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We ratified the constitution last night. Or rather, they ratified the constitution, because Yansing was very unhappy with it and did not ratify. And I'm so pleased that the class is over.

Don't get me wrong. I love reacting, and that was a marvelous game, and I had lots of fun.

But at the same time, it's also a lot of work, and that was a hard game. Yansing may, in fact, have been the hardest role I've ever had. In some ways he was simple. I felt like I got a good grasp on who he was and what he wanted in the first game, and kept it pretty easily the whole way through (aside from the second paper, for which I couldn't seem to find any sources or come up with compelling arguments, and which was generally really hard to write). But being in character isn't the only part of reacting. I spent this entire semester so far having unpopular opinions, fighting battles I knew I wouldn't win. I was frequently one of only two people on my side of the argument. Sometimes it was just me, arguing alone. I'm sure the nationalists felt like there was lots of division within their side, and like they weren't getting what they wanted. But when it came to things I wanted, they usually stood firm - at least as far as Not What Yansing Wants, so I was usually defending my views against at least 2/3 of the group. I've been unpopular before; Louis XVI was not everyone's favorite person, but the way the French game is set up, I at least had the clergy and the nobility, plus [livejournal.com profile] tigerlofu, on my side.

I think that there were also more strong players in this game than any other I've ever played. Strong players are good for a game, but it can be rough when you're fighting with them. Maybe people are only attacking your character's views, but one of the strengths of Reacting is that you really care about those views - and that means that these discussions can feel like a personal attack.

And that's not even mentioning the social element where I couldn't talk to ANY of my friends in the game about the game, but had to watch them chatting happily about it, because we shared no common goals, and furthermore half of mine were Top Secret. But that's a chat for another day.
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After 40 pages of introduction in Spanish, we reach:

Words for you

Talk about theater, they tell me. Take the oportunity to tell them your impressions and experiences. Educate the reader. Okay, fine. I'm thrilled. I know that there are few of you, a minute quantity. My editors tell me: "People don't buy theater, nor do they read it." Since you are reading this, you are an exceptional being, nearly unique, marvelous. Congradulations! I love you. For the trouble is that no one reads theater, and neither do people watch it.
. . .
They say that it is the fault of television, the strike, the moral crisis, the return to conservatism, the price of the entry, the heavy political culture, the lack of talent... Everyone casts the blame on someone else. I do not know with whom the fault lies, but I assure you, dear reader, extraordinary person, that the fault is not with theater.
The theater is a place of notable, interesting, and magical tales. Theater is an ancient and sacred art, profane and amusing, young and luminous. Theater is an actor. A beautiful dramatic melody, scenery to be admired, a star that speaks... These and a thousand other things, such is theater. And if you have not discovered it, I ask you to look. Don't pay attention to the critics who don't understand anything, not to the politicians that always lie, nor to the illuminating neon lights. Put yourself in front of a mirror and paint yourself a clown's face - now you are close! . . .
I love theater, reader mine, I love it because it deserves it, love it effortlessly, because it is not theater that has made me suffer. The theater is innocent, like you and I. It lives for the enjoyment and the transformation of the people.
I confess myself naive.
And smile.

Paloma Pedrero

. . . now perhaps I should actually read the play instead of translating the interesting part of the introduction.
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Please leave your belongings outside the Animal Quarters.
All cell phones must remain outside the Animal Quarters.
Please don't carry anything into the Animal Quarters.
No outside food or drink is allowed in the Animal Quarters.
Please wear a lab coat at all times. Not the blue ones on the coat rack, or the white ones on the coat rack; the white ones on the back wall.
Please put little blue booties over your shoes.
Please wash your hands BEFORE and AFTER handling the birds.
Here are some plastic gloves, in case washing your hands isn't good enough.

I rather expect to come in one day and see a sign that reads,
"Please do not cough, sneeze, or breathe in the Animal Quarters,"
Or perhaps,
"No unauthorized germs in the Animal Quarters."

In other news, three washings later, I think that my hands no longer smell like chickens.
3rdragon: (Default)
Specifically, the screaming fight I had with one particular member of my math group.

Cut because I doubt that it's actually that interesting. )
3rdragon: (Default)
There is a one-day reacting game on Saturday the 12th from 8am-3pm. It's about math (but don't freak out; it's about math in the same way that Henry VIII is about religion, more or less). It'll be fun, and we could use more players. The game is set in 1870; costumes are always good for getting in character.
Besides, you totally want to watch me flail as assistant gm or whatever I wind up doing, right?

If you're interested, e-mail Jim Henle at jhenle [at] math [dot] smith [dot] edu . (Do it now - you're already at the computer.)

Edited to add: There are also walk-in roles if you don't want to commit to the whole time or don't feel like having an actual character. Talk to Jim Henle about that, too.
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Today I stood in the center of a spinning cloud of bees, a living cyclone that filled the air with its sound and yet hardly moved the air.

Goodbyes are sad times.

