Snow Blood and Coal
Sunday, November 30, 2003
So I talked to Sofiya tonight for the first time in forever. It was really good to talk to her. I was afraid for a while that I would never be able to figure out how to get in contact with her, but then, she got in contact with me. Yay! Saves me a whole lot of effort if nothing else (I know she's reading this and she knows I'm only joking). But yeah. We talked for an hour, and it looks that I might drive out to Philly over winter break to go visit. Depending on who all is there, I have a whole bunch of people to visit, although I figure that the people who go to school there will all be out of town for break, which sucks. I would have liked to have seen them too...
Oh well... So tomorrow school starts again, and I'm really worried about it. I didn't get quite as much done over thanksgiving as I would have liked (2 WWAs and a half a paper) and I worry that I won't be able to finish my bibliography now. Only seventeen days left to do it and I have no annotations. That kind of freaks me out. But I'm going to spend all this week in the library working at it, and hopefully I can get to sixty or seventy annotated entries by the end. If I get that many, I figure that I'll be set. I happen to know that I'm not the only person who saved this until the last minute, so I'm not terribly worried. On the other hand, a lot of the people in the class are continuing projects that they have already started elsewhere, and at least one is working from my folklore and literature bibliography as a starting point, so that's kind of depressing... Oh well... It'll all work itself out. I'm convinced.
Finally for tonight, I'm planning a new beer which I'm going to start as soon as school lets out. Here's the ingredient list. Tell me what you think:
For 6 gallons:
12 lbs. Light / Pale Malt Extract Syrup
4 oz. Roasted Barley
6 oz. Peated Malt
6 oz. English Crystal, 50-60 L
6 oz. Flaked Oats
2 oz. Northdown Pellet (30 minutes)
Wyeast Scottish Ale Yeast (1728)
I think that I'm going to call it Indiana Wee Heavy, because it's basically a Scottish Wee Heavy, except that I formulated it from scratch. I'm a little bit concerned about getting peated malt, but if I can't, no biggie. I'll just make some modifications. Or alternately, I've been working on another beer recipe that I might try instead. It's more of a Belgian Trappist-style ale. I'd rather do this one, but I'll make do with what's available. I guess that there's always the option of getting my peated malt online...
Anyway, I'm not feeling very well so I'm going to go to bed early.
November is the cruelest month...
It's cold. Actually it's warm out, but it's cold in here, and because of that, I'm having a hard time writing. I have about four pages of my paper, and another page or so planned out. The rest of the thing shouldn't be too bad to write, and I want to get to it today, but it's just so cold. I think that I'm going to go get in bed and take a nap, just because it's warmer in there, and then try to come back to writing... This is turning out not to be a bad paper. I find that I have an ample amount to say, summarizing what Barthes thinks about myth, and then relating it to more folkloristic / anthropological ideas of what myth is. I just wish that I didn't have to work so hard to say it. Writing papers for classes is a pain in the ass... and I've already written so much this break: Two weekly writing asignments and my 801 teaching evaluations. That's... 25 pages or so... not to mention what I've already written of this paper, which would bring it up to 29... Oh well. Hopefully I can finish most or all of it today or tonight, and just not have to worry about it any more. I need to get moving if I want to get my other paper and my bibliography done before the semester ends, damnit!
Saturday, November 29, 2003
So I finished my weekly writing asignment for the week after next, and I've spent the past half hour playing with the settings on my new monitor. I use a utility that enables certain resolutions that are not automatically enabled with my monitor in OS X, and I think that it has screwed up my ability to display in 1280x1024. On the other hand, that resolution is too high for me. Right now, I'm displaying at 1152x864, and I think it's about right. I might go up to 1216x912, but even that is bordering on too small. Maybe I need to go get my eyes checked out for glasses... On the other hand, at any resolution higher than 1152x864, I can see flicker because the refresh rate is too low, so maybe my eyes are pretty good after all... Don't know.
In other news, Sarah's family left earlier this afternoon. It was a good visit, but I'm kind of glad they're gone. It was good to see them and I had fun, but I need to get some work done before monday, and I would not get it done if they were here. We would be doing more stuff like watching The Big Lebowski which is what we did last night...
Anyway, I'm off to go type up my teaching evaluations. They're due on monday. Yuck.
Friday, November 28, 2003
The Turkey Recap.
