Wabash Blogs Matt Hudson '10

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April 28, 2010

Almost to Finals Week - so why am I busy?

As I've talked about the three previous semesters that I've been blogging, finals week has never been as stressful for me as it is for most people.  For one thing, I write a lot of papers rather than have tests.  So by the time the beginning of the week rolls around, I may have one test left, but all the papers are probably finished.  For some reason, that doesn't seem to be the case as we approach finals week this semester.  Of course, some papers, a test, but finals week doesn't have the same jovial, care-free attitude to it that it usually has.  This, I believe, is the difference - I LOVED finals week in the past, because I had the opportunity to sleep in every day.  No class, no getting up early, right?  Well, I've been doing that for the past four months now, so it doesn't mean as much to me.  Also, for the previous seven weeks that I've been approaching finals, I have been jacked to get the week over with and get out of here.  Four of those times, I've been excited to get home for Christmas so I could get things like crocs, tie clips, and other things that are generally bought for 40-year olds, but that I have come to appreciate (although I never got the Playstation 3 that I asked for).  The other three semesters, I've been fired up for a break from school, and not only that, but have known full-well what I was going to be doing for the next three months.  And as I've mentioned for the previous few weeks, that is still, not the case this year.  But in the meantime, mom and dad's basement has its perks, and the excuse, "Well, the job market sucks," is still a viable one (relax, dad, I'm just joking; I won't be in your house for more than two years).

Anyway, I'm really excited about an English paper that I'll be working on over the next few days.  And I'm excited because it is a topic for a blog that I should have written a long time ago - but perhaps I was saving it.  The only difference is, I can say things in a paper that one professor will be reading that I can't put out there on the Internet for everyone to see.  I'm going to write something along the lines of, "The Top Ten Things I've Learned at Wabash."  This has the potential to be epic.  I think there's a strong possibility that I'll put an abridged version on here - but like I said, on here, I have to be more politically correct than in a single paper.  For instance, something I can put in there, that I can put on here too, is that "Everyone wants to be your Facebook friend."  For what reason, I'm not sure.  Unless I'm really friends with that person, like in real life, as opposed to fake life, I don't need to be Facebook friends with that person, right?  Theoretically.  This, however, does not seem to be the opinion of the majority of people on the useful yet "frustrating when your dad tries to friend me, when I have clearly laid out the guidelines for being my friend" social networking site.  An example that I can put in the paper that I can't really use on here, for fear of alienating a group of people, is, "_________ are always late to class."  If you steal my paper, you'll find out.

It amazes me the stuff that can pass for a TV show these days.  For the past hour, I've been watching NBC in horror as normal people play games with household and everyday objects to try to win a million dollars.  It's painful.  And possibly my favorite TV host of all-time, Guy Fieri (of Food Network Fame), is hosting it.  And it's still rough. People play games with various objects, and it consists of different levels.  Each level that the person passes, they get more money.  Think "Who Wants to be a Millionaire", but actually performing semi-difficult task instead of answering a question.  The first level was something like knocking over four cups with a yo-yo tied around ones waist.  If they pass this seemingly simple task, they win $1,000, and then go to the second round where they have to stack and unstack a bunch of cups in a minute.  Then it gets crazy.  I just saw a girl win $125,000 only to risk most of it because Guy Fieri thought it was a good idea to be gutsy.  Long story short, she couldn't win the beer-pongesque game that was next up, and she's now $75,000 poorer than what she would have been.  This is awful.  Yet, I'm oddly entranced by it.  Boredom, I guess. 

