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On principle, I haven't friended any professor on facebook, but some of them have public profiles. And it's really weird to read their wall posts, and find names that I recognize because I read their articles writing things like "we must meet for drinks after APA this year" and so forth. Particularly when they are Shadi Bartsch people who are terrifying even to think about and read their scholarship.

I went to Scottish dancing tonight for the first time in ages (one of my regular piano rehearsal times is Friday nights, but tonight it was a bit earlier, so I got out in time). SO MUCH FUN. I managed to get Elderly Philosophy Prof/instructor's husband for the strathspey: dancing with a good partner is awesome, particularly when it is a slow and elegant dance.
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I think I need to resign myself to being cranky whenever we start a new era in music history. It isn't so much the over-generalizations or dubious comments on things that bother me so much, like implying that everyone involved in the Wars of the Roses was named Henry,* as it is with the things that are JUST PLAIN WRONG. Like that Henry Tudor became Henry VIII. I suppose it's better that he's given incorrect information about things that aren't actually relevant to the class at all, but in that case, why does he even bother? (And a further NB to the professor: it isn't pronounced "GLOCK-es-ter.)

*I mean, isn't it more like 1/2 Henry, 1/4 Edward, 1/4 Richard, or maybe, 3/7, 2/7, 2/7? Or maybe 3/8, 1/4, 1/4, and 1/8 for people not actually named Henry, Edward, or Richard. I wonder what the proportions actually are, among the major Wars of the Roses players? Or in the Shakespeare plays.
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I have been intermittently thinking about Lois McMaster Bujold and the Aeneid. Or, rather, does killing your main character and then bringing him back to life constitute a Journey to the Underworld and back? It's all sort of compressed: Miles gets self-knowledge (although, interestingly, somewhat delayed self-knowledge) from the experience, whereas someone like Aeneas we actually see receiving information during his trip through Hades. That's actually very characteristic of the series, I think: to take a standard sort of plot and apply it in a sci-fi kind of way. Now I want to go read Memory and see how far this goes.

But the next thing I read for fun, however, after Prometheus Unbound, is going to be Helen Beaton, by Adelaide Rouse. It seems to be a turn of the century (19th-20th, that is) college story -- I shall see how it stacks up against Anne of the Island and Jean Webster's novels. It will also make me wish I were going to an all-girls college in 1910, I suppose. It's such a different world, though: there are so many rules at my college, and I suppose at all colleges and universities and fines if you break them, and disciplinary committees. Whereas in When Patty Went to College they paint the walls of their room, take the doors off the hinges, and paint the furniture, and although they aren't supposed to, the impression is that if you can get away with starting to do it, no one is going to punish you for having done it. At my college, there is now a sign up in the dining hall noting that "Students are forbidden to remove dishes, silverware, or food, from the dining commons" with the appropriate punishments for first-time and recidivist offenders. (The dishes and silverware I can understand, but the food? And they still have paper plates and cups and plastic forks out. I do not get it.) It isn't that I don't understand why a modern college needs to have all of these rules and regulations, but it does make one wax nostalgic for a time when they mostly trusted people to behave, and to be sufficiently embarrassed by admonishment as to make worse things more or less unnecessary. Of course, these people are from a very elite, very small group of people who all can be counted on to share the proper feelings and respect the boundaries. We oi( polloi/ need to be kept in line

And on that note of the degredation of college culture, in celebration of Talk Like a Pirate Day, I present the following (if you haven't already seen it):
ricardienne: (augustine)
We had lunch with V. today -- discussed septic systems, a truly fascinating subject. Is a phosphorus-removing filter really necessary for a seasonal camp? What are the benefits of a large holding-tank versus a leech-field versus a series of small tanks? It's odd to think about how much I know about septic systems. In third grade, I was the only one who got the teacher's joke about a septic tank.

I was reading The Mother's Companion this morning -- we seem to have a bound volume from some year in the 19th century, though I couldn't find a precise date. Every single issue is the same: an article about the importance of religous education for children, a story or two about death-bed conversions, some religious poems and a page of household hints (how to make Beef Tea, for example). Eventually the related the story of Augustine. Except not really. His conversion was presented like all the rest: he gets very ill and suddenly realizes he should trust in Christ. But Augustine as he presents himself isn't just a dissolute youth who receives a sudden revelation. He works his way to an intelluctual understanding of Christianity; he joins the church as a catchumen long before the moment of his conversion. I'm interested by instances like this: why take a very detailed, interesting story that is entirely appropriate already and change it? The anguish and indecision in the garden, and then the child's voice -- it's moving, much more so than another iteration of the same.

But then, I'm not sure that "they" would find the original story appropriate. It isn't easy enough, or pleasant enough, Augustine's experience. He struggles with belief and then with worldly temptations, and he knows that he will continue to struggle even after he has become a Christian. And this isn't the message that The Mother's Companion or very much of 19th century revivalist popular religion wants to have. It should all be sweetness and happiness and innocent children making saintly speeches as they go off to heaven. Augustine would have a field day.