So I put the turkey in the oven at 10:40 yesterday and took it out at 3:30, giving it approximately five hours of cooking time. Then I basted it for two hours before we finally got to eating it. When we got to eating it, wow. It was not quite as juicy as the one that Sarah and I did last year, but it was pretty darned close. And that's especially exciting as far as I'm concerned because this turkey was two and a half times bigger.
Aside from the turkey, I did vegetable stir-fry, rye bread, pears in a brandy-sauce for desert, and pumpkin pie that Sarah and I collaborated on. All came out very well. By the time we got to desert, the folklore people who had said that they were going to drop by later in the evening had dropped by, and everybody thoroughly enjoyed the pie.
A good time was had by all, I think.
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Alright. All of you who made suggestions of names for my mead, I thank you. I think, however, that I am simply going to go with 'Human Food Dry Mead'. And here's why:
The picture is an etching by Gustav Dore. I thought it was pretty funny, and an excellent picture for Human Food.
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Productive and fun.
So Sarah's family came, we went out to lunch, I made them dinner, and then we went out for beer at this microbrewery called Lennie's, which is really good, and to we might return for dinner on friday. Then we came home, and I managed to write a bit over three pages of my paper while Sarah and her brother did laundry and chatted. It's not a great three pages, but it's not bad, especially considering that I've had a few beers tonight. Also, I managed to recycle a little bit of my AFS paper into what I have so far, eliminating the need to write an entirely new explanation of Barthes' definition of myth. Yay recycling.
Anyway, I'm off to go finish some things up before I go to sleep, then in the morning, turkey preparations!
...was Abdul Abulbul Amir.
So Sarah's father and brother are going to be here in less than an hour, which means that I won't be able to write a paper today, or do laundry, or go to the grocery for tomorrow, and Sarah won't be able to make pie... or maybe we will be able to do the food stuff, because there's really no other time to do it...
Anyway, in other news, I got a new monitor yesterday. It's a cheap 17 inch MAG monitor, but as far as I'm concerned, it's really cool. It means that I have more than double the screen space that I had before. So I can write a paper on one monitor with my notes open on the other. That's so useful...
But now I must go and get ready, for they will be here shortly, and I have no clothes...
Monday, November 24, 2003
...in the ranks of the Shah...
Wow. Today is the first snow of the year. I've been wondering when it was going to happen, so I went out to get the mail this morning, and there it was, snowing pretty lightly, but snowing all over the place. It's interesting. It's not sticking to the pavement (which I think is probably a good thing), but it is sticking to the grass. I guess that there's more moisture in the grass and that keeps those parts of the ground colder... Ah well. Maybe later I'll take a picture and post it here, but for now, I'm off to do homework and bake more bread.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
...but the bravest of all...
Mead! I've bottled the mead! And boy is it pretty.
It also tastes great. I have a bottle open that I couldn't quite fill that I've been sipping on, and it's smooth and very slightly sweet, and overall, much better than any of the commercial endevours that I've tasted. Sarah tasted it, and, impressed, commented that you could barely taste the alcohol on it. She said something to the effect that a person could get drunk on this stuff and never realize it. If it's smooth now, I wonder how it will be in six months or a year when it's starting to hit its prime aging-wise...
Anyway, now I need some opinions. I have some names in mind for it, but I don't really know which one to choose. I was stuck on Golden Showers for a while, but now I don't know. I'd kind of like to come up with a naming scheme for my meads, and not just have them named individually and incongruously as I make them, so here's some ideas for names:
Saturday, November 22, 2003
...and quite unaccustomed to fear...
Alright, I'm up and chipper this morning. I'm going to, if not bottle my mead today, then at least rack it again. I'm a little bit worried about bottling it, because I'm not sure that it has entirely cleared. I'm going to move it into another carboy in a better lit place and take a look at it's clarity. If it's still a bit less than clear, I'll put it back in the closet and let it sit, I guess, until the beginning of winter break before I bottle it. The longer it sits in carboy the better, anyway, I think. On the other hand, if it does turn out to look clear, I'm going to bottle it today. I have all these clear wine bottles, synthetic corks (which means that I don't have to lay the bottles on their sides), and white shrink capsules, and I'm just itching to use them...
In other news, I'm about done with both books for my 501 paper, and I have a good idea of what I'm going to write for my 545 paper. So hopefully sometime soon I'm going to be able to write the latter and start planning the former. If I can get done with both (and a W.W.A. before the end of thanksgiving, I've got this school thing in the bag. All I'll have to do when I get back is the bibliography, and with nothing else going on, that should be cake.
