lotesse: (starmap)
I get to work on Sor Juana this week yay! I saw her name in the files list, but was sure the assignment would have already gone out to someone. God she's the best. So excite.

Can any of y'all recommend resources for a Japanese ESL student dealing with college-level intro to composition coursework? My daddy goes soaring with a Japanese girl who's doing the aviation program at the local community college, and I guess she broke down on him last Sunday out at the airfield, overstressed and undersupported, so we're trying to help her out. I had her bring her materials to a meeting yesterday and sat with her for a bit; it looks to me like the main problem she's having is that she's having to deal so slowly and carefully with the language-comprehension stuff that she's not able to keep her thoughts clear, or cut through bullshit. There's also an awful lot of bullshit - I took the course she's in, long time passing, and it's comp-through-analysis-of-American-stereotypes, pretty much, and she neither knows nor really needs to know those stereotypes - but she does have to get through this class and the one after it in the comp sequence. I suggested audiobooks when possible, told her to stop writing in GoogleDocs and get herself a darn word processor with a spellchecker, but I was wondering if those of you who are trained for ESL education, or who have specific experiences with a Japanese/American situation, would know of anything more directly relevant to her needs.
lotesse: (freedom)
things that are making me want to ragequit the universe, racism edition:

The Economist thinks that slavery was a perfectly cromulent economic strategy, the City of Ferguson thinks that an all-white PR firm is just what they need right now, and white teachers in the New York City public schools seem to be of the opinion that wearing t-shirts in support of the NYPD isn't a massive fucking betrayal of their students of color, a clear sign that the halls of public education aren't for Black children or their police-brutality-resultant trauma.
lotesse: (Default)
in photos, murdered innocent Michael Brown looks so much like J. did the year we met - and he was just 21 then, not much older than Mike - it just consistently freaks me out. Because I miss J. and I'm sad that things didn't work out with us. Because I remember what he was like that first year of grad school, and I'm so fucking sad that Mike Brown is never even going to have a chance at college.

I can't decide if I'm relieved or sorry to not be teaching critical race theory to the 18-year-olds of Indiana this fall, against the context of this summer. It was fucking exhausting, trying to get those white kids to give a shit, and their indifference could get heavy. But I also got to witness some beautiful moments of connection between Black students and Black history/theory - it's such a great thing to be able to hook someone up with the tools they need, especially when you get to work to reverse the flow that seeks to distance Black children from Black wisdom.
lotesse: (faerie)
some links, mostly about gender violence, abuse, and affective labor/exhaustion:

this comment on Jezebel about gaslighting was helpful for me in figuring out why I've found the UCSB murders and the conversations in their aftermath so profoundly triggering

Re-imagining Disclosure as a Collective Act of Listening over at thefeministwire: "this formulation is that the burden of social change is placed upon those least empowered to intervene in the conditions of their oppression. The figure of the subaltern, or the survivor, gaining voice captures our political imaginary, shifting the focus away from the labor that might be demanded of those in positions of power to learn to listen to subaltern inscriptions—those modes of expression that are often interpreted as ‘silence.'"

Abuse as DDoS at Model View Culture: "DDoS attacks are so difficult to deal with largely because of their distributed nature. Even if the individual attacks aren’t particularly powerful, deal with one and dozens more will sprout up like some terrible mythical creature. Systemic abuse in the tech industry is also like this. Even seemingly minor acts of misconduct become a problem because they don’t happen in isolation."

also from the same issue of Model View Culture, The Fantasy and the Abuse of the Manipulable User: "Social media’s social-reinforcement mechanisms are also far more powerful. The “network effects” that make fledgeling social media sites less useful than already-dominant platforms also serve to lock existing users in. It’s difficult to practically set boundaries against existing social media products which have historically served one and one’s friends. People’s natural desire to be in contact with their loved ones becomes a form of social coercion that keeps them on platforms they’d rather depart. This coercion is picked up on and amplified by the platforms themselves - when someone I know tried to delete his Facebook account, it tried to guilt him out of it by showing him a picture of his mother and asking him if he really wanted to make it harder to stay in touch with her."

