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I have finally finished the autobiography from hell and uploaded it onto the course website. Which means that I have now "really" started Winter Break. At about 12:15 on a Friday night. With major snowfall expected tomorrow keeping me home. Yay. Also, the proofreading of the autobio was shoddy, due to my being tired and unwilling to read all 15 fricking pages that carefully, but here we return to the point where it's a one-credit pass-fail class, the damned thing took me days to do, and I just don't care. Again, yay.
amandac777: (Default)
I'm currently writing my autobiography for one of my classes; it's due next weekend, but I'm trying to get as much of it out of the way as possible due to other things going on this week. Writing your autobiography may sound like an interesting assignment, but this particular one has been set up so as to leech anything potentially fun or interesting out of it, like, say, your life history or emotions, and instead replace all that nonsense with a never-ending series of open-ended questions, mostly dull, about your family's history, lifestyle, beliefs, and values. Mine is currently six full pages long and *maybe* half-done. Mind you, this is for the mandatory one-credit, pass/fail class that is somehow pushing my workload totally over the edge this semester (and about that, seriously, wtf?).

Anyway, this class never meets in person, so I'm going by the uploaded documents and descriptions for all of it, and of course, most of it assumes you're already totally fluent in educational lingo and whatnot. In the first class most of us take in the teaching program. Yeah. The bulk of it's not too bad, so I can least figure out what I'm supposed to be saying, but I only have a vague idea of what "group orientation" means. So, in other words, could someone translate the following passage for me and explain what I'm supposed to be talking about in this section??

"Describe yourself related to how you family viewed Individualism vs. Group Orientation. Progress to your current ideology regarding individualism and group orientation by providing links between these past expectations and your current values. Relate ideology to yourself and your expectations for others."

Also, how about this, especially the last part: "Describe the value of Time as it related to your family and for you as an individual. Is time considered linear or circular?"

And finally, I know equity and equality are different things, but I can never quite remember how so, or which one of them is which. Do any of you?
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Not bad. I confess to fudging a couple of the answers a bit - For instance, I don't have a complete copy of the Iliad on hand, but I do have multiple mythology books, some of which would cover the Iliad, and there was no question to give me credit for my complete works of Shakespeare or Norton Anthology of Poetry, so, yeah. Others just had no right answer. Also, as always on these things, the science/math questions don't give enough credit to biology geeks.
amandac777: (Default)
Because I had class all day today, I had my alarm set good and early - 6:07, to be exact. So, about 5:30 this morning, I woke up, went to the bathroom, and went back to bed. At some point in this interval, I started dreaming. I don't remember much about the early part of the dream, except that I may have been annoyed at something one of my housemates did, like clean the house, and I was hanging out with another housemate. (Notably, I live alone. The living room in the dream did look like mine, though.) Suddenly, in the dream, an alarm clock went off. Loudly, and annoyingly. So I turned off the alarm, but it kept going. Apparently a lot of alarms were going, because I kept finding more alarm clocks and turning them off, but it kept *going*, though not always at the same volume. I was getting more and more annoyed and frustrated because I COULD NOT FIND THE DAMN ALARM CLOCK and OBVIOUSLY someone had moved it and I was going to kill them just as soon as I found the STUPID ALARM THAT WOULDN'T SHUT UP!!! So then I finally woke up. At 6:40. I spent 33 minutes *dreaming* about my alarm clock going off without managing to wake up to get out of bed.

Fortunately, that was still plenty of time to get up and moving, deal with personal hygiene, and make it to class on time. Unfortunately, that was not enough time to make lunch or eat breakfast, and I have class straight through the day, so at about 2, I ate a stale pop-tart I'd tossed in my bag, and otherwise I didn't eat anything until 4 PM. I wasn't happy about that. I set my alarm early for a reason. If only it actually managed to wake me up at the time I actually set it for.
amandac777: (Default)
Cute story I heard today. I'm a museum tour guide; this morning I gave a pair of tours to 6th graders from a mostly African American school in Detroit. After we were done, one of the other docents said that, as she was getting started, one of her kids looked very sternly at her -- "Did you vote yesterday?" The docent assured her that she did. "For Obama?" Of course. And then the girl started jumping up and down and cheering - "Oh, yeah, oh, yeah, oh yeah!" :-)

I finally found the website for the local and "minor" election results yesterday, and was a wee bit amused. I have never voted straight ticket, and in the first few elections I voted in, my tallies tended to be about half-and-half between the major parties, with scattered third-party votes. A lot of the Republican votes have been for local offices and the sort where party really doesn't matter, though.