Finally, there's thanksgiving itself. I'm pretty sure at this point that I'm going to do a turkey. Everyone expects it of me, and so I shall comply. But it'll be interesting because it'll be stuffed with apples, prunes, and half an onion, which, I think, will make it really good... I'm still not sure exactly what else I'm going to do though. I think that I'll make some pie crusts and have Sarah make pumpkin pie (which I like). I'm also thinking that I'll do a fish stew, although Sarah wants me to do meatballs instead. I think that meatballs might be easier, in fact, because I can buy the supplies more than just the day before. Finally, there's the question of the vegetarian dish. I have a firend coming who is a vegetarian, and I'm trying to decide what to make for her. I think that I'm going to do a big salad, for one thing, but I need some kind of vegetable dish to go with the main course, too. If I were ambitious, I would do vegetarian tamales, but that seems like pushing it. I could do two simple things, which still wouldn't be as time consuming as tamales. I could do asperigus wrapped in puff pastry dough (you can buy the dough), and then maybe a vegetarian risotto or something... the risotto requires arrobio rice, which I don't know where to get, but maybe I'll do vegetable couscous instead... that might be good. Something with a little bit of mediterranian-ness about it to counteract the heaviness of turkey... who knows...
Thursday, November 20, 2003
...are daring and bold...
So yesterday, I screwed up. I made an appointment to sit in on an English class at 11:15, thinking that my 501 class only went to 11, when it actually went to 11:30. So I left 501 early to go and sit in on this english class, and I'm glad I did because that class was interesting and 501 was especially boring / low energy. The English class was early 17th century English poetry, but the prof. barely talked about poetry at all in the class. They were supposed to be talking about this poet who converted to catholocism and went to live in exile in France, so she talked a lot about the counter-reformation and the Baroque, claiming that she would get back to his poetry, but she never did. It was still a good class, and I gave it a good writeup.
Then I went to lunch, and to an Afro-American studies class, where I met up with Gabe. This was a first year class, about Black literature, and it was really cool--the perfect class for folklorists to sit in on. They were discussing a couple of books, but with each, the students related the content both to their personal experiences and to larger social issues (the latter with some pushing by the professor). Personal experiences are not usually something I look for in a class, but this was really neat, and I think very educational. I think that maybe including personal-experience time in a lesson--maybe as a way to illustrate abstract concepts--might be a good idea.
Then I came home, racked my mead, added the clearing and stablizing agents, and haven't really worked on my presentation for this afternoon. In fact, I'm still procrastinating, which is why I'm writing here instead of writing a presentation. I'm really resentful of this presentation for my myth class anyway. Everybody else got to do it in pairs (which means half the work), but not only do I have more to cover than anybody else, but I have to do it alone. I'm a bit pissed.
Oh well. Off to work...
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
The sons of the prophet...
I never do quizilla quizzes, but I thought that this one was especially appropriate:
You are Lore. You get dismantled a lot... brother.
What Star Trek villain are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
So teaching yesterday went really well. I lectured for about fifteen minutes, then I had everybody write and had them read what they wrote to start a discussion. The discussion began no problem, and as it went on, I kept adding little bits of information to complicate things more, and the discussion... well... kept getting more complicated. Finally, Professor Jonson went off about how what we were doing basically amounts to academic speculation, and asked me how I could justify making statements about a text where I didn't know anything about the specific speakers and audiences and context. So I went back to lecturing, this time on Freud's ideas of latent and manifest, and how we can work back from the manifest to the latent, and how this applies more broadly than just Frued, and can be used to get at general social context as much as (if not more than) psychological context. It was very educational, and in my evaluations, the consensus was not just that it was a good teaching job, but that they learned things. The only thing that they said was that for an undergraduate class, I probably should use a less sexually explicit set of texts. Now I did both Fabliaux and Russian bawdy tales as an undergrad, and they were great with me.
