Today, my department head asked me how many modifications I was going to make to the test she’d made before I gave it to my students. The administration has been hammering us to do common assessments all year, but I’d been struggling to do PEAK-style tests — which include review questions and “skills” questions — all year. Relooping to help the kiddies and all that.
This week has been very, very rough. I’ve overslept twice (once cause me to be over an hour late; both causing me to be unprepared) and am at my wits end. These past few months have been a special kind of hell. I’ve been trying so very hard, and I think I’m failing at being a good teacher.
With a quiet sigh, I told her that I would just type up the test, but wouldn’t change anything. She smiled and confirmed that we’d checked the little box for doing common assessments. Her rogue element was under control. No crazy, progressive shenanigans this week.
I don’t think she’s realized just how done I am. My health is failing. I’m sleepwalking. Parts of my body are shutting down. My commutes are becoming dangerous due to sleep deprivation.
Yesterday was the first time I had exercised in the four weeks since I started working on campus at Harding. Most things “me” had been submerged for the good of teaching.
Except that teaching’s hard. And endless.
But I don’t want to write about teaching here. It takes up enough of my life that I don’t want it to take this space, too.
All sorts of non-teaching things happened in the last month. I went to a club for the first time (dancing is so cathartic). I’ve neglected too many old friends (including one particularly unforgivable lapse).
Learning from Dave Winer – Joel on Software —
I don’t have this problem, of course, because the only folks that comment around here are buddies on some level. That said, I think Winer is right — the most important opinions are those of people who would –in the past–have had little or no voice. Tagged as: [blogging]
YouTube – Michael Jackson-Blood On The Dance Floor —
"Blood on the Dance Floor" was MJ’s last good song, so far. I never saw this video until tonight. I rarely think MJ is sexy, but he’s workin’ it in this video. He is the king of smooth when it comes to dancing. Tagged as: [music]
Savage Love – On fat women —
"Do you know why you dismiss the girls you find attractive—girls who are not, by your dick’s definition, unattractive in the least—as "ugly, trashy girls," "thick, ugly girls," "fat, ugly, hick girls," etc.?" Tagged as: [fathate weight-issues sexuality]
So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.
*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…
It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.
I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.
In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.
Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.
Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.
Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.
As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.
So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.
One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.
I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”
But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.
But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.
Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.
It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.
Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.
After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.
Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.