Cliche enough for ya?

The temperatures around here have been low of late. We’re talking -20s, -30s with the windchill. We’re also talking long-term – it’s been ridiculously cold for about two and a half weeks now.
On the wall outside my office door I have installed a chalkboard for messages, doodles, and so on. Currently, the message at the top of the board asks “What’s your favourite weather cliche?” These are the responses to date:
~ it’s colder than a witch’s tit
~ don’t eat yellow snow
~ it’s so cold I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets
~ it’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey*
~ I’m freezin’ me bunions off
~ cold enough for ya?
~ I’m chilly willy
and the only one related to warm weather:
~ it’s hotter than a whore in church.
*I’ve also been told twice about the actual meaning** of this phrase. I know. Also, when you’re trying to explain something to someone and they stop you to say “I know,” please stop trying to explain it.
**brass monkey = platform for cannon balls. Cold, metal contracts, brass differently from lead, balls fall off. Way funnier (not to mention more indicative of really cold weather) to picture brass simian figure with testicles falling off, first one, then the other, with a small, metallic “ting.”

Oedipus was a M*F*

So I’m teaching this course on playreading – kind of an intro to drama, bit of theatrical history, literary analysis, production, yada, yada, yada. So naturally, we’ve started with Agamemnon and Oedipus.
What is it with these people? If they’re not killing each other, they’re eating each other’s children, baked in a pie. Alternatively, they’re boffing swans, bulls, shafts of golden light, each other, each other’s spouses…
Of course, the real question is, can I justifiably use the title of this post in the classroom?

And the band played on

George W. is in the midst of his second inauguration. Yesterday’s “celebrity-studded, flag-waving extravaganza, “Saluting Those Who Serve,” was a roller-coaster of emotional ups and downs. For instance, “family members of soldiers killed in combat had brief speaking roles, and satellite links enabled U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to participate as well.
This morning, I was woken by the CBC news coverage of this event, including a clip of a young boy, who gave his name, and that of his father, who was killed in Iraq. Call me a cynic, but doesn’t this kind of presentation just feel like blatant propaganda? Bush is just lucky that none of these family members, in their brief speaking roles, chose to say “my dad is dead, and it’s your fault.” Regardless of whether or not one supports the general idea of the War on Terror, using the family members of the dead is nothing short of exploitation. đŸ˜›

Well, what do you know?

One of the on-going assignments I’ll be working on for the course I’m taking is a journal. Apparently, the journal is something I’ll continue working on in subsequent courses.
Our first journal assignment was to write about knowledge – we’ve been talking about the term in class. Some writers in the field of education think of knowledge as the bottom chunk in the Maslow-esque learning pyramid. For instance, one such writer posits that student first know facts, then understand these facts, then apply the facts to given problems in a given context, and finally recognize when the application of these facts is required in a new situation given out of context.
Anyway, for the sake of nothing in particular, I give you my first journal entry…

Continue reading “Well, what do you know?”

Reasons I’m glad I didn’t go into advertising

I occasionally wonder if advertisers are secretly conspiring against their own clients. Maybe these ad firms are really a consortium of anti-consumer granola types whose real mission is to make potential consumers associate negative thoughts and feelings with the hapless producers.
For instance…
Bell Mobility has completely turned me off not only their cellular phone service, but also Stephen Hawking. The recent radio ad campaign features three different versions of the CG voice – one female and two male – engaged in various discussions, arguments, and even romantic banter.
Similarly, Ikea insists on continuing its radio ads featuring a really, really poor facsimile of what I assume someone thinks is a Swedish accent, delivered in a monotone. This particular campaign has been assaulting listeners long enough that Ikea has received complaints – their response to which was to air ads with the same voice, saying things like “some people think my voice is annoying” and then trying out different bad accents, such as Jamaican.
Oh, and thanks to the radio ads for Pharmacie Jean Coutu, Mozart’s Eine Klein Nachtmusik is forever ruined. “You, and you, should go to Jean Coutu.” Yeesh.
And last but not least, it may have been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since I rock and rolled, but I’m still too young for an Oldsmobile, thank you very much.

Life on the other side

In a few minutes, I’m off to school. This week, however, I’m on the other side of the desk. That’s right, the teacher has become the student.
This semester I’m taking the first course in the Performa program, which will eventually lead me to a Master’s in Education (one day, I’ll be a B.A.M.A.M.Ed.). What’s neat about this particular program is that it’s designed and taught by CEGEP teachers, for CEGEP teachers.
Today I get to make a presentation to the class – a concept map on the idea of ‘effective teaching.’ That’s right – I did my homework!
Next week, it’s back to school for real – and this semester, I get to try all my newfangled ideas out on actual students. Muahahaha!