One thing that really pisses me off about that class, in fact, is that I think that the people in it underestimate undergrads. A couple of people told Chantal (who presented on theories related to fairy tales) that it was too complicated for an undergraduate class. Now I didn't think that what she presented was too complicated at all. In fact, it was all stuff that we learned in the first introductory folklore course in Berkeley (160). A lot of people take undergraduate folklore classes here, and a lot of them are from differing backgrounds, but that was true in Berkeley too, and Dundes didn't have a problem expecting a lot from students. Further, I think that students did better on the whole because he expected a lot from them. Sure, a lot of students didn't do well on the midterm because they were expecting a walk in the park, but overall, I think that they did better and learned more because they were challenged. I know I did. So when somebody says something like "O that's too complicated for an undergrad class," I really take it personally. It's not too complicated if we expect undergrads to act like adults.
On the other hand, though, undergrads here are treated like children, so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. *sorrowful shake of the head*
Monday, November 17, 2003
John McWhorter, The Bay Area, and Everything...
So last night I was watching Book TV (yes, I watch CSPAN2 occasionally) and John McWhorter came on talking about his new book at a place in San Francisco called A Clean Well-Lit Place for Books. I never had a class with him in Berkeley, but something about the whole thing made me really miss the Bay Area. It was something about his laid-back demenor and the fact that everybody in the room was over-educated but not in academia, and the apparent liberality of everyone there. It really made me nostalgic. I just don't see people in this town going in for recreational intellectualism, which is what this was. Not that I don't like Bloomington, because I've decided that I really do, but as Sarah pointed out to me the other day, it's not the same because it's not a place where people stay after they've finished with the school, and therefore, it doesn't have the huge population of people with too much education and nowhere to go. Not all the people who work at Barnes and Noble, for instance, have Ph.D.s... kind of a shame, really... Actually, I think that my nostalgia really started last Thursday when one of the classics guys in my myth class started talking about Leslie Kirk as a rising star in the field...
But enough nostalgia. I need to get ready to teach.
Sunday, November 16, 2003
The Bawdy Lesson.
Alright. So I think that I'm ready for my 50 minute lesson tomorrow. I've practiced my short opening lecture a few times and I'm pretty natural and fluid with it (although I still am working from notes a bit). It should be fun. I talk a little bit about the historical background of fabliaux and why the medievalists are wrong about them and why they are folklore. Then I talk about Alexander Afanasyev and how The Bawdy Peasant came about. Oh yeah. I also talk about Stith Thompson and the fact that there's no tale type for the story I'm using, and the fact that he omitted certain folktales from the index because he deemed them inappropriate. So when I'm done with this mini lecture (it's about 10 minutes), I have them do a minute paper, and then have one person read what they wrote in order to get a discussion going. I figure that 10 minutes of discussion should be adiquate, and then I'll go on and set up a debate. I'll have them get into two teams, write questions, choose team names, and then respond to questions in debate form. That should cover me until the end of the period.
I think that it'll be fun...
Wow. Amazon has a new food section and some of the stuff that they're selling there looks really good. Of course, it's also really expensive, even excluding shipping, so I don't think that I would buy from there, but the prospect of having real cured meats shipped to me does sound appealing. They have real serano ham and prosciutto, but the problem is that you have to buy a whole piece, rather than slices, and a whole prosciutto goes for almost $300. Maybe if I had a meat slicer and could resell some of it, but alas...
In other news, my copy of Fabliaux Fair and Foul arrived today, along with the new issue of JAF. I'm excited on both accounts. There looks to be some neat things in the JAF issue, and I figure that I should read the introduction to Fabliaux before tomorrow when I have to teach about them. And speaking of that, I need to figure out exactly what I'm going to teach for tomorrow. That has me a little bit worried...
Saturday, November 15, 2003
I just sampled my mead for the first time in over two months, and damn it's good. I'm going to go to the brewing store tomorrow and pick up something to finish clearing it so that I can bottle it before thanksgiving. That way I can serve it with the turkey. It'd go great with turkey. It has a very pleasant flavor that isn't overpoweringly like honey, but there is a hint of honey there. It is still ever so slightly sweet, but not nearly so sweet as the commercial mead I bought over the summer (that's good). It's also slightly acidic thanks to my addition of some acid blend. I've decided not to add oak, partly for time reasons, and partly because it tastes really good as is. It'll be great at thanksgiving, and at NEXT thanksgiving, it should be the hit of the party. Oh yeah, by the way, it finished fermenting at about 10.5% alcohol. Seems like a key point, that.
Alright. Sorry that I haven't updated in a couple of days, but after my paper, I haven't wanted to do any writing. I think that's justified. After doing all that writing in one night and one day, basically... But alas. Sooner than later I'm going to have to do a W.W.A. and the writing will start all over again.
