16
Apr 12

The Door is Open

This is also published on the new Shindoverse blog:

Over the past few years, much has been made about the harmful effects blogging or tweeting. A quick search through Google can show a myriad of “how to” articles of how to be a good blogger who doesn’t get burned because they do all these things. Then there are the cautionary tales such as the Queen of the Sky and the Phantom Professor, both who got fired from their respective jobs after their blogs and identities were discovered. Also, many prospective employer seek to vet applicants by trolling the Internet, looking to see how these people portray themselves on Facebook. Some have even gone so far as to request log-in information of job interviewees. Unfortunately, there is a lot of paranoia on this issue and it is justified. Continue reading →


01
Aug 10

So Much for the Afterparty

If September 11th wasn’t reason enough to cancel a party, then there was a much more down-to-earth excuse the following year. In the party that welcomed the new group of students (including yours truly) the year before, my friend Rosalyn took a fall down a flight of stairs. It was the type of mistake anyone could have made, had they been a little too close to the staircase that led from the living room to the basement floor. While there were handrails, the rectangular hole in the floor that showed the stairs was hardly noticeable. With drinks, high heels, and the stairs’ low visibility, anyone could have tumbled down and hit their head. But it had to be Rosalyn, one of the people who lobbied for the party.

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31
Jul 10

The Party

At the Universtity, the English Department traditionally sponsored a welcoming party for the MFA program at the beginning of each academic year. Fortunately, it wasn’t held on campus grounds, but in the home of a student. She was a retired English teacher-turned-professional MFA student as she had been working working on her degree for nearly a decade. The benefit of an off-campus party is the warm atmosphere only available in someone’s house, a gorgeous spread, and the alcohol. The last item is definitely essential as it facilitates socializing, but more importantly, it’s expected. The one that was held in my first semester in the graduate program would be the last one of its sort.

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30
Jul 10

Future Perfect, Past Unreal Conditional

In the future, everything will be perfect, right? That’s not how the future perfect works. Yesterday, I had a difficult time trying to explain this verb tense construction to my students at the language school. All I knew was that I would liked to have liked to have explained this without a hitch.

It’s a verb tense that’s used all the time by native speakers of English. There’s a goal, an expectation, some kind of deadline to meet implied. Here is the basic construction:

Subject + will + have + past participle
Example: Tomorrow, I will have completed all my paperwork.

Subject + be (am/is/are) + going to + have + past participle
Example: I am going to be finished with my project tomorrow.

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29
Jul 10

Bar Hours

Henry O’Donough, this post-modernist professor at the University, kept office hours in the afternoon and “bar hours” on Thursday night, on the border of the City, between one of its eastern suburban neighborhoods and the exurban neighborhoods of two cities with names that translate into English as “The Table” and “The Box.” Most of the students who came to this little strip mall dive bar to hang out with the esteemed scholar, interviewer, and editor of several postmodern anthologies, including one that is a perpetual best seller for Duke University Press. And Professor K, ever trying to hold on to the tail of the fast-moving Zeitgeist, has a decent story in O’Donough’s best known anthology. Strangely, during my first year of knowing Professor K, I would go to “bar hours” to hang out with Henry and some classmates, past and present associates of Henry’s, and to unwind from Professor K’s classes, which were always held on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

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28
Jul 10

The Process

Professor Joseph K is the pseudonym of a professor I worked with when I was in graduate school. The name, of course, is borrowed from Franz Kafka’s protagonist of The Trial. This professor, author of small tomes, and armchair anarchist is the nemesis in much of my previous posts about him. Here, he finds himself in the midst of something I really wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. He’s definitely in that category

It’s funny that Professor Joseph K would find himself in the midst of a Kafkaesque nightmare at one point in his career. Some time after I ended my academic and professional association with him, he found himself the subject of a University investigation. I only have second-hand information on this subject. Given that I had been a student and employee of his for two years and that the investigation occurred while I was still in the MFA program, I’m surprised I was never interviewed as a witness. Getting back  to the subject at hand, the reason why the University was looking closely into Professor K’s affairs was that a student felt their grade was at stake after she objected to attending Professor K’s class when there was a sexually explicit presentation.

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23
Jul 10

Comic-Con, Day 1

Convention Center Trolley Stop in Klingon
The Trolley Station near the Convention Center and the Gaslamp Quarter gate got taken over by the Klingons. Have your universal translator handy.

Comic-Con is all about the badge. I procured my badge Wednesday night, got to experience the Exhibit Hall, which I was soon over, and got to experience one of the longest bus rides I ever had going across downtown, all thanks to the badge. The next day, during the early hours, I lent my badge to a friend of mine and met up with him close to the Gaslamp Quarter gate at noon. The borrower’s definitely a good friend of mine and I got my badge back on time. However, I don’t think I’d do it again, unless it’s Sunday (by which time I’m usually over Comic-Con and just don’t go). By then, anyone can have my badge. Hopefully someone I can trust not to go psycho in my name.

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17
Jul 10

Sincerely, My Dear

The awful catchphrase “I wish you well” got me thinking about some other not-so-sincere wordings in the English language. I didn’t have to look too much further from what’s used in letter writing. First, we often salute the intended reader as “Dear,” whether we feel that way about the person or not. Those close to us, such as family members or significant others, really are “Dear” to us. However, this salutation is also used to address strangers and acquaintances, such as professors, administrators, editors, and managers who have our resumés/CV’s in their hands. I may totally hate the person I’m writing to, but it’s culturally appropriate to begin the letter with “Dear ———.” With writing to various dignitaries, such as the Queen of England or the British Ambassador to the United States, I could use a salutation without “Dear,” but the likelihood of writing such letters for me are extremely slim. For the most part, I must pretend to really like the people I must write letters to.

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16
Jul 10

The Resplendent Journey

Divine Thing

It’s almost been two years since I’ve serialized Resplendence on ShindoTV. It’s definitely been quite a journey. Continue reading →


14
Jul 10

Resplendence: Feuilles 52 & 53: Coda

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