You know why I'm happy that I'm not employed by a company that takes itself too seriously?  Because people can get fined that way.  Case in point: Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic got fined $35,000 for negative comments about the referees that he posted on his blog yesterday.  Now, I get that 35 grand to him is like $35 to most of us, but still, that's pretty good jack.  And for what, you ask?  Had to be something bad right?  Not exactly.  Dwight said this, after a game in which he CLEARLY was called for some very questionable fouls: "I'm not looking to say anything to get myself in trouble with the league, but I just don't see other star players getting called for fouls the way I get them.  No star player in the league is outta games the way I am."  He went on to state that some of the fouls called on him were downright comical.  But look, hee even clarified that he was not trying to disrespect the league.  That should help his cause, right?  Nope.  When are people going to learn?  When one has to start a sentence with a reservation about the following dialogue, it's not a good sign.  It's like breaking something in your parents house and right as you get ready to tell your father, you say, "Now, before you get mad..."  Just not a good way to start.  Or if you start a sentence with, "With all due respect."  Bad choice.  Because, "with all due respect", means that you're probably going to say something disrespectful.  So just skip it and get your point across as viciously as possible.  I would like to think that I would have been fined by now, or at the very least gotten a slap on the wrist, if our public affairs staff were like the NBA.  

Okay, I'm out of here.  I'm sure I have some work to do.  In hopefully not getting fined anytime soon, I'm out.  

April 21, 2010

Will Someone Humor me and do the Right Thing?

Throughout the course of my time as a blogger here, I generally go into every blog with a general idea of what I want to write about.  Whether it's football, something going on in school, etc, I generally have no trouble coming up with three things to write about over the course of the week.  Tonight, I have like one.  It seems like this time of the year is just the calm before the storm when it comes to school.  For one thing, there doesn't really seem to be anything going on event-wise at our school over the next few weeks.  Truthfully, it's very hard for me to believe that there are only two and a half weeks of school left.  Normally at this point, I would be completely ecstatic.  I would be thrilled about the impending summer break, and would just be ready to get out of this joint.  I don't feel that way now.  I know I've complained once or twice over the previous month about how I don't have the desire to get out of here like all of my companions.  But now I really mean it.  Not knowing what you're going to be doing in a month will do that to someone, I guess.  I assume the people who want to get out of here are those with jobs or grad school plans.  And those (like myself) who have no problem with riding school out as long as we can are the ones who may or may not be bunking with the parents for a few weeks while the job search continues.  But I digress.  

The one thing that I was dead-set on talking about tonight is something that has driven me nuts for a long time.  When people get busted for stuff, generally something that will get them into trouble, suspended, etc, why don't they just come out and admit what they've done wrong?  And most of you probably think I'm going to get into the whole Ben Roethlisberger deal, but that's actually not the direction I'm heading.  I understand (not approve of, but understand) the reason why he has probably lied throughout his whole scandal.  Quite simply, there are legal implications.  If he tells the truth, he probably goes to jail.  The ones that set me off are these Major League Baseball players who get busted for steroids, the ones whose fate has already been sealed whether they tell the truth or not.  Over the course of the previous few years, since the MLB has instituted their revamped, and very strict, performance-enhancing drugs policy, there have been many high profile players linked to steroids.  Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Mark McGwire, and A-Rod, just to name several.  You know how many of them are guilty of knowingly taking banned substances?  ZERO.  That's right.  None.  Because all of them have come up with bogus excuses as to why they tested positive.  For Manny, it was some kind of female fertility drug (only God knows why he would have been using that); for McGwire, it was steroids to help him stay healthy, not hit homeruns (okay...).  Ortiz has "no idea" why he tested positive.  Is the system just flawed or what?  Or could it be that all of these men who have rewritten the record books for power actually took illegal supplements that led to, hold your breath... increased power?

And the reason I'm ranting now is this: just a couple of days ago, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez, who is by all accounts one of the best young pitchers in the league, tested positive for a banned substance and was subsequently suspended the mandatory 50 games.  Did he do anything wrong?  OF COURSE NOT!  He claimed that it was a drug used to "help start a family with his wife" that was (not) surprisingly banned by the MLB.  Seriously?  Enough of this already.  Do these players not have any shame?  Do they not have any sense of honesty, or common decency for that matter?  Over the course of my time as a sports fan, there are three things that I've learned: 1) Young athletes with a large income and desire to live the fast life are going to screw up (see Bryant, Kobe).  2) These same athletes will push the very limits of legality when it comes to fair competition in their respective sports (See Bonds, Barry).  3) We're a forgiving society (see Woods, Tiger).  

