Friday, April 29, 2011

Wait a minute...

I've been here before...

At the moment, it is 1:40 a.m., I just got done with laundry and homework, and I'm just filled and leaking ideas for art, stories, and things to do in general. I am truly contemplating skipping my first class in the morning so I could stay up a bit later and finish typing / sketching what is just streaming through my mind. While waiting for laundry, I finished up homework, and then pulled out my Olympia Traveller C, portable typewriter, and then began roughing out a story, almost completely freeform and just stream-of-conscious writing. It felt very good to be super-productive: typing while waiting. If my typewriter was a little smaller I'd carry it with me everywhere.

I am instantly reminded of when I went to the Whidbey Island Writers' Association (WIWA) conference in February 2008. My Creative Writing teacher in high school brought up in class he was going to this event a few months later, and said that students may apply for a scholarship to pay for it. One of my fellow students and myself applied; she got the big scholarship to go, and because so few students were attending, I got a sightly reduced rate.

The conference was a three-day event, starting with the introduction meeting and key-note speaker, followed with separating into groups and visit with more authors and do workshops. During this time, I was introduced to another young student, one Miss Kate Laster. We've been talking since then, and she's even started producing a comic series, with a second volume just released.

The second and third days of the conference were full of workshops and lectures all day. From the schedule I got, I circled and looked up classes that looked interesting, and planned accordingly. Partway through the first day, I am struck with inspiration, and I just sat down at a table and wrote, for like two hours on end. I ended up skipping a few of the classes that looked interesting, but I had no regrets. I got something accomplished! Also, it was my first taste of what college would be like--the flexibility and option to not go to class, and just sit around in the sun, typing until 3 a.m., or just finish reading a really good book.

I love college.

For those interested, here is the raw, barely edited version of what I wrote during the WIWA conference. The fuller, edited version can be found here.

Rocket Midnight, Basic Version
“Come on!” she said, flashing an exuberant smile and trying to drag him along. He half resisted against her urging, but was also intensely drawn to what she was suggesting.
A car whizzed by them, submerging them in a blaze of light before running into the night, red taillights dimming into dust, then nothing.
“Oh, come on, George!” her eyes twinkled in the night. The road stretched on and on for miles either direction. Not another car along the single road. Complete solitude.
He tried to stand up and not let her push him around…but her eyes, her smile, her laugh…it was all so—intoxicating. His feet unconsciously led him towards her, and utterly followed her words. He could feel his face grow hot as he thought himself like a puppy on a leash. He looked up sheepishly at her, half hoping she’d see the urgency in his eyes, half hoping she’d ignore it. He looked over his shoulder, back the way they had come. In the distance, he could just barely make out her car, parked on the side of the deserted road. A few yards back from him, the shapeless mass of his backpack and textbooks littered about. He wanted to scoop them up and retreat to her car, and go home to lose himself to reading. Her hand gently rested on his back, sending a rush up his spine that made his eyes whirl. He drunkenly looked at her in a daze.
“George,” she cooed and stopped pulling him. “You never get out enough. You’re always so trapped with your studies and everything. It’s just so boring; you need to live!” She yelled the last word up and out into the sky, the brilliant, star-studded sky. “Isn’t it beautiful? George, look!”
His mouth a-gape, he looked up to the deep blue sky, filled with infinity-infinity stars. He blinked once, twice. He adjusted his glasses and rubbed his eyes. He heard his heart hammering in his ears, and felt a small stream of tears running down his neck. He touched a hand to his cheek; yep, tears. Awestruck, all he could do was stupidly stare into the depths of space. The sky above seemed to wrap around his head like a halo; pressing around him, but everlasting.
“George,” she whispered; butterfly-wings quiet. A flood of warmth seeped through his hand as she gently wrapped her pinky around his. He regretfully tore his eyes from the heavens; and looked down at her. Her once brown eyes were now brilliant mirrors full of nebulas and Dwarf stars and asteroids and satellites and moons and suns and…
All hindrance in his mind cracked and suddenly vanished. He could feel his body realign itself as his spine straightened and he shuffled his footing. A dull burning of power was again burning in his chest, after suppressing it for years in his studies. With a smooth move, he removed his glasses and casually discarded them over his shoulder. His eyes locked with hers, and he leaned forward, slowly; she stood on her tiptoes to meet him.
With all the courage he could muster, he tucked his hand beneath her chin, and closed the distance. Their lips warmly sealed against each other. Without words, they spoke of constellations and black holes with their lips.
He withdrew for a moment, and then looked deep into her eyes, deep enough to glimpse her soul, happily lost in the galaxies.
“Thank you, he breathed; his heart hammering like rocket engines.
“Happy Birthday,” she whispered.
He then embraced her and gathered her into his arms as they silently observed the heavens, and the heavens silently observed them; each full of energy and wonderment.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tests and Exams

