Sometimes ya see a girl and ya can't think of a song to go with her, you know?
The girl with the brown eyes, who both Chris and Ryan agree are awesomely captivating, to those other gals I myself am particularly fond of.
I'm actually on what I think is part of a cycle. For all my noble intentions, I'm really come in a circle to what I have at times considered an inferior way of regarding things. I'm in geek mode. My concerns are more with my intellect, and less with others, particularly women. I like them certainly, but am doing little to encourage anything to happen there.
This time around though, I enjoy it more. I'm more conscious and more in control of my own geekitude. As I see things warrant, I can change that aspect of my personality as I deem fit. Though change is not always easy.
While it is dizzying to look back at oneself in such a way, it does feel empowering. Like I've risen somewhat above the foibles that plague many people.
and of course, the trade-off being that I'm also deluding myself, becoming overly self-confident, creating my own foibles to replace the ones I've overcome. And of course, being on what I might figure to be a different level, that just means fewer people to understand.
Chill out Dannyman, you're getting to be a weird mother fucker!
Sometimes gotta slap oneself around some.
Alright, I'll try to trip back to reality some. Where's that tether?
Today my name tag read;
Dannyman The Ever Merciful
I went to DCL to serve as a "greeter" but as everyone was in seminars anyway, it was a pretty unrequired job. Ah well, I hung out in the atrium, wolfing down free food and bullshittin' with numerous computer geeks. It felt homey.
I am frustrated that William Labov need serve something of a role-model to me. It seems like something everyone should know.
'Twas Thursday in English 381 when we were discussing this article, which I didn't read, about "Inventing the University" - something us students do when asked to write in unfamiliar academic styles.
Being a class full of English teachers, they seemed all worried about this one guy, who when asked to write about something creative he did and why it is creative, wrote two paragraphs talking about how once he wore his socks different, and several of his football team members went along. The second paragraph stated a plain definition of creativity relevant to the example he provided.
This was not compared favorably with another gal who got all introspective and whatnot about what creativity was, and whether things she had done were creative or not. It was felt that for a placement exam for judging writing that her answer was superior.
As an event of communicative discourse though, the two served well different purposes. The jock's answer was a quick, clear, and easy answer to a specific question. The second was more mumble-jumble which is quite insightful if you've got the attention span to spare.
The girl's piece was written in more sophisticated academic jargon, the jock's piece was written in plain English. The first guy introduced, even before the jock, wrote about something creative he did, employing Academic jargon inappropriately, which really messed up his main point.
See, all these English teaching students who I have class with, they were all worried that students would do badly if they ended up not being able to speak academicese well, and suitably went about worrying over the ends of college preparation that students might receive in high school.
I, being the flaming liberal that I am, got pissed off at the institution of prescriptivist practices. I mean, it's a University for crying out loud! I think if a student can write clearly, in plain language, and express their points thusly, well good for them!
One concern is that each academy in the University has its own stylistic conventions, what is good academic writing. English different from Math different from Linguistics, different from Anthropology Sociology Law Psychology you name it!
And you'd think a TA or professor should be able to understand an argument with which they are familiar, even if it is stated in plain language.
see, it takes time to acquire these skills ya know? I think it inappropriate to expect from an Undergraduate that on top of going through the effort of constructing sophisticated arguments in a field of study different from their own, that they also adopt the pedagogical conventions of what is for them, a foreign language variety. (I suppose if one subscribe to the idea that "Ebonics" is a foreign language then that in fact different conventions of academic discourse may well be separate languages. Maybe then the LAS foreign languages requirement could be fulfilled through interdisciplinary coursework!)
Being the snots that we University people are, plain language is discriminated against not so much because it may be inferior, or not as well-suited to discussing really heady topics of academics, but in large part because it is a different variety, the perception of which being that it is inappropriate, or inferior. In writing in plain English, one is in a way writing in a manner which challenges convention. It reminds me of Thomas Kuhn and all that crap about how an intellectual academy has inertia which will encourage irrational hostility to new ideas. Plain language is a sign of a challenge to convention as it is not the local variety. Those who have developed the discourse conventions of the community have a vested interest in maintaining those discourse conventions because they not only developed, but are accustomed to and familiar to them.
My God this argument is so "out there" that it's difficult to express.
