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Archive for October, 2007

The Salt of Grading

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

As previously mentioned, I currently TAing for Intro to Western Art. The first quiz has come and gone, leaving a trail of special moments in its wake. In anticipation of the students submitting their midterm essays on Thursday, I look back, fondly, at what I learned during the initial round of grading:

Best first sentences:

  • “History is bloody.”
  • “Every culture has images.”

Broadest Claims. Ever.

  • “Art has been the most important form of propaganda in the west for thousands of years.”
  • “Therefore, the true measure of a civilization can only be is its artwork.”
  • “We can clearly see that art is very much an uninterrupted process which amazingly is able to surpass the barriers of distance and time, and maintain a sense of continuity.”

Wish I could give creativity points:

minoan octopus flask

  • Squid Bottle
    Artist Unknown
    2000 BC
    Ancient Greece (Right. It’s actually known as the Minoan Octopus Flask, but at least we got the name of a cephalopod.)
  • “A popular theory is that [the pyramids] point to specific stars for protection of the pyramids’ contents. But perhaps there were never stars there at all. Maybe those stars are actually pharaohs that have made the full journey into the afterlife.”

In Praise of a Cheap Haircut

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

I think that getting a haircut may give me endorphins.
Due to a potent combination of my inner stinginess, my massively heavy hair, and my predilection for changing my look, I have become something of a Great Clips devotee. No appointments, no pinch on the pocketbook, and absolutely no guarantee that you’ll like what you get. Having sat through a couple of really awful, fairly expensive haircuts as well as some really wonderful, fairly cheap ones, I decided that I rather like the thrill of the inexpensive unknown.

haircut front haircut side

The uncertainty of the outcome is framed ironically in a strange ritual of certainties. The stylist will always tell me that I have a lot of hair. I will always ask the stylist to razor the ends of this abundance. I will always ask for the back to the be stacked. The stylist will always reinterpret that request according to her own particular sense of geometry. The stylist will always reiterate that I have a lot of hair. I will always assure her that I am aware of this fact. In the end, some amount of my hair covers the salon floor like a sad rug. The stuff remaining on my head is appraised, and I pay $15 plus some indeterminate tip.

It’s a $15 hair lotto, and when I win, it rocks.