South Park Self

you're the funny little frog in my throat

'Tis the very bloody time of year, when churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world. No, wait. The bloody time of year is definitely true, it being Orientation Season, but the yawning churchyards and drinking hot blood bit probably has more to do with the vampire lectures. Contagion, on the other hand, definitely.

So, I'm on Day 2 of our first orientation programme, which means last week was a nasty stressful flurry of preparations. I'm currently giving a minimum of an hour and a half of curriculum talks daily, not to mention general programme wrangling, shouting at lecture venues full of students, and talking the OLs down from biting each other. In addition I am gearing up for registration, which means two separate advisor training sessions this week and a desperate attempt to bend space-time sufficiently to fit them all into a timetable. In a somewhat shortsighted gesture about which I am deeply unrepentant, I also offered to give Summer School lectures this year, which means I'm burbling about vampires for an hour on the first three evenings of this week, giving me something of the order of 13-hour days.

So yesterday ran to wrangling students (30 mins) plus curriculum talks (90 mins) plus introducing Herzog's Nosferatu to a slightly bemused collection of silver-haired seniors (20 mins) plus an advisor training session (2 hours) plus a lecture on vampires (1 hour). Today, rinse and repeat, minus the movie and the training and plus an additional hour-long orientation session. My traitor body has, of course, celebrated all of the above by acquiring quite the nastiest throat infection I think I've ever had, causing me to fight my own voice continually to actually produce sounds, and to spend most of last night unable to sleep owing to the wild temperature, coughing and general all-over-body aching. It is actually such an exquisite and pinpoint instance of abysmal timing, I'm rather floored. Currently taking bets on whether or not my voice will advance or retreat for all the large-lecture-venue projecting I have to do in the next few days. Thank heavens for microphones.

The vampire lecture last night went well, despite being unusually contralto, and caused me innocent joy by being precisely and exactly the right length. I've stuffed up the length of my last few conference papers so badly, I was beginning to lose faith in my own judgement. Also, producing powerpoints featuring near-endless strings of pretty vampire boys (for SCIENCE!) was rather fun.

Edited to add: Buggery. I've just had to cancel tonight and tomorrow night's lectures, on the grounds that my voice has slithered backwards down my throat, clawing desperately, and I'm not capable of more than a sort of strangled wurbling noise in place of actual communication. Tomorrow's orientation and training lectures are going to have to be given via the medium of interpretive dance. Honestly, it would be altogether less disruptive and painful if I broke my leg at this time of the year rather than losing my voice.
The people demand that you post your slides of near-endless strings of pretty vampire boys. For research and peer review purposes, of course. Ahem.
For SCIENCE!, in fact. It was actually a fascinating process; if you start out with Max Schreck as Orlock, move through Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee into Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview, and then go chronologically Angel, Spike, Edward, Bill, Eric, Stefan and Damon, you end up with this very clear trend in increasing hotness, increasing youth, and increasing tendency for the vampire in question to be posed in promotional shots like an underwear model rather than a monster. Damon functions as rather a pièce de resistance, I have to say. He's ridiculously pretty.
I guess it's a trend towards making the characters less terrifying, and more recognisable/sympathetic to the mostly teen audience.

The scariest vampire I recall in recent times is the little girl from "Let Me In" (the American remake of "Let The Right One In").
Oh, lord, sorry, yes I have, and found a couple of CDs which clearly have your name on them despite their absolute absence of distinguishing feature. I'm sure they are full to the brim with lovely and interesting material guaranteed to bring relief and distraction to my current state of crazy. Unfortunately, owing to the current state of crazy I haven't had time to actually look at what's on them.

Thank you anyway. I'm sure they'll be lovely :>.