This week has felt extra long to me, I've had three exams in four days. Through this, I've gotten a bit of insight on online tests versus in class. This morning I had an exam at 8 a.m., which is the usual class time, but for once I didn't have to leave my room--it was online, and I liked it.

  • You can utter curses and swears aloud, even yell them if your roommate doesn't mind or isn't asleep.
  • You can just roll out of bed, and clothing is optional (again, depending on roommate situation).
  • You don't have to be with other people that skipped the shower to study--or make it to class on time.
  • Everyone knows it's open book, even when not specified. (This one was though).
  • Scores are instantaneous, you don't have to worry for a week for results.
  • Its not a physical sheet of paper, which some people prefer.
  • Throws off your day if its mid-day or you're used to the walk to the classroom.
  • Crappy / laggy internet connection.
  • Having to go to computer lab / library to fix said internet quality.
Things I've Learned:
  • The classes I'm taking at the moment are very reading-orientated, so I think my next step (and biggest) is to start actually keeping up on the reading as the class and lectures proceed. 
  • Start studying more than one or two days before the test.
  • Study in a similar environment to when you take the test.
  • Be just as caffeinated and needing (or not) sleep as you do when you learn the info (like other lecture days).
  • Don't get too cocky going in or leaving the test: I thought one of my tests was gonna go horribly, I took it and I felt really good about it, and then my score ended up being a 68%...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Things I've Read...Catch Up, Part 2

I have one more book to finish and then you'll be getting another dose of this. For the time being, six books I read not too long ago.
  • Gaches Mansion: An Historic Landmark Preserved - Janna Gage
    This short little book gives a good insight and history of one of La Conner's most famous and celebrated buildings, from the founding family, to the night it was almost burned down in April 1973. From when it was a home, to apartments, the Museum of Northwest Art and finally the Quilt & Textile Museum that hosts amazing shows all year.
  • Maus, Vol. 1 & 2 Vol. 1 - Art Spiegelman
    This wonderfully written and illustrated graphic novel retells one man's survival of the Holocaust, and how he is coping during the 1980s. There are two stories in one: that of the Spiegelman's relationship with his father (the subject), and the father's story of the 1940s as it is being remembered. I don't know why I didn't read this book in high school, but I'm glad I was able to get my hands on the two volumes: (My Father Bleeds History; And Here My Troubles Began)
  • Hunters of Dune - Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  • Sandworms of Dune - " "
    I read these two giant books back-to-back, so just looking back I can't remember where they are separated, but I still count them as two books (1,000+ pages combined). After taking a few years to write and flesh out prologues to the late Frank Herbert's story of Dune, the writing duo Brian and Kevin came back to where Frank left off, and ran with it. Personally, I had to finish this series to have closure, but still feel like they crammed too much into just two final books. Plus, you can't beat the original, Frank-written books.
  • The Complete Persepolis - Marjane Sartrapi
    Another very compelling and amazingly written / illustrated survivor's tale. Sartrapi was a little girl in Iran during the change in regimes. Once the situation became too dangerous for her (especially with her rebellious nature), her parents send her abroad in Europe, where she comes into womanhood and finally makes it back to Iran. This is another one that I missed out on, but am glad I was finally able to read it. Highly recommended, especially to younger girls and women.
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
    Not going to lie, this took me forever to read, I literally trudged through it like one would do in a swamp. I started in early September, and it took me until almost March to finish. Kundera tells the story of three couples, and the interconnections between everyone's lives, as well as the history and reason for why they each behave the way they do. One of the most in-depth and insightful books I've ever read; it is certainly worth the hike.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Legalized Graffiti

Now is that time of year, when hopeful young politicians are allowed to duct-tape their faces and promises to the walls of academic buildings, and borderline-solicit people's attentions and votes for half-promises. Yes...

