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Uslan speech

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The IU Media Relations page posted the Michael Uslan speech from Graduation in text format, in case anyone wanted to read it. I read through most of it again.

GRADUATED

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I finally hit the end of the road, so to speak. Yesterday morning, I woke up at the crack of dawn (7AM, which is insane for me) to get ready to go to Commencement. finally done!I didn’t really even plan on actually going until the day or so beforehand, but I suppose it was good to at least be able to say “I went to my college graduation.” We were told to get there an hour and a half before the actual ceremony started. Also, I somehow took a wrong turn in the parking lot, and unknowingly parked right next to the Fieldhouse where we were supposed to be lining up. At the time I thought I was just lucky for finding literally the closest spot possible, and I knew I wouldn’t have a problem since I have my handy DP parking pass. I found out later from Pat’s family that these were actually the VIP spots, which would explain why one of the attendants gave me an odd look as I parked. I didn’t get a ticket though, probably because they were slacking on the lot watching, or my DP just scared them off. Either way, I probably shouldn’t have parked there, but I did. So I got out of my car and strolled in.

“Lining up” for graduation was something that didn’t really require us to be there 45 minutes early, but I suppose it was just to play it safe. It basically just involved everyone getting into the Fieldhouse track area and getting into the correct roped-off areas according to the school they’re in. Not very tough. Sort of like wrangling cattle or some other equally dumb farm animal. I went to go to the business school corral, talked to some people I knew, and eventually they started sending us inwards to Assembly Hall. Graduates filled up almost 2/3 of the court/floor area, with the rest being an orchestra or something and the actual stage area. There were two large sections of graduates on the right and left sides of the seats as well. The rest of the place, pretty much to capacity, was filled with guests, other students, etc. I was pretty surprised that so many people were there for this. The 2006 graduating class is apparently somewhere around 7,500 people, although we were split up into 2 groups. I math would tell you there were a bit under 3,750 students there. I’m not sure what percentage of students actually come to commencement though.

As cheesy as it was, I kind of liked the whole procession and all the stupid costumes that people had to wear at the ceremony, especially on stage. I’m not exactly sure what all the different outfits and hats mean, but I swear it looked like I was watching either a really nerdy renaissance festival, or some kind of Harry Potter LARPing contest. But it was cool nonetheless. Michael Uslan, an IU grad and executive producer of all the Batman movies, gave a speech which was pretty typical I guess of a “graduation speech:” talking about stuff to do in the future, have high goals, believe in yourself, knowledge is power, blah blah blah. But I really did like his speech. I wish I would have tried to meet him or at least went to hear him speak when he was doing various things at TCOM this and last year. You can’t help but feel at least a little inspired by an IU grad whose entire life goal was to make a sweet Batman movie, and then he did it (let’s not think about Batman & Robin though). Also seeing the formality and all that of the Trustees, President, Provost, and other “high ups” from the University made me think that it wouldn’t be bad one day to come back to IU as an administrator or something. Probably not though.

So graduation is over, and so is school pretty much. I now have a BS in Business and a BA in East Asian Languages in Culture, with which I suppose you could call me edumucated. I have a somewhat big report I still need to wrap up (um..), then IUSTV work over the summer, and then I am completely done with this stage of life. I’m not completely sure what I’ll be doing in the summer besides living in Bloomington and working at the station until the end of July, but I’m thinking of getting a part time job somewhere to start saving up money for when I go to Japan in September to work as a teacher for AEON. On Tuesday, me, Pat, Brian, and Kyle are going to LA for almost a week, to bask in the glory that is E3. It’s odd to sit here on a Sunday afternoon, not really having anything to do but think about video games.

I’ll likely write more posts this summer looking back at IU. It will be weird next year living a completely different kind of life. Obviously just being in a different country will be a big change, but I’m talking more about working an actual job during the day (well, AEON is more like 11AM to 7PM), but then being done with work for the day. No having to work on stuff at night, no homework, no dealing with work-related stuff every waking hour of the day. As much as I loved school (I suppose) and IUSTV, it really was pretty taxing on me. The first thing I did in the morning was wake up to take care IUSTV e-mails, I would do IUSTV stuff pretty much all day every day, and on the rare occasion that I actually had school stuff to do I would usually cram it in somewhere in place of things like sleeping or eating. The last year has been one of the best and most fun years of my life ever, but I do have to admit that it will be nice to have a change of pace in the future.

Note: I just found out a reason why Michael Uslan is even cooler. I looked at his IMDB profile, and found out that in addition to Batman, he was the executive producer on Where in the World is Camen Sandiego?, the one that had Rockapella and everything. He now has my vote for the most successful IU Alumni EVER.

ついに

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At 8:05PM tonight, I finished the last final exam of my undergraduate career.

It’s about time! Woohoo! More blog to come later.

プライド

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It’s been a pretty good past few days. Thursday I woke up at the crack of dawn (which is 7:30AM for me), to prepare for the IUSTV Advisory Board meeting. Got that all taken care of, and we have a bunch of Panera bagels for the meeting as well. Getting together all this stuff to present to the faculty and staff advisors, including an “annual summary” of goals and accomplishments, really made me realize how much has gotten done this year. Having all the current and incoming execs there, and a lot of the staff, it was good. I’m pretty proud. Also, Panera asiago cheese bagels taste like gourmet Cheez-Its.