The Empathy Trap at Hook and Eye: "I mean really, what responses are left when faced with someone you ostensibly respect who hasn't found a place in the system? You tell them they matter. The work they do matters. You tell them that it stinks that they don't have stable work and that it is unfair. And probably it is unfair, but there you are, face-to-face, at a stalemate. If you're jobbed and you care then you're inevitably in a position of empathy. You are in a position of relative privilege. If you're not jobbed and you care, then you're in the position of needing to tell the caring person you're ok. You'll manage. Because honestly, it is the system, it isn't them. This, friends, is the empathy trap. It is a real thing and we are all, one way or another bound up in it, be we jobbed, not jobbed, or somewhere in between."
lotesse: (fairylights)
Original Daniel Jackson cast as the Avengers 2 villain! I am happy about this!

Getting back into the swing of teaching this week; I'm doing a sci-fi focused comp class again, but unlike last time I have surprisingly few nerds. Lots of interested mundies, though; they all picked the class, and they all seem into it. Today was a bit of an impeded lesson, as I found on arrival that my computer/projector system was nonfuctional, and then the tech guys disassembled it in the front of the classroom for the whole rest of the period. Thank god enough of my students had laptops with them.

Very, very much enjoying Elementary, particularly the way it's dealing with criminal insanity - admitting that it does exist, but focusing on the cruelty and manipulation and abuse of the people who use the mentally ill as their tools, dupes, and scapegoats. I love Gregson, and the gentle respect of his relationship with Sherlock (also god I love Aiden Quinn, have ever since I imprinted on Desperately Seeking Susan). I wish the one Black detective didn't seem like such an obvious cardboard stand-in.

I also like the way that they keep emphasizing the intellectual strength of their Watson, coming back to the fact that you have to be damn smart to be a doctor. Watson is a more linear, traditional thinker than Holmes, but she's ferociously intelligent in her mode. Holmes is a nonlinear thinker, loops and multiple tracks and always a certain intertextuality between representation and reality (and this is why I tend to identify with Holmes characters, because. Yes.) But the trick of the thing is that it's really helpful to have access to both kinds of intelligence. It's why Holmeses and Watsons work well together - and I really like that this iteration seems to be emphasizing the intellectual, rather than physical/violent/actiony, aspects of that partnership. (and it is so nice to see other parts of one of Lucy Liu's characters being focal than her sex appeal!)

eta: watching 1.08 tho and am v. sad to see Lisa Edelstein's character being sexually humiliated - maybe it's just leftover sensitivity from House, but I hate it when she gets objectified.
lotesse: (Default)
... I didn't think I was ever going to get that done; I miss writing not being a process of pressing water from a stone.

But oh my god you guys, I might bitch about my father sometimes, but when he's good he's wonderful - he sat with me through a prose-style workthrough for over an hour last night, and oh my god I didn't realize how much I missed being taught by someone I trust. And I didn't realize how much of my own 1-on-1 teaching patter was borrowed wholesale from him! It just seemed like the way to do things, but I totally replicating the way he taught me when I was first learning how to really write.

After that session, I think writing might get a little more fluid for me again. I hope so. I want to hang on to the way I'm feeling right now.

Anyway, now it's thunderstorming in Indiana - my cats just ran in looking super bedraggled - and I'm off to curl up with one of my favorite things: Joss Whedon's commentary track on Serenity.
lotesse: (feminism_emancipation)
Good maude today was a long day. Warm and rainy, and dark - I really, really didn't want to get out of bed this morning. Then, teaching, which today involved analyzing lynching postcards. Sometimes I wonder if my practice of building my syllabi out of objects that have haunted and/or traumatized me is a good idea.

But I was a good girl and went to a feminist candidate search lecture this afternoon all the same. And now, I suppose, I'd best get back to wading through Ruskin apologetics. I get that Kate Millett's positions on him could use some nuance, but does all post-1970 feminist writing on the guy have to center on how he's feminized himself and also look how much power he gives women he makes them ~QUEENS~ of their own gardens?
lotesse: (feminism_lorde)
A thing I do not get about my fellow white people: why is pain so worthless to us as a form of evidence? I bit the bullet today and used the last five minutes of my comp courses to throw up the we're a culture, not a costume posters, and address the total lack of necessity for we white kids to keep dressing up as POC when POC keep saying it hurts them.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I have been guilty of this sin. I think my mama and my daddy thought that dressing up as POC was good for our awareness of diversity, and they totally encouraged the geisha girl/indian princess thing. In high school, when I was heavy into yoga, I habitually wore bindis, which I still think are incredibly pretty. But then I got me an education - and more importantly started actually meeting/listening to POC, both in person and online. And they've kept saying, yeah no please don't do that, we don't care that you're only doing it because you think our culture is cool/pretty/more authentic than yours. This hurts us, please don't. So, you know, I stopped. Because why the fuck wouldn't I? My ability to play Tiger Lily < POC pain.

