Archive for January 23rd, 2013

A few updates…

I have been doing some behind the scenes stuff recently, so here’s a little bit to catch you up:

I’ve finished prepping the Music Video Monday entries through April… some good stuff, and plenty of throwbacks peppered with some newer music.

I’ve started trying to make a serious push to clear my “drafts” queue, which is going to explain a few of the “old news” pieces that will be popping up in the next couple of days…

Yes, one of those entries includes thoughts on Lance’s admissions from last week. Those thoughts are more complex than just a knee-jerk brush off, which is part of why it’;s taken a little time to put them in order.

In the academic arena, I regret to inform you, dear readers, that I have not made it through the first round of screening for a Fulbright grant. (If you recall from here, the goal for the scholarship would have been for funding the first year in Scotland for the PhD. I can’t say I’m not surprised, I sent in what I had but was still missing a couple of reference letters that hadn’t arrived by the time I had to finalize the application.)

In other academic news, my contractual commitment for pages this term runs around 80 – around 20k words for those wanting to run numbers (assuming 250 words per page). Personally, I am aiming to finish a draft of the novel by June (when the assigned mentor is slated to change), even if I only share the first 100-ish of those pages with my critique group. More on the novel later…

But, that’s it… still here, still working, and trying to bring you more stuff.

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SHU WPF: 2013 Jan Residency (Day 3)

Day 3 was a Monday.

Part of the SHU WPF experience is a “Teaching” class, which carries with it a follow-up requirement of leading an hour-long presentation during the following residency. Those “student teaching” modules are conducted as part of the Workshop rotation, and are assigned to all of the students except the 1’s/first termer’s. (To clarify – anyone that is a 2 or higher gets assigned to one of the “student teaching” sections, each section being run by 3 people. This time, there were six possible sections where someone could have been placed.) My assignment to experience the student teaching was here.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the greatest (as a whole). There were moments where I felt like either the person presenting was just phoning it in (since planning a module is a “required element”), or they felt passionate about their topic but it just didn’t connect with me. Maybe it was slight dleep deprivation starting to take its toll. I heard mixed reviews from other people sitting in other sections with similarly mixed reviews – some of the presentations were great, others, not so much. Which, I guess, is likely to happen anywhere.

After a lunch intended for critique groups to taslk and plan for the coming term, it was off to the afternoon module: Setting and Research (one of the required/pre-assigned sessions). The session itself was good, but I’m too far removed now to articulate specific high points.

That evening, I sat in for two more thesis readings before leaving campus for “evening activities,” chief among them being the SF/Fantasy dinner before going back to the hotel.

The SF/Fantasy dinner was unique in that there was a “reading contest” (selection or story of under 1000 words). There were about 14 people reading (including myself – I read my “Horror that is Thursday” story from Viable Paradise, to generally positive reviews) out of over 40 people that were there.

Then it was back to the hotel to recover an prep for the next day – and the guest speaker presentations.

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The Baumgartner Jump

While this is generally old news, the jump that Felix Baumgartner did last year still merits a few considerations.

First, I think it’s important to remember that (for now), the event was a fluke. Don’t get me wrong, I think the fact that he did it is great, but it is important to remember that he is a very experienced jumper. Some of the moments during the jump where he goes into a spin… someone less experienced may not have been able to recover.

With that said, I hope there was a good amount of data that was able to be gleaned from his experience. One of the things I read back when it was happeneing was that he had been linked to one of the Columbia astronauts and was thus motivated by that. Regardless of accuracy of those claims, anything that might lead to improvements in astronaut safety/survivability is a good thing.

Now, in case you missed it, here’s a full clip of the jump.


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