Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Un-Ordinary Day

Yesterday was rather out of the ordinary for me. Or at least, out of the ordinary that has become my ordinary. It’s still weird to think of myself as a full-time college student.
Anyway, normally Tuesday morning would find me in Council Bluffs, but since the teachers down there were all having meetings, we didn’t have class. Instead I found myself in Irwin. My car has been making a bad sound. I guess I never noticed it, because I drive it all the time and it must’ve happened gradually. Dad did notice it and suggested I call Knudsen Service Station. So I spent the morning inside a grungy auto-shop waiting for mom to pick me up. We had thought it would be an in-and-out thing, but it wasn’t, otherwise I’d not have had to spend over an hour surrounded by dirt, dust, oil, and flies. No, I didn’t take pictures. I can only imagine what they would have thought of me if I’d have pulled out my camera and started snapping pictures of the filthy chairs, a leaking stack of twelve packs of pop, and broken cabinets. After an hour of utter boredom, mom finally arrived, and suggested we go back to Harlan for lunch. She had a buy one get one free card for a Burrito Grande at her favorite restaurant, Border Fare. I like Mexican food, but I am beginning to think that certain kinds do not like me. I think it has to do with this red sauce that drowns the burrito. It’s really greasy, and the last couple of times I’ve had something with it on it, I haven’t felt that great afterwards. My cousin Shaina works at Border Fare, and she told me today that a lot of people ask for no gravy. I didn’t even know the stuff was called gravy. Next time I think I will request they leave it off. Salsa tastes much better anyway. While we were there I saw two of my classmates from speech class. We had been assigned to make questionnaires to give to each other concerning the topics for our next speech. I had not finished mine, and neither had they. Turned out they and everyone else were having the same problem as me. No one could find the instructions on the school web-site. We decided to just wing it and hope for the best. When we got home after lunch I started on it right away. I had already done a bunch of mine, but I still had a ways to go. I wanted mine to be completely different than everyone else's. I wanted mine to be funny, but still get what I needed to know about the other student’s knowledge of giraffes and okapis. That’s right, giraffes and okapis. My next speech is going to be an informative speech on giraffes and okapis. Everyone else is doing much more serious topics, but I want to have fun with mine. If I have to take this class I want to be able to get a little enjoyment out of it. It took me all afternoon to finish, but I think that it turned out really funny.
In case you are curious as to how a questionnaire on giraffes and okapis can be funny, I will copy it here for you to read.

Demographics Section
1. What is your full name?
2. What is your gender? (Circle One)
a. Male
b. Female
c. Genderless Robot
d. Space Creature who is “Above all that stuff”
3. How old are you? (Circle one)
a. Obnoxious Screamer – 0-2
b. Little Kid – 3-9
c. Aging too fast for Mommy – 10-14
d. Thinks they’re a grown-up – 15-20
e. Legally a grown-up – 21-25
f. Really a grown-up – 26-35
g. Doesn’t want to be a grown-up 36 – 45 (Technically this could be any age after becoming legal)
h. Old – 46 - ?
i. None of your business! (Come on, we all know you just don’t want to circle old…) ;)
(Legal Disclaimer: The above question is for humorous purposes and is not intended to offend anyone over the age of 45, between the ages of 15 and 20, or under the age of 3)
4. Please tell us about your work.
5. Do you have any pets? If so, please tell us about them.
6. Do you have any diseases? If so, please do not tell us about them.
Main Topic Section
7. On a scale of zero to ten, how much do you know about giraffes? (Circle one)
What’s a giraffe? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 I am quite the Giraffa camelopardalis expert.

8. Did you know that giraffes are not the only member of the family Giraffidae? (Circle one)
Yes No
9. Have you heard of the okapi? (Circle one)
Yes No
10. On a scale of zero to ten, how much do you know about okapis? (Circle one)
What’s an okapi? 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 I am quite the Okapia johnstoni expert.
11. What would you be interested in learning about giraffes? (Check as many as apply)
What they eat
Where they live
How many different members of the Giraffidae family are now extinct
The ways that Giraffes have been portrayed in popular culture
12. What would you be interested in learning about okapis? (Check as many as apply)
What they are
What they eat
Where they live
Why most people have never even heard of them before

