Saturday, 16 September 2017

Now Teaching: Week 2

Glerk. I’m not sure how I pulled through this past week. Thursday night was my only free night, in that I used it to get quizzes marked and figure out some new programming things for students to play with. Because that new CompSci course remains a horror show. I still have to research... everything, frankly, and come up with new coding assignments, ones that aren’t ones they saw the previous year. And no one can really help me, because my teaching style is different. Well, okay, actual tech help might be good.
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This week I had a network fail for where things save making me a wreck first thing Monday (I have no backup plan any more), and downloading assignments is a pain (half hour shot on Friday), and you can’t run Processing off a plug-in hard drive, and less people use Google Classrooms than I thought, and one person already has one player pong going while another is struggling with how static images overlap. FML. Missing that class for medical reasons once was simultaneously a relief, and problematic in that my personal life remains complicated.

I’m trying to stay positive. But I took today (Saturday) off. I had to. And not only because I got some feedback on my writing that I wanted to address.

Item counts run Sunday (Sept 10) to Saturday (Sept 16).

Step Count 2016: About 76,300.
STEP COUNT 2017: Over 69,000. 19 stars.

-Went to BC with Anne-Lise. Considered making these posts into a newsletter.

SchoolMail 2016: 45 (2 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2017: 129 New (21 sent)
We have completed DAY 9.

 -Monday, math meeting and typing up minutes
 -Tuesday, staff meeting
 -Wednesday, Teacher’s Council meeting
 -I can’t even daily. Friday was insane, especially at lunch.
 -Pins: Maika, Mayu, Miku, Stardust, Avanna.

 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat. Upgraded to CTP VIP.
 -Wrote a bit more of my comic into October.
 -Sketched out comic for Sept 25.

 -Sunday niece’s birthday lunch.
 -Monday dinner with friends as I tried not to melt down.
 -Tuesday yoga classes restarted.
 -Wednesday medical appointment, left materials for one class.
 -Friday NAC musical “Onegin”. (Ran into teacher there...)

 -Dept mtg. Medical appointments. Meet the Teacher BBQ. RPG.

 -Recap for ConBravo 2017
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

RH Stress Level: 8 (Starlight Breaker, Extension)

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Now Teaching: Week 1

Oh right, teaching. Tues through Thurs evenings I was trying to pull together CompSci work, having used my prep for paperwork (new phones!) and handling my actual math courses. Next week will be worse, meetings almost every day. >.< Don’t get me wrong, I actually like meetings, but I don’t like worrying about being able to teach the next day as I attend them. The stress will continue because of this, even through this weekend.
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Google/Gmail randomly shutting down my course website midday on the first day didn’t improve things. I put in a ticket. It seemed to be back by end of day Wednesday with no further communication. (Apparently happened to Denise once too.) I was going to set up this series’ Index page Tuesday, forgot, put in a placeholder Friday, need to get to that. “Epsilon” took priority.

For steps, I knew we’d lose the 20 stars streak. But 7500 per day is feasible; looks like an average teaching day is about 6,000 steps, followed by another 1,000 (to get a single star at 10 minutes of more intense activity) by going out for a jog later. Also this week, nice chat with a colleague, and in general people (students included) seem happy to see me around. My ability to handle names feels even worse though. I’ve reinstated the nametag random seating thing. I guess we’ll see how it all fits together.

Item counts run Sunday (Sept 3) to Saturday (Sept 9).

Step Count 2016: About 49,000.
STEP COUNT 2017: Over 69,800. 14 stars.
Half the stars on the weekend (Sun/Sat).

-Labour Day Parade, CanCon 2015 posts, and start of CanCon 2016. (Also when I got RWBY from Scott, so took 11 months to get to that.)

SchoolMail 2016: 57 (1 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2017: 79 New (16 sent)
We have completed DAY 4.

 -Monday, Labour Day Parade
 -Tuesday, figuring out Wednesday (mostly CS)
 -Wednesday, figuring out Thursday (mostly CS)
 -Thursday, figuring out Friday (made new learning strats sheet)
 -Friday was weirdly calm
 -pins: Miku. Stardust. Xin Hua. Avanna.

 -Created Meme comic update to provide extra buffer
 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat
 -Wrote an “Epsilon Project” serial entry.

 -Monday at underground exhibition Kontinuum with Anne-Lise
 -Met financial advisor on Wednesday
 -RP on Saturday with friends (as Ezren of Pathfinder)

 -Niece birthday, Math meeting, Staff meeting, Medical appointment, Council meeting, NAC play, possible Cappies and Anime club meetings. Ow.

 -Recap for ConBravo 2017
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

RH Stress Level: 6 (Break Shoot)

Friday, 8 September 2017

Now Teaching: Index

This is (going to be) an index page! I will possibly get back to editing it tonight. Or not. Basically, when one is teaching, there is definitely a list of priorities towards staying sane while getting things done.

What makes this year more interesting? I took a year off (Not Teaching) in 2016-2017 before returning to work here (Now Teaching) in 2017-2018. Couple that with teaching a new course (I did teach a variant of it in 2007, but it's tech, everything changes) and... yeah. Away we go.

I anticipate much horror for the first month or two (Sept/Oct), followed by spikes of uncontrollable sobbing during the usual worst months of the year (January, June, April and November in that order). There should be some bright spots as well though, and I can draw comparisons with statistics from when I wasn't teaching. Enjoy this look into a (strange) teacher's life.