Here's the thing that I don't get - using performance-enhancing drugs, in the grand scheme of things, seems like a lesser offense than say... brutally murdering dogs.  But Michael Vick is back in the league, caught on with a new team, and by most accounts, is at least partially forgiven for his heinous actions.  Tiger Woods - MOST people wanted to see him win the Masters!  The same Tiger Woods who put together a Wilt Chamberlain-type run in his private life, thus humiliating his entire family and forever tarnishing his spotless reputation.  Yet people forgave him - and quickly too.  The point is, we as Americans are willing to forgive people, especially if said people are willing to say the five magic words: "I screwed up.  I'm sorry."  That's all it takes.  But for some reason, the public relations staff for these morally misguided athletes try to get creative instead of being honest and lobbying for forgiveness.  Maybe someone can explain these ill-fated PR strategies to me sometime, but until they convince me otherwise, it seems that honesty truly is the best policy.  

First rant in a while, but considering my life is boring right now and I needed to fill space, it probably came at a good time.  Time to get out of here now; more playoff basketball on (and there will be for the next two months).  In hopefully telling the truth when I inevitably get busted for steroids, I'm out.  

April 13, 2010

Lucky Number 80

According to the little figures that accompany the opening screen of my blog, this will be the 80th blog that I've written in the past two years.  I would very much like to make it to 100 by the time this semester is over, but that would require me to write about four a week until graduation, and although my life isn't boring, it's not that exciting either.  Tonight will be one of those blogs where I'm basically getting into whatever is on my mind, not necessarily Wabash stuff.  Truthfully, it doesn't seem like there's a whole lot going on around here that is too worth mentioning.  Pan-Hel Week was last week, but it came and went without incident, so not really a whole lot to talk about there.  Pan-Hel has certainly changed since my freshman year (and for good reason, I suppose).  I won't get into specific details about how things used to be (listen to me; I make it sound like I've been here forever), but suffice it to say that Wabash has cleaned up quite a bit, and it's more obvious during Pan-Hel than any other week of the year.  

Another Wabash-related thing that I can talk about is the sports review that I've been doing lately.  For those of you who haven't seen it, Adam Bowen (who runs the media center) and I put together (he puts it together) a recap of the sporting events that Wabash has had throughout the previous week, and it's generally ready by the weekend.  It's not exactly SportsCenter, but I'm hoping it will lend me some credibility in the sports broadcasting world, and not cast me as completely incompetent.  But the main reason I bring this up is because I'm planning (planning, being the key word) on getting up early tomorrow morning to go in and film some of the football team's spring practice.  The problem is, they start at 5:30 in the morning.  The good thing is, they go until about 7:30 in the morning, meaning I will hopefully be able to drop in at 7:15 and get some decent footage.  But the other problem is that I haven't been up before 8:00 once this semester.  Ahh, the joys of being a second-semester senior.  And I've mentioned on here numerous times that I'm not ashamed of the fact that I sleep until nearly 10 every day.  Hey, I've earned it, right?  But it's days like tomorrow that make you wish you had an established routine that had you getting up at some point before breakfast at the Sparks Center is closed.  But I digress.  Be looking for that spring football expose at some point during the weekend.  

My Uncle Kenny (possibly the first time I've mentioned him in a blog; a fact he will resent) has numerous times throughout my life talked to me about the concept of "Over-promising and under-delivering."  Examples include (but are not limited to) promising a Bell Game victory and following it up with a 4-interception performance, promising to ace a test and bringing home a 64, or promising to mention a family member as an inspiration when being interviewed by the media, but consistently forgetting.  Well I had one such moment a couple of weekends ago, and I feel the need to share it with the world.  Thankfully, I'm not the person who under-delivered in this case.  In fact, it was the almighty "The Rusty".  My much-shorter-than-me and well-intentioned father has become quite the running aficionado over the course of the past few years.  He does it to stay in shape, stay healthy, etc.  He's currently in the process of training for a marathon that he will run in Louisville on April 24th.  The dude is a workout animal.  He runs all over town (although many often mistake his "running" for walking) no matter the conditions.  And regardless of how fast he runs (trust me, he's not breaking any records), at least he's out there doing it.  I promise I will make a point here soon.  