I love the way everyone gets silly and cuddly and close during finals, the way we especially value our friends because we know that they are about to leave.
I hate the way that everyone is busy and stressed and worried at the end of the year, how everyone's hackles are but a moment from rising and how a careless, sleep deprived word inspires a growl.
I am glad that classes are over, but look forward to weeks and months ahead with many fewer friends about and silence around me instead of the comforting buzz of the hive.
I miss the challenge of structured academic learning, but revel in the freedom to take an afternoon and do everything and nothing.
I strongly dislike moving. I welcome the chance to lessen the clutter in my life and the quickening of my mother's ThrowItOut impulses, while I despair over the results of my hoarding tendencies - an inheritance from my father.
I watch my friends walk out of my life for months at a time and see the tears roll down their faces. It's not forever. It's not even Spain.
It is, however, long enough.
Tall trees outside my window shake, and the air has changed. Summer brings storms and change as my life is gathered into boxes at my feet while scattered across the country to the four winds.

I really shouldn't have packed up both of my lights; it gets really dark in here without them.


8 May 2009 10:15 am
3rdragon: (sam)

Okay, I still don't know about the $n$ members of the Smith Sledding team. But they can figure out their own darn stuff.

Now if someone would just show up so that I can run over and turn it in . . .
3rdragon: (Default)
4 3/4 pages in 2 1/4 hours; not bad. And I got my laundry done.

Now I just need to do my math homework and my PRAXIS application and send more ConBust e-mails, and write that research paper that I've been procrastinating on - and then I'll be properly on top of things. (Not that I'm badly not on top of things - this paper isn't due until Friday - but PRAXIS and that other paper are the sort of long-term deadlines that creep steadily closer . . .)

However, I think that this was a good evening's work, and that it is time for sleep now.
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This bleh with regards to productivity is really unattractive. I know that ConBust was last weekend and Fencing Nationals is tomorrow, but you still need to exert actual effort on your classwork, particularly on that Combinatorics midterms that you still don't know how to answer three problems on.

3rdragon: (Default)
There need to be more lectures by sarah-marie belcastro in my life.

That's really all I have to say.
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But it's been ConBust (aka GIANT student-run sci-fi/fantasy/anime/gaming/awesomeness convention), which tends to eat one's life. Of course, most of you have been participating in that, so you know about it already.

Now I just need to get through my Combinatorics take-home midterm and fencing nationals, and then I'll have free time. I could hang out with friends. Or read some of the books strewn about my room. That would be nice.
Also, we established this morning that if the fencing nationals flight is delayed such that I'm late for class on Tuesday (shouldn't happen, but one never knows), I can call the prof and turn in my exam to my grader (who happens to be epee mommy duck). So that's good.

Now I just need to figure out what classes I'm taking and convince Em to proxy for me (again). And, of course, finish any other homework that happens to be due this week, such as the proposal for the paper that I need to write in Portuguese.
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How can it not be a great class when your first paper title is, without any stretching of the topic whatsoever, "Temptation in Space?"

In other words, I'm comparing Perelandra and High Wizardry.


5 February 2009 07:28 pm
3rdragon: (Default)
I really want that whitewater kayaking class. But last I heard, I was on the waitlist (#2? #3?), and if I don't get an e-mail by tomorrow saying that I've gotten in, it's not happening. At least not this semester. *sigh*

On the subject of other Bannerweb-related things I want, it would be nice to know my grades from last semester. Or even just receive verification that the credits have gone through, or something. I'm not seriously worried about it (either the grades or the credits-going-through), but I'm pretty sure Smith got all of the relevant paperwork at the beginning of January. Or maybe mid-January, thinking about trans-Atlantic postal times. Although PRESHCO does have a fax machine.

In other news, life goes on, and it's better on days when I'm getting over being sick and have enough sleep. I even got enough sleep last night, contrary to popular belief (I'm all for five-college practice. But events at Mt. Holyoke that end at 10pm get to be a little much. Particularly when you're never sure if there's going to be a ride for you to get back to campus, or if you'll have to take the bus. But I did have fun, and got to bed at a nearly-reasonable time). And tomorrow is Friday. I should remember to get food tomorrow so that I can eat on Saturday.
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And, furthermore, I can once again feel my rear end. Also, my fingers. That room was really cold. And I was basically sitting in it taking tests for three hours. Actually more like three hours and 20 minutes, because it was 14:50 when I finally finished. And I hadn't had lunch yet, because this is Spain and Spain is like that.

On the plus side, I spent three hours and twenty minutes basically writing two really long essay/short(long) answer tests. In Spanish. I don't think I could have done that a year ago. Although I admittedly had some trouble with describing the olive harvest scene (I need to figure out how to say basket and ladder. I hypothetically know how to say both of these, but reality begs to differ. Also, I should figure out how to say grid. Although "square holes" works. That wasn't for the olive harvest, that was for the "spherical hispanic amphora" question).

And I had some hot chocolate. Not just Nesquik, although it was largely nesquik. I put in some of the fragments of the real dark stuff, and some cinnamon, so it was excellent. Although it occurs to me that I need to sing tonight, so that was perhaps a bad idea. But it was still yummy.

Speaking of singing, I also need to play guitar tonight, and haven't practiced since Thursday. I should do something about that, like yesterday. But now will work too, I guess.