Week -8: July 2017. I'm very depressed.
Week -6: Stats video, general reflection.
Week -5: Vacation to Stratford.

Week -4: August 2017. Mood swings! Start re-learning programming.
Week -3: Stubbornly back to creative stuff.
Week -2: Final writing push, then back to programming.
Week -1: Crunch time. Fit in everything I can.
Week 0: Spent time at school. Allons-y.


Week 1: Working almost every night this week.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Now Teaching: Week 0

I will be coming back after a year away from teaching. There were nine weeks until the start of school (which is right after labour day) but any teacher who doesn’t come in at least once in the week prior to that (to figure out classroom setup, make photocopies, et cetera, all at no pay) is crazy. So if that’s “Week 0”, we’re... there. That happened.
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I’ve been a little bit all over the map this week, but I guess average stress was the same? Wednesday’s the only weekday I didn’t leave the house to do something teaching related. I think maybe I’m good for the first day of classes? Not for the days after though, those remain very sketchy. So I guess I got in as much writing as I could. I also did that summer summary post, which crystallized where the last few months have gone (I know where 2016 went).

Housekeeping - from “may never get to” - nixing “weed through/organize emails”, I probably got as much of that done in passing as I ever will. Also “French Citizenship project” because I don’t want it glaring at me for the next 10 months, it’s definitely a summer project at minimum due to the paperwork. And “series on BIAS” for similar reasons. I may junk the articles next week, we’ll see. I guess I’ll keep books; I still have too many to even enumerate separately.

In two days, everything changes. I won’t be able to stay up on Monday to watch all of “Radio Dead Air”, for one.

Item counts run Sunday (Aug 28) to Saturday (Sept 2).

Step Count 2016: About 57,550.
STEP COUNT 2017: Over 68,000. 20 stars.

-Posted ConBravo recaps, continued T&T rewrites, read and walked.

SchoolMail 2016: 22 (2 sent)
SCHOOL EMAIL 2017: 59 New (13 sent)

 -On Monday got keys, did physical room setup, checked logins, etc
 -On Tuesday, PD session downtown
 -Organized all the electronic clutter from school
 -On Thursday, cleaned up files, learned Google Classroom
 -On Friday, finalized course outlines, photocopied

 -Coloured “Epsilon” image and wrote a behind the scenes post
 -Coloured banner/intro and launched on Tapas(tic)
 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat
 -Drew and inked strip for this Monday
 -Drew and inked strip for next Monday

 -MosaiCanada exhibition with family
 -Dinner with much friends Monday
 -Lawn care (mowing and weeding)
 -Dining with in-laws
 -Saturday brunch with friends

 -TEACHING OMG WTF. Also Labour Day Parade.

 -Recap for ConBravo 2017
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

RH Stress Level: 5 (ACS Standby)

Friday, 1 September 2017

Summer's End 2017

Like always, the end of August is more of a conclusion to a year than the end of December could ever hope to be. I wrote one of these “summer wrap-up” posts for 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2016, I was off work, but now we’re back into old habits. Here, have a “Year of Summer” AMV (courtesy my AMV Friday #49, 2014).

Am I ready to go back on Tuesday? Yes and no. There are things I didn’t get done, but I think that will always be the case - for 60 weeks, I was always on the go. My reluctance is more a fear of being overwhelmed, particularly now that I’m back in a tech class after 10 years. (Verified: My old files are from 2007.) It’s not only the new material, it’s a whole new way of evaluating and delivering content too. On the flip side, it’s good to reconnect with people and colleagues, the bank account is nearly drained, and one hopes that I’ll be making a difference out there.

Oooh, the waking up before 8am is going to be painful though.


Before going into a roundup of the old categories, there’s a few things I realized about myself in the past year or so.

1) I Cannot Focus. The only exception to this seems to be in my writing, when I can vanish for a few hours as I play with my characters - but even then, sometimes I need to walk away for a bit. Or I’m distracted by a shiny thing. Or I’m scrolling through Twitter to confirm I’m not crazy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing... until you pair it with grading.

I have this mental block on grading, where I feel like I need to be as consistent as possible (perfectionism!), hence a need to do a full class set at the same time. So I procrastinate, not wanting to do a half hour here and a half hour there. But then I can’t FOCUS for a three hour long stretch of grading papers. And at exam time, there’s too much of it, and everything blows up.

I don’t really have a solution for this yet, aside from trusting in my ability to recall what I do in a sequence of short bursts (which is a thing I’m capable of, my memory’s good). But the diagnosis is something of an eye opener.

2) I Am That Damn Introverted. Often when out with friends, or even when spending time with family, I’d stress out over the other things I needed to be doing. Mostly school related things, like quizzes sitting on my desk. But remove the job, and the deadlines, and I STILL stress the SAME. Turns out I simply can’t be around people longer than about two hours.

Oh, it’s different in a classroom, because I’m not having to wrack my brain to come up with social questions or charming details about my life - we’re there for math. Or tech, or drama, or whatever, there’s a PURPOSE. I can do purpose. I can’t do extended before dinner conversations. Which is not because of other commitments or time management, I simply get tapped out spiritually. So yeah.

