South Park Self


Praise FSM, it's raining. I haven't slept properly in a week, which is approximately the duration of the weird summer-resurging heatwave Cape Town has been experiencing, and which has felt like February but with added steam. We had the university open day on Saturday, which was a stinker heat-wise. Our university is high-profile and attracts millyuns of students, parents in tow. The building with the department stands was a shoulder-to-shoulder roiling mass of students, parents and reluctant academics, exuding an atrocious fug of sweat and bewilderment: I hovered in the doorway for a moment, thought "Nope" and left. A world of nope. I have borderline crowd phobia issues anyway, it was quite bad enough to be addressing 500 potential students, parents in tow, at once from the relative comfort of an air-conditioned lecture theatre.

Probably as a direct result of (a) resentment at being on campus on my hard-earned Saturday, (b) general lingering job-malaise after the run-in with the boss, and (c) the heat, I have been playing a hell of a lot of Skyrim recently. It's incredibly soothing to be trundling through snowy landscapes while it's 35 degrees outside. But I did the traditional No Work At All this weekend. This has not, fortunately, prevented me from giving a generally energetic and interactive lecture, the internet eroticism ones which started today and which technically I should have prepped to within an inch of their technosavvy lives over the weekend. Weirdly, it sometimes helps not to over-prepare, things have an organic spontaneity and ability to follow the lead of the student input which they otherwise lack. Achievement Unlocked: infect with XKCD appreciation a class to which it was hitherto absolutely unknown. There are, however, at least four voluble Tumblr enthusiasts in the group, which makes for interesting additions to the conversation. Every time I start teaching again I am forcibly reminded of how much I like students.

In other news, I am still house-hunting, and it's a dismal landscape full of emptiness and occasional possibilities which stick their heads cautiously, gopher-like, above ground and are instantly snapped up by bands of roving rental predators, i.e. everyone else who's also looking for university-adjacent housing within a reasonable price range. Absolutely the best thing I could do to make this easier is to resign from my job in favour of one which is much more highly paid. Don't think I haven't been tempted. But if anyone knows anyone who's renting out a place, please let me know. Nepotistic access to the ground floor of opportunities is pretty much my best bet right now.
Wow, that was a thing of beauty. I fear I am still not a Game of Thrones fan, have given up on the books and haven't yet girded my loins sufficiently to give the TV series a try, but I dug out the intro sequence on Youtube and it's spectacular and very clever - love all the spinning wheels. The Skyrim one is deeply lovely and I'm going to go and watch it again immediately. This is giving me flashbacks to the lecture I gave this morning: it's amazing how strong the sense of recognition and nostalgia is when you're confronted with that virtual landscape and, I suppose, the evidence of someone else's investment in it to the tune of that incredible animation. I find that my attachment to it is astonishingly real.