On a scale of one to five tell me how much you agree with the following statements. (Circle one)
13. Giraffes are awesome! I would love to learn more about them!
I Completely disagree 1 2 3 4 5 I completely agree
14. What is this okapi you keep talking about? Tell me more about it!
I Completely disagree 1 2 3 4 5 I completely agree
15. A speech about giraffes and whatever that other thing is sounds like a total snoozefest. Get a new speech topic and tell us about American Idol or Cheetos or something.
I Completely disagree 1 2 3 4 5 I completely agree

16. I already know everything there is to know about giraffes AND okapis, I know more than you’ll ever know, and I would even be willing to give your speech for you!
I Completely disagree 1 2 3 4 5 I completely agree

17. Please check all the adjectives that you feel could aptly describe a giraffe.
Totally Awesome!
A horned, fire-breathing beast of legend, shadowed by mystery and superstition
A Leopard, if a leopard was a giant llama
Some type of new automobile
It can have stars on it!
It can have stripes on it!
It can have the whole flag on it!
You forgot some! Here, I’ll write them in for you.

18. Please check all the adjectives that you feel could aptly describe an okapi.
Totally Awesome!
A prehistoric beast of legend, shadowed by mystery and superstition
A fish, if a fish was a two-ton gorilla
Some type of old shoe
It can have stars on it!
It can have stripes on it!
It can have the whole flag on it!
You forgot some! Here, I’ll write them in for you.

19. Did you find this questionnaire funny? If so, how funny was it? Please use as many creative adjectives as you can to fully describe the hilarity of the survey.
20. Based on the survey you have just taken, does this sound like a speech you would enjoy listening to? If so, why?
The most important thing I learned from the questionnaire is that almost everyone there has absolutely no idea what an okapi is. Well, in a couple weeks, that will all be different… Smile
I think everyone's surveys turned out fine for not having any specific instructions, although two people didn’t do any at all. Our teacher told them they can make them up next week though, so I hope they do. I hate seeing people fall behind. They aren’t generally bad students like some of the ones in Council Bluffs. Everyone seemed really amused by my questionnaire. Most people wrote on that they thought it was hilarious and they now really wanted to know what an okapi was.
During class we broke into two groups that we had formed a few weeks ago. We are going to be doing panel discussions as our final project, sort of a “Meet the Press” type thing. We had so far not been able to come up with a good topic for discussion. Everyone seemed to keep suggesting “Toxic Topics” which our teacher did not want. Toxic Topics are topics which could incite an overly passionate response on one side of a debate or the other. Things like gay marriage, abortion, or other controversial topics like those. Well, last week I had had an idea. It started when I was trying to decided on a subject for an upcoming speech where we are going to have to try to persuade our audience to take our side on an issue. Again, avoiding toxic topics. Well, I was trying to think of something non-toxic that I could do when I started thinking about cryptozoology. I decided right away that that would not work for that speech, but it might work for my informative speech. Instead I narrowed the focus down to one aspect of cryptozoology, and my persuasive speech is now going to focus on getting my audience to believe that the Loch Ness Monster does, or did at one time, exist. After thinking about my informative speech though, I realized that cryptozoology is far too broad a field for one quick speech, and decided that I should narrow that down too, and I decided to focus on okapis, since they were at one time considered a myth. I decided that I would include giraffes in there as well, since they are the only two living members of their family. (Not to mention my favorite animals) I really didn’t want to lose out on more people knowing about cryptozoology though. It’s still a relatively unknown field of study, and since it includes any and all unknown-to-science animals, including the likes of bigfoot and yeti, those who do know about it tend to ridicule those who are involved in the studies. I decided then that I would suggest that as a topic idea for our panel discussion. However, we ended up not breaking up into our groups that night, so I decided that I would suggest it last night. No one had any idea what it was, but everyone seemed very open to it. We decided that everyone should do some basic research, and bring in what they found next Tuesday, and we’d go from there. I am feeling pretty good about the rest of this class. I already have two speech topics finalized, and our panel discussion is on a topic that I’ve been very interested in for years! I still don’t “Love” this class, but at least I don’t hate it! Smile
Anyway, I had better be signing off for the night, tomorrow I have to go pick up my car early in the morning, then come straight back home and leave again for school. Tomorrow is my last in-class day to work on my kite. I hope I can get it done!


  1. Haha! I like your survey. What IS an Okapi?? Now i'm curious...and I want to know more! Haha!

  2. Well, once I write my speech, I will post it, but I have an entire blog post devoted to okapis from when we went to the zoo. Look for the post called "I Think That I Shall Never See…" from last month.