I downplayed it in the classroom, kept it light, admitted my own complicity, made jokes. Only talked about it for four minutes. I debated back and forth whether I should do it at all, and then five minutes before class s. e. smith posted there's still time to not be racist for halloween, and then I had to. But they still tried to get into it with me, and I just don't get it. Because what they kept saying, implicitly, was that POC pain wasn't a good enough reason for them to do anything. They don't accept POC pain as a valid form of evidence. I don't know what they would accept - like, what, you want studies? Those have been done. You want white men to tell you this? That's happened. And the word of POC still doesn't seem to mean jack to them.

It reminds me of the white person habit of "trying on" different ethnicities/races in order to "prove" that oppression is real. White girl pins on her mama's scarf for an afternoon at the mall and then she can tell you all about how it sucks to be a hijabi. Hell, wasn't there an old Lois Lane comic where she was "magically" turned Black for an issue, and she suffered from racism and reverse racism at the same time, boo fucking hoo cue the learning moment? And I don't get why the testimony of actual Muslim women, actual Black people, isn't enough to establish the reality of their oppression. We'll believe that white girl when she affirms the existence of religious and cultural intolerance, but - she must have been told by a Muslim woman once, either in person or in print or through some other medium, and for some reason that woman's testimony based on lived experience wasn't enough. It's amazing how much more weight we give to experiential learning when it happens to pasty people.

Off to reread Patricia Hill Collins nao. Because, as usual, she's got all the answers.
lotesse: (httyd_dubious)
So today I got a wrong number call in my classroom, on the wall phone. I didn't know you could call into those. My students laughed really a lot, which was good because we were talking about 19th century s&m and a little giggling is good for that sort of thing.
lotesse: (trek_uhura)
Yay my proposed course for next year = accepted! Dirt discourse here I come.

Now, back to Soapdish. Early 90s RDJ + Carrie Fisher + Whoopi Goldberg = win.
lotesse: (vorkosigan_maple)
I bitch and moan about academia - I had a really bad streak of that this week - but nothing lifts my heart like spending an hour talking to my freshmen about the subversion of the monstrous in the Vorkosigan Saga. Taura, you will always be my best beloved <3
lotesse: (narnia_lucy)
JFC so much work. Drowning in words send help and/or gifs.

All of these things come due next week:
-exam list. With alllll kinds of internally inconsistent input from the members of my committee.
-teaching proposal for the dirt discourses class. Am debating whether Nella Larsen is too long, whether I should add a scene from Boucicault's "The Octoroon" for lulz, or if Victorian melodrama humor is one of those things that does not translate to people outside of the field.
-portfolio for teaching award. Seriously, uni, if you want to give me awards that's great and everything, but I do not appreciate them coming with extra work attached in order to even compete.
-trial assignment for a summer freelance position with Thomas Riggs: a 1,000 word bio of Anne Wharton, who I'd never heard of but seems way cool.
-grading, eternally.

I miss having time to do research. And it's like 80 degrees out so I don't even have a brain right now. I just wanna listen to Tom McRae forever.
lotesse: (kink_chien)
So as the Girl Without A TV in the 90s/early millennium, I kind of missed the music video scene. But! I find music videos critically fascinating, little compressed bits of multimedia discourse, and what's more I've found that they teach really well to undergraduates. I'm putting together my proposal for teaching next year. The course is on discourses of dirt: miscegenation, body policing, & fetishization.

Rec me music videos for either songs about dirt/dirtiness or videos that use dirt imagery in interesting ways? I've got Xtina's "Dirrty" for obvious reasons, & Dixie Chicks "Not Ready to Make Nice" for imagery. Any and all musical genres appreciated.
lotesse: (thetimeisnow)
Starting a new semester, putting together my teaching syllabus, prepping for my exam study group, and writing a fair amount of fic, yay!

I'm throwing Bujold's "Labyrinth" into my sff comp class - first time I've ever let myself teach something I'm really actively fannish about. I mean, I guess there's "Serenity," but somehow that feels different. I'm not as passionately in love with Malcolm Reynolds as I am with Miles Vorkosigan - and besides, the Big Damn Movie doesn't concentrate on the aspects of the narrative I find most emotionally compelling, i.e. the Crazy Space Incest. So we'll see how that goes.

