evilhippo: hippo (62 [full])
( Feb. 25th, 2009 09:44 pm)
For those of you who would perhaps know...

How does one go about getting recommendations from professors that are no longer with the university? Do they even care about former students that aren't from their current institution? Do I just send them an e-mail at their new university and hope that they remember me (this is very unlikely in at least one case, because even though the prof loved my papers, we didn't really talk much and it was a class of over 100 students).

I am really regretting my lack of immersion in the English department. (Also, it's been what, at least three years since I started complaining about this and they STILL haven't updated their website.)

I wonder if Bevington or Veeder would remember me? But I'm afraid of Bevington... mostly because my midterm paper for his class was so horrible I never wanted him to see me again. And Veeder... I was pretty lackluster in his class, and his classes were gigantic, so no. Argh, argh, argh. Why didn't I take care of this crap while I was still in college?!

Also, wow, Creative Writing finally has its own department-proper. And they've gotten rid of that awful beginning fiction lottery... apparently, as of spring semester of my last year. Go UofC. I was going to say I missed you, but now I'm also remembering how you were constantly out to get me.

Also your websites aren't helping me get recommendations. Goshdarn you.
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So guys I, uh, have a degree now. How weird is that? The ceremony was pretty much what I expected it to be--fairly boring (save for one student's speech, which was wonderful, but he's been showing me up in my classes for four years, so I'd expect that from him), exceedingly long (every single one of us was handed our actual diploma, so well over a thousand names were called)... and it turns out there are only about two people in the the entirety of the Social Sciences division that I know.

And, up until today, I had no idea how steeped in tradition academic ceremonies really are. Also, I am considering getting my PhD just so I can wear the robes. Though I wouldn't get it from Chicago... ours are just maroon. I'd go to Barcelona or something, so I could have a fringed fez.

So, really there's a lot I should be writing. Yesterday was nuts, especially once my parents got here... We ended up crashing the party at the Museum of Science and Industry (technically the formal afterparty for the baccalaureate) in our street clothes. Which basically means, say, for my dad, who was the most outstanding example of disobeying the supposed fashion rules, a denim jacket, a paint-splattered t-shirt, and suspenders. Suspenders. Apparently a few kids mistook him for Santa Claus a few weeks ago (before he got his hair cut for my graduation). I love how my parents are a constant embarrassment. We put the truck's tailgate down while we were waiting for our table at the Medici today, too. I'm just going to pretend it's like a cultural thing or something. That's a good excuse, right? (All of this and I'm not technically embarrassed... more amused, really.)

P.S. I am still homeless.
I've been pretty manic today... I think it's because I got about four hours of sleep and then filled myself up with caffeine. Not healthy, but I've got tomorrow to recover, as long as I recover fast enough to get work done on my BA.

I finished my paper with an entire half hour to spare this morning. I don't really know or care if it was any good... I was kind of tired.

I survived my two morning classes. I'm pretty sure I smirked and/or laughed at inopportune moments and/or plotted through the entirety of Medieval Lit today. The annoying barrage of story ideas continues... mostly to spite me because they know I don't have enough time to write them. Without a doubt, they'll scatter once I have time.

I took a nap this afternoon with strong storms in the background, and then I studied for a while for my Graphic Novel midterm... which wasn't nearly as bad as it could've been. But without my little study session yesterday I imagine I would've done terribly. Also, I got to draw pictures as examples. I hope the prof appreciates them...

Needless to say, though, the midterm kind of wore me out (five total hours of sleep doesn't leave me with much energy), so I'm kind of dragging my feet on working on the three-page paper that's a quarter of the midterm grade (which is only 10% of the total grade, so I kind of... don't care a whole lot). It was really foggy when I got back from dinner, so I went out to the point and took pictures, as usual. This flickr thing is getting kind out out of hand, I think. My adventurous ladybug picture has gotten a lot of attention lately and I'm all 'oh! people like my photography!' which just makes me want to keep taking random pictures. And so today... random pictures (those two being possibly my two favourites for today... hmm.)

Also, I stumbled across this story about Stephen Hawking taking a flight in a zero-gravity jet... which I just find adorable. Mostly because the quote in there has him saying something that has to do with actual excitement, and not physics. And it's sadly hard to associate him with human concepts, since he's so linked to the image the computerized voice projects... it's about time there was an article that made me go "aww, Stephen Hawking is human!" Awww, Stephen Hawking.
My obsession with/love of John Vanderslice's Pixel Revolt continues. I fear I may not get it out of my system until I write a lot of short stories about some of the songs. Why is this album full of such great story ideas?

My brain is constantly itching to get to this summer so I can sit down and write things I want to write. There are so many stories. I like this feeling. I hope it sticks around into the summer.

My group for my Graphic Novel class is very cool. This isn't going to prevent us from failing tomorrow's midterm, even though we just sat down and studied all the terms for an hour and a half, but it was fun anyway. At least our presentation ought to be okay.

My paper still isn't done. I know what I'm writing about... but I can't decide on which passage to link it to. It would help massively if Medieval English was at all easy to skim.

