I didn't really think about anything of importance today other than my poor students, and I don't feel like whining about them anymore. Suffice to say that I'm trying really hard not to feel as if their incompetence is a complete reflection on me. Partial, maybe, which is depressing. Which is why I don't really want to think about it anymore. I think I'll go and mindlessly study kanji. Blah.
I think that there are very few things that I've experienced that are as mentally exhausting as having to correct my 120 students' papers. For the vast majority, the issue of whether or not they understood the lab that they were doing is not even at the forefront—it's whether they can string a sentence together at all. How did some of these people get through high school? How can one of my worst ones be a fourth year student, who I assume has been expected to write papers before? Marianne is always moaning about how hurt she is to find out how prevalent cheating is. I can't even say that about my students—I've not found anything that I'd call cheating... just good old fashioned ignorance, incompetence, lack of understanding, and lots of other depressing things to link together with one's students.
One of the things I find most adorable about Lars' face (other than the fact that he manages to look so lion-like, rather than cat-like) is the dark spot in his coat located just to the side of his nose. It looks exactly like a beauty mark. One of the things I find least adorable about Lars' face (other than the drool he occasionally has coming out of his mouth when he's happy) are all the fleas I've spotted skipping happily along his chin. Time to go to the vet and get some of that super flea zapping shit, because the boys aren't kittens anymore to patiently have people killing their parasites. Though I suppose that's a good thing, in a way... heh—my babies are growing up...
I'm sick, and I don't want to write anything. Being sick is lame. Stupid body.
Valuable lessons living in Seattle my entire life has taught me : Always walk with the back of your neck firmly planted against your collar to foil the abushes of evil water-dropping vegetation. You can walk just fine with your face perfectly parallel to the ground, thus avoiding rain-speckled glasses. Hot coffee and tea always make rain seem not so bad, so drink up; cold beverages do not work this way. Pockets were invented for a reason, and ignoring them in favor of dripped-on hands is lunacy of the highest degree (incidentally, this is exactly why I don't use an umbrella). Common sense, these four things may seem, but I kid you not, I saw a girl on campus today swearing as water fell down her neck, glasses so dappled that she couldn't have been seeing anything, holding an iced drink in a very very wet hand. The funny thing was that the water was from a vane of her umbrella...
I got a lot of my life partially figured out today. That's not really the most satisfactory of things, but better than having all of it not figured out at all. I can get all that graduation stuff done, and be out of school by the end of August at the latest. I suppose that's comforting, but not as comforting as it would be if I had what I'll do AFTER settled. Grad school? JET? Grad school, JET, grad school, JET... Argh.
Funny that I know more lines of Star Trek dialogue than I do of The Star Spangled Banner.
Going for 40 hours straight with no more food than a quarter of an apple, a hot dog, two bites of Brandon's rice, and a couple drinks was not a bright idea on my part. When I finally got to eat dinnerlunch today at 4 pm, I was feeling as if I was just going to droop off the face of the planet... drip slowly away into a faded nothing. Spicy chicken and gyoza has never tasted so nummy.
The concert would have been better if Pearl Jam had closed instead of REM, but having lovely Eddie, in all his silly-coat-and-adorable-hat-wearing glory, come out and sing the last couple songs along with Michael Stipe was almost good enough. I couldn't believe how still the people all around me were sitting... how can one keep your body from expressing kinetically all that sound passing through it? From Eddie Vedder's rumble to Rahat's soaring vocals to the Spoonman's clatter, to a lesser extent with Michael Stipe and Alanis Morisette and Mana and the opening band—the sound slides down my ears and pools behind my ribs and just begs to be opened up and burst forth in any form possible. I could no more sit still and quiet in my chair than I could stop breathing. It was funny—a girl talking to a friend of hers nearby was screaming "I'm in the same fucking building with Alanis Morisette!!! I should go try to get backstage, oh my god!" while I thought that I don't understand that sort of fandom. I believe in appreciating that which the likes of Bret Boone, Ichiro, Chris Hall, Eddie Vedder, Liam Neeson, or Harrison Ford have laid forth for my entertainment, but to try to cross the line between normal and not, to try to interact with these people who are just, like it or not, not my people, seems somehow wrong. What use would be my searching out Eddie Vedder in the crowd? What would I say other than a simple "Thanks for doing what you do"? There's no real connection—he hears that every day in some way or another, and my awareness of that fact spoils it all for me. No, I much prefer my stars on stage or field.
Though I don't deny that it was a powerful experience to finally be able to see Pearl Jam live, after all the years that they've been a part of my aural landscape, to be able to sing hoarsely along as Eddie Vedder gripped the microphone in that distinctive way he has and gave an adoring hometown audience a damn fine show.
