~So today Jeeves and Wooster had their cousins (the Angelas? w/e) over to play in the morning. It was fun. There is honest-to-God nothing I love better in this world than a five-year-old girl who can converse intelligently on the topic of blanket forts. She had a tiny sister, not even two yet, and so small. She's really only a few months younger than Wooster but Wooster is easily the size of a normal 3-yo. It was really nice to pick up someone that small and fragile, you know? My boys are solid. There's something precious about having something so breakable cuddle up under your chin and trust you.

~Although she did manage to get three of her limbs tangled and trapped in the legs of a folding table. Man-oh-man.

~Jeeves also had a SPIKE in his temperature out of frickin' nowhere, right in the middle of lunch prep. There was further threat of puke. I got meds into him and tucked him up on the couch and an hour later it was like nothing had happened. It's always startling and remarkable to me that A) I can make so much difference with just calm caring and B) that it's remarkable to other people. His mom was so grateful and surprised and just...Idk, it's nice to be reminded that actually, I am damn good at what I do. I get all tangled up in the classes I forget to do the readings for and the sheer joy of doing it, but every once in awhile there's a moment where I step back and see what's happening from the outside and realise I can be awesome at this.

~I asked a local mechanic to recommend a bodywork shop and he seems to have sent me to a ratty gyro stand. W/e, he loses his commission. Frightening cost from the place I did eventually find, though.

~I spent five hours getting next semester's schedule worked out (they cancelled both the classes my adviser and I agreed I would need to graduate, so working out alternatives has been the worst nightmare ever and I think I'm as prepared as I'm gonna get, but JEEZ.

~Three more weeks of classes oh great gods of academia please smile down on me.

~Three more weeks till NYC, Rachels and Indian food and Adys and Gretas. O great gods of travel, let it happen. I need the promise right now.
Look, you can't write a math question without sufficient information, give me the option to say "there is not sufficient information here", admit there is not sufficient information, and then mark me down for saying there is not sufficient information.

Except, apparently, you can.


*not crying at all over five stupid points, really*
Okay, so my teacher (I love my teacher) was all, "You clearly love transformative works. How about doing your final project on them, instead of picking drama/poetry/nonfiction like everyone else has to?"

And I was all, "!!!!!!!"

She had some restrictions, but I so don't even care, so what I want to ask is: can you think of any stories that have been told and re-told over a considerable period of time? I am somehow stuck on Romeo and Juliet, which A) was actually based on something that already existed and B) obvs. has many, many modern versions, West Side Story etc., but idk, I kind of am not all that gungho on it? And there is Cinderella, which could lead to some awesome feminism stuff, but there is no true "original" because hi, folklore. (I love folklore, but I want an actual text.)

Arthurian legends, maybe? Except those are a really BROAD topic.

Idk, this is me, asking for brainstorming. Can you think of any (nonfolklore based) stories that started a long time ago and have been told and retold in a lot of different versions?
So today in class we were discussing copyright and permissions and fair use and stuff, and somehow I wound up being the Internet's spokesperson on Transformative Works.

...I am somewhat inadequate to the task, especially without any prep time. I wound up sending her like, five links after we had moved on. That Fair Use youtube video with the Disney clips, the OTW website, an article or two on fanfiction...does anybody have any favorite links re: transformative works/copyright?
Here's the thing about my Teaching English to High Schoolers class: what I want to do for my big project is teach them to write fanfiction.

Good fanfiction, I mean. I don't want to say, "write about the characters from Romeo and Juliet being attacked by zombies." Because then, before you know it, they're saying "Juliet hauls out a chainsaw and kicks ass."

I want to give them an activity sheet that says, "Find three problems Juliet faces. What does she want that she can't have? How does she attempt to achieve her goals? Does she succeed? Does she learn from not succeeding? Does she always try to solve problems the same way? What do her problem-solving methods say about her as a person?"

