Yesterday, after my last class let out (15 minutes late) I went home and I cried. Nay, I didn't just cry - I sobbed like a baby.

On Mondays, I have both my networking classes back to back and honestly, yesterday I just felt so lost. The first class (Cis131) it feels like it goes too fast, there's this horrible annoying old guy in there who constantly derails the lecture, and while I do like the teacher and he seems nice his way of teaching just is not cutting it. He basically just goes over the book - there's no hands on, there's a little bit of explanation but it doesn't feel like enough.

I learn best by doing - I can listen to a lecture all day but to really get it I need to do it or write it down. I try to take notes in Cis131 but trying to figure out what I should write down, what's actually important and what's not, I tend to fall behind where we are. It's so frustrating.

My class after that, Cis133 (Cisco 1) feels even worse. I don't have a Cisco background - I graduated high school in 2006, and the 2 years I went to college I was in the criminal justice degree. A lot of the people in my class have much more experience in computers and networking than I do, and I feel SO stupid in these classes. I look at the final projects that we'll be doing in each of these classes and I don't understand them at all. They look so overwhelming and scary and I'm so fucking terrified that I can't do this.

So yesterday I just flopped into a pillow and I cried. I asked myself, what was I thinking, why did I pick this degree. I'm 6 years out of high school and haven't been to college since 2008. I can't go back and take the basic Cisco courses they offered in high school. I felt like I was way too stupid to do this stuff.

I feel better today. The overwhelmed feeling lingers, but my brother knows all this stuff already and I know he'll help me understand it. I think if I can get the basics and actually start building networks, I'll get it. But I don't know, and it scares me.

On a happy note, I understand binary for the most part, so that's something. And I feel very at home in my Fiction Writing class.

In WoW news:
I have a raider interview with Conquest tonight and that's a whole other bundle of nerves.  I've never interviewed for a raider spot before and I'm really not sure what to expect. While I really really want and omgzhopeplox to get at least a temporary/trial spot in the raid roster, I'm not sure if I can. I have extenuating circumstances (class, picking up the Boy from work) that can make me up to 20 minutes late to their raid times twice a week. I applied anyway, and I think the interview is at least a maybe. Hopefully I can be what their looking for, even if it's a bench spot. I have a warm butt and everyone likes a warm seat, right?

UPDATE: I was accepted as a trial! WOOT!
 So now I have to be REALLY AWESOME.


Totally Still Alive

This thing died like...over a year ago. It's got old man smell, cobwebs and mothballs rolling around. I hung air fresheners. They didn't work.

So, hi. I'm back, for now at least. We'll see how long I last this time. Hopefully my posts might be a little more interesting to read this time around.

I think I'm going to use this little musty corner of the internet as my own little personal diary - that's totally public. Makes sense, right? You see, I just started going back to college after a four year break. Is break the right word here? Hiatus? "I didn't feel like going to school so I totally stopped going" doesn't have a nice ring to it.

Part of that was my own fault - I was in a major I despised - Criminal Justice. Oh my GOD that was the worst thing I could have picked. It's ALL LAW CLASSES. I was bored out of my mind! And I had morning classes. I am not a morning person, especially not for school. Work, I can make do. At work, I usually have an hour or more to wake up without really being bothered too much. Trying to listen to a professor drone on about laws and whatnot at eight in the morning just killed me. I never fell asleep in class, but I definitely tuned everything out. I was zombified in these classes.

This time, I want to do it right. I don't want to work in an entry level retail job for the rest of my life. I want a job I actually enjoy doing, in a field I like. I picked computer networking. My degree has some long name that I don't remember. I might look it up at some point. At any rate, I'm fucking terrified.

After being in classes for about a week now (we started on the 5th), I've realized I don't know jack shit about networking. I don't know how to take apart and put together a computer. I didn't take Cisco courses in high school. I don't know binary, I don't know the cables, I don't know ANYTHING. And that scares the hell out of me.

I'm taking two Cisco courses right now - Introduction to Networking (which I often feel kind of lost in, but I did well on the first quiz) and Networking Fundamentals. The latter is a hybrid course that meets once a week but takes place mostly online. There's a lot of reading.

I'm scared but I'm hopeful. I want to do well, I want to impress my teachers, my mom, and myself. I think I can do this. I'm just scared I won't be able to.

On a more positive note, I'm also taking Fiction Writing as an elective and I'm totally going to ace that class. The teacher is nice and I have an inflated ego about my writing. I'm sure half way through the semester I'll write something I think is great, then end up ranting on here in tears cause it was actually awful. Stay tuned for that!

Oh and Keyboarding is seriously the most frustrating class I have ever attended.

