and Places I only go to drink beer is an unfortunate contradiction of my Socio-Academic Theory.

Disclaimer:  This post is merely satire.  There are clearly exceptions to the immense stereotypes that I cast here. I realize that very hard working and motivated people exist in all academic areas of campus.


 

 

 

 

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