To: Female and female-identifying faculty, staff, and graduate students
From: Dr. Hayden Prescott, Mathematics Department Chair
CC: Robert Johns, Dean of Faculty Affairs
Re: Proper Comportment for an Intellectual Environment
It has come to my attention that certain female members of our department have recently begun presenting themselves in a manner that distracts from proper intellectual exploration. Lately, there has been a rash of demonstrated interest in cosmetics, “fashionable” clothing, designer handbags, and other feminine pursuits.
This excessive concern with appearance and fashion constitutes a serious hazard to the progress of this department as it infringes on your ability to devote your attention and intellect to more serious matters.
As you are surely aware, there is a finite amount of storage space in the female brain, and to waste it on such frivolity seems an utter travesty. Just yesterday, a graduate student made an error in a differential equation while wearing winged eyeliner and hot pink lipstick. It is statistically unlikely that this was a coincidence.
Ladies, I beseech you to consider the consequences of your actions. That curling iron of which some of you have grown so fond damages not only your hair, but also your reputation in the academic community. I have overheard some of you telling each other that you look “totally cute” in your “fit-and-flare” dresses and high heels; while that may well be true, you also look totally impossible to take seriously.
Research has shown that one is 342% more credible when embracing a daily wardrobe of black turtlenecks and loafers. Just ask Steve Jobs. Note that doing so will require the ability to travel through time, which will undoubtedly be discovered by someone who has never felt compelled to use a contouring palette.
Some offending parties have expressed to me in private conversation that they find no harm in investing time in their appearance and see no possible way that doing so detracts from their intellectual abilities. Let me warn you, however, that this is a slippery slope: you may only spend five minutes applying mascara and lip gloss now, but one day you will wake up and find that your encyclopedic knowledge of sheet masks has usurped the part of your brain that once housed your mastery of basic calculus.
It is a well-established fact that this is a real neurological phenomenon that has happened to someone at least once. Therefore, please do not patronize me with your talk of being “multifaceted, modern women.”
On a final note, a copy of Glamour was left in the department lounge last Tuesday. Given that this is a first infraction, there will be no repercussions if the guilty party comes forward to claim and destroy the magazine by the end of the week.
However, I think we can all agree that such a violation of our intellectual sanctuary must never happen again; after all, the presence of a single Fall Fashion Special issue in a university mathematics department has probably been proven at some point to reduce the faculty’s publication rate by as much as 579%.
Therefore, going forward, anyone caught with literature of this sort on campus will face disciplinary action, up to and including:
- formal written censure;
- revocation of any and all advanced degrees;
- Six months of re-shelving duties in the science library.
Perhaps I can express this policy in the parlance of the offending publication: Academic journals — DO! Fashion magazines – DON’T!
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
beta_search is for you!
Come along and join!
Snippet from the community profile:
You are welcome to make three types of posts:
1) Looking for help
2) Offering help
You may look for or offer beta, cheerleader, or mentor assistance.
The Wi-Fi password? Oh, I’m sorry, sir. We no longer have Wi-Fi. Our owners didn’t like how accessible internet made customers fixate so much on their laptops and phones. Instead, they wanted to foster an environment that encouraged customers to interact with each other. That’s what makes our coffee shop different! This is a place to disconnect and embrace a simpler time where the only “Snapchat” is an enjoyable conversation with a stranger about a photograph on the wall.
Sadly all of our framed photos were recently smashed by various angry customers, so I recommend grabbing one of these tiny icebreaker signs we have. Just place one in front of you on your table and when another customer sits near you, you two will have something to talk about right away. Each sign has a different engaging question like, WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WOKE UP TOMORROW AND YOU WERE INVISIBLE? or IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, LIVING OR DEAD, WHICH WOULD YOU BE? or HOW WOULD YOUR LIFE BE DIFFERENT IF THIS COFFEE SHOP HAD WI-FI LIKE EVERY OTHER ONE ON EARTH DOES? A lot of people pick that last one.
Along with the signs we have an optional buddy system. If you’d like, I can pair you up with someone who ordered the same drink as you, that way you already have something in common to talk about! Let’s see, you ordered a vanilla latte. That gentleman reading a book over there also got a vanilla latte. Unfortunately, he’s now being escorted out of the shop by Lugo, one of our “Interaction Agents,” since reading is a solitary activity and thus strictly forbidden. Don’t worry, that man won’t be hurt. We’d never do that! He’ll just be told that if he brings a book again, he will then be hurt.
