Wednesday, January 31, 2007
(if that person in the flat above me doesn't stop clumping around at midnight i'm going to be forced to go up there and take their shoes off for them. and possibly beat them to death with the shoes.)
sorry, too tired to post properly. big day.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
and this is a surrealist tract from 1936. there's something satisfying, having spent ten minutes with a dictionary, to discover a sentence is about the need to distribute arms to the people.
we've also been working on a thing about dadaism and have just started on "tintin". i approve.
i went to some faculty hiring stuff today. interviews for a position go for a full day. here is today's schedule:
Monday, Jan. 29th
Asian North American literature and theory candidate,
- Research presentation, "Print Publics, Diasporic Dialogues: Asian North
American Textual Communities and Citizenships," 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 pm
- Lunch 12:30-1:30 p.m.
- Meeting with grad students 2:00-2:30 p.m.
- Teaching presentation 2:30-3:30 p.m.
there is also a formal interview before the research presentation and a dinner with faculty after the teaching presentation, so that makes pretty much twelve hours of being polite, enthusiastic, engaged, etc. etc. they're always trying to get the grad students along to ask questions and be involved (and bribe us with food to do so - a wily plan).
and while we've been brilliant sunshine up on the hill, down below has been shrouded in fog. here's a picture looking out over the city (ie. the city is below the white blanket). all i have to say about that is a sincere HAHA!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
where can the cockroach be now? come and help us find out. . .
winifred and her partner hosted cos they have a verandah and a barbeque (and also they are lovely like that) and we had a barbie for australia day! i found out how to webstream the hottest 100, which was kickarse, triple j's hottest 100 being the only australia day tradition i have always observed. at one point they said a big hello to all the expats having parties and we had a little cheer. huzzah! i brought fairy bread cos these poor people have never had it and i felt the need to alleviate this cultural deprivation. it got a mixed response.
i also explained about the invasion day thing and they were interested in that. apparently canada day is a celebration of federation, except they call it something else. can't remember what. it was a big deal though, cos of uniting the french and british settlements. FLQ explained. she knows good history.
it was only a small gathering, but i feel special and loved. i have nice photos of ppl, but can't put them up, so here is the view from winifred and boy's verandah. speccy, huh? they're kind of on the other side of that big river/bay i keep photographing from school.
beautiful sunny day, very soothing. still cold, but.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
i had such an exciting experience on the bus the other day. i was reading eve kosofsky sedgewick's touching feeling (cos i'm a nerd, that's why), and came across this passage:
"Marriage isn't always hell, but it is true that le mariage, c'est les autres: like a play, marriage exits in and for the eyes of others."
which, admittedly, doesn't sound that good out of context, but the exciting thing was that i read the french! i translated it without even thinking about it. it was entirely cool.
and now for some images of riding a train with no driver. particularly dramatic fog this morning, with buildings looming out of it and a big blue sky beginning above.
i think this would be better on widescreen, so if you're keen, go to this webpage and click on the weird evolving rectangle on the bottom right hand corner of the video screen and it will go big. if that makes sense.
Friday, January 26, 2007
very good potluck last night, at anne's place. always meet such interesting ppl at these things.
ran a fun tutorial yesterday morning. i put them in groups and made them pull apart metaphors and overheard one girl saying "i can't believe you can get so much stuff out of one little line!" which was very gratifying.
too much work, haven't done my reading, skeeeevy.
lookit! natural light! new hair!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
spent the morning in a heavy debate on postcolonial feminism and the evening deep in the 4th and 6th centuries. i like grad school - people *talk* in class. we're getting to the point where we can laugh and muck around together, and have proper serious discussion as well. spent my lunch break having coffee with various ppl, which was very pleasant. although both funding offers and university offers are coming out, so there's tension in the department. it's been very interesting being in a small department. i think like it.
went and had a long chat with my supervising prof from last semester about the grade dispute (it's not my A we're disputing, btw - a student of mine from last semester) and feel much better about it. also she gave me a muffin.
oh and the french test went fine and it's finally stopped raining and i don't hate everyone anymore. but i do have to get up very early again tomorrow and make first years deconstruct t.s.eliot's metaphors, so. . .
