Since we’re feeling so anesthetized…

Alright, there’s something I have to address here, and it has to do with my college. There have been a bunch of rumors and facebook groups circulating recently regarding the name of UMBC and some speculation that it might change due to the sudden increase in notoriety of the university. In the most recent U.S. News publication, my alma mater was ranked the #1 up-and-coming school in the country, and I think it was #5 in the overall public education ranking. That’s pretty sick news! But the problem that UMBC has been having is its identity. Now, everyone around here knows that College Park is the head cheese when it comes to the University of Maryland, being the main campus, having the basketball team, and getting all the attention of the media. So when people like me who went to UMBC would talk to people in DC about my school, everyone always assumed that by “UMBC” that it was just College Park, and whenever we clarify that we’re a separate entity, everyone either assumed we’re really stuck up about it, or that the college just isn’t as credible as College Park. The “safe school”, if you will. We’ve become that rapidly expanding university that nobody’s ever heard of.

Although I do understand the concern for my school’s identity, and I appreciate the fact that they want to stray away from the UM circuit, the name on my diploma isn’t going to change. I graduated from UMBC, and I can’t change that. Moreover, I don’t think I’d want to change it. I didn’t go to MD Tech (haha Med Tech), Maryland State University, or Maryland Institute of Technology, or any of the names the petitioners came up with that sound like something off of junk mail. If the administration really does decide to change the name, that’s fine, but I still went to UMBC.

Not to mention, UMBC tends to downplay a lot of the other social sciences. I’ve had a bunch of people express their displeasure with the fact that UMBC just doesn’t give that much attention to the other disciplines that they have to offer. So if you were an Anthropology major, you just didn’t have as many resources, let alone friendly professors, to actively delve into what it was that you were studying as you would if you were studying Biochemistry.

Now, I was a Business Technology Administration major, which is a fancy way of saying a Bachelor of Arts in Information Technology. IT Administration really does seem like a big deal, and my major was starting to gain a bit of attention, but I really don’t like the structure of the major. It was really just flat business administration and a deeper understanding of the system development life cycle. Now, that alone isn’t a bad thing, but I think the biggest flaw in my major was the fact that we weren’t educated in all of the different systems and technology that’s available for our time. At best it was an elective, and it wasn’t even an elective that counted toward our degree (if it was even there). So if we become IT consultants as our major suggests, we will know the process of building a program that will suit the needs of a company, but we just have no idea what materials we need to accomplish that. It’s like going to culinary school, graduating, and then becoming head chef for a Franciscan monastery. It seems like a great idea, and you know exactly how to cater to the needs of the monks, but then you realize any resources (grocery stores) are hundreds of miles away. You know what you need, but you don’t know where to get it. That’s my major. I really hope they revise it to add a mandatory course in systems. I don’t mean actually forcing the people to learn coding, because that’s really left to the BS majors for IT, but just knowing what stuff is out there, and how to implement the technology we have in certain situations.

On top of that, one of the big complaints I’ve heard is that the students and faculty of UMBC are either one of the two extremes: they’re either extremely nice people concerned with your development and education, or just flat out a-holes. To a certain degree, a point can be made. If anyone was in the Linguistics track, you would know the difference between Professor Sloane and Professor Bell (I remember one classmate of mine called his lawyer on Bell). And there have been complaints that life at college greatly resembles that of high school, with all of cliques and separation and drama and all that. At UMBC, this isn’t such a big problem, because you could just stay away from people with the high school mentality. The campus is big enough, and everyone’s a commuter, so it’s not such an overbearing problem. Just hang out with the people that mean something to you, and you can’t go wrong. The one thing I hesitate to say is that when you get out of college, this mentality, this high school state of being, is still prevalent through all of society. It never really goes away, even as people get older. It sucks, I know, but it’s the people that mean the most to you that’ll get you through the day.

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“And now, we go on to another whole aspect…”

Life here at GW is quite strange, really. Mainly because there are a couple of things that I learned about the campus in my time that have come to surprise me. Here’s a few of them:

– For being a politically active campus, GW isn’t very well informed about things. I remember hearing a news report on CNN about political action in the country of Georgia, and someone said out loud in Marvin Center “Georgia? You mean like ‘ATL?'”

– At Marvin Center, you can get newspaper for free if you use your GWorld ID Card, and they have the Washington Post, which is a good source for news and current events. However, a lot of GW students pass right by the machine (which even says in bold letters “Complimentary to Students”), go outside of Marvin Center and pay 75 cents for the same newspaper from a machine.

– One of the Spanish students at GW translated “Mrs. Field’s Cookies [store]” as “Señora Trigo’s Biscoteca”.

– The pool tables in the Hippodrome are STILL too close together.

– Most of the students here at GW have Apple computers. However, none of them that I have seen have a bag to carry them around. They just hold their computers, no sleeve or anything, right in their arms! God forbid, with the condition the streets are in, they step into a crack in the road and they go flying, and their $1200 computer ends up in 7 pieces. Get a bag for it! If you can afford to go to GW, I’m sure you can afford a case for your computer.

This place is weird.

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In other breaking news, I finally got my first online poker tournament win on Full Tilt Poker! It came in a no limit hold’em six-max sit ‘n go. What does that mouthful of words mean? Well, a six-max means there’s only six people at the table as opposed to the traditional nine. This means that the blinds come around a lot faster than a normal game, which creates a lot of action, since your stacks diminish a lot faster and you need to act fast to keep your head above the water. I got stuck in the earlygoing and I was down to about 710 chips, but I made some good moves and somehow made it heads up. For the heads up part, I didn’t really do anything fancy. I raised every time I had the button, and check/folded every time I didn’t have it. When I did have it, I trapped the other guy to get more chips than I would have if I had just pushed all-in. The other guy wasn’t a pushover, but he never overtook the chip lead from me. Here’s the final hand:

I was on the button with the blinds at 40/80, and I had a 3:1 chip advantage on my opponent. In the final hand, I had two black aces. I raised it to 160, typical of what I was doing the whole match, and to my surprise, he called. Usually when I raised on the button, he would insta-fold, but this time he came along. This lead me to believe he might have had ace-rag or something that he could try to chase me out of the pot with in the event that he hits. He didn’t really make much out of my raise before the flop because I was doing it the whole match, so he would never have guessed that I would have his weaker ace dominated. The flop came 5-7-9, complete rainbow. He checks to me, and I didn’t want to scare him away, so I checked to make it appear that the flop missed me. The turn was a 3 of clubs, and he checks again. I decided to bet the minimum, just as a probe to see where I stand. He calls, which means that he must have something like A7. If he had hit top pair on the flop, he probably would have led out with a bet, but the over card stopped him from being more aggressive. The river was another 9, and knowing that he has nines and sevens, and I look like I didn’t have a nine (checking the flop, betting only when the 3 came down), I decided to push all in to look like I’m betting the weaker two pair to steal the pot. He made the call, thinking his two pair was good, and the rest was history =] It was definitely an exciting moment, especially since I’ve been trying like hell to get that first win. Tonight was a good night, and I hope to see a lot more!

Alright, that’s all for now. See you guys next time!

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