Aug 15 2008

Encyclopedia of Manga Tropes: The Wispy Clairvoyant Albino Agoraphobe

Tag: academia,manga,manga tropes — 9:49 pm
Mytho and Fakir, Princess Tutu
Mytho and his “keeper” Fakir, from Princess Tutu. Many Agoraphobes enjoy spending time in bed, looking sad. (Image stolen from here.)

Now with helpful illustrations!

The Wispy Clairvoyant Albino Agoraphobe bears some type of strong psychic or magical power, is the key to unlocking such power, or is in some other way vitally important to those around him, but is in some way too “weak” to make independent use of this power. He or she may be physically disabled by some injury or illness; physically disabled due to imprisonment; emotionally disabled by a tendency towards passivity and a willingness to be led; or, usually, some combination of all three. He or she will be constrained to a fairly limited physical setting that nonetheless gives off an air of wealth and privilege, often a palace, temple, hospital, or laboratory.

He or she is usually, as the name suggests, very thin and pale, with white or silver hair – though blond, blue, and purple hair are also permissible if styled appropriately limpidly. (Green is uncommon.) He or she is required to be young (-looking) and attractive, and may be a small child. The Agoraphobe may be either male or female, though I’ll say “he” from here on for simplicity’s sake.

Continue reading “Encyclopedia of Manga Tropes: The Wispy Clairvoyant Albino Agoraphobe”

Apr 19 2007

Confucius Hates You

Tag: academia,hate,mass media,personal — 4:14 am

On Monday, a bunch of us in Renaissance Lit took a trip to a prison to see the Shakespeare Behind Bars guys from this documentary rehearse, and talked to them afterwards. I didn’t find out about the shootings in Virginia until we got back at about 11:00 at night. I’m kind of assimilating the whole visit and probably won’t post about it more than this.

Apparently, though, I do feel comfortable talking about shitty news coverage of the shootings.

Professor Portentous let us get slightly off-topic in Confucian Classics today (yesterday), presumably because, you know, we’re mostly East Asian Studies majors in there, and we’d darn well better have an opinion. Inse said he turned Fox on to see just how horrible their coverage was, and apparently O’Reilly said something along the lines of, “Exactly how did a South Korean get hold of two guns?” O’Reilly is big on the gun control. He feels it is an important issue worthy of serious thought. He also knows the difference between South and North Korea, and the state of the US’s diplomatic relations thereto.

Prof. Portentous then got us back onto the subject of, you know, the Confucian Classics, and asked whether we could connect The Guy’s behavior to any specific failure to follow Confucian guidelines. Silence. I say, “No.” “No?” “No. We can’t know that. I mean, we don’t need to know that.”

I’d looked at some of the links posted on BoingBoing and suchlike, but – this is why I need to stop reading BoingBoing. It fetishizes tragedy the same way the mainstream media does – why did I say mainstream. This is BoingBoing. It is mainstream. There are always a few good links in there when they’re covering a developing story, but they’re mixed in with a lot of shit, some of it insanely journalistically irresponsible.

For instance, they linked to some poor guy with a slightly similar name’s Flickr page, and several students’ accounts of what had happened on their personal sites – and some of these kids were clearly pretty rattled and only really posting to let off stress and tell their friends they were okay. They don’t need this kind of exposure right now. And I like how, in the midst of her own reveling in tragedy, Jardin sanctimoniously links to this guy‘s discussion of the harmfulness of obsessive television coverage of school shootings. Nary a synapse fires in her head.

Okay. Anyway, I’d looked at some of the stuff posted on BoingBoing, but only some, and wasn’t totally sure what the guy’s nationality was. I did look at some of his creative writing. It looked like something the Something Awful guys would write.

In an attempt to change the subject (because I did not want to sit there listening to people vaguely talking about mass murder in terms of “ritual propriety”) I brought this up in class. I said that whatever his ethnic background, his writing style indicated that he was “pretty assimilated into American culture,” and that therefore the journalists who felt it necessary to constantly refer to him as “the South Korean shooter” were engaging in “rash speech” and “careless thought,” and thus were failing to uphold their responsibility to society.

It’s weird using Confucian vocabulary to say stuff, you sound very glib. (Unless you’re Professor Portentous, of course.)

Aside from asking me to explain Something Awful, and asking for the URL on learning that it “satirized American culture,” he then let me off the hook for a while, and other people cheerfully expressed their own dubiousness of Bill O’Reilly’s chances of achieving authoritative conduct at this late point in his life (see Analects 9.22), and the sadly low likelihood of Fox president Rupert Murdoch’s being recognized by all men as a sage king, and being followed as water follows the slant of the earth.

But I was serious.

(On the subject, I’m glad -ing Imus got fired. Mom, tell Dad I’m glad -ing Imus got fired. Dad did stop listening to him, like, a couple years ago, right? Tell him I have expectations of his taste.)

Apr 03 2007


Tag: academia — 1:54 pm

Professor Portentous: Now if everyone will look at passage 20 -

1: I don’t think it would be very authoritative (ren) of us to have class today.

Prof: You don’t?

1: I think it would better demonstrate our love of learning (haoxue) if we went outside and applied our concentration (zhong) to, you know, watching the pretty birds and refining our empathy (shu) for them.

2: Yeah, that would be pretty appropriate (yi), you must admit.

3: And also sweet.

1: Possibly even exemplary (junzi)!

Prof: Well, as Zhu Xi says, study for class should only account for twenty percent of your learning as a whole. Right now it’s time for that twenty percent. Now everyone turn to passage 20.

2, stage-whisper: I thought that that suggestion was very much in line with ritual propriety (li).

1, stage-whisper: So did I!

Mar 06 2007

The Merchant of Venice In Brief

(This text was originally posted on LiveJournal. It has been reformatted (awkwardly) for use on WordPress.)

( ANTONIO: I know not why I am so sad. *is so sad* )

Continue reading “The Merchant of Venice In Brief”

Feb 28 2007

Assembly Language Loves You

Tag: academia,personal — 6:31 pm

Mom: What was the big paper about?

Me: Uhhh… Iago, basically. Like, from Othello, not from Disney.

Mom: And what was the big computer assignment about?


Mom: Okay -

Me: IT HAS NO PRACTICAL APPLICATION it’s sort of a simulator, of something you don’t know what is -

Mom: So I don’t -

Me: – it’s a simulator of something that doesn’t exist! It’s like I made a toy unicorn -

Mom: Okay! Okay! I get it!

Feb 19 2007

Titus Andronicus In Brief

TITUS: Man, what the fuck is wrong with me?

AARON: No, what the fuck is wrong with me! (Me!)

*LAVINIA has no frickin’ hands anymore.*

LITTLE LUCIUS: What the fuck is wrong with Lavinia?

TITUS: She’s fine! *kills her because there is something fucking wrong with him*

AARON: I work at a goth club. Bartending. In the dark. THE NASTY SYMBOLIC RACIAL DARK THAT IS

*AARON’S KID is maybe Othello? Symbolically?*

Jan 15 2007


Tag: academia,personal — 11:20 pm

Computer Science – No one from my class last semester is taking this, because it usually comes after this math class, even though it’s apparently only important a couple of places. I decried Nova for his cowardice. He accused me of being a substandard second-semester senior, because I am taking a hard class I don’t technically need. I think I countered with a remark about his hair, but I was running late and so couldn’t play the Well My Implementation Of Quicksort Was Faster card for the KO.

Link’s in the class, though.

Confucian Classics – We are going to read the Confucian classics, discuss them in great detail, and keep journals about our feelings about them. This class might be completely ridiculous.

No one I know is in it; every other senior East Asian Studies major is doing senior research right now and refusing to touch a 300-level, and a bunch of the juniors are abroad or already taking another class with the same professor, who assigns obscene amounts of reading in all his classes. This, too, I call cowardice. I took two of his classes at once last year and did fine.

Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Renaissance Literature – This class is going to be completely awesome. It is quadruply cross-listed as an English\Black Studies\Queer Studies\Women’s Studies course (possibly some kind of university record, it seems), and it started out with a gratuitous explanation of the zodiac and a Brief History of the Sex Lives of English Monarchs, and That Girl I Hate actually isn’t in it, and apparently the school will be paying for a trip. And it is going to be awesome.

Fourth Class – There isn’t going to be a fourth class. I don’t need one to graduate. Ha.

Meal Plan – None. I got them to cancel it today. HA!

Jan 02 2007


Tag: academia — 8:38 pm


Jan 02 2007

Senior research grade: A

Tag: academia,personal — 6:53 pm


Dec 19 2006


Ohhh yes I knew this had to exist. I think I’m about to order it.

It looks like it’s just one volume. The artist’s name is Kihara Toshie – I’d never heard of her before, but when I googled the name I found some pages grouping her with the 49′ers. This manga will definitely be awesome.