my office door is looking very funky-activist-artistic nowadays, so i thought i would take a pic. it is a communal effort - guess which are my contributions. (the badge on the left is from the Teaching Students Support Union and says "the university works because we do"):
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
whine whine whine
knocked back two invites in favour of staying in and whining, so is all my own silly fault. on the other hand, had a lovely long skype w grot and a good swim before that. i did three tumbleturns that worked! very exciting! (and a whole lot that involved me shooting off towards the bottom of the pool or into the lane ropes or simply getting half the pool up my nose. a work in progress. . . )
very excited about maybe doing my phd in NY. planning on going to visit over easter, to try and get a feel for if i could cope there. all of this subject to change, btw, but inspiring none the less. must get ridiculously good marks in order to get ridiculously good scholarships or the whole thing's shot. so - back to the past participles.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
still have masses of reading, but she'll be right. mate. haha. we have four minutes more daylight every day now, and there is a feeling of spring in the air. it was still light at 4.30 today. very nice.
happy birthday to my grandpaternal figure for last week! (how old is he again, bbb?)
plans are afoot:
Thursday, January 18, 2007
with bonus moody soundtrack.
it has been snowing all day. they finally cancelled classes at 4.30pm.
bit of a slow day. tute thismorning was pretty quiet. 9.30am. bah. i was tired, my students were tired, it was snowing. . . but we did a nice exercise with a john donne poem, which they eventually got into. i have a kiwi in my tuesday tute, which is most exciting. starting to learn their names. i've told htem they're only allowed to laugh at my spelling on the board if they can correctly spell the word. hah. need to work on the ol' spelling.
yesterday was *exhausting*, but in a good intellectual challenge kind of way. class from 9.30am to 8.30pm, with a three hour break in the middle. in my feminist theory class i gave a presentation on _this bridge we call home_, which is a follow-up/companion volume to _this bridge we call our back_, a groundbreaking feminist text about women of colour. challenging and interesting stuff. we had a good session about the many ideas the text brings up, lots of different points of view. it is interesting being in women's studies - a different way of thinking and talking.
the medieval class was also very interesting, though i was starting to fade by the end. we get to look at lots of nice manuscripts (in facsimile) and talk about the means of production and so forth. last night we did a whirl-wind tour of the history of the written word from ancient rome to the 14th century. then we had a good chat about the bible. let there be light and so forth.
and, today, it arrived! bliss!
(chocolate has melted and reformed in a big lump, so must gnaw. still delish.)
to infinity and beyond!:
i have the bark hanging up on my bookcase, and look out for the rubber stamp on a postcard near you. . .
anyway, so after we extracted ourselves from presents we hit the road (poor old tofu went to work, still crook). first stop was buckingham palace, via st. james park, where HF sometimes does marathon training. we arrived for the changing of the guards and stayed around to watch the brass band and the guards getting ready. the outfits were fab:
there was a lot of stamping and shouting and about face-ing. the whole thing was fascinating and incredibily pompous.
then, after a quick stop to buy a toy bus for me:
we went to westminster abbey. i recommend this website. it has virtual tours and weird 360 degree video clip things. westminster was huge and wonderful and packed with tombs. lots of amazing ppl buried there, like queen elizabeth:
who is buried with her half-sister mary, who she hated. the other mary is across the way.
there's the famous poet's corner, where chaucer and t.s.eliot and dickens and austen are memorialised, if not buried:
lots of really cool sculptures (nice skeletons) and the coronation chair and other historical things. lots of marble and gold and enormous vaulted ceilings and medieval clay floor tiles. stunning stuff. and we went into a little basement bit (see, this is why i should have done this a fortnight ago, so i could remember all the names) where they kept the wax/ceramic funeral effigies of the kings and queens, in their original robes. (none of these are my photos, btw. my camera battery died.)
that was all a bit amazing. we grabbed a quick lunch from boots and headed out to the british library for the afternoon. british library is neat. the treasures exhibition is amazing. and, incidently, their webpage is also amazing. they have a cool interactive reading thing, so you can read, for instance, william blake's notebook, turning the pages virtually. go, see.
among the amazing things we saw:
shakespeare's first folio
earliest surviving copy of beuwolf (my medieval lit prof most cranky that tourists can see it but no-one's allowed to study it)
leonardo di vinci's notebook
orginal letter-version of alice in wonderland (read online! do!)
contemporary copy of chaucer
captain scott's diary (just going outside, may be some time)
manuscript of jane eyre
masses of wonderful illuminated manuscripts
beatles draft lyrics
draft of elizabeth the first's "of course i'm gonna get married, get off my back!" speech, with all her corrections
gosh, it was speccy. after two or three hours my eyeballs were about to fall out - low lighting and lots of reading - so HF and i headed back to the flat.
tofu made us a lovely dinner and we hit the bubbly and talked and talked and played w our presents. it was a perfect last day.
then the next morning i got up early and headed off. cried a bit. as i do.
miss you guys.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
turns out they actually *filmed* the x-files on campus.
