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megpie71

July 2017

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Saturday, May 13th, 2017 10:33 am
Yeah, I'm trying to do these weekly. We'll see how it lasts.

Winter is icumen in here in Western Australia - I woke up today to see fog in the valley heading down toward Berwick St, and the neighbours with the wood fire are starting to get some use out of it now the nights and mornings are getting chilly. My current level of rugging up: leggings under my jeans, jumper[1] over my long-sleeved t-shirt, and shoes and socks (I may dig out my ugg boots today, just for the fun of it; Saturday is "stay at home and play games" day, so I can dress the full slob if I want to).

I have a whole heap of stuff for uni I'm supposed to be working on at present (and this week's schedule was complicated by me needing to get to and start writing something I'd previously thought was due about two weeks later - discovered this on the Monday, had to have it in by Thursday). Fortunately for me, it was three five hundred word pieces, and I can do five hundred words in my sleep. So that's been submitted. The harder job for me was actually something where I have to do three hundred words plus/minus ten percent (so between 270 and 330 words) - in one case I was editing down something like 1000 words to 330, in another trying to knock things down from around the 500 word mark to the 300 word mark. What's worse, the brief for this second assignment only mentions a three hundred word minimum - it doesn't mention a maximum at all. So I wound up having to actually ask my tutor: okay, we have a minimum and no maximum stated; what is the unspoken maximum here? (And why they couldn't be bothered to just say: three hundred words, plus or minus ten percent?).

Things I learned this week: editing is hard mental work. I edited down three pieces to fit the word count, and I was exhausted by the end of it.

I'm still in recovery from the flu, but I managed to reclaim enough spoons yesterday to make cooking seem like a good idea. I have some Pumpkin Mulligatawny (basically, curried pumpkin soup, to which I plan to add rice and coconut milk) going in the slow cooker. I did a bit of preliminary work with the potato masher to get the veges broken up a bit, and I'm going to be running the stick blender through it in batches a bit later on.

The Great Caterpillar Cull continues, although it's dropped down to a mornings-only proceeding. Unfortunately, the wards appear to be breaking down, because I've started to find caterpillars coming back into my room again in the mornings (only one or two per day, but still... caterpillars). We're still getting over 30 caterpillars a day in the cull, and I suspect we're going to continue seeing those sorts of numbers for a long while yet.


[1] This is the Australian/British meaning of "jumper" - a knitted garment which covers the upper body; as distinct from a sweatshirt.
Sunday, May 14th, 2017 05:44 am (UTC)
So a jumper for you is specifically a pullover-style sweater? What do you call the sort that buttons up the front like a jacket?
Monday, May 15th, 2017 01:22 am (UTC)
Okay, that's what I'd call it too. What do you call the equivalent item with no buttons, zipper, or any other way to fasten the front? (I'm on a language trail here, pursuant to an ongoing irritation here in the US.)
Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 03:18 am (UTC)
Interesting. To me, the ability to fasten the front is an essential attribute of a cardigan. Something with sleeves that can't be fastened is a "wrap".
Sunday, May 14th, 2017 05:55 am (UTC)
Winter is icumen in here in Western Australia - I woke up today to see fog in the valley heading down toward Berwick St, and the neighbours with the wood fire are starting to get some use out of it now the nights and mornings are getting chilly. My current level of rugging up: leggings under my jeans, jumper[1] over my long-sleeved t-shirt, and shoes and socks

o_O Where I'm from, we call that level of cool "Autumn", or possibly "Spring". :) Does it snow where you are?

What's worse, the brief for this second assignment only mentions a three hundred word minimum - it doesn't mention a maximum at all.

I have been known to observe that one of my purposes on this earth is to teach professors to set length maximums. ETA: Which is to say: you don't actually have to ask. The first time they tell you something has a 300 word minimum and you submit 10k words is the last time they ever fail to specify a length limit.
Edited May. 14th, 2017 05:56 am (UTC)
Monday, May 15th, 2017 07:48 pm (UTC)
I mention the geographic details because I've noticed people from the USA tend to assume Australian cities are on a similar latitude to the northern US rather than the southern US.

True! But it is also the case that USAns tend not to think of weather in terms of latitude, because it's a poor predictor of local weather. Boston is further north than most of Wyoming, but has much milder winters due to the Gulf Stream, which in turn gives England much milder weather than Boston, even though England is further north than the entire continental US.

Ah, your professors clearly offer different marking criteria to their tutors.

No tutors in grad school; the profs had to read our papers for their own selves.

for going over the (unstated) word limit...

The other difference, I'm thinking, is that I was at a school for returning adults, and that had a bunch of cultural effects on the school. One of the chief ones was the administration and faculty knew the student body had zero tolerance for being held to unstated rules. It was an entire student body of uppity rules-lawyers, and the odds of a student contesting a grade that was dinged because of an unstated rule approached 100%.

I'm surprised you're taking it. I'd give them bloody hell. "I am not a mind reader. I will do the assignment you gave, as you specify it. It takes me additional time to edit a paper down; it's faster for me to just write out my first hot-take answer. I'm not going to waste my precious time meeting unspoken requirements. If you want me to spend additional time meeting length maximum requirements, you can mention the length maximum in the assignment. You have no right to deduct points from my grade for a standard you didn't see fit to inform me of."