Saturday, 26 November 2016

Not Teaching: Week 21

This week, I’m acknowledging something about deadlines. I’m rather good at them. This despite the fact that at least 90% of the time, my unprofessional deadlines are self-imposed. I reached 50,000 words this past week for my NaNoWriMo... I’m still going, 2k per day, because the story isn’t done, and it’s going on Wattpad. Is it getting any views there after 11 daily updates? One.

For the past month, I’ve been coming up with a new personified math comic on Sundays, drawing and publishing it by Monday. Last Monday’s entry had 10 views total, all within the first two days. I ran a twitter poll in parallel; it did have 76 votes. I plan to publish those results on Monday. Will anyone notice or care? Maybe two of the ten, if I’m lucky.

Last Friday marked the completion of Book 3 of “Time & Tied” on my website. I haven’t missed an update there in over two years. Yet one of the posts I published last month has only 4 views. My overall monthly stats there haven’t been this bad since January 2016. I plan to launch Book 4 on Monday. I practically guarantee no one will notice if I miss a week there.

I should just stop. I don’t know why I don’t. I guess it’s because I’m rather good at deadlines.


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In other news this week, sad news from France, I ran into the school’s former head of parent council in the mall, and I stayed caught up on my TV shows. (The Librarians is back!)



Item counts run Sunday (November 20) to Saturday (November 26).

Step Count: About 59,800.
Two days over 10k, two days under 7k. Balances.

School Email Count: 64 New (1 sent)
School concerts are coming up.



Writing/Art Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Wrote, drew, inked and published a math comic.
 -T&T Commentary written.

NaNoWriMo Words Etc:
 -TUE Nov 1: 2375. Nov 2: 890. Nov 3: 1917. Nov 4: 2156. Nov 5: 4442.
 -Nov 6: 2385. Nov 7: 403. TUE Nov 8: 2258. Nov 9: 2158. Nov 10: 1794.
 -Nov 11: 1523. Nov 12: 2840. Nov 13: 1989. Nov 14: 1711. TUE Nov 15: 2609.
 -Nov 16: 1160. Nov 17: 2444. Nov 18: 2298. Nov 19: 1148. Nov 20: 4380.
 -Nov 21: 685. Nov 22: 3342. Nov 23: 1973. Nov 24: 3296. Nov 25: 2979.
 -Nov 26: 2000. 
 -NaNoWriMo WriteIn at Algonquin finished on Sunday
 -NaNoWriMo WriteIn on Tuesday

Non-Writing Items for the past week:
 -Math Meeting Monday
 -Dinner with Friends Monday
 -Yoga Thursday
 -Saw Doctor Strange movie Saturday

PROBABLE PROJECTS in the coming week:
 -Does It Matter?

UNCHANGED NEXT items:
 -Post recap about OAME (from May)
 -Post recap about Math PD (from Feb)
 -Post recap about Anime North (from May)
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Post recap about COMA Social (from Sept)
 -Actually turn this into more of a newsletter?
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Decision Fatigue
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (Steins Gate)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Catch up more on “Bones” (no spoilers past S11.18!)
 -Get back onto tumblr.
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

Congrats on reading this far down. Anyone else have Blogger randomly update the interface on them?
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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Not Teaching: Week 20

This week I got back to my roots; there was a staff gathering on Thursday (before a peculiarly placed PD day on Friday), so I turned up. In the process getting caught up on a number of items (an upcoming marriage), meeting an LTO who likes Data Management (Alexis), learned how things were after that Trump election (anxiety) - and apparently my desk is still vacant (as is Deb Howitt’s), go figure. I’m hoping to get to holiday concerts and the like next month.


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Regarding NaNoWriMo, I’m on track to get to 50k, but not to finish the story. I also decided to put it on Wattpad, after seeing that some other people were too. Why not?


Item counts run Sunday (November 13) to Saturday (November 19).

Step Count: About 57,300.
Got 7500+ every day except the initial Sunday.

School Email Count: 52 New (1 sent)
Apparently admin can get 60 emails per day. So, glad it's not that.


Writing desk, from last weekend.

Writing/Art Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Wrote, drew, inked and published a math comic.
 -Put out a NaNoWriMo excerpt at the midway point.

NaNoWriMo Words Etc:
 -TUE Nov 1: 2375. Nov 2: 890. Nov 3: 1917. Nov 4: 2156. Nov 5: 4442.
 -Nov 6: 2385. Nov 7: 403. TUE Nov 8: 2258. Nov 9: 2158. Nov 10: 1794.

