Tag Archives: class

Open the Gates and Seize the Day

So my Jewish American Lit professor doesn’t believe in grades. No, I’m actually serious. He says if it were up to him, we wouldn’t get final grades; in fact, the only grade he would give out is a F and even then, the paper has to be pretty bad. So this entire semester he has not passed out a single grade yet, well as far as I know no one has yet received a F on any paper. But now I don’t know what my final grade is going to be. Supposedly no one in the class will get below a B (his words, not mine) so I am trying to go back over my papers and read the first line of every overall comment he makes at the end of the papers.

paper one: “Good job”

paper two: “Excellent!” (and it was underlined, no less)

paper three: “Excellent!” (again, underlined)

paper four: “Very good”

paper five: “Very good!”

paper six: “You make a very strong argument Lauren!”

paper seven: “Very good”

paper eight: “Very good” (underlined)

midterm one: “Very good”

midterm two: “Very good analysis, Lauren”

final rough draft: “You have a very good topic”

BUT WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? I has no idea, and this saddens me. Usually I can tell how I am going to do in all of my classes, but this one- I haven’t a clue. I mean, obviously a B or an A but…. grrr. Also, this post is me procrastinating on studying for my French and linguistics finals. Ahhhh I can’t wait for next week to be over with! Then I will be DONE with finals and  DONE with this semster!! WOOT!!!!

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BEDA 7: We Both Have Shiny Happy Fits of Rage

Today I got my History of the Holocaust exam back and I passed! I did better than I thought. I then went to French where I got back that exam and I passed! Woot! I was nervous but I knew all the little mistakes made were going to be stupid ones- not adding accents to certain letters, and then of course the numbers. I epically fail with French numbers above 30. I then went to the class from hell (aka linguistics) where I learned that our exams would not be returned today, but rather in the discussion groups. This means I have to wait until Thursday to find out that I failed. I mean, seriously, I FAILED that thing. I just see no way possible I could have passed. It was baaad.

Today in Linguistics we watched a clip from Shrek 3 in which my professor quoted the entire thing out loud much to our amusement. Then we watched a clip from High Fidelity, which is an utterly awesome movie. Go watch it. ALSO my linguistics professor gets points for having EVE (from Wall-E) as the background of his computer.

I’m really in the mood for a S’mores, which is odd because I generally don’t like them unless they are in pop-tart form. In that case, I adore them. But I think a large part of my craving is due to the fact that I have a box of graham crackers sitting on my desk and on the back there is a picture of the most delicious looking S’more. I mean, those things typically look better on the back of the box then they do when you make them. Back of box S’mores are perfectly even, the marshmallow has the perfect amount of toastyness and you just want to go and make one. Then you do and the marshmallow is all sticky and the whole this is this gooey mess and I really hate getting food and stuff all over my fingers when I consume it so needless to say, S’mores are not the treats for me.

When my History of the Holocaust professor gets really passionate about something or when he gets really excited talking about something in class he begins to slightly stutter (more of a stammer I suppose) but it is so adorable. Today he literally could not say “above and beyond.” He kept saying “beove and abond” over and over and then had to stop, take a deep breath, and try again. Around the fifth or so time he finally got it. ALSO back story to my exam: my professor told us to study three to five main points in the notes in preparation for our essay. Well I did just that, but apparently I studied the wrong three to five main points. We were supposed to pick one out of four, but all of the essay questions related back to the same topic! Each question had a slight change compared to the others. So I chose the one that I could completely b.s. my way through enough to pass. It worked! But today when we got them back there were a few notes from my T.A. saying I wasn’t clear, or what was the significance of this, or what did this time period have to do with anything, but the one that caught my eye was this little gem: “Review the essay question- you have not addressed it adequately. Your argument is unclear, as is your chronology. Please come to office hours is you want to discuss how to craft an essay.” As soon as I read that I literally laughed out loud and I could not stop laughing. Seriously? I know the essay was complete crap- I admit it! I got a freaking 51 out of 70 possible points on it! I had no idea how to answer it because I didn’t even study that question. I have gotten an A in every single one of my college English classes (save one, but that professor was a complete arse) so I know how to craft an essay. I mean, I wasn’t upset or anything… just highly amused. It definitely made my day a little brighter.

Now I must go read a 270 page book for tomorrow’s class. Quote of the day from my quote of the day calendar:

“Between whom there is heavy truth there is love.” – Henry David Thoreau

Have a happy April! See you tomorrow.

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WTF???

You know when you were a kid in school and your teacher would present you with…lets say a math problem. And your teacher would inform you how to find the area of a square and how to square root problems and find angles and such. And then you would say to yourself, “when am I ever going to use this?” But that summer your family needed to re-tile the kitchen and you found yourself finding the area of a square, etc., etc. because you were the one in your family who knew how to do such things. Then a  few years later your teacher would explain to you how to find x, and figure out what sine and cosine and tangent were, and how to graph a function, and you just sat there like, “okay, seriously, I stuck with you during areas and whatnot, but unless I become an engineer, or a math teacher, when am I ever going to use this in real life?”