I admit, my current attitude about all this might just be influenced by my coughing and feeling cruddy in the mornings, but I still feel like sharing my thought process ( / rant). By the way, if you disagree with anything I write, or have a different way of looking at it, please share in the comments. I don't want this blog to be like 'You must like my thinking, shut up, and not challenge it and share your views!' Let's sit down and discuss our different thought processes, and we might both walk away enlightened.


The other day I was in Red Square, and my senses were just being bombarded by politics. And it wasn't even like "real politics" with all the mud-slinging, and reputation-ruining, it was just there, all over the place. Hastily-scrawled signs being carried by candidates and their roped-together friends, asking people to stop and listen to why they should be chosen for their prized position, yada yada yada.

It felt like legalized graffiti in a way--people name-bombing their faces and practically begging for votes. At least with name-bombing some of the signatures of the "artists" looked somewhat intriguing. There's very little eye-catching (in a  good way) in seeing someone's face in a cluster of six or seven posters, framed by hideously-colored duct-taped, and skewed, nonetheless. If you're so serious about running for a position, at least try to make a professional effort about it.

[Repetition: Because nothing says competence than the same thing again and again and again...]

I am very much one for creativity, and lately I've been frustrated that a lot of creative and clever pieces of "urban art" (the 'art' part is debatable for some people) that get covered up quickly, but then dumb pieces, like name-bombing and Pedobear "have their way" with campus for weeks on end. Yes, that last line was tailored to be a pun. Go ahead, click the link.

 [This beautiful stencil (Fairhaven Tunnel) will probably gone by Monday]
[While Pedobear will more than likely continue chilling out with the candidates near Red Square]

I just see the unprofessional, crookedly taped posters of smiling students and their one-liners, and I feel nothing for them, their causes, or what they'll do once in office. Maybe its because I came from a small high school (total student population was maybe 250), and every student election was just a show of popularity. Once you were voted into office all that politicking just became a reason for you to skip class once and a while, and you couldn't really notice any changes or decisions that were influenced by the winning students.

The only real exposure I've had to politics in a working manner was when I was sitting in on the town council meetings twice a month for the local newspaper. Also, when there was a public forum for the town council candidates last fall. In those situations, there was a public that was involved, interested, asking questions and one obviously see the changes happening.

I feel in a school setting, especially a university campus, you can't really say "Oh, ever since so-and-so got voted into office for Student Affairs, things have been awesome!"

Now that I think about it though, a lot of politics is all unseen by the majority of the public. Once the campaign fliers come down, the media and audience looses interest. Post-Voter Apathy (PoVA).

Maybe that's just what I have, Pre-Voter Apahty (PreVA). I feel cruddy, so I don't feel like talking to these smiling candidates to learn about their causes, and if I'm given a ballot, I'll just as likely write-in the obviously-joking "Vote Charizard" posters I've been seeing around campus. I guess we'll all just have to wait and see if once I get better I'm suddenly chipper enough to actually stop and listen to a candidate, even for five minutes between classes.

 [Vote Potter for President: Because he's the Chosen One, and Charizard isn't]

Friday, April 15, 2011

Zombie Plague and Other Sicknesses, Part Four (Wrap Up)

Originally, I was picturing maybe three or four posts total to encompass this past week's activities with Humans Versus Zombies, but it's just not possible.

So, Final Mission time:
When I finally got back to my room on Wednesday, I looked at the WWUHvZ website and found that there were a ton of kills earlier in the morning. I myself had helped trap and catch a few, and also witnessed a few Humans "Hugging Away Their Humanity"--welcoming a Zombie to tag you with a hug. One guy said, "I just want it to be over, no more stress."

