I dropped the thesis. It's a long story, but I got painted in to a corner and sort of forced to make a hasty decision. I didn't want to do a second thesis, and I sure as hell didn't want to do it over the summer. The topic is good, but I found out fast that COMM theory doesn't really have the tools to do what I wanted to do. As I explained to one of my advisors, I can cook very well, and I can garden, but even I can't mow the lawn with a frying pan, and that's very much what it was feeling like. So it's tabled for now. Not sure what I will do with the COMM degree, or if I will finish it at all, but you know what? I have a degree, I have a great job teaching, I get fantastic peer reviews, so it's not going to keep me up nights.
I have been working with husbandman and some friends on starting a business. Wow, what a lot of work that is! I think it's going well, and I think we have a really great thing. We'll just have to see if it goes anywhere! But that's been taking up a lot of my time. It's satisfying; I'm getting to do a lot of really good design work, which I do miss, and I have been learning some new skills, too. Of course, the fact that husnabdman is out of the country (4 weeks) makes things harder! LOL
I am also teaching two new summer camps; web design and a movie making one. (NO, I'm not totally qualified, but for 15 hours I can keep middle schoolers busy on these things!) And the extra money over the summer is SO very welcome!
Planning to go to WindyCon with the Niblet this year. He actually asked to go and bring 2 friends for his birthday. So I booked a suite and we are planning costumes right now. He want to be the Demon Hunter from Diablo3, so I am putting myself through a crash-course on making armor! It's a lot of fun so far! Yes, will post pics once I get some stuff together. I'm thinking if I have time, I may do the Wizard from D3 to go along with him. Or maybe the Crusader? But I want him to have his costume first; I've had my day of stealing the show with a killer costume, I want him to have his turn. If I have time for a second one great, if not, that's fine, too.
You may know I have a possibly unhealthy love of RPG video games like Diablo and Dragon Age. And of course, the third installment in the Dragon Age series is due out on the fall. So I have dived into DA2, for the first time. I was really nervous that it wouldn't hold up against DA Origins (the first one), which has been SO important to me. (Heck, I'm giving an academic paper on it in fall!) And in some ways, it doesn't hold up. But nevertheless it's amazing and heartbreaking in so many wonderful ways. So that (and of course, the associated fan-fic binge) has also been eating up a good bit of my time!
And that's about it for now. I've got all manner of ranting and commentary n the political climate, but... I don't know. Some days, it's almost too stressful to get wrapped up in it all. I want to keep writing about it and dialoging and such, but some days I have to put it down. Can one rage-quit citizenship? Meh; maybe I'll put some posts up soon.
I still have a Latin final, but that's no big deal (I have a LOT of studying to do tho! Eeek!)
Speaking of Latin, I also have discovered a wonderful possibility for the niblet for hight school! It's a classical academy, and they base their teaching around Latin, Greek, the Socratic method, and a solid foundation in classic and classical literature. It's a challenging atmosphere, but it's really small, and I think he'd respond well. He's been so disenchanted with school, it's kind of heartbreaking, so I'm really hopeful about this!
In other, sadder news, we lost the grand matriarch of the family last weekend. She was my son's great, great grandmother, and a Winchester, no less! (Yes, those Winchesters...) Not many people get to say they spent time with 5 generations of family in one room! At 104 years old, she was still sharp as a tack, full of piss and vinegar, but equally full of laughter and wit, and a character like only she could be. What an amazing woman. I guess I had sort of started to think she'd be around forever... Here's to you, Sudie; we'll miss you, but with fondness.
The ones I'm taking are...odd. One is theory. And I am sure most you you know how I feel about theory; it has it's place and can be a powerful tool for understanding things. It is also wildly overused, irresponsibly used, and leads to more or less every stereotype of academic pretension going. So naturally, I have some ambivalence to begin with.
Then there is the whole nature of theory within the communication discipline. It's largely been pinched wholesale from here, there and everywhere, with nary a nod for its source. So here we are, nattering on about what is clearly Sartre's intersubjectivity, or Foucault's perpetual spirals of power and pleasure, only we are pretending Sartre and Foucault never existed. (Or worse, I'm the only one in the room who even recognizes the attribution.) But yet, we still stand on academic integrity. Huh.
Thirdly, this course is taught be a professer of whom I am quite fond, but who happens to be very much to the 'social science' end of the comm spectrum.Naturally, I am as far to the other end as it is possible to be, so it's sometimes hard to keep the right glasses on, if you take my meaning. She's awesome, and very well-respected at what she does, don't think this is in any way a dig. It's just a bit like trying to do philosophy in a chemistry class. I keep having to set aside everything about how I usually do things.
And finally, there is the fact that I"ve had theory courses aplenty, I've been slicing and dicing with theory for years now (I'm even teaching a theory course this semester!) and frankly the "Let's talk about what a 'theory' is" is putting me to sleep. I should be grateful - easy course, yeah? One of these days I'll figure that one out; meanwhile, I'm hungering for a challenge!
Then there is the movie class. Just odd. But I plan on writing my first paper this weekend, getting it in early, and then starting on the big final project. Neither of these are intimidating. Sorry, but a five-page analysis of a theme in a film just doesn't intimidate me.
I do have my conference, which I am pleased as punch about. (If you didn't see it on FB, I've been invited to present at the International Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Thought in April. I'm presenting a paper on the theology of eating in Dante's Divine Comedy.) It's been a while, and I'm really glad to be doing some serious academic work. I've also been asked to participate on a panel as an adjunct faculty representative at my uni, which is a very good sign, particularly since the academic dean, who is also my boss, is the one who recommended me to the organizers! Oh yeah, credibility, here I come!
In other news, I am having so much fun with all the new (to me) games I got for Xmas! I'm loving Diablo 3 to bits. As with many games I tend to enjoy, the touches of humor and wit really give the game some dimension, and after D2 (which I still play) the graphics are breathtaking. So is the sound! Wow! I've never made a habit of using headphones to play, but D3 really does its audio well! I have also gotten a full version of Baldur's Gate (which I played the hell out of back in the day) on the iPad (imagine!).
And of course there's Dragon Age, and yes, I am head over heels for Alastair, I admit it. He's heroic, a little damaged, deeply determined (as all those paladin/templar/warden types I fall for are) but sensitive (ditto). However, he's also sarcastic and snarky sometimes rather adorably dorky. (Look at that WTF? eyebrow. Gotta love it!)
I always really got a kick out of Steve Valentine, Alastair's voice actor, as Nigel on Crossing Jordan, and he does a really masterful job of making Alastair into a dimensional character. (So often these stoic-heroic types are utterly one-dimensional; it's a running joke about the 'captain cardboard' paladin.) I heard the studio wanted Nathan Fillon (whom I also love) to voice Alastair, but I can't see it. The writing is quite good in this game overall, but a lot of Alastair's dialog, especially the funnier bits, would have totally fallen flat without the voice acting. Valentine managed to hit the right blend of goofy, snarky, and sensitive that just works. Very much fun!
Oh, and finally, after years of various jerry-rigged contraptions to keep from sleeping on a mattress on the floor (something I've always hated) we finally have a bed! It gets delivered tomorrow! Here it is: The Royal Bed Whee! So excited!
"Hello, my name is Raven, and I have a paladin problem. It's been 15 minutes since I gamed with one of my boys....."