And then I want to say, "Zombies attack Verona. Knowing how Juliet approaches problems, what does she do next? Is she the kind of person who tries to save herself, the kind of person who tries to save herself and her family/friends/beloved childhood pet, or the kind of person who tries to defeat all the zombies and save the city and its orphans and thieves and beggars and annoying Aunt Marges who once told her she should marry a fat old guy because she won't get a better offer? Whatever it is she tries to do, how does she try to do it?"

And yeah, I'd be teaching them a lot about how Shakespeare tells by showing, about characterisation, about finding motives, about how stories are driven by problems and the people trying to find their solutions.

But mostly, I intend to be in fandom for decades yet, and I want the upcoming generations to write good AUs.
My Writing For Beginners prof is hilariously earnest and appealing. He wears ratty jeans and has a shaved head and is possibly younger than I am (god I hope not), and he is such a puppy. He believes really sincerely that if we read our papers aloud we can make them better. He is now explaining how we can make our sentences better by not using comma splices.

I am currently in a "Teaching English to High Schoolers" class where we are discussing teaching these issues (or, actually, slightly more complicated issues like parallelism) and he is doing a reasonably good job! He is only missing one or two techniques that might be effective.

I am very sorry for him because no one is matching his enthusiasm. I answer his questions having given the entire rest of the room thirty seconds of blank silence to fish for their own answers, because they should have a chance. I would like to pet him until he cheers up--he enters the room every day saying "Who's ready to learn?" (literally, out loud, like a game show host) and he just sort of gradually sags down a little more like he's been told he can't go for a walk every time he tries to invite participation.

He just added zombies and it didn't help the interest level. Poor little puppy!
I am remarkably happy, for a day so filled with disasters. Mostly I feel this says deep and probably unflattering things about how sunk I am in Hermione syndrome.

Item: left for work late, as roommate had parked behind my car again and had to be wakened and made to move her car.

Item: then, LOST ON THE WAY to work, actually arrived twenty-five minutes late, and had forgotten phone so could not tell employer that I was coming

Item: both boys sick (one, nasty cold; one, ear infection; I am thinking they need journal nicks) and therefore cranky, petulant, and unhappy, which last is worst. I hate it when there's nothing I can do to help. Also, this coincided with the two-week "where are the boundaries" period, which is ALWAYS FUN. Not.

Item: in moment of COMPLETE IDIOCY, I was making mac 'n' cheese for their lunch and tested it for tenderness by EATING TWO NOODLES. *facepalm* I have had trace amount encounters--which were bad enough, leaving me tired and achy for a week or two--but haven't actually deliberately eaten gluten in a year and a half; you would not BELIEVE the heartburn, I can't swallow water without wanting to die. I am not looking forward to the next two or three weeks.

Item: today was my Basic English class, which annoys me because, hi, I know what metaphors are and why they are important. (It's req'd, that's why I'm in it.) Also, teacher, you don't start by asking for general impressions; start with the questions you can reasonably expect answers to, and then ask if anybody noticed anything we haven't covered. They are nervous and unsure of themselves! Give them questions they are sure they know how to answer before trying to get them to explore! DUH. Scaffolding, dude. It works with preschoolers; it works with sort-of grownups.

On the other hand, being in a basics course means lots of opportunity to raise my hand and offer an opinion that knocks all but three people out of the water. This is what I mean by Hermione syndrome. I like it even BETTER when there are people of my caliber there to bounce off of--one girl shows promise--but the opportunity to SHARE IDEAS and TALK ABOUT WORDS is always pretty much the best time ever. I like my teacher, actually--he is very amusingly earnest, but he is pulling hard to believe that everybody in our class is intelligent and enthusiastic, and to teach things that interesting, so that's something, at least.

Also, my brilliant-beyond-brilliant baking powder theory has been proven in the case of gluten-free semi-dinner-rolls, so I am smug. And dripping with pomegranate honey.
If somebody will just make me magically able to get into this math class, I will not only love you forever, but bear as many of your children as you wish, and also--if you like--lick your feet. *cries, just a little*
How does ANYBODY graduate when they cancel ALL THE CLASSES YOU NEED TO GRADUATE?????