And now a more positive nostalgia for the Victorians and Edwardians:

I'm reading the Anne books backwards. I think part of my trouble in college must be that I got my ideas about it from Dear Daddy Long-legs and Anne of the Island. (I am very quick to blame my reading habits for everything.) Neither Judy nor Anne has any anxieties over whether she'll be able to get into the class she needs to fulfill a distribution requirement, or worries about what major she should pick, or whether she'll be prepared to go to grad school. Gilber Blythe taks High Honors in Classics and then goes off to medical school. And of course one makes friends, goes for long walks and chats, joins clubs, and so on. And then all the girls go off to be either school teachers or secretaries, so I suppose there you are.

I am not having a good day, word-wise. I typed "ceiling wax" in my subject line, and wanted to start writing about "phosphorus philtres". Oy.
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Today was all right. The Heroic Age final went fine (I think), and I spent the afternoon baking shortbread. Four batches, to be precise. It was fun. We watched The Last Unicorn at the Latin party. It was… infinitely stupid but moderately amusing.

So what have I been doing? Well, I found a way to view the NPR clip of Measure for Measure, which included about four seconds of one of Angelo's anguished soliloquies. (Anguished being the highbrow version of angst, of course.) So I've been making icons. Because it isn't as though I don't have anything else to do with my time.

ricardienne: (augustine)
Insert usual disclaimer involving Measure for Measure here )

Today was a good day for laughing in class. In Heroic Age, the professor told us that we could all go and practice our Skarphedin moves on the iced-over path from the Campus Center. He promised extra credit to anyone who could, after stopping to tie his (her) shoe, slide along the ice and knock someone's molars out.

Come to think of it, today was a good day for random extra-credit offers, as well. In Latin, he told us that it would be an automatic "A" for anyone who turned in a paper carved into stone. (This was during of a 20 minute digression on Wikipedia, copyright law, and the preservability of various forms of media, which ended in his warning us that sooner or later the world would descend anew into a period where learning was the provenance of only a very select few (!!!) and that he hoped for our sakes that it was either after our times, or that we were among that elite.) I still haven't decided whether or not to sign up for his FYSEM section next semester. It would probably be really interesting, but he made it sound like it will be really rigorous and unorthodox…
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a.d. xiii kal. dec.

Okay, if your roomate, hypothetically speaking (of course) said the following to you:

"Lydia, will you take me and Miss 'Lyssie's picture?" what would your immediate reaction be?

My immediate and unvoiced(see "1" below) reaction was to be about to say something along the lines of "Yes, mum" and bob a curtsy. Fortunately,(see "1" below) I contented myself with simply saying "Sure." It's just the way E. is: she tends diminish all proper names with "-ie" and lately has been intermittently been using "Miss" as well. But the oddness of her not doing either to my name while doing both to A.'s, was a bit striking, I thought. It's the kind of thing Elizabeth might say to Hill if she had a friend over (and if cameras had been around c. 1810).

1. Unfortunately, perhaps: I'd probably be a much more amusing person if I voiced my imediate reactions.

And now, on to more important things:

1st place Art, 4th place Overall
Some Acadeca Invitational or Another
ricardienne: (Default)
Today was an up and down day.

I slept through my alarm clock, which is quite scary. Particularly as I overslept an hour. Fortunately, even waking up at 8:00, I was able to practice for 45 minutes before grabbing a bagel on the way to Latin.

Latin was quite fun. He brought in an exerpt from Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis. The first Potions Class, to be exact. I got to read Snape. This was quite exciting, and I actually did a half-way decent job of reading, as far a prononciation is concerned. We skipped over to the dialogue between him and Harry, so I didn't get to do the monologue about how wonderful Potions is. But even still, it was quite amusing. I don't think it was a coincidence that he decided to give us Harry Potter the same day we filled out class evaluations, though.
ricardienne: (Default)
The food in the dining hall is depressingly bad. I mean, the only things you can count on to be okay are the bagels and the cake. But they're always out of bagels by dinnertime, and I really shouldn't eat cake very often. It's all so gluey, the food. And too salty. Agh! The problem is, I'm still used to meals being pleasant times. Times when I can sit and talk with my family, where I can enjoy the food, and be relaxed. I'm used to looking forward to meals. You'd think that after 14 weeks of eating fairly gross food alone I'd have learned.

And now for the crackpot Harry Potter Theory of the Day:

Reasons why JK Rowling is a Yorkist

I. Nearly-Headless Nick
He was executed in 1492. Whether you buy into my Perkin Warbeck Theory or not, it is impossible to ignore the fact that Henry Tudor (Henry VII) was king during this period. Henry won the Battle of Bosworth by treachery, killing the last Yorkist king, Richard III there.

II. The House of Gaunt
Am I the only one who did a double-take when (s)he saw that chapter heading? The House of Lancaster (Henrys the IV, V, and VI) was famously descended from John of Gaunt, the third son of Edward III. (The Yorks traced their descent back to the 2nd and 4th sons). The Gaunts of the Potterverse are degenerate near-savages, obsessed with their own right and lineage. These are definitely not the good guys.

