Tags: rants of rantiness

greeting, worm

Five Things Make a Post


This is going to be amazingly cool; I know that... but.. um.. China! Two weeks! Somehow, this was easier to handle when it was a month away... two months away... not something where I'm legitimately panicking about everything I have to get done before CHINA. I have my visa (it has the Great Wall on it. I should not find this so amusing), I have my plane ticket, I have to make a list of things I actually need to go out and purchase before the trip.

2) Ok, so, summer class, so far, not a disaster, I think.

Yeah; I honestly can't tell. I mean, there weren't massive numbers of students dropping after the first meeting, so that's good? I'm trying to get them out of the classroom as often as possible so that I don't have to lecture they can really learn about what else is on campus and other interesting places around town ("Here, have a museum!"). But, dang, this abbreviated intense schedule is very intense. And I still don't have an accurate assessment of what the students don't know-- that is, what I can expect them to get and what they haven't ever encountered, because I suspect that I tend to assume they know things that they don't actually know, you know?

3) Anybody know if holy water works against ants?

I was so happy to be in an apartment where we didn't have to worry about a constant stream of ants coming in at the kitchen window.... and now we have a constant stream of ants coming in every other fool place. They've gotten into the wall between the porch and the kitchen, and are thus doing fun things like coming in where there's no baseboard... or where the joining caulk between the counter and backsplash has shrunk... or from a tiny hole where the walls and ceiling meet in the corner.... or from out of an electrical socket... *headdesk*. Heroic Roommate heroically cleaned the kitchen when she realized that they were getting into the cupboard, and we have now placed ant bait up in non-cat-accessible areas (the main reason for not doing that previously was because the ants were coming in at floor level, and putting the ant poison next to the cat food area = not of the good).

4) Two weeks of intense tech-related training has left me very tired, but with lots of good ideas about things to use in class. Here's hoping that they work!

5) See item 1.
Medieval Lady

"Of course it's easy! Especially the step where you set everything on fire!"


Ah, the end of the semester. Not just the end of the semester--the end of the Spring semester. Good times. Everybody is going nuts, my inbox is full of Very Special Excuses and Panic*

Not, of course, that there are not legitimate excuses. Because of course there are. But, really, day after day after day of panic and illness and family emergencies and car-related emergencies and oversleeping and crazy stress and oops I've lost my computer and oh no my computer died and multiple deadlines.... yeah

This is not helped by the fact that they've started group presentations this week, and many of them seem to be doing amazingly half-baked work. *headdesk* I dunno-- end of the year? Groups not gelling? Not really caring? See, it's not that there haven't been excellent presentations. But.... I'm hoping that things pick up later in the week, because if they're all at the level most of them have been at so far, it's going to be wretched and boring for everybody. And a pain in the tail to grade (not least because, upon careful re-reading of the assignment, it's not that they're getting it completley wrong,, it's just that they're being ridiculously broad and giving no details and just providing a laundry list of "Our topic is X. X is very important. This is what X is. X originated in the following location." And frequently occasionally they are just egregiously wrong (witness: "Sugar is easy to process!") or skim over important details (like, for example, the development of plantations and the slave trade in relation to the sugar industry *headdesk*)

*Very Special Excuses and Panic are a known academic phenomenon. Seriously; "The Chronicle of Higher Education" has an entire forum dedicated to their mockery discussion.

"Noah? I want you to build an ark...."

Ooookay... I just saw the very first "ohnoes there's a disaster that's going to Destroy The Planet" movie I can remember in which the end of the movie involved actually destroying the planet. None of this wimping out with "well, we've wiped out millions, but there's a stalwart group of survivors on boats and they can go hang out in the Himalayan Archipelago" or "well, everybody who could make it out of glacier range is A-Okay and rebuilding civilization" I mean: entire planet. Destroyed.

With, btw, some REALLY REALLY bad dialogue coupled with over-the-top acting, which Dad and I gleefully snarked. Seriously; there was a scene where the hero and... um... female character who had more dialogue than other female characters, even if it mostly consisted of freaking out and crying and panicking... right... ok... anyway, they were talking on the phone and clearly not in the same room, so there was about five minutes of "I'M ONLY THINKING OF THE CHILDREN!" "YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO ME!" "THE CHILDREN! I HAVE TO GET THEM TO SAFETY!" "NOTHING CAN SAVE US NOW! WE HAVE TO GO TO THE SECRET LOCATION I'VE JUST FIGURED OUT BECAUSE I'M THE MALE LEAD AND CAN THUS DO MATH"


Oh, and apparently the film had no lighting budget, because aside from the characters running around in the dark with flashlights (including in scenes where they were in a building and the logical course of action would be to, you know, hit a light switch, there were all sorts of scenes in the house in the dark, and in the yard in the dark, in the woods in the dark.... and once, for a change, in a dimly-lit museum.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all of this, there are dark-colored trenchcoat-wearing aliens running around in the dark. And, aside from Freaky Whisper Noises on the soundtrack, the other sign of alien presence was... these black rocks. Adorable child actor is in touch with aliens? Gets handed a black rock. Want to show that the crazy whisper-hearing lady from earlier had been frequently visited by aliens? Piles of black rocks all over her Room of Crazy. Dramatic moment where Our Hero finally goes to the location where the puzzles are telling him to go and finds the secret treasures of the Templars random stealth bunnies the aliens? Whole entire path through the very dark forest, covered in black rocks.

Dad: So... ok, any idea why there are all of these rocks all over the place?

Me: Um... I dunno, Dad. *resists, resists, resists saying, "Rocks fall, everyone dies!"*

(That was, btw, very, very difficult)

(Not least because I seriously suspect that SOMEBODY on that film knows that phrase and was totally using it, giggling gleefully the whole time)