I, uh, bought a skirt today. And cleaned my kitchen. Go me!
(groan) I can't believe I just spent the better part of the last nine hours playing SC3000. I mean, I remembered it was addicting, but I didn't remember it sucking time away that badly. (rubbing eyes) And of course, the unfortunate side effect of computer use is that I'm exhausted, but at the same time too wound up to actually sleep. Stupid computers. Stupid need to blink.
I didn't get enough sleep last night, I have lots of things to grade, and a ginormous amount of errands to do over the weekend. But do I go to sleep, in order to get the best start on the new day ahead? No. Instead I listen quietly to the gorgeous Agnus Dei from the game Homeworld on my headphones, which would be so much better accompanied by flickering candlelight. But if I close my eyes and just listen, artificiality and my aching back and worries and cares can be pulled out, lifted up, and strewn far away from a corner room of an apartment on 39th.
I don't know what to write, so I'll quote something I found in the paper today and decided to clip out, because it made me laugh:
Ichiro, who speaks better English than people might think, did a non-Japanese exchange in the clubhouse. Asked if he liked Yankee Stadium, he said, in English, "Yes. Good place. They don't throw things. The fans just yell, 'You suck.'"
Nothing like a quote like that to make you giggle in the morning.
(yawn) I just read the paper for the last three hours. Serves me right for getting such an egregious backlog of information; it's really quite surreal to read, two days after the fact, news presented as if it had just happened. I'm coasting on a "better late than never" ideology for now... and so far as sports goes, I'm glad to not be reading the Mariners articles on game days themselves anyway. Scanning Saturday morning's hopes was downright depressing. I still haven't been able to get the people controlling the TV at the HUB to tune to the games—they claim they can't get them on that TV, but as Kate suggested, I'm pretty sure that's the soap addicts defending their turf. Bah humbug. Of course, with school on and games at midday, I don't have that much time to try to cram in some Bret and Ichiro watching, but you can't blame me for trying...
I'd be so much happier if XMMS wouldn't skip like a mother bitch when I so much as switch desktops. But when that's one of the prime frustrations in your life, I guess you're doing pretty good next to 99% of the world's population. Anyway, this is Jen—this is Jen not doing her homework because she's too tired to concentrate, and this is Jen going to bed at 11:30 pm, voluntarily.
Brandon is such a star. Sometime while I was gone, he got an extra power supply from Andrew Benton, and fixed the whole not-turning-on thing. Thank heaven that it wasn't the mobo that was all screwed up; there was much rejoicing when I got home and there was a "TRY ME" sign taped to my monitor. Not just that, but he replaced my video card with the extra one I've had sitting around for about seven months while I was too lazy to put it in. And Jim fixed my stereo (there was a CD caught inside the changer, but Jen's favorite handyman popped the case open and solved the problem easily), so all the mechanical woes I've been fretting about the last day or two have vanished magically into thin air. Not that I couldn't have done any of those things myself (though I probably would have just taken the changer to a repair place—I'm too nervous about opening it myself), but it's so much nicer when your friends show you just how willing they are to spend their time on you.
I actually did intend to write something last night, but I kind of forgot. I tend to do that down at Jim's folks' place... the computer doesn't strike me as anything other than an Alpha Centauri machine most of the time. Overall, a good weekend—not much of import got done, which is, as always, a benchmark of a good weekend. I'd been awful scared to go down and visit Jim's parents again, seeing as they'd most likely been a lot more on his side than mine during the breakup, but they made me feel welcome as always. Phew. That was a big load off of my mind; I don't think I could bear it if I felt that Patty and Jim (Sr.) disliked me—in a weird sort of way, I think that would upset me more than if Jim suddenly decided he hated my guts. Funny, that.
I am not a little bit pissed off. It is totally silent in my room... a silence that is only achieved when the humming of my computer's fan is not in evidence. And why might that humming be currently absent? Well, the fact that my computer isn't turning on may have something to do with it. Who knows if it's the power supply or the motherboard that's shot; there is much anger in the air. I was depending on that computer to last until I graduate, and even having to replace a power supply is a power supply's worth of money more than I wanted to spend on that little beastie for quite a while. AUGH. Just when I'm going to be gone all weekend and not be able to do anything about it, too. BOTHER.
