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02 December 2010 @ 01:43 pm
So my anatomy class went to go look at cadavers today. I got to stick my fingers in someone's kneecaps to feel their menisci and peel back the deltoid on their shoulder.

Something to scratch off my bucket list, I guess.
22 November 2010 @ 05:14 pm
The view from my windowCollapse )
08 October 2010 @ 03:16 pm
I got an email from the English program saying:

You're receiving this e-mail because you were enrolled in a 200-level creative writing class in spring or summer, or you are enrolled in one now, during autumn quarter.

We are planning for future 300- and 400-level creative writing course offerings, as well as for admission to the Creative Writing Option in the English major, and we'd like to ask for your help.  We are hoping to create enough space at the 300 level for as many of you as possible who plan to continue on with your studies in creative writing!

Could you please assist us by taking about one minute to fill out a brief questionnaire about your plans for taking additional creative writing courses and/or plans to apply to the Creative Writing option?

So I filled out their survey (basically, which classes have you taken and what are you planning on taking), and then I saw the little "Additional Comments" box.

And I went off on a long tangent that was TOTALLY IRRELEVANT (but true).

I would like to mention that I find the Creative Writing program's stance on genre fiction to be disappointingly narrow-minded. The claim that "writing genre fiction does not teach you how to write good literary fiction" (as stated in Burroway's "Writing Fiction," quoted on the Creative Writing program's application) is thoroughly unconvincing; I don't believe that writing fiction that is considered "genre fiction" requires skills that are any different from those necessary to write "mainstream" literature. More importantly, the idea that "dealing in the conventions and hackneyed phrases of [genre fiction]...can operate as a form of personal denial, using writing as a means of avoiding rather than uncovering your real concerns" completely disregards the potential that is contained within genre fiction. For example, Ursula K. Le Guin's fantasy and science fiction writing is often primarily focused on the anthropological possibilities of imaginary worlds, inviting examination of our own culture by demonstrating functional societies that, while different from reality, are nonetheless believable as alternate paths to our history. Her book "The Left Hand of Darkness," to provide a specific example, takes this idea a step further by describing a genderless alien race that allows the book to question of human conceptions of gender roles and sexuality in a form that is largely unavailable "mainstream" literature.

I won't deny that the majority of genre fiction is, in fact, hackneyed and trivial literature; for example, I would not argue for a second that "Twilight" has any literary or artistic merit whatsoever. However, the Creative Writing program's current stance on genre fiction ignores the fact that this academic dismissal of works outside of the "mainstream" only contributes to the triviality of genre fiction by refusing to consider intellectual discussion of the topic in the academic world. Writers who are drawn to genre fiction are forced to learn about the art form on their own, and the only available teachers are the books that are considered "genre fiction" themselves - teachers whose abilities tend to be rather hit-or-miss - and so they learn to produce the same sort of works that already exist. Meanwhile, being taught that there is no room in the academic world for their literary and artistic interests distances them from scholarly discussion, making it immeasurably more difficult for them to take in the lessons that writing mainstream fiction could otherwise teach them.

I hope that this does not appear to be an attack on the Creative Writing program, because that is not my attention. However, I very strongly feel that a number of worthy works of fiction are disregarded by the academic community, and a greater number of subpar pieces of writing are created as a result.

...That survey may or may not have been anonymous. I'm not entirely sure. Possibly this just makes me look like a jackass to the program that I'm trying to get into, but :D
05 October 2010 @ 07:26 pm
Shit. I still like Britney Spears.

I thought I got over that when I was thirteen or so, but apparently that part of my brain still malfunctions. I'd get a refund, but if I came with a warranty I've long since lost it.

Damn you, Glee! If it weren't for you, I'd never have realized that I still know all of the words to "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and can cheerfully sing them for days at a time.
Current Music: Glee's version of "Toxic"
23 September 2010 @ 09:57 pm
FINALLY. I've spent the entire day just trying to get my damn computer to turn on. It's basically half-dead and will only turn on when it's in a good mood, but I have no idea what I should be doing to coax it into waking up. I bought a new one, but it hasn't shipped to me yet. I ordered it from Costco who ordered it from HP who spent a week sitting around twiddling their thumbs as far as I can tell.

Anyway, I'm back at school now, and that kind of makes the no-reliable-computer thing a lot worse, because I think that being in an unfamiliar place is a lot more comfortable if you have something (like an internet connection, for example) that lets you at least pretend you're somewhere familiar. So instead I spent the entire night watching Avatar with my Xbox, which is basically the same thing only with fewer distractions.

I'm living in the same dorm I was in last year, but I'm on the floor above, which makes the experience a little bit surreal.* Earlier today, I very nearly fell down the stairs because I forgot that there were more of them around the corner. And everything's mostly the same but just a tiny bit different: the girls' bathrooms are on the opposite end of the hall, and they have the same layout as the bathrooms on the floor below, but the walls are a slightly different color. It almost feels like living here last year was a dream that just barely strayed away from reality, and now I'm half-awake and disoriented. The effect is unfortunately emphasized by the pounding headache that refuses to leave me alone.

But all of that is moot because I HAVE A SINGLE THIS YEAR. A SINGLE ROOM. WHICH I SHARE WITH NOBODY. ALL TO MYSELF. THERE IS NO ONE TO JUDGE ME FOR SINGING ALONG WITH DISNEY SONGS (except for my neighbors, of course, but they are out of sight and therefore out of mind).

* I was going to say "trippy" instead of "surreal," but I couldn't bear to make that awful pun with the next sentence.
Current Mood: tiredtired, but happy
21 May 2010 @ 02:46 pm
I just opened my web browser to check my email, and...

I LOVE YOU GOOGLE *plays Pac Man for forever*

Homework? What homework?

ETA: Oh my God, keep hitting "Insert Coin." Two player mode with one person is frigging awesome.
08 May 2010 @ 11:54 pm
Writing exercises are kind of fun. I have a hell of a time getting started, but they can be interesting once I get something going. Since there are certain people who are impatiently waiting to see what I'm trying to churn out for my writing class, I thought I'd post some of the things we've done in class as a compromise. Also, I have nothing better to do.

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Current Mood: boredbored
27 April 2010 @ 04:41 pm
It has come to my attention that the current slogan for breast cancer awareness is "Feel your boobies."

...Huh. Well, I know I'm inspired.
22 April 2010 @ 09:58 pm
Oh boy. For my writing class, we've been reading over each other's work to share thoughts and constructive criticism. I've got a big stack of papers to read, and some of them are a bit...um. Well, I'm thinking I may end up being a bitch who writes mean things on people's papers but doesn't say anything in class.

So that'll be fun.

But I guess that's better than being a chick who goes "omg i luved your story :D" but has nothing useful to contribute.

(Also: rain_dog, thanks again for your help! I haven't gotten around to actually making changes to what I wrote just yet, but I think I know where I'm going to go with it once I do.)
06 April 2010 @ 05:25 pm
Vlad the Astrophysicist, by Peter Mulvey

Listen to that; it's fantastic. It's also about one of my professors.
Current Mood: contemplativeinterested