Mirrored from Juliet Kemp.
Here is a list of the recs I picked up from various panels I attended at Worldcon. (These are likely not complete, but they’re the ones that I wrote down.)
- We Who Are About To – Joanna Russ
- Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction – ed K M Szpara (anthology)
- The Black Tides of Heaven / The Red Threads of Fortune – JY Yang (forthcoming in Sept)
- Prominence – Ann Leckie (forthcoming, but read some on her website)
- Jacob’s Ladder – Elizabeth Bear
- River of Teeth – Sarah Gailey
- Pantomime – Laura Lam
- Killing Gravity – Corey J White
- Interactive fiction Craft phone games (Choice of Deathless/City’s Thirst) – Max Gladstone (you can play an nb character)
- “Masculinity is an Anxiety Disorder” (essay) – David J Schwartz
- Rose Lemberg
- Foz Meadows
- A Merc Rustad
(This one should be complete as I moderated the panel and made a point of writing them down to tweet afterwards.)
- Two Faces of Tomorrow – James P Hogan
- Culture series – Iain M Banks
- Too Like the Lightning and Seven Surrenders – Ada Palmer
- The Postman – David Brin
- A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and A Closed And Common Orbit – Becky Chambers
- Hospital Station – James White
- Malhutan Chronicles – Tom D Wright (panelist)
- Orbital Cloud – Taiyo Fuji (panelist)
- The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison
- All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye – Christopher Brookmyre
- Blood Songs series – Anthony Ryan
- Revenant Population – Elizabeth Moon
- Barbara Hambly
Also, Catherine Lundoff keeps a bibliography of books with older women protagonists.
- Praxis – John Williams
- Black Wolves – Kate Elliot
- Vixen and The Waves – Hoa Pham
- Isabelle Yap
- Ken Liu
- Stephanie Lai
- Zen Cho
(Plus one from Nine Worlds in which the MC has Borderline Personality Disorder: Borderline – Mishell Baker)
I skived off before the speakers, though, as I was pretty tired and had a long walk home. I'm counting that as exercise because my leg muscles certainly felt it.
I met a baby whose dad said this was her first protest outside of the womb. She was really cute. I saw another insanely cute toddler later on, who had disposed of one of her shoes...I didn't rat her out, though, she was giving me the sweet eyes. Also the mom was talking to the dad and I didn't want to interrupt.
Never did manage to meet up with Camille and Barbara, and didn't see Lionel and Shani and their kids, but did run into Amey from choir, Vash from the writing community, and C.'s cousin Grace.
Let's see what will happen. First of all, I need to poke my nose out of the door - which I didn't do so far today, so meh.
I've also changed back to a smaller keyboard and a trackpad instead of my regular mouse and keyboard combination. Honestly, I prefer the bigger keyboard (with proper arrow keys, not arrow keys squeezed together in a corner, sort of), but my regular mouse has been "cheating" for so long that I got tired of it. Cheating as in randomly interpreting single clicks as double clicks and being unwilling to make the drag and drop motion. Like, if you try to drag something across the screen, it's likely to just get dropped three times on the journey.... or also, it just refuses to get picked up in the first place. Oh, and forget doing things like autofilling whole columns in spreadsheet programs, because if you try to highlight a couple of cells and then try to drag to autofill that info to nearby cells, the highlighting is lost before you've autofilled two cells.
I'm tired of this, so trackpad it is... for a while, at least.
What else? Yes, I've made two new icons today. One is on this post - some of you might recognize my favourite singer, actually. If not, he's Czech, and his name is Ladislav Křížek. This pic is from 1991 or thereabouts, so he doesn't look ANYTHING like this anymore (he still sings, though - and he still does so fabulously well!) Anyway, a girl can dream, right? Even though my mind knows that this is years and years ago, I still always think of him like this.
I might be weird, but eh.
The mishna begins a chapter with an overview of how civil and capital cases are conducted:
Both civil and capital cases require inquiry and examination of witnesses. (This is done by the judges; there are no lawyers.)
