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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

Time Event
12:14a
Mmm, school starting means interesting entries from me again.
Pats won the AFC. (Wow, "the New England Patriots gunning for their third title in four years and the Philadelphia Eagles looking for their first.")

$2.79? When did Media Mail shipping get so expensive? However, difficult to argue with 75-cent books. And of course i had efollet open in an adjoining tab to check when stuff would be just as cheap at the bookstore once one factors in shipping.

$105.62 for 20 texts on half.com (and of course slightly over half of that was for shipping, but still much cheaper than it would have been at the bookstore).

Was so nice to just lie in bed knowing i didn't have to get up. So of course by the time i did get up and shower, there were a bajillion people in line in the bookstore so i moved my book-purchasing trip to Tuesday afternoon. See, this is why having late-morning classes is a bad idea for me. I don't ever get up in the morning, thus wasting a good chunk of my day.

AJ came back on Friday. The previous day, i told Alona i was sure there was stuff i had done wrong or neglected to do over the past near 2 weeks of AJ's vacation, and she said, "But the world didn't end, now did it?" which was comforting. By the time i left at the end of the work day today, i think AJ was still working through the backlog, but she has yet to find anything to be upset with me about (at least enough to tell me so) so that's good.

I read most of Part 1 of The Inklings at work during the downtimes. In the interest of ever getting to bed, i'll spare you the quotage. It talks a lot about W. T. Kirkpatrick's influence on C. S. Lewis being "ruthlessly logical" which of course won me muchly. It also talks a lot about story/myth and the power thereof and i was reminded of Kelly, when i told her about my Buffy paper, saying that my kind of work was gonna save the church -- making the stories relevant and interesting to young people.

We watched part of a video on Tolkien (narrated in part by Dame Judi Dench) and his son talked about Tolkien's distate for modern machines, which being my father's daughter immediately put me on edge with its talk of coercion and tyrrany, but then he talked about the LotR books and how magic and the machine are so close and how the ring had to be destroyed because if Gandalf had the ring it would be worse than if Sauron had the ring because Gandalf would be righteous, would be self-righteous, and would coerce the world to good ends, and that that's what his father feared. Given my distaste for people's tendency to insist that the end doesn't justify the means except when it's their end of choice only without actually admitting that, i was so very very pleased.

Oh, and the professor talked some about Charles Williams' interest in magic and the occult while being a devout Anglican and i got thinking about Willow and kabbalah and now very much wanna read Williams.

I'm still a bit unsure about the class, but i'm sticking with it, sure that i can make it be a valuable experience for me.
Aim of the course: Collaborative study of the Inklings, a group of scholars and friends centered in Oxford during the decades surrounding World War II, whose works of fantasy, mythology, philology, and theology have had a far-reaching influence on recent religious thought.

Our major focus will be on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, but we will also give some consideration to Charles Williams and Owen Barfield.

[...]

Here are some of the topics and themes we'll encounter:
Representations of good and evil, moral struggle and sacrifice, fate and free will, sin and redemption, despair and hope, friendship and loss
Rediscovery of myth (and Christianity as the "true myth"); nostalgia for things medieval and archaic; the magic of words; imagination in the service of reason
Technological power: "the machine." How the Inklings responded to the challenges posed by war, environmental degradation, and social change
New voices of tradition: popular apologetics and the "romance of orthodoxy"
My MAT class consists of 2 Smith MATs (undergrad: Bowdoin and Bryn Mawr), 2 Smith juniors, a UMass senior, and me. feminist_poet, i think the prof teaches high school in your town.

I'm feeling just a touch terrified, but an hour into the class and already i had that desire to teach high school English, to instill that passion for literature in kids. Oh i've been there before, and after a few days i remember that i'm so not cut out to teach high school, but the class will be really valuable anyway. And hey, i've grown. Maybe i really could do high school. Maybe if i don't get into any PhD programs, i'll go for a MAT and go back to doing Buffy in my spare time. Dunno. Alternative plans are good to have.
English 490 is a class designed for students who are considering careers as high school English teachers. We will read and discuss texts that are commonly included in high school curricula in Ameria, and will consider strategies for teaching those texts to adolescents. Students will design lesson plans, develop units, and teach mini-lessons based on the materials covered in class. The goal of the course is to help prospective teachers forge intimate relationships with the works they may someday teach.

