Friday, 10 December 2010

7 Quick Takes (68)

1. On Saturday I took part in a symposium for my Asian Canadian Studies class. It was a joint symposium with students from our class and from a University of Simon Fraser class similar to ours. We had it at the Harbour Centre in four panels. It was surprisingly professional and there were apparently people from the actual feild present. That could have been intimidating. It was a bit odd, giving a paper on a topic in a field of which I am not a part. It was also odd because my paper was in many ways a religious studies-literary analysis cross over, which makes things difficult because I cannot gauge how the other participants will understand the terminology I am using. This came out especially when one student came to me afterwards suggesting I use the word "spirituality" instead of "religion" in some of the instances in my paper. This seemed to be a silly distinction to me; I fully recognize that some people prefer one term over the other, but in the sort of RELS circles at Queen's of which I was minorly a part, that seems like a bizarre and arbitrary distinction. Anyway, it was great if a little intimidating, I had fun, and I learned a lot. Afterwards we went out for drinks and a great time was had by all.
(This may be excessive detail about the symposium, I realize; I feel like I should explain what it looked like for whatever non-academic readers I may have. It was also the first time I took part in a symposium, so it may be appropriate to explain it here.)

2. At church there was a Christmas bazaar, at which I bought some jams from a fellow named John. These jams were as follows: blackberry pineapple; rhubarb; tayberry. So far I have sampled the first, and it is wonderful.

3. On Tuesday I went to the English Graduate Department Masquerade Party. It was enjoyable. Beforehand (Monday) a friend and I went to Dressew to buy masks and I went to get a white shirt. It turned out that my white shirt may have been a little too big, which is a shame. Most of us had a lot of fun, though. (I feel like this entry should be bigger, but unless you know the people who went I don't suppose there'd be any reason for it to be that long.)

4. Oh, also on Tuesday I had an interview about diversity issues in TAing. That was productive, insofar as it got me thinking more about lesson planning for students of assorted diversities. I must try to apply some of these ideas to future classes.

5. On Wednesday I had a hours-long run-around in the assorted Chapters downtown. It's a long story, which I won't tell here, but I must say that the Chapters staff I encountered were very friendly and helpful, and that I don't think I shall ever be distressed about spending time in bookstores. This is also significant because all of this going downtown has made me far more comfortable with both the downtown space itself and the transit system.

6. On Thursday I invigilated two three-hour exams back-to-back. That was exhaustingly tedious, but fairly good for getting work done. Afterwards some of the other TAs and I went for sushi and talked about literature and literary studies. Go figure.

7. Today I had class, which is unusual because classes ought to be over by now. Completely unrelated to this, I also really like this:

Please go see more of this genre at Jennifer Fulwiler's blog!

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