Consequences! Consequences for anyone!

The news has just broken that the sweaty, incoherent, oil-haired ghoul known as Rudy Giuliani has had his home and office raided by the FBI. I am at the point where I just want someone involved with the Previous Administration to go to fucking jail, and I don’t especially care who it is so long as they don’t come back out alive. I want literally anyone from that administration to see some kind of punishment. I don’t even care if it’s legal. The rack. Guillotine. Toss some fucker out of an airplane without a parachute. An Iron Maiden. Public flensing. I don’t care. You may remember that this particular evil motherfucker literally propositioned someone he thought was a teenager for a blowjob on camera fairly recently and absolutely nothing happened to him.

Enough. Hurt one of these motherfuckers. Just pick one.

I quit the IU thing, and I’m about to turn down an offer for a summer school position, mostly because we want to sign the boy up for a bunch of summer camps and I can’t take him to said camps or pick him up from said camps if I’m at a school halfway across the city for six hours a day. The money would be nice (and the IU money would have been nice, and the IU money plus summer school money would have been really nice) but I think I need to prioritize my kid, who has spent most of the last year at home, being outside and interacting with other children. Plus, y’know, if I don’t do summer school, I get June off, and I kinda need to learn calculus this summer so spending this summer teaching myself math might be a good way to spend those hours where he’s at camp.

(Googles “free online calculus course”)

I spent some time at work today going through– not taking, necessarily, just reading through– a practice exam for this test, and the questions fell into two categories: 1) Questions that I knew how to answer immediately, and was 100% certain I would be able to answer correctly, and 2) questions that I didn’t even know how to start, and would have no clue how to answer. Some of those will be easily fixed by some study; one question, for example, began with “Given that A|B,” and that | symbol is not something that is used in eighth grade Algebra and I don’t have the slightest idea what is meant by it. I’m not worried about figuring it out, though, and once I know what A|B means, the problem didn’t look hard. Then there were the multi-part questions where I didn’t know how to do anything, and … well, that might be trickier. There were zero questions that I looked at and thought “I can probably figure that out, if I needed to.” Everything was either “I got it” or complete cluelessness.

I have not, after a day away from the kids, quite recovered my chill. We will see if tomorrow replaces it or not; either way, I’m not working Friday, as my wife is having LASIK surgery and I’ve taken the day off to make sure she gets there and back and has someone around to do shit if she needs it. It won’t be as hot tomorrow either, and I’m always much closer to being human when it’s not hot. This is, now that I think of it, another reason for me to not do summer school, because I’ve worked in the building summer school is in before and I’m pretty sure that I remember it not being fun in June. Tomorrow is the last day of testing and then there’s only, like, seventeen days of school left. I can make it. This ought to be a piece of cake, frankly.

He said.

I do not plan to watch the President’s speech tonight, although I feel like I should. Why? Because the motherfucking thing starts at 9:00 PM, and that means that by the time it’s over and I’m done monitoring Twitter it will be well and truly past my bedtime. Sleepy Joe, my ass. Sleepy Luther can read a transcript tomorrow sometime.


I’m sitting in my classroom right now, typing this on my work laptop, and trying to figure out the next nine weeks of my life. It is possible I have overscheduled myself; I got an email today from this course design thing I’m doing with IU that describes what they think the schedule is going to look like, and it’s … a lot, potentially. Then there’s the new committee I’m on at work, which is a few extra hours after school a week, then (eventually) there’s going to be National Board certification, which is just a meeting here and there right now, but soon I’m going to have to start actually doing stuff for it, and I looked up what the content area test was going to be like the other day and, well …

This is for their adolescent (11-15) Mathematics certification, which is going to be the one I’m going for. I teach Algebra, y’all, and I washed out of Calculus in high school and never looked at it again, but, like, right now I think I want to do the content area test first, and the notion that I need to relearn Geometry, Trig, Discrete Math and Calculus in the next few months when I never really learned Calculus in the first place, plus a refresher on stats?

I mean, on the one hand, at least I have something to do this summer, and on the other hand, I’ve wanted to go back and conquer Calculus, because it’s always sort of stuck in my craw that I bailed on it, and on the third hand, the one I don’t have that’s kind of a lot.

Like, I pass standardized tests. Passing standardized tests is my thing. I’ll be fine. But my studyin’ muscles haven’t really had much of a workout for the last, oh, fifteen years or so– who am I kidding, it’s longer than that, because I’m pretty sure I didn’t have to do a single second of “studying” for my M.Ed– and I’m gonna have to rediscover some skills with a quickness.

Plus, like, even just planning out how to approach all this is intimidating. I’m sure there are plenty of self-paced/free or inexpensive study guides out there, both specifically for this test and for these subjects in general, but that’s basically all of high school math that I need a refresher on plus some stuff I never really touched until college. While designing a course in Quantitative Reasoning for IU, doing whatever I need to do for this other committee, and, oh, teaching the last nine weeks of 8th grade math from school when I haven’t taught physically in my building for literally over a year and figuring out how to keep the kids who are staying home connected to everything else that’s going on.

One step at a time, I suppose.

First step: find a study guide for the test itself; Amazon probably has one. Second step: relearn all of mathematics.

It’ll be fine.

