charloween: (what subtext)
In my defence, it's been a long day.

This week we're teaching The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II (independent filmmaking, the horror genre, video as a distribution medium, etc). Good times.

The lecturer asked us TAs about what questions we'd ask to start a discussion about gender. He was thinking about the tree rape sequence from the first film. I was, too, but I also brought up the fact that there are an extraordinary number of close-ups of Bruce Campbell's face (his young, sweet baby-faced face), and the bodily spectacle of him mugging around screaming in pain for most of two films. Hooray alternate model of gendered viewing!

...And then I started talking about sisabet & sweetestdrain's On the Prowl vid.

This is what an h/c-sympathetic slasher writing a thesis on fandom sees re: gender in Evil Dead.

Yes, there's tree rape. Yes, the women get zombified early on in the first film and spend the rest of the time being beaten up (as possessed zombie things). Yes, the second film has the post-menopausal naked female body presented as an especially grotesque possessed zombie thing (thereby short-circuiting the hints of necrophilia from the first one).

However. If you're familiar with a way of reading existing narratives that start with a male hero experiencing injury or emotional trauma... *pointed shrug*

We eventually decided - if we need a clip in the seminar - to use the bit of the second film where Ash's possessed hand knocks him out and then drags him along the floor. It's all about the comedy/horror, dude.

We'll see if the lecturer actually watches the vid. And what he thinks of it.
charloween: (Unimpressed)
Today I got a gift from a student.  It's my first time teaching, so it's also my Very First Gift From A Student.

However, I got a Barbie doll from a student.

See, back before Christmas, I told the class to break into groups to discuss whatever topic we were on about that week.  I like that tactic: fewer blank stares, less of me babble-lecturing, less on-topic but that's to be expected.  So I get to this one group, and one of the girls was in the middle of talking about some other course she was in, and something about Barbie.  I let her finish, shared the fact that I had one (1) new-inna-box Barbie growing up (I got a Hawaiian Barbie for my birthday in 1991!) while the other few were second-hand*, and then after that comic relief got the group back on-topic.

And so today, at the final exam, the same student who had been talking about Barbie (proudly) presented me with a Graduation Barbie.  A 2008 Graduation Barbie.  She couldn't find a 2010 one.**  She said that her capitalist upbringing meant that she didn't like the idea that I didn't have new Barbies growing up.  Uh, thanks?  My 20-year-ago self would have been thrilled.***  Me, today?  Not sure what to make of this.

The other weird thing about the final test was that one of the other students, who knows my name (I'm certain he knows my name) wrote down "Valerie" on the test booklet where he was supposed to write his TA's name.  (Just in case: my name is not Valerie.)

I guess that's an April Fool's joke? 

The Barbie-Giver was way too earnest for me to consider that to be some kind of prank (taking the time to make sure it was a Graduation Barbie, bothering to remember an off-hand comment meant as a joke to then redirect their conversation, figuring out how to cleverly word her presentation, etc).  I'm pretty sure "Valerie" was a joke.  This is why April Fool's makes me uncomfortable: I appreciate a good prank, but there's so much room for error if you're not 100% certain of the other person's sense of humour.

Unless there's anyone out there who knows a little girl (or boy) who'd want a Barbie, I suppose I'll hang on to it until a holiday toy drive.   


*and the cats chewed their hands and feet off.  I also had a second-hand Barbie toilet (like this, but darker pink).
** I did indeed get my BA in 2008, so it's not entirely inaccurate.  I guess.
*** and then would've sent the doll on an Away Mission after painting it with nail polish, to be honest...

charloween: (you broke sir)
  • automatic -1 on my idiosyncratic rubric for using the word "flick" as a synonym for movie
  • "film musicals and dance flicks" implies that dance movies aren't really movies
  • "the Ronald Reagan era" isn't actually a synonym for "the 1980s"
  • EDIT: "typecast" does not mean the same thing as "stereotype" 
  • in a summary of Pretty in Pink, calling Steff "the obnoxious friend" did make me laugh (but, dear student, why did you tell me the names of all the other actors in the movie except James Spader?  I weep.)There's more... )
  • EDIT 2: If I feel compelled to share bad sentences with friends, that's another -1 on the Rubric.  ("Pepsi and Coca-Cola chose youth and they aimed their message of having fun as a youth towards them.")
  • When I get my next class (if I get a next class, *crosses fingers*), I will make them read about why media effects theory is bullshit and therefore save myself from statements like: "It is very easy to see how youth can be attracted to such commercials.  Youth are very easily influenced by things..."  ALAS IT IS TRUE.  Youth for example undergraduates are very easily influenced by things like bullshit theories.
  • Using italics and underline to direct me to a "thesis statement" will not make said "thesis statement" a) coherent or b) arguable
  • EDIT 3: the paper I'm staring at (in awe) is partially centre-justified and has only a passing acquaintance with paragraph breaks
  • the Rubric (all hail the Rubric) is built so that a technically flawless though poorly-argued paper with no thesis can still pass; however, the inverse is true and I have no problems deducting marks for flipping between past and present tense willy-nilly
  • apparently, in the 1970s, no one spoke of anything except the Vietnam War
  • ...probably shouldn't write "I have no idea what you're trying to argue" on papers but fuck it: constructive criticism is for before the term paper.  I think at this point I can be as non-constructive as I want.


