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So, there are only so many themes one can have for a Halloween mix. I've already done "just generally creepy" and "dead people talking"--next year, I may have to really get creative or just reuse "creepy." "Creepy"'s not hard. But I actually did come up with a theme this year. Before Polly crashed, I used to have a playlist called "Oddly cheerful songs about killing people." I can't remember all the songs that were on that list, so this mix kind of lost the "oddly cheerful" aspect and instead is just songs about killing people. Morbid, I know, but it is Halloween.

A list of songs you may not want to sing on the bus. Happy Halloween!Collapse )

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Ignore me if you see me

So, my copy of Catching Fire, the second Hunger Games book, came today, and it seems as if somehow I ordered the Large Print version of the book by accident. Hmm. You'd think maybe that would make it easier to read, but the text is actually so freaking big it kind of makes my eyes hurt. I guess I'll get used to it once I actually start reading it, but it's a bit weird.

Last night, I went out to karaoke at Linda's. I didn't end up doing any actual singing--too much laughing beforehand pretty much wore my voice out--but given the surprisingly large selection of Weird Al Yankovic in the karaoke catalog, I may have to run the risk of my North Carolina friends disowning me and get up to sing "Amish Paradise" or something. They also have four Pulp songs, but I don't know--I feel like singing "This Is Hardcore" in public would be super awkward, especcially in front of people I'd actually have to talk to in the future, and "Help the Aged" is kind of a downer. I don't know, I guess I could sing "Disco 2000." Maybe.

Of course, my real reason for posting is not to say either of these things. It is to share this amazing video.

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When you see yourself in a crowded room

Well, survived the first day of the semester. My CMPL 841 class should be okay, I think. There are only five people in it, two of whom I know, which is cool. The reading load seems not bad at all, which is good, because I'm seriously going to have to devote the bulk of my time this semester to figuring out how to teach composition and reading my exam list (which I still have to send the most recent draft of to my adviser, aghhhh). I read my first homework assignment for it tonight--the next class isn't until Thursday, but I figured that since there are so few people in the class, we're all going to have do a lot to keep the discussion going. Unless, of course, the professor fills all the time himself. It's so weird, since last semester my classes were all three-hour seminars, it blows my mind how short a 75-minute class seems now.

Anyhoo, the first reading assignment was Plato's Ion which...I had feelings about, which mostly amounted to "I really do not think Socrates gives poetry and poets a fair shake in this dialogue. Like, at all." Of course, if my Soc class my second year of college taught me anything, it is that I seriously don't get Plato. So I'm going to read it again tomorrow and hopefully come up with some more articulate thoughts. The professor wants us to e-mail questions and issues about the text to him the night before class in order to structure the class discussions, which seems like a really great idea but will actually require me to think of intelligent things to say so I'm not just saying, "I didn't get it/I didn't like it" etc.

Teaching my first ENGL 105 class tomorrow. Feel extremely ill-prepared. Urgh.

For love, we'll give it a shot

So, I've never done this before, but I actually had some answers to this week's fannish5, so here goes!

The prompt was: "Five canon events that you found unbelievable and wished had not happened."

Spoilers for Medium, Bones, BTVS, Firefly/Serenity, and the West WingCollapse )

This has been "Friday Fandom Theatre" with your host, Corpruga. Now, time for me to devote more of my attention to the exciting climax of The Expendables, which I am watching with my dad. It is a work of cinematic genius. For certain definitions of "cinematic" and "genius."

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Actual cannibal Shia Laboeuf!

Well, that's it. I'm just not spending any more time on this effing teaching philosophy. It's funny--I'm at a point in the semester where I've actually done just about everything, but now the little stuff that's left is taking me forever to do because I just have no motivation. Whatever. Tomorrow is movie night! I'm spending tomorrow grading my students' finals, and then my work will be just about done, and I will bask in the doneness and eat popcorn and watch Jane Austen adaptations with my friends from the German department. It will be awesome.

Last day of National Poetry month! It's been fun, getting myself to do this again.

'There Will Come Soft Rains' by Sara TeasdaleCollapse )

I love these end-of-the-world poems. I've gotten pretty into Sara Teasdale this past year. I've been plotting out this big X-Men fan fiction around Emma Frost in which she and Professor X have a book club and read Sara Teasdale. I know, that's up there on the list of silliest things I've ever said, and yet. And yet! Maybe someday I will write it.