Having been awake for 36 hours finishing a thirty-four-page research paper, what do I do? Do I… sleep twelve hours and eat a bunch of junk food? Or do I… sleep slightly less than six hours, then get up and read two more books on the same topic as the paper, and set about purchasing another?

Dec 11 2006

Serious Research

Tag: academia,manga — 7:44 pm

Quick, LiveJournal people – what’s a fairly recent manga where these high-school kids get pulled into another dimension, and one’s a girl with secret powers or something who keeps zoning out and having visions (at least at first), and one’s a dark-brooding type who I guess she’s in a love triangle with, and one’s the blond shouta-con type who’s totally not in the love triangle? This is supposed to pretty popular or something, to the point that it’s probably already licensed but they haven’t got it out yet? (I need a third in my triumvirate of blond shouta-con types with Momiji and Hunny, for part of my gosh-darn paper. I’ve got some others for back-up, but they don’t fit the pattern so perfectly.)


Edit 12/21/06 – It was Harukanaru Toki no Naka de.

Dec 08 2006

Last day of class!

It seems that Sensei really does think of me when he thinks “Hitler manga.” I finally got the pile of manga I loaned him back today, and he added in a volume of Adolf in Japanese. He made it clear to me that he has never ceased to find this manga’s existence completely hilarious.

(The price tag’s in dollars, so I assume it’s from the tiny-little Japanese used book place in Columbus. I can easily imagine him squeezed in there having a sudden giggling fit over a manga with a frowny Hitler-youth on the cover, while the other, much shorter shoppers slowly edge away from him.)

I now feel like I need to get him something equally ridiculous. I was going to just give all my professors a Green and Black’s bar, but Hitler manga kind of ups the ante. It’s probably too late to try and find someone selling an imp of Akuma

(In the translations sessions last year, see, we read two or three different short stories that had an Akuma in them somewhere.)

In CS we’d had a contest going on with the last assignment, which was a bunch of sorting algorithms – whoever’s implementations were fastest got an extra such-and-such points on the assignment. We spent all of today’s class timing them. I somehow tentatively tied for first with The Fear, thus completely breaking Sound Effect Jr.’s heart – he and The Fear had been bouncing off the walls about their brilliant optimization ideas, and I’d… left the lab early. (I actually came back for an extra, like, five hours later, but he didn’t see that and thus was surly.)

But I say “tentatively” because Nova, who had come in last in nearly all the other trials, actually won one of the quicksort trials. Unfortunately, he won by a lot. We suspect that his “win” might, in fact, be mathematically impossible. Seeing as his user interface wasn’t complete (gasp!), and we couldn’t check to see whether the array had actually been sorted, the professor assumed something was wrong and gave the point to me (I’d come in second). The Fear and Sound Effect Jr., whose pasty, 110-lb CS-major bodies contain far more testosterone than is healthy for them, were extremely cruel to Nova about all this.

I asked Nova to tell me what that was about when he figured it out, so I could give him a certificate ceding the point if it did turn out he’d inadvertently invented a brilliant new sort that would revolutionize computing. He assured me that he would do so. He was still looking dubiously at his code when I left the room.

Nov 08 2006


(This text was originally posted on LiveJournal. It has been reformatted (awkwardly) for use on WordPress.)

1) WAHAHAHA election

2) I got nervous the other day (see: election) and spent something like a third of my paycheck on manga. ( It came today. )

3) Sensei’s giving a talk in a couple hours. Apparently he’s talking about Miyazaki somewhat. I hope he doesn’t switch directly from crazy porn to Miyazaki. I hope he doesn’t say something that makes me start giggling and he gets grumpy at me and takes it out on my research draft.


I’m feeling kind of weird and hyper and everything’s-awesome. I hope I don’t hit the bad side of it and die this evening, because I really need to get started on my computer science project.

Continue reading “WA”

Oct 28 2006

Computer Science Loves You

Tag: academia,hate,personal — 6:49 pm


F*******e yourself with cold metal implements, thou worthless debugger!


(Edited much later because the time was randomly way off.)

Oct 22 2006


At school. Finished big programming assignment; will now (or, soon) start on big history paper.

I now have a space heater. It’s kind of loud.

I read League of Extraordinary Gentlemen the other day. It got much funnier when I started googling the proper names I didn’t recognize.

Oct 17 2006

Monks don’t say ‘itadakimasu.’ They pray.

Tag: academia,personal — 12:07 pm

I just found a fragment of a button on the floor of my room. I do not know what it came off of, but since I will probably get upset when I find out, perhaps this is for the best.

We watched a video on zen in art this morning, you see. I’m very zen about this clothes problem.

We watched the same video last semester, in Professor Portentous’s early Asian civ class; it has monks who try to stay awake for seven days, and get hit with sticks when they doze off. When it was over, the professor asked us, “Did watching that video make you go to sleep, or get tense? When I watch the monks’ training, oh, it makes me really tense!”

I think this must be kind of a Rorschach test kind of thing – because I am a lazy person, it just made me want to take a nap. The professor, however, is very serious and always kind of nervous and jumpy, and was probably worrying about the fact that she wasn’t sure she could stay awake for seven days, and would get hit with sticks.

When Professor Portentous showed us the film, he left to do something else. Clearly he has attained satori.

(I bet Sensei would giggle.)

Sep 29 2006


(This text was originally posted on LiveJournal. It has been reformatted (awkwardly) for use on WordPress.)

This semester, I’m in two classes in which I’m the only girl. One’s a history class, which has six students, and the other’s a computer science class, which has five. Both have male professors. I’ve had other classes where I was either the only girl or seriously outnumbered, and while that obviously sometimes gets awkward, it’s generally not so ba



Sep 19 2006

I named my program “randread” because if you read it wrong it looks like “van dread.”

Sleep deprivation

(this post originally written around 6:00 AM yesterday)

Aug 28 2006


Two classes today – one had five students, one had three. Both only got finalized a couple weeks ago.

So it was kind of a weird day.

The other four people in computer science were either sophomores or freshmen, all of whom had just finished up the prerequisite the previous semester/year. I took the prerequisite first semester of freshman year. Listening to the guy talk was kind of panic-inducing, but the actual text didn’t look at all bad when I started looking at it. This is the same set of reactions I had when I took the first class freshmen year, which was an easy A – I think it’ll be okay.

The professor was obviously worried about this random senior’s presence amongst his delicate little majors/minors, however, so I promised him I’d drop the course if it started to look like I was going to hold them up.

Modern East Asia, on the other hand, was very on-the-other-hand. It is being taught by a grad student who only signed his contract last Thursday – Professor Portentous, the usual East Asian history teacher, is out of commission for the semester for medical reasons, and the guy who was originally slotted to replace him had a family emergency. Hence, Grad Student. The class consists of:

* The Voice – a senior East Asian Studies minor, whose nickname I did not select at random, and who has been known to annex entire discussion periods even having blown off the reading. When I entered the room, he was earnestly suggesting to Grad Student methods of shutting him up, up to and including force.

* me – a senior East Asian Studies major who did a semester-long research project in Grad Student’s pet subject (the Japanese military medical corps) last semester. (project previously featured in this journal as “essaypocalypse”) Also, when Grad Student asked us to define “history,” I worked “constructed narrative” into my schpiel, which thrilled him – according to the people taking the early morning section of the class, this is his very favorite phrase. Oops.

* a guy who’s taking the class for a GE

GE guy looked very sad. I don’t know if they’re going to keep the class if he drops.

(Though Shorter-Than-Me-san, who’s in the morning section, said something vague about transferring over, which would be good. I really don’t want to rearrange my whole schedule again…)

Professor Portentous sent me a very apologetic email about how sad he was to have to be canceling his classes. (I think he sent personal ones to all the seniors.) This alarmed me slightly, and I reassured him that everything was just fine and he really ought to go back to bed. Now I kind of see why he was so fretful. His department’s not really prepared to lose both him and Shitty Art Teacher at once.

On the other hand, we do apparently have four Real Actual Japanese People on the faculty all of a sudden – I think we’d only actually planned for one, the Noh dance teacher, as of the end of last semester. The others are a replacement for Shitty Art Teacher (I have her class tomorrow); a second language teacher to take over the Intermediate class from Sensei; and apparently some kind of music teacher – I’m not sure whether she’s associated with the East Asian department or not, but she was in the library yesterday. These all seem to be older people (not grad students), which obviously isn’t a guarantee of responsibility, but hopefully their presence will help keep Sensei and Mr. Smuckles from overheating.

Aug 27 2006


Ahh, yes. School is starting. Time to get back on a sensible sleep schedule – 3:30 AM to noon.

(Except not on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I guess. I need to talk to the dude about whether I really need that 10:00…)

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