Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Rose by Any Other Name . . .

One of my brothers-in-law is what I call a youngun', at only 17. So he has access to some classics that I would love to read and whatnot, as that's what they tend to go over in high school English. So when I saw the No Fear: Shakespeare in Plain English, I got very excited and asked if I could borrow it. But when I got it home and cracked it open. . . I was aghast! I could only read through five sonnets, and then had to put it away, lest my ranting cause my head to ignite in flames of ire. (I feel like I may have been channeling him a bit there. Lol.)

See if you feel the same. Here's a very short example of a piece of work from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream:

Egeus: With duty and desire we follow you.

'In Plain English':

Egeus: We're following you not only because it is our duty, but also because we want to.

OMG. . . It kind of hurts, actually. Imagine what just happened there, but with one of your favorite sonnets or plays, or even a favorite line! It completely ruins the flow, the feeling, that Shakespeare evokes! When I was in high school, we read a few plays; we acted them out; we debated what Shakespeare might really have meant, what it was like when he lived, what the characters felt and must be like.
All of that, ruined by one simple act of trying to make things easier for the children. Poor dears! They shouldn't worry their pretty little heads about great works and masterpieces! They have enough on their plates, what with the Wii acting up and a 1 page, double-spaced paper to write this week on how they're going to spend their summer vacation.
I honestly wonder if in the coming years, teachers won't just sum of literature and classics. "Julius Caesar is assassinated. His famous line is "Et tu, Brute?" which means, "You too, Brutus?" Brutus was a friend of Julius. Don't forget to write this down for the test! It will look really good it you used that quote."

This is why the next generation is going to be illiterate, and then libraries will die out, because who needs to read when you have someone else to just explain it to you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Not a Geek for Math

I admit, I am a geek, but I'm a literary geek. I love books, words, sentences, even syntax! I love languages and cultures. I love games. I HATE math. However, I am a research assistant for a math professor at my local university, and she has shelves and shelves of books. And every time I go into work, I peruse them while she thinks of things for me to do, or gets things ready for whatever project she ne
eds me to do. And while I peruse them, I think, "Some of these look really cool." And then I remember - they're abut *math*. Here are a few that have tempted me to put up with numbers long enough to get through a good book. . .

History of Pi -Petr Beckmann

Nature's Numbers - Ian Stewart

Alice in Quantumland -Robert Gilmore

Seven Life Lessons of Chaos - John Briggs, F. David Peat
I admit it here and now: I'm basing my judgments of these books on their covers. So sue me; I'm only human!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Know, I Know. . .

I'm a horrible blogger! But I've been enjoying a much needed break in which I have done absolutely nothing, except clean house. So, where was I?


Thursday: Thursday was kind of an off day in that nothing was really due, although I did edit and submit my literature review. Thursdays are a special day in that my hubby and I go to a friend's house, eat foods and snacks, watch basketball, play Call of Duty, and then ARCHER! We call it: "Archer Night." However, that Thursday it was cancelled. :(

10:00 - Get to school, pray my professor is actually in his office. Yes, he is. Borrow his Lab book and rush downstairs to the computer labs where I quickly do the first chapter. However, the computer is actually an admin computer, meaning I have to have a password in order to use my jump drive to save any work. No biggie, I'll just save it on the desktop. Homework #1 done and uploaded, but not yet submitted online. Opening a new document page to complete the second homework, when a security alert pops up saying that certain "properties" of the program have been blocked due to their unsafe nature. You know, unnecessary properties like "Save" and "Analyze Data". I restart the computer, only to realize what was uploaded was not submitted (because I have to submit both together or she only gets one), and was therefore deleted from both the attachment page of the homework submission page AND the desktop to which it was saved. Awesomeness.
11:00 - I move computers. I redo Homework #1, save it to my jump drive, and thank goodness I did because this computer also blocked "properties" when I tried to do Homework #2. Restarted computer (which temporarily fixed the problem) and did Homework #2, uploaded and submitted both. Whew. Sigh of relief!
12:10 - Sent off an email to a lab coordinator letting them know that their security program is screwing up OUR lab program. Pretty sure they could give a crap.