And that time you were right. You perused your degree in journalism, or theater, or fashion, or English, and you never found the need for that retarded graphing calculator that cost so much money and took up so much room in your clean, neat, organized desk drawer. And you were angry. Angry for wasting your time listening to a math teacher who clearly had no idea what he was doing and you left the class knowing about as much as you did going into it? No? Was that just me?

Well I am at a point in my life where I have come to such a situation, yet again, only this time instead of a math class, I am sitting twice a week in a linguistics class. Every Tuesday from 3:30-4:45 I sit and listen to my professor inform us about the study of the English language (which, I may point out, English is not my professors first language. But that is besides the point). And then Thursdays from 5:00-6:15 I get to listed to my T.A., who thinks he knows just about everything about every single language, inform me that I am doing problems wrong and that “linguistics is fun! Let’s do another problem so I can embarrass you!”

Now like I said, linguistics is the study of language. I have been in this class for just over a month, and I still have no idea why this is mandatory for my degree. I mean, I know I am going to be teaching English to students, but you would think my time would be better spent learning etymology and the root of words, where they come from, what they mean. You know, useful stuff. Not this crap we are suffering through in linguistics. You see the first thing thrown at you in linguistics is a whole new alphabet. Yes, we now have to learn the IPA (international phonetics alphabet) and surprise! You now have 12 or 14 (I can’t be bothered to go look) vowels instead of the usual a-e-i-o-u. Oh and to add to all of that, the vowels are pronounced differently that we say them. “a” becomes the “o” sound heard in “pot” and the “a” sound heard in “bat. “e” becomes the “ai” sound heard in “bait” while “i” becomes the “ee” sound heard in “beet.” “o” becomes the “oa” sound heard in “boat” and finally “u” becomes the “oo” sound heard in “boot.” I should probably mention that there is no capitalization in the IPA alphabet.

Confusing, no? And that is just for half the vowels, not even touching on the consonants. This is just one way I dislike linguistics. Today we had a quiz, and it was during this quiz that I actually figured out how to do one of the problems I skipped on my homework assignment. Keeping in mind that this class is totally ridiculous, here is a sample problem from my homework that was featured on my quiz.

Instructions: Translate the following phonetic transcriptions to the corresponding English sentences.

2. dεlәwεrIzbItwinnujɔrkændwaʃIŋtәndisiændklostәfIlәdεlfIә

So here is how we would solve this.

Step 1. Translate it into the literal phonetical sentence, which would then appear as:

delawerizbitweennooyorcandwashingtandeeseeandcloastaohiladelphia.

Step 2. Break it down into a sentence that sort of begins to make sense:

delawer iz bitween nooyorc and washingtan deesee and cloas tao hiladelphia.

Step 3. Translate it into an actual English sentence.

Delaware is between New York and Washington D.C. and close to Philadelphia.

Step 4. Pop a few pills because you have about six or so more of these.

Now that I know how to actually do the problem, it seems sort of fun. I still can not figure out the first one on the homework, but seeing as I already turned it in, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot I can do about it now. We sort of learned how to do this in class and then it was on the quiz I took today, which is where I actually figured out how to do it, seeing as it is not a good idea to leave things blank on a quiz.

But as “fun” (read: sarcasm) as that seems, I still have yet to figure out the point of this class. What do I care if a honey bee can do a dance to point towards pollen? What do I care that animals have different warning calls for danger? What do I care that an ape can supposedly learn sign language? Okay, that one is actually kind of cool, though I am only halfway convinced that an ape can fully learn sign language. And back to the question that still haunts me, years out of high school, when am I ever going to use this in real life?

Please, someone let me know.

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tra-la-la-la-la-laaaaaaa

Hello internet. I don’t have much to say other than I am sick. Coughing up my lungs, blowing snot out of my nose, unable to hear anything, stuffy head (can you have a stuffy head? Well I do.) feel like I’m going to throw up any minute kind of sick. So don’t be expecting any tremendously long updates for a while.

I still have to write my poetry paper that is due on Thursday. Yikes.

I also watched Twilight today (illegally) on the internet. Not posting my thoughts until I’ve seen it at least once more and preferably in the theaters. Initial reactions- better than I thought. Aaaand that’s all I’m going to say for now.

Also, I have this new (for me) game that I play when I am bored in class. Its called The 50 States Game and what you do is take a piece of paper, number 1-50, and write down all the states without any help. Bonus: they don’t even have to be in any sort of alphabetical order, though the first four always start with “A” because those are the ones I know, thanks to Drop Dead Gorgeous. (I mean, don’t you just love that scene? Kerstin Dunst is classic… A-L-A-B-A-M-A…no? Am I the only one??) I usually get to 46-47 and then I get stuck. And it’s always on a Midwestern state. Darn you Iowa.

I was in my friends photography assignment and she shot a roll of film tonight. This required me to dress up and put on TONS of eye makeup. Then we got hungry afterward and walked to Sainsburys, a 24 hr grocery store. We didn’t take off our eye makeup so we got quite a few stares. Twas fun.

Lastly, it’s been a while since I reminded you I am going on Friday to see where my lover Shakespeare grew up. You could say I’m pretty FREAKING excited.

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