My new computer is a few clicks away from being ordered. I feel guilty, but I want to talk my mom into putting it on her credit card, because I don't have anything with less than 20% interest per year, and that's evil... And $900 on my credit card puts me dangerously close to my credit limit. Urgh.
evilhippo: hippo (63 [blank])
( Apr. 21st, 2007 12:17 pm)
I need to get out of the habit of trying this whole "studying outside" thing every time it's nice outside. Frack. All I've accomplished is crossing out the entire first two pages of my BA. I hate openings. And I wish I wasn't being encouraged to rewrite this, because I'm going to completely change direction with it, and it'll either be worse or a lot better, and it'll be impossible for me to tell because I'll get no feedback on it before it goes up for review.

If only there wasn't wireless out here. It's beautiful. I don't want to be inside. And this campus is freaking enabling me. The sun is so nice. And warm. Maybe I'll even become less pale out here.

Oh well. At least my computer batteries only last an hour or so, at best. Of course... then I'll try to read. Because inside... I'm so tired of it.
Tonight, I went running in the rain with my roomies. Hannah went for a brief, very cold swim, then told us how to monitor for hypothermia and how to treat it. (It's a good thing she's prepared for the apocalypse.) I don't know what I'd do without my roomies. I'd have consumed a bit less of Lake Michigan when some of it decided to sneak up and fall on top of me (I'll admit I screamed a bit--the lake is still cold!), but I figure that's a fair trade for the stress relief and random. Apparently this storm coming through was supposed to be really intense. It did a decent job of soaking us, but the lake did it better, since we were foolish enough to stand near it.

If I could get myself to be less sick of my BA and actually work on it, I'd be doing quite well. I have the rights to a car with which to race the 171 down South Shore, and I've got someone's word that I can launch them into space if I can build a rocket powered by Diet Coke and Mentos (the current plans involve a kind of time-release capsule, like Tylenol).

Must be less sick of my BA...

I still haven't seen the new episode of Doctor Who. Goshdarn people getting back late tonight.
evilhippo: hippo (44 [hmm])
( Mar. 28th, 2007 11:40 pm)
So much on my mind lately. I think that pretty much comes with having four classes, though. It keeps me... conscious, I suppose. I let so much slide by when I've only got three classes, and now I've got four, my BA to finish up, a PE class, and I'm thinking about picking up another part-time job.

Quite obviously, I haven't hit my stride yet this quarter. Hopefully I'll be forgiven tomorrow for having nothing to talk about in my Medieval Lit class. The reading's several thousand lines long, and I don't have the chops to deal with that much Middle English. And I'm a bit more worried about my Renaissance Drama class, since there are only two other people to carry the conversation (though it looks like there are four people registered now. That's kind of a comfort.) The books still aren't in for my 18th century lit class, and I'm going to do my Graphic Novel reading between classes, since I'll have nothing better to do.

In which I muse more on my Graphic Novel class... )

In unrelated class-type news, I'm actually considering buying a pair of ballet shoes. Not because I need them, but because they're comfy, and my ballet class will be a good excuse. (Same goes for the comfy pants I'm going to have to find and buy, since at best I've only got about one pair.) So, I've got myself a trip downtown sometime this weekend, when I'm not working on my BA (which I imagine I'll be working on most of Friday and Saturday, since I'm kind of behind again, and want to do a lot of rearranging. Anyone care to give me a hand with read-overs of the first chapter and such? At this point, I'm paranoid that my changes will make things worse, and it'd be useful to have people to talk me out of my paranoia. And hopefully get me though the extra chapter or two I have to have done by April 9th.)

I love being busy. I feel so much more useful. And it's keeping my mind off the fact that this is my last quarter here. Be happy for that, because otherwise I'd be a horrible nostalgic sap at this point, and it'd only get worse as the months went on. (You're lucky I have better things to write about. And dubiously better things to do.)
All four classes on Tuesday and Thursday doesn't seem like it'll be as horrible as it could be. And I have an hour and a half in the middle of the afternoon which I promise myself I will use for swimming laps so I won't be in horrible shameful shape all quarter. (My goals! They are... kind of odd. Oh well.)

There are only three people in my Renaissance Urban Drama class. I'm going to have to withhold my judgment on that one for about a week, so I can figure out whether it's going to be really awkward all quarter, or awesome. The other girl seems kind of uptight and icky, but the guy (he was in my Hum class first year, oddly enough) seems cool enough. It's possible we'll survive. As long as I can overwrite my discovery today, which was that the prof has David Tennant's eyes and hair. The glasses threw me off for a good hour, then I noticed it and couldn't stop seeing him as a slightly shrunk version of him (as long as I didn't look at his mouth). It was nine in the morning... that's my defense.

Medieval English Lit is going to be a chore, since everything is going to be staying in Middle English. But, we don't have to know it, since everything will be annotated. And it's cool to read in Middle English. And, quite possibly the strongest mark in its favour is that the prof reads things aloud in Middle English (it sounds kind of like English rendered with a really, really heavy Scottish accent. Which makes me think of Highlander, unfortunately.)