Anyway, so yesterday was a day of mixed good and bad. On thursday night, I called Sarah to pick me up and she informed me that we had a flat tire and the car was undrivable. So friday at eight in the morning, I called AAA to come and put my spare tire on, and I drove the car to a tire place where they replaced it for the nominal fee of just over fifty dollars. That sucked. But in the mean time I went out and had a delicious breakfast at The Runcible Spoon, which is definitely my favorite restaurant in town, and then went to the public library and sat and read for an hour and a half. So it was really a toss-up kind of morning. On the one hand it was annoying and expensive, but on the other hand, it was kind of pleasant.
So then I went home and worked on the folklore forum web site for a couple of hours until I went to the folkpub meeting. There, I showed everybody what I had so far and got some suggestions for improvements. The big suggestions are that I need to make it more difficult to publish and unpublish issues, and that I need to force people to preview articles before they can add them. I think that I can do that, although I can't really imagine a way to do forced preview that won't be kludgy. I guess I'll have to look carefully at it...
Oh well. Now today, I think that I'm going to read a couple of chapters of the book for my myth class (Something by Paul Lincoln), and hopefully read a little bit for my 501 class. So I'm off!
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Alright. I have a little bit over eight pages of my paper and I think that I'm going to quit for the night. I know, it's due tomorrow, but I don't think that I have the stamina or the attention span to continue. The verdict so far: It needs editing. It's definitely not the worst paper I've written, but it's also not one I'd send home to mom. I've liked the last couple of papers I've written because they felt tight. Every single thing I included felt like it mattered. No extraneous information or language to be found. This is not that way. This paper meanders. It discusses a whole lot of different things, getting ultimately to the point that many very significant insights come from armchair scholars. I'm going to need to get up early tomorrow and write all day if I want to finish in time. Hopefully, I'll be done by two-thirty-ish tomorrow so that I can have a few minutes to relax before class. Otherwise, it's going to be a rough afternoon. If I want to get it done that early, it might be best for me to write more tonight, although if I write a bunch of nonsense tonight, I'll just have to delete it and do it again, and that would suck. So I think that I'll just leave it alone until morning.
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Alright. So I spent the majority of today sulking about my paper. I started working on what I had already written this morning, decided that it really sucked and that there was no way I'd ever be able to expand it to 10 pages, went and looked for topics on which I could write a 20 page paper, found nothing, gave up for lunch, and then spent about 2 hours laying in bed and staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out what to do next. In the course of doing that, I think that I fell asleep, but more importantly, I decided to scrap my previous paper idea and work on a new topic--"talk about the value of armchair scholars, despite what Malinowski might have to say about them." So I started writing that paper, and here I am with 3.5 pages written at 10 in the evening after having worried about it all day. What I have certainly ain't good, but I think that at this point, I have to stick with it. I don't have time to start yet again, and I think that if nothing else, this paper will be entertaining.
So yesterday, I managed to write about four pages worth of half-notes-half-paper for my myth paper due thursday, but then during class last night, I was presented with an interesting idea. What if I did the 20 page paper option instead of the 2 10 page option and wrote my paper on something to do with my iron biblio? The problem is that I have no idea what is myth related and also iron related that I could write about. I guess that I could talk about pretty much anything and call it a Barthesian myth, but that feels like a copp out. I think that I'm going to look around this morning and see if I can find anything I want to write about in that regard, and if I can't, I'll just finish the first 10 page. I'd almost rather write 2 10 page papers than 1 20 page paper anyway. Don't know why. I just feel like I don't have the kind of time required to write a good paper that long. Maybe if I had more than a month, but I don't. Oh well. What I could do is turn in the 10 pager and then talk to him about doing the second 10 page paper about something iron related. There is the option of doing those papers on "the topic of your choice." I don't know. I guess we'll just have to see...
In other news, I think that I figured out why I haven't been sleeping well and why I have had a bunch of headaches recently. Clearly, I'm stressed out. I never realize it because I don't deal with stress in the stereotypical way. I don't externally panic or change my behavior for the most part. So I guess that it manifests itself in my sleeping patterns instead. That's cool. Now that I know that, I can live with it.
