May 12th, 2014

granada holmes

various things

Life has settled down a bit the last few days. I'm still a bit overworked and stressed out over all the grading I need to get through, but having no teaching or nowhere I'm actually supposed to be has done me a world of good. So I've been alternating reading through student work with fanfic, mostly the acd_holmesfest exchange. I've also just finished a second story for that exchange myself, and I'm looking forward to sharing the links after the reveal. On the meantime, go and read them, because there's a chance you'll stumble on mine and also because they are all worth reading.

I've also been getting into various other Doyle-related things. I read all the stories I could find when I was fifteen, but there's a world of difference between what you read at fifteen and what you read at thirty. So I've been rereading stories and it's quite like having fresh eyes in a lot of ways, though I'm afraid sometimes it's hard work separating out Doyle from BBC. I've also been falling in love with the Jeremy Brett adaptations. I love the almost manic energy of that man, and the wonderful details of the episodes themselves. It's all so lovely, really.

Speaking of, as I get drawn less towards the BBC and more towards Doyle, I find myself wanting to dig a little into Victorian times? Are there any reasonably accessible books, or even just shorter-form but reasonably reliable writings online? I'm less interested in overviews as I am in quirky details that really delve into some specific part of it? I feel like I need to get more of a feel for the time period if I'm going to write stories set in it.

(At an intellectual level I'm missing Tolkien a bit. Want to get back into that. Have read some fanfic at least. But really, I'm increasingly drawn to Sherlock Holmes. It's the novelty of it, the new issues to work with, and i think the cahllenge of proving myself at something new. I still love Middle-earth, but that doesn't seem to be where my heart is just now.)

Tomorrow is a big day. By which I mean loooooong day. I have a job interview in Brooklyn at 10:30 AM (administrative work for Americorps) and then counseling at... 4:15? 4:30? My look it up. End of the afternoon in any event. I need to find something to do with myself in the interim. I'll probably bring my laptop and try to find a power outlet somewhere, I guess, to press on with the grading.

On that note:

(1) Some of you (blown_wish?) asked whether I'd looked into teaching at the secondary level. I actually have. The trouble is, while I have a BS in math and an MA in philosophy, these are in those subjects - not math education. At least in New York, you can't teach in the public school system without a teacher's license, either as part of a bachelors degree that's part academic subject, part teaching pedagogy, or as a one year top-up program after the degree. It's frustrating because not only have I taught my own classes for five years now I've actually volunteered as a tutor at a kid's hospital where I've basically overseen the academic work of sick students, up to and including proctoring and evaluating exams that earned them high school credit. Private schools have more flexibility and in principle while hire you while you're doing the licensing, but in practice, at least in NYC, city budget cuts have led to enough unemployed or underemployed licensed teachers that someone without a teaching license isn't going to get picked up. I've actually been pursuing that, but so far, no such luck.

(2) In their infinite wisdom, Fordham's IT department sent out an email to everyone that was supposed to alert us to the danger of phishing scams. Good goal; bad execution. The thing looks like a court summons, scary language saying you must turn up on such-and-such a date or face criminal charges. This was sent during finals week, where everyone is super-stressed that they're not on top of things and generally can't hold it together. It also takes a special kind of privilege to live in a world where court summons, even if you've done nothing wrong, don't make you a little nervous. I had a full-on panic attack to the point where when I worked out what had happened I had to go to my happy place (lights off, jazz music, close my eyes, just listen) to get my head to stop spinning. My reaction may have been a bit extreme, but judging by the apology email, I wasn't the only one who had a hard time with it.

Oh, and in RL news, I think I mentioned a grandfather who was in the hospital? He's apparently (a) been released a while back, (b) gone through the live-in rehabilitation thing, (c) lived for a week with my grandmum in an assisted living center, and (d) decided that wasn't for them so they're looking at some options for paid help so they can live at home. With his level of care needs apparently it's feasible and will make them both more comfortable to say in their own home. Can't blame them on that. It's a touchy situation because my relationship with my family is a bit not-good. Mainly I'm glad things are sorting themselves out a bit.

You know, it seems all I do around here is complain, while Tumblr gets the exciting, fun stuff - the fan art shares and fan fic recs and the goofing around. I am sorry about that. But I at least wanted to say what I've been up to.
granada holmes

in the interest of sharing the good things

I mentioned in my last post how wonderful the acd_holmesfest submissions have been. I've also recommended a few of them, here and over at my Sherlock-centric Tumblr blog. But I want to shine a light on one of the really spectacular art pieces.

Untitled, by unknown artist

Honestly, every time I look at this I am more impressed with the style. Beyond impressed. There's such focus and distraction and Holmes like a black hole pulling everything in towards himself and... I don't even know how to describe it, really. I just know I really, really like it.

It's the work of a minute to click over and look at it. And it's such talented work, I highly recommend people interested in Doyle's sherlock do just that.