BLURT thread

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Re: BLURT thread

Postby ntw3001 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:42 pm

Ian: Great! I really ought to do some volunteering myself. I haven't, because I am a shameful procrastinator, but my life of work-eat-games-sleep is unfulfilling. My bad.

badplant: The eureka moment feels good. It's nice to feel like one is improving in a skill.

Mysty: Is your coworker unable to formulate a 'past employment' section on his CV?

Okay, okay, so that's not quite a full answer. It's true that, later in a career, a CV that lists 'shelf stacker' alongside actual useful experience, to explain a poor grade, is going to stand out. That said, when an employer is sorting between candidates with a decent work history and relevant experience, I'm not sure that they'll be troubled by a poor degree. My overall view of education is that zealous dedication to producing wholly objective measurements is working at the expense of useful development, and increasing objectivity isn't actually making the measurements any more valuable. Neither grades nor interviews make an especially accurate measure of value, but schools are heavily focused on evaluation over development. I'd rather see, as Chrism suggests, industry taking a larger part in shaping practical courses (although still requiring some form of accreditation in order to ensure that students receive a broad enough education in their subject), and the purview of universities narrowed to focus on academia rather than serving as a catch-all post-18 education centre. That's not a very well-thought-through idea, though. Just straight from the brain. Not a feasible change to actually implement even if it were workable.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:23 pm

Confusing workplace story:

At my university there is an association for English graduate students (we'll call it EGS). I'm not entirely sure what all of their duties are, but they have meetings and send out emails and such. The officers of EGS are four PhD students in English.

At my university there is also a Graduate Student Colloquium. Its members are grad students from all university departments, and they vote on which guest lecturers are to speak on campus throughout the year. EGS was facilitating an election amongst the English graduate students for the English student representative to this Colloquium. I put my hat in the running and I won. Very simple so far.

At my university there is also also a Graduate Studies Committee within the English Department. Its members are professors and the Director of Graduate Studies (all people with "Dr." in front of their name). They get together and vote on departmental policies, etc., etc. It is procedural for the officers of EGS to choose a student representative to this committee.

The EGS officers did not know this. They also did not know that the Graduate Student Colloquium is different from the Graduate Studies Committee. Up until Tuesday night, I didn't know that the Graduate Studies Committee existed. I found out when the Director of English Graduate Studies emailed me to congratulate me on being elected as the student representative to it and to inform me of a meeting Wednesday afternoon that I should attend.

After unsuccessfully trying to contact the officers of EGS that night to find out what was going on, I emailed the director back to ask if it was possible he was mistaken. He responded the next morning saying he was confused, CCing the EGS officers to ask what was going on. They responded saying they had been confused and asking him how to solve the situation. Before receiving these emails I was running between offices trying to find the officers of EGS to get some clarification as to what was happening.

I eventually got a hold of one of them briefly over the phone, and her opinion, as well as the director's, was that I should attend the meeting. I had to cancel conferences with three of my students in order to make it. I have never felt so unprepared for anything so important. I was actually asked questions, too, which I think I handled alright considering I had at that point still not been informed as to what my position was and what was required of me.

Afterwards I emailed the EGS officers and basically told them that I would like to be the student representative to this committee, as it is a very important job, but offered to step down to give them time to actually decide on the most qualified candidate, rather than sticking one in to try and cover for their own incompetence (I didn't word it that way--I was very polite). No one responded to the email. I saw one of the officers in her office today and asked if she read my email. "Oh, yeah," she said. I guess she didn't think it needed responding to, or at least not urgently. And, according to her, EGS wants me to remain in the position.

So I will, and I will do a rickin'-frackin' good job.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Skimba » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:52 am

That's right you will!
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby IanC » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:11 pm

ntw3001 wrote:Ian: Great! I really ought to do some volunteering myself. I haven't, because I am a shameful procrastinator, but my life of work-eat-games-sleep is unfulfilling. My bad.

Just poke your head into a charity shop and ask :P

Okay this is going to be long. You all remember my ex? Well we were still friends. I say were, since the other week she cut all contact off with me, removed from facebook and the like, and she seems to be ignoring any of my emails asking whats up. All i can get is that i posted a photo on tumblr that she didnt like, and that was the last straw? Like i said, emails are unreplied, even though i aplogised about the photo and made it clear i still want to be friends.

