Trivial Opinions

My weekly trivial opinions on life, sports, movies and more!

Archive for April, 2009

10 Reasons College Graduations are Irrelevant and Annoying

Posted by Jack Deus on April 27, 2009

I actually wrote the outline for this post a couple of years ago, but with my (second) college graduation actually in the foreseeable future I thought it would be a good time to actually put it down on paper (in the figurative sense; no trees were harmed in the making of this blog).

I have been to four college graduations that I can remember and would have gone to none of them if they weren’t for immediate family members (or myself) being in them. Since I had to be there I decided to try to pay attention to what was going on and came to the conclusion that college graduations are pretty much pointless. Here’s why:

1.       There is lots of symbolism, but no one knows what it means. Gowns, caps, tassels, Masters and Doctorate hoods. Does anyone really know what any of this stuff means? I’m all for upholding tradition, but maybe the College or University could put a little blurb in their programs about this stuff so people can actually appreciate it. I fear, though, that not even many people that work for the Universities know what any of these things symbolize, so they can’t explain it to the rest of us.

2.       As the grads walk in, annoying family and friends yell and scream, expecting the grad to be able to see them. Are people really that stupid to think the grads can see or hear them in a giant auditorium full of thousands of people?

3.       When the names of the grads are being read, even after explicitly being told not to cheer until the end, people cheer way too loud and long. Dozens of grads’ names are not heard because the family of the previous grad is still cheering.

4.       Similar to #3: when the names are being read, people blow airhorns and ring cowbells. At my brother-in-law’s graduation someone rang a cowbell during the Doctorate announcements, another person blew an airhorn during the Masters announcement, and at least ten more people blew airhorns during the Bachelors announcements. How is it that so many people think they have to make total fools of themselves, embarrass the grads, and annoy everyone in the entire auditorium? 

5.       Dumb awards. Five or six awards are given out (at least at the graduations I’ve been to) to people who I am sure are deserving of them, but does the time of thousands of people really need to be wasted presenting something that only the recipient and their family and friends really care about? If the awards were presented as fast as the diplomas I wouldn’t have a problem with them, but each award takes 5-15 minutes to talk about, present, and accept.

6.    Boring, pointless speeches. The Chancellor gives a speech, the Valedictorian gives a speech, the student body president gives a speech, the award recipients give speeches, the guest speaker/honorary celebrity gives a speech, the captain of the football team gives a speech…OK, maybe not the football captain, but you get the idea. Lots of people give speeches, which in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, except that they all same the same friggin thing: “Your hard work has paid off, now go out there and do the best you can. And remember you not only represent yourself, but your family, friends and this University.” The only speaker who said anything different was the guest speaker at my brother-in-law’s graduation who droned on about how mankind was going to meet its doom, and our doom was coming sooner rather than later. I thought the speech was kind of intriguing, because I forced myself to actually listened to it, but he had such a dry and monotonous delivery that 99% of the crowd tuned him out after less than a minute.

7.       No connection between the grads. When I graduated college I didn’t know one single person out of the hundreds (thousands?) that were graduating with me. I realize I’m a special case because I left college for a few semesters and came back. But, even if I had graduated with the class I started with I would have known maybe 50 people, and only 10 of them by name. Not like my high school graduation where I could name all 242 other people graduating with me.

8.       Dissertation and thesis titles. A few of them can be kind of funny, but ultimately they are just 5-50 jargon words strung together that most people outside that specialized field of study don’t understand. I consider myself a pretty smart person with a fairly large vocabulary, but I could maybe tell you what half of the titles meant. If Universities insist on publishing the dissertations and theses of the masters and doctorate grads, at least give a little 2-3 sentence blurb about what it means or how it benefits society. Otherwise it is a complete waste of space and paper.

9.       Trying to meet up with the grad afterward. 10,000 people all told each other to meet at the statue in the front entrance of the auditorium. That’s if they even thought ahead to have a spot to meet.

10.   Trying to take pictures. Once everyone realizes that everyone else is also meeting at the statue they start walking around looking for places to take pictures. That many people walking randomly around is going to lead to a lot of people walking through each others shots. As far as actually getting a picture of the grad as he is walking across the stage, you better have a professional camera with a 1000x zoom if you want to make heads from tales of anyone on stage.

Except for my own graduation (or graduations if I pursue my Masters degree) I hopefully won’t have anyone I know graduating college anytime soon. With any luck, by the time my daughter graduates college in 22 or so years some of these complaints will be fixed and I will only have a top 5 list.

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Stupid Questions

Posted by Jack Deus on April 20, 2009

There is a popular phrase, there is no such thing as a stupid question. For the most part I agree with this, but the biggest exception that proves the rule is:

Don’t ask a question you don’t want to know the answer to.

A perfect example of this type of question is one every guy dreads: Does this (shirt, pair of pants, swimsuit, outfit) make me look fat?

Let me break down the four possible answers to this question, proving it is a stupid question.

1) Yes, it does make you look fat. While you have to give him props for being man enough to be honest with you knowing there will be bad consequences, this is the least desirable response because not only does it confirm your thoughts that you are a little overweight, but also confirms that other people notice your extra pounds.

