So, after a mere three and half hours of sleep, i wake up at 7am. What often happens when i wake up early after too little sleep and then actually get up is that in a few hours i'm passing out again, so i decided to just go back to sleep. Guess what time i next woke up? 9am. And gee, i have 9am Shakespeare. So i hustle and am only 10 minutes late to class. And there must have been a long announcy start or something because we were still on the scene we talked about last class when i got there.
I contributed thoughts, and read Isabella's part in the Isabella-Claudio scene. I'm so not a performance person at all, but dramatic readings (in class) are my one exception.
And the morning was so crazy warm lovely it was hard to be in a bad mood about anything.
Does the Religion Department not like Protestantism or something? Because Joel spent so much classtime today kinda ragging on Protestants. Okay, they misinterpret the Old Testament and some of the Catholic ritual is closer to Jewish tradition than Protestant services, okay, we get it.
Also, real awkward when he asked for interpretations of the presence of the soap-opera-y David stories in the Bible and Ruhi suggested that they were stories of what one shouldn't do and then i raised my hand and calling on me he said, "Do you buy that explanation." I got all flustered and said i thought it was a legitimate explanation and that there could be more than one explanation and finally got to my suggested interpretation, which i suspected was the one he wanted because we keep talking about the unconditional covenants and God saying he will punish his people Israel but he will not abandon them. I suggested that the "soap opera" story gave the message that God still favors His people even when they don't deserve it, that you don't earn God's favor. The Christmastime sermon about the lineage of Jesus (i.e. the house of David) and how none of them were great people was totally in my head. Mom, did Pastor Bill give that sermon? If he did, my reference to it will be the one nice thing i ever say about him.
Work was fine. Busy for a good 2 hours, mostly doing Stacey project. I also really enjoy the label maker. Bill complimented me on my "Smith haircut." Hey, it's only to my ears; it's not like i shaved my head or anything.
The English Dept. Curriculum Committee Meeting actually went really well.
We were only obligated to represent ourselves, but of course it's helpful when we can talk about experiences beyond our own, and i got to make some of the suggestions that had been made to me.
The discussion focused on the issue of the base requirement for the major (Apparently Gorra is a 199 fan, which means i can no longer say that no one likes teaching it -- and least not without compromising my honesty and integrity; obviously i'm still physically capable of making the statement.) and the pre-1832 requirement, briefly touching upon the major figures requirement. (The courses that fulfill that requirement, which was instituted when my class entered, will finally be appropriately marked in the catalog as well as having a list up on the website and distributed to department faculty, And yes, they are working on fitting Am. Lit classes into that requirement.) There was much thoughtful discussion about what the purpose of 199 is and whether it's being fulfilled (mostly, it's not) and suggestions as to how it could be fulfilled using pre-existing intro-level courses or how it could be tweaked.
Went to bed at 2am -- feeling so greezy (i hate when i don't get my morning shower) but not over-tired (and i was even awake all day).
Had difficulty getting out of bed this morning. Slept during most of my UMass lecture. Felt kinda like shit, aided by having eaten barely anything and having read the self-injury scene [i'm nigh on unsquickable, but i don't do pain well at all] in The Translator on the bus over.
After class, got UMass books since i was there and then bussed it over to Amherst to get books since one thing i needed was an article in a non-circulating journal. I have now been to the 20th floor of the UMass library (which means taking 2 elevators as floors 16-26 are their own elevator) and have been beyond the information desk at Amherst library.
One line response from Rochester: "The institution code is 2928. The Department code is 2501." Yes! That is exactly what i was seeking from the other institutions. See people, it's really not that hard.
Cate to me after class: "So, we've been watching Horatio Hornblower and thinking there must be slash for this, but we wouldn't know where to start to find the good stuff but figured you would know." ::hearts::
Around 5 i knew i must be feeling better 'cause i was hungry :) Mmm, mashed potatoes....
Went to the Demetria Martinez poetry reading in Stoddard at 7:30. Really intense.
She began with "Birthday" from her latest book, The Devil's Workshop, and that set the tone for the reading -- intense layering of metaphor, poems packed full of metaphor after metaphor, pain and political critique.... Espousal of Leftist politics always makes me uncomfortable, but she is definitely a very good poet. "Rules of Engagement" probably epitomizes the "Oh you write so well... but i am so uncomfortable with what you are saying...."
"La promesa: for Sonia (born and died May 26, 2000)" includes: "We're wanderers / Again in clay and in ink, remaking / Our covenant: to become / The eye of the storm, El ojo del dios." I thought that was really interesting, making "the eye of the storm" and "the eye of god" synonymous.