Human ability to recognize something based on a fleeting peripheral glimpse is truly remarkable. Like me recognizing the door of a police car a block and a half away out of the corner of my eye as it opened in the faint glow of a streetlight at midnight. I suppose that may be a useful ability at some point, but I feel like it's kind of taking up useful space right now. Speaking of taking up useful space... I've said it before and I'll say it again—the sheer amount of memory storage going to pot in my head storing all of my musical knowledge is staggering. As an example, I am in possession of some 2109 songs on poor neglected /mnt/dos. This collection of music, lasting roughly 3 minutes on average, is but a tiny, nay, infinitesimal, fraction of the amount of music that I recognize. I'm not talking about knowing who the song was performed by, or written by—those details are extra. I'm talking just hearing a tune, instantly scanning the memory banks, and being able to say "yeah, I've heard that before," and perhaps hum along. For perhaps a half to two-thirds of the songs that I could recognize, I would be able to sing along words (more storage), and for perhaps half of those, I'd be able to come up with an artist name, albeit not necessarily right on the spot, and for several, album name, if not track listing thereof. That is a nearly inconceivable amount of information, all handled by my squishly little brain. And then to think how small a fraction of my total knowledge about the world is contained in musical knowledge... it's great to be a human.
I really don't know what to talk about. I goofed off, went to school, chilled at work, made nachos, and played video games today. There was very little thinking involved in the whole endeavor, other than being rather miffed that I didn't have my trench for the first day of cold rain. Wet jeans on legs = ick.
I really didn't do anything much today (not even homework, but there's a "yet" attached to that one). I worked up some pics of the family, watched a movie, and put up my posters and some of the Christmas lights. There'll need to be some tweaking done (particularly of one set of posters that was intended to be matched in height and ended up about four inches apart), and I've got some huge blank spaces to take care of (plotter, here I come), but my room and the hallway feel a lot less empty than they used to.
A day full of nothing; reading, loafing, eating, a short jog... and some computer games to top it all off. Gotta love lazy Saturdays.
I had one of those "profound" things to say earlier (I distinctly remember thinking about it, whatever it was, in the car), but a day full of ST:TNG, books, and meat has kind of bled things from my mind. God bless rare prime rib. I realized today, after a mental comparison of ST:TNG and DS9 against Enterprise and Voyager, what it is that pisses me off so badly about 7 of 9 and that... that Vulcan hussy (heh). In the days of Next Gen, women were "beautiful." They may have had teased up hair or crazy clothing, but Counselor Troi, Doctor Crusher, Ensign Ro Laren, Major Kira, Keiko O'Brien, for god's sake, even Terry Farrell as Lt. Commander Dax, were all genuinely pretty women—regardless of their bustlines or the fullness of their lips. The transition from gorgeous to merely sexy is a disappointing one, seeing as while I'm very capable of appreciating feminine beauty, I'm not of the persuasion to enjoy blatant sex "appeal." Bother.
How bitterly disappointing, those moments when you are reminded that there is no one to lean on, to get support from, other than yourself. Parents, brothers, boyfriends, friends... there is such a finite limit to what they even can do, and that which they are willing to do is so far below that. Not any blame to them (well, except for the parents), of course. It's just that when you're an adept at upsetting yourself, it's up to you to get you out of it. Stupid life.
Oh, this is rich : "Occasionally, exercise can also trigger anaphylaxis. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is characterized by general itching with or without hives (a raised, red rash), decreased blood pressure, and narrowing of the upper respiratory tract. It is usually associated with increased environmental temperatures and intense exercise." This happens to me almost every time I run, and happens to my mother and my father's mother as well. As if it weren't bad enough to be allergic to animals, no, I have to be allergic to exercise, too.I should just go and lock myself in a biosphere and lie down for the rest of my life right now.
I am going to bed. Stupid need to sleep.
I bought a book this afternoon, and had it read all the way through by the time I started work at 6:30. I can't think of another time I've done that during a school quarter since I started college; it was a nice feeling, to have devoured a book (a new one, no less, even if it did have overlap with others in that series) despite all responsibilities. Not that I've got very many, the first two days of the quarter, but it was still an appreciated indulgence. Not so welcome was the after-reading depression I'm so prone to these days—it seems that I can't read for more than an hour or two without falling (for no good reason that I can divine) into something of a funk. Not sad so much as moody and broody, but it was bad enough today to drive me to buy frosting and just eat it. That's something I haven't done since high school. I probably would have made cookie dough and eaten that had I not been walking by the grocery store on the way home... lord knows it almost would have been better for me. Silly chemical imbalances. Ah well—it was nothing that some frosting and a late-night visit from Jim couldn't fix. So sweet of him to drive over just to bring me my laundry and chat for a bit. My mom has always said he was such a perfect gentleman, and she's right.
Rolled over nicely on time. I wouldn't have remembered if not for you you, John (heh). First day of class was uneventful and largely boring. Fourth-year Japanese will be fun, and I need to go get the books, but that's about all that can be said for my scholastic activities today. The rest just kind of blurred away.