3) The Week Starts on Sunday. I’ve posted my weekly summaries for 60 weeks now on Saturday nights. I think this is in large part because my step counter summaries end the week then, so it makes those tallies easy. But by documenting Saturday, I find myself doing OTHER things on that day, so that I can mark them complete before the next week starts. Like drafting posts, lawn care, or what have you. I then start the week not by waking up at 7am, but with a day open for anything that didn’t get done.

With those universal truths out of the way, let’s break the rest down as usual.


I went to “Twitter Math Camp” in July 2016 (and the Desmos Pre-Conference). Math debates still tickles at my senses, but in the name of not changing over 10% of one’s practice in a semester to stay sane, teaching programming would seem to be that 10%. Let’s file debates away for another year. I also went to the French AFEMO conference in October 2016. I participated in the MTBoS January 2017 initiative again. And this past month I’ve been trying to re-teach myself programming.

Through COMA I also ended up coordinating emails for a conference (that didn’t have the numbers in the end), and I did present at uOttawa with Cathy. My online video on the Cubic Formula has played well (just hit 900 views in 14 months, making it about 9 times more popular than my other videos combined). There was an accompanying post. I did another Christmas video, and another video last month. Two per year seems to be the limit. I also got my files organized.

I finished JLV’s “This is Not a Test” book (bought at TMC). I got no further in “Fooled by Randomness” (by Nassim Taleb). I caught up in all my Conference Recap Blogging. I didn’t go to OAME 2017 because they were full by the time I thought to register. I did just attend a PD on Aug 29th, not sure if I’ll blog that or not. A blog post I made about MTBoS and ITeachMath gained some traction.


Finally cleaned up my home office. And organized all the boxes of old materials downstairs that my parents brought me. And hung pictures, and the spoon rack. Installed new smoke alarms, learning about electrical wiring. Cleaned the back deck (last done in 2015). Swept out downstairs and cleaned the air filter. Removed rust from shears. Installed netting on the eavestroughs to keep out leaves. Cleaned the ice out of the freezer in May.

We had to replace the air conditioner (2016) and washer/dryer (2017), which was a downer, but hopefully that won’t be an issue for years to come now. The car broke down briefly in October (which led to the attending AFEMO) and later the airbag component was replaced. Also, just called insurance to tell them the car’s being driven back to work, so $10 more expensive per month. Trimmed hedges in 2016. Also we renegotiated our mortgage.

On the personal side, I kept with the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Clinic) program through to last month (the program’s now effectively dissolved, but I can still book an appointment). Related, I think nothing of walking to and from the store - or yoga sessions, which I have now maintained for a full year. I did get a persistent tingling in my left arm in January, went to the doctor, and have since had some massages. Got new glasses in October 2016. Depression is still a thing, I hope I continue to keep it at bay.

Family-wise, a wire transfer was done in early 2017, we’re into the third attempt at treatments. Me and Anne-Lise went to British Columbia in September 2016 and Stratford (Ontario) in July 2017.


Went to ConBravo in July 2016 AND July 2017. Went to CanCon in 2016 (including a workshop). Went to Anime North in 2017. I’ve caught up in all the serials I follow, and in the webcomics I’ve latched onto this summer as well. Not quite caught up in blogging (owing to ConBravo 2017) but a lot was pushed out.

From July through October 2016, I wrote “Time & Tied” Book 4. In a sense it was edits, but there were massive changes and lots of completely new scenes. Those 26 parts would later get published to my serial blog. From November through December 2016 I wrote 90,000 words in “The Girl Who Speaks With Algebra”, an LGBTQ/math crossover story in first person female. Yup, I did NaNoWriMo. That would get edited in April 2017 (with Camp NaNoWriMo) and the first 10,000 words were submitted to “Ink & Insights” (results in this past month) to good reviews.

T&T Commentary posts were written, and more T&T drawings were done towards the end. I wrote a TANDQ article in December 2016. I dropped my math comic in August 2016 because (as usual) it was an echo chamber, focussing on T&T - but I resumed the comic on October 31st and have kept it running weekly ever since. In April I even created an entire Personified Math Series BIBLE, with new sketches of most old characters (except fractals) and historical data to match (this after putting navigation tables into old entries). And I even got fan art for a couple months, whoa. Launched the comic on Tapas(tic) yesterday.

I did guest posts for Stable’s serial, the website Time2TimeTravel, Drew’s serial site, and an April Fool for both serial (Fantasia) and webcomic (M9 Girls). I gave a writing interview in December for Alastair Luft (appeared in January). Edits on all of T&T were done to make small parts for RRL (plus changing Woodlands’ location) as well as to make characters sound less like technical journals. (“Algebra” went on Wattpad, was less well received.)

“Epsilon” started a new arc to start of June 2016, with a new emblem and story art. “Marmalade Mercury”, a fanfic begun in Dec 1996 was finally finished after a 16 year hiatus. “Off Target”, a temporal lemon was written. A number of shorter stories were put on the blog (including post 300). “No Reason” (post 200) was revamped into “Free Will” and “Relative Change” was written (both submitted into the ether and rejected).

I transcribed old “mathNEWS” columns into the computer. I started a new column, “Series Scan”, watching all 24 eps of /Steins;Gate/, 24 eps of /Certain Magical Index/, 24 eps of /Certain Scientific Railgun II/, 12 eps of /Erased/ and Volume One of RWBY. (Also caught up in /Sailor Moon Crystal/ in Summer 2016, no blogging.)