Irony in 18th century lit should be pretty tolerable. It's definitely a class that I'm only looking forward to the reading in, though. The prof seems interesting, though she's almost unnaturally skinny. She looks Irish, and (as I could've told you in the first five minutes of class, when she managed "aboat" and "soory" within 30 seconds of each other) is Canadian. All irrelevant facts, really. But there they are. Mostly, I'm taking this class because we're reading Tristram Shandy, and I want an excuse to read that.

Then there's "The Graphic Novel." Which, by my analysis, should be the coolest of my classes. I don't know why I went into this class expecting that it wouldn't be full of pretentious English majors and other annoying ilk, but I did. This is obviously my first mistake, so I'll give it a few more days before I go off on a long "Holy crap, annoying people" tangent. But I'd say 75% of the class is totally clueless on comics of all but the standard newspaper sort and (just as I thought) 300 and other such movies. Honest, 300 and Spiderman are the ones that came up. People could at least take the class because of Sin City. Please? Also, there's a contingent of about 5 especially clueless and vocal econ majors. I wouldn't mind them if they weren't so vocal. And clueless. And since there are five of them, they make up a full fifth of the class. That is bad. So, I think for Thursday I'll make an effort to stop looking at most of the class as annoying, and maybe it won't be so bad. But unfortunately right now, this is the one class I'm closest to dropping, because group projects are a good half of my grade, and if less than half of the class is tolerable, the chances of being in a tolerable group are quite slim, especially considering my usual luck with groups. Gah.
evilhippo: hippo (37 [listening])
( Jan. 22nd, 2007 02:25 pm)
I would be dead right now if I had classes today. I'm probably going to be dead tomorrow anyway, but at least I'll be less dead than I would be if I still had a 9:00 class. If I don't start looking for jobs by the end of this week, though, everyone gets to beat me up.

I've also noticed that, in all my horrendous complaining lately, I've completely left out the really cool stuff, like dinner hangings-out every weekend and ridiculous discussions of random things (as per usual). Unfortunately, these things take up time which I always think I should be using for my BA (because aaaargh it doesn't flow right yet), leaving me stressed the frack out. Which is why I'm spending the rest of today at the library. (Harper, though, to protect my soul.)

Last night involved watching episodes 6-11 of Battlestar Galactica in rapid succession so I could watch the start of season 3.5 with all the cool kids. Probably not the sanest move on my part (or the guy from across the hall who watched 7-11 with me). But I'd forgotten how much fun it is to watch things with other people sometimes. I'd also forgotten how hard it is for me to keep my mouth shut during certain things. (It was probably worst during the scenes with Lee and Starbuck. I would have been happier when Starbuck kicked Lee in the face, but it managed to be the moment right after I decided I wanted to kick her in the face more.) I also seem to have an unfortunate sense of TV timing, because I was able to provide Lee with a near-perfect gibberish voice-over during most of the boxing scenes. I am an awful, awful person. At least watching last night's episode involved a kind of reverential silence. Except during commercials, which was free time for random speculations. (Most of which involved Adama's mustache being a Cylon.) Percent of time last night spent in a room in which I was the only girl: 85. Percent of commercial time last night spent trying to explain to everyone in the room why I wanted to shove Baltar out of an airlock: 53. Percent of commercial time last night spent telling everyone that I expected more giant mantises killing the Chief on the algae planet: 30. Percent of the final five cylons that are secretly appliances: 100. ("Oh no! It's a lamp!" "A real toaster!" "Refrigerator!" I'm sorry... If I'd known... "If I'd known, I'd never have kicked you, Vending Machine!")

Last night also involved a bit of impromptu snow-vandalism, because the 12th floor people decided they were going to write "Bradbury" in the snow (the name of their house) in front of the building. Unfortunately, it was kind of illegible, so I had to fix it to make it more readable. And now I believe I'm going to need to write bread-fury in the snow more often. Only in a place where it's harder for cars to run over it. And maybe next time I won't wait until I'm back upstairs to take a picture.
evilhippo: hippo (10 [wee])
( Jan. 9th, 2007 11:23 pm)
I think this might be the earliest I've been able to make a "Hey guys, these are my classes!" post. This makes me very happy, on top of the happy I already am over my classes. So, my schedule for this quarter looks like this:

In which I ramble at length about my classes )
Well, I somehow survived. Paper turned in on time (though my TA hasn't e-mailed me back about how to get comments). I got my portfolio in exactly ten seconds late, but I was the only one who noticed that, so it doesn't matter. Of course, I'm not entirely happy with it, but... not really anything I can do about it now. And goshdarnit, I worked on it for 18 hours, so... whatever. Most of the prints were okay, so I'll just live with it. I wish it hadn't been so rushed, but everything's been rushed the past three days or so. It's scary that I feel like it's relaxing that I've got six pages plus corrections on seven more due by tomorrow night (technically, Thursday afternoon, but my mom's coming to visit and she gets here Thursday morning. I refuse to ditch her for poetry).

