Monday, August 31, 2009

Week 28 & 29 - 100in1001

Whew. It has been a rough couple of weeks due school getting into full swing. Without much upfront effort, I have been spending a lot of time getting ready for classes and making sure I stay up on grading. Everything has gone smoothly on the teaching end; just a couple of problems like not having keys--and thus being locked out of a classroom one night--to make things interesting. The worst part in teaching always is doing a new class due to all the prep work. If I get the chance to do it again I bet it'll be even better.

As far as progress on 100in1001 goes I've been maintaining exercising for the most part, though some of it has been outside activity (e.g. racquetball and tennis) rather than an actual workout like Pilates. One thing I've been wondering about is whether I should keep the "one scientific paper a week" thing going. I'm not sure I can really find that many interesting papers nor really have the time to read AND understand them. Will have to think on it a little more.

I finished The Inferno and I have to admit that I'm rather disappointed. I know that I'm going to get sacked, beaten, drawn and quartered by the literary crowd but that's how I feel about it. I went into it imagining a rich, vivid description of Hell. What I got was nowhere near that. Way too many required endnotes to understand what Dante was saying, too much stuff only relevant to his time and politics, and not that great of a tale really. I think the end notes were probably the hardest part to jump over for me because, due to the flipping back and forth every couple of lines, the narrative was very broken and I lost the flow. My problem is I wouldn't have understood a lot of it without them. Several end notes point out what an amazing thing he's done (like imagined the metamorphosis of two people into one when past writers had only morphed one person) that don't seem like that great of leaps. Dante also had a very high opinion of himself, another thing that turned me off. I understand there's a lot of interesting literary stuff going on and he pulls together a lot of stuff, but in the end those things did not make it entertaining to read.

I also watched Yankee Doodle Dandy to knock off another AFI film. Unlike The Inferno I was not disappointed here, but that's because I was dreading watching it. A musical (bad!) with lots of dancing (even worse!) about a guy whom I only know little about (ugh!). I imagine this film means a lot more to people from those times because they can relate to it more, but I just can't. I ended up giving it 2/5 stars on Netflix (1.5 on my site) simply due to the acting and the assumed relevance to the period. I wouldn't watch it again though.

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