I watched far too much “Andromeda” (blogged about it ALL), “Stargate” (skeleton of a blog post exists for 200), and “Mayday” (no blog planned). I kept up with “Supergirl”, “Agents of SHIELD”, “Timeless”, “Doctor Who” and “The Librarians”. Caught up with “Bones”, which then had it’s last season. To a lesser extent, I also saw many pieces of “Castle” and “Wynonna Earp” (and Star Trek reruns).

I stayed tapped into the pulse of the WebFictionGuide Forums. Thanks to AngelicEmpress, via another forum, I found a Discord community of webcomic authors (connected through StArt Faire, a monthly publication) and have participated in weekly chats for a couple months now. I’ve tuned into “Radio Dead Air” pretty regularly for community and media purposes. Also, I bought and played “Sakura Dungeon”, just because, so there.


Made it to the Fringe Festival in June for some plays, along with the usual ones at the NAC. Also events at the Aviation Museum (Star Trek, “Doors Open Ottawa”, Global rallycross, eclipse). I figured out slightly more complex recipes in terms of cooking, being in charge of dinner most nights; that’s why Rose knows how to cook fish.

Celebrated our 9th anniversary at a new restaurant (and the 8th happened in there too). Gathered all the Doritos Guardians and won a movie pass, that was weird. Finally put in paperwork to replace my red stripe health card. Dealt with benefits switchover too.


What DIDN’T happen? Well, T&T Book 5 aka “Time Untied” still needs a kick start. I never did anything with Simon’s story “The Last Magical Girl” either. And actual READING wasn’t a thing, as far as physical books go (versus online).

I managed to get through “The Temporal Element II”, a collection of time travel short stories. I then started reading James Gleik’s “Time Travel” in early February. I’m still reading it. Behind it are “Doomsday Book” (Xmas gift, I did start it, wasn’t pulled in), “All Our Wrong Todays” (b’day gift), “Air Awakens” (gift from #K8Chat over a year ago, the chat doesn’t even exist now), “Making Comics” (b’day gift), “Random Dingoes” (CanCon 2015), “You’re Never Weird on the Internet” (found in Stratford), “Thinking in Numbers” (bought in 2014), “Mindset” (from my former principal), “Finding Zero”, and at least a half dozen others. I am not a fast reader.

What else? Well, at one point I was going to turn my weekly posts into a newsletter. Nope. That column “Becoming Informed About Statistics” (BIAS)? Nope. And I still can’t market. Tumblr never really worked out, and while I’ve joined reddit and Instagram, I haven’t done anything with them. There’s also the low song parody output, but I can accept that two per year is my speed.

I’m also writing without a buffer on all three blogs. This blog still needs ConBravo posts, my serial site’s “Epsilon” vote closes Saturday, and my math comic has written content only for the next month. Yet I applied to write for the “Time Travel Nexus”, we’ll see how that works out (applications close Sept 15th).

I guess that’s it. 60 weeks of “summer”, done. Thanks for reading, consider following one of the aforementioned blogs as I continue to try and churn out content. Assuming I can function for a full day, after getting out of bed at 7am. >.<

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Now Teaching: Week -1

I will be coming back after a year away from teaching. There were nine weeks until the start of school (which is right after labour day) but any teacher who doesn’t come in at least once in the week prior to that (to figure out classroom setup, make photocopies, et cetera, all at no pay) is crazy. So if that’s “Week 0”, we’re at “Week -1”.

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I guess I need to decide how I’m running the Raging Heart Stress Level scale at the bottom. Normally it’s been pretty even keel all week, but I was all over the map this past week. Do I go with a maximum? An average? I doubt I’ll reach 10 that way, but I guess that’s a good thing, so we’ll go with that. The first major thing that happened (I’m not even including the eclipse) was medical. The second was work related.

Met the tech dept head (which is weird to say, not used to the tech aspect) to go over the new course I’m teaching (in period one of all things). Feeling better about the flow, but I really don’t know about the day to day. Went into the school, but the floors were being waxed; still got to see my class sizes. 30 for 3U (max out, no surprise), 24 for 2O (likely max out on computers), and 19 for 4U. Also sharing rooms 128 and 114. Yay, I know stuffs now.

Also organized the big box of school things that I legit hadn’t cracked into since I packed up my desk in June 2016. Dept head reminded me though that I took the time off for a reason, and that I should feel okay about such things. So, I guess. And I feel like I’m kinda positioned for this last week... but not the first day. Gaaah, we’re 10 days away from the start, THIS IS NOT A DRILL. (It's drill hair.)

Item counts run Sunday (Aug 20) to Saturday (Aug 27).

Step Count 2016: About 51,250.
STEP COUNT 2017: Over 61,500. 24 stars.

-Kept editing my story instead of doing recaps. (Well, that’s consistent.) Also finished “Outlander”.

School Email Count: 8 New (2 sent)
The “Summer Letter By Email” is in.

 -Completed Processing lessons 6, 7, 8. Coded a minor program.
 -Met tech dept head for over 2 hrs to discuss my new course
 -Organized all the paper clutter from school

 -Drew, inked and coloured strip for last Monday.
 -Drew, inked and coloured strip for this Monday.
 -Wrote an “Epsilon Project” serial entry.
 -Thursday stArt Faire Comic Chat.
 -Condensed “Erased” review for application to Time Travel Nexus.
 -Drew banner/intro that’s useable for Tapas(tic).
 -Sketched image for Epsilon Story4.