The Final Mission, Extraction, started at 6, as usual. It was already sprinkling / raining, and there was mention of a full on thunderstorm by later that evening. I was looking forward to a good ending game. At briefing, we were told that the Humans had at least three places that they could go to get information on where the Extraction Zone was going to be, but the Info Drop wasn't going to happen until 6:30, giving Zombies plenty of time to look for the moderators that would be giving the information.

The group I was with stumbled upon a lot of Humans on North campus as they were trying to make it to Bond for the Info Drop (yellow near Haggard Hall on map) there. A few of them got wiped out, in-game and in reality, on the slick, grassy slopes. I went down to mid-campus to witness an ambush at the Info Drop at the wooden sculpture (near Arntzen on map), and then went way South campus for the end of the mission.

Due to confusion about safe zones, a group of about eight humans were at the South Extraction Zone (blue circle--the other blue circle at North campus was Higginson, and only one Human made it there, reportedly bruised and bleeding), and everything had to be settled during a moderator-enacted gauntlet after 7, the End Game time:

About thirty-five of the best Zombies were pitted against the remaining Humans that were in contention. All other Humans at that time did not survive, and became Zombies. Everyone still playing gathered around the final field (green hash on map) to watch.

[Blue is Humans, red are Zombies, green are the skirmishes, green hash was final field, and blue circles are Extraction Zones]

Humans on one side, Zombies on the other. The Humans had to get to the opposite field goal and high-five a moderator to gain the Survivor achievement. A horde of Zombies on the sidelines started the chant: "What do we want? BRAINS! When do we want it? BRAINS!" The rain had lightened to a sprinkle, the clouds broke, and a (double) rainbow formed as the final match began. Zombies basically rushed against the small group of Humans, a few of which were able to sneak around and get to the moderator. Only four Humans survived; making five total for the game.

A group of us Zombies decided to walk to Zoe's to get bagels and warm (very warm) beverages to warm our undead limbs as we discussed battle-plans for next game.

Wrap-Up / Overview

I had a lot of fun during this quarter's game. It came up very suddenly, and I had to ask a favor of a friend so I could go to the registration meeting, but it was well worth it. Next quarter, I'm definitely gonna try and survive longer than one day. But, both sides do have their perks, so I wouldn't be horribly upset to get turned rather quickly.

As a group event, it really brings people together and gets them talking. Anytime you pass people with the orange bandannas, whether it's in-game or not, you each give a knowing nod and smile--even between Humans and Zombies. Non-players enjoy it as well, watching for the next big attack, and asking both teams what the score (population counts) were. There's not a lot of real animosity against the teams; everyone has fun.

At one point during the second mission, a group of Humans were trapped in a building, and weren't being helpful to the mission objective, so they decided to take the time to have fun and try and get some achievements while a moderator was there.
The main one the team went for was ZOMGWTF: "Hit a Zombie with a thrown dart, in the presence of a moderator; this does not stun the zombies. It must also be an active zombie and you must LIVE to tell the tale." Some Zombies were helpful and had fun with it as well, and the moderator there said, "This human group is my favorite group of humans this game."

It was also really fun to listen to people exchange war-stories about the missions and big skirmishes.
"I was at Ridge Tennis courts during the first wave, got shot so many times."
"I've tagged three people. Yes, 'Just Making Friends' award!"
"I was at the Embargo of Comm Building."
"I have no kills, but I helped the horde catch at least nine people."

[ZG Scotty really does look like Cary Elwes from Robin Hood: Men in Tights]

By the way, I finished without any kills this game, for those wondering.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Zombie Plague and Other Sicknesses, Part Three

This the third post in my series about this quarter's Humans Versus Zombies match at WWU, which ended last night. You can go back and start from the beginning to catch up.

Let's see, what happened since Saturday evening...Sunday was a tame day (for many, including myself): Even though Zombies had temporary 4-minute stun times from winning the previous mission, many were sore and tired from that mission; and a lot of Humans stayed in because of the 4-minute stun times.

Monday some hunting was happening, but people were still recovering, hiding, and surviving. That night there was another mission. Humans and Zombies were spawned at separate locations, and the Humans had to locate and transport seven "wounded soldiers"--moderators all bandaged up and wearing their green headbands on their heads. Upon locating the soldiers, Humans had to move them from wherever they were to a designated zone, and the soldiers could only move if they were touching a Human. Zombies' goal was to stop the soldiers from being rescued.

For me, the majority of the mission was just a lot of waiting around, so it wasn't overly exciting for me. Once my group stumbled upon a soldier, we established a very large radius behind the Chem, Bio, and SMATE buildings, and embargoed every Human. For a while there was a group in these buildings, but they never made it close to the soldier. In the end, it was revealed there were about 50 Zombies against 14 Humans, and none of the soldiers were fully rescued. As a reward, Zombies' stun times were reduced to 7 minutes--which, according to the moderators present--is the lowest stun times have ever been at WWU.

 [Humans in blue, Zombies red, and the Wounded Soldier in green. Locked down.]

On Tuesday there was a mission that I was unaware of because I slept in a little bit and was almost late to class--so I rushed out the door without checking the website. Between two of my morning classes, I decided to grab a snack and relax in the sun on top of the "stair sculpture" on the Communications Lawn (south campus). As I sat down and started munching, someone darted over the peak of the stairs and huddled down low near me. They were holding a Nerf gun blaster, a strap of darts slung around their shoulder, a dark bandanna over their face, and had a Zombie headband. I sat there confused as two other Zombies peaked and jumped next to me as well, and then the first person pulled down the bandanna-mask. It was Zombie General Scotty.

I sat munching away at my doughnut and chocolate milk as I was briefed on the situation. As part of the final mission-tree (for Humans that wanted to Survive without making it to the Extraction Mission), the Humans had to track down and tag the Zombie General and get his signature as proof. To confuse and counter the Humans' efforts, Scotty disguised himself to look like a Human and play very stealthily, building-jumping all over campus while not in class. The Nerf gun blaster and darts was a great distraction because Zombies don't usually carry them, but it was still legal in-game because it wasn't loaded. Also, whenever Scotty ran from cover to cover, an escort group of Zombies would run behind him, making the disguise even more legitimate. And even if a Human did catch on, there were always that pack of Zombies to help deter them.

I ran around campus escorting Scotty (codenamed "Robbie" when we talked out loud) before I had to get to my class for a test. Once my classes were done for a while, I joined with the escort group again and we all watched out for the big pack of (maybe 10) Humans that came together and creating a Hunting Party for "Robbie." At one point, the Zombies decided to camp out in the copse outside of Old Main, and start turning Humans in the area. A group of humans figured out that the bandanna'd Zombie was Scotty, and he ran toward the copse, where 7+ Zombies jumped out and overtook the humans.

[Zombies red, Humans blue. Ambush achieved]

The rest of the day consisted of escorting Scotty all over campus, away from the Hunting Party, and trying to get more tags. For a while Humans were trapped in Miller Hall, and we slowly picked them off as they tried to leave. At one point Scotty did get tagged, but by someone he knew and tried to tag himself. In the later afternoon, an escort group of about ten Zombies took Scotty to the bus stop so he could make an appointment.

Wednesday I didn't hunt until around noon, and I came across a pack of Zombies guarding two Humans who had perched themselves on top of a sculpture and were trying to get the I'm Bored achievement: "Stand in a public zone and declare yourself a meal of the horde. Take out at least seven zombies and LIVE!" The two Humans had big guns blasters with them, and a bag full of extra ammunition and weapons. About seven zombies were already there, and more kept coming.

Because the sculpture was so tall one had to jump and then pull themselves up, the Zombies didn't know what to do. A few would occasionally run up to it and jump, but would get tagged. And then, we found out that a nearby tree was designated a respawn point. After that, waves of Zombies would try for the Humans, run to the tree, and back. Then a moderator designated an even closer tree. Finally, the Zombies had numbers full working on their side, and we made it. After the first Human was tagged, the other ran out of darts, threw a few socks, and jumped off the sculpture, and was immediately tackled by about seven zombies.

Read about the final mission and a wrap-up piece.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Zombie Plague and Other Sicknesses, Part Two

I just got back from dinner, after a very long, and tiring mission; so I'll try to keep this concise and not ramble on, even though a lot went down today. If you're confused why I'm talking about zombies, you should head over to the first post to get caught up (n00b).

I slept in and felt cruddy right away--this cough / sore throat isn't working for me--but I knew a nice hot, steamy shower would help, and it did. I had a late brunch and had time to do some hunting before the 2 p.m. mission. The one human I stalked around ended up catching up to a bigger group of humans and ducked into a resident hall, so I just went to the Zombie briefing at Parks Hall.

The mission was revealed to be a Scavenger Hunt around campus, and both Humans and Zombies were looking for three "parts" located in different areas (two pairs of them, though--one for each team). Once the three parts were collected, then they had to be taken to the other team's starting zone, assembled into a "radio," there was a code that had to be given, and the final point was getting back to the original starting zones. Also, Humans became Zombies if tagged, and Zombies that were stunned had to go to either the Humanities Building, College Hall, or Communications to get back to tagging. The mission had a two-hour limit.
The altered Google map below has a general idea of what that game was expected to look like.

[Humans started at blue X, Zombies at red; check point at blue / red circles. Green marks are skirmishes]

A bunch of groups were expected to break off and scour the campus (red / blue lines), with a lot of little skirmishes happening the whole time as the groups were trying to find the parts, and then a massive battle at the checkpoints and final positions. And here is what actually happened (from what I was witness to).

[Again, Humans blue, Zombies red, skirmishes green. Zombie respawn points in purple]

There were a good seven to nine little groups of zombies that split up and scoured campus really well. The group I was with saw a massive group of fully-loaded humans coming across Red Square, to Edens, to Nash (all the North end of campus), and then we dashed to Edens for our first part. I ran with a fast Zombie to get to PAC (our final location, a red circle) to deliver it safely. When we got there, a second group of Zombies (maybe from The Ridge) came up with the second part, and our group leader, Zombie General Scotty, said the final one was inbound (Fairhaven, maybe). This was in the time of ten minutes.

Once all the parts were collected, we saw there was numbers on them, and we needed to call in a codename. The code was cracked quickly: WWU. The group that had amassed at PAC then headed back to Parks Hall to win the match. From here General Scotty said we were done, and now we had to stop the Humans from completing their objective. There were tons of skirmishes, and total-building embargos as the Humans tried to get the final part in Fairhaven.

For a majority of the game, Humans were stuck in the Tech / Engineering Building, Arntzen, and Environmental Studies area. Basically, where all the green is on the map. It was such a good embargo, that the moderators put a limit of fifteen more minutes to retrieve the last part, or the mission was over early. The Humans were able to retrieve the final piece, but got stuck at Parks Hall in the last few minutes of the mission.

At the debriefing, there were a few tagging disputes that were settled over Human versus Zombie matches. The Human has one gun one dart for each Zombie the dispute was with. Then, it was announced that Zombies had won and were awarded 50% respawn times until Sunday at 7 p.m.--and for stopping the Humans so well, we were awarded a permanent 2-minute reduction in respawn times. So, until tomorrow evening, stunned Zombies only have to wait 4 minutes to play again.

Today was a good (although very tiring) day. I felt achey when I woke up, and even worse going to dinner. HvZ is a great workout plan, especially after not using my gym pass like I should (at least once a quarter). I should've weighed myself before Wednesday.

Edit: I just used G-Map Pedometer, and I ran at least 2.4 miles today.

Third write up

Friday, April 8, 2011

Zombie Plague and Other Sicknesses, Part One

So, this week started the Spring quarter game of Humans Versus Zombies (HvZ) at Western Washington University. This is a giant, worldwide sport that is mainly played on college campuses. 
Basically a modified game of tag, Humans try to survive for a set time, while Zombies try to tag every Human by that time. Every one starts with two cards, a Human and Zombie card with their player ID on them, these are used to determine points, as well as separate registered players from people trying to ruin the game.

