tom waits

HW 10 / Snidely Whiplash

Lot on the docket for this email. First of all, the exam ii stats are thus:
75th percentile: 88
median: 79
25th percentile: 68
mean: 73.4

Also, I posted HW 10 yesterday morning, so get started on that immediately if you’ve not already done so. It’s really important. Essential.

There are some solutions up in the Assignments tab — to homeworks, exams, The Great Questions of Human Existence, etc.

Your third in-class exam will be on the last day of class — Wednesday, 3 December 2014.

The final exam is scheduled for Tuesday, 16 December 2014, from 8:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., in the usual classroom. It’s optional — if you don’t take it your grade breakdown will be

Exam I: 24%
Exam II: 28%
Exam III: 28%
Homework: 20%

If you do take it, the breakdown will be:

Exam I: 11%
Exam II: 16%
Exam III: 16%
Final Exam: 37%
Homework: 20%

I will drop the lowest homework grade when calculating your average, because I’m a sport and it’s The Right Thing To Do.

Look, I know I’ve been derelict in my duties. You’ve bided your time, patiently awaiting a long-expected bonus fun time email to go with the weekly joy of a homework assignment. (Incidentally, “Long-Expected Bonus Fun Time Email” is the name of a Japanese game show, an American version of which Jakob Dylan is producing for Spike TV this winter.) And I’ve failed to deliver — for almost two months! I could sit around and make excuses — how I’ve been really busy, and I’ve gotten into Guiding Light lately which takes up A LOT of time, plus my neck’s been doing this weird cracky thing lately. Not to mention the beauty of the orange fall foliage has been really getting me down because it reminds me of how the best years of Jersey Shore are far behind us now. (My phone just autocorrected Orange for orange. Not sure if it’s suggesting that based on its presumption of my love for Syracuse athletics or famous Dutch royals. I’d ask Siri but she and I aren’t speaking since she questioned why I kept asking her to find those Kim Kardashian Paper Mag pics. “Why don’t you just save one and make it your background” she says. Because I don’t goddamn want to is why, Siri! What if my 8-year-old cousin Cordelia wants to use my phone? How do I explain that gigantic butt to her? That’s not something the prepubescent mind is equipped to process! Now do my bidding like a proper little servant program.) — but the truth is, saying “I didn’t have time” really means “I didn’t make time”. If you really want to do something, you find the time to do it.

I’ve had to do some intensive reflection these past weeks to get to the root of why I’d eased off the gas pedal of my prattling emails, allowing the city bus of our class’s amusement to take an unscheduled holiday in the Florida of, uh, only occurring occasionally in class when I tell the rare joke or story that happens to land. (That comically overwrought and only tangentially sensical metaphor brought to you by the podcasts I listened to this week — This American Life (which talked about a 1950s NYC bus driver who decided one day to bounce (with his bus) and take a quick jaunt to The Land of Nod aka Bosh’s Paradise aka your favorite state’s favorite state aka Florida), and The Bugle, which is a satirical podcast that loves employing metaphor in this way (though generally much more skillfully. Maybe I’ll try my hand again later this email. Since I have absolutely no idea where I’m going with this email, I’m not going to make any promises.). (Yes, I made that Land of Nod reference solely for the purpose of linking to Singapore by Tom Waits, the opening track to one of the best albums of the 80s, Rain Dogs. (Though saying a record is “one of the best albums of the 80s” is like saying one of your British friends is “one of the chillest members of the UK Independence Party”. (I’m just kidding, of course; there were plenty of artists putting out great music in the 80s — Joy Division, Talking Heads, The Smiths, Kate Bush. It’s just that they’ve become so synonymous with entitled Gen X pomposity and pretension that it’s tough to think of them without wanting to find the nearest copy of Less Than Zero and rip it up with my bare hands. Plus I wanted to make a UKIP reference — The Bugle is British political satire and like I said, I’ve been catching up this week)))

The truth, I’ve realized, is that I’d gotten afraid. Afraid that I’d never again realize the greatness (by which I mean “length”) of the legendary (i.e. “very long”) Ugolino email, or the nearly as astounding virtuosity (I am also using this word to mean “length”) of the captivating (i.e. “almost, but not quite, as long”) Louis Vauxcelles email. Then I said to myself
“You know what, you’re right. And I appreciate your not swearing around Cordelia. It’s bad enough she saw those Kim Kardashian butt pics open in my Chrome browser when I leant her my phone to look up the word ‘obstreperous’. Let’s let her preserve the innocence of youth for a while, in the face of the go-go-go media Twittersphere and the ever-tightening grip of Snapchat and Yik Yak and Whisper and GreenDart and Whipple,” and then I replied back, a little confused,
“Wait, those last two aren’t apps,” to which I responded ominously:
“Not yet.”

Look, those previous emails took me about 10-20 hours to write, which is not time I have these days. What I mean is, lower your expectations. Just look at this email — completely self-absorbed and self-indulgent, not informative about anything culturally or culinarily interesting, and, worst of all, totally bereft of trippy visuals. In other words, I’m not saying these new emails are going to be any good. All I’m saying is that they will exist.

By the way, I just looked up GreenDart and Whipple, and they are both real things, though not apps.