 -Nov 11: 1523. Nov 12: 2840. Nov 13: 1989. Nov 14: 1711. TUE Nov 15: 2609.
 -Nov 16: 1160. Nov 17: 2444. Nov 18: 2298. Nov 19: 1148. 
 -NaNoWriMo Gathering on Sunday
 -NaNoWriMo WriteIn at Algonquin on Saturday

Non-Writing Items for the past week:
 -Staff gathering on Thursday
 -Yoga Thursday
 -Tidied up yard/BBQ in advance of snow (ugh)

PROBABLE PROJECTS in the coming week:
 -Math Meeting Monday
 -NaNoWriMo Continues (including Wattpad)
 -T&T Commentary to write

UNCHANGED NEXT items:
 -Post recap about OAME (from May)
 -Post recap about Math PD (from Feb)
 -Post recap about Anime North (from May)
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Post recap about COMA Social (from Sept)
 -Actually turn this into more of a newsletter?
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Decision Fatigue
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (Steins Gate)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Catch up more on “Bones” (no spoilers past S11.18!)
 -Get back onto tumblr.
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

I also want to get to a poll analysis, but that’s also possibly becoming a plot point in my NaNoWriMo.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016 Halfway

Back at the end of September, I mused about possible NaNoWriMo options. It wasn't until Sunday October 30th, that I basically decided to go with Option 1: Math Novel. I created a few characters with personality points. And Rosemary Thorne? Ohh, she ran with the whole "need a character arc" thing, all the way to the LGBTQ club.


Actually, things with Rose aren't too different from Alex Danvers' current arc in "Supergirl". (Which on the one hand is kind of weird, but on the other hand means I'm dealing with topics that are partially mainstream...) Rose also decided the narrative would go first person; I feel lucky that I was able to insist on a serialized format with math. So here, at the halfway point, I present the main cast, and an excerpt. If you're interested in another excerpt, let me know! I'm not sure when/if I'll actually post the whole 50k thing.


CHARACTERS



  • ROSEMARY "ROSE" THORNE: First year university student, taking music. Is having math dreams, and pretty quickly into the narrative, she realizes she is gay.
  • SINE: Personified mathematical function. Rose's dream confidant with some problems of her own.
  • SEIKO YOSHIDA: First year university student, taking math. Rose's roommate.
  • PAIGE FOURIER: First year university student, taking math but minoring in music. The girl who caused Rose to confront her feelings.
  • MARC BRIDGEWOOD: First year university student, taking music. Someone Rose knew from back in high school.


EXCERPT FROM "THE GIRL WHO SPEAKS WITH ALGEBRA"



(From Page 31)

“So you’re saying math functions can have relationships like we humans do?”

“I suppose. I don’t know how humans do relationships. You’re asking a lot of questions today,” Sine pointed out.

“Yeah.” I frowned. “Sorry?”

“No, growth mindset, I like it. But I feel like maybe I don’t have the proper foundation to understand all your questions, in the same way you don’t have the proper foundation to understand all my answers.”

“I don’t understand being a lesbian either, that hasn’t seemed to stop me.”

“Hm. You seem to be obsessing over that detail today.”

“Kinda sorta.” My hands ran back through my hair, knocking my hat off. I’d forgotten I was even wearing it here. “Okay, here’s something we can talk about. You claim anyone can math, through this growth mindset, right? Just a matter of saying you can’t math YET. But you will. Yes?”

“I think so. It’s likely one of those concepts that bleeds through from the human world, actually.”

“Then does that work with sexuality? Was I once heterosexual, because I couldn’t lesbian YET? Or like Lady Gaga claims, was I born this way, meaning I’m simply obtuse?”

Sine pursed her lips. “I’m assuming obtuse in this context doesn’t mean an angle which is greater than ninety degrees, and yet less than one-hundred-eighty.”

“No, I mean obtuse in the context of I’m dense as a post.”

“Okay. I won’t ask about Lady Gaga.” Sine made a gesture, and two deck chairs appeared. She sat down in one, nodding towards the other. I joined her.

“Here’s how I interpret that,” Sine said. “I was born as trigonometry. I can’t really change that, even assuming I wanted to. But I don’t have to stay in my base form. With practice, I can change my amplitude, my displacement and my period. Heck, if enough of us Sines get together, we can look like something totally different.”

“Huh. Must be great, having control over your period.”

