Thursday, July 24, 2003

Link is the Ubermensch

On a whim, I checked out Coherence Engine, a blog listed under's "Blogs of Note". Wow. This guy is awesome.

"One of the stages of Jospeh Campbell's Hero's Journey is the "refusal of the call": the initial unwillingess of the hero to venture out of the village and into the unknown. You only need to think of Luke Skywalker; he's received the call (Obi-Wan says to him "Come with me to Alderaan."), but he refuses it ("Uncle Owen needs me."). Of course in that and most hero's journeys, the refusal is only temporary. But as I think about how to encode the hero's journey into a game, that's a tough one. The whole point of a game is to get to experience adventure. What player would thumb the "no" button, when Obi-Wan says "come with me?" Even in table-top roleplaying, where there's more chance for real acting and character development, this sort of reluctance is very difficult. Because, deep down, the player -- not the character -- really, really wants to go."

Joseph Campbell and video games. Together at last, just as I knew they always should be. Reading this blog almost made me feel as though my video gaming was justified. I'm still thinking about how I could actually bring this into a class. Somebody should write a book about the pedagogy involved in teaching video games, because I've known many a teacher who's tried (either through personal choice or the demands of the school/district) to teach Campbell, often with mixed success. This may just be a way of doing it -- at least, for some kids. But how do you bring a video game into class? With a movie, you can show excerpts and talk about them and stuff (or even show one from beginning to end, time and permission allowing) -- how do you do that with a game? Should each student be allowed to play the game in class? That seems wrong.

Oh well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

May I take your order?

Well, no Parker job for me. Nor will I be working at the aforementioned rich-kids school (but I wasn't too disappointed about that one). Applied for a job in the Warwick school district today. Yippie. Well, I can always be a waiter.

To do: Find out how to do those nifty roll-overs that my brother does on his blog. I want boxes that pop up with funny things in them for my links.

Speaking of my brother, just read the excerpt he posted from some guy talking about his version of the Adam & Eve story. Cute. Although my personal favorite alternative interpretation of that myth is Daniel Quinn's. In Ishmael, he talks about how Cain & Abel are actually an allegory for the rise of agriculture over hunting and gathering. Now that's some deep shit right there.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Head explosion

I never get headaches. Except today, when I have the worst goddam headache I've ever had. My temples feel like they're being squeezed by a vice.

On to more pleasant things, check this out. It's pretty good, although I did manage to stump it on "Monkeybone" and "SportsNight". However, it did manage to guess "D.A.R.Y.L.", which I thought was pretty impressive. I mean, who besides me (and my brother) has seen that piece of crap?

Your Welsh lesson for today: ci a bachgen dan awyren. That means "dog and boy under an airplane". You gotta love the Rosetta Stone. I'm only glad I didn't pay for it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

'Cuz it's a bittersweet symphony...

I hate that fucking song. I only bring it up because I just got back from interviewing at a school that looked an awful lot like the one in Cruel Intentions. Very ritzy and fancy-schmance. That was my second warning that this job wasn't for me. Ever read the book "Savage Inequalities" by Jonathan Kozol? You should. This is the kind of shit he was talking about. Here's this million-dollar resort-school not two miles away from Central, where I student taught, in which there weren't enough desks for the kids.

The first warning, by the way, was the fact that it's only for a half-year. Oh, and the third warning was that the guy who interviewed before me actually did his student teaching at the school. All three of these things tell me that Moses Brown, cool Quaker philosophy or no, can keep their damn job.

End rant.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Quakerin' in my boots

Got an interview tomorrow at Moses Brown, a groovy little Quaker school hereabouts. True, I'm not Quaker myself, but if I had to be Christian, I'd want to be a Quaker. They're kinda chill about things in general (or, at least, that's how Quakerism seems to manifest at this school). And they make some damn fine oats. Plus, the job would only be for a half year, so even if I get it, I'm not sure I'd do it.