From "Remedios": "And a glow-in-the-dark vaporizer: UFO among the mists. [...] Herbs from Uruguay float in a teapot like lashes. / The package reassures: you are saving the rain forest / With each new bout of respiratory illness // Your body starts a fever, a controlled burn. / You fear you will go up like Los Alamos. [...] You are too sick to be in one place at one time, // Much less ten places at one time. / So when friends call, you say, "No." / No. No. No. No. Then you just let it ring. / Already you are shaking this thing. Like the Mayas, you discover the Zero: // The Buddha-you the wind blows through."
From "Insomnia": "The noises in your head are shrimp scuttling along / The ocean floor, filth eaters, radiant with half-life./ Already your day is dying like a coral reef."
From "Interlude #2": "I am the one Spanish word / You forgot to look up / That might have given meaning / To your life sentence."
"Upon Waking, a Lenten Dream" describes a a dream of being at a church service, given ashes on the forehead and offered a tin of honey, and includes the line: "You must learn / To accept sweetness as you have accepted ashes."
I am making copies of "Not by the Gun but by the Grant Application" for my mother and her peoples.
Then she read some from Breathing Between the Lines, which were less intense.
Spanish isn't her first language, but a poem came to her, in Spanish, and so in the book each stanza is first in Spanish and then in English. (I actually understood almost all of the Spanish on first hearing, which surprised and impressed me.) It's a very good poem. The first stanza:
Fragmentos/FragmentsRealized i need to get on the ball about requesting copies of my transcript for the places whose deadlines are in December. (Illinois needs 2 copies, why? At least Smith has stopped charging for them.)
Escribo esta cartita en español
y es como conducir sin manos,
es como el sueño de volar,
un sentido de poder, el temot
de caer. Inglés. Mi máscara,
mi espada. En su lugar, este
kimono de palabras, este huipil.
Palabras que dejan que entra viento y
sol. Toco la seda, toco el algodón.
¿Quién es la mujer en el espejo?
I write this letter in Spanish, and it is
like driving without hands, a dream
of flight, a feeling of power, a fear
of falling. English. My mask, my
sword. In its place, this kimono of
words, this huipil. Words that let in
wind and sun. I touch the silk, the
cotton. Who is the woman in the
mirror? I want to know her.
Did minimal prophecy reading for Wednesday's Bible class. (Part of the difficulty is that when one has a list of assignments for an expanse of class periods, it's difficult to gauge what's going to be talked about in each class, and one doesn't want to get so far ahead that one forgets the details of material when it actually gets covered in class. That's my story, and i'm sticking to it.)
Responded to 2 Measure for Measure Blackboard postings and added one of my own. Before we started the play, the prof reminded us that we need to have 7 postings done before Thanksgiving. Given that only 2 postings per play count, i had 8 at the time. (Technically i had, i think, 16, but like i said, only 2 per play count towards our grade.) After tonight i have fulfilled my requirement of 10 (which is what one needs for full credit for that particular 10% of one's grade) and we still have 2 plays left -- which of course i'll participate in the discussion on because i'm a good kid.
Chatted on AIM with lilithchilde. Threre was much good-natured snark. Then:
lilithchilde: now, if only I had a Buddhist paper topic.
lilithchilde: maybe something about nuns.
hermionesviolin ::pauses:: I have no snarky comment about Buddhist nuns. I know you feel deprived.
lilithchilde:: I'm not sure I can forgive you for that. It seems a bit much to ask.
hermionesviolin: Clearly this will be the rift that ultimately ends our friendship. ::cries::
lilithchilde: *grim* from now on we're bitter foes.
hermionesviolin: Ooh, i've never had a bitter foe before. It's like being fandom_wanked, only classier. Finally, i have arrived. ::preens::
After Shakespeare class i came home and called Illinois to make sure they had gotten my GRE scores since when i reported them i used "Communications - Other" instead of "Communications Research." They hadn't, so i added that to my list and then phoned in my GRE score report requests. I also obtained and filled out the Transcript Request forms from the Registrar for all my institutions. So i think all the institutional paperwork is all done now and i just have to write and sumbit my statements of purpose, writing samples, etc.
In Bible class i was called upon to read the beginning of Isaiah 6, so of course i had "Holy, Holy, Holy" stuck in my head all day. (And all i could remember of it was "Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! ... Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee... Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.")
Joel's Protestant-bashing was minimal, though he has this problematic tendency -- which was so very prominent in today's class -- to assume that we are all as familiar with the New Testament as we are with the readings we have done for class so far. He would point to passages and say "And what in the New Testament refers back to this?" Granted Isaiah 7 and Matthew 1:18-25 (King Ahaz, and the Annunciation) were on the syllabus, but he also asked about Isaiah 40:3- ("A voice cries out: in the wilderness...") and we hadn't been assigned the John the Baptist bits (though i said it in class, because i'm reasonably well-versed -- no pun intended -- in Christian narrative tradition). Joel talked about how everyone misreads (or creatively rereads) the Old Testament -- modern Christians, early Christians, the rabbis -- and even said this isn't entirely a bad thing, because although historical context is important, if a religion stops speaking to people (if it can only mean something in its original context) then it becomes a dead religion, an object for historical study only.
