Saturday, November 21, 2009

It needs to be said

College football is way more fun to watch than grading papers.

I mean I know I'm being paid to do the grading so I better get it done. But some days I wish I taught in a field that only had objective grading. Teaching Math is probably hell, but there is something to be said for homework that only has one right answer and either you get it or you don't.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

Spoiler alert, this story may upset some people (if curiosity got the better of you M. then "hey there!").

So a Friend of Professor Matthew and her wife got a couple of cavies as pets (that's the technical name for guinea pigs. Now you've learned something). And that reminded me of a story from before I was Professor Matthew and was just Youngster Matthew.

The Sisters of Professor Matthew frequently had cavies as pets. So when Middle Sister of Professor Matthew asked for one as a present for her birthday one year, the Official Parents decided that she was old enough to handle the responsibility (which meant that she was old enough that Official Father would not end up doing all of the waste management).

Off to the pet store we went. Official Middle Sister picks one out. It gets brought home and put in a temporary home. We children observe it. Much speculation is made that it is acting odd. But if you've ever had a cavy as a pet you know that pea brained and nervous rodents. How can you describe them anything they do as odd? Odd is standard operating procedure.

Still, this one seemed "Just not quite right."

Next morning Official Older Sister and I are first up. We head to the kitchen for breakfast and also to check on the critter. It is not moving.

OOS: "I think its dead."

Me: "Nah, it's breathing."

"No, it's dead."

"It's asleep."

"You're wrong."

"I'll show you." And with that I scoop it up.

It was stiff. Dead long enough for rigor mortis to set in. I responded with something eloquent like "Glaaaah!" and dropped it.

To this day I will swear that it bounced a little.

For a sense of closure, I'm pretty sure that the corpse was taken back to the store and exchanged for a more "alive" one. I'm not sure if a receipt was necessary.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My life remains odd

So why so few posts posts over the last few weeks? I got busy with real life stuff that would have made for some interesting posts if I could have made time for writing.

There was a Film Seminar on campus that I got busy helping with. I might do a post or link to that soon, still deciding. We had a visit from a different documentary filmmaker, Helen Whitney, that ended up providing me with some good ideas for an upcoming class. The Official Parents of Professor Matthew came to visit for a weekend and we managed to avoid any real fight, only one small loud disagreement that ended quickly. Anyone who knows of my relation the the Official Mother of Professor Matthew should be shocked and amazed by this. Oh, and I presented my research project on porn at an academic conference.

"What's that?" you might be thinking as you read this. "Porn?"

Yes, porn. I have now added Porn to the list of my research topics. You may adjust your disgust or jealousy levels accordingly. Think about how much time and money is spent making and consuming it. And yet not many academics are willing to be associated with researching it and the stigma that it brings.

But I've never been someone who has done the "safe" thing. Or the "intelligent" thing for my "career." I'm not great at avoiding being an "embarrassment" to "myself" and "others."

Three of the many odd realizations you have when you are looking at pictures of naked people for a living:

It becomes work! Sure, it's better than grading lousy student papers. But it is weird when you attach a sense of responsibility to nudity.

You reach a point when you think you are getting boring or monotonous wanting to talk about your conclusions with people. "Hey, you wanna know what else is fascinating about porn? No? You're leaving? Okay, maybe we can talk about it later...."

I started to get very paranoid while analyzing the photos that I would come across someone I knew. Luckily I did not. Oddly, I did find out I have friends who do know people who have posed for or photographed porn.

I have future research ideas, so I'm not done with the topic. Professionally that is.

And what do you want to bet that I get at least one or two extra hits from this post and that those people are upset when they realize what I'm actually writing about.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I didn't know

I realize I got way distracted by work but I didn't realize it had been almost two months.

Sad that one of my students actually pointed this out to me.

As a way to make it up to you with something funny, here is a link to a hilarious explanation of independent film-making, courtesy of the brilliant minds over at Homestar Runner. Amazingly enough, my college blocks access to this site. Maybe they are worried that students will get too distracted if they are exposed to too much funny business. Or that they'll consider doing something creative. I have no idea myself.

Tomorrow perhaps I'll put up a post about what I'm planning on working over the semester break.

If anyone is still out there and interested that is.