Came back from the advisory board meeting with a bunch of leftover bagels, and took a nap for a while before my classes (yes, I am still actually taking classes). Did all that, and went to the office for a bit. Then it was the big night: the IUSTV Banquet. This year’s was a big change from last year’s; instead of a decent sized room at the Union, we went to the Mayfield’s Ballroom/MCL Cafeteria over on the west side of town. Until the day prior, when I went to go check the place out when Kaylyn and Jenny were setting things up, I had never stepped foot in the place. It was much much nicer than I would have imagined. When I heard “cafeteria,” I just thought of an old persons restaurant with some buffet lines and such, like an Old Country Buffet. Quite the contrary. The ballroom was really a nice ballroom, and it was many times nicer than the Union’s rooms. Also, you wouldn’t expect this, but pretty much every employee at the place was a hot chick. I would have expected old ladies. The actual banquet was really nice as well; the dinner was buffet style fried chicken, which was maybe a little messier than you would want for a somewhat formal event like this, but it was really good either way. Sean said there must have been a black woman cooking in the back, so I guess that means it’s not just me who thought it was good eatin. Also, I was luckily warned of the walnuts in the green beans, otherwise I would have probably taken a bite and had an allergy attack, which might have put a damper on the evening. Especially if I would have died, haha. But seriously, who puts walnuts in green beans??

People made some short speeches, and I did as well. I probably should have planned out a longer, more appropriate speech, but I don’t think anyone really would have wanted to listen to that. I did realize (and say) that if I wouldn’t have joined IUSTV, I wouldn’t have met most of the people who were at the banquet. Who knows what I would be up to if it weren’t for all of this. Brian also gave me a shout out, and I got some applause, so that was nice. This is kinda what it must feel like to retire, I guess. All in all, the banquet was awesome, and Kaylyn (my office assistant/exec director apprentice) did a good job of pulling something together that I never could have. Girls are better at party planning anyway I guess (not to be stereotypical).

Huge afterparty at Kyle’s house that night. It was probably one of the best parties all year, ranking right up there with the A-Team Halloween Reunion (a different kind of awesomeness though). Had so many IUSTV people at the party, it was great. To be honest, it might have been the last time I will see a lot of people, so that was another reason for everyone to party down. Wow I sound like an old man there. Anyway, although we didn’t make it to our goal of staying up until McDonald’s breakfast time, I was out there until around 3:30AM, when I came home and promptly fell asleep until the afternoon. The next day, I woke up and goofed around at home until a class discussion I went to. On my way back from campus, got a phone call from Rob at Aeon, and I called him back when I got home. I knew that I had the job, since I talked to him on Monday. I was just waiting on the placement information. And that’s what he was calling about.

So they found me a placement in Chiba prefecture. Ichihara City, which is not all that far away from Makuhari or Ichikawa, where I spent last summer and the fall before on my many adventures. Ichihara is a bit more suburban/industrial/smaller than what I was ideally looking for, but hey it sounds like a pretty darn good offer. It’s an Aeon school that has both adults and younger students. It’s about 40% business professionals, 30% college and high school students, 5% housewives, and 25% younger kids. The station nearest my Aeon branch school would be Goi station (五井) on the Uchibo line. Now, according to Ekitan, my handy-dandy guide to the mess that is the Japanese transit system, Goi station is about an hour train ride from Myoden (where I lived last year), and Tokyo Station itself. About 30 minutes to good old Kaihim-Makuhari. Ichihara/Goi is a little further south than the area I know and love, but I think this might be about as close as I can get with a somewhat random job placement that these companies all do. Also, Goi is about 5 stops away from Kisarazu city, the hometown of Kishidan!!!! That there might be enough reason to go. Here’s a map to help you (and me) understand where Goi station is.
Aeon offer map
There’s only 1 other foreign teacher at the branch, 2 full time Japanese, and 3 part time Japanese. Seems like a pretty small joint, but that might not be too bad. And since the school is at Goi station, I’m assuming I’d be living pretty close to there. If I lived a bit more in the Makuhari/Tokyo direction, that would be perfect. I have until about Wednesday to call them and give them my decision. Not a lot of time. But still, I think this sounds pretty good. The pay isn’t as much as the Sears job, but since pretty much everyone and their brother is telling me to avoid a cubicle job and get out and explore the world, I think Aeon sounds pretty good. I’m going up with Brian tomorrow to Chicago, since we’re interviewing with Nova on Monday morning. I’m pretty sure I’m just going to tell them straight, “if you guys can get me a placement in Tokyo and tell me by Wednesday, you can hire me. If not, I’m going with Aeon.” Sounds kind of asshole-ish, I know, but it’s the truth. I’m pretty much hoping that will give me some bargaining power. If not, then I wouldn’t be able to wait around for their answer anyway. Aeon demands my answer soon!

So what do you people think? I could either go with Aeon and go to Japan, with a pretty sweet placement, try to find a different job, go with Sears and work in a Chicago cubicle job, or I could just be homeless and jobless (that really isn’t an option). Right now I’m leaning towards doing Aeon. Hmmm… This is a pretty big decision.

If I end up going with Aeon, I wouldn’t have to depart until September 7, so I would also need to figure out what I’d be doing between graduation on May 6 and that. I have my apartment lease in Bloomington until the end of July, so I’d likely stay here and do something, maybe work in a restaurant again while helping out IUSTV. We’ll see. This post is already obscenely long, so I’m going to end it here. I have a few other minor weekend reports to write about, like the party I went to where I made smalltalk with a girl about the Crayola Crayons 128 pack with built-in sharpener, but I’ll have to save those for another day. I’m tired, and need to sleep so I can drive to Chicago in the morning/early afternoon.

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