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Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
Buddy of DoQ: Thoughts on Life, Machinima, and Everything
Week E 
Monday, July 31, 2006, 01:41 AM - SummerTech
I asked for a smooth, fairly normal week, and for SummerTech.... I think we got one!

We started off with like 10 kids two weeks ago, and now for Week E we somehow ended up with two. Fine by me I guess, as that gave put us one on one with two students who are really into Machinima, hard core. Both using the Half-Life 2 engine. (Garry's Mod and Counter Strike Source)

It only rained a little bit this week, and each day went a little better than the day before it... until... NO MORE swimming! Ahhhh! A monkey wrench in the perfect system! Damn the man! Always keeping us down! Anyway, that was kind of good news for me, as the dodgeball guy, that meant I got a few extra targets... err, kids in to find the spirit of camaraderie under foam sphere arms. At any rate, we didn't have any major issues safe for one that would be very embarrassing for all involved to publish publicly on this particular forum. However, I think some major life lessons were learned, and those involved will think twice next time, else they ruin another excellent pseudo couch.

We had a few guest appearances this week, Nick, Mel, and Sandra, very cool former SummerTech staff members. They were just up for the weekend to hang out and Nick at least wanted one more round of dodgeball, for old times sake. Nick is a formidable dodgeball warrior, indeed, but I feel his challenge was well met by my team. Who won you ask? In the end... I think we all did.

Yep, I'm still playing soccer with Lee nearly every day. Makes me want to join some kind of sports team when I get home, all this getting back into shape will go to waste in front of my PC otherwise.

I marathoned an anime called Berserk over the weekend. I had heard great things about it in the past, and indeed it was right up my ally. I had been hankering for a show with a lot of the old school blood guts and glory that got me interested in Japanese animation to being with, and boy did it hit the spot. Wish I had brought Ninja Scroll with me now...

Not much else to get into tonight, other than the SummerTech 2006 Film Fest this coming up Saturday. It'll start sometime in the afternoon, and not stop till The Mathematicans can rock no longer.

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Week D 
Sunday, July 23, 2006, 11:34 AM - SummerTech

Crazy week. Lights went out Tuesday while Tommy, Mike, Barry, and I were at the Imax watching Superman Returns in 3D. Monday was Pirates 2 with Ali and Mike. I almost went with them again Friday to see Clerks 2, but having not seen the first one, I opted out. On Monday I purchased a rocking new Wasburn bass guitar from SamAsh, my fingers have blisters. On Thursday, power was out until lunch time, so we did our best to make camp cool and fun for those who stuck with us. Friday we made up all that lost class time by running class time until 5pm. There was a bunch more crap hitting the fan this week, but I'm outta time to type it all up.

Now here's hoping for a “normal” Week E

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Week D ˝ 
Thursday, July 20, 2006, 02:23 PM - SummerTech
Emergency update! Starting Tuesday evening, due a massive storm wielding hurricane force winds, SummerTech has been without power. Most of the staff and one camper spent Wednesday at the Fiscella residence. (Largest residence I've even been in. Holy cow what an awesome house!) There was good food and much relaxing by the pool and spa. (For those who brought swim trunks, which was everyone but me. I really didn't think we'd stay the night, otherwise I would have brought a lot more with me.) As of Thursday right during lunch time (1pm) power was restored to Damman hall, the building in which SummerTech is located. Camp as been restarted, and things should resume as normal, sans dodge ball. *cries*

More on the TORNADO that swept through Wednesday (7/12) right here!

