April 30, 2011

Term Paper Season

I've been doing very little blogging, as it is that delightful time of year when students must sacrifice great quantities of paper and ink to Clio, the Muse of History. A Facebook conversation with my fellow students started with a discussion of a near-accident I'd had while biking, and quickly spiraled into a plot to claim that our entire class was in two cars going to an end-of-semester party, and that the two cars collided and injured us all to the extent that we needed due date extensions. The plan was rejected because of (a) implausibility, (b) the Prisoner's Dilemma, (c) ethics.

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April 22, 2011

I'm Either Getting Better or Losing My Critical Edge

I got a stack of my papers back in class yesterday. Re-reading them, I had the strangest sensation– I liked what I was reading. For the longest time, I've been dissatisfied with my prose. After all the rewriting and polishing I could do, I knew it was as good as I could make it, but it never felt good enough. But these recently-written papers? I liked them.

So either my writing is getting better, or my critical facilities are becoming numb. I'm not trying to fish for compliments here, I'm just making an observation about the workings of my mind. Also, as these blog posts are written in haste, they do not reflect the quality of prose that I would turn in for grading.

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April 19, 2011

UBCon Strikes Again

Some of you may recall that I was once heavily involved with my university's gaming club. Their biggest event is an annual gaming convention. The most recent version happened two weekends ago.

This is the second con since my return to the olive grove of knowledge, and like last year I was unable to take much time off to actually play games. I signed up for a game Friday night, but before it began I was overwhelmed by guilt and went home to work on a paper. By Sunday the paper was done, so I was able to at least play in one game.

I also won a raffle. Hooray! My prize had a retail value of about $2, so I suppose the $1 in tickets I purchased was a good investment. The money went to charity anyway.

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April 02, 2011

Happy Memories

I went to an academic conference today. I don't remember what the official topic of the conference was, but the presenters didn't really follow the theme.

Getting there was a bit of a self-imposed challenge, because I had misread the location. I thought it was the CFA (Center For the Arts) but it was actually the CFT (Center For Tomorrow). Need I mention that the two buildings are quite far apart, and I had chosen to ride my bike? As a result, I was a bit late, but no matter. The first scheduled presenter told me he had realized the correct building only the night before, so he was very nearly late to his own session.

Amusingly, the first session in the morning had papers on Robin Hood in 19th century English myth, chivalry in Shakespeare's Richard II, and French political cartoons from the 18th century. Nice, cheerful stuff. The last session, in late afternoon? Papers on the American eugenics movement, the anti-vivisection campaign, and Civil War battlefield medical practices.

Thus everyone was in a good mood when the conference ended. There's an afterparty going on right now, but I'm not attending, as (a) I don't do much drinking, and (b) I have history to write.

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April 01, 2011

Get a Little Trigger Time

I've been invited to go along with a group of friends to a nearby shooting range. I figure I'll rent an AR-15 and see if I've still got it.

I've been warned that we're going to have a ringer along. One of the attendees will be a female with dyed-pink hair and a very non-military attitude. However, in high school she was a competitive shooter, and is still the most accurate of the bunch.

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