“Bots for the Win, Bitches” (84 of 90)

There is a war going on right now.

Okay, it’s not a war. Really, it’s April in academia and everyone is stressed beyond belief. This generally results in two things: very long nights and extremely strange behavior.

For the nerds, this behavior manifests itself in this way.

Some former students found a 3d movie-making website, XtraNormal, that allows you to pick 3d characters and locations, write text (which is turned into language read by the computer) and shift camera angels. In short order, you have a little movie.

While these are not necessarily the tools the JCR Licklider envisioned back in the 1960s, this is the logical outcome of democratizing software.

And we are the logical creators in that world.

***

Your first day on campus at Miami, you receive a car package. Shaving cream. Toothpaste. Deodorant. All the essentialls that idiot guys forget to buy when they are on their own. I tell you this now but you will not need this information for a bit.

My first semester in college was crazed for many reasons. My drinking was out of control (I put on nearly 60 pounds my first semester and almost flunked out of school), but that’s not what I most remember. My freshman dorm, Dodds Hall, was co-ed, which was awesome. But it was also populated by some amazing folks, many of whom I still speak with today.

We had fun. Every weekend, the police showed up. (In one memorable incident, two students were arrested for shooting high-end fireworks out the third floor window.) The Miami Underwear Thief lived in our dorm (although this fact wasn’t revealed for two more years when I ended up, by random, getting assigned to live with him in Havinghurst Hall).

And we had the party room. Two guys (Paco was one of the guys) moved their beds into their friends room, creating a 4-person room the size of a closet. They painted black-light stars on the walls and ceiling and had a keg going all semester. If you saw it on television, you’d not believe it.

Needless to say, our dorm was not unknown around the campus.

Still, at the end of the first semester, though, we were fried. Done. Kaput.

Which brings us back to the care package. I am not sure who started it or how it started. I only know that at some point, the entire first floor of Dodds Hall had broken into teams (loosely affiliated teams) and started attacking each other with shaving cream, toothpaste and – for some reason – large buckets of water.

Our floor was covered – covered – with all manner of liquid-like materials.

There was no reason for it. But there was also no reason for it not.

***

Sometimes it’s just fun to have fun. Particularly when the stress comes. We forget that as we get older. We learn to cope and manage and deal.

We let life wrangle us into the things that we should do as if there is a should that we should do. Every year I vow to remember that when I give this lecture in my classes. Every year I forget.

Still, I make the promise to myself again this year: Brad, when you get stressed out, don’t forget to laugh.

Because in the end, it’s mostly about laughing.

Today, as the stresses of the end of the semester set in, I had to remind myself that it’s about the laughing. Which I have done. Thanks to my MINjas. And their stream of 3d movies, including this one.

Which may only be funny to me, but that’s okay. Because I know the two who put this together. And I know that two years ago, before I got my hands on them, the wouldn’t be playing like this. In public. At my expense.

So I laugh: Bots for the win, bitches.

2 comments
kobalt9
kobalt9

Today has been awesome.