I just dont know what to do :( Christ, am i really that useless that I cant even keep friends, let alone anything more than that?
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby chrismachine » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:35 pm

Sometimes people's own views of a friendship are different than that of the other party... I figure it's more likely she just wasn't interested in carrying on with someone who was doing things they didn't appreciate, like you said. That or she could be seeing someone who doesn't like her talking to an ex, or she might have been trimming a lot of friends at the time. Ultimately it doesn't change much and you are unlikely to get an explanation, so it's likely best not to spend too much time on it. Of course, human nature says you likely will, at least in the short term, unfortunately. Hang in there :)
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Zombie Protestor » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:51 pm

I'm going to lean toward the proposition that she is seeing someone and wanted to hide an ex. I'm guilty of doing it, especially with my ex-wife. It wasn't until much later we re-friended one another.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:22 pm

Did you post a picture of her on tumblr, or a general picture that she found offensive in some way?
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Skimba » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:17 pm

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Today at work I am an evil pumpkin person. Tonight after the trick-or-treaters are done, I am going to be a killer maid.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Zombie Protestor » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:04 am

The ex of the former crazy roommate and I started talking again, and I started getting these vibes that she really was interested in me. Even though roommate and I were only casually dating as a way to not be lonely while she is going through her divorce and I through mine and I was told that if I wanted to date someone else to go for it, I still didn't want to hurt her by taking her up on it. Still, the ex (Vanessa) put up on Facebook one of those posts that said "Date or pass, message me a number." I decided to bite and messaged her 26, and she posted "26 - Date :)". One of her friends replied, "Aww, is this who I think it is?" To which she replied, "I'll text you in a minute :)" Then a bit later the same friend replied, "Aw! love love it! he's super cute and a perfect match for you! odds are you'll have a date with him soon. and unlike others he's a real man and knows exactly how to treat a lady ;)"
Just so happens that yesterday roommate came in and said that she thinks that until her divorce is finalized and the DFCS case is over that we should go back to being friends and I should go back to my own bed. Also, she reminded me that if I wanted to date someone else that she would not be upset.
So, with Vanessa's friend's endorsement, I ended up asking her out, and we have our first date on Tuesday. I only finally decided to do this because of a number of factors:
  • Crazy roommate is no longer roommate and wants nothing to do with me after the police incident.
  • She is no longer his last ex, as the stepdad of his secret girlfriend he had while living with me caught them in her room in flagrante delicto.
  • A mutual friend tells me that he has talked to crazy former-roommate, who put his new girlfriend on the phone for mutual friend to talk to.

Considering all of the above, it clearly is no longer a violation of brocode, etiquette, or sanity any longer. Besides, it looks like she's been telling her friends a lot of positive things about me.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Skimba » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:18 pm

I am so glad I'm not actively dating around anymore. I am also I am glad that I have never been married.
Good luck to you and your crazy world!
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby IanC » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:45 pm

Gah. Cameras memory card just died, camera kept saying it needed to be formatted. Thankfully formatting on my Mac fixed it. Not sure how/why though!
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Judas Maccabeus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:50 pm

While I was doing the laundry, I just ran across the wonderful irony of a sheet of fabric softener clinging to the dryer door.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Zombie Protestor » Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:57 pm

I just realized when going through old comics that Dusk invented Gangnam Style 6 years before PSY did.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby PonderThis » Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:59 pm

Zombie Protestor wrote:I just realized when going through old comics that Dusk invented Gangnam Style 6 years before PSY did.

He should totally sue.

GO IS SERVER STYLE
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby sum yun gai » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:48 am

can you believe there are people on the internets that have never seen nor heard "how is babby formed?" i posted on a different forum i read about how every time i hear some stupid republican candidate make some crazy comment about rape, it reminds me of that video. at least 5 people had never seen it out of the 9 people who replied :shock: and these are people who have been on the internets since "babby" was released into the wild, which makes it even more surprising to me
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:29 am

Yesterday I went to meet with the Director of First-Year Composition at my university (I teach freshman Rhetoric and Composition) for some class-related business. It turns out that he had just found out that his mother-in-law only had "hours left," as he put it. She lives in Japan, so he had been making arrangements to fly out there today before I arrived. I immediately told him that we could reschedule, but he insisted we keep the meeting we had set. Throughout the whole thing he gave the impression of having already cried before I got there or that he would cry after I left. I like the guy and I felt bad for him, but I don't know him that well so I didn't really know what to do. It was very uncomfortable.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby IanC » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:29 pm

Got a job interview next week :)
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby James » Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:08 pm

Fantastic, Ian. Good luck.