I currently live in Ann Arbor, one of the most liberal cities in the midwest. Most of our local offices were Dems running unopposed, so no choice there, anyway. I looked over the only local partisan races - county sheriff, AA mayor (Dem vs. Lib) -- and much preferred the Democrat in both. President was a no-brainer, and not only do I really like both my Congressman (John Dingell) and Senator (Carl Levin), but they were both running against people I really disliked as soon as I checked them out. That only left the state Board of Education and the three public university boards, electing two candidates each. Those I checked out and was almost relieved that of my eight choices, three were Republicans. So my total votes-by-party yesterday went for 3 Republicans and 18 Democrats, with no third-party votes. Checked the election results. Of the 21 partisan winners, I voted for 18 of them. Yep. All three Republicans I voted for lost; none of the Democrats did. I'm guessing there was a *lot* of straight-ticket voting this time around.

On the non-partisan ticket, I voted no on a local amendment that passed, but given that my feeling about the amendment was, "eh, too much bother," I'm not really distraught. I also 'lost' on one of my choices for WCC Trustee, but I'm okay with that, too (despite working there). The two real non-partisan races both went to my choice (and both were close!), including the really nasty state Supreme Court justice. I wasn't feeling strongly about that one until I found the point in one questionnaire where the incumbent proudly pointed out that he was one of the key figures in interpreting the 2004 anti-gay-marriage law to disallow any form of partner benefits for state employees, something that I think is still being fought by most of our massive public universities. I'm happy he lost. The other big Michigan battle, over stem cell research, passed narrowly, making a *lot* of my former coworkers happy - especially the ones working in stem cell research. And amusingly, medical marijuana passed by the predicted large margin - we worry about stem cells, and in the last two elections got rid of affirmative action and narrowed gay rights - but we've got no problem with pot.

Others have said everything I want to say about President-Elect Barack Obama (woo-hoo!) and the disappointment in California (to understate things).

On a personal note, I'm officially a student again - I register for classes tomorrow. Already, next semester's schedule looks like it's going to suck. Yay!
amandac777: (Default)


Jun. 4th, 2008 11:31 pm
amandac777: (Default)
amandac777: (Default)
No, not yet to the American Idol commentary. Rather, I just thought I'd point out something I hadn't realized earlier, that the other day, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman apparently confirmed what many people have long suspected -- he's trying his damnedest to utterly destroy hockey. It's already by far the least popular of the major American sports, so you'd think he'd capitalize on opportunities, right?

NO! That would be silly! Why would he do that?

Finals, as I mentioned this year, are Detroit and Pittsburgh. Absolutely perfect.
-- Both are very good teams that are a lot of fun to watch and have been playing at the top of their games (No, this does not always work out this way. Quirk of the struggles of the hockey playoffs.)
-- Both with lots of stars to promote and show off.
-- Both very popular teams.
-- Both American teams (it's kind of nicer to see the Canadian teams do well, but figure the Canadians will watch no matter who's playing).
-- Both teams with tradition behind them, not one of the dozen or so teams less than 20 years old.
-- Both teams in an actual hockey market - cities with ice, for instance. Not Florida, North Carolina, Texas, or southern California.
-- Both teams in industrial cities. That currently means struggling cities where people are really into sports because they need the emotional boost.

So, hockey and basketball playoffs always go on at the same time, with hockey being a little ahead, time-wise. With two teams left in hockey, there are four left in basketball, just starting their semifinals (and having scheduled that round earlier than the NHL finals). The two series are San Antonio-LA Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Detroit Pistons. Cleveland, if you aren't familiar with American geography, is only two hours from Pittsburgh, which has no NBA team. In other words, the Cavaliers and the Penguins share lots of the same fans. The Pistons and the Red Wings share even more.

Why the rant? You guessed it! Games 1, 2, and 3 of the NHL Finals are scheduled for the same days as Games 3, 4, and 5 of of the Cavaliers-Pistons series! All the hockey games are at 8 PM, all the basketball games at 8:30. They couldn't even stagger the times. The even more stupid thing is that, with the semifinals still going on, the NHL announced that the Finals, whenever they started, would be played only on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, which would have caused only one overlap, and that's a Saturday, when you can have afternoon games. Now it's all Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. I don't watch the NBA anyway, so I'm not in conflict. I just want to know what the hell Bettman was thinking, scheduling his most marketable final in years for the exact days that its most likely viewers are least likely to watch it.
amandac777: (Default)
First, and most important, the Red Wings are back in the Stanley Cup Finals!! YAY!!!!! I love the Tigers, and I'll cheerfully root for the Pistons, but hockey's my sport and the Red Wings are my team. :-D

Lengthy ode to hockey and the Wings, plus my brief Finals preview )
BTW, while I knew the NHL website had "celebrity bloggers", the few I'd heard mentioned were people I'd never heard of. Why did nobody tell me that David Boreanaz had a blog? And that his appears to be both the most frequently updated (until a couple days ago, when his Flyers were eliminated) and one of the most knowledgeable?

