3.31.2008

Ben and Matt BLOWING UP!



Look at this YouTube business. IIUM/KUS is featured (at slot #3) in the company of none other than Adventure Time! Rock on!

Keep doing what you're doing guys.

PS- I have the feeling a rabid fan may have just uploaded a RDCCDX AMV. Just a hunch.

EDIT: In the time since I posted this IIUM has been boosted to #2 featured video. Just peep the front page of YouTube.

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3.17.2008

Older, Crazier, but still not entirely wrong...

George Carlin:



via Pharyngula

3.15.2008

Graduation

So I wrote an angry post before. It's kinda hard to write anything but angry posts at this point in my tenure, but I've got something else to cover.

Yesterday my 3rd years graduated. Whatever that means, because I'm pretty sure about half of them couldn't have had more than about a 50% GPA by American standards. Oh well.

At graduation they were perfect little angels, but for the last two years they've been a pain in my (and every other teacher's) ass. They're obnoxious, rude, and seem to actively try not to learn anything. It's been tough.

However as I said goodbye to them yesterday, and actually experienced a positive outpouring of emotion so rare in Japan, I was reminded of all the good times we've had together. We've shared very brief, very simple conversations in English. Mostly about the size of my penis or the color of my pubic hair (boys) or if I've done my girlfriend recently or which 3rd year girl would I like to have sex with (girls)...but conversation nonetheless.

Most importantly, however, I was reminded of one big thing. I was reminded that each and every one of those little shits is exactly what I love(d) about youth. They're rebellious, angry, cocky, alive... how can I fault them? The truth is I don't. It took me until now to realize it, but they're what kids really need to be. Untrusting of adults, willing to experiment and test boundaries. They're EXACTLY what kids need to be, especially in Japan.

Now if they'd had a bit more of a penchant for study of course I'd be happier, but I'd just finished with having almost an entire class of punks (in one form or another), and that made be incredibly proud and happy.

Too bad I had to play the role of their "man" too long to figure this all out...

3.13.2008

For when people ask me "Why are you so angry all the time?"

Yesterday I was sitting in the staff room. Lunch had just finished and I was waiting around for cleaning time. A guy came in, I think he sells sports equipment, and he was talking to the accounts guy. Then the accounts guy had to run out to talk to some maintenance people. That left me and a guy who has absolutely no relationship to the school in the room. I was sitting behind my desk, reading something.

At that moment an older lady comes in, probably someone's mother. She pops her head in the room asking for the accounts guy. She has something for him. As I start speaking the words to tell her that he's not in at the moment, but that I can get him if she waits a minute. This women looks at me, decides I'm not worth it, panics...and then to put the cherry on top the sports equipment guy begins to talk over me and tell her that he has no idea where the accounts guy is, that he his waiting for him also.

I wanted to fucking kill somebody.

I simply got up and went to get the accounts guy. I knew where he was, I wasn't so fucking retarded as to miss the fact that the printer repairman had been through ten minutes before. They'd be at the end of the hall, in the copy room. I knew that because I fucking work at the school.

I tried not to show how visibly steamed I was, so I went to take a walk to calm down. As I was walking by the lady pops her head around the corner. She says thank you. I couldn't really help myself, so I replied in perfect Japanese..."I'd like to reply, but I don't understand a word of Japanese"...and kept walking. We were supposed to be having a ceremony in the gym, so I headed there. Only there were no people. Come to think of it, it had been odd that no one was in the staff room in the first place.

I went back to ask the accounts guy..."Where is everyone?"

"Oh, you didn't know. They changed the ceremony to the big gym across the street?"

Of course I didn't know. And everyone had got up and left the room without so much as a "Hey Darrell, let's shake a leg."

I can't believe I have to be here for another four and a half months.

3.05.2008

RIP Gary Gygax

I know this is late but it took me a little while to think of the right thing to say. Here it is:

I was probably about eleven or twelve. I was on summer vacation. I was a half-elf cleric and I'd just helped my companions dispatch a group of goblin scouts. I was on the top of the world.

Coming from other games I wrestled with the rules. Character creation must be like science, because there's so many damn pages about it. I didn't want to get it wrong. I wanted to play the game correctly.

I don't even remember who the master of our little dungeon was. He saw the fun in it though. He made us think and react, he made us play the role. At first I saw my actions as silly, I couldn't fit them into the context of the game. I needed a piece to represent me, a map to orient me. It embarrassed me to think like my character could be a real person.

The DM laid the plot, we spent time in a rural hamlet acquiring supplies. Chatting to the locals. My mind began to change. We set off for the cave, unsure of what we'd find. Treasure. Goblins. Glory?

Then it happened. By a cave in the woods. Goblins ambushed us from all sides. We fought valiantly, bravely. I used my holy spells to alleviate the wounds of my comrades, who, so green, perched perilously close to death with each blow exchanged. I let go of the rules. I let my mind take over.

I was there. I was there on that day and I fought the goblins. I didn't talk about it, I didn't work it out on graph paper or roll any dice. I was there in the sweat and sting of battle, concerned that my first flighty adventure may well be my last.

The dust cleared. We had been victorious, if only barely. It taught us to be careful. To think before we acted. Of course the goblins would be expecting us on the path to the cave...it seemed so clear now. No fool would have done what we did in the real world.

I steeled my resolve and pressed on. This was my world. And, besides, they now knew we were coming...