Sine smiled. “Don’t evade my point. It had some dimension to it.”

I stretched out in the deck chair, my hands behind my head. “So what you’re saying is, some stuff like sexuality is baked in, while other stuff like learning is what we can control, given enough effort. I suppose I’ll buy that, but then how does one tell the difference? Like what stuff is inherent at the start, and what isn’t?”

“I have no idea. Barring knowledge of genetics, it seems like each item is something that would need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, whether we’re talking about mathematics or humans. Identifying being one of those things that nobody has fully figured out – yet.”

“But then how can we sometimes miss obvious baked in stuff?” I pressed. “Like, no one would mistake you for being a... a polynomial, would they?” She’d mentioned those in the context of QT. Were polynomials more inclined to being lesbians, maybe?

“Well, first of all, it’s easier to look at others than at ourselves,” Sine mused. “I have no trouble talking with Cosine for instance, whereas it’s always a bit unsettling, talking to a ‘sin(x)+1’. I sometimes think, wow, is that what I look like? And I wonder, how did I end up being the one in charge of her and everybody else.”

“I’m not a fan of mirrors,” I agreed. “Maybe that’s why I don’t wear much makeup. But then, lesbians aren’t supposed to wear makeup, are they? So maybe I was – no, then again, Paige wears makeup, and she’s a lesbian. I think.” I grimaced. “Maybe I should simply stop stereotyping, huh?”

Sine nodded. “Stereotypes and labels can be a problem,” she agreed. “But to return to your original question, if you zoom far enough in on my curves, and only make a casual observation? You can’t necessarily distinguish my graph from a polynomial parabola. Even though we’re very different.”

“So you’re saying I did miss the obvious stuff about myself,” I concluded. “I didn’t analyze properly, and somehow thought I was trig, when all along I was polynomial.”

“You saw what you expected to see,” Sine said. “Which is probably connected to whatever your human society believes to be typical. After all, if you’re surrounded by periodic functions in the media, it never occurs to you that you might not be a periodic function as well. But don’t misunderstand me, this doesn’t mean that everyone else around you saw the truth either.”

“Oh no,” I protested. “They did. They must have. They’re a lot smarter than I am.”

“Rose, they’re surrounded by the same society that you are.” Sine peered at me. “Also, you’re hardly stupid, as you’ve somehow managed to bridge the gap between humans and mathematical relations. Give yourself more credit.”

“Sine, I don’t know how I’m doing this,” I protested. “And talking to math, it’s hardly a useful skill!”

“Oh. Then you’re saying talking to me isn’t useful?”

DAMN it. I had to stop saying insulting things like that. “No. I’m saying I put my foot in my mouth too much. Other people don’t.”

“I’m sure other people do, but maybe it’s easier to forgive them, or to miss their words entirely.” Sine chewed briefly on her lower lip. “Listen, Rose, when you go back to your human world, can you do me a favour?”

“Heck yeah, you’re being amazing to me. Very useful. Don’t let me tell you otherwise.”

“Can you research Hilbert Curves?”

I nodded. “Sure. Any particular reason?”


She drew in a shaky breath. “That’s what killed me, and brought me here. I was trapped in a Hilbert Curve, somewhere in Fractal City.” Her gaze drifted then, as if she was remembering. I decided to give her a moment of quiet.

*****

Want an excerpt of Rosemary with one of the other main characters? Or have some advice? Or a reaction? Let me know. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Not Teaching: Week 19

I’m writing for NaNoWriMo - and not doing much of anything else. It’s like I’m no longer a teacher, desperately trying to find time for writing, but rather a writer... who’s not entirely sure what to do when not writing.


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Actually, following the whole Trump thing in the US, there’s some TANDQ columns I want to get to. And I should try to make a buffer for my restored math comic. And I should do another holiday song parody that no one’s asking for. Of course, that’s all still writing. What am I, when I don't teach or write?

Item counts run Sunday (November 6) to Saturday (November 12).

Step Count: About 52,000.
Not bad, since Monday was rubbish, under 3k. Lots of edits then though.

School Email Count: 56 New (0 sent)
Again no key emails. Weird.


Nov 11. A teacher from Lisgar had students there.

Writing/Art Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Wrote, drew, inked and published a math comic.
 -Went back and did a complete edit on T&T Book 4. Fixed 92b.

NaNoWriMo Words Etc:
 -TUE Nov 1: 2375. Nov 2: 890. Nov 3: 1917. Nov 4: 2156. Nov 5: 4442.
 -Nov 6: 2385. Nov 7: 403. TUE Nov 8: 2258. Nov 9: 2158. Nov 10: 1794.
 -Nov 11: 1523. Nov 12: 2840.
 -NaNoWriMo WriteIn at main library on Sunday
 -NaNoWriMo WriteIn at Vanier library on Tuesday
 -NaNoWriMo WriteIn at Ikea and Bridgehead on Friday
 -NaNoWriMo WriteIn at uOttawa on Saturday

Non-Writing Items for the past week:
 -Finished reading “The Number Devil”
 -Yoga Thursday
 -Attended downtown Remembrance Day ceremony

PROBABLE PROJECTS in the coming week:
 -NaNoWriMo?

WOULD BE NICE items:
 -Post recap about OAME (from May)
 -Post recap about Math PD (from Feb)
 -Post recap about Anime North (from May)
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Post recap about COMA Social (from Sept)
 -Actually turn this into more of a newsletter?
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Decision Fatigue
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (Steins Gate)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Catch up more on “Bones” (no spoilers past S11.18!)
 -Get back onto tumblr.
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

This is turning out to be an interesting month.

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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Not Teaching: Week 18

We’re just over a third of the way through 52 weeks now. Which feels a little weird, since the weeks are still in the teens, but that’s math for you. Also weird is being done T&T. It’s like I might be able to relax in January or something. In the meantime, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) started, so I created a cover, and have been perusing the forums.


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Highlights of the week include finding a reference to myself (as a teacher) in the serial “Sanctioned” by ChrysKelly, having Sam Shah tell me I should enter my “Cubic Formula” song into a competition, running into a former student at a NaNoWriMo Write-in, and attending a visitation for the passing of a former colleague in the Occasional Teacher Bargaining Unit. Yeah, I didn’t say they were all happy highlights.

Item counts run Sunday (October 30) to Saturday (November 5).

Step Count: About 56,900.
Two days over 10k. One was by accident, they’d closed off a pathway I’d planned to take coming home after a walk.

School Email Count: 57 New (0 sent)
First week I’ve sent zero emails. One of the messages I received involved those funeral arrangements. That's why one keeps checking.


Nov 5 is a day for red hair.
Also, Rose in my NaNoWriMo's a redhead.

Writing/Art Related Items (from Sun to Sat):
 -Finished T&T Part 96b.
 -Sketched an Aion parody for Twittereen.
 -Wrote, drew, inked and published a math comic for first time since August!
 -Wrote a blog post about the time travel series “Timeless”.

NaNoWriMo Words Etc: (**NEW**)
 -Nov 1: 2375. Nov 2: 890. Nov 3: 1917. Nov 4: 2156. Nov 5: 4442.
 -NaNoWriMo social gathering last Sunday
 -NaNoWriMo coffee shop crawl on Saturday afternoon

Non-Writing Items for the past week:
 -Halloween! 29 kids. Four from 5:30-5:45. Three around 6:20. Nine from 7:15-7:30, three from 7:30-7:45, five from 7:45-8:00. Three around 8:15 and two around 8:45.
 -Yoga Tuesday
 -Started reading “The Number Devil”.
 -Meeting with friends Saturday morning

PROBABLE PROJECTS in the coming week:
 -NaNoWriMo.
 -Finish reading “The Number Devil”.
 -Attend Remembrance Day ceremony downtown.

WOULD BE NICE items:
 -Post recap about OAME (from May)
 -Post recap about Math PD (from Feb)
 -Post recap about Anime North (from May)
 -Post recap about CanCon 2016 (from Sept)
 -Post recap about COMA Social (from Sept)
 -Actually turn this into more of a newsletter?
 -Catch up with web serials I’ve enjoyed
 -Write a TANDQ article on Decision Fatigue
 -Write a post about types of praise/encouragement
 -Organize all the paper clutter from school
 -Organize all the electronic clutter from school
 -Weed through/organize emails
 -Do another Parody Math Video
 -French Citizenship project
 -Actually market some of my creative stuff
 -Binging Anime (Magical Index)
 -Binging Anime (Steins Gate)
 -Binging Anime (RWBY borrowed from Scott)
 -Catch up more on “Bones” (no spoilers past S11.16!*)
 -Get back onto tumblr.
 -Read some of the books sitting at my desk

This is shaping up to be my most chill November since I became a full time teacher.
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