I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

February 27, 2013 - 10:18 a.m.

School Daze

I had a long day yesterday most of which I spent in my office. I have a three hour break between classes and then five and a half hours from the end of my last class till the concert I went to. I had work to do so I didn't want to waste time traveling on the train.

After updating yesterday I went to get acetaminophen and lunch. When I went into Duane Reade to get the acetaminophen they were doing a tasting of Peanut Butter & Company white chocolate and dark chocolate peanut butter. I couldn't resist that or the buy one get one free coupon so I bought to Dark Chocolates. That decided what I had for lunch, I bought one of their crummy bagels and had it on that .There is no good bagel store nearby. Now I'll buy some bread and keep it at school and have my lunch every day.

After getting optimistic about the Mets' future, not this season when they'll still suck, I checked my team in the Baseball Prospectus and found a lot to like there too. One of my minor leagues is the number 10 prospect in baseball. If my life hadn;'t been falling apart last year I'd have to on the top ten but I let Wil Myers go by accident.

I'm about to do a lot of bitching about teaching. If you want to skip down the music look for the horizontal line.

I almost finished writing the practice test for the Finite Math class. It is depressing how slowly we have gone we are still in chapter zero. I think the problem is that they just can't do arithmetic. That makes everything else difficult. I am contemplating giving an arithmetic quiz. Ill see how the test goes but I suspect an significant number of them dont know the multiplication table. It would explain why they look for any excuse to mot factor.

I gave precalculus test. I told them that they had to do the test in order. One woman did it in a totally random order. She started with question 15. I think she might have come in after I gave the instructions. I guess I should write it on the question paper. Still I cant grade her test with the rest as I do everyone's question 1 then everyone's question and it would mean hunting for each question. Even without instructions I would never do that. I took tests out of order but I always wrote them in order. Nobody had to tell me that.

Can you tell I was frustrated? Every day I told them that they couldn't use calculators on the test. Yes I repeated that every day. There were too many exchanges like this:

The test is about to start. Clear everything off your desk that is not a pen or pencil and a ruler

Can we use calculators?

Is it a pen or a pencil?

But can we use calculators?

After then explicating saying "no calculators" and having the rest of the class back up that I said it every day what happened? One student had her calculator out.

Later in my office I have my earbuds in and I'm immersed in my grading when a colleague, the one that always does things like this, interrupts me to tell me about some magazine article he read. I have never once in the 14 years I've known him had the slightest interest in any of the magazine articles that he's told me about but he will still interrupt me when I'm busy to talk about them.

OK enough bitching. I'll move on to music.

So did you just skip all the bitching? It's OK if you did. Now on to something much more pleasant, Michaela Anne.. I've seen her doing a few songs but never a full set before. I had trouble getting a handle on her other than the fact that she's good and has something to say. After watching her for an hour I know a lot more.

I had a seat right up front and that might have effected my experience. I was struck when she started by a feeling of cognitive dissonance. Her music just didnt match what I was seeing. My ears told my eyes to expect something different, or is that the other way around? I couldn't decide what she should look like based on her voice other than she should be bigger, she's short and slight. But it wasn't the little girl with the big voice thing like Honor Finnegan or Erin McKeown. I got a better sense when I figured out what her looks made me feel she should sound like. She looks like a 1960s/70s Doctor Who companion, like Zo, Victoria, Sarah Jane, or a dark haired Jo Grant. She looks like she's be singing like Melanie, Lulu, or Petula Clark. The last thing you'd expect is gravitas but that's what she got. She sings country with substance. It isn't the Tammy Wynette "my man hurt me but I love him anyway" country. It's more the my soul hurts country of Hank Williams. She'back by a hard driving electric guitar and an upright bass. The bass players name is Caitlin, I sort of feel compelled to be her friend. She can join the Kat, Kath, Catherine, etc. club. I didn't actually talk to her so that will have to wait for another time.

Rockwood is very dark. As I was leaving I saw a familiar looking shadow. Even when I was right next to her I had to ask Tess if that were her. It was! It's funny how once someone enters my world or visa versa I start running into them.

I was lucky that I heard it was going to rain in the evening so I brought my umbrella. It was miserable when I went home. It's still miserable and I have to go out in it today. I have to go back to school to finish the Finite Math test. I'll do more grading too. I also have to prepare for Thursday's classes.

Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017

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Horvendile February 27, 2013
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