 -Brunch with family Sunday.
 -Eclipse viewing at Aviation Museum Monday.
 -Dinner with friends Monday.
 -Met friend for tea Tuesday.
 -Yoga Tuesday.
 -Medical appointment Wednesday.
 -Dining with in-laws. x2.

 -PD on Tuesday, Dinner on Wednesday, Trip to School. Hopefully Tapas launch.

 -Recap for ConBravo 2017
 -Write a TANDQ article on Polling and Bias
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -French Citizenship project
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk
 -Do an entire (illustrated?) series on “Bias”

RH Stress Level: 5 (ACS Standby)

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Series Scan: RWBY

I am a SLOW binge-watcher (and reader). Two hours is about my limit, after which I need processing time. I also enjoy watching online reviewers, and reactions to things that I’ve previously watched, so why not take the time during a slow binge to chronicle my own reactions and speculations?

RWBY. I’ve heard good things. Only looking at RWBY Volume One here. Too much on the plate already, but I wanted to make time for at least this, given what I’ve already been exposed to tangentially. Plus Scott D very nicely leant me his disc, so I don’t have to burn any additional online bandwidth (I’ve been going over lately, don’t have unlimited).

Already interesting is there’s a “watch as movie” option. I’m going to go by Episode though, even if they are only about 10 minutes (which makes sense since this started as a web series). How stand alone are they? Let's find out. (Hm, the menu looks the same as “Scene Selection” here... well, we’ll see if I want to stack chapters later.) For those unaware, "Stream of Consciousness" is me typing into a file as I watch, "Thoughts and Theories" is written before I continue on.

Chapter 1: Ruby Rose

Stream of Consciousness:
-Hope ignites change, yay. Dusted? It’s a decent narrative setup. Nice crystals, er, dust. Yeah, Red can’t really hear with those on. Wrong thing to say? Nice scythe. Hah, the guy’s reaction. A *shooting* scythe, Fate (of Nanoha) would be envious. Air travel, level of tech, gauged. Hm, blonde’s got skills. Ooh, I kind of love magic circles, I won’t lie. Battle scene. Ooop, Red’s in trouble. Silver eyes, okay, relevant? Fast cookies! So there’s a history there. Huntress desires, Red talks so fast but I’m okay with this. “Nice to meet you”, hehah. Yellow’s the older sister, interesting. Right, a normal desires angle is typical, also Red’s extra smart. Your name is kind of an Oz throwback there, eh blonde? It jumps from there to an AMV for Ruby... oh, wait this is the OP, new track, I’ll come back to that.

Thoughts and Theories:
 Really good way to handle setup. Protagonist powers (cool scythe), world powers (magic circles!) an antagonist, a setting, a couple characters (why are the sisters’ last names different??), and off we go. One can learn from this. ^_^ I’m guessing we’ll spend a couple chapters assembling the cast and building back up to this level of threat again.

Chapter 2: The Shining Beacon

Stream of Consciousness:
-OP: That’s interesting. I like it. There’s the primary four, the villains, the secondaries (I wonder why they linger on the guy), the school. Interesting art choice, just shadow outlines for the non-main characters. Red went Chibi. O>o;; Clever way of reverting. Yeah, kind of agree with Red too, weapon as extension of self... “Crescent Rose”, okay. Heh, Yellow has shadow friends. White is bossy rich? Sneeze was telegraphed. Oh, it’s Black. Dropping exposition. Liking her. Even if she was fleeting.
-Oh, hi Jaune. So it was him on the ship. (Jean Arc?? How French.) “So I got this thing” hahaha. Um, is Jaune the comic relief? ^^ “Wouldn’t it weigh the same” hahaha. Strangers cliche. “Nice quirky girl” in the background there? Yeah, White is annoying. (That really didn’t seem like much of an explosion before??) Interesting speech. Yellow, oh my, such interests. Ruby has decent friend math. Oh my, Yellow again. “I don’t know help me” hahaha! Okay, actual names now. Good point on the reading, I’m liking Black too. Oooh, bonding! Interesting animation choice there. Aaand White is back, fade out.

Thoughts and Theories:
That gets the main characters in, and you know who they are, because they’re not “background shadows”. But we all have to start somewhere, and I’ve done worse in my comic. Ruby’s nice, energetic, the young one trying to fit in. Weiss is an annoying prima donna, but my own character Carrie was like that, so we’ll see where they go with it. Blake’s the “smart one”, who keeps to herself. Yang is outgoing and I need to stop my eyes wandering with her. >.< They all have various personalities, I’m looking forward to seeing how their weapon elements fit in. I feel like Ruby’s the specialist there.