Often times, the Rusty encounters animals while sauntering through town.  Apparently, there are two types of dogs - the nice ones who seem to smile and wag their tails, and those whom the Rusty deems "hostiles".  The "hostiles" are the ones who chase after the Rusty, often causing him to take drastic action.  Now, prior to buying this new weapon that I'm about to tell you about, I'm assuming the Rusty just tried to run faster until they left him alone.  But no more.  Recently, he tells me about this stun-gun type thing that he has bought to neutralize the "hostiles".  Maybe stun-gun isn't the right word.  It's this little remote-type thing that sends out a high-pitched sound (humans can't even hear it) that apparently drives dogs crazy and will scare them away.  While he's telling me this, I imagine the dogs scurrying away from him, yelping uncontrollably, and running around in circles until they finally collapse.  He assures me this is not the case.  In fact, he calls it a "non-lethal" weapon.  But whatever the case is, the image of my father stunning all these "hostiles" with his little weapon is pretty hilarious.  I need to take a picture of it and put it up here.  Again, he claims it is "non-lethal", so all you animal lovers out there, calm down.  

Again, I'm almost to my main point.  So the Saturday night before Easter, when we are having a big family get-together, the neighbor dog keeps accosting all of those in my family who pull into my driveway.  She's a sweet dog, but is overly protective of my yard (even though she doesn't belong to us).  After the dog barks at a few family members, the Rusty deems her a "hostile" gets the bright idea to bring out the secret weapon (I think more than anything that he just wanted to show off how he neutralizes all the canines in the county).  After all, he's been talking about it for weeks, about how it never fails, and about how the dogs are now terrified of his less-than-imposing self.  A large chunk of the family is outside enjoying the family recreation, and all are anticipating a show for the ages.  The next car pulls up.  Dog goes wild.  The Rusty pulls the weapon from his waistband in John Wayne-like time and aims.  BOOM!  Nothing.  The dog looked more confused as to why the Rusty was aiming a remote control at it from point-blank range than concerned about its livelihood.  No yelping.  No running in circles.  No explosions.  No nothing.  I could tell the Rusty was embarrassed, but the rest of the family thought it was hilarious.  At least we know now that he was telling the truth when he said it was "non-lethal".  More like non-functional.  Talk about over-promising and under-delivering.  

Okay, enough about my family's shortcomings.  I have a quiz tomorrow that I need to study for, and I have to get to bed early if I'm going to be up by the time that most people rise.  Hope everyone has a great week.  And protect your dogs, because the Rusty is on the loose.  I'm out.  

April 06, 2010

Time of my Life

When Green Day wrote the song "Time of your life" some 15 years ago, I think they were talking about my life right now.  I feel like this semester has been a time that 20 years down the road, I'll want to relive.  It's not because I've done anything crazy or out of the ordinary.  It's not that I've done nothing school-related for the past few months.  No event really stands out as being incredibly significant in the course of my life.  But here I am, six weeks from graduation, and I'm kind of wishing it didn't have to end.  I love my friends, I like school, I love the people that I'm around on any given day.  The weather is turning nice, so I don't even have that to complain about now.  Maybe it's the fear of change that makes me want to stay this way forever.  Once school is over, and I hit the real world, how many weekends will I be able to go home and spend with my family?  This question really kind of hit me this past weekend as I headed home for Easter.  "Will this be the last time over the next couple years that I'll get to spend this holiday at home", was the question that kept rolling around in my head.  I certainly hope not, but given that I don't really know where I'll be six weeks from now, there certainly isn't any way to predict what I'll be doing one year from now.  And I think for me, it's less of me being afraid of the real world, and more of me just really liking my life right now.  For one thing, I don't have class before 11:20 on any given day.  So every day, there's really no reason for me to be up before 10.  In all likelihood, this will be the last period in my life where that is the case.  Better take advantage of it now.

