Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Catherine, I have students in my office now.

I started a new class for the second half of the semester, and as I was driving home last night, I realized that I was composing the story in my head and figuring out how I would tell you about it.

And then it hit me.

I probably shouldn't.

So I tried to tell my officemate about it today. She didn't listen carefully and attentively without interrupting, so my story lost some of its flair.

So let's just say, I had a student who tried to challenge me. I gave a perfectly reasonable response. She tried again, and the response that came to mind was, "Because I'm not being graded."

I managed to not actually say that to her. However in class today I had a student ask a question about the topic for the paper (not challenging, just asking), and what came tumbling out of my mouth was, "Because I said so."

You win some, you lose some?

A trip to Japan?

With the earthquake and the tsunami and the nuclear plant, I am thinking about Japan.

So here are a couple of my pictures from this summer:

OW! My giant blue head!

It is spring in North Carolina. Full spring, not the short, pitiful and painful little bursts that we are sometimes rewarded with here in the middle. Spring that is past the first super-smelly blooms of the Bradford pears and has moved on to real leaves.

There's a joke that runs around the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. It goes like this: "Why is the sky blue?" "Because God's a Carolina fan."

And what I notice more and more is that the sky in North Carolina really is Carolina blue. Seriously. Like this:

The sky doesn't come in that color here. Even when the sun is shining and the sky is cloudless, it doesn't come in that shade.

It is like this:

A watery, washed-out version of blue.

But I did see some forsythia blooming on my way to work today.

Not the movie. The book.

On March 1st, the second book of a trilogy came out, and I was thrilled because I loved the first one. But, it took a very long time for the second book to come out and I had forgotten most of the details of the first one. So I went back and reread the first. Then I read the second. It's a good thing I had spring break in there, because for a while I couldn't even think about anything else.

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1)

The Name of the Wind is the first in the series that is called The Kingkiller Chronicles. So the first thing I guess I should tell you is that it is fantasy. At the beginning we meet a red-haired innkeeper who is burdened by silence. A Chronicler comes and convinces him to tell his story. Kvothe begins by telling us:

"I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during the day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me."

And so it is the story of Kvothe's life and adventures.

And it is fantastic. Now that I've read it a couple of times, I enjoy it more and more.

The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2)

The Wise Man's Fear is the second installment in the trilogy. Before Kvothe starts his story, he tells Chronicler he will need three days to tell it, so this book is the second day. In it, Kvothe begins to grow up, he ventures away from the University, traveling far and wide learning and training in combat and magic and continues to have adventures.

I still really like this series. The one thing I would say about this second one is that I felt like the set up wasn't completely there. Each adventure was fully developed plot-wise, but it felt rushed and all I got was a quick glancing view, which I felt was very different than the first book.

Nonetheless, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend the series. Hopefully the third one won't take quite so long to come out, although I will tell you that Rothfuss does not leave a horrible cliffhanger ending at the end of each book. He has Kvothe pick a pretty good place to pause the story at the end of the night.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

If it's Mick Jagger, run away and ring the bell I gave you.

I got some news last week that I wasn't really stoked about. And then I realized yesterday that I probably sounded really bitter when I told my mom about it. I don't want to be bitter about it.

So (as House would say), I'm now taking my attitude from the great philosopher Mick Jagger:

Or if you prefer:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Well, they taste sweet, but really they're just humiliated grapes.

On the radio here, the afternoon guy does a segment called "Oh no, you didn't just play that!" The tagline is "You remember it, you liked it, but not even your iPod will play it."

He always picks a random song that is a little bit of a blast from the past. And I often think, "I love that song. ... It's on my iPod."

Yesterday I was thrilled with his choice:

(Ignore the video --- weird).

And the Proclaimers always make me think of Benny and Joon. So a little Johnny Depp on your Thursday.