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Fear of AIAWOL

On a totally different subject, it's weird how ordinary, humble things like cake doughnuts can remind you of people you love who aren't around any more to enjoy them. My father really liked plain cake doughnuts - no fancyschmancy Bavarian Cremes for him, no sir - so now when I nibble on one with my lunch I think about him.

So I'm rereading my Stipple comments yesterday and come across a comment from Judie Cilcain, "AIAWOL, eh?", which of course is a cute change rung on the old fannish slogan Fandom Is A Way Of Life. (For Judie and a lot of fans in her generation, in which my ex-wife belongs, yeah, it actually was.) These days it seems to be that anime (fandom) is becoming a way of life with me, since the bulk of my friends are involved in Anime Detour, most of what I watch these days on my laptop is anime, and much of my time seems to be spent on the impending convention, even time nominally bought and paid for by my employers at the Evil Banking Neighbor. It occurs to me occasionally, as it did in a conversation with the Reverend Jack this morning, that we could take this anime convention thing on the road and make some money doing so, but I am enough of a fan (and not enough of a businessman) to find the idea less attractive than provoking the Reverend into getting a job with Uncle Ted in the (insert suitable name here) Wrestling Federation or founding the First Reformed Violent Mennonite Evolution Church.

Next section includes some ranting about schools and testing...
The assessment class the other night looks to be considerably more hands-on and how-to than the version I took last year, which was butt-deep in theorizing and didn't have a lot of useful stuff for the toolkit. There was some of that theory Monday night, along with the ritual smacking of NCLB and standardized testing...which I am growing increasingly weary of. People, schools exist as transmission belts of culture and skills, and their failure to do that in a lot of places is what has parents and politicians up in arms and demanding some kind of quality control for the education factories that schools have become. You can whine all you like about the unfairness of evaluating teachers and schools based on standardized tests, but for better or worse nobody has come up with an objective measurement of what the kids know that does a better job. Cultural bias objections may have some validity, but it seems to me instead of changing the test you would be better off teaching the kids that there are things in the night sky besides airplanes, bullets and street lights. The business world is largely white, middle-class and suburban in its worldview, except for parts which cater to Hispanic immigrants and thug life wannabes, and if kids want to be successful in that world they need to get the skills and vocabulary and culture to do so. Otherwise they're going to wash out of college and wind up competing with English majors for jobs as baristas.

I had planned to do laundry last night, but phoenixalpha was going stir-crazy and wanted to get out of the apartment, so we wound up going over to the New Century Buffet to take advantage of some money-off coupons that came in the mail. En route we listened to the King Missile CD that I'd bought on eBay for a penny plus shipping. This is some seriously weird stuff, kind of like the Butthole Surfers except more philosophical and less thrashy. It grows on you, I think.

After we got home from grazing, I was too tired to do more than skim through the e-mail, throw a CD up on eBay, and toddle off to bed at 2200. Yay, two days in a row so far! No laundry done, but that can wait another day or so. At least I found the missing hat...still no sign of the gloves, though they've been replaced with some blaze-orange Thinsulates from Gander Mountain. I swear, they glow in the dark.