Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Long-Tailed Quiz in a Room Full Of Rocking Chairs

Oh, deary deary deary, I hope everyone was just as busy as I have been last week, otherwise, I’ll have to be disappointed in the quiz results :) Here are the one that didn’t get guessed:
1 – Be Good To Yourself – Journey
4 – Heaven – Psychedelic Furs (Jayfish! O! My! – I think that was on a mix tape you gave me! :P )
8 – Justify My Love – Madonna!
9 – The way you make me feel – Mikey Jackson!

Well, let’s put that unpleasantness behind us and get on to the goodies. I’ve finally finished grading, so I’ve got a tub of tunes to tickle the timorous tines of tiny… taupe…tuned-in…terriers? Ok, that didn’t go over well at all…

1 –
Turn on the light, babe
Are you someone else tonight?
Neighbor to neighbor, door to door
Don't ask questions, there's time for it all Oh yeah.

2 –
And you know you better watch your step or you’re gonna get hurt yourself.
Someone’s gonna tell you lies, hurt you down inside.

3 –
Body and beats I stain my sheets I don’t even know why
My girlfriend she’s at the end she is starting to cry

4 –
And then you sense a change
Nothin' feels the same
All your dreams are strange

5 –
His rival, it seems, had broken his dreams
By stealing the girl of his fancy.
Her name was Magill and she called herself Lil,
But everyone knew her as Nancy.

6 –
Whoops its ringing and I rise,
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes.
My shaving razor’s cold and it stings.

7 –
Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel
A deep burning pain in my side.
Though I am trying
To stay in the saddle,
I'm getting weary,
Unable to ride.

8 –
What in the world ever became of sweet Jane?
She lost her sparkle, you know she isn’t the same
Living on reds, vitamin c, and cocaine,
All a friend can say is ain’t it a shame?

9 –
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker

10 –
The radio is blastin'
Someone's knocking at the door
I'm lookin' at my girlfriend
She's passed out on the floor

11 –
No more falsehoods or derisions
Golden living dreams of visions
Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation

12 –
Well, I can’t tell lies, cause they’re listening to me.
And when I fall asleep, bet they’re spying on me tonight, tonight.
cause they’re waiting for me.
They’re looking for me.
Every single night they’re driving me insane.
Those men inside my brain.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Grading Does Make Me Smile Sometimes

"Be bold in you hypostasis and careful in you proofs."

um... hypotheses?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Who is in charge of the weather here?  Seriously, I plan on sending a very terse email!  So a few days ago, it was sunny, but nice and cool.  Then two days ago it rained like Noah was done building.  (Why yes, yes, I did decide to leave my rain gear at home and had to bike home in the monsoon, thanks for asking!).  Yesterday it looked like it was heading back to nice and cool.

Today?  THE SUN LANDED IN MY BACKYARD.  Hot hot hot hot dismally, energy-sucking, sidewalk-egg-boiling, wavy-lines-coming-off-the-ground-hot.

It gets worse.  Worse why?  Because I'm dumber than a box of rocks.  I didn't run on Monday because I was trying to catch up on some stuff, so I didn't want to miss today, but I could have run early or late to avoid solar incineration, yes?  Well, I could have, but I didn't.  1:30pm I roll out of the gym (slathered in sunblock, for what that's worth anyway) and jaunted off to my trail. 

Well, it's hardly worth mentioning that I ran very very slowly (40'13" for those playing at home), but I also seem to have run into a cleverly placed pollen-bomb somewhere out there.  Sweat, sunblock, red, itchy skin and red bloodshot eyes.  Oh the joy of it all. 

Adding insult to idiocy, both of the other MA folks graduating this spring are pretty much done with their theses.  Oh, how I hate them.  Hate hate hate, Hate that burns like a very hot burny thing.  Well, ok, it's not hate.  It's jealousy, but I've never been too good about telling one emotion from another.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Good Morning!

I'm still here, but only barely.  I thought I would try to knock out a few papers this morning before class, but I hit the most frustrating paper I've seen in a very long time.  This student seems to have misunderstood so many fundamental concepts that I'm not sure this isn't a joke.  This student cited class discussions (ugh!) when claiming something so patently absurd that I can't even really laugh at it.  And of course, on top of that, it's written in the style of a gifted 4 year old with a thesaurus.

Naturally, I can't take it as a joke.  I commented in depth and without kid gloves.  I hope that this student reads the comments - I know most don't, but I wonder if I won't have a more hostile student on my hands once the grades go back. 

So most of this morning was spent eyes-squinted, head at a 'His Master's Voice' angle trying to parse out what this student could possibly be meaning, then carefully forming responses. 

My friends tell me that I spend too much time on grading, and I know they're right - especially now when my priority must settle squarely on the thesis, but I haven't found it within myself to just stamp a crappy grade on a paper and hope the student figures out what was wrong all by their lonesome. 

Feh - another half day done.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Running in Place

Well, there you go. I got my first response from the main clump of thesis-dross from my advisor on Friday. He was, as usual, very kind and supportive, but pointed out that there were many 'discrepancies' in my... er... 'data.' Well, that's as clear as I'm able to be without blowing what's left of my blogland cover.

Anyway, the solution was to proof many many pages of very dense, troublesome clarity-resistant 'data.' So that's what I've done this weekend. I locked myself up in a little cabinet in the library. My only escape was for a few hours to try to grade a few papers - now that's relaxation! But I got it done.

So, I'm done with the proofing, and I do feel better, because it did bring to light some troubles that I'm now able to repair. These could have very easily slipped into the final draft and caused embarrassment if anyone ever goes to the trouble to read the blasted thing. The problem is that I had to put a lot on hold to take care of this. I was supposed to be at X, but now I'm at X-2 days. Feh.

I realize however, that this thing can be finished though, and that's a very nice thing to be able to say without crossing my fingers. I'm even almost ready to say I can finish it on time (and under budget!).

Again, this won't make sense to anyone except me, but my advisor also pointed out that I have two major themes that run through the paper. He suggested adding a third one, and while it might be a bit more work, I think it's a pretty good idea. The thrid topic includes a good chunk of material and research that I decided to toss out a while back, but the way he framed it, I think I can bring it back in avoiding the problems that led me to want to toss it while putting the work I did back into the thesis!

Woohoo! Back to the grindstone!