Easter is an underrated holiday in my opinion, and one that quite frankly, I was surprised to see on Sunday, is apparently undervalued in my small little Southern Indiana town.  We took care of our family Easter dinner on Saturday night, for simplicity's sake, and had all Sunday to rest up.  Well, after two meals of ham, mashed potatoes, etc, I had gotten to the point where I wanted something else.  So as the Rusty, my brother, Denver Wade (who had made the trip to Salem, because San Francisco is too far away for a weekend visit), and I traveled across town for a lovely Easter dinner at the Chinese restaurant (which was sure to be open, because they are even open on Christmas), I noticed that pretty much every restaurant in town was open.  McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell, all of them.  Am I wrong here, or hasn't it always been a given that Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter are untouchable holidays that everyone gets off?  Apparently not in my homeland.  On a really positive note, I got an Easter basket this year.  It seems like last year I didn't get one, but my mom disputed this.  Maybe it was the year before.  But whatever year was missed, the Easter Bunny certainly made up for it this year, because apparently he gives cash and McDonald's coupons now.  Score.  

So upon Butler's win last Saturday night over Michigan State, I came to the conclusion that it would be fun to go down to Indianapolis for the championship game on Monday night - not necessarily to go to the game, but just to go down and enjoy the environment.  So Evan Isaacs, Mr. Wade, and I loaded up the family Grand Prix Monday evening and headed down to Indy.  When we left Crawfordsville, it was absolutely gorgeous outside, so we figured we would walk the streets of Indy and have fun interacting with all the Butler fans.  By the time we got down there, it was absolutely pouring, and there was a severe thunderstorm warning - not weather conditions that are conducive to walking the street.  So we stopped and ate, and tried to determine what we were going to do.  Given that we weren't likely to get cheap tickets, and we weren't far from Butler's campus, we decided to go watch the game with the Butler faithful at Hinkle Fieldhouse (where Butler plays their home games, and where they were having a viewing party).  We got there, and the place was absolutely packed with people.  I would venture to say that every student who didn't get a ticket to the game was packed into Hinkle.  And it was awesome.  I've never been so excited watching a college basketball game.

I can honestly say that I've never fallen in love with a team over the course of a game like I did last night.  And I've been one of their biggest doubters all along.  I thought they would lose in the first round.  I thought Syracuse was far too athletic for them (check my blog two weeks back).  I thought Kansas State's 1-2 punch would be enough to knock the Bulldogs out.  I thought Michigan State still had enough magic for another title run, one year after playing for the championship in front of their home fans.  And quite simply, I thought that Duke was far too talented for Butler to pull a David to their Goliath.  But I was wrong.  As I stood in stunned silence as Gordon Hayward's final shot bounced off the rim, standing amongst about 10,000 of the Butler faithful, standing there with no allegiance to Butler prior to this tournament, I couldn't help but become a fan of this team.  I couldn't help but admire their commitment to defense.  I couldn't help but be astounded by the fact that ten - yes, TEN, of their players went to class on Monday, the day of the National Championship (think ten Kentucky players went to class yesterday?  No way).  I couldn't help but to respect this team of hard-working Indiana kids who care far more about their pursuit of education than spurning college after one year for a chance at NBA riches.  Not to try to sound too philosophical, but this was a team that our country could root for, a team that embodies the qualities that most people aspire to have - hard work, determination, and overcoming the odds.  Regardless of the final outcome of the game, this team was a Cinderella story.  And regardless of the fact that Duke ultimately won the final game, this tournament will always be remembered for not only what this small school did, but for how they did it.  This is what Indiana basketball is all about.  

Okay, time to call it a day.  Hope everyone has a great week.  In hoping that Tiger's handlers won't let him do anything stupid this weekend, I'm out.