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Pony's Roundup

We had to register for next quarter's classes yesterday, and of course, bureaucracy was in full swing:

Graduate Advisor: So, what do you want to take?
Pony: I'll continue Hebrew, of course. Too bad I won't be able to take a class with the ethnomusicologist who's leaving for England after this year, since that class conflicts with Hebrew. Instead, I thought I'd take the proseminar in Renaissance music, and Advisor-To-Be's course, "Global Film Musicals." I'll watch Bollywood movies till they come out my ears!
GA: Okay. . . okay. . . language, Western music requirement, check. Uh-oh. (cue scary music)
Pony: Yes?
GA: You are aware that the Global Film Musicals class meets twice as often as listed, but only for half the quarter?
Pony: Um. No.
GA: That's okay. It wasn't actually listed anywhere in the registrar's schedule.
Pony: Oookay. . . So when's the second meeting time?
GA: Let me check. Oh. Um. Actually, there is no firm meeting time. Advisor-To-Be hasn't actually declared one yet, and he's in New Haven until the end of the quarter.
Pony: So the time listed on the course schedule. . .
GA: . . . is pure fiction, yes. I hope this class won't conflict with any of your other ones.
Pony: Um. Yes. Me, too. When will we find out about the schedule?
GA: Before classes start, I hope. Hey, I'll be seeing Advisor-To-Be at SEM in Hawaii this weekend. Want me to ask him for you?
Pony: Please. Pin him with a flying tackle, if need be.

So I'm tentatively registered, pending the outcome of the question on when, exactly, we are to gather and watch Bollywood movies till they come out of our ears.

In other news, my history class chugs along. We're reading about Stalin's postwar pogroms and the fate of Soviet Jewry this week, and I have come across one of the best names EVAR. Being of Russian Jewish descent myself, I consider myself perfectly within my rights to roll over laughing when I read about the illustrious WWII exploits of one General Yakov Smushkevich.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2006 04:52 am (UTC)
LOL .. um, sorry to laugh at your predicament but it's really funny. ... so is Smushkevich for that matter
Nov. 16th, 2006 05:54 am (UTC)
Go ahead and laugh. I think it's pretty funny, too. Especially because I can enjoy the mental image of GA wrestling Advisor-To-Be to the ground in a bar in a hotel in Hawaii. And because I have a backup class or two waiting in the wings. The backup class is key here.
Nov. 16th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC)
I'm not at all sure that the fictional course schedule is not just a cunning ploy to conceal a fictional course. Maybe the Advisor-To-Be has run off to become a beach bum and they're just pretending the course still exists and you're just about to uncover an institutional scam. Maybe.
Nov. 16th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
If Advisor-To-Be has run off to be a beach bum, then the music department is in dire straits. They're already trying to hire one new ethnomusicologist to replace the guy who's going back to England.

And "Global Film Musicals" sounds like a fun class, too! As long as we don't watch "The Troupe." I've seen that twice already.
Nov. 16th, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)
Oh dear. That sounds entirely too believable. The odd thing is that usually it all works out. Or maybe it only looks that way to me because I'm faculty, not a student. :-)
Nov. 16th, 2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
Just like the situation at my previous school, which had a two-year master's program. . . and offered a course on fieldwork methods once every three years. Good thing the U of C offers fieldwork methods somewhat more frequently.

By the way, I recently acquired a book that you might enjoy. It was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, Steven Caney's Kids America. It's sort of a combined social history/arts and crafts book, where grade school kids learn about life in Early America by doing it themselves. It has projects and recipes for all sorts of things like natural dyes and inks, how to cook wild foods that you forage, bits of folklore and crafts, old-fashioned games and toys, that sort of thing. It's out of print, but used copies can be found.
Nov. 16th, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC)
The Caney book sounds useful. I'll have to do an online search. One tip I read about doing research was to start in the kid's section of the library because you could find a clear, overall description of whatever you were interested in. Then if you needed more indepth info about some part of it, you could go to the adult section. I've found that to be true, although I also get lazier all the time about doing anything other than computer research.
Nov. 16th, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
You can get it used from Amazon. Do it now. Here are some things you can learn from it:

*What the degrees of kinship actually are
*How to make butter
*How to milk the cow to make said butter
*How to make soap
*How to make candles
*How to make a tin lantern to put the candles in
*All about candle clocks
*Panning for gold
*How to build a treehouse and write up a deed of ownership for it
*How to cook an entire meal based on peanuts (The book is from 1978, before anyone thought about peanut allergies).
*Dowsing for water
*An insane number of cheap, fun toys and games
*Mid 20th-century circus slang
*How to dance both the L.A. and the New York hustle
*etc., etc., etc.

Steven Caney must have been the coolest dad on the block.
Nov. 16th, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC)
Uh-oh. Sounds awful to me. Good that you have a backup class.
Nov. 16th, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
I've discovered that backup classes are the key to happiness in the academic universe. My backup class is a seminar on southeast Asian music.
Nov. 16th, 2006 03:24 pm (UTC)
Great! Btw, I didn't ask before, what happened to the gamelan concerts?
Nov. 16th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
I've joined the U of C Friends of the Gamelan. It's not quite affiliated with the university, but sort of. Anyway, it's a central Javanese gamelan, just like the old Venerable Lake of Beer Gold, and I'm fitting right in. I'm even learning a new instrument! We're doing intensive studies of some of the major structural styles, which is a good thing to do.
Nov. 16th, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
Sounds great!

I had almost completely forgotten about your "other" musical activity, and you have not updated us on that lately, so the southeast Asia music seminar reminded me of that. What instrument are you learning to play now?

Nov. 16th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
It's called the bonang. It looks like a very low coffee table with fourteen little kettle gongs suspended on it, and its function is to elaborate on the (possibly theoretical) main melody, called the balungan. And that's all I have time to tell you at the moment, for I must skedaddle off to Hebrew class.
Nov. 16th, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC)
I'm not so sure that was bureaucracy as much as professorial idiosyncracy. Good thing your advisor was clued in. I hope you get the Global Film Musicals because I would like to hear your reactions to the various films. (If it's "global," it may go beyond Bollywood??)
Nov. 16th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
I hope it does go beyond Bollywood. From what I understand, the secret reason why Bollywood can crank out so many musicals in a year is that they're all the same movie. They hire the singers first, and write the plot last.

Personally, I'll be hoping for a few Yiddish movie musicals as well.
Nov. 16th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
LOL!! Typical. At least you found out before the class started...

So apart from the odd weird thing, how's it all going?
Nov. 16th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
Things are going pretty well. The quarter is winding down, and both of my term papers are well in hand.
Nov. 17th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)
Why is it sooo difficult to get things like schedules correct?! That drives me nuts. The class I am scheduled to teach next semester is listed as being held on Saturday nights. Needless to say, that is wrong. It's Thursday nights. But since no one has any hope of knowing that, no one is registering for it. But that makes me perfectly happy because I don't want to teach it. But it amazes me. How do you confuse Saturday and Thursday?

Your classes sound cool though.
Nov. 17th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC)
How do you confuse Saturday and Thursday?

That takes a special talent, young padawan. . .

The classes do sound cool, if they all work out.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )