New semester adjustments:
- There’s some new kind of antivirus apps on the uni PCs. They do such lovely things as prevent you installing the apps you need and nobody else needs, like apps that play both sound and subtitled for ripped DVDs that have not been released in Asia. There’s a workaround, sort of. But I hope it stays worked around long term. There’s some kind of SQL thing running on all the PCs too, and you can’t log out of it without a password of some kind. Ack!
- I’m trying to slow down my speech again. Having been out of country so much, I’ve slipped back into normal anglospeak, which means more liasons and less space between words, some slang, and so on. I keep catching myself after only a few sentences, and backtracking.
- I haven’t lectured much before. Three of my courses are starting out with lectures. Two of them will rapidly turn into a discussion/analysis and other neat stuff course, but the third one will keep involving lectures for a lot of the semester. Students will do some discussion and so on, and wil do their own presentations on topics of their choice, but I’m gonna be lecturing them regularly, or so I think right now. Which is cool, but man does it take time to prepare for a two hour lecture. I’m definitely keeping my notes on file.
- I’m not allowed to sit so much at one time without a break. Which is a big adjustment. When you sit for too long at one time, and you are prone to prostatitis, you get a vvveeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrry bad feeling. So I’m trying to intersperse sitting with doing other things like cleaning up, cooking, stretching, going for walks. It’s probably good for me, but it’s frustrating not to be able to sit and write for three hours straight anymore.
- There are a lot of Chinese students on campus this semester. Suddenly. I think some new exchange program has started. Tsingtao University seems to be involved in a lot of them — they’d been angling to start one with my previous employer, too. Unless that was just a pitch and it never worked out? Anyway, suddenly I have students whose names are hard to say again — they involve tones and stuff! But they seem good-natured kids. It was hilarious to see the differences in opinion between Korean and Chinese students regarding Mao Zedong, let me tell you, but I got off that little land mine as soon as I could. But it’s nice to have people from some other background in the classroom. Kind of like having students from, I don’t know, California and Toronto together, or something. Or students from Germany and Spain together, maybe? You get what I mean.
- I keep getting struck by how poorly air circulation was considered in the construction of all kinds of structures I’m in all the time. Cross ventilation? Hell — how about any ventilation at all? I don’t know, maybe it’s just the weather — which is mild, though still more humid-feeling than I like — but it seems everywhere I go, the air is just stuck in the room, and everyone seems to like it that way but me.
- I’m adjusting to not being able to read solely for my own pleasure and edification anymore. It’s not so bad… I’ve made my way through most of James Baldwin’s remarkable Notes of a Native Son. Hell of a writer, that James Baldwin. It’s alright, not being able to select all my reading on the basis of my random wishes: the Baldwin will come in handy for redrafting something I am going to work on in a while, anyway, and it’s inspired another story idea I’m going to try to get to soon. But I really do want to finish off that superheroes thing. If only the ending wouldn’t evade me so naughtily.
Ah well. Life is all about readjusting and readjusting again. It’s all good. Time to be not sitting again. Think I’ll take out the trash.