Civil cases are tried by a court of three; capital cases are tried by a court of 23.
When the judges deliberate on civil cases, they may begin with arguments for either acquittal or condemnation. When they deliberate on capital cases, they must begin with arguments for acquittal.
Civil cases may be decided by a majority of one; capital cases may be decided by a majority of one for acquittal, but require a majority of at least two for condemnation.
In civil cases the decision may be reversed in either direction (for example upon the discovery of an error). In capital cases the decision may be reversed from condemnation to acquittal but not the other way around.
In civil cases, all present (including the pupils who are observing) may argue for or against the defendant. In capital cases, anybody may argue for acquittal but only the judges may argue for condemnation.
In civil cases, one who has previously argued for either acquittal or condemnation may then argue for the other side (for example because he realized his argument was faulty). In capital cases, one who has argued for condemnation may then argue for acquittal but not the other way around.
Civil cases are tried by day and concluded by night if necessary.
Capital cases are tried by day and must be concluded by day. Civil cases can be concluded on the same day (either way); capital cases can be concluded on the same day for acquittal but not until the following day for condemnation. Therefore trials are not held on the eve of Shabbat or a festival.
In civil cases we begin with the opinion of the most eminent of the judges; in capital cases we begin with the opinion of the least ("those on the side benches").
All types of Jews (presumably they mean men) are eligible to try civil cases, but converts and bastards cannot judge capital cases.
(32a, which begins chapter 4)
It was lovely to see osos and liv.
I always find travel a little stressful but I have got better at not worrying. It's still feels like more of a hurdle than travelling locally, even if it shouldn't, but less so.
Helsinki was nice. I didn't do a lot of exploring, but some. I love water, and enjoyed going to another city based on the sea. Helsinki itself isn't on as many islands as Stockholm, but the harbour is covered with them and several tourist attractions are on one island or another.
We went to the zoo, and I went out to the island fortress Suomelina, both nice ferry rides. Suomelina was originally fortified by Sweden when Finland was part of Sweden, and later controlled by Finland and by Russia, with modern fortifications added to the older ones. The original fortifications are incredible to see, vast stone walls dozens of feet thick with tunnels at the bottom surrounding grassy courtyards, and at the main entrance, stone steps swooping down to the sea from a giant gate that frames the sun.
When we flew back, I realised what Liv had already told me, but not previously realised the extent of, that there really are continuous islands all the way from Finland to Sweden.
Zoo pictures are slowly being uploaded on twitter :)
Food was expensive but fairly easy. Few places had good vegetarian options already on the menu, but everyone I spoke to was eager to to be flexible and make up a cheaper price for a plate full of all the side dishes, without me needing to explain or anything.
Part of the expense is being in a foreign conference centre when the pound is getting weaker, but as I understand it, Finland *is* typically more expensive. I don't know enough about it, but my impression is, partly due to needing to import more food, and partly due to higher taxes and wages. But I wish people would acknowledge that latter part when complaining.
Worldcon was fun. Registration was incredibly quick with a computerised "scan barcode and print label" system, and everything was well organised apart from being over-full on the first two days.
Most of the panels I went to were decent but none stood out to me as amazing.
I loved seeing authors I cared about, at the steven universe panel, at the wild cards panel (and winning hugos). The quantum computing panel didn't tell me a lot about the theory but was fascinating for telling us about what computers had practically been built -- and apparently IBM have one you can run programs on online!!
I had a better balance between different sorts of things, I did some panels, some meeting people. I met up with people, but didn't feel like I was constantly missing out on fun things just round the corner. I got some books I was excited by but not too many.
The US Supreme Court is deciding a case that will establish whether the police need a warrant to access cell phone location data. This week I signed on to an amicus brief from a wide array of security technologists outlining the technical arguments as why the answer should be yes. Susan Landau summarized our arguments.
A bunch of tech companies also submitted a brief.
We studied Literature of Protest as one of our English Lit modules (that was where I first read the Handmaids Tale) and as well as our set text work there was an unseen texts paper. For our mock, the unseen text for that module was a poem called "White Poetess" by Musaemura Zimunya (I've looked, and sadly, I can't find a copy of the poem online) asking us to comment on how effectively the poet's protest was communicated to the reader. Briefly, the poem scorns the titular white poetess for her simple, superior view of Africa and Africans and for her romanticisation of the beauty of the landscape without acknowledging the Africans who live there. I wasn't particularly great at poetry analysis and I cobbled together a rough plan and had written nearly a page of it when I had one of the only genuine lightbulb moments of my own that I remember in my education. In the last stanza, the poem talks about the poetess going home and writing about "the Rhodesian veld". The word had been nagging at me for a while, and I suddenly remembered what Rhodesia was, and what the deliberate use of that word meant, particularly given that the poet had mentioned Zimbabwe earlier on. That one piece of knowledge unlocked the whole poem for me, brought the rest of the text into focus, to the extent that I remember actually crossing out the waffly essay I'd written so far and starting again.
When we went over the mock in class after they'd been marked, it transpired that I was the only person in my 12 person class who knew anything about Rhodesia or what the use of that word signified and quite a few of the other students claimed the question was unfair because there was no reason they should be expected to have this piece of random knowledge anyway. I have no idea where I'd picked it up - we hadn't studied the empire at all in the history I was doing at school, but I always have been a sponge for random information (although not science facts, oddly) so I imagine I read it somewhere and it stuck.
I'm still not entirely sure where this anecdote fits into the current knowledge vs skills debate. My knowledge unlocked the poem for me in a very powerful way. I only rarely connect to poetry as a form, and that sense of sudden understanding was exciting and precious. I kept a copy of the poem afterwards, which I still have today, and as you can see, the memory is fresh in my mind, so on the surface it seems to argue towards the teaching of knowledge.
I'm not so sure though. I do think there was some validity in the other students complaints that the question was unfair. The world is absolutely full of random knowledge like that - it was purest co-incidence that I happened to know of it and I don't think there could have been any reasonable expectation that our English Lit teacher would equip us with even a fraction of the possible historical allusions which might come up in the poetry of protest. And it wasn't that piece of knowledge alone which brought the poem to life in that moment for me - it was the skills of literary analysis which I'd been taught which allowed me to understand the depth of what the poet was doing with that word choice. Both knowledge and skills were vital to that moment. Most of the students knew a little about the British Empire - would it not have been reasonable to have included a footnote with the specific definition of Rhodesian?
Where I'm working now is at a very different stage in the learning journey of my students than I was at that point and I definitely think that there is value in exposing the children to a wide range of facts at this stage - who knows what will stick? But of course, as the possessor of a brain which is naturally filled with random facts, this is not so hard for me to accomplish and, given my teaching style, actually seems to be basically inevitable. Maybe the conclusion I'm coming to is, in this knowledge/skills tug-of-war, perhaps different teachers need to focus on different things. I often think about skills in my lesson planning but that's partly because I know that the knowledge content will be there anyway but that if I don't think about making the skills of using it explicit that won't happen automatically - other teachers are probably the other way around.
It's nice to be wanted. I stopped in at the primary school today to pick up books and schedule and was greeting quite warmly. :)
Sadly, it looks like management isn't quite following through though. I only said okay to the split schedule (part-time primary school, part-time branch) because I was told I'd have only two or three classes at the branch. Ha. No classes have been removed, so I've got six classes - that equals 12 hours. On top of the 10 at the primary school.
Bright side - it's 10 classes, not actual hours. Still. Ginormous classes (45-50, instead of the 15 or less at the branch). Whatever. I thought I was going to end up with grade 1 and grade 6, but I was wrong. Grade 1 and grade 2. I can totally do that. It also means I get to go back to working with my favorite chinese teacher. :)
I'll muddle through.