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Week C 
Saturday, July 15, 2006, 04:20 PM - SummerTech
Holy crap, where to start? This was the largest turnout in the history of SummerTech with over 65 kids. This was the last week for the first round of the Machinima course, round two starts Week D. I must say that our Machinima students really did us proud this week, all of those who were celebrating their last week went home with a finished film on DVD, and those who are staying for round 2 are close enough to finished to go ahead and start on their second film for the summer. The two girls once again totally dominated again this year, not only being the first to finish their main features, but they never once stopped working, producing several most excellent shorts (My favorite is the one about the killer bearded cheerleaders.) One student really stuck out to me as the class hero, he knows who he is. Picking up the slack on the last minute to finish a three man job all on his own, and never once slowing down to complain, never loosing the joy of making Machinima. *tear* They grow up so fast! *tear*

Our good pal Ben Grussi once again stopped by this year to hang out and bring tidings of well-wishes to the little Machinimators of SummerTech. Ben's been a bit down lately, so if you see him, be sure to give him a warm hello and a pat on the back, he deserves at least that much for all he's done for the Machinima community. Without Ben, I doubt many of us would be as far as we are, he's simply done so much behind the scenes that it may be impossible to gauge just how much he's influenced the world of Machinima. Thanks again Ben!

On the other great summer front, I finally got up the nerve to chat with Baa-san (grandmother), one of the teachers that brings in the students from Tokyo, Japan. I was afraid she might be a bit upset with me after what transpired at the end of last year, but she was as friendly and wonderful to chat with as always. Although I think her students may not see her that way, it may be a teacher to teacher professional appreciation kinda thing. Last year she was giving me the evil eye until I talked with her at length about my day job; teaching 6 year olds how to type. (As a teacher, I'd be a bit upset if some punk kid starting hitting on one of my students too!)

Other than that, it rained a bunch, there was a tornado at one point (yeah, I know, followed us from Texas I bet,) a bunch of us starting getting sick, and I slept in today as Mike, Tommy, and Ali went off to NYC to do the tourist thing. I really wanted to go, but my weakened state from the stressful week demanded I sleep till noon and then nap some more after lunch.

Until next time campers!
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Week B 
Sunday, July 9, 2006, 01:43 AM - SummerTech
Week B started off a bit rough for the staff, sort of like last year, the staff still in ST-Shock and the campers picking up on our dizzy dance of chaos. By Thursday I think we had finally gotten into our groove, the kind that should last for the rest of the summer, keeping the music playing smooth and loud. Machinima is going very well I think, there is a bit of discipline issues with our actors and their abilities to ruin film-shoots with hand grenades, but kids will be kids and once we made good on our promise of “No Game Time” for abuse of the weapon systems I think they finally understand how smoothly things could go if they just jump in, film, and jump out. Plenty of time for killing after the shoot. Just like last year, the two girls of the class had their films finished by the end of the second week, and are eligible to switch classes, if they so desire. One of them, I think, ranks as youngest Machinima director of all time, at 8. She may also have the most tasteful if not most artistic film of the first session, a The Movies film about life and finding love. Her sister had a little something more to my general movie taste with a tale about Zombie Bunnies, and the chick who beats them all up. Animals seem to be the big subject this year, we've got killer monkeys, cows, bunnies, chickens, and even rats! I also started learning a bit of Japanese from Corey, an awesome Jr. Teacher here, with any luck, maybe I won't be so lost this August when I make the big trip to Tokyo.

Dodgeball was off and on for me this week. My arm still pains me mid-way trough the session, but my catching game has improve ten-fold thanks to the forced focus. I played my first game of soccer this week, and with the help of 3 young ladies from Europe, who have promised to return to the field on Monday, my team won! On a related note, the campus is extremely crowded this year, hundreds of students from Europe and elsewhere have come in for summer exchange classes, and have just about run us off. It got so bad at lunch Thursday that I literally had nowhere to sit. Last year was nice, because the students who came from abroad were fewer in numbers, and that made it easier to meet them and make new friends. With so many, everyone just clusters with who they know, and that's no fun. Anyway, we got kicked out of the main cafeteria anyway, so we really have no choice but to stick together now.

The weekend was rather uneventful, slept till 1pm (god did I need it) and we just watched movies in the lab between food runs. (Raising Arizona, Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas, Superman, season one of Star Trek, and Enter the Dragon) I also enjoyed the Day of Defeat free weekend.
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