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Disjointed

December 17, 2008 1 comment

That’s how I feel and that’s how I write. Hopefully by the end of this post everything will kinda sorta fall together.

Finals week has come and gone, and I can’t say I’m displeased with how it played out. What I am extremely…annoyed at, however, is the fact that one of my teachers (I refuse to call them “professors”) is completely unprofessional in her way of handling an issue that is her fault.

See, at the beginning of the semester, she sent me an email telling me that, since I was a grad student (and I’m using that term very loosely), I had to do more work; namely, I had to show a movie in class (in her absence, which universally equates to substituting and/or TAing, two tasks for which people usually get paid¬† — I should add that she expressed her wish for me to “return it to [her], please,” as if I would pocket her goddamn DVD and run away to flippin’ Alaska) and produce a handout for the students, and both of my papers had to be six pages in length rather than four to five.

Fair enough. I showed up at her office one day to get the DVD she wanted me to show, and we go over the email that she sent me. Suddenly realizing that I, as a participant in my program, had to hand in an extra assignment, she changed her mind and told me to stick to just four to five pages for the papers. Of course I’m happy about that, considering that there is nothing I hate more than writing papers about a subject that I hate for a class that I hate and deem useless.

Lo and fucking behold, I get my first paper back with a comment saying, among other things, that it is too short; yet I had written five pages. I let it go, thinking that maybe she meant I should have kept writing to further develop my ideas. My second paper was due the day after Thanksgiving break (thanks a fucking lot), i.e., four days before the end of all classes for the semester. I got the paper back after the final exam, and I looked at it on my way out, after the teacher had disappeared: four and half pages, too short. She explained herself further down: I had to write six pages.

I was fuming. I hurried home to shoot her an email saying, “You said that blah blah blah,” and she almost immediately replied, “No, not at all, blah blah blah either you’re a liar or I’m senile, blah blah blah. I wrote back, “Actually, I think you’re senile, blah blah blah.”

She never replied. Or hasn’t yet replied. I’m hoping it’s the latter, but I honestly think she will never reply, even though it is a pressing matter, even though I am right and she is senile (or at least she’s on her way there), and even though ignoring a student’s email inquiry is completely rude and unprofessional. My advisor claims it’s “generational” and that people of his generation aren’t glued to their computers checking their email like the folks of the younger generation — which, I should say, is utter bullshit. First of all, as teachers, it is their RESPONSIBILITY to be available via email and respond in a timely manner.

Dear teachers, instructors, professors:

Since you are so clearly aware of how dependent on computers and electronic services your students are, you owe it to them to make an effort and get acquainted with computers, the Internet, and the services it offers. Just like you would never tolerate a sluggish — or total lack of — response on our part, we should not have to put up with your technological disinclination. It is a two-way street, and this is an essential part of a good student-teacher rapport. If you fail to understand this concept, perhaps it would be in everyone’s interest if you ceased to give your students your email addresses.

Cordially,
Students who find it unfair that you get to blame mishaps for which you are responsible on technology

Anyway.

I came back to Philadelphia on Saturday morning via Amtrak. Haven’t done much since then, really, other than buy groceries, start a scarf [knitting], and go back to the good old LDC. Holy shit, that place is as dead as ever! They’ve finally fixed up our floor, though, after months of having random elevator parts stocked in our halls. I have to say that the new carpet is UGLY, though. Gives me a headache.

I haven’t had a decent winter break since high school… winter 2000, maybe? One day I’d like to know what it’s like to not have anything to do AT ALL during vacation time.¬† In the meantime, I’m helping out with some LDC projects, working for my translation gig from my laptop whenever and wherever possible (just turned in my weekly assignment and I have a batch of shtuff to finish by the end of this month), and trying to finish the extra assignment that I mentioned further up (for that god-forsaken class).

I’m tired. My eyes are tired, my brain is tired, my body is tired. Even my laptop is tired; the battery has suffered “irreparable damage” (at least that’s what the computer is telling me) so I have to replace the battery (just ordered it this afternoon). In the meantime, it’s being constantly plugged in. Poor baby. I think the fan’s in poor shape, too.

I should go to sleep now. It’s a quarter to midnight and I have to be up early tomorrow. For work, ya know.

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New homepage ftw!

December 6, 2008 Leave a comment

WordPress, you must’ve missed me. Judging by your new layout, I know you have. Very well, WordPress, I will no longer neglect you.

Since my last post, I turned 24, Susan came to visit, Lilly and I had dinner at Marta’s, then we had dinner with Chuck and An, I went home for Thanksgiving, I turned in a paper, and classes ended for this semester. As a matter of fact, yesterday was the last day.

My first final exam will be held on Monday (as in, the day after tomorrow). We were given a review sheet, which lists all the possible essay topics that we might get on the test. Ideally, we should prepare all the possible essays, show up at the exam, see which topics are presented, and write away.

Bitch of an exam, I say, but it beats the hell out of having no idea what she wants from us at all. And then, last night, I suddenly remembered that I had to hand in an extra assignment as well, due the same day.

The other exam is a take-home, to be turned in on Friday along with a final assignment (wtf) and a portfolio consisting of all the corrections to our graded assignments and a glossary of 200 words/terms/expressions/phrases.

Tedious, but easy.

But enough with the boring shit. I’m going home for winter break on Saturday the 13th; a whole month of not thinking about how much I hate this class or how much the other bores me… a whole month of catching up on work that pays because I haven’t got the chance to so much glance at it this entire semester. Where in the world has time gone? I thought I could (literally) buy myself some time by going back to school for a year, but the first semester’s already come and gone, leaving me with approximately five months or less to figure out what my next step will be. Foresight has always been my companion in everything else, but in this case in particular, it completely fails me. I really haven’t a clue what I should do next, or what I want to do.

And it wouldn’t be nearly as terrifying if time were crawling by. I feel like I’m stuck inside an hourglass.

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