I'll edit and add more as they arise. 

Tragically (awesomely?) I think my summer job will be just marking.  I think marking will be easier because I won't have to actually know any of these students and can Judge Them sight unseen.  OTOH, it pays well enough.

charloween: (what subtext)
I shared that fun and strange Old Spice ad with my mother, and she fired back with this:


It's a bit crazy, but in a different way.

Mum also supplied the following (because Dad always sings the damn jingle):
With all due respect to Gwen Stefani, *this* shit is bananas )




In other news, one of my students handed in a research proposal with a bibliography filled with sources I'm pretty sure weren't carefully reviewed before the proposal was written. Why? They're all dissertations.
charloween: (Unimpressed)
I've got to write four presentations (one tonight for sure, the others hopefully ca. Tues/Wed), fake some kind of test prep for my students, and do a massive amount of laundry: I leave for a week in New Mexico in the wee hours of next Sunday morning.

(Mum wants to go shopping in Santa Fe, I want to stalk the production of In Plain Sight oh and that sure-to-be-sucktastic wacky road trip movie starring RDJ - we'll come to a compromise, I'm sure. :D)

But until then, I've got to figure out Tuesday's presentation. I don't think it'll take all that long to pull together, but I just need to start working at it. I think I can manage the one-liner version (Jameson's article works to shift the definition of "postmodern" away from referring just to a cultural style, and towards a broader understanding of the term which brings together the economic/political expression of late capitalism with the realities of production within the cultural realms, and specifically an expansion of the idea of the culture industry) but I'm not sure how to expand this into a presentation that's only 15 minutes long, and neither am I sure what the heck a four-page (double-spaced) summary will look like.

Even though the professor for this class keeps ducking my attempts to ask for help, I found a fellow student who's been helping me through navigate the historical positioning of Marxism vs postmodernism in the early 80s. Apparently this particular article is an attempt to reconcile two warring factions in cultural theory, and a treaty can look really weird if you don't know what the war was about.

As for the test prep, well... this quarter we've covered No Logo, Vietnam, Sesame Street and the Mission: Impossible television show. This week we're screening stuff from Paper Tiger Television. *throws up hands* IDK.
charloween: (you broke sir)
I need to share these bits from an undergrad paper I'm marking. Both excerpts are from the same paragraph (and I use "paragraph" in the most generous of ways):

"Sometimes the audience did not respond well to certain movies because it was overly funny for the immigrants at the time."

...and

"Similarly, when trying to film a western movies, you required cowboy looking men. Therefore genres helped the production companies who only filmed werstern [sic] films to hire these cowboy looking men."
charloween: (you broke sir)
9.5 hours on campus today. 5 meetings. It's good I've been doing this blogging thing for the better part of a decade because I don't think I'm up to any new tricks.

I think I might be going insane from all the York. I can't tell. I do know that I've inadvertently screwed over a student because no one in the department that hired me thought it proper to inform me that I have a mailbox in that department. I've been perfectly okay with using my actual mailbox, the one in my own program's space - in a different building on campus.

I guess that when I'm being Employee Me I have to exist in different physical spaces than when I'm being Student Me, and I can't just be a single person. (My pay stubs have been going to my program/student/older mailbox, and unmarked tests from this one student have been stacking up in this other heretofore unknown mailbox (that isn't even in one of the buildings where my students have their lecture or tutorial).

This is the reason I stuck around in Toronto for an MA at York: I learn all the new ways that you can get jerked around!
charloween: (Default)
Some of them haven't bought the textbooks yet, which accounts for some abysmal test scores. I'm carefully maintaining a veneer of I Don't Care Because They're All Adults and will unblinkingly fail anyone who doesn't actually answer the test questions as asked.

I think I was meaning this to be a bigger post, but really, all I have to say is: woah, I fear for one of my two tutorial groups. The group that refuses to buy the textbooks is also the group that thought the domestic abuse in The Honeymooners was okay because Ralph and Alice were obviously friends. Uh. No?
charloween: (Default)
Happy 9/9/09!

In the past few days I watched Bottle Shock (pretty, but incoherent) and Inglorious Basterds (indulgent, but permissibly so), had homemade lobster for the first time (tasty!), got the class schedule for the class I'm TAing (and got the confirmation I am TAing), had many good meals and evenings-out with diverse groups of friends and new acquaintances.... not bad for a week's application.

The rest of the month holds: teaching (yikes!), screenings of awesome movies for class, going to see Cirque du Soleil's new OVO show down at the portlands (bugs! bugs and eggs! acrobatic bugs and eggs!), various bbqs and meetings, a taping of The Hour (Jason Bateman, Jason Reitman and Terry Gilliam + Strombo, all in one room), and the newest event - thanks to a certain awesome someone - going to a film fest party at a rooftop bar at the Hyatt.

It's shaping up to be an interesting month (I'll have to plan something for my birthday in there, too - any ideas?), but the question I'm stuck on now is: what on earth does one wear to a party at the Hyatt with $600 bottles of champagne on the menu? If Coke sponsors a party, I think that's an immediate pass for wearing jeans, right?
Page generated Oct. 23rd, 2017 03:10 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios