Sunday, February 26, 2006

Going Out of Business

I have moved:

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Moving Day

I am currently in the process of switching to a new blog and a new web address. I appreciate your patience as I make the transition. Thanks, Ryan

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours

My computer has spent its last two nights with the faithful people at the Tech Help Desk in the Middlebury College library. A bunch of little problems are being dealt with even if I only went in to learn how to access the school servers. It's still being worked on but I have faith it will return in good condition. In other news, I have officially chosen Stuck in the Middle (SIM) to sing with this spring. This a cappella group is a fun, funky, fresh, all-male a cappella group. I had a really tough time deciding between SIM and the Bobolinks. I went to a rehearsal of each to help me gauge the feels of the groups but walked away even more confused. It was awfully tempting to join the Bobolinks since they are recording this spring and have a strong gig schedule. The group has a real professional push with very focused rehearsals. I found their orginazation and mobilization to be superb as well not to mention a very strong music talent (especially their leader, Tim). But I realized that I don't need to record to have a meaningful a cappella experience. Ultimately, it's about the music and the people. I like SIM because it's music is somewhat older and more melodic as compared to the Bobolinks' modern remakes of pop songs. SIM has a greater need for me as well, with only two other basses. The Bobolinks took three other February Freshmen including one other bass.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Cedar Wax Wing3 Originally uploaded by ryanocerosk.

Alas, the rare Cedar Wax Wing has landed in Middlebury, Vermont. These pretty birds have been sweeping by my window all day (a bit distracting for those trying to do work...). I snapped a few photos, click the photo to see a few more shots of this exquisite species of bird.

More info on the birds can be found here, courtesy of Cornell University.

(thanks to Ashley for bringing my attention to this tweetling issue)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Puck You

To tell you the truth, there isn't a lot to do at Middlebury College. I already miss the ability to go to dinner after eight o'clock or go see a show on a whim. But one pastime that is not found in big west coast cities is a good ol' fashion hockey game. Middlebury is known for its hockey (men's and women's) and people from around the state come to see the team play. While I don't think it was my first hockey game (I remember having a San Jose Sharks stuffed shark so I must have attended a game at some point), I saw Middlebury vs. Hamilton yesterday evening and it was exciting. The game started with the singing of the national anthems: Canadanian and American. Yes, that's right, O Canada was proudly sung by a Middlebury 3rd year. Then again, half the hockey team is from Canada so I suppose it is not that out of place. When the action started, I was impressed most by the speed of the game. The pace of the game was only interrupted by occasional fouls and "jump pucks" (I don't know the real name for it). Two freshmen ('09) were in the starting lineup. Middlebury had nearly twice the amount of shots on goal but after the first period, Hamilton was up 2-0. Nobody seemed too worried though as Middlebury hasn't had less than three goals each game the entire season. The second period brought three Middlebury goals. The last period got very physical yet absent of a gloves-off fight. Two more goals put the nail in the coffin. I was surprised at the turn out for such a game. It seemed the entire surrounding community and their families attended. I saw a lot kids with Middlebury gear and their faces painted with panthers. Every time a goal was scored, a crazy man with a Middlebury flag would run around the stadium and all the kids would run after him. I never knew hockey was such a family sport. One girl, probably around ten years old, kept chanting "Go Middlebury!" every couple minutes and seemed unfazed by 200-pound college students slamming into the boards directly in front of her. The college student crowd was large and rowdy. Heckling the opposing goalie was a favorite activity during the game as well as joining in on a few cheers. EDIT: Actually, there are a lot of activities at Middlebury and free time is indeed limited, but I suppose I meant the first sentence in the traditional sense of "excitement." 5 Degrees Fahrenheit - Sunny

Friday, February 17, 2006

Nacht Musique

I've spent the last few days in a marathon of auditions at Middlebury College. There are a number of a cappella groups on campus, and I auditoned for all of them that I could (the all-female ones didn't want me for some reason): the Mamajamas (co-ed), the Dissipated Eight (D-8)(all-male), the Bobolinks (co-ed), and Stuck in the Middle (all male). I didn't audition for all of them because my ego is outrageous enough to think I could get into all four but I wanted to keep my options open. I got callbacks for all the groups but I ended up getting into the Bobolinks and Stuck in the Middle. D-8 ended up not taking anyone, and Mamajamas declined as well but took some good girls. I am making a decision right now but these groups seem somewhat cultish so I feel like I should make the right decision... I also auditioned for the classical faculty-led Chamber Singers. I was accepted to the group but I cannot join as there are an overabundance of basses (and not enough tenors). Maybe I'll wait until next year but maybe not. I think folks here at the college need to realize that if students don't get into activities from the pretty early on in their college careers, they could be "lost" forever to other activities. I feel that way about an acting class I was shut out of. If I don't do acting this semester, it could very well mean I get involved in something else and don't do acting for the rest of my time here. Anyway, Mt. Ayres, student madrigal group, accepted me so I can probably still fulfill my classical music passions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Second Bell