And there are always dragons.
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Class will be over in a week. That's a very odd thought. Not only class, but exams will be over in a week. I have an exam on Saturday. How odd is that? Also, it feels kind of like being in high school again (except the Saturday), because all of my exams are scheduled and proctored.
Also, my archeology exam? Most of the exam will be an essay question - asking us the same question we turned in an exam on three-four weeks ago - "What is archeology?" - for which he basically just wanted us to regurgitate what he's told us in class. The Spanish school system is weird. He finally got around to giving us our essays back, though, so I just need to memorize my essay in a slightly condensed form.

I should probably think about what I'm going to do in the week between class being over and my family showing up. I wonder if Kona's actually going to Morocco, of if she's just wandering around southern Spain.

But really, the point of this post:
Yes, I've joined the lemmings.
3rdragon: (Default)
So, La virgen de los sicarios (aka death-crumpets movie, and the English title is apparently Our Lady of the Assasins) was just as depressing and DISTURBING as expected, if not more so (the dream sequence was MUCH freakier in the movie, and I'm not sure if this is because it was freakier in the movie, or if I just missed how freaky it was in the book). It may well have been more so, particularly if you consider that the first of the teenage boy hitmen bore a strong resemblence to my brother, and certainly wasn't any older (in fact, he reminded me not of my brother now, but of my brother a few years ago when I was more familiar with his appearance, so he may well have been younger).
I did notice, though, that I didn't feel like the protagonist was being nearly as CREEPY-child-stalker as the guy in the other book/movie, even though this one was older and it was quite obviously a sexual relationship. (Possibly because the terms of the relationship were much clearer, somehow. But probably just because there were no children in this book. There were cynical old men in the bodies of boys who never lived to see twenty.)

And that paper that I've been putting off for the past four days and has been an annoying feature on my List of Things To Do? That paper?
I wrote it in half an hour this morning. I still need to proofread it and write a few sentences to conclude it, but that won't take more than 15 minutes. There is something to be said for writing before breakfast.

Speaking of writing, have a wordcount:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
41,872 / 50,000
3rdragon: (Default)
I have an archeology paper due tomorrow, which I wrote over the weekend (hooray for foresight and willpower!), but didn't get around to editing and proofreading until this morning (not-so-hooray for willpower), and which it occurred to me that it will be difficult to print tomorrow before class, because I have bookbinding all morning. And I still haven't figured out if the computer lab is ever open in the afternoons, and I was worried that the printing lady wouldn't show up this morning before I had to go to class. But I arrived, and she was there, and there was no line, and in exchange for six centimos, I now have three pages of archeology paper (saying that makes it sound like a better bargain than it was, though; I still had to write the arheology paper, remember).

Voice lesson in half an hour. I'm going to try to get a little nano done before going over the words to the song again. Or maybe I'll just read my flist.
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Okay, dreaming about meeting with profs to discuss my class schedule probably means that I should send out the e-mails, decide that I'm definitely taking what I'm taking, figure out when I'm supposed to register (and what to do if I have class during that time . . . 8:00am there is 2:00pm here, and I have class 1-2:30pm every day except Friday.), and ignore it until then. I mean, it was a good dream-meeting, but it's the principle of the thing.

There was something else I was going to say here. I don't remember what it was, though.

At any rate, there's a religion class next semester on the Inklings (Tolkien and Lewis and ~Sayers and some others). It sounds really cool and I'm pretty definitely taking it.

On the subject of classes, can someone please convince Bill Oram that he really needs to teach a class on fantasy. He was talking about thinking about it when we helped him move over spring break last year.
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So once again I'm writing a paper and need to come up with a title. The paper traces the quote "Who are our enemies but our other selves?" throughout the novel Mindscape, focusing on the relations between three characters: Awa, Elleni, and Celestina.

I have three titles, none of them any good. Which should I use?

-Awa, Elleni, and Celestina and Other Selves

-Awa, Elleni, Celestina, and Their Other Selves Walk into a Bar

-Sing My Song, My Daughter: Mentors and Other Selves in Mindscape

Or something better which you're going to suggest?
3rdragon: (Default)
So last night after the ECC/SSFFS mobwalk (muskrats! bats! playing in river! acorn-cap whistles!), I was hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] vorindi and doing my homework, and happened to glance at the comments on the bottom of the spanish paper I was revising (read: fixing grammatical errors in) and, surprise surprise, realized that not only was there a comment, but it read, "iExcellente uso de la estructura! Once you correct it, may I make copies for your classmates?" At least, that's what it read after I deciphered it (the handwriting was not the best, and I was expecting it to be in spanish, and was so trying to make it into "eleven j-something archaic-form-of-you-run . . ."

Um. It certainly wasn't the worst essay I've ever written. But I don't feel that it's anything like the best, either. It's a five-paragraph essay in a page and a half. I personally felt that it was sort of mediocre and the thesis was dull, but that was okay because she grades for grammar rather than content.
This class is called Advanced Composition. The fact that a so-so essay I wrote in less than an hour and a half (admittedly over two days, but that's about the amount of time I spent on it) is hailed as an excellent example of the form disturbs me a little bit. I guess I'm glad she liked it, though.

And now, off to Spanish class!

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