Sunday, September 30, 2007

One last September post...

So the weekend is winding down, and, due to a frustratingly-timed cable outage, I have to wait until 9 to catch the finale of Rock of Love, and my hand hurts too much to play any more Guitar Hero, so I figured I'd put up an update.

Here is a hodgepodge of all sorts of goings-on: I am behind on grading but will have plenty of time to catch up tomorrow. We got 2 new English teachers, so about 10 or so of my juniors will be levelled (they got to pick, so it will be the kids who hate me and want to leave anyway). Last week was a swim meet weekend, and there's another coming up in two weeks (the same weekend as the Renaissance Fair, one of my favorite weekends of the year). Somebody flipped the fall switch this week and it's cool outside now. I made white chili, one of my very favorite foods, tonight.

Anyways, we have enough time to put away an episode of Lost, then my trashy reality show. 'Nite.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Still working on that comic....

Okay, so when I say "I'm working on it," it's the same way I spend Saturday mornings "working on laundry" by playing Sims (yes, still, I know), or the way I was "working on" all those term papers in college by just thinking about them a lot until a day or so before the due date.

(All those papers, by the way, kicked ass, so procrastination and quality are not necessarily mutually exclusive.)

But anyway, I guess I'm just popping my head in to say a lot of nothing. I have work stuff more under control than usual, and am almost at a loss of what to do with myself, and I felt like checking in just to hear myself talk, I guess. Umm....I took a tutoring job for the month of October where I do something, I don't know what yet, to get juniors and seniors to pass the proficiency test by having four-times-a-week sessions for the three weeks before exams. But I can do them on Saturdays, too, so that's pretty good, and I get paid (in money and brownie points!), and, since I know almost nothing about these tests, I'm sure there's something I can learn and use in my regular classes.

Anyhow, my week is boring. Tyson is in Carson City for their field trip today, the one where the parents buy lots of sugary snacks in the Reno airport at 6 in the evening after being gone all day and the kids bounce off the walls for the entire flight home, then fall asleep in their parents' SUVs on the way home (can't say that's the kind of excitement I really want in my week, actually). There was a parent night on Tuesday where I met some student-parents of my own, and my boss pitched this tutoring thing at me, like, while I was teaching a class, so that, at least, was interesting, if not in the fun-interesting sort of way. Also on Tuesday, the autism teacher in the room next door to me got beat up by a tantrum-having kid he was trying to restrain. (The noise accompanying those tantrums seems to be a regular part of my week, particularly when I am giving a quiz or doing something involving lots of silence, like a discussion.)

I also am hungry for some cookies.

That pretty much brings you up to speed on my boring week. You know what would make it less boring for me? More comics ideas.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's Splaving!

I had to get some DVDs shipped from Amazon today, when I saw this ad.

Because the only thing better than shoe shopping is having shoes delivered to your house the next day.

Now I almost have to buy some new cute shoes just to get the shipping discount! (It's a good thing it's 2 days on the wrong side of payday. Tyson made me get rid of the exact pair of shoes that I needed to go with my corduroy pants.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

An Apologetic APM

Last week's APM turned out kind of sucky. That's the last time I use a Dinosaur Comic to get us started; I guess Ryan North is just funnier than you guys.

This week's APM, while also comics-related, takes a different tack.

Ok, so Tyson said he would buy me a Mac (and Illustrator, I hope!) if I write 10 installments of a comic of my own. So I need a plan, because I have a freshly-sharpened set of extra-hard pencils, nearly a whole empty sketchbook (plus like a whole box of copy paper at school), and suddenly all my ideas are stuck.

Anyway, your task today is to turn yourself (or your secret alter-ego you always knew was hiding in there somewhere) into a character suitable for comics. Give me a few important, definitive characteristics, like "smells like dryer sheets," "pathologically averse to bananas," or "on a mission to save the universe from people who say 'literally' but mean 'metaphorically.'" Then give me a situation your character might be in, like sitting in an all-night laundromat waiting for your child to be born or correcting a stranger's grammar.

If your imagination is good enough, you/your character/your situation might be featured in the first installment of my comic, which will eventually make it to the internet. Eventually.

Small steps, you know?

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's weird when external events synchronize themselves with my regular life.

After reading all 966 pages of Questionable Content in the last 30 or so hours, it was amusing to see this headline over at The Onion today. Plus I heard a review of some weird indie-electronica band called Battles--a band that, within fifteen minutes of hearing about for the first time on NPR, was featured in Jeph's newscolumn for one of the hundred or so strips I read. Am I destined to become a sassy, post-college, indie-person? Or are the stars just aligning really weirdly today?

Anywho, that comic really, really makes me want to learn Illustrator. Anybody have a copy laying around they want to mail me? With maybe a really detailed book on how to use it? (Then I'll have a great excuse to go Mac, too! And when I am finally a famous webcomics writer, I will dedicate a book to you or something.)

The Reinstitution of Audience Participation Monday

It's neat how most of our key verbs are just one syllable long!

Yes, it is.

This weeks APM likes it short! We will write a tale with just short words. It will start with a girl named Elizabeth (we'll have to call her Liz, then). Liz lives in some place with a short name, like Chad, or it could be Mars. Or the moon. (It could be that she moves lots. I don't care.)

Our tale should have some good scenes where Liz does things that we think are scary or gross, or would not want to do, such as to put one's bare feet on a bug. Each of us must add to the tale and write that Liz does a thing that is not what we would want for us.

Liz will have a bad day!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Some Fun

Your Score: House Stark

36% Dominant, 45% Extroverted, 54% Trustworthy

Responsible. Respectable. Dour. That’s not shit coming out of your ass--it’s honor. You are clearly of House Stark.

You are a submissive personality, meaning that you are more than willing to relinquish control to someone more qualified; you will unflinchingly accept any responsibility that is thrust upon you, including servitude. Unfortunately for you, your unending patience and accommodating nature often make people look to you for a leader. In essence, you are the perfect leader: someone who has no desire to lead, yet is substantially well-qualified to do it.

You are also introverted, which means that people sometimes have difficulty understanding your thought process. Your dependable nature makes you predictable, but you’ve probably got all sorts of emotional dysfunctions when it comes to more intimate relationships. There are very few people whom you trust unwaveringly, and you’re not the type to confide in other people. So cold, so aloof--so Stark.

Finally, you are trustworthy--the very definition of the word. All secrets are safe with you. All of your vows are unbreakable. True to your name, you world is a stark place; there is black, and there is white. Your rigidity tends to undercut your overall value as a friend and ally. Honesty such as yours is hard to come by, which is easy to understand when you consider how easily manipulated you are by less decent individuals. Essentially, you’re the nice guy, and you’ll always finish last.

Representative characters include: Eddard Stark, Jon Snow, and Sansa Stark

Similar Houses: Frey, Lannister and Tully

Opposite House: Baratheon

When playing the game of thrones, you play it with one sword in your hand and another up your ass.

Link: The Song of Ice and Fire House Test written by Geeky_Stripper on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I hate my textbook!

What kind of American Literature anthology doesn't include the Mayflower Compact? It's like, a paragraph long. What the hell?!

But they did have room for a Maya Angelou piece in the middle of "First Encounters" literature. Who's in charge of this? Textbook people are idiots.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Conceptualizing New Vocabulary

From some posts this weekend, it seems that we may need some new strategies for incorporating unfamiliar words and phrases into our shared vocabulary.

I often find that using diagrams to illustrate shades of meaning can be helpful. It helps the person learning to think about the underlying concepts and their relation to each other, rather than a strict sign-signifier relationship.

Anyway, I hope this helps.