I went to my final class today: Intermediate Theory Microeconomics. The first thing the teacher says is, "This class is hard. I teach to the mathematical side of economics. You will fall flat on your face if you cannot get over the math of this course." Well, seeing as I fumbled my way through the prerequisite course of Calculus I (or AB) in high school, I wasn't exactly feeling confident after what the teacher had to say. He put a bunch of things up on the board and told us that if we understood, we'd do fine. I understood but now I am still thinking of opting out of the course for my first semester. I now am looking at switching into: MATH 121A Calculus I - The school claims that students that took Calc I in high school cannot and should not take this course because they've essentially already taken it. However, I know several of my classmates that are doing just that. I'd rather review material I didn't get so well the first time and do it right to be prepared for future courses in the Econ field that depend on this requirement. Yes, it may be a waste of a semester but hey, I need to ease my way back into the world of academia. THEA 102A Acting I - This would replace the philosophy course I raved about in the previous post. I simply feel I need to be grounded my first semester here and acting would be a course to do just that. It will get my mind and body in the shape it should be in to "make it" here at school. So I'm playing things a little slower than I planned. I have an overwhelming desire to dive in but I feel I could be over my head quickly seeing as I haven't been in school for the last 8 months (plus any senioritis months second semester senior year in high school). I'm hopeful my more thought-out plan will get me going in the right direction.

Monday, February 13, 2006

First Bell

I'm a bit ashamed of having not posted in the last three days. I've been busy getting oriented on campus. Today was the first day of classes at Middlebury College so here's my first impressions:
  1. PHIL206 Contemporary Moral Isssues - While the class was overflowing today with people wanting to get in, I think this class is fascinating. I've never taken a formal philosophy course but this seems like a good place to start. In the post-Enron world, I think ethics should be a required course in school so it's about time I get my morals in order. I'm looking to set aside any outside notions and evaluate the question posed by Aristotle: how should we live? This class has debates on abortion, the death penalty, euthenasia, and animal rights.
  2. PSCI103 Introduction to Comparative Politics - I find the topic interesting enough. Analyzing the institutions between similar countries (new democracies with new democracies and post-totalitarian regimes with post-totalitarian regimes, etc.) can be fun if one picks the right things to study. While I am impressed with my teacher's background of comparitive politics in Asia (China in particular), I'm not a fan of his lecture style. He is a relatively new teacher with a fresh Ph.D. from Columbia. I'm going to sit in on another teacher's version of the same class to see how it goes.
  3. FYSE1158 20th Century Indian Literature - We began this class last week, and the reading is already beginning to pile up. I'm intrigued to learn about a culture I know little about but is an up-and-coming force in the world. I think it will be fun but I'll have to wait to get into the meat of the course (several novels including: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The Moor's Last Sigh by Rushdie, and Imaginary Maps by Devi)

Friday, February 10, 2006

I Made It!

Bi Hall
Originally uploaded by ryanocerosk.

After months of waiting, I made it to Middlebury College. I was expecting blizzard conditions upon arrival but things were lovely (dare I say warm) until late yesterday when a snow storm passed through and turned the above field into a white blanket.

Things are very busy with orientation. I hate organized "activities" because it makes it feel like summer camp (and I'm the camper). However, I know the hand holding fluff will end soon enough. By then, I'll miss it, I'm sure.

I have a million bits and pieces of Midd's orientation to blog about so come back soon to hear more.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Superbowl Sunday Commercials

Superbowl Sunday is many things to many people. It is the second largest eating event of the year (first prize goes to Thanksgiving) for Americans -- a great thing for chip-makers like Frito-Lay. It is the most watched television event of the year -- a great thing for the ABC network which produced the game this year. It is a giant captive audience for commercials -- a great thing for companies that want to blow that huge advertising budget. Here are my awards for the commercials (most of which can be found on Google Video here): Best Musical Commercial: Ford Escape Hybrid - Kermit Says It Is Easy Being Green (I love Kermit the Frog) WTF: Go Daddy (They want to you to log on to their site to find out that they sell domain names) Best Beer Commercial: Michelob Amber: Touch Football (As manly as it gets?) Most Non-Male Oriented: Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty (Men all over the U.S. had to put up with a little heart tugging) Slap in the Face for Employees: United Airlines: Dragon ($5 Million for one minute when the company just came out of backruptcy?...even if it is a well conceived ad) My favorite Ameriquest commercials ("Quick to Judge") cannot be found on Google Video. But here is a good one from FedEx (hint I would be the one saying "not my problem"):

Friday, February 03, 2006

Word Press

I've been thinking about moving this blog elsewhere for awhile (don't worry it hasn't moved yet). As much as I love Google's Blogger for its simplicity, I am looking for ways to improve the blogging experience by adding categorization, trackbacks, full HTML editing, etc. One of the necessities of any new blogging tool is the ability to import all of my posts (310+) from Blogger. recently added that feature and I decided to give it a whirl. Check out the results: