It’s a real thing. So real that it has taken over this blog post, which was originally going to be about our little TKS “retreat” and the things I gathered from it.
BUT INSTEAD, FLUNK DAY.
The anxiety over it is something that I thought I’d be over by now. I spent a solid 2-3 weeks last year freaking out, staying up until 3 a.m. refreshing the Wikifire, freaking out some more, waking up to scares at 6 a.m., freaking out again, and then doing the homework I hadn’t done when I was too busy freaking out and going to breakfast. Who even goes to breakfast?
Last night, the anxiety got to me again as I was getting ready to go to bed around 1 a.m. and instead speculated about all the evidence I could speculate about. To flunk, or not to flunk?
But that question has been answered as today is not Flunk Day.
I feel bad for all the alumni who came into town thinking it was this holiest of days, but at the same time, I don’t. There may not be any hard facts that will say Yes, Today Is Flunk Day, but there are some that say, No, Dude, Go To Sleep.
So, here I will gather a list of facts that do not prove it is Flunk Day:
- Flunk-themed alumni events (mainly in Chicago) mean absolutely nothing. They are scheduled during Flunk season, but it would be incredibly stupid of the planners to coordinate these.
- Essentially, alumni know nothing. Planners are almost certainly aware that alumni (especially recent grads) stay in touch with people on campus, so there’s no way they would tell them. This sounds absurd, but it is a real rumor.
- Sam Martone has never correctly predicted Flunk Day. He may still be trying to do so from remote locations, but as of yet, no dice. Sorry, Sam.
- Sports have been screwed over in the past, and it would not be surprising if they got screwed over again. In other words: Just because there’s a sports event scheduled doesn’t mean that that day couldn’t be Flunk.
- Choreographer’s Workshop has been screwed over in the past. This is especially saddening to me. But this means that all of next week (a.k.a. CW tech week) is fair game.
- Contrary to first years’ beliefs, no one cares if Flunk happens during midterms. It probably will happen during midterms.
- Bad weather is a thing that no one can control. Flunk planners seem to be scheduling Flunk later in the spring, seemingly in the hopes of warmer temperatures, but it rained last year and we all flunked anyway.
- Pretty much anything on the Wikifire could be trolling. Seniors love to do this. Planners, especially, love to do this. If there are photos of occurrences or multiple statements of “CONFIRMED!!” then it may be more believable.
- Campus Safety and Helmut do know when Flunk Day is, but they don’t know as early in advance as the planners do.
- The food shipment will not expire in as short an amount of time as contributors to the Wikifire think it will.
- Mysterious vans in the parking lots of Walmart or Hyvee are mysterious, but are not proof.
- Lights being on in the mailroom, UB office, or caf are also mysterious, but are also not necessarily proof.
In sum: Flunk will cause anxiety because trolling. But it’s good anxiety. It’s like Christmas, your 21st birthday, and New Year’s Eve all rolled up into one.
I’m a silly, procrastinating first-year who can’t do simple tasks (see past blog post about evil file cabinet), but I should hope to think that I have the sense to know that the wonderful, magical Flunk Day everyone keeps raving about is not tomorrow.
Why? Mostly because Anna Meier said so. And everything she says is law.
I do, however, expect a rude awakening of Flunk Day scares. In which case, it probably wouldn’t be wise to blog about where I live.
Greetings, fellow Flunkers. Let’s quickly synthesize what we’ve learned this week:
- Telling prospies that Flunk Day is tomorrow, even when tomorrow is Sunday, totally works.
- There is serious speculation over whether Helmut would ever allow Meatless Monday to actually happen, raising questions over whether or not tomorrow, April 22, is Flunk Day. However, the Phi Beta Kappa lecture is tomorrow, which is a big deal and features the first in a string of speakers coming all the way from California. My highly scientific probability prediction: no.
- Ah, the traditional cafeteria worker clues. Every year, the cafeteria workers tell us things. Every year, those things are different things. But history might lend some truth to this particular thing: according to Random Wiki Fire User #23854, the caf workers got the Flunk Day menu during the second week of April, and Flunk Day usually occurs one or two weeks after that happens. A last-week-of-April Flunk Day is relatively normal, so this may actually be a thing. As in a real thing. Also: thing.
- Latest official prediction: JPow, May 9. Granted, JPow also predicted that Flunk Day would be May 9 last year. Clearly, if he picks the same date over and over again, he will eventually be right. Nice try, JPow, but I see what you’re up to.
In other news, David Gentry was recently spotted breaking out his trombone. Maybe he knows something we don’t…
(Final note: no events have magically disappeared from the events calendar this past week, so no clues here. Keep moving, everyone.)
Writing code is easy. Writing good code is hard.
The structure of software has always been a fascinating topic to me. I’ve found that structured code reads like a book and is so transparent in it’s intentions that anyone can understand.
Just like good literature, good code:
* Does not repeat itself
* Is consistent in what is being communicated to the reader
* Is easily decomposed into logical subsections
* Is modular
* Makes the least number of assumptions possible
All of these properties arise from structure. To understand the structure of a project is to understand it’s function, the relationship between it’s parts, and it’s available resources. Without knowing each of these things, it is too easy to underestimate or overestimate and eventually shoot yourself in the foot.
For example, consider making the trip from CFA to SMC. It’s a long walk, and gosh, I’m just so lazy sometimes. If I need to bring my ruler from SMC to CFA, I have to make the walk back and forth. Before I go I should think, “Is this the only thing I need?”
Structuring my actions through foresight requires that I make only one trip rather than many if I should need more supplies. If I had started walking without considering what I required, I might have needed to make multiple trips! Structure saves time and energy.
Organize your life. Make your actions deliberate. Understand what you need before you need it.
If you do these things, good code will be much easier to write.
When there is winter break, there is a thing called boredom. I had both of these things, and so with each, I decided to devote my time to extensive Flunk research. I perused the WikiFire for dates of previous Flunks as far back as I could, and tried the Knox website when the WikiFire failed. (NOTE: The Knox website always fails. Pages don’t go to useful pages. Ever. Just give up now.)
Now, I won’t pretend to know anything about statistics, but here are my findings:
Previous Flunk Dates
- 2004: Wednesday, April 28
- 2005: Monday, April 18
- 2006: unknown (all the WikiFire said was that it was “too early”)
- 2007: Tuesday, May 8
- 2008: Thursday, May 1
- 2009: Wednesday, May 6
- 2010: Monday, April 26
- 2011: Monday, May 2
- 2012: Tuesday, May 1
In summary, for 8 of the past 9 years, Flunk has been on a Monday 3 times, a Tuesday twice, Wednesday twice, and a Thursday once. Personally, I would really like it if the planners went against the odds and had Flunk on a Tuesday or a Thursday, as these are my busiest days.
Other things to gather from this: Flunk Day, as Anna has said, tends to happen in the last week of April or first week of May. But this year’s calendar doesn’t divide the months so evenly. As it goes: Monday, April 29 – Friday, May 3 and Monday, May 6 – Friday, May 10. Thus, it is not so easy to say that Flunk will most likely (based on the gathered statistics) be on a Monday/Wednesday in the last week of April or first week of May.
However, I think it would be rather silly of the planners to Flunk on May 1, May 6, or May 8, as all of these dates have already been Flunk. (And May 1 has been Flunk twice. Come on now.)
I have high hopes that it will be an earlier Flunk in consideration of the early announcement of the theme, the early Deb Southern email, the early first year suite meetings, the early sales of t-shirts, and the first ever Friar sign-up. Either that, or the planners are going through a lot to make us think that it will be an early Flunk. This is entirely possible.
NOTE: I have edited this because I got Flunk dates wrong for the two Flunk Days that I’ve been at Knox. Let’s not dwell on how embarrassing that is.
One thing that my mother taught me when I was little is to stay true to the commitments I make. I did not like this when I was little and wanted to go to a friend’s birthday party instead of going to Kid Who Picks His Nose And Eats It’s birthday party.
Perhaps it was that good ol’ Catholic guilt trip that did it, but now, I feel supremely bound to uphold the commitments I make. And thus, it severely bothers me when others don’t. Being late is an offense that counts. Flaking out on plans–especially at the last minute–is an offense that is most heinous.
Regardless, this is something I have to deal with all the time. Even with our weekend at The Broadview, there were a couple of writers who couldn’t or didn’t show up. What this meant for me (and Paige) is that we had to cover their gaps when they already said they would. I spent an extra hour there, bringing my total to five hours. By the end of the night, I was so loopy and generally awful-feeling that I thought I might puke and then pass out.
But the thing is, if anyone is going to commit to anything, they should probably be doing it because they’re passionate about it. This is why I took the graveyard shift and covered more time that ultimately resulted in me not sleeping on Saturday night. I understand that this is an insane thing. I also understand that some people are just flaky. I just want fair warning.
(Also, NEWS FLASH: The “Knox Five” is not a thing that exists in the real world. Be on time. It’s not hard.)
Ladies and gentlemen of the Flunk, I bring you…statistics! Through careful cultivation of sources, I have learned that there is a 65 percent chance that Flunk Day will occur before May 7. As any time after then would be late based on historical trends, this makes logical sense. Prediction deemed reliable.
(However, as has been noted before, the planners are really toying with us with regards to a late or early Flunk this year. The friar email got sent out early, freshmen suite meetings happened early, and the theme was announced early. At the same time, both the length of the term and the weather would seem to indicate a later date. The writer can reach no concrete conclusions at this time.)
If you’ve been on the Wiki Fire much today, you’ve likely seen the flurry of posts that would seem to indicate that Flunk Day is tomorrow. This is true, of course, because Flunk Day is always tomorrow. Still, the likelihood that tomorrow, April 15, is THE tomorrow is not high. Cindy forgetting to let you know to return the Wal-Mart card? Cindy has forgotten a lot this year because she is doing the work of two people. (Thanks, Jil Gates.) A surplus of cookies? Pics or it didn’t happen.
So, we have basically learned this week that a) an early Flunk makes sense and is backed by empirical evidence, although said evidence is not overwhelmingly strong; b) Flunk Day is always tomorrow; c) but tomorrow is not that tomorrow.
And now, to turn to our old friend, the events calendar (I’m nixing this upcoming week entirely, because reasons):
- April 22: not Flunk Day. Professor from California coming to give lecture.
- April 29: not Flunk Day. Another professor from California giving a lecture. What’s with California? A Flunk clue???? I leave that classification up to you, dear reader.
- April 30: probably not Flunk Day, due to Caxton Club event.
- May 2: probably not Flunk Day, due to Caxton Club event.
- May 7: my Honors defense. God help us all.
(News! News! News!)
Two important tidbits:
- Flunk Day Friars will be chosen, at the very earliest, by the end of the day on April 15. So, assuming this is not a decoy, Flunk Day cannot happen before then. Not that anyone thought it was possible that it would, as that would be unheard of, but ya know. Gotta cover all the bases.
- Freshmen will have had their mandatory Flunk Day suite meetings by this Thursday.
The two facts above point to an earlier Flunk, a rather different conclusion than that of my Theory of Late Flunk that I’ve been perpetuating. Still, though, nothing is impossible when it comes to Flunking.
In other news, results of the unofficial TKS Flunk Day Poll so far:
Flunk Day will be early: 2
Flunk Day will be late: 1
Flunk Day is tomorrow: 6
The lovely Elizabeth Woodyard, believing that I apparently tell the truth at all times, has decided that my declaration that Flunk Day is tomorrow means that Flunk Day is, in fact, tomorrow. I’m flattered, but here’s a dash of honesty: I really have no idea.