It's 0200h - I think I'll sleep on this and try to express myself better in the morning.
I'm still up catching up on Alethea's journal, and Emily is in eyeshot, giggling and laughing periodically - I guess she's conversing with someone over the computer. She seems happy and enjoying herself. She is prettier then. I think I just like Emily though 'coz I can identify with her geek nature.
Just thought I'd share.
Still not gone to bed yet. Still reading, still vicariously enjoying whatever is making Emily happy.
I think I identify with Alethea some. I read stuff in journals sometimes that is all-too-true.
Journal as substitute confidante.
Yes, for me. I've never had intimate friends. Maybe it makes more more willing to share with a girlfriend. (If you have sexual intimacy, you damn well better have intellectual or emotional intimacy. It can be a lot to bare between people sometimes. I get frustrated when someone like that seems to be holding back. mom gets frustrated with me and my lack of emotional outbursts. Well, sometimes overbaring of anything is a lot ... moderation is key, but not for you, for whomever your receptor is here. I dare say this journal is perhaps overbearing for most readers, though more often intellectually as I squeeze forth complex yet underexplained ideas?)
So yeah, I never have confidantes. I tell myself my secrets, work out those questions by committee decisions ... now I also have my journal. Diversification and all.
Alethea sees a possibly upsetting trend where she's less social than she used to be, more wrapped up in her journal and the whole online journal thing. My concerns are similar, but different. For me, the journal is a definite positive. I'm a geek anyway - better I should be baring myself than something more antisocial. I'm climbin' on up - for Alethea, or a normal people, maybe things are more negative? I dunno, addictions addictions ...
the day before she writes;
I just had a realization, albeit a pretty obvious one. It's related to that whole thing about if you don't "have a life" how can you write about it. For me, the city provides a whole life in of itself. It doesn't mean that I don't aspire to more of a life than that but, if your brain needs a kick start, all you have to do is look around. There are hundreds of people, everywhere, most of whom I've never seen before, most of whom are so completely unlike the people I grew up with, and unlike each other.
And, this may sound silly, but I've come to enjoy my daily commute. I don't think it's any accident that I've settled into writing on the subway. I'm both in the middle of things and in my own little world. After a day at home, my thoughts get so inward I don't know what to do with myself.
Yeah. That's why I like the CTA. That's why I like being a city kid. You ride the bus and the El, you see people. All sorts of people. All shapes, sizes, habits, languages, you name it. It makes you reverent toward the awesome power of society. There is just so many of us!
One time working at Jewel, where I bagged groceries, I looked around, and had a weird sense that I was on "Deep Space 9" surrounded by all manner of aliens speaking strange languages.
New york, is another place that I might like to live. California, I dunno, but something about this rap song I heard earlier tonight .. "California ... something something ... the city of Watts, the city of Compton ..." ... all parts of the great Los Angeles megalopolis. It struck me as friendly. Like I'm from Chicago. I went to school in Lincoln Park, and also near the Gold Coast, Magnificent Mile, Rush Street ... but I live in Rogers Park - and no, none of these places are Suburbs, though 773 Ameritech may want us to think otherwise.
Chicago, my home town.
To bed with you Dannyman!
"How can you speak of love to a woman," she asked me early in our courtship, "who feels that it would be just as well if nobody had babies anymore, if the human race did not go on?"
"Because I know you don't really believe that," I replied. "Ruth--look at how full of life you are!" It was true. There was no movement or sound she made that was not at least accidentally flirtatious--and what is flirtatiousness but an argument that life must go on and on and on?
And of course, that passage was an argument to write to Linda Ho. An ex-girlfriend with whom I've recently gained a glimmer of re-established contact with. Her last emails though have been broken, so I figured I'd email her my phone number in case she was quite desirous of contact despite technological impairments.
Linda was my first girlfriend, at 18 years old. She also ... well, it's actually a tough contest, but from what I do know of her, she remains the most complex of any woman I've dated. Like an eternal mystery that I feel I've some right to try my hand at solving because we fell in love with each other once, and at least I don't understand what exactly had happened there.
But I would not overstate my propriety in such a matter. It just would be nice to hear from her again, after ... two and a half years?
It is now Sunday night. Most of this I wrote Friday night. This really should be two separate entries, but I guess you'll have to suffer.
17 October 1997
21 October 1997
H O M E