My current random annoyance, though? (Aside from my horrible lack of sleep.) It seems the UofC has gone and actually switched over to accepting the common application. Which wouldn't be an all-out sell-out move if our application wasn't pointedly called "The Uncommon Application". So, unless we're judging applicants on whether, in a choice between Common and Uncommon, they pick the right one, that's just plain silly and hypocritical. Oh, and stupid. This year I feel like all of a sudden the UofC's decided to start trying to be like the Ivies or something. But the point is that we're different, in an obscure way. The point of the Uncommon Application wasn't the essay questions, which the administration says we're keeping as a supplement to the Common App. Those were important, but it's what the Uncommon App stands for. Other schools have unusual essay questions, let's face it guys. I'm sure, at the least, Reed does. And though they're on the Common App, they've already got self-selecting down pat since they refuse the ratings. Come on, UofC. You move up a few spots because you can't do your taxes right and suddenly you get greedy and want more?

Needless to say, lots of students are in an uproar. There was even a well-attended protest. I mean, seriously, one of the excuses the admin is giving us is that the common app will make it easier for low-income people to apply. ... Because it's paperwork standing in their way, not the fact that we're one of the most expensive universities in the country.

Oh, and last I saw in the press release, there was a grammatical error. What is this place coming to? It abuses me for four years, and now it's trying to change its image to attract lazy front-running applicants (probably so they can reject them and decrease our acceptance rate which, at 30-some percent last I checked (four years ago), looks like we're easy. Until you do your homework and see our average scores). Sigh. For seriously, UofC, now is not the time for an identity crisis. I'm going to be stuck with the reputation you develop for the rest of my life.
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evilhippo: hippo (15 [pretty])
( Nov. 9th, 2006 08:45 pm)
Well, I survived another photo critique. This one didn't go as well as the last... probably because I printed most of my images on about four hours of sleep (go me!), thus impairing my proper judgment. I hope my paper didn't sound as airheaded as I did at crits. But... well, it's an art class. I guess I can be allowed to sound a little airheaded. Maybe. I should probably work on sucking at printing, though. ... And on being awake for my classes. I was doing well on the awake thing this morning until about six, when I thought that it'd be a good idea to re-read the poetry book. Somehow I overlooked the fact that it was boring an monotonous and ended up sleeping until 10:30. In the end, I got nine prints done, and I only needed five, so I guess it ended up okay. We ended up in a discussion of the gender of the camera, during which I admitted I wasn't sure of it either, and planned to play with it by taking pictures in the girls' and boys' bathrooms, but unfortunately the lighting in the boys' bathroom sucked. It got weirder from there, in reference to the relativity of gender, and it amuses me now that I'm farther away from it to think of how uncomfortable I would've been had the same conversation gone on while I was in high school. Guess I've grown up or something. To the point that I can admit to sneaking into the boys' bathroom in the Reg. Though apparently not beyond the point that I would sneak into the boys' bathroom in the Reg.

Next week marks our meetings with the prof. I imagine mine going something like this:

"You did better on your first two projects. The third was an interesting idea, but why did the printing suck?"
Well, you see... my negatives kind of sucked. In that they were incredibly weird and required lots of dodging and/or burning, which doesn't work well on four hours of sleep.
"Stop procrastinating."
I know.
"Why did your negatives suck?"
For one, I was adjusting to a new lens. Notice how things were in focus this time? Also, I'm beginning to suspect my light meter of treason. It hasn't been the same since I dropped it on Shiva.
"Erm."


Now I think I'm going to go lie down, and try not to think about how I have reading to do for tomorrow that actually needs done, because the professor's gonna be sitting in on discussion. Ick.
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Hey look guys, I'm on the cover of the Maroon! (The fun context to this is that this voice post was only five minutes later. I love how it almost (if you squint) looks like I'm giving the camera the finger. Also, that article is full of lies. There's no way this crap is the result of an increase in our transportation budget.)

Right now, I'm that awful sort of "I'm nearly done with this incredible mess" sort of tired. The "if only I could take a nap and finish this later" tired. But I can't take a nap. Because for all I know, I'm gonna have to make a trip downtown again tomorrow afternoon to pick up paper for my photography class, and that means I have to get all my homework for tomorrow done now. (I processed my film tonight, and I was so happy to discover my pictures had come out. It's such an amusing feeling of accomplishment... first time I've done all of this myself. And I'm slightly proud that I had the developing process almost memorized already. But dude, one of the girls that was in there slightly before I got there was such a snob about knowing what she was doing. Freaking crap, people. Knowing how to develop your film doesn't make you cooler if you're a snot about it. And yaaay, even though my negatives are waaay darker than I'm used to (not the best sign ever... but I'm so used to them being thin), there are some pictures that I really can't wait to print, just to see how they turned out.)