And in WoW news:
I've recently changed servers to join Conquest on Ner'zhul US. This is another scary change for me - I don't really know anyone particularly well and I want so badly to make a good impression. The problem is, I'm not outgoing in the slightest. I don't start conversations in Mumble. I do better with text - guild chat and especially forums. We'll see how I end up fitting in here, but so far I do like everyone I've come across. They seem like a friendly bunch.

'Cept that Matticus guy. Gotta watch out for him. Shifty bloke.

Shit I need to know:

Network = communication between machines
Elements of communication:
- Language
- Sender
- Receiver
- Message
- Medium
- Security (optional)
- Error Correction (optional)
1 byte = 8 bits

Vocab word of the day:
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
- used by all computers to use the internet - public networking model. No company owns it, it is managed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
- TCP: protocol known for error recovery. Adds a header to data containing a sequence number (packets). If receiving computer is missing a packet, it replies with an acknowledgement number - the sending computer resends data started from the missing packet.
- IP: used for logical addressing and routing (end to end routing)

Haha, retyping class notes!


Drama, Drama, Drama.

In keeping with my current trend of ranty posts (current meaning within the last month and trend meaning 2 posts), I'd like to talk about loot whores, guild drama, and ragers today.


Nerd Rage - When a nerd video gamer gets extremely angry and starts yelling after losing or experiencing the tiniest disturbances.
Drama - A way of relating to the world in which a person consistently overreacts to or greatly exaggerates the importance of benign events. Common warning signs/ risk factors of drama or a dramatic person are:
  • Having one supposedly serious problem after another.
  • Constantly telling other people about one's problems.
  • Extreme emotionality or frequently shifting, intense emotions.
  • A pattern of irrational behavior and reactions to everyday problems.
Loot Whore - A player in an MMO game or any game for that matter, that consistently wants any and every item that has even the most miniscule value to him or her.

Yes, I did use Urban Dictionary for all of those.


Last week, we were doing our normal 10 man Firelands run. The group always makes very smooth progress, especially with the raid wide nerfs, so we blasted through Shannox and Beth'tilac. Old Smoulderbutt dropped a pair of BoE plate boots for us, Arachnaflame Treads. With critical strike rating and haste on them, they were pretty clearly dps boots.

Our policy on BoE drops, since the beginning of the guild and especially since the beginning of patch 4.2, has been if a player IN THE RAID needs the BoE for their MAIN SPEC, they can have it. However, BoE items were not to be given to players for their offspecs or alts. This has pretty much been a given, although we never had an official loot rules list posted anywhere.

Stupid us.

Our warrior tank rolled on the boots for his dps offspec, which he rarely used. In fact, there was only one fight he would dps on and that was Majordomo. So we didn't let him have the boots, opting instead to use them to help gear up other people's mains for the second 10 man we've been trying to get off the ground.

At first, it didn't seem like anything was wrong. We killed Baleroc without incident and made our way over to Rhyolith, wiping heroically on the stupid gauntlet trash like usual. (Don't ask me how we still manage to do that, but it usually happens.) As we made our familiar death run back into the instance, our warrior tank queued his mic.

He gave us a good, 45-second long speech about how he should receive those boots and it wasn't fair that he was here every week but never got any gear and he shouldn't have to work to gear up other characters for a second raid. Then he left the raid, logged off of mumble, and logged out of the game, leaving us in a stunned silence.

5 minutes later, he logged back into the game, made a similar speech in guild chat (talk about airing your dirty laundry), and quit the guild. He then proceeded to log onto his alts...and quit the guild.

Well, then. We were stuck at Rhyolith with no second tank, nobody online qualified to take his spot, and only 3 bosses down when we normally clear 6 in a night. Over a piece of gear. We had had problems with this tank's attitude before, but nothing of this magnitude.


Funnily enough, after about an hour of hard thinking (which required oiling some cogs in some heads, lemme tell you) and juggling of specs, we still managed to get our 6 farm bosses down that night. Unfortunately, the next night we were unable to go back in and work on Ragnaros as not only were we missing a tank, one of our healers wasn't able to make it, nor our mage. We almost could have made it work, but decided it wasn't work the hassle and we wanted our full, main group to work on the big baddie behind the two Magmaws.

Tonight is the first night we'll be trying out a new recruit to the guild, another warrior tank named Church. Coincidentally, his first name in real life is the same name as the tank that ragequit last week. Hopefully, everything goes as planned - we do have a healer who will be late tonight, and one of my fellow officers (Severin) may or may not have game time tonight.

But as Severin often (like, ridiculously frequently) says, "It is what it is."

And we'll keep raiding, keep pushing, and keep killing.

Rawr and stuff.


Gamer: The New Spoiled Brat

A lot of stuff has been revealed by Blizzard these past few days. We've seen tier 13 sets, rogue legendary dagger lore, maps and new models for NPCs inside the 5-mans and Dragon Soul raid, etc etc etc. I personally follow MMO-Champion, but I know lots of WoW fansites and information sites are posting this stuff as fast as they can. We've got nice PTR videos and previews of some of the new mounts coming in 4.3. Obviously some people love the new mounts, dungeons, and gear sets, and some people hate it. That's fine.