Hurting counts as engaging with someone too, remember.
Now would you like to wait until someone else orders a vanilla latte? It might be a little while. People seem to be afraid of our shop. Any coffee shop that isn’t a Starbucks and also forces random people to converse, even those with crippling social anxiety and those that have taken crippling vows of silence, seems to make potential customers wary.
It’s odd to me. Do people not want to find and get to know new people? “Meeting under duress or not, a new friend is a new friend.” That’s the motto we have right there on our wall, but please don’t read it now or Lugo will have to throw you out. That’s what makes our coffee shop different!
Oh, you think you using your internet device would actually help you interact with people here? I guess in principle that might be true. You and a stranger could go from website to website, condemning and hissing at them as digital demons promoting anti-social tendencies like my bosses do on work retreats. Regardless, there’s no Wi-Fi to be had here!
You have your own Wi-Fi hotspot? I’m sorry to say that won’t work. See this coffee shop lies inside of a Faraday cage, an enclosure used to block and eliminate electromagnetic waves. Those conductive metal bars surrounding the building aren’t just an aesthetic choice, they keep us inside of a bubble that technology forgot and only the Amish remember. If you have any questions about the Faraday cage, grab the “What’s the deal with this Faraday cage thing?” sign and work it out with someone during a meaningful conversation.
Ultimately, we just want everybody to take a few moments out of their day to disconnect from the internet and reconnect with humanity. Is there truly anything wrong with that?
Anyway, here’s your vanilla latte. Just open your mouth and I’ll pour it in. Yeah, we don’t have Wi-Fi or cups. That’s what makes our coffee shop different! Not different in a good way, but different nonetheless.
( More butterflies )
1. thanks for sharing
2. fully inhabit
9. I got a little lost
10. media res
14. I character
24. on the page
25. there is room here
30. reflective surface
31. part of a larger work
32. standalone piece
33. I wanted more of
34. ground us
35. narrative tension
36. on a craft level
37. on a sentence level
38. maybe make this a scene
40. I feel like
41. in conversation with each other
42. Looking forward to reading more
Special thanks to contributors Sophia Wetzig, Emma Gase and María Alejandra Peñuela
“Good morning, we’ll begin the boarding process for flight 1476 to Utah Beach in approximately ten minutes. If you have less than two hundred thousand U.S. dollars in savings, you’ll be standing on today’s flight. We’ll offer standees the luxury of ten minute leaning periods once in the air, and those privileges are only able to be purchased with an OmniBank credit card. It’s our pleasure to continue to offer leaning periods for purchase when most other airlines have exercised their right to cremate the middle class.”
“Good morning from the flight deck, folks, this is the Intel Avionic Hubot 7911 speaking, and we’re almost ready to push back from the gate before it’s set aflame to rid the area of disease and regret. If you’re not affiliated with OmniBank but have boarded today’s flight by accident, we’ll have to ask you to return to your Humid Possessions Hut here on the ground.”
“Sorry for that delay, folks, we’re ready to remove the piles of books and paintings from behind our aircraft’s tires and have the harnessed elders pull us back from the gate. Former teachers, please secure the cabin for takeoff. We’ll be flying over the middle part of the country that doesn’t have meat and is mostly on fire, but in the unlikely event of a water landing, OmniBank reminds you that you do not own or otherwise have rights to the water in which you are floating after impact.”
“Once we reach a safe cruising altitude, Former Teachers will come through the cabin with a special offer from OmniBank to purchase your babies so they can be given to your favorite celebrities once we land.”
“If you’re Normal or Dirty, stand right where you are and enjoy the flight. If you’re in our Worthy cabin, continue lying down and make yourself prone so you can be filled with rich fatty foods and sedatives for the duration of our flight.”
“Regardless of your status, relax, and enjoy today’s flight. We realize you don’t have a choice, but we thank you for choosing to fly with us.”
Thank you. I shall certainly continue to look in as I am sure there are still comments I have not been able to reply to.
Also: one should never say never
Also: YaY Jack!