Also, it may take me a while to get around to posting Major Competitions, part 2 - American Idol. Hopefully before the results show tomorrow. ;-)
amandac777: (Default)
I just finished watching last night's American Idol performances (hurrah for DVR!), and the deeply cynical part of me found Kristy Lee Cook's 'patriotic' performance and the judges' responses to it rather interesting, with a particular fun catch for different branches of the English language.

cut for anyone who hasn't yet seen it and was actually planning to )

In other news, I'm really stunned at how little grading I've managed to accomplish in the last 48 or so hours. I should be done, not barely started. Wouldn't be so bad if I had done anything else useful in that time span, but no.
amandac777: (Default)
I finally dealt with a longstanding problem I've had with the Wizarding world population size. DH spoiler if that's still a problem, but mostly cut for length and extreme geekery )
amandac777: (Default)
Why is it that, when I'm sick and I know perfectly well that the main thing I need is rest, preferably sleep, I can't fall asleep and once I finally do, I wake up after about four hours? Then I get to feel guilty because I'm staying home from work when I frankly don't feel that bad overall, but I get sporadic deep wracking coughs that I just can't see dealing with at work (especially not bench work, which I hardly need to be coughing into and can't always stop real quick to take off my gloves). Plus, a singer I really like (Vienna Teng) gave a show downtown last night that I'd been looking forward to, but no, I had to be sitting here. :-(
amandac777: (Mrs. Duck)
It's snowing. In Michigan, in January. Go figure.

I think this is the first snow we've had since the first week in November. It's just been raining constantly. All told, I usually prefer snow.
amandac777: (Default)
Could someone explain to me, preferably slowly and in short words, how to screencap a DVD? I've been trying and trying, and I'm just not getting anywhere. Roxio is refusing to play the DVD in question, so I've been working in Windows Media Player. I find the shot I want, hit Ctrl-I, go to an image application (just the free/office-included ones -- primarily powerpoint, but others, too), and hit paste. It gives me the image from WMP. Except that rather than capturing *that* image, it seems to have just turned into a mini-player. If you crop the picture, it responds normally, but if you then try to *move* it, the image moves to a different part of the original, like you had decided to crop the picture down to a shoulder and a background, rather than to a face. Moreover, when I went back to WMP and resumed playing, the "captured" image plays along with it, and likewise if I closed WMP, my image went black. I tried saving the image as its own file (bmp, tiff, and jpg), and it didn't help. I saw a suggestion to turn off the hardware accelerator from desktop properties, so I did, and then WMP wouldn't play the DVD anymore, which obviously doesn't help. I know it's *possible* to do this; it has to be the first step in making the brilliant icons people have! However, I am not nearly competent enough to do so. :-(
amandac777: (Default)
MSNBC and the AP are declaring Webb the winner in Virginia. That brings the Senate total to 49 Democrats + 2 Democrat-caucusing Independents and 49 Republicans. Democrats, therefore, win the Senate!!

Keep in mind that controlling a branch of Congress doesn't only mean that you theoretically have enough votes to pass your legislation -- at least a couple members of Congress cross party lines on nearly every vote. What it really means is that the Democrats get to pick all the committee chairs, as well as the broader Senate leadership. The vast majority of bills die in committee, after all, or aren't written because they stand no chance of getting through committees. The majority party get to decide, more than once, whether a bill ever gets to proceed to a vote. And now, both branches of Congress go from being Republican to being Democrat. Yay! Also, outside observers should recall that only a third of the Senate is up for election in any given year; as a labmate pointed out, that means the result of *this* election was 24 Democrats/Independents - 9 Republicans. To see what Americans think about our government, note that 51-49 might be close, but 24-9 certainly isn't.

Additionally, we get the first female Speaker of the House, and in a less noted but still very important development, we get the first ever Muslim congressman (from Minnesota). Michiganders soundly voted against the Amway founder. Rumsfeld is leaving (not via election, but you can bet it's related)! Bush is humbled, at least vaguely. Missourians voted to allow stem cell research, and South Dakotans voted *against* banning abortions. Several states raised their minimum wage, and Pelosi has indicated that she intends to do so nationally.