We're having a big deal Jeremiah scholar come speak to the class the Monday after Thanksgiving. I'm really tempted to read the Brueggemann Jeremiah commentary i picked up while at Amherst and ask the scholar what he thinks of Brueggemann's interpretation. I'm also really curious to learn more about how Joel feels about Brueggemann, because Brueggemann seems to totally ignore historical context (at least that's what i'm getting from The Prophetic Imagination so far, though the blurb on the back of the Jeremiah book actually says "In this expository commentary Walter Brueggemann explores the historical setting and message of Jeremiah as well as the text's relevance for the church today.") but he and Joel do seem like they could be on similar pages re: the Biblical narratives continuing to speak to people throughout the ages.
Work was fine. Suzannah said, "great haircut," and Taiga called it "swanky." (Why yes, i am a vain whore sometimes.)
I finished my UMass book and printed out the final paper topics. One option is "Construct a syllabus for a literature-and-society-type General Education course, including complete reading schedule and requirements. Include some appendices (like the ones on the syllabus for this course) sating what you hope the course will accomplish, and the approach you will use to teach it."
Also: Remember my talk around the midterm about the amusing list of off-limits "creative" project options? This listing ends with: "You may do a creative project, provided that you did not do one for your midterm. If you are presenting your project in some medium other than print, please consult with your section instructor in advance. Body modifications, pasta jewelry, or poetry written or recited by animals will not be accepted."
Stacey is too cute. She e-mailed with Subject line "Timesheets WOW!" and contents including "I am absolutely certain this is the best set of timesheets ever generated. Ever!" I literally laughed out loud. I do understand that positive reinforcement is a seriously good thing, but still... cute. Made my morning happier. I e-mailed back saying "::laughs:: It's the little things in life, isn't it? :)" and she replied: "it IS! but, hey, if you saw how many blanks fdots, missing signatures there usually are each cycle, you'd be amazed at this accomplishment! i have dreamed of this day...shiff." By this time i was at work and i e-mailed back saying i understood and that her joy had happified my morning. I heard her loud and distinctive laugh (oh how i'll miss her) moments later and she informed me that yes, i was responsible for the laughter. Yeah joy. *misses laynamarya*
Dinner was yummy Italian. Spaghetti with lemon sauce and olives. Delicious Italian Ice with Triple Sec. (I got seconds and wanted thirds but was full.)
In a reversal, RCFOS started off as just us talking (it usually turns into that after a beginning of "directed" discussion) and ended with a rather intense and focused discussion on forgiveness. There was an optional rosary thing afterward that i ended up staying for the beginning of but then i left (way too much Mary -- was reminded of how much i am not and never will be Catholic).
"It's Northampton. Of course they have GLBT contra-dancing." -e.koke
I missed rhipowered's Birthday Pub Crawl at Tunnel Bar as they had already moved on to Packards, which i hadn't realized was part of the plan until i came back and checked AIM. Didn't really feel like heading to Packard's, so i went to my house study break instead, though i didn't stay there long either. I was kinda tired, which makes me not particularly social.
However, someone has to take me to Tunnel Bar some time. The menu makes me drool. (Strawberries D'Amour: Fresh strawberries and ladyfingers ready for dipping in a warm Swiss chocolate sauce.) And i was looking forward to FINALLY getting my own glass of Reisling. They also have White Merlot (?!) and Flavored Martinis.
The Religion Department is at an annual conference, so Dead Sea Scrolls class was a lame video -- a videotaped lecture from a conference from the late '80s. It was basically a review of what we've done so far in class. And it wasn't always even a very good lecture. He would stare at his notes, say "yeah," and the best part was when he talked about the cycle of Sabbath Sacrifices, which take place the first 7 Sabbaths of the year, and then a few minutes later referred back to it and mentioned the cycle of 12 Sabbaths, realized what he had done, and said, "Oh, did I say 7 Sabbaths earlier? I meant 12, but the 7th one is important.... mumble mumble blah blah." Cate suggested perhaps he had done a bit too much drinking with the archaeologists the previous night :). We were supposed to "discuss" afterward but yeah, that took about 3 seconds. Christine's bringing donuts for Tuesday. Someone said the prof had mentioned the second video was a bit dry. One can only pray he had confused the two. Though at least we had some MST3K-esque fun with this one.
