Friday, July 02, 2010

Oh hey look! A post!

It's been awhile since I've posted anything here. June got busy. I hit several conventions last month that kept me out on the weekends. The first was OMGCon down in Paducah, KY. This tiny convention had almost nothing of interest for me aside from the costuming competition. I ended up with an award for Best Prop for my Rossiu costume from Gurren Lagann, complete with the Spiral King's head. But other than that, that con was pretty disappointing.

Tokyo in Tulsa, meanwhile, was fantastic. No awards there, but I did get another chance to present my Anime Mythbusters panel. As I got to the room 10 minutes before the panel started, there was already a line down the hall waiting for it. The staff had to switch me to a larger room and there was still standing room only. It went over extremely well. I'll be presenting the panel again at Natsu Con in St. Louis in two weeks!

I also finished up teaching for the semester. Despite all the difficulties teachers face, and the numerous struggles, it's still an amazing and rewarding job. Instead of giving a final test to my Bio I class, I had them do a final paper on their choice of topics from Biotechnology. A few of the papers were absolutely amazing in their level of writing. I had one student that went to primary sources in the journals to get information. Although he didn't understand much of it, the fact that he went so far and was able to get anything was fantastic.

On the other hand, I did have one student that handed in a rough draft for me to review. There were several phrases that sounded far more intelligent that anything I expected from the student. A quick Google search later and I found his primary source. Being that it was a rough draft, I told him to redo it and that plagiarism wasn't acceptable. A second rough draft was handed in a few days later and still, it was 90% copied word for word. Again, I handed it back and told him it would have to be redone. When the final draft came in, it was still so rife with plagiarized material that I gave it a 0%.

This was extremely frustrating because in so many other respects, the student was excellent. Prior to that paper, he maintained high A's. But this lack of academic integrity just destroyed the 4.0 that he had longed for. Oops.

In the meantime, I'm trying to finish up my teaching certification this summers. I've been going through the ABCTE program. As I'd been warned (by my mother who's been in education for most of her life), most of what they have to say is common sense; It's just a matter of learning the buzzwords. Sadly this is rather monotonous and progress has been slow.

I recently finished a new book. I was somewhat disinclined to read anything after that trash by FINIFID but completed The Eerie Silence last night. A review will come as soon as I have time to collect my notes and thoughts.

Anyone remember that Katy Perry parody I posted a link to back in January? Well, they finally got a music video together for it. A few people I know worked on it (Geoff from Naka Kon, and Emery Emery who is married to one of the officers that was in SOMA with me).

Last night I hit a 3D showing of Last Airbender. The show on which the movie was based has been fairly popular at cons, so I figured I might as well watch it since it's available on Netflix's instant streaming queue. So last week I watched the first season and was anticipating the movie. Sadly, it didn't live up to expectations. I'm pretty sure that even seeing the movie first and knowing nothing about the series, the movie would still have been awful. One of the most fundamental conventions in writing is "show, not tell." Events should be witnessed and not just mentioned by characters or the narrator. The movie shucked this and summed up major plot points with little more than a sentence. Much of the character development was treated with the same disrespect. This was absolutely not a movie worth seeing.

Unfortunately, I also missed the midnight showing of the new Twilight movie. I'll still see it because I need the laugh. After how funny the last one was, I expect great things from Eclipse.

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