Office Hours, Lorwyn, and Events Upcoming
Sunday, September 30 2007

As previously promised, here I am once again, sitting in the Hacklab and writing a post to my blog, as there aren’t enough students who bother coming to office hours. “So why not reduce their number?” Well, we could– but the thing is, students do come. Over the course of the semester, I’ll have students at all times during my office hours. Once or twice, I might even have, say, six kids in the four-hour timespan. So it’s hard to reduce without cutting off (theoretical) Java Babies; therefore, we run 28+ office hours a week (for 120 students).

Anyway, interesting items recently. One major thing, certainly, is that I was able to spend yesterday (Saturday) judging all day at the Lorwyn Prerelease at George Mason University! Prerelease tournaments are interesting, because they’re tournaments organized by Wizards but run by all the area Tournament Organizers (just the largest ones) to introduce players to a new set– and they do it by having many small tournaments, running throughout a day. There were 24 8-person booster drafts, about 15 32-person Sealed tournaments, a couple of Two-Headed Giant Sealed events, and some Open Dueling for younger players– all in all, way more tournaments than the one at a “typical” big tournament (excepting, of course, the super-huge tournaments like Pro Tours, that have their own clusters of side events). Quite a lot of fun to play in, I’m sure– but I greatly enjoyed judging the new set in that variety of situations. It seems like it will be especially fun for Limited play– which is what I usually play myself. Huzzah for that!

So after the 20-hour day (I got up at 6AM, was at the tournament by 8:30AM, and didn’t get home until 2AM) yesterday, I got up at the crack of noon for my usual Sunday JHU Magic tournament– today with a special twist: we didn’t announce the format until the tournament started. This was partially because it’s amusing to keep the players in suspense, and partially because we hoped to play with the Lorwyn packs I’d gotten from the Prerelease– which is what we ended up doing. Thirteen players attended (quite a few going to the Sunday prerelease tournament), and a good time seemed to be had by all.

So now, having helped just a few students, I am left doing homework in the Hacklab, and taking time out to write update-type blog posts.

I also recently updated my blog to WordPress 2.3, which I very much enjoy; all my plugins worked right off the bat, although I decided to retire the venerable Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin in favor of using WordPress 2.3’s new built-in tagging support. This looks, to me, to be the same from a user perspective, except that the directory rewriting for tag URLs looks nicer now, for which I am grateful. If you haven’t upgraded to WP 2.3, why not?

Other interesting things coming up in the next few days:

And now, as I sign off for the moment, I would like to leave you with what I hope (or perhaps fear) will become a regular series on my blog this semester. I can only assure you that this entry is uncut, unedited, and uncensored– and that it does indeed come from a Hopkins student. I think it otherwise stands on its own. This one was from a phone conversation, of which I only heard one end.

Incredibly Disturbing Things Overheard in the Hacklab, Episode 1:

“I got rejected from Teach For America. Ain’t that some shit? listensYeah, well, I dunno how much emphasis they put on, like, getting in trouble. Like with the cops. listens Yeah, well, I got a 2.3! That’s pretty good; damn straight it’s pretty good.”


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