I get to return the favor to Abby (she who covered for me so i could attend the English Department Curriculum Committee Meeting) by covering her Tuesday afternoon shift as she's leaving early for Thanksgiving and i'm leaving late despite having my Tuesday afternoon class cancelled.
Went to Little Shop with lilithchilde and bella_loki. FINALLY met sarah_p. I was totally fearful that it wouldn't live up to my expectations [i absolutely adored my high school's production], but it was a very good show.
Audrey should be blonde [as she was in this production], but because ours was not it always feels wrong. There was no blackout for "total eclipse of the sun" and i was doing general lighting nit-picking early on, but Jacquelyn informed me after the show that they had only had a couple days to do all the lighting, so i was impressed and felt bad about nit-picking. There was a definite intensity in Seymour in the opening "gotta get out of here" which was interesting in contrast to what i recall our production being a much more dejected, passive tone. Having had more exposure to Judaism, i got the "shiva" joke this time. Sarah W-W was so hot as a Skid Row whore. Though as the Dentist she definitely had a sinister and erotic edge that our Dentist was just too goofy for, though i admit he was threatening in his scenes with Audrey -- which made it all the more creepy because the actor so wasn't like that at all. (Not to imply that Sarah W-W as a person is sinister at all, because she is not.)
Now i wanna watch our video of the NHS production. (Lo, something to make me excited about going home for Thanksgiving. Not that i don't like seeing my family, but there's nothing awaiting me that particularly excites me.)
We came home and watched Firefly (Shindig, Safe, Our Mrs. Reynolds). OMR may well be the funniest episode of the season. I have no particular love for Saffron, though. Inara/Saffron was mentioned and i squicked. "Squick" feels like the wrong word, but that visceral "no no not them not ever" reaction is most of the definition of squick. While i think Saffron would fuck Inara either to serve some other purpose or just because she's hot, i think Inara hates Saffron, and not just in a competitive kind of way, but really finds her mode of being in the world abhorrent - and Inara is so selective about whom she takes to bed that i really just don't see it. (Though i suppose one could always do a "If only things had been different..." kind of a fic where they're being trained at the same Academy or something.) Allie pointed out that i should rewatch "Trash" before making final statements about the two of them, which is true. And i'm not entirely willing to give up my statement that i'm willing to buy any pairing if its written well enough (or if i hear a case for it made well enough) though there are certainly plenty of pairings that just don't interest me or that i don't particularly like.
We got talking about the other Whedonverse. I had forgotten how much Allie and i argue about. I totally know that we disagree on tons, but because it hasn't come up on quite a while i had forgotten. (Discussion about Firefly tends to be less heated since there's just less source material.) I talk about writing a manifesto of all my stances on political/social/ethical issues; maybe i should write one of all my Whedonverse opinions as well.
Woke up in time to go to Shakespeare class, which was good. We didn't actually get to Coriolanus (no big surprise) which was mildly irksome as i had actually made sure to do the reading. Our final drafts are due this Monday. E-mail from the prof: "Second drafts are usually due a week after you get them back--i.e. a week from Monday. In this case I'm perfectly happy to say they're due on Tuesday, and if you need a further extension and want to destroy your Thanksgivings see me about it."
After class i had breakfast, went to my UMass class, came home and took a nap, went to (No) Talent Tea, had dinner. Yeah, it's been an exciting day. Am going to Little Shop again tonight, though, this time with marauderthesn.
E-mail (to 3 students) from the professor of the seminar i really must take next semester:
I'm delighted that you are interested in my folklore seminar. Will you kindly look through the attached description and write back with a brief account of what part of the reading you think you will be most interested in, which materials are already familiar to you, and what background you may have to bring to the seminar? A brief and informal email message will be fine. I want to see how the interests and backgrounds of the students in the seminar will fit together, and I look forward to hearing from you. I'll turn the list of admitted students in to the registrar after I've heard from everyone.I'm trying not to interpret this as meaning i might not get into the seminar. If i don't get in, heads will roll. Two different professors were willing to let me into their seminars this semester, my only qualifications being that i had taken class with them previously and not flunked. I am mad qualified for this course.
Thanks again for your interest; I'm very excited about this course.
Now to catch up on however many days of my friendspage.
Oh, and no i haven't read the latest ats_nolimits yet.
sarah_p is doing btvs_santa again this year, and raebird did a Firefly spin-off: serenity_santa. I really shouldn't do these, but... you do get to specify the stuff you're willing to do, so that makes it a lot less scary. I also like the no-pressure fandomwishlist [ *whores self out* ] and may get sucked into doing Secret Slasha again. (Yes i am insane. Anyone who was around last semester when i was taking 5 classes and a dozen or so ficathons knows that.)
Also, phineasjones was seeking "fic that takes place in winter/is wintery" and i imagine she would still appreciate recs.