Assorted random things I've kept in notepad files on different computers and never posted. Set phasers for spam, cap'n!
George Takei's gay. Maybe Shatner was chuckling a little too knowingly on the Stern show.
I've been at Drew in some form or another since the fall of 1996, and have never seen academic bombs like the ones I'm in this semester.
One of my classes is taught by a new prof, who means well, but got dumped into a bad situation. The book was picked before they picked him, and it sucks. It's also an old version of the book. And he doesn't have access to the software he wants (though I think he does through the labs and is mistaken). And it's his first time teaching more than one class at a time. Add all this up, and you've got academic excitement that could lead to disastrous and amusing consequences! It's like a liberal arts situational comedy!
I've been in a few professor's first classes. They often learn to relax and get into the Drew swing of things by the end of the semester, and all of them have really shone as awesome professors since the early mishaps. But this guy was no different than they, at first. He started class on his time instead of Drew time, went too fast for people, and approached things in a manner too hard for majors at Drew where theory is taught over hard numbers. Adapting to early concerns brought forward by students, he altered his teaching style, and things didn't seem too hopeless leading up to the midterm. Midterm was half take home, half in class.
When he put up the time remaining during the in class midterm, a good deal of the class freaked out. People made comments about not getting to question four yet, and another person exclaimed that they were on question one and didn't know there was a question four. About five minutes before the end of the class, he told us to all give up and hand the tests in. He'd been looking at the take home portion, and it wasn't going well. Only two people had turned their tests in, so clearly things had gone wrong. He relented, encouraging us to try to finish it, then changed his mind again, then flopped one last time into letting us make a valiant charge. Cannons to the left of them, cannons to the right of them, blank spaces under answers in front of them! The next class session, we mostly discussed meta-class issues. The format of the course was scrapped and re-done, people were going to be given other options, and we all agreed that things needed changing. I was worried, assuming the worst, but he grabbed me after class to tell me that he had used my take home test as the answer key after deleting his by mistake. Bonus!
End result of this academic bomb is that the in class test's grades are being tossed. The take home grade is being kept (sweet for me, I did near-perfect, and actually got one right that he marked me as wrong for by mistake), and the in class part was given to us as a take home test after being made easier. Wow.
I think he'll be a great professor who makes a painful subject much better at Drew, much like a certain professor I had who made statistics a great course in the years since her first year. Time will tell.
In my other class, the part of the test that we couldn't use our computers with (the part I really thought I had messed up on) was given to us as a take home test today. One of the questions the professor wanted us to prove something. I spent a large chunk of my time on that section attacking the problem, and failing miserably. Every single way I tackled it, I could only prove the opposite. Being a poor student in the topic, I thought I was just wrong, but finally someone else got him to realize that he really was trying to get us to prove a falsehood. Dammit. Still, this is the most accessible version of a topic I absolutely hate I've ever had.
So this weekend I have two take home tests based off of in class tests gone wrong. Never in my time at Drew have I seen this happen, let alone for two out of the two classes I'm taking. This is even more amusing to me because I had two student employees, one in each class, much like each of my prior two semesters since returning to academia. Whoops, that's not right, utini2 was in my database class. Anyway, I've always had a CNS buddy. But both of them dropped the respective classes after the first test in each. Keep in mind that these are two classes that I've taken before at Drew, in the semester where I snapped and failed everything after I found out that the bill was never paid. Hopefully this time I can pass them, so I can graduate on time in spring of 2007.
So, I've been neglecting you all on LJ. And in KoL. And in RL. But I've got half of my tier 1 epic gear set (Dreadmist), and am one dungeon crawl away from my epic mount! Trust me, it'll make sense in the long run. But right now I can't get my epic mount, because the person who has the items I need has gotten hooked on a video game. The humor of that situation is not lost on me.
There's a million ideas I want to post about. A million tales to tell. Most of all, I want to recap the Pacific Northwest trip, now that none of you care anymore. It's hard to describe a trip that's been many years in the making. Playing Shadowrun with people in middle school, I'd hear from them how much I would love Seattle, and all about it. In college I'd hear about Vancouver Island from graye and crew. Their descriptions amazed me, and it was one of the places I strongly considered running to while living with Father Joe. It was somewhere after Santa Cruz and Orange County (the latter involved living with a Jordan sugarmommy and working for a undercover Cuban dragon, the former involved working for a university). But Drew took me in, and I've enjoyed the ride ever since, but sometimes I thought of places and what might have been.
Back when still in college, my former ``sweetie'' told me all about a friend of hers that she thought I would be perfect with. Some tormented beautiful little angel, who had nightmares of dark demons, loved the same philosophers and writers, and shared many of the same passions. But the friend was involved with a diplomat's son, and met a grisly end. She went on a trip around the continent, spending a long time in Victoria, and eventually went to visit the guy in Florida. Her body was found outside of a Steak and Ale in Florida, rolled up in a carpet, probably killed by his associates who later threatened my ``sweetie''. She directed her diary entries to this friend, and would tell me how perfect the two of us would be before and after she passed away. Years later, when the two of us ended up together, she took me to the burned out barn behind the bamboo forest out on Long Island where they would hang out. The hotel where I hope to have my grand graduation party in 2007 was the place where the dead friend's on-again/off-again boyfriend stayed, when my ``sweetie'' felt that her friend blessed them being together by the appearance of a black cat. Years later, she found the guy and visited him with me. When we broke up, she rebounded with him. Throughout this drama, Vancouver Island played a regular part in things. One of the last missives she got from the friend was from there. Songs mentioning it she cried at hearing, and she refused to ever go there until she could cope with it. I'd talk of visiting the area, but it wasn't happening anytime soon while the two of us were together.
Co-workers had honeymoons there, and talked about how wonderful the place was. Every person who had been there swore that I should go there as soon as possible. From random conversations with strangers when down on my luck to the guy who gave egolds01 and I a ride back to rook_the_roach's broken down car in the middle of Pennsylvania on the way to MB2K's oddly prophetic statements, it's been a recurring geographical place always on the horizon in my life in a number of ways. Maybe one day, I'll post all about it.
But I need to get my dreadsteed, and complete my set of dreadmist. Sorry.
Remember, Californians, it's the Year of the E-Friend. I'll be out there in a couple of weeks. The 5th of November, I'll be in SF. Sunday afternoon to Wednesday morning, I'll be in Monterey. Wednesday night till Friday morning, I'll be in LA. Friday afternoon until Saturday morning, I'll be in San Diego. Saturday night, I'll be back in New Jersey. Some of you have already offered crash space and forgotten about it. I'll be at your doorstep, with a co-worker or so, looking to take advantage of you. Some of you have already offered to get drinks with me. Give me your cell phone numbers now. This is the Year of the E-Friend, people, and a once in a lifetime chance to take part in the spectacle.