Thursday, April 19, 2007

Confidential to Dude in the Back Row

Ok, so the class I'm TAing for is a large one, and when I go to lectures I always try to sit inconspicuously in the back to see what the students do during lecture. You can probably figure it out. The ones up close are listening intently and scribbling notes. The students back by me? well... Here's a quick list

  • In the annoying but not completely horrific category:
    • Texting (xJust about everyone)
  • In the distracting and annoying category:
    • getting up and leaving out the loud doorway in the middle of lecture (x2)
  • In the why don't you just stay home category:
    • Solitaire on the laptop
    • Soduku (x3 or 4)
    • Sleeping
  • In the Oh my god get a room! category:
    • rubbing the upper inner thigh of the girl next to you. Constantly. For nearly the entire lecture. Yeesh. Who knew Gruub studies gets people so hot and bothered.
On another completely random note, in case you didn't know how, here's some excerpts from the book, On Becoming a Woman. It's filled with such useful information about how to avoid lesbian relationships, and the dangers of masturbation. Remember! Circumcision is always an option if you can find the right "Christian doctor." Brought to you by the loving care of 1951 misogyny.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I guess it's not surprising, but I've gotten very caught up in the coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. I talked briefly before class about it, but many students hadn't even heard the news. Several didn't seem to be very impacted at all. I'm not sure how to take that. Maybe they'll deal with it later.

I am getting frustrated with so many people on tv saying that we as a society are programming violence into ourselves with our films, TV and video games. I have no evidence to support this, but it seems that, if anything, the people of the world now are more willing to not kill each other over their differences than in the past. What has changed is that we have more effective technology to carry out the violence that does exist. A small group of extremists can terrorize a global power. One man can destroy more life with a pair of guns than he could with a knife. The end result of this raging simply could not have been as horrific if he didn't have access to the pistols. I don't think effective gun control is possible or even practical in the US, at least in the foreseeable future, but I do hope this spurs debate leading into the election year.

That being said, it's naive to say that because one man can cause such damage that we as a society are inherently more violent. Movies and video games didn't give this man the idea to go out and kill people any more than watching Medea makes you want to kill your children or reading the bible makes you want to commit genocide. After investigation, we may discover that he played Grand Theft Auto, or watched 300 or Grindhouse. Many people will try to use this to push against these media. I hope they fail. I hope that we can see past such a simplistic argument, but I'm probably wrong.

To my friends and family, I'm not at Virginia Tech, but I'm ok, and I hope you are too.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


This is post #1000


On May 20, 2005, I started the blog with these immortal words:

So I'm grading papers again.
Ah, it seems like yesterday. Actually it seems like my life hasn't moved forward at all, because I've got a monster stack of grading sitting here waiting to be taken care of tonight.

In reality, many things of life-shaking import have happened to me in that time. I've broken up with a very long-term girlfriend. I've decided to attempt to get my PhD and eventually ended up here at USU's PhD program, but I imagine if you were to take anyone's span of nearly two years, you'd get pretty similar stuff. I'm not particularly unique or interesting, and thus my life is the perfect fodder for a blog. In fact, based on that criteria, I should probably start a webcast. Alas, I haven't been writing (or reading) blogs much lately, but I shall endeavor to correct these failings in the future.

So, that's all the navel-gazing I've got time for today. Thanks to all who drop by and double thanks to all who drop by and comment on my ramblings. In some sense, it's odd to be so pleased to get to know so many people who, for all I know, could be very advanced Eliza-bots. If you don't tell me, I'd be shattered. That's not true really. Regardless of who or what you are, I'm extremely happy to host you all here at my little niche of the intertubes.