In further news of excellent and awesome, [personal profile] ataratah drew fanart for Airy cages quelled! And it's goooorgeous. Extra yay!

I'm ready to go, world. Bring it on.
lotesse: (l'engle_unicorn)
Slavoj Zizek on Occupy Wall Street: "Here we don’t think of prohibition. Because the ruling system has even suppressed our capacity to dream. Look at the movies that we see all the time. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world. An asteroid destroying all life and so on. But you cannot imagine the end of capitalism."

I'm debating taking this in to my comp students today - we're reading Frederic Jameson on utopia, and Zizek's work is certainly relevant to the intersection of sf and politics. I think I will - I love utopias. To imagine the place we've never been, so that maybe someday we can get there. They're really very useful things!
lotesse: (prydain_bother)
[community profile] ladiesbigbang entry away! holy hannah, I thought this day would never come! I'd say I was excited to write something other than Prydain, but actually I've spun off so many little bunnies in the process of producing the big one that I might keep doodling around there for a while. We shall see :)

Now I really want to lie in bed and read Steve/Tony (the Avengers are taking over my mind - help!), but instead I get to do anti-racism 101 all over the responses my students wrote to N.K. Jemisin's excellent The Effluent Engine. I hate trying to do 101-level work in written comments.
lotesse: (prydain_eilonwyredgold)
- cohort meeting next week, not today. Plus side: I got in an extra walk?

- preliminary connection spotted between Adam Bede and Tess of the D'Urbervilles - no, not unwed mothership. Further notes, if any, to follow.

- total reshuffling of comp syllabus: in progress. Lots of work, but ultimately lovely & freeing - it turns out that I took instruction on this project a little too well, and focused so hard on the "composition" part and the "not overpoliticizing" part and the "not having a thesis" part that I policed myself out of a strong conceptual structure.

And I've got 14,000 words on my [community profile] ladiesbigbang fic - not that it's done yet! Wordcounts and plots do not seem to be matching in this case. Sigh. If I could go back to writing short fic, maybe I'd post stuff sometimes! As is, I'm writing up a storm over here, but since stuff just keeps on branching ...
lotesse: (trek_mirror)
So I'm putting together my sff comp course for the fall, and I wondered if y'all could help me out with something:

one of the assignments is to write a proposal for the second big paper - it's a good practical skill to have. They'll be writing on short stories by Ursula K. Le Guin and N.K. Jemisin, and - well, I heart sff, but it's not what I write on in my academic life! But I know some of you do or have, and so I was wondering - if you've written up proposals for academic work on sff, or fandom, or steampunk, or any other kind of genre/spec fic, would you mind sending me copies to give my students as models? I'd love to be able to show them examples that had actually worked, and to expose them to breaking sff scholarship in the process. Everything would be anonymized, of course!


9 May 2011 11:04 am
lotesse: (academia)
Hey! Apparently I got my regular monthly paycheck from the University for May, even though I only worked a week in! I am now twice as rich as previously anticipated. This "actually getting paid for teaching" lark ain't half bad - although last week I did the math on how much I get paid to teach my classes and how much my students pay to be in my classes, and was somewhat downcast when I realized that I'm paid per month about what ONE STUDENT pays to be in my class for a semester. That seem right to you?
lotesse: (woods)
So it finally stopped raining today, and all of a sudden I think it's maybe going to be May in my heart. April really was the cruelest month this year, but I have high hopes for May. I spent the afternoon outside picking violets & rereading Lloyd Alexander's The Foundling and other Stories - I'd forgotten just how easy I am for "The True Enchanter," and somehow Fflewddur just gets cuter the closer I get to his age, though I sometimes feel that that oughtn't to be so.

I've been doing a metric fuckton of writing. Multiple Prydain projects - they're breeding! - but also an OT Star Wars/Firefly fusion. Unfortunately, my Boy is drafting the climax of his novel, which I do edit, and all the lovely affect is making my ficbrain vibrate with interest. Note to self: writing fanfiction of an unpublished text possibly not most productive idea ever.

I finished my grading yesterday, and so far only one of my kids has emailed me complaining about his grade - here's hoping that luck holds. I tell them to email me, because I hate the idea of them going home for the summer confused or bummed, and just grading them and turning them loose somehow doesn't seem properly nurturing - but at the same time I do rather dread those emails!

have a random link: Hungover Owls

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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