The plot summary of Blue at the Mizzen curtesy of wikipedia
The Surprise sails out of Gibraltar but collides in the dark with a Nordic timber ship and returns for repairs. Back ashore, Aubrey hears a reliable description of the last day of the battle at Waterloo; he thanks Lord Keith for moving the prize court along briskly to share out the huge prize, more than 382 pounds a share. Aubrey has clandestine visits with his cousin Isobel, Lord Barmouth's wife. Admiral Lord Barmouth hastens the repair work, realizing he helps himself that way. Many Surprises desert. The frigate sails to Madeira for more serious repairs but arrives just in time to see Coelho's famous shipyard at Funchal in flames. Maturin receives a coded report from Dr Amos Jacob regarding the Chilean situation and takes the Ringle to England, where Sir Joseph Blaine updates him. The Chileans have split into two factions: northern still interested in British help, and southern retaining the services of Sir David Lindsay to command the Chilean navy. Whilst Maturin stays with Sophie Aubrey at Woolcombe, Aubrey returns the Surprise to Seppings' yard in England for a thorough re-fit and recruits a strong, competent crew out of Shelmerston for the long voyage ahead. In London, the Duke of Clarence asks Aubrey to accept Horatio Hanson as a midshipman. Initially reluctant, Aubrey finds that the boy has the mathematical skills essential for a navigator and he becomes a competent sailor. Fully fitted, the Surprise stops at Funchal, picking up Jacob, and then heads for Freetown, where Maturin proposes marriage to a young attractive widow. Christine Wood shares his tastes for natural philosophy. Her view of marriage suffered from her first marriage, as her husband was impotent. She turns him down. She agrees on her upcoming trip to England to visit the Aubreys at their home in Dorset and to meet Maturin's daughter Brigid there. Surprise then sails to the coast of Brazil, where Dr Amos Jacob parts to cross the mountains overland.
After a difficult rounding of Cape Horn, the expedition reaches San Patricio in Chile. Ringle goes for repairs following a grounding in the Pillón passage. After a meeting between Aubrey, Maturin and Sir David Lindsay, in which the two sides agree to mutually support each other, Maturin writes to Blaine describing the different juntas and the training of three republican sloops by the crew of the Surprise, who assist in capturing a moderate privateer. After meeting Dr Jacob with the intelligence he gathered, Aubrey heads to Valparaiso, while Maturin and Jacob ride there by mule. Here they meet General Bernardo O'Higgins, the Supreme Director, and Colonel Eduardo Valdes. Learning that the viceroy of Peru, under the Spanish king, plans to invade Chile, the group determine to confront the Royalist forces at Valdivia, where the viceroy will need to seek stores. The Surprise and Ringle make sail and Aubrey elaborates a plan to drop Chilean troops at Concepción while the ships destroy the gun-emplacements at Cala Alta and then bombard the fort at Valdivia.
The plan succeeds and the revolutionaries capture four chests of silver and one of gold, conveyed by the Surprise to Valparaiso and then overland to Santiago. Sir David Lindsay fights a duel with one of his officers and dies. Popular local sentiment gradually turns against the British, and Aubrey receives news that the junta plans to impound his frigate. He decides to pre-empt action against Surprise by cutting out the Peruvian fifty-gun frigate Esmeralda at Callao in Peru to strengthen the Chilean navy. Surprise conducts a hard-fought broadside action and eventually the British-Chilean force takes the ship. Aubrey suffers wounds in the thigh and shoulder. Maturin and Jacob compose a coded message of the successful cutting-out to Sir Joseph Blaine which the schooner takes to the Isaac Newton, as Dobson's friends agree to carry the message across Panama to meet a returning merchantman. Ringle carries the news to Valparaiso.
The President of the Valparaiso junta, Don Miguel Carrera, gives Aubrey and his officers a lavish dinner, after which Aubrey insists on his sailors receiving their share of the prize-money and Esmeralda's value by the end of the month. The next day Don Miguel authorizes five thousand pieces of eight and use of any naval stores the Surprise requires. With a fully repaired ship, Aubrey sets about training the young Chilean naval officers as the Surprise continues her survey of the Chilean coast, for several weeks. Jacob arrives from Valparaiso on a private brig, with coded messages from Sir Joseph Blaine. The Duke of Clarence requests Horatio Hanson's return to sit his lieutenant's examination. Second, the Admiralty requires Aubrey to take command of the South African squadron, hoisting his broad pennant as Rear Admiral of the Blue at the River Plate, blue at the mizzen, aboard HMS Implacable. Carrera arrives with a message saying it will take three more months to complete the payments, releasing Aubrey from his responsibility to the Chileans. He accepts his promotion, sets course for the Strait of Magellan.
