04/17/08 10:15 - ID#44034
Apparently I have only one class and a thesis to write. Problem is I should have started looking into a topic last semester, if I was in that program. I have worked with two professors at Buff State. One of them works in a field I am not interested in, the other is on sabbatical next year.
So I spent yesterday talking to a few different professors to see if my interests and theirs match. One of them does American art history and I would love working with the guy. I have a class with him next semester, so it might work out.
But, as I am late in getting into this, I have been thinking of expanding my senior thesis. It was on the transition from a medieval mindset to a Renaissance/Humanist mindset in Northern Europe. It dealt heavily with artists like Bosch and Durer, as well as my hero Erasmus. Oh ya, I could put you folks to sleep talking about it. (begin historian/rock star voice) "Hello Buffalo! Are you ready to NAP!" (end)
There aren't many Early Modernist historians in this country. It was a period in vogue in the 70's and is due for a comeback sometime before I am dead. You can imagine my surprise to hear that one of the professor in the department not only is an Early Modernist, but also just wrote a book and my very topic but with a different focus. Jackpot!
I might actually have fun with this!
12/03/07 02:43 - ID#42381
Well, at least my boss has left me alone for the day with leftover Indian food. Yummy, yummy.
11/26/07 02:46 - ID#42286
It Pays to Procrastinate
So, I am taking two graduate history classes this semester. One of them is on US immigration. 1/3 of my grade is based on my participation in a debate on immigration policy and an attending paper defending my position. I should have been working on this since the beginning of the month, but school and I don't roll like that.
So, three days before it is due I start to take a huge crack at it. Unsure about the written component I email the professor who tells me she forgot about it entirly so it is being dropped. Sweet!
The book I am to base this on has two different arguments 1) immigrants are both positive and negative but the net effect is slightly good. 2) immigrants are both positive and negative but the net effect is slightly bad. It isn't material that takes your breath away, so I am ignoring it.
But what do I see when reading my favorite blog on New York state politics? but a report from the Fiscal Policy Institure which says that immigrants bring $299 BILLION dollars in output to the state, about 30% of total output. It is full of wonderful little positive things from there on. Which diffuses the negative portion of both arguments, both cultural and economic. You can read it here.
I am so going to get an A with minimal work. I think this calls for a celebratory drink tonight. Nothing light a slight hang over to mask your smug sense of superiority!
10/22/07 02:17 - ID#41749
The Two Things I know About Asia
You may remember a recent post where I complained about what American's know about Asia. Well, the saga continues in a very embarrassing and oddly amusing way!
This terrible professor whom I have complained about before started class a little differently today, and I really appreciated it. We got into little groups and we had to talk discuss what we knew about Thailand. We would right down our little factoids and share them with the class.
Well, the groups didn't know much about Thailand at all. A few knew that Bangkok is the capital and a few more knew that it was in South Eat Asia. But man, did I have a fact to send shivers down their spine!
"Thailand performs the most sex-change operations in the world!" I said aloud with an enthusiasm for trivia that was interpreted as creepy beyond words. The pleasant 'pleased to meet ch'ya" smiles altered with eyes widening. But the creepiness had just begun!
"And do you know which country performs the second most?" I added with crescendoing enthusiasm. I turned and looked into the eyes of some poor group-mate and in terror she shook her head to my rhetorical question.
"Iran! Can you believe it!" Their smiles resembled an evicerated gut, all smiles, all terror. But I was too excited that I got to share this piece of information which I believe proves how contradictory and surreal existence upon this dog earth is.
I was only too excited to share this with the rest of the class. A little part of me is glad I also didn't get to talk about the under-age sex trade in Thailand which the class was woefully ignorant.
Trivia isn't just for Jeopardy, it is also a loaded gun with which to shoot yourself.
10/09/07 08:29 - ID#41566
School Funding Ridiculousness
In Buffalo, the teachers hadn't had a raise in six years.
In Orchard Park they have their own TV studio.
In Buffalo there were 35-40 kids in a classroom.
In Orchard Park there was 20-25
In Buffalo kids were doing fundraising to keep their drama club going.
In Orchard Park they offer horseback riding.
Now, I don't want to take those nice things away from Orchard Park. But if it is good enough for them it is certainly good enough for the poorest schools in Buffalo.
09/23/07 12:32 - ID#41263
Disappointing State of Whore Scholarship
The only requirement for the research was that it had to do with the Chinese Qing dynasty. Which should be super easy since that was from 1644-1911. A huge swath of time in which I whores should figure prominently.
I now bemoan the state of whore scholarship. There is nothing written about it in this time period. Nothing. Zilch. Damn it! What the hell are you scholars working on? Oh ya, exciting crap like transforming local economies if fishing villages. Wow. Do you talk about that stuff at parties? The only thing fishy I want to hear about is whore vag!
So instead I am writing about the bubonic plague in southern China in the late 19th century.... ya, disease is kind of cool. But the only reason I picked it is because that is how I feel. I feel like I am infected with a dull malaise that will slowly drag me to an untimely death. A death I try to imagine as a great release during the waste of a class.
So come on academics of the world! Tell me about Manchu brothels!
Here is a video about an unbelievable large infestation of mice. It is creepy.
09/20/07 09:37 - ID#41223
This Class Sucks. Bring Me WHORES!
It is indescribably bad! But just as Dante described the indescribable torments of hell (and the indescribably boring followups on purgatory and heaven) then so too must I!
It is on Chinese and Japanese modern history, from the 16th century to the present. The professor is a Chinese historian, and so he spends about 15 minutes of our 3 hour long class talking about Japan. Even our textbooks are weighted. Chinese history: 876 pages + 100 images and maps. Japanese history: 600, no images. I don't know why he tacked Japan on when he doesn't care.
A graduate history class works like this, usually. We all read a book. Then during class we discuss that book. The professor might guide our discussion along, but generally just keeps us on task. It is a great way to run a class.
This class works like this, we read, we get a five question quiz to see if we read, he summarizes what we read and then we look at holiday snaps he took last time he was in China. Fine in a 50 minute class, torture in a three hour class.
Well, we were informed today that he would no longer be lecturing to us. And that we would be presenting research papers we have been working on. Well, no one has started their paper since it is only needs one journal article source and should be 5-6 pages long.
So I decided I am responsible not only for my own amusement and sanity in that class, but am responsible for everyones'!
Right now I have a dozen articles on Prostitution, Opium, Homosexuality, everything. If I don't use the term "hot chinese ass fucking" at least twice in my presentation I am giving myself an F. There will be descriptions of various specialty blow jobs. There will be little boys bent over the Emperor's bed. And it wont be all talk! Oh no! We will have graphic images. Ming wall scrolls of anal penetration will adorn my presentation like cherubs.
There wont be a dry seat in the house!
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