So, um, obviously things are going better today. I didn't cry at my advisor like I thought I would, mostly because she's just not the sort of person you can cry at. It would've been awkward. (I think I realized that I only break down at people I know well enough to be sure they won't like... I don't know. Hate me forever. Except my mom. She's still not talking to me. I have no idea what's up with that, but screw it, I have too much on my mind to deal with it. Let her sulk. It's not like I'm actually mad at her, but apparently she's mad at me, so... whatever.) Plus I finally found someone to talk to in the English Department and I was given a faint glimmer of wonderful hope that I won't delve into right now, mostly because I don't want it to disappear by me talking about it or something. I think I'm afraid to be happy now when anything looks fixed. Oh, the lessons I've learned from my computer.
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The question of the day yesterday may have been "Can Hippo's week get any more messed up?"

The answer today is, apparently, yes. )

Also, it occured to me to wonder, since the power is presumably still out at Shoreland, if the university will replace my ice cream. Do they have ice cream insurance? Because that was tasty ice cream, and it's gonna be all melty and not good anymore if the power's out for 12 hours.
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evilhippo: hippo (27 [help])
( Oct. 2nd, 2006 11:24 pm)
Suffice it to say I feel much better now. (I'm not sure I should listen to that phone post again myself... I imagine it's embarrassing.) And things always seem better when you can sit down at write them out. Today's just been... weird. I got up this morning, fully intending to get downtown and back before class at 1:30, but that totally didn't work because I slept in until 10:30 and I had to take a shower. I debated a little about going anyway, figuring I could make it back, but somehow while I was doing this it suddenly became a quarter til one and I had to go to class. Which was delightful, and I have a feeling it will be for the rest of the quarter, but it is a supremely weird feeling to agree with almost everything the professor says and be on the same page... at the same time. Like "Hm, I hope we talk about this part next" and the next thing being "And now, moving to [that part]." And knowing the answers to the magical pedagogical nightmare what's-in-my-pocket game, which apparently he prides himself on being obtuse about. Unfortunately, there are other people in the class just as quick on this (because I think by this point everyone knows the trick to at least the first few days of class, and also because everyone here is depressingly smart sometimes, so I don't get to feel special). The prof, though, Veeder (as he's known to everyone), has a sort of cult following in the English department, so I'm thoroughly scared of agreeing with him. I mean, I don't want to be a groupie. I can totally see how people end up hanging on his every word, though. He's got a sense of humour, and a very interesting way of interpreting everything. It's just... what he gets mad at critics about seems so obvious to me, so I can't help agreeing with him. Plus his philosophy of interpretation is nearly the same as mine. (Which I'd explain if I was sure at this point that I've got his right... for now, I'll be vague to avoid embarrassment.)

Um, anyway... before I even got to class, there is a story. See (as we've already covered in some vague detail today) the buses suck this year more than they've ever sucked before (too few, too small, too never-on-time, too... made of nonsensical useless routes), so I get to campus a good 20 minutes before class starts. I was gonna buy the book I needed, but it was $60, so I walked over to the Reg and just printed Young Goodman Brown out at the mac lab (I've read that story so many times now anyway...) And while I was (five minutes late, because the printers were screwed up) running to class, I noticed massive storm clouds on the horizon. And so, as I was walking, it started raining on me. I remember thinking "Oh crap" because I didn't even have jacket (it was amazingly warm and lovely this morning). So it stormed massively all through class (providing all sorts of appropriate thunder during our discussion of gender roles). And I mean... it did storm massively. The uchicago discussion of it is rather amusing, for the comments about what sort of trucks can be blown off the road. It continued to storm even after class was over, so I hurried across campus (getting rained on) and waited for the bus in the Reynold's Club. Now, the problem with this is, even though we've have a (uselessly) several-thousand-dollar overkill flatscreen TV hooked up to the buscam (which is really a website. See?), it only displays for about thirty seconds at a time, then switches to the (never updated and always useless) student government website. Almost always whenever a bus would otherwise be shown approaching, making it impossible to catch the bus. So I went outside and dealt with the drip drip dripping... for half an hour. Because the bus decided to be late. There had to be a crowd of 30+ students waiting for the bus (most of us not dressed for the rain. Thanks, weathermen.) And when it finally came (20 minutes late, as far as I was concerned, but considering the crowd, probably a good 40+ minutes late), it was nearly full, so only about ten more people could fit on, leaving the rest of us to walk back in the rain or wait another twenty, probably thirty minutes for the next bus. So obviously walk it was. And for some reason, streets in Hyde Park don't hold up well in more than five minutes of rain, and there were puddles everywhere and I had no choice but to call and complain, because I'd planned on being downtown by 4 this afternoon so I'd have time to take pictures.

