In last week's issue...

by Matthew M. Lug - Newspeak Staff

As usual, I am out of ideas for an article, so I'm just going to work with some stuff from last week's issue of Newspeak.

Understanding my articles seems to be tough (for some people)

Yet again, someone has missed the point of something I've written. This is anything but a rare occurrence, so I'm not too surprised. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I'll explain the situation. It seems that someone thought that the attitude of my Free Stuff Awards article was wrong, and that my criticism of Microsoft was uncalled for, so he wrote a letter to the editor describing his feelings. Let me just say that I take the awards judging very seriously. In order to be fair, I have to disregard all other activities of the companies involved, including the overall activity of the career fair. My entire perspective must be shifted toward the subject of free stuff. From this perspective, it becomes obvious why I said what I did about Microsoft. Despite what Justin might have thought, I actually did explain what I was doing to the company representatives, and I even handed out copies of last year's awards. Most of the representatives seemed to respond positively, but the Microsoft representative seemed to have a bad attitude, and attitude is an important factor in my judging. And of course, the other issue is that I'm biased toward Bio majors, who the Microsoft representative specifically singled out as people Microsoft didn't want to have anything to do with.

Relationships are tough

The other letter to the editor in last week's issue had to do with the article about long distance relationships. Both the article and response presented many valid points, but it is necessary to understand the perspectives of the people presenting them. The author of the article is a female freshman who started a long distance relationship before attending WPI. The author of the response is a male senior who started a long distance relationship while attending WPI, after he had exhausted all local possibilities. Now try and guess who feels that long distance relationships can work, and who thinks that they can be disasters. In any case though, a relationship should never really be easy. If your significant other is never around, then sure you don't get much physical contact, but you also don't have stress from knowing that every single thing you say or do could completely screw up the relationship. However, I don't know of anything more relaxing than a nice afternoon nap with someone you really care about (although I haven't had the opportunity to do this in a long time, so maybe something better has been developed since then). Then again, it could be too relaxing, and you might not be able to get anything done. Of course if you're constantly on the phone or writing e-mail then the results could be the same. See where I'm going with this? All relationships require work (at least I think so, I don't really have much experience in this area). Long distance relationships would seem easier for males at WPI than females, mostly because the opportunity for cheating just doesn't exist for most males (the opportunity for anything doesn't exist for some of us). Long distance relationships that don't start out that way have a high possibility of failure because of the sudden strain that the distance puts on the relationship. If it isn't strong enough, it probably won't survive.

Technology is tough

Another interesting article last week had to do with your favorite mathematics software package and mine, Maple. Every year, hundreds more hapless victims are subjected to the heartless torture that is Maple. And somehow, most of these disheartened souls manage to survive. The thing is, all software packages are difficult to figure out at first. Maple, MathCad, MatLab, WorkView Office, even MS Office - they all inspire similar, um, descriptive language from new users. Does anybody else out there remember PSpice (the DOS version, not Schematics)? That was lots of fun. What I'm trying to say here is that you just have to deal with it, and accept the fact that no matter what you do, it won't work right. This is very good real world experience, because in many jobs, no matter what you do, management will tell you that it's wrong, even if you do exactly what they told you to do.

The crossword puzzles aren't tough

Last week's Newspeak also included another rather simple crossword puzzle. Sure "lenient" threw me off a bit, but the rest was a joke. A weekly crossword puzzle should be something that you can sit down with your significant other and spend an afternoon on. Of course the chances of me having a significant other or an entire afternoon to spend on a crossword puzzle are almost nonexistent, but still...

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