(david duchovny claimed vancouver was like an ice-age rain forest and now we hates him.)
Shailor, The Medieval Book, pp. 6-22
Plato, Phaedrus, 274c-277a (http://books.mirror.or/plato/phaedrus/)
The Bible, Genesis 1-5; 2 Corinthians 3; John 1.1-20 (from the Douay-Rheims translation of the Vulgate: http://www.drbo.org)
Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, Book 1, pp. 3-33
Monday, January 15, 2007
don't they look so young???
also i have masses of study. i still have one more day of my england trip to put up (last day in london), which will happen as soon as this presentation is out of the way. betcha you've all been on tenterhooks.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
A bushfire that was started by two lightning strikes on Friday afternoon continues to burn in the Goonoo Community Conservation Area. The fire has burnt out about 19000 hectares of bush land and remains uncontained. Properties to the west of the fire may be affected by spot fires and smoke today. The threat has eased for properties to the east of the fire that were affected by smoke and spot fires on Saturday.
A wind change on Saturday afternoon pushed the fire to the west and similar wind conditions are expected today. Firefighters will attempt to take advantage of decreasing wind speed and continue fire containment works on the southern and western areas, unfortunately the fire will remain difficult to control and contain due to the topography and extensive size of the fire. Winds are expected to remain from the east throughout the day.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
the snow is soft and powdery, like walking in ankle-deep sand.
dunno what happened here, but i like it:
and the joys of ultimate frisbee:
i have so much reading to do, it's insane. so played trivial pursuit last night with the new MAs, beer in a snowdrift by the door (now know i suck at british *and* american trivial pursuit), and am going to dinner and kings w anne tonight.
it was supposed to be a top of zero today, but i don't think it got that warm. top of two tomorrow, then more snow. re. the enjoying this weather thing - it's fun, and it's pretty. and i'm not out in it terribly much, and then i come into a nice warm room. as my friends from colder parts of canadia tell me, it's all about dressing properly and not being outside for more than twenty minutes.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
there was a huge blizzard last night, complete with roads up to uni closed and buses cancelled. we had classes today (my thursday tutorial is good fun. they talk and stuff. excited to be teaching them) but the uni felt moved to put this warning on the website:
"Roads are open but drivers should be careful, and watch out for possible icy patches and vehicles that were abandoned during yesterday's severe snowstorm. Allow extra time to get to campus.
TransLink buses are operating. People waiting for buses, and pedestrians, should be prepared for below-freezing temperatures."
the pic is from my office window again. on the right is the pond, frozen over but not enough to skate on this time. it was sunny today, which was lovely and unexpected. very odd to have the sun shining on yr face but be in such bitter cold.
i do enjoy this weather.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
had my first french class (mostly on the parts of speech. quick! what's an indefinite article?) which was good n challenging (the teacher is very enthusiastic, which is my key requirement in a teacher, also knowledgable and into grammar, but unfortunately reminds me of mr o'neil from daria) and my first intro to poetry lecture and tute. not sure how i feel about the prof yet, but my tute went okay. i made them talk to each other in small groups. mwahahaaha! actually, my circus training has been most useful for teaching. hmm. . .
very lovely to see everybody here again. jetlag nearly over, thank god. it has been raining a lot and is due to snow a lot tomorrow, with tops of zero forecast later this week. so the usual.
you may have noticed some additions to the blog (unless your view of the page squishes my sidebar waaaay down the bottom of the page, in which case you may have missed them - not sure what's causing this problem). thought youse might be interested in weather/hit counter. i know i am.
more to write, but must sleeeeeeeep.
and here's some photos i took around bath on the walk back to the train station, via some very scenic/historic/blahblah this was built two thousand years ago. ..
the baths (oh, if only i'd paid attention in latin!). i had a little peek inside the entrance way - fabulous domed ceiling:
and the angels climbing up to heaven which so struck me from grot's england photo album when i was a child:bath was very beautiful. it was a good taster - i'd like to back and spend more time there.
then the five of us hopped on the train to london.