So far next semester, I am registered for two classes. And it's not that I was beaten to the punch and the classes are full; it's not that I'm being picky and refusing to take classes I might find boring...either I'm not qualified to take them, or they're not being offered.


On the other hand, I can pretty much start searching for 9-5 jobs if they'll give me an hour for lunch, because that's ALL I'LL NEED next semester.
I keep trying to schoolwork, because it needs doing, but I'm tired. There are other things I could be--should be--doing as well, editing for friends and writing, for an exchange and for friends and just for my own self, dammit, but...school has to come first. But school is so boring that I can't focus on it in the face of being tired.

It's not that I don't love my classes--I still do, PROMISE--but the papers have always been the part I could live without and there are so many and I hate them. Also, writing my emotional response to each chapter of this book is the stupidest thing ever.

I'm happy with my life. I'm excited about my classes and maybe-flirting with a cute boy and in a fandom I love and actually getting along okay with my family. My second family of old friends are actually more available than usual, and I feel like I can ask to play with them. My roommates are cooperative and adorable in a baby-kittens way. I'm eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

...why, exactly, I'm still having trouble getting out of bed and tired all the time and all the rest of it, I don't know and would like to find out. Presumably it means I need different meds, because this is depression even though there is no cause for depression. Or it might be the fibromyalgia really getting a grip; I have a lot more aches and pains than I used to. But I would like it to stop, whatever it is.

IN OTHER NEWS: I was trying to downsize my mother's applesauce recipe to be A) makeable in individual portions B) within a half-hour space C) by small children with supervision, for my Preschool Methods class. Originally, I bought six apples for experimenting. This morning, in the depths of despair, I returned to the grocery store and bought two dozen. I promptly discovered what I had been doing wrong and now have twenty-two apples.

...There will be a lot of apple-eating in my future. I'm also considering giving apples to my teachers and hoping they're amused, or something, because LOTS OF APPLES. ^_^
Things that are nice, but weird: having a conversation with someone outside fandom, but not having to explain what fandom is. I don't mean, like, people who are cousins to fandomers--geeks, nerds, gamers, etc.--but somebody genuinely unconnected with it.

I started to explain the topic I want to do for my final project in my folklore class, and I started out with, "I'm a member of this, sort of, subculture? On the internet. That's based around being a fan of something--"

And she said, "Oh, fandom?"

And I was like, *blinkblinkblink*, "Uh, yeah. Sorry, you just cut about five minutes out of my explanation of the project."

(Speaking of the project, in a couple of weeks, I may abuse all of my friendships with you and ask you to pimp a post for me. But I need a little more info on how to structure it first.)
Fulfilling another "diversity" requirement by taking a class in Native American culture; our final (group, bleh) project is a presentation to our "tribal elders"--two *white* professors--a plan to improve conditions that can be universally applied to all tribes, in all places. We are not presenting these plans as white people ourselves, but as Indigenous Natives (or whatever the hell the current correct term is, sorry, my professors can't seem to make up their minds.)

It's Racefail all over again.

ALSO: despite the fact that the point of the entire class is to make us respectful, our professor just told us about a time a member of a native culture shared some mythology with her, calling it a "cute little story."

My headache is sort of blinding and my everywhere-ache is throbbing but I MUST CARRY ON, so: plans for today are 1) PIZZA, since yesterday the restaurants were closed, 2) a picnic blanket in the field of johnny-jump-ups behind my wee house with 3) notes, assignments, and lecture-recorder (which mostly contains one interview and me babbling to myself about ETW while driving, but whatever) and 4) the books I have to read and write reflective papers on. They also include 5) massive amounts of Advil Sinus and Excedrin, but I am hoping that lots of water and sun will reduce the need for that.

I am going to put on the least possible amount of clothes and soak up the sunshine; if I get all my papers in by Friday AND I WILL, then I will have three days to write my Big Bang in WHICH IS TOTALLY DOABLE, OKAY. (No, actually, it is. I completely wrote two-thirds of Lying Next to Me (~12,000 words) in two days. And I only need ~13,000 on ETW. I don't know whether to be proud or appalled that if I make myself focus, I can totally write that much that fast.)

There is totally a plan. I have lots of time. Everything is coming together. All is well.

...if I repeat it enough it will become true, right?

(Thank heaven for Zack and Spencer being sports-geeky and Brendon singing cereal jingles, that's all I have to say. I swear they got Twitters just to keep me from offing myself in times of stress.)
Oh, god, y'all, I just turned in the most important paper of the semester with the phrase "BLAHDEBLAH ATTACHMENT" in it.

I'm going to go die, you have a nice weekend.
Dear Powers That Be:



Seriously. I have clicked and re-clicked the "AND" option, yet it still insists on showing me a zillion articles that contain ONLY "music" or "toddlers." Moreover, there is no "NOT" option, and I am really, really, REALLY sick of getting excited and clicking something only to discover that it is YET ANOTHER article about music for toddlers at risk for autism, deafness, or other disabilities. Not that it's not awesome that music can help them, but SERIOUSLY, NOT WHAT I PERSONALLY AM LOOKING FOR AT THE MOMENT.

Also, this library is creepy. And freezing cold.

And I am whiny and petty and can't even feel ashamed of it. WHY DID I DECIDE TO GET MY EDUCATION, WHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHY?????????????????

Yrs in crankiness,

P.S. Why do all the promising articles cost money to read?

P.P.S. What the hell does that MEAN, "culturally deaf"??
  • Item: Friendiest is student-teaching sixth and seventh grade home ec; they are doing a unit on childcare and she asked me to be a guest lecturer. I did one this morning and am going back for the afternoon. I do not know how she does it. It's creepy the way they all, like, actually listen to you! And raise their hands politely and stuff! Most disconcerting thing EVER!!

    They really liked the fingerpainting, though; and I adore how much fun it was to get them to admit they were into "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything."

    This afternoon, I will do better! I will not ramble so much and also, I will remember to tell them the number one thing I want them to know. *facepalm*

  • Item: Somebody ran over a squirrel in the middle of my street. Its body is squashed flat but its tail is still standing straight up like a little pine tree. It is the saddest thing ever.

  • Item: I think Starbucks is cheating me out of my flavoring. Aside from that, though, I love how competent the baristas here are; they listen to me! And know what they are doing! It's AWESOME!!!

  • Item: I hate the HOME inventory. That is all.

  • Item: all you out there complaining that your stories are too long, I have a big old raspberry for you. But it's an affectionate one! I'm excited for your stories, it's just that my stories have size envy.
Stupid weather changes. Stupid arthritis.


This always waits to happen until I have a big paper due. WHY IS THAT?
I can't focus tonight.

Well, okay, properly, I can't focus on anything except my SAD CASSIE STORY. And that is mostly because it is sad, and when I am stressed I write sad things. Which is not helpful to the whole last-week-of-school thing. I have several papers to write. But. ARGH.

See, the thing is, this week, at some point, I get my evaluation from my education advisers. And they are--awesome, awesome people. Who I really respect. And there are some parts of this semester which I have irrevocably screwed up, and I have to hear about it, and it makes me unhappy. And I'm nervous, which is stupid, because hey, guess what, it's too late to fix...any of that. At all. In ANY WAY. So I should just shut up and stop fussing and write my damn papers to make things work. BUT I CAN'T FOCUS.
P.S. Someone remind me it is bad manners to correct the grammar of this person's paper when it's not my job to peer-review it and she's already turned it in.

I won't, not really, but, seriously--when we're writing academic papers, we use complete sentences. No, really.



April 2017



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