April 29, 2014

Day 339

Had a great day of thesis presentations and a little bit of STAM in which we did absolutely nothing. The first two thesis presentations were really awesome! The first was on how Calvin and Hobbes exemplifies and underscores the importance of friendship and what it means to have friends in the increasingly technology-heavy world in which we live. It was super cute and really well done because the presenter had a real passion and personal connection to his topic that really made us care about him and about his subject.

The second presentation was pretty messed up in terms of subject matter. It talked about the relationship between chimpanzees and series killers... I think. The topic was actually very hard to follow and there was some interesting stuff in there, but I'm honestly not sure what the presentation was trying to say. Still, it was a pretty good effort and it had an awesome history section on a famous series killer who drilled holes into people's heads while they were still alive and then killed them by pouring acid into their skulls!!! Jesus fucking Christ!!!

So, after that comforting thought, we had lunch. Then it was time for both my friend's presentation that she was very nervous about, and after that my most anticipated presentation of them all! The first one was okay. My friend's nerves showed a little bit throughout and her topic itself was again a little... not flimsy, but I don't think she elaborated on it as much as she could have. It was basically advocating for the teachings of the four noble truths in schools in order to increase student happiness. The presentation had these graphs because the presenter conducted a school survey on student and faculty happiness levels, and that was good, but the whole thing felt just a tad disjointed. The Q&A portion of this however was great. My friend handled herself extremely well in the face of rather opposing questions to her view, and that was good to see her deal with that in a professional manner.

The fourth and final presentation was the one I had been looking forward to the most, and I'm happy to say that this was a damn good presentation. Certainly not the best of the bunch, but personally, it was my favorite, because the subject was examining the feminine mistique, the Other, and the Form A and Not A view all through the lens of Star Trek, specifically Star Trek Voyager. Now, there are two reasons I absolutely loved this. First, look at all the topics this person is trying to cover! She introduced all of this very quickly and summed it up very rapidly, and she did it reasonably well. But then she started talking about Voyager, and this was the point where I got super excited. I hate Voysger. It's the worst Trek series, in my opinion (we are of course under the assumption that the show that came after it didn't happen... which it didn't), and I don't think it's rich enough for scholarly analysis. But this is why I absolutely loved this presentation, because it proved me wrong. I still don't like Voyageer, but look at this! Look at what the topic is about! Look at the topics the paper is trying to cover! And it makes me want to weep at what Voyager could have been had it injected a little more of what this presentation was talking about into the show itself. The presenter used clips that I always found to be very weak, but she made them relevant and made good use of them as support for her argument! This was a phenomenal presentation, and I'm absolutely floored by what she did with the Voyager show. I still don't like Voyager, but I absolutely love that someone constructed an argument the default position of which was that Voyager was good! And this wasn't even arguing for the legitimacy of the show! That aspect of it was a predicate for the actual presentation! Fucking brilliant!

Sorry! Rant over! Track was pretty windy and cold today and composition tutoring was alright too. Looked at some more piano stuff and talked about orchestration and some of the tricks one can use to make a small orchestra feel like a big one. It was pretty fun.

My phisical copy of Shatter Me arrived today!!! I do have thoughts on this, so expect that post this weekend! Now I'm just waiting for my signed copy of it! Hope it arrives soon. Watched some SHIELD, which continues to surprise and impress me in its final episodes! Nos I'm off to bed. Looking forward to tomorrow!

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