Sadly, seven more states added constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage, including at least one of the astonishingly badly worded ones (the same sort that are, in Ohio, being used to undermine domestic violence laws). On the other hand, and quite startlingly, CNN isn't calling Arizona's same-sex-marriage-ban proposal, but it lists 'no' as being ahead by some 30,000 votes -- if that result holds, I think that would be the first one of these amendments to *not* pass, and additionally, some of the ones that did passed by narrower margins than they did two years ago. Cold comfort to the folks in Virginia et al. being stripped of their benefits, but it's a start.

Michigan easily passed the amendment to ban affirmative action in any meaningful sense. We at U of M really, *really* like our affirmative action programs (one student group/political party is called "Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary", or BAMN for short), so the campus was not especially happy about this. Mary Sue Coleman, the university president, apparently vowed to fight this in court, but I honestly thought that a letter writer in today's student newspaper had a more sensible approach. Rewrite the programs so that they reach out and give admissions benefits to people from particular income levels, limited previous educational opportunities, inner city students, etc -- the unfortunate reality is that this *will* be reaching out to African-American students in particular. It doesn't help at other levels, still, such as government contracting, or any programs targeting women. Apparently the programs encouraging women to enter and stay in science, especially the upper levels of science, are likely to be lost because of this.

Overall, a great election. A couple of losses, but the important thing is that we've wrenched this country away from the Republicans. Now if only we can keep the Democrats from making the same mistakes and throwing it away in two years ...
amandac777: (Default)
They did it!! They did it!! The Detroit Tigers are going to the World Series!!! Yaaaayyyyy!!!!
amandac777: (Default)
Over on [ profile] sistermagpie's thread on Sirius Black, [ profile] jodel_from_aol and I got to discussing the status of werewolves as students at Hogwarts and how tihs may have been affected by Sirius's "very amusing joke" on Snape. Of course, everyone has an opinion on the Prank, and having typed more of mine out than would actually fit in the comment box there, I decided to transfer it here. )

In other news, the research associate in my lab who has been almost solely responsible for enforcing the "no music" policy in our lab, not to mention the three neighboring labs in our open lab space, because she apparently has to have absolute silence while she works, has now gotten an iPod. So far I've managed not to throttle her, but it's been close.

Also, the Tigers beat the White Sox, keeping their playoff hopes healthy, though they aren't a lock. Plus they're still a smidgen ahead of the Twins (or in more technical terms, 0.5 games) for the AL Central. Go Tigers!!


Aug. 1st, 2006 12:44 am
amandac777: (Default)
Okay, so I started this morning (Monday, that is) thinking that it was July 31st, but not really paying attention. Went to work, went to check the location for somthing that was happening this evening, and when I found it, it said something about Monday, August 1st. So I glanced at my calendar and said, "oh, okay, it *is* the first". Then I commented to one of my labmates about it being August already and she commiserated. I dated a bunch of things 8/1/06, and I was pretty sure I saw that date somewhere else, too. Looked up an online announcement for a different event that I knew was this week, but didn't know when, and it started by saying something about Tuesday, August 1st. That threw me, but not for long, so I somehow committed it to memory as saying Monday in other points in the announcement (thinking back, it may have switched to just saying August 1st, so I assumed I'd missed it). And so just *now*, I happen to glance at my friends page (which, btw, is my homepage and which I have opened at least six times since getting home several hours ago) and saw the Daily Snitch at the top, with a big announcement wishing Harry Potter and JKR happy birthdays -- which is, of course, July 31st. Of course, by now it's after midnight, so it really *is* August 1st, but that really isn't helping. I seriously could have sworn I saw the date three or four places, and I know I looked at my calendar. :-(

Some days I wonder how I made it out of the third grade, much less the twentieth.
amandac777: (Default)
Project Runway spoilers behind the cut: )

I can't wait until next week, though. I'm somewhat less interested in *who* will go (though I predict Angela or Keith) than in what exactly they're going to do to get themselves kicked off.


Jun. 17th, 2006 03:18 pm
amandac777: (Default)
Is there some particular reason that Italy's uniforms are medium blue, dark blue, and silver? Don't most countries generally use the colors on their flags? I would think it's just an American thing, but IIRC, in the Olympics, it's pretty rare for national teams to use different colors (the Australians are a notable exception, since their flag is red, white and blue, and their national colors seem to be green and yellow). Do other countries use different colors for their uniforms?

Also, is there some general guideline as to what color the keepers' uniforms are, or just anything that's very different from your own uniform?

... And now the Italian trainer is spraying something on some guy's ass. Okay.


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