But that's okay, because I did make it downtown, and Dar entertained me over the phone most of the way there, even though I had to yell at her (and countless people probably thought I was nuts, especially at the bus stop when I said something like "No, you're right, you can't kill Dr. Gregory!" People actually turned around to stare, which made it hard for me to bring up other topics, since they also involved the verb to kill. Oh, innocent bystanders). And downtown always cheers me up when I'm there alone. It's so nice to be able to wander the streets by myself, with no one else's shoddy sense of direction to contradict (who goes northwest when we should be going southeast? Shouldn't people at least get it half right?) So I picked up the film and some of the supplies I need (the rest is coming in the mail from my dad, which makes me very happy because this way I won't have to spend $300 on the class), then grabbed something that was not quite lunch and not quite dinner at Quiznos. I was going to wander and take pictures, but I realized, though I'd remembered my camera and it'd stopped raining, I'd forgotten my light meter, so I went and waited for the bus... unfortunately, right in front of Garrett's, so I had to get popcorn because, goshdarnit, when the bus isn't coming the smell of caramel popcorn can really get to you (especially when you've been a slightly amused sort of angry most of the day, and need something sweet to make up for it. Or something. Really, it's just the smell, and I think the bad weather scared away most of the line that's usually there).

But you know what's not amusing (or tasty, or intellectually enriching)? Now it's not only the high and mighty Sir Nicolas Jerkface Pizzolatto that hasn't e-mailed me back, but the undergrad head of the English department... thing, as well. And I can't seem to get a hold of the people who're supposed to fix my computer to check on its status. What gives, people? Is the rest of the world cutting me off for a reason? (At least the English Department lady has an office, which I totally intend to march into sometime tomorrow... actually, probably Wednesday when I have more time, after my advisor appointment (boy is she gonna get an earful, poor thing)... and act all indignant and offended and... grr. Definitely very grr.)

Oh, and I didn't even manage to get into how many cars nearly hit me today. What the heck? It had to have been like, five. It's wet out, people! Stop sucking at driving! I know most of you have decent brakes in normal weather, but I so don't trust you in the rain. So stop almost hitting me!
Oh. my. goodness. If ever there was an epitome of Englishmajordom BS, it would be contemporary poetry. I can already see that I will treasure this poetry class... as only a disgruntled literature-reader and believer-in could: with utmost disdain and wtfery. Seriously, seriously wtf! We honestly spent an hour and a half today talking about whether it was possible to capture nature in art, and whether it was valid to argue on the basis of whether the poem was happy or sad, and how much the poet's reading could affect that, and whether meaning existed inside or outside the work (which, honestly, my Intro to Ficiton class covered so much more coherently and most importantly quite conveniently in a way I completely agreed with). If this class wasn't required, I'd drop it like a hot potato or... well, a class on poetry. But I don't feel like waiting and taking a stodgier poetry class because in this one we're at least we're writing reviews instead of papers, so when it comes to be my time, I can be as freaking snarky as I want. The only thing redeeming about this stuff is my amusement at Poe, who has nothing at all to do with this class, but who, even if he wasn't serious, told everyone how he basically mathematically derived The Raven. At least he wasn't like "Well, I wrote the first stanza and then followed the form from there and look, what I wrote makes no sense but it's there anyway!" Or, later in this poet-dude's career "I write things that seem to mean, rather than things that mean." Oh good! So your poetry basically reads like my spam folder! Awesometacular, dude, I'm totally behind you on that one.

So guys, did they throw the painter into the sea, or just his canvas? Or does it not matter, because while painting the ocean, which was his soul or perhaps a prayer, the portrait became one of himself so when the cynical artists in the building threw him into the sea it was the same? Is this, perhaps, a 1940s-era Gary Stu poem, in which the (emo) poet sees himself (a painter) crusified (by his art) for trying to capture the soul of nature--his soul/prayer--but is drowned in a sea of his own tears by the critics, who obviously see that what he's saying is a load of random words that only get more random the older he gets? (Five points to anyone who can name the poem and poet I'm complaining about.)
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evilhippo: hippo (34 [sleepy])
( Sep. 25th, 2006 09:51 pm)
No matter what I do, I've only got one class MWF. I guess that's not bad, but it's a 1:30 class which means I can sleep in forever those days. And that's not good for me. Le sigh. And I'm still in the middle of this sort of semi-panic state because I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow. Do I want to go to the poetry class? Do I skip the art class in the hopes of getting into the photography class (because I don't want the art class except to get into the photography class). How awkward is it going to be to show up for the photography class and beg the professor? (The only answer to that that I have right now is Thousands of Times Less Awkward Than Showing Up For the Fiction Class). I've decided I'm going to write an e-mail to the fiction prof, see if I can meet with him sometime or just state my case through e-mail, but, gah, I'm so terrified of him. I know I have to try, but I just have no idea how.

And it doesn't help that I'm like, fifty billion times more lost than usual now because my computer's on its way to Texas to be fixed. I finally gave in and sent it off, because it finally started breaking before dusk and I was tired of waiting. Calling FedEx to schedule a pickup was... erm... an adventure. Let it be known that I officially hate voice-recognition automated phone... thingies. It kept asking me questions I didn't know the answer to, so I'd hang up on it and try again. 0 didn't get me an operator. Saying "operator" didn't get me an operator. So I finally stuck it out and stayed on the line through all the stupid questions until it decided it also had no idea what I was talking about and asked me if I wanted to talk to a representative. In fact, it said "If you would like to speak with a representative, say 'representative'". And in what I believe was a clear voice I said "representative". To which it replied "Thank you for calling FedEx" and hung up on me. So I started over and actually got a representative the second time. Freaking phones.