Requirements:
1) Students will be expected to attend all classes and to participate in class discussions.
2) Students will design and teach three lessons in front of their peers.
3) By the beginning of Spring Break, students will develop high school essay assignments for threee of the works we have considered in class. They will then write responses to those assignments. 2-3 pages for each essay quiestion.
4) By the end of the term, students will develop a curricumlum unit based on material that has not been discussed in class--a novel, a group of poems, a group of stories, or a group of essays. Students will provide answer keys for all the quizzes and tests and write written responses for all study and essay questions.
Note: The assumption of this course is that students---as advanced English majors--will have already read most, if not all, of the books to be covered, Discussions will begin with that understanding.
So, um, i volunteered to do Macbeth. (See #2.) Anyone have thoughts/suggestions?

Having everyone back is good, but having people being noisy outside my room is going to take some getting used to.

Saw Napoleon Dynamite. Um, what?

Quick poll:
Poll #424433 Napoleon Dynamite

What did you think of Napoleon Dynamite?

Loved it.
2(15.4%)
Hated it.
1(7.7%)
Mixed feelings.
5(38.5%)
Indifferent.
0(0.0%)
Haven't seen it.
5(38.5%)


"Misery is expected to peak on Monday, as 24 January has been pinpointed as the worst day of the year."
::shrugs:: I would think the worst day would be earlier in January, when you're exhausted from Christmas and dark cold winter is swirling around you. By this late in January the days are longer and you've got February coming up and everything.

William Safire's retiring? Does any reason remain for me to continue reading the NYTimes? [I was propelled to this point by three remarkable bosses: [...] and the courageous publisher Arthur "Punch" Sulzberger, who in 1973 said he wanted "another point of view" on this page, and who stuck loyally with me when he got it. ; see also: my favorite NYTimes opener ever] Though reading some of the day's columns reminded me how much i dislike his style sometimes. Is there anyone i consistently like? Don't answer that.

Is it bad that my reaction to this was to WTF the fact that there are different laws regarding the burial of "human medical waste" versus human bodies?

"I wasn't suggesting moral relativism in the least, though a certain amount of it is necessary to exist in the world without going insane. I was suggesting that, morally and ethically, we're all obligated to confront our own motives. It's very, very easy to go after the Other, the figurehead who represents our fears and hate and insecurities."
-randomways

antheia posted a bit of a ramble about Spike, particularly post-"Seeing Red" and i replied saying "I agree with all your points." Her reply: "There is a first time for everything, and I, for one, feel a party coming on! :) "

I was recently talking to wisdomeagle about "my feelings towards/about Willow and Tara and Willow/Tara and how they changed as the series progressed" and now i have left a lengthy reply to a comment in antheia's LJ on the progression of Spike. I used to talk about writing a manifesto of my opinions on all political topics so i could just point people instead of making the same arguments over and over. I am now feeling compelled to do one of my opinions on all things Whedonverse. (It will of course take forever for either, nevermind both, of these to get written, but a girl can dream.)
2:38p
Wait, what was i saying about interesting entries?
Grilled cheese! Second time in a week, 4th time in less than a month. And better grilled cheese than usual it seemed to me.

I had forgotten how much i enjoy having Skarda as a prof. Talking about the group presentations, she said, "You could do them in costume. You could do them naked. Though when the prospective student are visiting it would be a bad idea." I think i know 5 people out of the 40+ class. And it seems that if i were taking Milton or Gender and Sexuality in Greco-Roman Culture i would know quite a few students in those as well. It's unfortunate that i have MAT class when she's showing the films.

The Rec Council movie listing is mostly underwhelming, per usual, though i'm excited about Finding Neverland. Do i wanna see the Ray Charles movie? Other potentials are Closer and Saw.

I'm not particularly excited about any of the poetry readings this semester, though i suppose i should go to them.

The last day to return books to the bookstore is this coming Monday. Irksome. (Though apparently if you drop a class and bring in the add-drop slip they'll let you return your books.)

"Pease and Gay Funeral and Cremation Service of Northampton is in charge of the arrangements."
I'm sorry, that just sounds like such a bizarre name.

Note to self: go through recs page and pull out stuff for futureverse.

Spuffy kinkathon. Dude, the possibility of my not signing up for this is nil. This brings my current total up to what, 3? Someone stop me from signing up for the What If...? ficathon.

I'm offended -- though really, given the spammy nature of this entry...Collapse )

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