Thursday, November 08, 2007

This, that and the other thing

Oh my God, I've got Pandora back. This makes me very happy. Apparently you can use a proxy server in the states to circumvent the block in place that prevents access from other countries. It turns out that this falls under the category of "hacking". It made me kind of proud in a way, dedicated novice that I am, to be elevated to such a skilled sounding title. Too bad it's also a negative sounding title, but I don't care because I get to find new music to buy again! Pandora has turned me onto so many artists and bands that I hadn't known about and now I will be able to discover more. Everybody wins, right? Apparently, government regulations get in the way of access, and no one is happy about that.

Something else to be happy/unhappy about. Snow. I was sitting in the car waiting to go into a lesson when I saw ashes falling on the windshield. That's strange, I thought. Is someone smoking nearby? I looked around and saw no one. Then I realized it was snowing. It's been so long I didn't even recognize it showing up. Sigh. The long hard winter has begun.

I had a great class yesterday. We were talking about the cult "The Army of Mary" because I had given out an article about the excommunication of six nuns for belonging to the sect and purporting that its leader is the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. (I give all my students different stories to take home and then they summarize them at the next class.) At the end of the student's storytelling, I asked if she believed in reincarnation. No. I went around the room. No. No. Yes. From there we descended (or ascended depending on how you look at it) into talk of astral projection and the tunnel phenomenon upon dying. We talked about the unexplained and the explained. We talked all about Chris Angel and his amazing tricks. There was a staunch skeptic in the room. All of it baloney. And then another student detailed her out-of-body experiences to us. I gave them my line that the truth is that we cannot know what happens after death so might as well imagine that it's pleasant. Then we got into the theme of Big Fish and ended up agreeing that believing in a little bit of magic makes life more interesting than believing in none at all. I think we even got the staunch skeptic to open her mind a bit. Yes, a very satisfying class.

17 comments:

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

What a great lesson! wish I was there!

Snooze said...

You really work to get your students to learn English in such interesting ways.

Ed said...

So funny, Torn seeing snow and not knowing what it was. I never heard of this Army of Mary before. I can say that the virgin mary is not alive on earth today.
I know the Catholics have elevated her to God status but she is neither a virgin (she had several other children besides Jesus) nor a God. There are far greater things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in thy philosophy.

Dantallion said...

I wish I'd had French teachers like you when i was in school.

Cooper said...

I wish you were my French teacher! My evening classes are nowhere near as stimulating as that. For example ... last class we spent a half hour talking about things like "Lauren porte une chemise rouge" ... (Don't mind my French grammar ...it's still very rudimentary).

GayProf said...

It's funny you mention the snow thing. Just this morning I looked out my window and thought to myself, "Why are there little white feathers floating about? Did some bird come to a bad end?" Then I realized, oh, right -- It snows in MFT. . .

Brechi said...

I don't think I'm quite ready for the snow yet. I need to get in nesting mode though.

bardelf said...

I'm so sorry to hear that the snows of winter have already begun, at least lightly. It's even chilly in the South today, low 50s here in NC.

Lewis said...

SNOW! Yeah......

dirk.mancuso said...

I wish I had had a teacher who made language class as interesting as you do. Instead, we sang THE LADY IN RED in German because it was the instructor's favorite song. (Oh God, I was blocking that all this time...)

Thanks, Torn.

David said...

What a great way to learn language. I think I'd love your classes.

Perplexio said...

I had some good teachers/professors throughout the course of my academic career. But when I read your posts like this it really makes me wish that at some point in my academic career that I'd had you as a teacher. Your classes sound absolutely fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

wow, you know you are hardcore if you get kicked out of the nunnery. i thought that could only happen if you got knocked up...

Enemy of the Republic said...

If I ever come to Montreal again, can I sit in on one of your classes? That sounds fascinating!

I adore Pandora for the same reasons you named.

David of Borg said...

I love Pandora -and I think it was you who turned me onto to the site. Great music, tons of stuff I've never heard of.

RoxRocks said...

Snow here too, I panicked today when we were driving in it. It's going to be a long winter...

All I remember in French is "Je m'appelle Guy, ou est la discotheque?"

A little Magical Thinking goes a long way in my books!

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Snow, eh? I suppose by November you guys up north can expect it.

Last year it snowed here in Tucson like I'd never seen before. It stuck. Snowmen, icy roads, snowy rooftops, the works.

Magical.