The last month has been an absolutely crazy month of travel for us. We took two long road trips with the kiddos to see my family and I took a trip to Minneapolis for a blogger event. Normally, I tend to be a home body so it was a lot of travel for me. Looking back […]
“Like, zucchini as the bread?”
“Zucchini instead of cheese?”
“But I don’t like zucchini!”
And so we’re not going to. We’re going to call this a zucchini panini when speaking to the wary and somehow, this causes less distress. Why we are accepting of vegetables inside two slices of bread when we pretend our grilled cheese has gone to Italy is not for me to question. What I can promise, however, is that this is no compromise.
1. When you were in a crowded metro and you felt a hand brush against your ass. It stopped on the cheek and there was some light grabbing. You glared at the guy the hand belonged to. He looked back cockily and said, “Sorry, that was a mistake.” Surely, he would have shown some sign of guilt if he had done it intentionally. You brushed it off and figured you had imagined it.
2. That time at work, when your male co-worker said, “Wow, you’ve lost weight. We should get coffee, outside of the stuffy office walls. I haven’t seen you in so long, and then you go ahead and lose weight.” As his eyes went up and down your bones, you wondered how he made it sound like the purpose of your fitness regime was to get him alone on a coffee date. Was he was the voyeur in your head that you were trying to appeal to? You shook your head and thought, He’s just giving me a compliment. I’m my own voyeur. You politely declined the coffee.
3. When you were 8 years old your private school teacher told you that when you twirled your skirt went up. The teacher blamed you for trying to entice the boys. You didn’t know what the word ‘entice’ meant. And the boys weren’t looking at you, they were too busy examining their boogers. But you didn’t disagree because adults knew better. You apologized. The next day, after you narrated the incident to your mom, your skirt length was longer and you were thrilled because then you could twirl all you wanted.
4. That time on your birthday when you had a little too much to drink and your friend said he’d drop you home. On the way back, in his car, he tried to kiss you. And you tried to say no. The next day, when you confronted him, he told you that you were into it. You wanted it. Your own thoughts were a blur from the alcohol so you believed him. He’d been such a good friend, for so long after all. Why would he lie now?
5. You went for an interview and the man you were meeting said that he was running late for a dinner so could you come with him and answer his questions on the way. In the car, you were professional and sharp. You tried really hard and were relieved when he said he was impressed and wanted to keep the conversation going. He asked if you’d like to join him for the party he had been running late for. As a date, he joked. You really needed a job and didn’t know if he would get offended, so you agreed. He introduced you as his girlfriend to all his friends, which you didn’t like. But you realized that you had been over thinking it. Later, you got the job!
Package arrived at USPS origin facility.
Package accepted at USPS origin facility.
Package given little tour of USPS origin facility.
Package dropped down flight of stairs of USPS origin facility.
Package stolen by opossum from USPS origin facility.
Opossum tracked down by USPS but refused to disclose location of package.
Package spotted fleeing in Toyota Camry.
Package checked into room at Motel 6 under alias.
Package charged rental of Ride Along 2 to you ($6.00 +processing).
SWEET GRASS, MT
Package arrived US-Can. border checkpoint with mustache and sunglasses.
SWEET GRASS, MT
Package ran border, gunfight ensued, package escaped bleeding into woods.
Package thirsty, bleeding out.
CABIN OF BEARDED LONER,WOODS
Package arrived, bandaged, fed soup, allowed to convalesce on bed.
CABIN OF BEARDED LONER,WOODS
Package departed with clean clothes and three days provisions.
A STUMP, WOODS
Package needed to sit.
Packaged arrived, slept under stars.
Package arrived, gets bite in seedy diner run by attractive but world-weary woman who takes shine to your package and offers it a line-cook job.
Package finding it really enjoys its job and the town. Enjoys being around new boss even though she’s tough. Finding underneath her tough exterior is truly warm and giving personality, and that she’s only tough because life has made her so.