The Mother says she's sending a big box of snacks my way. This is very good, because snacks are in short supply in my home.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Lazy bosses and bad games

So I finished reading and commenting upon those papers I mentioned. Yesterday, I was supposed to arrange a time to meet with the prof. and give them to her. I called and left a message, and she never called back. I tried calling a few more times, and still nada. This is not the first time this has happened. She must be either extremely forgetful or extremely lazy. Well, it ain't my problem...

Also have been playing the latest installment of Lara Croft's adventures called "Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness". Eidos marketed this one as been revolutinary and stuff. Well, it is different from the previous TR games, but it still bites. In fact, it's probably worse than any other game ever made by Eidos. The control scheme is so counter-intuitive, it's like Lara is going on strike and won't do anything you tell her until you stop masturbating to photoshopped naked pictures of her. Not that I do that, you understand. It's a general protest. In short, don't get that game. It sucks.

Had a dream I was in Star Wars: Episode III. And it didn't suck. That's how I knew it was a dream.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Let me stick your flex pipe in my fender

Tried to get the ol' car inspected today. They said my flex pipe is broken. $160 for a new one. They also said I need to repair a hole in my fender, but I'm sure a change in diet and exercise will fix that right up.

Still no news on the job front ... It's the wait that kills ya. In the mean time, I do have the TA duty of reading a bunch of papers and commenting upon them. The highlights so far: I read a paper by an English MAT (that is, an MAT who is getting certified to teach English at the secondary level) that had a ton of grammar errors and was just poorly written overall. Kind of shocking, actually. I think he just didn't proofread. Another guy handed in two pages with 6-point font, claiming he wanted to "save paper". Here's a tip: double-sided printing. It's not that hard to figure out.

It's raining today, and I've developed a sudden urge to see Star Trek: Nemesis. But I'm holding back.

And going along with the sexually-suggestive nature of the title of this post, check this out. Whould've thunk it?

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

I'm a sweaty sonuvabitch

I was a Caesarian birth -- because my mother liked that hairstyle.

Actually, that's just a line from one of the funniest damn shows to ever grace the airwaves, The Kids in the Hall. Oh, how I miss the days when Comedy Central would show not one but two whole episodes back-to-back starting at 2:00 P.M. Now they only show it at 2:00 A.M., and even then only sporadically. It's a sad, sad state of affairs.

On the brighter side, I now have food again. Had me some rice & beans last night. Mmm mmm good.

It's fucking hot up here. Actually, I guessed it cooled down a bit today. But, that sucked. I have discovered the joys of taking very cold showers and letting my fan dry me off. That's as close as I'll get to a/c.

Well, I'm gonna go see if I can fly, er whatever.

Monday, July 07, 2003

The land of the free and the home of my girlfriend

Just returned from a sojourn at my girlfriend's house in Connecticut. Very swank. Lots of food. I'll miss that. The original plan was for me to stay one night because her sister and brother-in-law were going to stay there over the weekend and there wasn't enough room in the house for all of us. But then they only stayed two hours. Go fig.

Right now I'm in a public computer cluster, and there's a kid at the computer next to me watching something and laughing loudly. Meanwhile, five people are waiting for a free computer. He should really respect other people and restrict his computing to essential business ... like updating one's Blog, for instance.

Still have no food. To the store tomorrow, or else I may have to eat my own hand. Or my roommate's hand. Whatever.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Wham bam get the hell out

That was what my interview was like. They were having a day of interviews and had one scheduled every twenty minutes (I know because I saw the schedule). They asked me eight questions and said "get the hell out". In so many words. So, in short, I don't know what to make of that.

In the meantime, I have no food. I have been too lazy to go to the store. Don't worry, mom, I'm not starving. I've been foraging for nuts and berries. And I killed the neighbor's cat. Well, not really.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003


Got an interview tomorrow at Feinstein, a groovy site-based managed school in Providence. It's a Providence public school, but without all the evil that goes into being part of the Providence Public School district. Still waiting to hear from the Parker folk. Man, that job would be mega-sweet. Working with Ted Sizer is as close as I'll ever get to hanging out with a rock star.

In other news, my roommate is a bitch because he never does his damn dishes. Heads will roll.