About a month and a half ago I got dumped. I'm feeling relatively OK about it most of the time by now, but it does leave me wondering how long it'll be before the proverbial stars proverbially align for me again. I guess the proper response it to keep nudging them until they do, but that doesn't seem to be in my nature. I just wait for something to pretty much land on my head.*

* The more traditional phrase "land in my lap" would in this instance have potentially problematic implications.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:03 pm

Congrats, Ian, and my condolences, James.

This week continues to suck, still because of meeting-related reasons. And my life in general because of mom-related reasons. She posted a facebook status about her illness, telling everyone who didn't know about it, which I'm hoping is more of a "people need to be informed" sort of thing and not a "I need to say goodbye" sort of thing.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby chrismachine » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:50 pm

That's really sad, I'm sorry to hear that. On the work front, I've dealing with stuff too. Namely, people say things like this about my profession: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/28/et ... on-fodder#

This is aimed at my union and not specifically me as a teacher, but it infers that if I am doing what they are talking about, that I am using kids as a hammer. For the record, I am not yet refusing to do extra stuff, though I know why others are. It's a personal choice but those who feel like they've worked hard to have things they've earned taken from them and are standing up for themselves don't need this. Not to mention "some minor benefit reductions" include taking away every sick day I have ever earned, making me take 3 unpaid days for the privilege of not having my salary lowered, and other cuts that will all-together cost me like $80k over my career if it only lasts 2 years. The union is being threatened with extinction or at best irrelevance as the bill also leads bargaining to a provincial contract for all teachers, so how would you expect them to react?
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby ntw3001 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:45 pm

Bad news all around then. Grave shames, all. I hate reading rants against teachers. I'm not a fan at all of the way education is structured in the UK, but teachers seem to bear the brunt of the criticism for every failing in that system, and they're usually the least at fault.

My job is ending at the end of next week; that's not unexpected (although the contract hadn't been set with a predetermined end date), but it's a pain. I'd applied for a few jobs there, including one in the same department, but not had any luck. Everyone who isn't in charge of the hiring decision has been telling me to apply, so it seems like they're satisfied enough with my work. Oh well. I don't especially mind losing the job (although I would really really like to have a decent, reliable income), but it's galling to be already working somewhere (and have a friend in HR, which is the reason I have this contract in the first place) and still not get anything. I'm really not sure what I'm doing that apparently makes me so unemployable. Is there, like, a secret password or something?

I'm still thinking about going to Korea for a year or two, but I'd want to time that for the summer, to start the school year. Until then, I'm just looking for decently-paid work. I've also got my eye on a course in radio, but it's a fair way out of my price range. The course itself I can manage, but six months studying full-time in London isn't really an option. Unless I can seek out some kind of career development loan, that is.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby IanC » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:01 pm

Had a rather strange dream last night. Suffice to say, it involved me, and a co-volunteer.

Stuff happened. Weird.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby jvcc » Sat Dec 01, 2012 4:31 pm

I feel like I should be more well-informed about teaching as a profession.

ntw3001 wrote:I'm still thinking about going to Korea for a year or two, but I'd want to time that for the summer, to start the school year.

I might go to Poland over the summer with a friend of mine from school. I would teach composition in English for 3-4 weeks and get everything but my ticket paid for. Really I'm just waiting on whether or not my friend will go.
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby chrismachine » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:32 pm

That would be cool. My dad's side of the family is from the Gdansk area I believe.

Teaching down in the US is in a pretty sad state, especially compared with Canada. Once I reach the top of the pay grid I will be getting paid (assuming it doesn't get stripped away in the next few years) roughly twice what a teacher in Florida gets paid who is making the most s/he can. We still don't have the prestige or respect of the community that teachers get in other countries, that's like the states here, but at least we get fairly compensated for the importance of our work. The system needs a lot of work (what it really needs is to go back to being small and community-centred like it was 90 years ago, but I don't see that happening, so the best I can hope for is huge reform that continues along the path of decentralizing and focusing on levels of leadership).
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Re: BLURT thread

Postby Skimba » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:52 pm

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