keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Recently I attended a speech given by the Rev. Dr. John Polkinghorne, a world-renowned English particle physicist and Anglican priest. It was a great experience and I'm posting my notes here, typed in paragraph form.

And my personal opinion: I really enjoyed Dr. Polkinghorne's speech and the ensuing discussion, although I don't agree with many of his views. Though in my opinion he sidestepped the thrust of several audience questions, I'm very glad that I attended the seminar because it was an eminently worthwhile experience.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Both of these were read for English class. Just some notes and thoughts.

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation
by Seamus Heaney (trans.)
213 pages (trade paperback)
Genre: Poetry/Literary/Historical

I really like Heaney's translation, though Kennedy's strict adherence to the poetic structure is attractive. Here though, Heaney's voice shines through as he becomes the unnamed poet and writer of Beowulf.  (It was amusing when we did the scansion exercise and people were tapping or clapping out the rhythm and still getting it wrong.) I'm rarely in a poetry-reading mood, and it was a pain to read this as assigned for class when I yearned for some decent action prose, but that reflects not at all on the actual merits. The version I read had side-by-side Old English and modern translation, which was nice for linguistic curiosity.

For the record, I still think that Grendel was a real monster, not a metaphorical fear; he was probably a human outcast from the community, and exaggerated in the tale. Which brings me to...

by John Gardner
174 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Fiction/Literary/Historical/Post-Modern

In this novel, the idea of the Shaper really resonated with me. The Shaper makes Grendel more monstrous and the Danes more heroic; yet, he is the sole recorder of their society's history, as keeper of their oral tradition. His words change the meaning of the world for Grendel. And personally, I believe that words create (not only express, but create) meaning. The nihilism lesson was also mildly interesting, if sometimes only skim-worthy. It's a short novel and plays with intriguing ideas of structure and metastructure.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
The way things are working out, I'm going to have two essays and all the research for a 5-10 page research paper due the Monday right after Confluence. Woe. I meant to start the narrative essay yesterday, but I can't think of an awkward situation that would make a good essay. Class is at the main campus library tonight, so I'll get preliminary research done; and hopefully I can work something out with the professor regarding the essays. Got almost all the reading done, at least.

Still need to pack for Alpha, likely tonight at 10:30 or some other ungodly hour because I can't get anything done during the day due to my (three-year-old) sister. Did all my digital "packing" aka file transfer. Still have three Alpha stories to read and informally critique, but that's not priority.

Also, via [personal profile] yhlee, helpful hint for the colorblind: BE LESS BLIND. An insightful post on racism.

Engl. 101

Jul. 10th, 2007 02:27 pm
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Yesterday was my first class for the English 101 course I'm taking, Composition & Critical Thought. The professor is funny and engaging; we're writing a research paper, but we get to pick any illustration from the main textbook to research/analyze. The textbook, Seeing and Writing 3 by Donald and Christine McQuade, is wonderful. I think the course will be challenging but doable, which is a great combination. It's every Monday and Wednesday evening, so another class tomorrow. The prof handed out a great essay by Zoe Ingalls, "The Discipline of the Hand," on which we're to write a comparison essay (drawing vs. writing) due next week. The essay/article concerns sketching, but the essential principles can be applied to both critical and creative writing.

"It's like dancing," [Ms. Gussow] says. "When you are truly dancing, you don't consider each movement that you are making. Something impels you--the rhythm of the music, the rhythm of your body. I think that when you draw rapidly, a similar instinctual movement opens up."

Profound, indeed.


Feb. 28th, 2007 10:06 pm
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
I'm so tired, it's not even funny. Staring at the computer screen for 4 hours does that to you. Glad I don't have any pressing homework. Don't know what the hell I'm going to do if this ends up printing wrong.

Waiting for groupmate to finish editing articles and email them to me so I can put them into the Publisher document. Therefore, too tired to write in non-fragments.

But, going off to play Achaea now. Yay.


Feb. 2nd, 2007 01:53 pm
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
I've barely thought about Alex recently, much less written any more of her story. My writing has been more and more neglected--I haven't even gotten around to finishing book reviews for LJ. I owe two banners to various friends, promises I made a month ago, and I don't remember when I last opened Photoshop. I just found a great resource for movies, but am putting off downloading because I know it's just a time drain. I always end up putting LJ reading and Achaea before everything else. Homework gets done, of course.
Life is...tiring.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Went to the book sale today! The science fiction section was woefully tiny (encompassing fantasy), but I find a few worthwhile books to buy. I was tempted by a few thick volumes by David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, and Marion Zimmer Bradley, but I've read enough negative reviews of them to resist.

However, I did buy both volumes of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, which was recommended to me a while back. It's interesting so far, though the style is rather formal and sometimes questions aren't marked with a question mark. Was the work translated?

Also bought Dorothy L. Sayers's The Nine Tailors and Agatha Christie's Nemesis, though I discovered later that I've already read the latter. Plus a little booklet of Japanese Buddhist paintings, which will be useful for wallpapers and textures. All in all, I got 3 hardcovers and 2 paperbacks for $4 total. Not a bad deal!

Then worked in the premium books section for two hours volunteering, reorganizing books. I now hate James Patterson, John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark, and a lot of other prolific authors; but most of all, Danielle Steel. Stop writing books, woman! It was really fun, though. I'm definitely doing it again next year!
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Thanks so much, [profile] overflood! I love it. El-jay!