Chapter 3: The First Step

Stream of Consciousness:
-OP again (guess having it back is a difference from the movie view, but I like it). Orangehair-heart-girl speedtalks like Ruby. (Nora, ok.) So you can’t plan teams? Sister squabbles. Yang has that weird asymmetry leg thing going on. Milk, sure, eyeroll. Jaune IS the comic relief, nice conversation wipe. Pyrrha, she was in the OP! Weiss sucks up? Jaune interjects. “Hello again”, hah, liking Pyrrha. D’awww, she got marshmallow cereal. And a spear.
-More silhouettes in line. Hmmm, they can’t rotate teammates for the best synergy? Weird system. Eye contact? Death, huh, I feel like there were waivers signed?? Heh, no questions then. Sunglasses, natch. Yang, you are having too much fu-- pffft, was that an ad lib? Pyrrha also has gun abilities, oooh, the transforms. OMG, that was sweet, kinda love Pyrrha. We all know who you’ll end up with, Ruby (though comic bow-kittenish Blake thought is fun). Weiss, you are ridiculous. (I like how the reversal was done though.) Ruby, you’re trying too hard. Oooh, glowy eyes. Wait, wtf is it?

Thoughts and Theories:
I don’t see Weiss warming up any time soon, or Ruby toning down, and that seems to be the central conflict. Kind of hope we’ll see Yang and Blake friction, I may find that more fun. Loving these weapons (which was a major selling point for me trying the series out), we’ll be seeing those soon. Guessing the hunt/protect thing will end with the next Chapter? (Still major villains out there too.) Of the new characters, I’m all over Pyrrha, guess she’ll end up with Nora (less a fan) and her crush too.

Chapter 4: The Emerald Forest

Stream of Consciousness:
-I wonder about the statue in the OP. Oh, sweet, Yang. “Nope”, heh. Okay, she’s got fight gloves. What does it take to phase her? OH. THAT. ‘K. And Blake has an extendo whip thing? Weiss, seriously, posture? Okay, the hilt sword thing is neat-- oh, Ruby, sheesh. Can either of you “team”? Oh brother, you’re both clueless. Pyrrha, you’re very wordy. Aura drop info is handy. With a neat action scene. Guh, okay, Lie’s badass. Jaune is Aura-man for skill then. Weiss is dragging Ruby down. >.< Yay, fave pair is back. Chess? That’s a monster, isn’t it. Yuuup. And Ruby falls in what now?

Thoughts and Theories:
Well, the show’s good at the little cliffhangers. Not fond of Ruby/Weiss, they’re not even trying to learn about each other. (Weiss ice AND fire thing is interesting though.) The rest fare better. (I note more than 8 people were launched out there, and am okay with the focus, as long as they don’t forget.) I figured we’d be further along, but they’re giving Jaune some character, so alright. Pretty sure they’ll all have to work together now?

Chapter 5: Players and Pieces

Stream of Consciousness:
-Context, maybe? Ruby, sigh. Oh Jaune, bad aim. Nora, Nora no. Blake, you’re awesome. Yang’s got the red eyes once more. “She’s gonna fall.” Uh, Jaune, who’s got you? “Now we can die together”, well, the comedy’s working. Ruby, learn how to team! Ooh, feather attack. THANK you, Weiss (good call on having her get the save, she needed redemption). You are kinda trying to show off, Ruby. “Run and live.” Didn’t call it but I like it.
-Nora fires hearts, of course, and W. T. F?! Redeems herself there with that weapon. Blake, I didn’t even see all of that, whoa. They’re... not doing great at the protection thing. Their jumping works though. Pyrrha, that’s badass. Nora, HOW IS IT YOU CAN PHYSICS? Yang’s miffed at bird. Weiss magic circles, oooh. Ooh, ooh, that’s ooh. Okay, damn. Music cut out at just the right time too. “That was a thing”, hahahaha. (Oh yay, they’re acknowledging other people.) So, JNPR, Juniper, plus RWBY. An interesting year indeed. Back to evil, natch. City of Vale? Hmm.

Thoughts and Theories:
So, the team leaders seem to be the people who can think while under stress. Doesn’t mean they’re necessarily people persons. I’m still lukewarm on Weiss and Ruby (and Jaune), but I like what they did there, and I like their weapons. Actually, the people I’m hesitant on have the coolest weapons (NORA HOW CAN YOU PHYSICS?) and vice versa. Like, Yang’s fist things, meh, Nanoha StrikerS vibe (granted, same from Nora), but her attitude, OMG, lovely. Plotwise, they’ve set the stage very well in the first half; will Evil be trying to recruit from the school next, maybe? Or could just be a random encounter like in Chapter 1. Don’t really have enough data yet.

Chapter 6: The Badge and The Burden

Stream of Consciousness:
-Ruby, what IS wrong with you? It’s morning. “Unpack and clean,” Blake’s becoming my fave. (Ninjas of Love? I saw that, Blake.) School outfits are kinda neat. How am I feeling bad for Weiss now? Why are they ALL going to be late to class?? Vale, and three other kingdoms are safe havens, ooh, nice exposition cloak. Why is Beowolf up there? And Death Stalkers? (Oh, that’s the scorpion.) And Nevermore? (The raven, eh?) Now he digresses. Ruby, really? Yeah, I’m with Weiss now. Blake has a pennant, hee! I feel like there could be collateral damage in class. Ooh, that’s not good. Well, Ruby’s kind of trying to help? Ooh, I wonder about the different coloured magic circles for Weiss.
-Oy, more Weiss/Ruby butting heads, and Weiss isn’t going for the easy mark of Ruby not being disciplined or scheduled, she’s on about youth and leadership, sigh. Also “I deserve better” doesn’t help. It’s not making me like Ruby more, it’s pulling Weiss back down. Uh, now sucking up to teacher? “That’s preposterous.” The headmaster Ozpin’s kinda cool. Needing to perform at best. “Poor attitude”, yeah Weiss. Interesting intercuts. Weiss is a night owl? She brings coffee, okaaay? “That’s wrong, by the way” coupled with “wanting bunk beds”, I’m back to warming up to Weiss! (Are those credits different?)

Thoughts and Theories:
I suppose that was a necessary arc, I commented myself on the leadership issue last time. But I feel I’m back at square one, like my character expectations were lowered only to be reset. It’s not that I wanted action, I figured we’d pull back from that, but... maybe I really want to know more about Blake, and I’m bitter we’re not getting that. Or background on the weapons. (We did get some on the geography though.) Next?

Chapter 7: Jaunedice

Stream of Consciousness:
-Jaune, you need tactics. Pyrrha’s nice. It’s been weeks, eh? (Hey, where’s mah Blake?) Lie, you are a good counterpoint to Nora’s hyperness. Dream, HAH. Wait, this is a a JAUNE ep?? Aw, cute bunny. Cardin name drop, locker thing is weird. Cute BRITISH bunny (wait, they’re real ears? Faunus what now?). Coffee teacher is on coffee. There was a war? That’s cool history. (Real clever way of getting this stuff across.) Ooh, BLAKE, throwing shade! Teacher’s kinda cool, if proverby. Jaune roof humour. Aw, Pyrrha! Shocking reveal? He LIED, oh, whoa, explains a lot but must be more to it. Pyrrha’s still so nice. Jaune’s self-aware, that’s something - but he’s not Pyrrha aware. Oh, Cardin, THIS won’t end well. Yeeeah.

Thoughts and Theories:
Blake is becoming my runaway favourite with her little sidebars. MOAR BLAKE! And Pyrrah’s edging out Yang... I didn’t expect quite this much development for JNPR this early on. I guess it means the “big villain” angle is being shunted aside - after all, gotta show that they can handle SMALL villains before moving into the big time. Right? I presume? Do we even get to first year graduation by the end? There WAS a time skip here... dammit, more Blake, please.

Chapter 8: Forever Fall

Stream of Consciousness:
-It’s the JNPR group, and Pyrrah is less happy. Oh, Ruby gets a chance to help Jaune? It’s not coming here that was the bad idea, dude. “You’re a leader you’re not allowed to be a failure”, that’s not bad. Heh, okay, decent pep talk. Which didn’t work? How does a “Forever Fall” forest work, where do leaves come from? (Professor Peach what?) Jaune, do the right... dammit. They’re gonna pour sap on Jaune? Nora, you goof. Cardin, you jerk. You’re making HIM do it? Jaune, you are nuts, for even thinking about it. Kinda predictable result.
-Dammit Nora! Ooh, Jaune, did you aura? Ursa Major. Everyone’s in it now. Pyrrah knows what’s up. Uh, should Jaune be... ooh, nice. “What?” is a cool reaction. Polarity! Pfft, “magnets are cool too”. (So Pyrrah can control his weapons?) Well, that is a nice conclusion there. Ooh, oooh, better conclusion with Pyrrah coming! Yessss, oooh, I DO like her. (Yeah, these closing stills ARE different each time.)

Thoughts and Theories:
I guess we’re looking at two episode mini-arcs. I’ve decided I don’t like Nora, but her interactions with others are clever. Meanwhile, Lie and Blake, they’re the “we don’t really know you” ones in the background, figure they’ll likely stay that way to the end of this set. I guess there’s some final scholastic test coming up? We’ve gotta be switching back to RWBY for something epic, right? (Probably something that’ll make me want to watch Volume Two... I don’t know how popular this was when it first came out.)

Chapter 9: The Stray

Stream of Consciousness:
-Based on the OP, Blake’s totally a ninja. Party town? Guy on the ladder’s not a shadow, hmm. Vinyl festival? (Oh, Vytal.) Heh, Ruby. Visitors at the docks? Blake, my fave, quite the observer. Police investigation? At dust shop? Not for money, oooh. White Fang name drop. They’re misguided faunas? (Are they ninjas like Blake?!) They want to wipe out humans, huh? Blake has a point but now I wonder about her. (Is her bow cat ears thing a misdirect?) Connection back to Chapter 1. Fauna prejudice! Nicely set up previously - now lampshaded with theft? Oh, stowaway. Monkey boy. Kind of a jerk. What was that with Blake? OMG, this is a Blake ep?? Observation excuse. Nora? Or, no, just, girl on the ground. Penny. Sure. HAHA, have I said I love Blake and Yang? I do. Ruby’s so matter of fact about friendship.
-Penny’s back, oh, I see where this is going. Her teammates are funny. HAH, NICE self-aware Ruby/Weiss moment, HAH. Tournament? OMG, combat skirt, OMG, Blake, you make everyone better. (Now I’m looking at Blake’s outfit more.) Weiss can’t take a clue. She’s not wrong about the monkey necessarily but she’s generalizing, oh, the White Fang thing is a bad thing to pull in. Oooh. Go, Yang? Maybe do something instead? Oh, so that lasted into the night. Blake makes good point. Weiss has a history?! Family war, oh dear. Because of the dust. Ticking off her Dad. Okaaaaay, Blake dropped in the “We” there. Good speed, Blake. And to the statue. The ribbon DID hide ears! O.o OMFG. Was that Jaune? Or the monkey guy? Back to Ruby. Gone away. Nice that they’re searching. “You wanna know more about me”, YOU THINK? Closing stills are fauna this time (Penny’s gotta be one, right?) so that’s clever.

Thoughts and Theories:
This isn’t the “epic” that I thought it would be (nice little misdirect on the police case, I figured that was coming out of the background, but no), but man, I love it. As I bet you knew I would from reading earlier. Blake’s awesome metre is rising fast, but Weiss isn’t totally irrational either... of course, the fact Weiss needed redemption early on is (for me) giving Blake the high ground. The dynamics of the RWBY team are kind of crazy. Related, Blake and Yang, I ship them now. Also, wait, does Blake have REAL ears too, because... wouldn’t they notice? (Cosmetic surgery?) Uh... anyway. I guess the end of Volume One is them coming together as a full team at last (they’ve gotta pull Blake back in, right?). We’ll get Blake’s story, like why she’s in hiding, and then she’ll have to make a choice, maybe White Fang are even being set up by the big villain guy. Seems like a lot to do in 15 minutes. Whelp.

Chapter 10: Black and White

Stream of Consciousness:
-Nothing wrong with two days of weird looks I guess. “Holier than thou creeps” from the stowaway? Born into it, hm, meant to be a symbol of peace. This is kind of an amazing analogy. OHMIGAWD CHIBI YOUNG BLAKE. New leader, new problems, ahhh, that’s where the Weiss thing comes in. Respect versus fear problem, nice that she’s principled. OHHH, she can make the bow twitch. OHHH. Yang has a good idea. Penny also sneaky. Yang vs. Tumbleweed, Yang loses, HAH, oh no, TUNA? Ruby vs. Tumbleweed, it’s still winning. So they ARE trying to crack the case. Monkey-boy is kinda using logic? Hm, then Weiss logic. And Ruby trying to explain things. “Is she a man?” Oy oy.
-Crates. Blake still principled. Air, no tumbleweed? Oh dear. “Deep down I knew”. Oh, but there’s more to this now, nice callback. “Oh for fu--", heh. Blake’s pretty bold. Memo? Blake’s in trouble now. AH, I hope her reflexes... whoa, nice. Uh oh, monkey boy may get hurt. He has a weapon though, okay. Blake’s back, what is she using? Numchuck staff? Cool. Yup, Red’s back. Penny’s as bad as Nora. Penny W. T. F?!?!? I like how her blades look like the snowflake symbol. AN ENERGY WEAPON TOO? And strings, and uh, uh, uh, uh. Good question, Ruby. Aaaand the villain gets a good line.
-Weiss... ooh, she was thinking? Aww, yeah. Even uses “someone else” versus a slur. I’m not sure how I feel about Monkey either, to tell the truth. Penny is part of a secret organization? Headmaster’s eavesdropping. I can’t believe they did all that in UNDER 15 minutes. Lots of “thanks” there in the credits, that’s actually seriously cool. The song’s not bad either. NOW comes the setup, natch. Oh, and there’s a woman behind it, who can make fire. That makes sense, more girl power.

Thoughts and Theories:
Everything was well constructed. Like, REALLY. They couldn’t sensibly do the Blake stuff until they had enough world building, and they used that time to flesh out the secondary characters. While Weiss, the most difficult personality (and with her dust company, key to the big plot), was handled first. (Yang did get short shrift, as they relation shipped her with Ruby and had her flip out about her hair but little else.) They also had the villain nicely bookend things (except of course, he’s not the MAIN enemy).
I feel it got a bit rushed at the end though. The Penny stuff might have been better left for another volume - except it was badass, so I can’t fault it. I guess she’s an artificial intelligence? (It would explain some of her mannerisms and wherever she was hiding weapons.) Actually, does she run on dust, maybe? (I’m still not clear on technology in a world that has air vehicles and transforming weapons but not skyscrapers.) Is that why the bad guys want said dust so much, they’re building more of her? (Villain-guy wasn’t triggered by Penny, but he probably doesn’t know the end game.) Well, that’s my theory for now. I wonder if it’s only happening in Vale, or if it’s all over.

Quick extra word about the voice acting too, because you can have a great script and decent animation but if you don’t have the voices, that can torpedo things - and this didn’t. They seem to understand their characters well enough. (I still wonder if Yang’s quiet “nailed it” was some sort of ad lib.)
Well, the world is built (oh, and nice parallels with the faunus racism) the characters are likeable, time to see if they can dance? I’ve heard that Volume 3 is where things go totally nuts. Having taken a look at the "extra features" I think I can also extrapolate to Ruby being taken in by Yang's family, so there's probably pathos from that too.

I’ll probably try to find time to stick with this, if I can? The chapters are short. Not sure if anyone would care to see my thoughts as I go beyond though. Let me know. It does take extra time to format these... in fact I’m pretty sure I’ll drop “Stream of Consciousness” and only go with the Thoughts afterwards.
If you liked this post, previous Series Scans have included looking at the To Aru "Sisters Arc" in both "Index" and "Railgun" simultaneously, and where "Erased" went wrong with time travel. Or simply feel free to drop a comment below (ideally avoiding spoilers). Thanks for reading!