Soon enough this will all be a memory

I've got a dreadful case of the "I don't want to do anything" blues. Still, I graded another third of my students' presentations (I'll finish those suckers off tomorrow morning before the exam or I'll eat my hat.) I also started putting our group's final course design project together. I still need to go through and add some stuff, put page numbers in, double check that all the formatting is consistent, etc., but I think I've made a good start on it. Still need to write the goshdarned teaching philosophy, though. :-(

'I Once Knew a Man' by Lucille CliftonCollapse )

So, I just read this poem, like, three times in a row, and it left me with a different feeling every time. I like poems like that.

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I want to see some green

So, today I was pretty useless, academically speaking. I feel like I've been mostly asleep all day. I did my laundry, though, so that's something, and I made some delicious eggplant/potato/zucchini casserole for dinner, so I won't starve to death next week. (I should have renewed my supply of macaroni and cheese while I was at the grocery store, though. I have a lot of desserts around, but not a lot of actual food.) I'm planning to head to bed pretty early, though--I'm still pretty burnt out. I got up at 4:15 AM yesterday, wrote a paper, administered a final, gave a student an oral exam, worked on my exam list a bit, met with Professor A about my list, and came home to bake some lemon tarts. It was a long day.

Last night was fun--I went over to work with my composition pedagogy group. We've got most of the necessary bits, and I feel like we're all past caring too much about it. We spent a big chunk of the night eating delicious food--one group member made a mushroom and fontina quiche, another brought nice rosemary bread, and the third brought white wine, while I provided the dessert, and while I can't say I enjoyed pondering our final course design, I did enjoy sitting around shooting the shit with my group. And eating. I'm a fan of eating.

Poem 670 by Emily DickinsonCollapse )

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Two papers: Finished and turned in.
Me: tired. Really tired.

Your poem tonight:

"Spring Light" by Wang Wei

Silken willows along the meandering river are lines of smoke,
With warm air, water of the cold valley evaporates.
Spring light is like this embroidered path.
Now I hear clear music, stirring even the beautiful clouds.

Trans. Tony Barnstone, Willis Barnstone, and Xu Haixin

What a beautiful mental image.

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Urgh. Project: Productivity failed utterly today--perhaps not so terribly surprising, given how burnt-out I was by the end of yesterday. So it's early to bed, early to rise again tomorrow for this procrastinator of a grad student: by cracky, that German Romance paper is gonna get done.

'Song on the End of the World' by Czeslaw MiloszCollapse )

Today's poem brought to you by my tenth-grade literature textbook, which is where I first encountered it. (And the Mary Barnard translation of Sappho, and Arthur Rimbaud, and the Epic of Gilgamesh. I hated that class, but by jingo I loved that textbook.)

Cover me in rag and bone

Poop on a stick am I tired. I've been up since 3:30 working on my Latin paper and I turned it in at about 6:00. It ended up being 12 pages, which...heck, it was supposed to be a 10-20 page paper, so, whatever, 12 pages is in that range. Boy, doing source criticism on medieval Latin texts using databases is a job and a half. The Brepols database has a lot of texts, but for a lot of works, they just list the citation, so you have to track down the text in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica or the Aristoteles Latinus database just to figure out the context. Then, once you figure out the context, and you work out what you think is a likely source, then you have to track down manuscripts of the source in a big old collection of medieval library catalogs, and then, if you're like me and can't figure out all the Latin place names in the Latin catalogues, you have to get onto Orbis Latinus and figure out what the contemporary place name is and then Wikipedia it to figure out where THAT is. Eh. Stupid paper. Whatever, I've got a pretty good grade in that class, and Prof. B seemed to think I was more or less on the right track when I presented on my paper topic on Monday. He wasn't like, "Man, you screwed THAT up, anyway," so I'm tentatively optimistic about the whole business. Ugh. I'm so tired. At least the PMS isn't shrieking at me at the moment.

I cussed in my French class today. Not, like, at a student or anything, but they were doing board races as a review game, and one team was SO CLOSE to correct, and I told them they had just a little mistake, and they changed the wrong thing, and I was like, "God dammit, no." But at least I didn't drop an f-bomb like one of my students did when she got an answer wrong. I guess it was just Casual Cussing day in French 101. I should have taught them some French cuss words.

I should go to bed.

'Marrying the Violence' by Marty McConnellCollapse )

Oh, that's great. "Make me a building, a garden of calcium and mineral in bloom." Very vivid and immediate.