fidesquaerens (marta_bee) wrote,

Today's big accomplishment was that I finished looking over a story for a friend in the Sherlock fandom. I think I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed working on stories as a beta, particularly with people i know beyond just that relationship. It felt good, though, and I really enjoyed it. After that I went to church, rewatched some Doctor Who, took a nap - lazy Sunday, you know.

The biggest frustration this week is I lost a file with about two-thirds of a completed Sherlock story and recreating it is a bit hard. I have about half of what I'd originally had in a file but its really very stale, so I think I'm going to have to put it on the backburner, work on some other things and get back to it with a fresh mind in a week or two. I actually have two other stories in various stages of completion, so it's not like that' a real problem. Still, it's really very frustrating because it was shaping up to be a decent story. Still will, I hope.

(ETA: And apparently the story is back on, with a fresh vigor and bigger scope. If I ever need to motivate Le Muse, apparently publicly declaring that "this is what I'm trying to do but it's just not working" is quite effective.)

The fact that that is a big frustration in a week when my laptop keyboard is giving out on me is perhaps telling. The 's' key has come unglued and so sits in its place in the keyboard, but every third or fourth keystroke it comes out of its place and either doesn't register or comes out of its spot so it won't work. Very frustrating actually, as I'm pretty sensitive to making typos. The computer's under warranty, so I'm just waiting for the box to arrive so I can hip it back to HP. At which point I'll be waiting a week on a computer with another  broken keyboard. Quite a few things seem broke or in need of replacing or fixing but this is the one under warranty. Right down to the toothache I've had for the last several days. I mean, it's not bad enough some OTC toothache liquid can't do the trick and I know not every pain means major work but it's so expensive if there is something wrong. But if it was a major problem I'm not convinced I'd get it addressed as I'm living off savings at the moment, and that vulnerability makes me feel, well, vulnerable in a big way.

On a related note, I'm pressing on with the job search, which affects me different ways in different ways. I work very hard to keep a good attitude. I think I manage it, particularly as round after round of rejection is not something I deal with well at any point. Sometimes I really enjoy seeing the opportunities out there but other times it drives home how lacking I am in specific skills. The "What Do You Do with a BA in English?" syndrome as it were. Today's fallen into the latter category. :-S But that also has me thinking about the way we do education in this country. If I had known to sit down in the help-wanted sites and looked at what qualifications you needed for certain jobs, I would have used that time and opportunity to develop different skill sets and (more importantly) qualifications and references. As an example, I think I could be a really good librarian, and may some day look into doing the MLS degree and going into that. I am looking at a lot of library admin jobs that don't require it. But I had no idea it was a specialized degree, as opposed to something you did with just a general masters or bachelors humanities degree, until I was starting my doctorate. If I only knew then what I know now, etc.

Shifting gears slightly, the corner of the Sherlock fandom I've personally seen has been in a bit of a snit with a disagreement between what's called acafans (fans who use a professional academic background, like in literary theory or gender studies or cinematography or whatever, to analyze the show) and just fan-fans, people who don't have that background or just don't choose to make sense of it. There seems to be this assumption on some peoples' (not everyone's) part that academics use big words as a way to be exclusive to people who aren't lucky enough to come from that background, and that acafans should (as one person said) just take the little bit of extra time to translate their concepts into something accessible to people.

The trouble is, and the thing I find frustrating and a bit insulting, is that you can't translate from academese to "normal-speak the same way you would from Spanish to English. I know nothing about literary criticism or the other tools acafans often make use of, but I do know a thing or two about philosophical concepts and distinctions and applying them to pop culture. That's basically what I've been doing this last year: teaching ethics using both readings but also case studies drawn from Tolkien, Harry Potter, Doctor Who and (yes, especially) Sherlock. Sometimes even from fanfic stories. And it worked really well, as a tool for really getting into what our primary sources meant precisely because a philosophical exploration of those stories like we were doing relied on something specific to what we were talking about that day. We were talking about whether Sherlock was responsible for the situation he got himself into at the end of the Reichenbach Fall, whether he was to blame for putting him and John and all the rest in that situation - but what we were really talking about was what Aristotle meant by responsibility, what that concept meant and how it was different from Kane or Nagel or the other folks we were discussing and whether the definition was actually a good one; and assuming it was, how that what we intuitively thought, our anger or pity or whatever we felt for Sherlock in that moment. So having it implied that we could skip the Aristotle if we just took five minutes to explain what we meant so people who hadn't taken the time (or had the opportunity) to think about those distinctions kind of stings.

It's like the family member or neighbor who will sometimes ask me for the thirty-second version of what I was researching and then proceed to dismiss the actual questions I was working on because I was talking about God and "philosophy" (which people seem to think anyone can just jump into on equal footing because it starts with the questions we all wonder about on our own). I get why people do that and I understand and in some ways it's a bit flattering, but you have to be careful to talk about it in a way that just doesn't dismiss the reality of what I'm actually working on, or else you'll end up making me feel like the last month of work is on par with what anyone at a coffee shop could come up with after thirty seconds of reflection. Which is more than a bit not good, particularly as I've now got all this structure and concepts in my head and am not going to be able to share it with other people who have thought about it in the same way, and that's pretty depressing and frustrating at times.

There's another thing going on as well (because this is (a) Sherlock and (b) also Tumblr). i don't want to go into specifics partly because I don't understand it all, but I did end up rounding up some recommendations for fun fannish things to do. Good fic, videos, other things going on. If you're Sherlock and want some things to enjoy, check out the list at the bottom of this post.

I've been watching the World Cup off and on. I keep thinking vaguely I should be more turned off it because of the human rights thing. I understand that there is a serious problem going on with it, and kind of agree. The thing is, soccer is one of the few sports I actually understand at an intuitive level, and watching it is really very exciting. So I'm having dual "f*** the police(-state)!!!" and genuine excitement over the matches, and it's kind of odd.

And I finally watched the Matt Smith regeneration episode last night and was heartily disappointed, must say. The whole episode was just bizarrely bad. I did love "The Name of the Doctor," though, and it only made the 50th-anniversary special that much more fun. It also gave me a bit of a chuckle when I heard a friend was watching "World War Z" today and I was reminded that Peter Capaldi is credited as "WHO Doctor."

Now this keyboard is getting on my last nerve and my elbow's acting up on repeatedly working to type 's' so I should probably go. My people need me.
Tags: doctor who, rl, sherlock
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