So, today I discovered that Hotmail appends ADVERTISEMENTS at the bottom of every email. WTF?!? I'm seriously considering switching to Gmail now, for everyday use as well as archive. Arg.

And I still have a lot of section reviews to do, it's 9:36 and I'm tired, but instead of doing my homework I'm downloading fsts. XD
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Whee! Dad bought a new laptop yesterday, and it's newly up and running right now. Turns out we do have a microphone, apparently (as well as a webcam), so maybe I'll make a voicepost sometime. Tomorrow I really need to work on my English project though -- writing my commercial analysis speech and then memorizing it. Oh, the fun.
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)

I'm supposed to be typing up my English essay draft right now, but I just wasted an hour catching up on LJ. Ah well. For a list of favorite books:

Any book recommendations? I can't promise that I'll read it for a few months, considering the size of my to-read list (only somewhere around 70-80 novels...).

keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Have about 10 min before dinner to do the first part of my English essay outline; the essay is worth 100 pts, about 40% of the marking period grade. A "multi-paragraph expository narrative essay" about a significant experience/moment in my life that changed me. So basically, a life-defining moment. Unfortunately, I can't think of any good instances that I could stretch to 4-5 pages double-spaced and for which I can remember decent sensory details. My memory sucks.

Reading over that last paragraph, it's incredibly ranty. Oh well. Anyway, if anyone can go through my memory through osmosis and help me out, that'd be great. [/despairing-sarcasm]


Sep. 28th, 2006 08:38 pm
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Photoshop is stressful, not stress-relieving. Ignore whatever [profile] tiger_san says. XD Spent like two hours this afternoon working on a photo-manip wallpaper (admittedly, it's taking a lot longer because it's my first photo-manip ever), and I'm not done yet. Just realized that I'm probably going to use a different image for the background, so that's an hour's work wasted. But I'm satisfied with the coloring I did on the model, changing the silver headpiece to gold/copper and the dress from gray to green.

I'm not even going to think about the other afternoon I spent extracting and smudging the model photo, my eyes hurt just thinking about it. This wallpaper is definitely the most time-consuming Photoshop work I've done. I'm thinking like 6-8 hrs already, and I'm only halfway finished. Not counting time spent on deviantART and stock.xchng browsing for stock photos, because I got distracted a lot. Which might not be a good thing, because today I found a beautiful set of photos that might work better than the aspen trees I have already.

Note to self: Experiment with adding pillar? It'd be another couple hours of work smudging and extracting, and not sure if I can blend it in convincingly. Need to find decent grunge brushes, too. Small grunge brushes. Try not to overwork the brushing, like Tian's example that inspired me in the first place. And figure out how to hide the feet.

Oh yeah, random fact: Mr. Biehl, a math teacher at Charter (though not mine), writes for the television show Num3ers and thus is kind of obsessive over it, I heard. 

Wow, this was a really ranty post. And here's more ranting: I've got a page and a half of population statistics to memorize for an ISS (social studies) test on Monday. Bleh. At least there's no school tomorrow... Stopping now, because my eyes are sore.


Sep. 22nd, 2006 04:28 pm
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)

*sigh* Working on so much stuff right now, though not half as much as [personal profile] afuna. On the computer right now for homework, but I couldn't resist the lure of LJ. Made a DeviantArt account yesterday, same alias. Interesting site.


Aug. 29th, 2006 04:47 pm
keilexandra: (canada)
Finished writing a poem for school, then realized that it doesn't exactly fit the teacher's requirements. Mrs. Hollstein seems to be a sort of liberal teacher, but who knows? It's due Thursday, so I'll ask her about my poem today and finish the mini-project tomorrow. (I call it a mini-project because we have to decorate the poem and add a photo of ourselves, too.)
Myself )

I'm not satisfied with it, but I can't change the weird parts without violating the outline even more.


Aug. 28th, 2006 03:45 pm
keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)
Arg, I had so much stuff that I wanted to say concerning the past two days I wasn't able to get on the computer, and now I've forgotten all of it. So guess I'll just talk about school.

First day of school today, though not a full day. We got off at 12:45, and dismissal is at 12pm for the rest of the week. I actually made several new friends, amazingly. Jenny, Kelly, Neilemina (definitely not spelled right), and Meg. They're all in my homeroom, since all we did today was go around with our HRs and see various orientations/presentations. Lunch was confusing, because it was out in the courtyard and there were like tons of people milling around, but I got to talk to friends from chinese school -- (another) Jenny, Jess; Linda and Carolyn too, I guess. Jenny L. got Creative Writing as her elective, I'm so jealous! Though I was sort of hoping to get Band this year anyway, so I could try out for All-State. I want to take Shakespeare Studies sometime too, it sounds cool and the teacher is really nice. Tomorrow we're going to walk around to all our classes. I've got 4 periods with Jenny B. and two with Jenny L. (confusing, I know), and hopefully some with Ponni and Tori.

Tori H. is on my bus!!! *cheer* She moved to Thornberry. Ponni's on my bus too; hehe, she tried to teach me how to solve the Rubix Cube and I failed miserably. She says she can solve it in 1 minute if she concentrates, and watching her hands move, I believe her.


keilexandra: Adorable panda with various Chinese overlays. (Default)

January 2011



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios