Tuesday, December 20, 2005

THE COLLEGE THEME PAPER: HE VS. SHE

Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Well, here's a prime example offered by an English professor at an American University.

"Today we will experiment with a new form of composition called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth.
Remember to reread what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking and anything you wish to say must be written on the paper. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of my English students:
Rebecca -last name deleted, and Gary - last name deleted.
-------------------------------------------------------------
STORY:
(first paragraph by Rebecca)
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.
------------------------------------------------------
(second paragraph by Gary)
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off, a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
He bumped his head and died almost immediately but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper
one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.
---------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret Mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid, Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.

----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. "Oh shall I have camomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of ****ING TEA??? Oh no, I'm an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels."
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
Asshole.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Bitch.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
Wanker.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Slut.
---------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
Get f****d.
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Eat s**t.
--------------------------------------------------------
(Rebecca)
F*** YOU - YOU NEANDERTHAL!!!
----------------------------------------------------------
(Gary)
Go drink some tea - whore.
*************************************************************
(Teacher) A+ - I really liked this one.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Go to the people
Learn from them
Love them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have
But of the best leaders
When their task is accomplished
Their work is done
The people will remark:
"We have done it ourselves."

2000 Year Old Chinese Poem

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Speak your Mind.
Can't always talk your thought. This is, possibly, my only claim to sanity.
But if I dont say it, it will probably consume me, falsifying my claim. Chicken and Egg; Again.
I just had to say it. So there I said it.
I can't claim to be original in thought or action, atleast not always...
At times, an assimilation and at others, just regurgitation...
But sometimes, just sometime, a sliver of thought, simple, symmetric, ricocheting in my head, escapes. Connects. And multiplies.
(c) Image Copyright 2005.
Standard Chartered Bank

Morpheus: I imagine that right now, you're feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that's not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo? Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?

The Matrix (1999)

Elementary English 101
Ever used the word "Actionize"...Ever hear of the word ? I've been using it a lot lately. Guess I have nothing to blame but a lethal concoction of an Engineering and Business education I subjected myself to. I don't think its even a real word (Though, as you can see, I working on evangelizing it)...
But you've got to admit, it does seems to have a peculiar extrapolative interpretative punch to it...kind of like, "You have to do it and are accountable, but you could delegate" but then again, it could mean "Stand on your desk and do the Funky Chicken"
Actionize: My recommendation for inclusion into your personal list of "ambiguous action verbs"