Package arrives at her house in the rain. Your package knows this is crazy but your package is in love with her. She is everything your package has wanted, all that your package has searched for. She says No, She has been here before and knows where this always leads. Your package pleads. It says the world is hard and the world is cruel, and chances for happiness are so rare, but if she can just believe in your package’s love it knows it can be good to her, and can make her feel the love she deserves. She knows it’s stupid, that this is the mistake she always makes, but a part of her still needs to believe and she accepts. They make passionate love. They fall asleep in each other’s arms.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrive. They inform her as she stands in her dressing gown that a Package that killed six Border Patrol and RCMP Officers may be hiding in the area. They ask her if She has seen your package or any like it. She says no and they implore her to be safe and inform them if she sees anything before they depart. When she returns to the bedroom your package is trying climb out the window. She stares at your package and knows the truth. Your package never meant to hurt her. She tells your package to depart, She screams it. Package Departs.
In transit to destination.
Package arrives at bar with money stolen from parked car. Drinks until processed out by bouncers.
ST. THERESE, AK
Your package would love some smack right now — don’t even joke about that dude. For real, you holdin?
ALL HAIL KING POSSUM!
Your package is in Rome. Doesn’t know how it got to Rome.
Who’s a package? You callin’ me a package? The name’s Sven and I don’t know nothin’ bout’ bein’ no package.
Your package always gets depressed this time of year.
MCMURDO STATION, AN
“What are you supposed to be, some kinda package?”
“…I don’t like to talk about it.”
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS BRIDGE, AK
Package arrived at bridge. No longer able to cope. It has made too many mistakes. It has hurt itself. It has hurt others beyond anything forgivable. Out of options. Hope decayed. Your package stared into icy, churning water below, deciding once and for all. As it stared, It heard the sound of tattering. Something flapping in the wind. It looked down to see its address label still clinging to its body. Your package realizes at last that there is one place it can go, where it could always have gone, to you.
You don’t understand. There’s a boy out there and he needs me. He needs what’s inside me. Please you have to listen. Yes I know you’re closed but will you PLEASE JUST LISTEN. This is one of those times, they don’t come around too often, but now and again you get a chance to do something truly special. To truly HELP SOMEONE. No, please don’t dial 911 that isn’t necessary, please don’t. Please, if you could only know what I’ve been through. I just need you to scan me. Please just scan me, it’s all I ask. Please. It’s all I need.
It’s raining. Your package hasn’t slept the whole trip. From the windows it watches the road signs roll past. Knowing each one brings it closer to you. It sees your town’s sign, it sees your street sign. Then there it is. It’s been so long. It doesn’t know what to say. What does your package say at a time like this. But there you are, there through the window, on your couch. Will you know, it wonders. Will you even recognize it. It’s there on your porch. It’s waiting for you to open the door.
Comments: Arrived late. Rough condition. Otherwise DVDs all played ok. Not as good as Season 2, but Greg is still hilarious and I love Dharma.
1. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon.
That’s right, I had to work for what I’m given. When I went to college, I worked hard for those grades. I didn’t get in on nothing, I took school seriously! I worked each day to pay my rent and my tuition.
2. I earned my job.
You think it was easy to get to the job I have now? I didn’t just waltz into it. I had to work my way up to my current position. I came in on time, put in my hours and even had to hang out after work with people I despise. That’s how you make it in America.
3. I budgeted and saved my money.
It’s easy to just spend all of your cash, but I put it into a savings account. Learn some self-discipline!
4. I fought against a history of social stigmas and systemic biases to get to claim the tiny space I occupy.
Oh no, wait, this might be getting away from me.
5. I have been judged on name alone when applying to get my house and job.
What? That’s not a thing. Is that a thing?
6. I had my entire life plotted out in statistics before I even began making my own decisions
Oh come on… is that… I’m just going to google for a second.
Oh shit. I think I just figured it out. Uh…
8. I’m really sorry, this really wasn’t my intent.
How do I check my privilege? Do I just tell people that look like they might not know that I’m privileged?
9. I don’t know how to fix this, money? I gave to Planned Parenthood, is that good?
Who else? ACLU? Can I donate directly to Black Lives Matter? I don’t just give it to my Black friend, right? That seems weird.
10. I’ll just sit down, would you like to fill in the last one?
11. [Your answer here.]