A stranger approached me today.

A stranger approached me today. I was actually kind of terrified at first, since the last time a stranger approached me it was a security guard telling me I had overstayed my welcome in a mall that was closing for the night. (I was trying to get work done while waiting for a family member to return from a sidequest.) But this person was just curious, and friendly. And she…

My #AugustWilson #Steampunk Nightmare

Today is my last official day teaching a compressed winter term “Special Topics in American Literature” course devoted to August Wilson’s Century Cycle. Last night I had a dream that Wilson wrote an eleventh play that I didn’t know about; or that I somehow missed covering one of his plays.  In my dream, I was shuffling through my stack of books, trying to put them in order, so that I…

Night Terrors (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Four, Episode 17) Trapped crew grows paranoid

Rewatching ST:TNG After discovering that the crew on a missing science vessel has met grisly deaths, the Enterprise crew gets stuck in a Space Thing of the Week, and everyone starts getting unusually irritable. Meanwhile, Troi has recurring nightmares about being suspended in a flying harness. On my rewatch it seemed contrived that the Space Thing of the Week happens to disable all forms of propulsion, prompting a distress call…

Stunned by Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman and the rest of the cast in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Stunned by Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman and the rest of the cast in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Loved the documentary aesthetic in the opening sequence. Loved the intimacy of the cinematography and acting. Some of my favorite monologues were cut or trimmed, but I recognize a movie can express in a montage or a camera angle a relationship it takes a stage play longer to tell. August Wilson’s script has…

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Clues (#StarTrek #TNG Rewatch, Season Four, Episode 14) Picard suspects Data in blackout mystery

Rewatching ST:TNG after a 20-year break. After the crew blacks out, Picard investigates Data’s mysterious behavior. Although I haven’t seen this episode since it first aired in 1991, I remembered it as a strong episode, with a script that respects the audience’s intelligence. I didn’t remember the Dixon Hill holodeck sequence, which was longer than necessary. Instead of showing us a Guinan amused by and learning from Picard’s boyish love…

Final grades are due tomorrow. My Fall 2020 is almost over. I survived.

Final grades are due tomorrow. My only unmarked assignments are just a handful of final projects with some components I couldn’t evaluate, mostly for some technical reason. It’s been a pretty rough semester, but I’m glad I started prepping for it in July, rethinking and reorganizing and rebuilding lesson plans and assignment sequences with a Covid-necessitated hybrid classroom in mind. Spending a lot of time rethinking the mechanics of my…