9:30 - Paint-ball with the young men of our church. If you've never gone paint-balling before, you should know, it requires much use of muscles and quick reflexes. There's a lot of crouching in bushes and behind trees and brush, and inside forts or behind anything that can be used for cover. There's also a lot of crouched running, a lot of scanning the horizons, a lot of protective clothing (if you don't want it to hurt TOO bad when you get nailed), and a lot of heat. Oh, and ants that I did not realize were present until after crawling through brush.
3:00 - I nailed at least one guy in the four games I played. I may have hit another, but it was hard to tell. I had tons of fun and did not get hit, although from the popping sounds coming from the other side of my cover (a piece of upended plywood) it was not for lack of trying on my enemies' part.
5:00 - OMG! My thighs, my butt, my knees, and my lower back are killing me! Please, knock me out and wake me up when my body decides to adjust to abused muscles that are rarely used.

12:00 - Go to my primary class and teach a lesson.
1:00 - Leave early to clean house we've been pet-sitting and get all of our gear in order. Take Sophie home along with myriad other supplies and a bagful of laundry.
2:30 - Go straight from hauling things back and forth and up and down stairs (my thighs and butt are dying!) to the new singles branch that has just been established, in which my husband has been made 1st counselor.
6:00 - Four hours of church. Done. Must eat lest I die. Cannot move; muscles hurt. Thank goodness Monday is the start of Spring Break!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week: Pt. 1

My past week has been one heck of a full week. Hectic day faded into hectic day until I was ready to just climb into bed, under the covers, and stay buried in an ursine manner until my food reserves forced me to come out and face, if not the world, at least the kitchen. This is why this blog post is in two parts.

Part 1: Monday through Wednesday

Monday: After a quick run-through at work; errands, copies, mail check, shredding, mailing - I went to my Monday class in which a demonstration was shown. Coming home, I immediately set to work reading necessary chapters for my History and Systems of Psychology class. The rest of chapters 6, 7, and 8 took 4 hours to read. Not because the content was boring, or I am a slow reader, mind you, but because that book is SO FREAKING DENSE. Afterward, I took a shower and finally went to bed at 11:00 pm but didn't fall asleep until 12:49 pm, according to my sleep cycles alarm clock.

6:30 - Went to seminary to speak to the high school kids there about what a blessing a temple marriage is.
7:10 - Went home, fell back to sleep. Hit snooze one too many times; thank goodness I wasn't missing anything important in my first class. After a run to work in which the professor gave me time off to study, I quickly made a cheat sheet (relax, it's allowed). After using most of a page to cover just chapter 5, I realized that there was no way I would be able to fit my notes on one side of a sheet of paper, and gave up.
2:00 - Test time.
2:40 - Ran to the library and bulked up on some extra research for my literature review.
3:25 - Went to Walgreens, waited awhile in line. Ran to the apartment to grab my Psych book for the next test and a jar of pasta sauce to make dinner with at the house we were pet-sitting.
4:10 - Made it to the other house.
5:10 - Immediately began work on my literature review as soon as M left for class. Five hours later (forced break between in which my husband made me eat), it was finished. M refused to proofread it, as it was past his bedtime. Tried in vain to submit it online, but the web application refused to accept. Sent a frantic email explaining the situation to my professor, even though the paper wasn't technically due until the next day at noon.

Wednesday -
9:00 - Lab. Demonstration where we broke down "what's wrong with this research?" Deadlines for lab work AND paper I wrote in panic and desperation extended to Friday.
10:00 - Lent my Lab assignment workbook to another student. The words, "Mine has somehow disappeared" should have tipped me off. I informed her that I still needed to complete my lab work, but that I was going to use the extra time to study for the test that afternoon. I was promised I would get the workbook back before the test that day.
2:00 - Test begins. No sign of fellow student with my workbook.
2:50 - I turn my test in and inform the instructor that I now have no lab workbook. He tells me to meet him after class and he'll lend me his.
3:15 - I see the professor walking in the hallway of his office floor; he stops to talk to a student whom I was talking to, I assume he sees me. I go wait in his office.
3:45 - I give up after the secretary informs me he's probably in a meeting. I tell her I'll be back during his next office hours. When might those be? Oh, not until Friday morning: the day the lab work is due. Fantastic.

Send off an email in which I do not let my ire show, but DO tell the student that I want my lab book back pronto. Still no reply as of today. Awesome.

Tomorrow: A fun-filled view of Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Stay tuned!

Monday, March 7, 2011

3D Blind

I had to do a little experiment for my health class in which my vision was tested. On several of the tests, I had to pick out the 3D images and select them as quickly as possible. When the screen popped up with the 3D objects that I was supposed to determine, I found that I could see nothing. After a couple more tests, all utilizing 3D technology, my teacher and I came to the same conclusion.

Prof: So, when you go to 3D movies, do you notice any real difference?
Me: No. That's why I don't get what all the hype is about. It's pretty much the same stuff.
Prof: It sounds like you can't see 3D. 1/10th of the population can't see 3D images.
Me: *everything becomes clear*

When I told my husband and his family, they all had much the same reaction. "So, is that why you don't like 3D movies?"
I really never knew! I just thought people were going gaga for nothing! It makes so much sense now!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Top Ten: Movies That Should Have Been Books

Have you ever read an overview of a movie and thought to yourself, "Well, that would be a really good book! But I don't think it sounds so great as a movie." I hope I'm not alone in this way of thinking. I've run into many movies with excellent synopses that would make for interesting reads, but as movies I probably wouldn't have the patience to view them or the director's view will ruin what I think it should be, whereas I'm rarely ever disappointed by a good read. So, for my Top Ten this week: Movies That Should Have Been Books.

1. Sunshine Cleaning (Dark Indie Comedy): Two sisters team up to make money for their son/nephew to go to a good school by cleaning up crime scenes and bio-hazard removal. I can see reading into their lives, feeling connected, laughing at their crazy life, loving the way it all fits into words.
2. Women in Trouble (Indie Comedy): One crazy day in the lives of ten different women. And then a book would bring it all mind-meltingly together so you would smile and wonder for weeks afterwards, in the back of your mind, if lives really DO fit together that way.
3. Read You Like a Book (Drama): A movie about a book found in a quirky bookstore that changes the lives of several who find it has mystical powers; allowing the reader to go back and fix past mistakes. It's a MOVIE about a BOOK.
4. TiMER (Sci-Fi): Bio-technical advances have made it easy to find your soul mate in that you literally have "biological clock" that ticks down to the time when you are supposed to meet him or her. But the main character, Oona, is concerned. She's nearly 30 and her TiMER hasn't started ticking yet.
5. The Ramen Girl (Comedy): When the main character is left high and dry in Tokyo by her boyfriend, she finds solace in a Japanese ramen house, where the chef, a grumpy old man, agrees to take her on as an apprentice and teach her the ways of the ramen.
6. Dreamcatcher (Supernatural Horror): Four friends perform a heroic act and are changed forever by the powers they gain. Years later, they become lost in a blizzard that harbors an ominous presence. Seriously, I can't see this as a good movie. But a book? Yep, I'd pick it up.
7. Ondine (Fantasy): An Irish fisherman unexpectedly catches a girl in his cast net who changes his small village with her presence. Though I will say, this movie has Colin Farrell, so um. . . I wouldn't mind seeing the movie. Lol.
8. Time Bandits (Fantasy): A boy escapes his gadget-nutty parents to go adventuring with time-travelling dwarves.
9.Riverworld (Sci-Fi): After being killed by an explosion, this main character and his fiance end up in different parts of the afterworld. The main character teams up with Mark Twain (!) and a female warrior to find his fiance. Admittedly, I've seen the movie. It was great. It would make a better book.
10. The Answer Man (Romance): A reclusive author, famous for having penned a self-help book a decade earlier, is in need of some spiritual healing. And I'll bet he finds just the woman to help!

So there you have it. You may have seen them. Or heard of them. They may be fantastic. But I could totally picture cuddling up with these movies in novel form. Just no novelizations. If these ideas were books before they were movies! Then we'd have ourselves a reading list!