Finally, I figured out what I am going to teach my 50 minute lesson on next week. It's going to be on narratives within narratives and agreed-upon lies. I'll use the Snow Child narrative, and then also two versions of "The Horse and Two Soldiers," one which is the actual fabliau, and the other which is from the book of bawdy Russian folktales. It should be a fun class, and with material that funny, how can it be bad. So I'm going to talk about the structure of Snow Child and how it might lead to some interesting interpretations, and then I'll break the class into groups and have them do the same with the other tale. Should be an easy fifty minutes, fun, and relatively painless... Now I just need to type all those texts up and email them out so that everybody will have read them before I present.
Sunday, November 09, 2003
Since my last update.
Since my last update, I've not written a word of my myth paper, but I have done a bunch of reading for that class and for my next 501 paper, so things aren't so bad. I read about half of Deep the Water Shallow the Shore this morning, and it's really a fun book. The ethnographic stuff is pretty interesting, although not hugely detailed (only detailed enough to provide a context for the songs), and the songs are great. I discovered, happily, while reading it that my sense for music hasn't entirely left me. Even if I can't sing, I was at least able to look at the music that he provides and get a good sense of how the songs go. So that's nice to know.
In other news, I started writing the section of the Folklore Forum administration program that will allow people to edit articles yesterday, and after having a brain fart with how to change article order, I think that things have come out pretty good. I went to bed last night extremely frustrated with it, so I awoke this morning (maybe I had had a dream), got up, spent fifteen minutes, and figured out how to do it right. Now it works like a charm. My next task is going to be to get it to delete articles, then add and edit. After that, the only thing left will be previewing them, which could be tricky if I want to make it complicated, but more likely, will be really easy...
Oh yeah. Also about the program, at the folkpub meeting on friday, I took a poll and asked people if they wanted me to make a user system for posting comments / submitting articles to the web site. They decided yes, and so I'm going to have to do all of the administrative stuff for that too. It shouldn't be too hard. I think that the most complicated part of the user system will be letting users do things like edit their information and preferences... but that's the forum website itself, and that is a job for another time, I think.
Saturday, November 08, 2003
Now, having gotten all of my books from my last order, I turned around and just ordered a copy of Fabliaux Fair and Foul for myself from half.com. I'm becoming addicted to buying good folklore / medieval literature / generally academic books...
The Bawdy Peasant.
Well, the last of the books I ordered a couple of weeks ago came, and at the worst possible time. The book is The Bawdy Pesent: Tales from the Secret Folklore of Tsarist Russia, and rather than studying this morning, I've spent the morning reading it. On the bright side, I've found a couple of analogues to Fabliaux in there. Maybe there's a paper in that... At the very least, maybe I'll bring the medieval French and Russian versions in as part of my 50 minute lesson for my teaching folklore class... That'd be a good lesson (multiple existence and variation?).
Anyway, now off to read for my myth class. I can't think of anything to write for a paper right now, so I figure that I'd better do something...
Friday, November 07, 2003
Hey, sorry I've been updating a little bit eratically, but things have been pretty busy around here--or at least I've been staying out of the house a little bit more...
But anyway, last night Max and Jen came in to see us, and that was a lot of fun. We went out to dinner at the Tibetan place I like, and then we went to Nicks for a while and played darts (darts are a funny, inconsistant thing for me. Last night I was really on, but often times I'm not). Then after that, we came back and read through this book that they bought me for a long time. One of the funniest things I've ever seen. I can't remember the author or the title, but it's something to the effect of "How Hillary Clinton and Her Minions Run the Country." It was obviously written during the Clinton presedency, and it profiles all his female appointees, talking about how evil and perverse they are. Did I mention that they got this for me at a Christian book store? How funny.
Then they stayed the night, and here I am, writing, while they are still sleeping. I think that they're leaving pretty early today, which means that I might have a little bit of time to do work. I'd like to finish some more of Deep Down in the Jungle today, plus start planning out my first essay for my Myth Class (due next week). I think that I'm going to write about how I would use material covered in class in a research project. Seems like a good plan. Maybe I'll write about my idea for talking about the way that nineteenth century ideas all fit together with british folklorists of the period. Don't know yet. But I will soon.