What's not fine is every single video I watched previewing mounts and Void Storage had things like this in the comments:

"Blizzard's seriously run out of ideas when they're letting us have major lore characters as mounts. I just hope when they make Deathwing a purchasable mount from the Blizzard store, he at least can carry 2 people."

"Ya know Blizz this would have been cool two years ago."

"Cool, another re-skin."

"I don't mind a cost associated with it but 100g per item better be a PH price cause that is retarted if you are going to use transmog very often"

Really guys? Really? I'm appalled. We're practically being showered with things we've asked for, and all you can do is bitch about how it's not good enough.

We wanted to be able to change the way our gear looked, we got Transmografication AND Void Storage to hold all our crap. "It's too expensive."

We wanted more mounts. "They're too plain, or they're reskins, or they're just not good enough."

Want want want bitch bitch bitch. There's a reason for you to hate everything and to blame the Blizzard employees for it.

The world we play in, the one we TAKE FOR GRANTED, that world is the carefully constructed child of hundreds, probably thousands, of artists, writers, 3D animators, musicians, composers, software engineers, producers, designers, and so many more. They work HARD on this stuff, and you look at it and say, "You didn't try. You're lazy. This isn't good enough." Do you even know what kind of work has to go into something as expansive as World of Warcraft? Can you fathom the kind of debates they must have when trying to please 11 MILLION players? The poor CMs on the forums and GMs in the game that must get screamed at by players who feel they've been wronged?

You know, I've never come across a GM in the game that brushed me off, or made me feel like I was wasting their time. Even when I had stupid questions, or made silly requests (GM hug!), they were endlessly patient, endlessly cheerful, and endlessly helpful. If they weren't sure on something, they let me know and apologized. How often must they get cussed out by players who are frustrated or having a bad day and expect a GM to pull out their God Mode and fix it for them? Heck, I'm embarrassed every time my DBM auto-responds because to me it sounds rude. But they don't care - I even had one /cheer at me because I defeated whatever boss I was working on. And that's awesome. Every GM I've talked to made ME feel important.

The GMs do what they are PAID to do - to provide excellent customer service. To make the customer feel important. I'm sure there are bad apples here and there, but I've never actually HEARD of a GM that was rude. There's plenty of people that will say they're useless, but I'm almost positive these are the people making insane demands.

I'm not saying I agree with everything Blizzard does. I hate the Firelands nerfs. I hate my tier 13 set. I think it's ugly as all hell and I'm insanely jealous of the other classes, especially mage, priest, and warlock. The clothy sets look amazing this tier. I hate rep grinds, and questing through Northrend, and how ugly tier 9 was and the stupid ToC arena raid, and the tiny amount of background draenei have, and gnomes. I really really hate gnomes. There's tons of random things about the game that irritate me. But there's so much that I love, and that's what I focus on.

They're trying to crank out so much content to keep all of their players happy, from the solo player, to the achievement whore, to the casual raider and the hardcore, there really is something for everyone. I mean, they even made it so you can see your equipped ilevel along with your overall ilevel! Those lazy bastards!

So instead of dwelling on everything you OMGHATE about this patch or this game, can't you get excited about the things you DO like? And if there's nothing you like, why are you still playing? Why do you even CARE?

Image of item level courtesy of Matticus, from World of Matticus, Plus Heal, Conquest of Nerzhul and other stuff that I don't keep track of. He is awesome, though.


20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge - Day 9

The blogging challenge can be found at Spellbound by Saga.

Your first blog post.

My very first blog post is exceeding embarrassing for me, actually. For one, it was already written before I ever started this blog. On my guild's website I have a little section of the forums called "The Blood Queen's Lair". We started it to try and draw attention and activity from our guild members to the site. It hasn't really worked, and the Lair only had 4 or 5 posts in it - 3 of which are also on here. I procrastinate worse there than I do here.

I don't really know what I was thinking when I wrote it. I think I wanted to come across as tough, no-nonsense and a wise ass. Reading over it, I just kinda look like a tool. I think it does have some pretty good points in it, but it come across more as you're taking orders from someone you'd like to slap. I might rewrite it someday to be less offensive and snarky.

My few posts after that were better, I think. I'm especially fond of Chimereon and You, the Enh Shaman. I've had a few people tell me that it really helped them, and I always hear praise from a few of our guild healers about how much I help them when I'm in the group they're assigned to healing.

To be completely honest, I still don't think I've really found my voice here yet. I have a couple guides, a couple fun random posts, and some rants. I don't have a solid foot in the door of the WoW blogosphere.

We'll see what happens next.

Click here to read Day 8.
Click here to read Day 10.