On wanting to know stuff

You may not know this about me: my first semester in college, I was enrolled in an Arabic class. I took Arabic out of pure intellectual curiosity, nothing more; at the time it wasn’t really part of any long-term plan of study or anything like that, it was just as far away as I could get from the languages I’d been offered in high school and it sounded neat. I lasted about three weeks, maybe; it turns out that despite being an excellent student, high school had not taught me to study, and as it happens mastering the Arabic alphabet, which not only has a handful of letters with no English equivalent but where each letter looks different depending on its position in the word– letters that start or end a word look different from letters in the middle, and the primary and final positions look different from each other as well– was more complicated than I could handle at the time. I would eventually fill my language requirement with Hebrew, which isn’t quite as complicated as Arabic, but that was the class that finally taught me to buckle down and study.

I have two big academic failures in my life: Arabic and calculus, and I still want to achieve at least a working knowledge of both before I die. I took calculus my senior year in high school but a bad case of senior burnout combined with a math teacher who was, inexplicably, one of the best math teachers I’d ever had for sophomore Geometry but was utterly unable to reach me for senior Calculus meant that as soon as I was admitted to IU and fulfilled all of my graduation requirements I dropped the class and took an independent study period of Spanish.

Stick a pin in that; we’re gonna take a left turn for a couple of paragraphs.

I’ve never particularly considered myself a weeb– a lifetime of aversion to any sort of Japanese animation not involving Hiyao Miyazaki will kind of nip that in the bud– and while it’s not entirely accurate it’s fair to suggest that the presence of a Japanese voice track on really any form of entertainment is an indicator that I may not be into it. That said, I’ve spent approximately six thousand hours since March playing Nioh and Nioh 2, both Japanese-with-English-subtitles and very loosely based on sixteenth-century Japanese history, and I have sunk a similarly obsessive amount of time into Ghost of Tsushima in the last couple of weeks, which is based on the (real) invasion of Tsushima island by the Mongols in 1274.

And god help me if this hasn’t woken up a previously-nonexistent desire to learn more about Japan.

I keep trying to find a decent English biography of Oda Nobunaga, who appears in both of the Nioh games, and I’m discovering, after spending half of my waking hours listening to people speaking Japanese for five months, a certain interest in learning to at least fumble my way through speaking Japanese. I’m not even sure where to start with that; there are apps and such, but anything reputable is way more money than I’m willing to invest. There are probably some reputable textbooks out there, but I haven’t taken the time to look for them yet.

Which, depending on whether this desire sticks around once I get past these few games, will add another complicated long-term intellectual goal to my list. I feel like I probably ought to get started on at least one of these at some point, right? Which one would you start with, at gunpoint if necessary? ūüôā

Things I want to learn

Had to cancel another ukulele appointment yesterday; it’s been two weeks since the first one, which is still the only one I’ve been to. ¬†Other things keep intervening on both our parts. ¬†I’m practicing occasionally but not really committing to it. ¬†Still can’t handle that whole three-finger-chord thing. ¬†I suspect when I topped out at Medium difficulty on Guitar Hero and Rock Band that was life telling me that I was never going to be any good at playing stringed instruments.

That said, it got me thinking about what other shit I was terrible at that I didn’t want to be terrible at any more. ¬†Here’s a partial list. ¬†Add your own!

  • Cooking. ¬†I’m actually making great progress on this so far this year, as shown by the fact that half of my posts are about something I made. ¬†But I want to be better. ¬†I’m still doing pretty well for someone who could barely boil things at the beginning of 2013. ¬†My next target is going to be chicken paprikash; sometime in the next couple of days. ¬†In the meantime I need to find some hot paprika.
  • I have failed at learning two academic things in my life. ¬†The first is calculus, which I dropped out of about 2/3 of the way through my senior year when I realized that a) I didn’t need it to graduate; b) I was already admitted to and scholarshipped at my school of choice, and c) I was a goddamn second-semester senior and screw calculus. ¬†I took no math whatsoever in college, unless statistics count, and I¬†loved¬†both of the statistics courses I’ve taken– I tested out of all of the requirements my college had. ¬†But I would like, as a grown-up, to have at least a vague understanding of what calculus is about and how it works. ¬†There is a course on my iPad. ¬†I’ve never opened it.
  • The second thing is Arabic, which I made the mistake of taking my first semester of my freshman year in college, and I wasn’t prepared for it so I dropped it. ¬†I’ve learned Hebrew since then so I know I can handle non-European scripts. ¬†There’s a course for this on my iPad too. ¬†I don’t even necessarily want to learn to speak or understand it; I just want to be able to read and write in it. ¬†I can still read (pointed) Hebrew, if slowly, despite the thirteen years that have passed since I had any formal instruction, so I figure once I’ve learned it it isn’t going to go away.
  • The building trades. ¬†I could make this four bullets if I wanted to, but I gotta leave for work in a few minutes. ¬†In no particular order: ¬†Carpentry, plumbing, electrician…ing, and enough basic mechanical engineering that I feel like I know my way around an engine. ¬†I’d like to know enough to be able to wire up a lamp to a switch or build a bookshelf or replace drywall or fix a spark plug or trade out a toilet without screwing it up. ¬†It’s entirely possible that I’m already capable of these things if I take my time and am careful about it, but I’d like to know enough to know that what I’m about to do isn’t going to work, rather than my usual method of repeatedly screwing up until I get it right. ¬†I’m not completely clueless; I managed to install a new radio in my current car without electrocuting myself, but still. ¬†Better is the metric here.
  • Botany. ¬†There’s a bunch of goddamn plants in my back yard; I wanna know what they are.
  • Music, specifically ukulele and harmonica, and whatever music theory knowledge is required to be able to competently handle those two instruments. ¬†I have a story that I need to remember to tell you about going to Guitar City yesterday. ¬†I very nearly did something bad.

I’m sure there’s more; I’ll edit if something obvious comes up. ¬†What do you want to know about that you don’t?