III. Neville Longbottom
While we're on the subject of names, the Neville family was major player in the Wars of the Roses, mostly on the side of York. Anne Neville was married to Richard III.

IV. Hogwarts, Hogsmead, The Hog's Head
The Cat, the Rat, and Lovell our Dog
Ruleth all England under a Hog

The White Boar, or Hog (as in the above bit of doggerel) was the emblem of Richard III.

V. Draco
The dragon (L. draco, draconis) was the emblem of Henry Tudor. Furthermore, Henry's colors were green and white, the heraldic verte and argent: the same colors, essentially, as those of Slytherin House.

This is obviously a work in progress, and I realize that there are at least as many arguments the other way, including one gigantic, enormous one. (Points if you spot it!).

The difference between myself and my roommate:

So today she almost went out without a bag. She was going to carry her wallet, key, and water bottle around with her. Why? Because she couldn't find the only one of her bags that matched her outfit. Fortunately, I thought to remind her that she had one which matched her shoes.

I, on the other hand, am liable to say to myself "I'm wearing a brown skirt and a black shirt and can only find a blue pair of socks. Oh well, I don't mind being a bluestocking."

If the first anecdote is telling as far as my roommate's character, it's indicative of mine how many times I've made the above (bad) joke to myself.
ricardienne: (Default)
I have just written the most inane conclusion of my career. No, really, I think that I have never done one this bad, this stupid, this blatantly "I-have-know-idea-what-this-paper-is-doing-so-I'm-going-to-restate-my-thesis-and-throw-out-a-few-unsupported-generalities-and-hope-that-no-one-notices."

It's embarrassing. I need to rewrite. But, unfortunately, I don't really know where my paper is going. The first two thirds are a compare-contrast of Mozi and Kongzi's differing views of human nature. The last third is pretty much a hypothetical dialogue between my dad and the two philosophers. No, you did read that correctly. And so, I have absolutely no idea how to conclude.

Also, Scott and I were discussing the Latin quiz after class today, and it was revealed that I quite likely screwed up one of the translations. And then I was thinking about it some more, and I realised that the professor doesn't put macrons over the letters. So it's quite possible that I mixed up the nominative and ablative at some point. Noooo! Because if I don't get a perfect good score, that means that I don't understand it… right?


Sep. 7th, 2005 10:08 pm
ricardienne: (Default)
Today has been weird. And very busy. And I haven't worked on my essay at all. But I only have one class tomorrow, so I'll do it then. Right?

Anyway, now I see where the Theory Professor (why that is capitalized I have no idea) was getting her 45-60 minutes a night thing from. In short, we started sight-singing. Unfortunately, I got put in the advanced group. As in, a bunch of voice-majors who have been doing solfege for a while. Well, not all of them. But you get the idea.

I can carry a tune fairly well; I can even sight-sing fairly well. But the problem occurs when I have to sing in scale tones, or worse, in solfege. Everything on "la" is good. Having to sing "1-2-3-4-3-2-3-4-3-2-1-1-7-6-7-1-2-1-7-6-5-6-7-1-2-1" or "do-re-mi-fa-mi-re-mi-fa-mi-re-do- do-si-la-si-do-re-do-si-la-sol-la-si-do-re-do" is bad. And then we're supposed to be conducting the meter with one hand at the same time. I spent an hour this afternoon practicing and didn't even make it through everything I'm supposed to prepare for next week. Oy.

And then I spent an hour or so doing Latin with Scott (whom you may better know as the-guy-who-acted-like-Mr-Darcy-during-Scottish-dancing). But that was fun. Because were translating sentences, most of which didn't make very much sense even when we managed to get them. And the kind of sentences you get in beginning Latin are just very amusing. All about the "souls of the women were moved by the words of the poet" or "the queen of the island is giving gifts to the gods. For she fears the dangers of war." Or, one of my favorites, "There is a god in the town, o lord." Now, where is the context for this? What sort of situation would merit such a sentence? Did the slave come back late from doing the shopping, and his master ask him "what took you so long?" Even better was, "Do you, o slave, choose to work in the fields of your homeland? Do you choose to set sail from your homeland?" But we both really like Latin, so we had a lot of fun. Even if Sara(h?) did accuse us of being geeks when we starting getting a little too excited when we saw the page of English-to-Latin translations.

So there you are. Over and out.


Sep. 2nd, 2005 10:58 am
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Guess what I did last night? I danced. Scottish Country Dancing. And it was determined that I'm really really bad. But it was fun. I am definitely returning next week. Even if the fairly nice (gay, I think) guy in my dorm decided for some reason to go all Mr. Darcy when he was dancing with me. Even though he hasn't read Pride and Prejudice. I mean, come on, Scott. No, I can't dance. But you weren't all that great at figuring out which way to go either! Was there really any need to give that thin not-smile whenever I started to laugh because I had screwed up? And yes, it sucked being the fifth couple and having to wait out the set half the time, but, you know, that's just the way things happened. It was all for fun!


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