Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Writing, NaNoWriMo and other 30 day challenges

I love the concept of Nation Novel Writing Month. It is not about writing something good or even readable, but it is about getting in the habit of writing everyday and being creative, two things I love to do. I have participated for the last two years and every year I get really into for the first little while, I'm able to keep up pretty well and come up with interesting plot twists and great characters. But, I have not finished. I always lose out around 30,000+ mark, this year I'd like to finish. I already have a vague outline of what I'd like to do and I'm gonna be working on it with my bestfriend so there is really no reason why we shouldn't finish, although last year we did it together and didn't finish, but that is besides the point.The truth is, the end of NaNoWriMo happens right around when exams are starting, and since I'd rather not fail any of my classes novel writing sorta takes a back seat, no matter how much I'd like to finish it. Still, I feel that the experience of writing that many words is good for anyone, it is impressive to see how far your imagination will go and what you can come up with to keep your plot going (character killing usually adds a few thousand words). Hardcore Wrimo's are already setting up plot lines and mapping out characters, but I'm going to sit back and relax until the craziness begins. I also think I'm gonna be a fool and work on a 30 day writing challenge, just cause it sounds like fun. I may post some stuff if I deem it worthy of sharing with you'll. 30 Day Writing challenge

Day 1 —Select a book at random in the room. Find a novel or short story, copy down the last sentence and use this line as the first line of your new story.

Day 2 —Tell about a character who lost something important to him/her.

Day 3 —Write about the worst time you’ve ever put your foot in your mouth.

Day 4 —Write a story/excerpt to include the line, “Sorry, we can’t insure you for a journey like that.”

Day 5 —Pick a letter of the alphabet. Now imagine two aisles of your local supermarket. List everything found in those two aisles that begin with that letter of the alphabet.

Day 6 —Write about a person who would buy all of those items in Day 5.

Day 7 —What sets you apart from the crowd?

Day 8 —Tell your life story from someone else’s point of view.

Day 9 —What was your favorite childhood toy?

Day 10 —What do you want to be remembered for?

Day 12 —What is your favorite day of the week?

Day 13 —Write about a random picture you would find in an envelope of finished prints at Costco.

Day 14 —Elvis still gets 100 Valentines each year. Tell about one of the people who sent one.

Day 15 — Create a character who is falsely accused of a crime.

Day 16 —If we assume ghosts are real, what type of ghost would you like to see?

Day 17 — Write a short scenario set in the kitchen of a fast-food restaurant.

Day 18 —Take a reader behind the wheel with the worst driver you’ve ever known.

Day 19 —Write a list of 25 (or just 5!) things you want to do in your life.

Day 20 —If you could go on only one more vacation in your lifetime, where would you go and why?

Day 21 —Find a job ad in the paper. Write about your life if you had that job.

Day 22 —You wake up with a key gripped tightly in your hand. How did you get this key? What does it lock or unlock?

Day 23 —Pretend you’re a cartoon character. What type of a character would you be? What would a day in your life be like?

Day 24 —Write about the longest amount of time you’ve ever gone without sleeping.

Day 25 ––Write about from an animals perspective.

Day 26 —Write about your worst habit.

Day 27 —Make up a near-death experience (unless you have a real one).

Day 28 —You read about yourself in your brother/sister, girlfriend/boyfriend’s diary. What did you read?

Day 29 —You are at a cemetery reading gravestones. Write about one of the people you find.

Day 30 —Write a short entry that ends with the line, “The silver dust of moonlight settled coldly on the night.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


I had super stressful week last week, but didn't think to list it up! Dunno what's wrong with me there. Anyway this week is starting out with a lot of awesomeness and awfulness. So I definitely need a list.

Lucky Bar


Nicely dressed men

Game of Thrones


iOS 5





Red pens


Lit theory class

Mini pumpkins

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Why I hate Profs with slides

You've all read my lists so you know I try to avoid negative posts, but this is something which really irks me. Professors who you massively long, un-posted slides. If you know what I'm talking about and agree then comment below, if you disagree even better, we'll start a discussion!

My sociology of deviance and crime professor loves slides. His slides portray a few of the the worst mistakes profs can make when they choose to use a slide over talking or using a chalk board. My prof's crimes are using cartoons, video clips, excessively wordy points, and random unrelated 'cute' or 'funny' pictures. Of course we've all had profs who are guilty of the crime of slides, but this one manages to do everything wrong he possible can.

Slides can be a great aid in the class room, used correctly. They should be used to illustrate points and show diagrams. Video clips are definitely helpful when they reinforce the point or issue a professor wants to make. On the other hand slides the misuse and abuse of slides limits there power. The slides turn into a distraction for the student instead of an aid in helping them learn. They tend to have too many pictures and not enough info. We do not want to see pictures of a cute cat or comics every other slide, fine, maybe it helps us remember them better because it is enjoyable, but I'd rather not be distracted from the important point the professor is making about labelling theory, thank you very much. Some professors have to much info and not enough points, also putting giant quotes in your slides is not helpful for the student. We will try to write EVERYTHING down (and I mean EVERYTHING!) so if you put everything up there then we are not going to listen to a word you say. Videos are also another issue, they are great in slides, but when you decide to throw in a random video that has little or no meaning to the rest of the course it becomes a distraction. Random movie clips are fine, but not useful. I am paying a lot of money to come and learn from you, I do not want to see videos of ninjas or dead people.

When used correctly slides are super useful. They should short, with just a few points about the topic on each one. They should contain difficult to spell words and terms important to the course. They should contain diagrams and short video clips critical to the understand of the current topic. Often profs choose not to post slides online, because they believe that it will cut down on class attendance. If the slides are down properly they will still have people attending classes. The students who don't want to show up will probably not show up regardless of the slides or not and if the slides are done correctly they will still need to show up for classes. The worst thing about slides is how distracting they are! I cannot keep up with what the professor is saying AND write down his/her massive slide at the same time. Profs also forget to put important bits on slides, and they will instead talk about them, but you still have this long slide to write down so you miss their important point and blah it all goes to hell!

Please professors, use slides CAREFULLY and makes sure they are not a distraction to your class. If you are having students ask you to go back so they can finish copying down the definition to a complex term THEN YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! The student should be asking you to explain the term again, not mindlessly scribbling without their brain interpreting what you say. Anyway my point is: please use slides carefully! Do not make them the focus of your class they aren't, you are.