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
So I was up until 1:00 last night writing my paper. I finally finished, and I think that it's pretty good, although a little bit preachy at the end. It turns out that about three quarters of it is about the history of folklore as it relates to the concept of tradition, and the last few paragraphs are explicitly about how to define folklore... but that's not the point. The point is that I finished at 1:00, went to print it, and found that we were out of paper. So here I am, up before 7:00 a.m. I'm going to go to school, hope that the computer room at the folklore institute is open, and try to print there. If that doesn't happen, my next option is to go to the folkpub office to do it. That doesn't seem like a bad idea, except that I feel bad using their paper and ink for private purposes. On the other hand, I've now written a whole shitload of php web-application code for them, so I figure that they owe me something... Well, we'll see.
Now for coffee.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
I really wanted to post last night, but I was feeling too tired by the time I got home to do much of anything. And despite that, I ended up going to bed at 1:00 and getting up at 7:00. But I did manage to go back to bed and not get up again until 9:15, so at least that's something. And I do feel better this morning, I think.
But yesterday wasn't a total waste. I had my teaching folklore class in the library and then went straight to the folklore floor, set up shop, and wrote from about noon until 2:00. By 2:00, I was already starting to feel worn out, so I took a walk over to the folklore building and sat around there until I had to go to class. In the mean time (and when I got home last night), I managed to write a user / access control system for the folklore forum web application. It now requires the user to log in before he or she can access the editing tools. I figure that I'll finish my paper today, then finish that up, and then maybe settle down with Deep Down in the Jungle and finish reading it this afternoon. That would be good. It'll be good to have all the reading for my next F501 paper finished while I'm thinking about how to do the first F545 (myth) paper...
Sunday, November 02, 2003
Alright. So I've spent the afternoon editing what I wrote yesterday of my paper and finishing the first half. So far, I think that it's really very good, but that I will do poorly on it grade-wise. The first half of the paper is about how tradition has been conceived as historically continuous and objective, and how folkloristics until recently had been gathered around that conception as a discipline. In a lot of ways it is a history paper, and in a lot of ways, it emphasizes concepts of tradition over concepts of disciplinarity (I'm supposed to be writing about both). On the other hand, it looks really thoroughly researched (in 5 pages, I've used 12 sources, only one of which is directly about theories of disciplinarity), so I think that what I lose for not following directions, I will gain back for thoroughness. I figure that I can get back to disciplinarity though, tying everything together at the end by talking about scholarship on the history of folklore as an exercize in boundary work, and how what I do here is boundary work, but it is "center work" as well. I thought this was going to be a bad and boring paper, but I'm feeling really cheerful and enthusiastic about it. Maybe it's the coffee...
Saturday, November 01, 2003
Check this out. I'm stunned. I'm flaberghasted. I don't know what to say, or whether to think that this is hillarious or disgusting. All I know is that I'm not telling people what high school I went to anymore.
The article begins, by the way: Three high school students were expelled for making a sexually explicit video that was distributed around their private school. The video was made last spring by a sophomore girl and two junior boys, who were not identified by officials with Milken Community High School.
I fucking went to high school there! When I was there, I actually knew of someone who had done something like this, but the video never GOT OUT. This is horrifying. This may be the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. I think that I just answered my own question. I feel both ways. At least CNN didn't say Jewish high school.
Update: It does say that the school is associated with Stephen Wise Temple, though.
Annoying paper-writing things.
Alright. So I've outlined pretty much the first half of my F501 paper. I'm going to spend a good while talking about concepts of tradition in early folkloristics (19th century europe), then move on to early American folkloristics (more of the same, essentially), then write a little bit about how that conception of tradition carries over into today (Edward Shils, maybe Dundes...).
The second half is less clear, but pretty much what I want to do is transition into how a new conception of tradition has emerged in tandem with a new folkloristics, how the new idea of tradition is incompatable with older models of folkloristics (like tale-types, collections of texts, etc), how a performance-centered approach compensates for the new idea of tradition, but how performance does not necessarily wholely embrace it (talk about Deep Down in the Jungle).
I think that I can get all this done pretty quickly. I think that I can write the first half of it today, and maybe the second half tomorrow. It only has to be 8 or 9 pages, so I think that I won't have much of a problem. Last tuesday night, I wrote 15 pages for class on wednesday. Here, I have more time and more freedom. Why shouldn't I get it done...
In other news, I don't know if I've talked about it, but I think that I figured out what I want to write about for my second paper for this class. I want the two books I write about to be Deep Down in the Jungle and Deep the Water, Shallow the Shore, both by Roger Abrahams. And I think that I want to talk about them in relation to transcription of texts, although I'm not entirely sure about that part yet, not having seen Deep The Water.
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