2) No, you look fine (obviously lying). Like number one, this question confirms that other people notice your flab. Depending on how you take the answer, this answer may actually be worse than the first. On one hand, he is willing to take your feelings into account and tell you what (he thinks) you want to hear. On the other hand, he is willing to lie to you, bold-faced and blatantly.

3) No, you look beautiful, no matter what. At first glance, this is the answer you want to hear, but even this answer has its flaws. If you actually do look good no matter what, I am led to believe you have self-esteem issues because you need reassurance despite your Greek-goddess body. Either that, or he actually does think you look good despite your spare tire, which means he isn’t going to help motivate you to put down that corndog and get to the gym. You two should be super-happy together on The Biggest Loser: Couples in a few years.

4) Do I look stupid? There’s no right answer to that, so I’m not answering it. Congrats! You have a smart man. He has either read this post, or had the same thoughts I have about these types of questions. You, however, will probably assume that he is avoiding the question because he thinks you do look fat, but doesn’t want to say anything because he doesn’t want to sleep on the couch tonight, and you will punish him as if he did say yes. The rest of us men feel sorry for this poor sap.

This logic doesn’t just apply to women asking this question. Some other questions everyone should avoid for similar reasons:

Do I have any habits that annoy you?

Is he/she more attractive than me?

Was my meatloaf better than your moms?

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2009 MLB Predictions

Posted by Jack Deus on April 13, 2009

Click here for my AL standings predictions.

Click here for my NL standings predictions.

Playoff Predictions

Looks like it should be a good year for the two biggest cities in America, as both of their baseball teams should make the playoffs.

NL

Cubs over Mets (Wild Card)

Phillies over Dodgers

Cubs over Phillies-Phillies have a good shot at successfully defending their title, but will fall short.

AL

Red Sox over Indians

Yankees (Wild Card) over Angels

Yankees over Red Sox-I hate both these teams with a passion, but both of their season’s will be a disappointment if they don’t make it at least this far.

World Series

Yankees over Cubs-My two least favorite teams playing each other in the World Series. Better start praying for a giant meteor now.

Cy Young

NL-Chris Carpenter-OK, a little bit of this is me being a Cardinals homer, but he does have a legitimate shot at winning this award if his arm healed the way it should have.

AL-Roy Halladay-Pitching a lot against the AL East might hurt his chances, but if he duplicates last year’s numbers (and somebody doesn’t have a fluke season like Cliff Lee did last year) he should run away with this award.

MVP

NL-Albert Pujols-He contends for this award every year, and this year shouldn’t be any different.

AL-Grady Sizemore-If he can raise his BA a bit he can not only win this award but help his team back it to the playoffs.

Rookie of the Year

NL-Colby RasmusCardinals have a legit threat to win all three of the major individual awards.

AL-Matt LaPorta-The key piece to last year’s CC Sabathia trade should help Sizemore and Pronk (Travis Hafner) capture the AL Central.

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2009 American League Predictions

Posted by Jack Deus on April 6, 2009

The best season of the year is here…Baseball Season. That means it is time for my annual division standings predictions. Below are my American League predictions. Click here for my National League predictions.

East

1stBoston Red Sox – Two reasons they will win the division from hell. 1) They had a good off-season. No big losses and added Brad Penny as a 5th starter. A lot of teams’ 3rd starters aren’t as good as Penny. 2) Tampa Bay won’t be able to sneak up on anyone like they did last year, when Boston only finished 2 games back.

2ndNY Yankees – Their off-season acquisitions (CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, AJ Burnett) will help a lot. But not having A-Rod for the first month or so, and having a log-jam at DH will hurt. They should still be able to get the wild card though.

3rdTampa Bay Rays – Will have a hard time catching lightning in a bottle two years in a row. Everyone, from the Yankees and Red Sox to the Mariners and Royals, will give their best trying to knock off the defending AL champs.

4thToronto Blue Jays – Will have to accept the consolation prize of finishing over .500 for the fourth year in a row.

5thBaltimore Orioles – Whipping boys of the east aren’t getting better any time soon.

Central

1stCleveland Indians – If Pronk (Travis Hafner) decides to show up and actually play this year, Cleveland should rise to the top of this highly contested but mediocre division.

2ndMinnesota Twins – Injury concerns across the board prevent them from running away from the other teams in this division.

3rdChicago White Sox – When you have to sign Bartolo Colon to try to shore up your pitching rotation, you probably won’t be winning many divisions.

4thKansas City Royals – I don’t see everyone’s sleeper pick doing much different this year.

5thDetroit Tigers – I’m pretty sure their entire pitching staff is on the DL right now. Will be battling an improved KC team for bottom of the division again.

West

1stLA Angels – They have their division championship celebration champagne already on ice. Unless there is a severe earthquake that drops California into the Pacific Ocean, LA will win this division for the 3rd year in a row.

2ndTexas Rangers – The best of the rest in the west might actually win more than half their games this year.

3rdOakland A’s – It will be a rude awakening for Matt Holiday to not being able to play half his games in Colorado. Hopefully Jason Giambi left all his needles in New York.

4thSeattle Mariners – The only question with this team is will they manage to not lose 100 games this year?

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