So... now I'm lost, computerless, mostly without classes... and I've got a headache. It's not cool. Though, at least Intro to Fiction is sort of a cool class. People are right, the prof is interesting. I think I'll like it. So... I guess, on the bright side, at least right now 100% of my classes are cool.
I played DDR today, for the first time in... well, since I went to see Serenity, so that was Octoberish. And that really doesn't count, since it was an arcade machine in a movie theatre. I got beat in the first round... on Stomp to My Beat. I can double-A that song. I blame it on the fact that I haven't played in in forever. (Most of the people there played on Standard, I mean... I so should have been able to beat them. I miss DDR!!) The room smelled intensely of nerd on a level only reached by the A-level during finals week. It's really a wonder I survived in it for so long. (I think some of it might have stuck to me, too... I probably smell like nerd and Chinese food. Yuck.) Oh, and there were cosplayers. You know, I kind of wish I'd had a camera. The feel of things like this in a building you have classes in is just... erm. Well, picture the Biology building at your school of choice. Now imagine Asuma walking around. And throw in a guy in a wizard-type costume that I didn't recognize playing Go. Yeah. In BSLC. So much easier to deal with mentally when there's an hour and a half of the blue line in between you and strangeness like that. (UChi-con, by the way. And no, I don't know what the "slash contest" was. And yes, I'll admit slightly to wanting to show up in the Psiren costume, just to confuse the freaking crap out of people. But once again... this is the BSLC. No way am I cosplaying in a place I have classes in, unless it's for the greater good of Scav or something. And man were there a lot of people wearing FMA stuff.)

I have the worst urge in the world to figure out how to write Urahara, but I also know I'm a good half-year behind in Bleach, and there's no way I could pull it off. Now I'm going to have to catch up. Darnit. Even though I know he's barely involved. I should also be devoting my energy to writing something I can turn in to get myself into a creative writing class. Someone poke me with a stick until I get on that, okay? The deadline's the first, and I'm screwed on my BA next year if I don't have two creative classes under my belt by the end of autumn quarter.

There was something else I was going to say, but I cannot remember it right now, no matter how hard I try. It's probably because I gave in and formatted my iPod today to see if it'd help with the whole losing songs thing. We shall see... but until then... my playlists are all gone. And my play-counts. And... and... Woe is me! I'll live.

Edit: And... no, I have no idea wtf happened to the comments here, but I'm entirely certain it was [livejournal.com profile] chocolatemoose's fault, and had nothing to do with the fact that we encourage each other far too much. Nor did it have to do with the fort, or the throwing of my dish towels, or anything like that at all.
So, I told myself last night that I should actually write about the Nonsense Class I sat in on yesterday (incidentally, there was also some neat fog around two last night). Some people may question why I would sit in on a three-hour class that was basically nonsense to me. However, in hindsight (and even while writing in the margins of my notebook) it was worth it for the whole college experience. Where college is made up of upper-level grad students in sociology, which is apparently a subject that has taken it upon itself to re-define lots and lots of words that would make sense normally.

The course description made sense, I swear it did. And if I was going to leave at all, it should have been after I was handed the fifteen-page syllabus full of disjointed readings. Oh, and about halfway through the course outline there was something about "feminism." That should have tipped me off. But I desperately needed a class (I didn't even know at the time how desperately I needed a class!) so I stuck around, figuring it might get better or something. In fact, the first half of the class pretty much made sense. If I'd done the reading, it might have made more. But the whole time I had this vaguely unsettling feeling that the words they were using, though they made sense to me, were not being used in the same way that normal people used them. I sat... took notes... made eye contact with the prof a few times, because she was oddly friendly like that, and would watch you if you were watching her. For some reason, this didn't freak me out. After a while, though, things just started sailing over my head and I ended up preoccupying myself with placing the prof's accent. (At the start of the break I found out it was German because all her computer menus were in German, and then I moved on to trying to figure out if the softness of it was because she was taught in the UK, or if something else was in there.) After the break, though, was discussion. There were little bits and pieces here and there during lecture, which is part of what kept me around. We had That Girl (which is different from That Guy, in my experience. It's just been this year, but That Girl is always eastern European and questioning the professor. Sort of interesting, though it never ever brings up anything that's useful to me). We also had this big, well-spoken guy whose voice sounded like he could sit around talking on NPR all day. And he was into this strange sociology stuff. He had a habit of talking about how things had blown his mind in the most amazed tone of voice. There was another girl that was unremarkable other than the fact that every time she spoke, my mind immediately overwrote the scene into something that looked like it belonged in Waking Life. I think that had to do with the tone of her voice, too. I think I spent most of the class, actually, thinking about people's voices and the voice acting training it would take to get them right. Though at some point I was distracted enough in my notes to try to figure out which month and day were most aesthetically pleasing. Which was inspired by seeing January written upside-down in the one guy's planner and thinking it looked sort of pretty. As you can see, I was sort of torn between Wednesday and Thursdsay. Oh, and marvel at my awesomely bad doodles. And yes, that does say "transsexual lab" and no, I don't know what that had to do with anything. I think the explanation was something along the lines of considering the time spent in society after a gender-change operation to make sure you're adjusted before you're allowed to change your name can be considered a lab. (See, I was paying some attention while doodling things in my notebook. And if you were wondering about "karaoke bar?" there... it has nothing to do with anything real, and more to do with busting fictional characters out of rock star bootcamps in Japan.)