Humans wear caution-orange bandanas as armbands and can use Nerf guns blasters (approved by Officers) and balled up socks to stun Zombies. Zombies wear the bandanas as headbands, can only tag with their hands, and being stunned by a dart or sock renders them inert (headband around neck) for 10 minutes. If a Zombie tags a Human, the Human card is given to the tagger (and becomes a Zombie after 20 minutes), and the tagger uses the ID to log points on the official website.

Some campuses have rules like 24-hour game play, or if a Zombie doesn't score a tag within a timeframe they are out of the game. WWU's game is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a week (and without the Zombie-starvation rule). There is an official site for Western's game, as well as an official Facebook page. On the official website, one can look at the Human to Zombie populations. (April 8, 8:30 pm - 201 Z / 128 H).

The game is usually played the week before Dead Week for a quarter (third from last), and during Fall game I didn't have a gun blaster, so I stayed out of it. Spring's game is super early (its only the second week), and I didn't hear about it until the very last day to register--which I was able to do--and started playing on Wednesday. It was at the registration / briefing meeting Tuesday night that I found my gun blaster I had was non-regulation because of the stock--which when you first put together has a warning saying it is immovable once assembled--but I went back to my dorm, and twenty minutes with some borrowed tools made it regulation once again.

[The full version was non-regulation because it looks like a legit rifle from afar, which University Police don't like]

The following day, I was able to stay away from Zombies for a while, mainly avoiding the large hordes of them by building-hopping (buildings are Safe Zones). It was the afternoon that I ran into trouble:

I had a class in Fraser Hall, which is a bad place for Humans, and Zombies had surrounded the place (see below). There were a few of us holed up in there trying to make a plan, when someone with a big gun blaster and belt of darts just ran for it. A horde of like seven people chased him, and that's when the small group's unity fell apart and it was every man for themselves. As I darted out of the Hall, I was pursued immediately by two Zombies. I shook one of them, but the other chased me into the middle of Red Square, and he was fast. As I looked for an exit, another Zombie yelled "Human!" which only brought more Zombies into the plaza. After missing a shot, the Zombie tagged me. I don't feel bad for being tagged on the first day, mainly because I later found the guy that tagged me was like one of the top three zombie-runners on campus.

Also, Wednesday was the day that I started feeling sick, mainly a sore throat, but has since become a light cough. Hopefully it'll go away, and its not the Zombie plague...

 [Aerial of Red Square (Google), with my path (green) from Fraser, and the incoming Zombies (red)]

During HvZ, there are the normally scheduled / regulated gameplay hours, and then there are missions, as well as Gladiator / exhibition matches. Last night was the first mission, and it was fun!

Humans and Zombies started the mission from different points on campus at 6 p.m., and had to complete objectives before 7 p.m. Humans started mid-campus (green, see below), and were given an official objective to go somewhere, and the Zombies started on South Campus (red), with the objective to stop the Humans, without knowing what their objective was. After splitting the Zombies into groups, we all scouted around, and then we got a tip about the tennis courts at The Ridge were an objective. My little group arrived just in time to see about half the Humans in the tennis court (safe zone in blue, 1), and then a huge wall of armed Humans rushing for the safe zone being met with a wall of Zombies. After a flurry of action, lots of yellow, blue, and orange (Nerf colors), there were panting people and used darts everywhere.

A few minutes later, as the Zombies searched for stragglers still trying to get in, we were given a tip about how Nash Hall's tennis court (blue, 2) was the final zone, and so the Zombies headed over that direction to prepare a defense. The final battle at Nash was intense again, as we tried to stop large groups of humans from entering the court the last few minutes of the mission. At seven, the moderators called the game and had a debriefing meeting. Humans won their objective: Finishing the mission with at least 15 Humans in the final zone at 7 p.m. (with exactly 15). As a reward, Humans were rewarded immunity from tags today from 7 to 11 a.m. I bet that was a nice break from being paranoid.

 [Approximate directions of teams during Mission One. Green - Humans, Red - Zombies, Blue - Safe Zones]

There is another mission tomorrow afternoon, so we'll see how that goes. I'll write at least one other part about HvZ next week, so stay tuned! 
I did write another part, the next day!