This does lead me to the best part of the class, though... on the whole, I became increasingly certain that there were lots of words that meant things that I did not know they meant. Like lab. Then my favourite enthusiastic grad student, at the end of another girl's presentation on "the Factory as a Lab" he breaks out with "Wow! That just blew my mind! What you said... what you suggested about a church being a lab. Wow. That... that would be really interesting to look into. Just like your theory on the retail store; the way they modify reality for participants. Wow. It's like, a total black box." I'm thinking maybe church means what I think it means, but that's about it.

Honestly, though, I couldn't even tell you what the class was about, though, aside from the fact that Laboratory was the most-used word. It was definitely sociology... and I definitely know now, by virtue of the fact that I can't even picture myself sitting in a class and being that exited about re-defined words (and not the fact that they've been re-defined), that sociology is not a field for me. So yay, experience! It probably isn't fair to judge it on this class... but not having even the slightest interest should be enough of a tip-off. And I went and sat in on Biological/Cultural Evolution today... in an hour and a half a lot of things were said that did not make sense to me, but at least they were nonsense in interesting ways that were also rooted to things that I actually knew about. (Even Dawkins... and the Red Queen Hypothesis. You know... things I'm familiar with.) Oh, and they were in reference to culture. A lot like Nonsense Class was... only sensical. And thankfully the professor will still let me in, so I once again have three classes and won't have to be a part-time student and drop out or something. Now all I need to do is sort out the mess with my fourth class.
evilhippo: hippo (36 [ok go])
( Dec. 9th, 2005 02:43 pm)
Why did I have to pick the major that requires the most work to get into? Actually... it might be just as bad in others, but... I've got to come up with a sub-major, goshdarnit. And make it out of the classes listed here! And most of them don't have descriptions!

At least I've got classes for next quarter now. I'm not sure if I'm keeping the art class, because that might drive me nuts, but I'm going to give it a try, because that means I can take random other art-type classes later... if I ever have time. I've also got a random class in the English department taking up space there, because the course description sounded really interesting.

ARTV 10200 Visual Language-2 MW 01:30PM - 02:50PM
ENGL 18104 Fragments/Ruins:1760 to 1820 MW 03:00PM - 04:20PM
HIPS 17400 Sci/Cultr/Soc In Western Civ-2 TT 12:00PM - 01:20PM
HIPS 28500 Galileo's Astromony and Conflicts Tue 03:00PM - 05:00PM

So... ideally, I want to figure out a way to fit Darwin's Origin of Species, Galileo's Astronomy, and three other courses together into something that sounds like a sub-major. I'd throw in Philosophy of the Mind in Science Fiction, too, but I'm pretty sure I was registered for that one as an ISHU class, so I'd have to do some sort of dance to count it properly. I want to take Technoscience and Information, I want to take Human Intelligences: Animal to AI, and Boundaries, Modules, and Levels sounds interesting (when you look up the course description under philosophy). I know all three of these have something in common. It's an issue of having a word for it... and it's also an issue of not wanting to drop the class on Galileo. I mean, the easiest thing to do is just lump everything under Philosophy of Science, because that's as broad as all get-out within the major (you could stick anything under that category). I've had enough trouble even picking a major, it's totally not fair to make me pick another one within it! Darn you, HIPS, darn you! And I really need to get this turned in this afternoon... which means I have to make the rest of my transcript make sense. It's so, so obvious how indecisive I've been when you look at it. (It's also very clear that I never care about spring quarter.)

If I didn't actually have to be admitted to the program, I'd loosely interpret this "On the back of this form, sketch a plan for your concentration" thing and draw a picture of me receiving a diploma on the back. I probably shouldn't screw around like that, though. Ahhh, why can't things just let up and be easy?

Also, I'm paranoid about not finishing my requirements for the major, even though I'm safe enough right now that I only need two classes in it a quarter. Which is a lot, but totally doable. Except I've been counting Civ, which I didn't when I figured I needed ten classes. Crap, that means three classes a quarter for two quarters... I really don't know what I'm doing. I'm so lost. Darn it. Aren't there supposed to be advisors for this sort of thing? I really, really should've worked on this earlier in the quarter. Oh my goodness. I'm flying out tomorrow, I just want to spend three weeks not worrying about my academic future. College is evil.
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