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Smile, you're on Candid Camera...

I met the book club for lunch today. Everyone was present but Janet, who was returning from her long weekend trip to NYC. We got a funny "Christopher Update" -- the written apology, and the erroneously dialed cell phone number to mom's phone. So funny.

I got home right at 4:30, and Robert followed me over to State. He was a dear to offer me his watch to use, since I'd left mine on my desk at work -- of all days.

I was the first to arrive, Amelia next, then Will. Angel made it with about five minutes to spare. She had gotten stuck in traffic coming from RTP.

Our first test participant, John, Amelia's brother, arrived and I was the test monitor with him. Things went pretty smoothly. It was very interesting work, and I enjoyed it tremendously. The equipment there is very cool. We set it up so that it "tracked" mouse movements and clicking. So, on the playback, we can watch everything the participant did, plus see and hear them. After the fact, we are also able to go in and put "markers" in the tape (which is actually a DVD), where things happened that we thought were significant to point out in our results.

I took John out into the lobby area to debrief him and offer him refreshments, while Amelia ushered Robert in, as our second test participant. I finished up with John, thanked him for helping us out, and went back into the observation room attached to the testing room, and watched Robert through the one-way mirror. We also could see on a monitor in our room where he was clicking, and hear him through the speaker system.

Angel and Amelia stayed to mark up the recordings while everything was fresh. Will and I walked to our 7:30 class, which is the same one. Will had a short-sleeved t-shirt on, and had no jacket. I was freezing for him. He's a pleasure to be in class with and this (now, second) experience of being on a team project with him has been fun. <aside>And, no, I'm not just saying this, because I know you read my journal. "I'm just saying that... ...'cause it's true.. :-)</aside>

Class was engaging and fun to me tonight. Dr. Swarts started the class off by saying that he's going to give us all an opportunity to revise our genre analysis papers, "...not because they're bad papers," but because, "some of them seem to have gone in a direction different than I anticipated."

We all recognized the PC way of saying, "Uh, some of you kinda missed the point?" (This "up-talk" here is on purpose.) Actually, as a Myers-Briggs "feeler" type (ESFJ), I appreciated the tactful approach.

I am wondering about my paper, though, as he said he's graded about five of them, and there's a good chance mine is one of them. I have been on a bit of a roller coaster since I turned that paper in. When I first submitted it, I thought, "I'm pretty pleased with that." One of the things I liked was that I tried to use some of the things we've been looking at up until now in the class, and finally ended up using a couple of quotes from Shedroff, who just happens to be the author I had to do my grounding exercise on. So, I felt it all came together for me.

Then, the next day, I re-read my paper, and I had this sick feeling in my stomach for a minute, when I got toward the end of the paper, particularly to the Shedroff stuff, and I thought, "Oh my g-d, is that about genre? His points were not about genre, they were about design -- informational, interactive, and sensorial. Oh, but wait, I quoted him in the context of the comparison of structure of obituaries, so that seems pertinent. He said we learned all the stuff up front in the class so that it can help us analyze genre, so those things must be pertinent and appropriate to use in the paper."

Just back and forth with a sick feeling of, "Am I off here," to, "no, that seems right." So, of course, when I hear him say (or not say) that some of you got a little off track, I'm thinking, "So I did!" I hope I get mine back in the next day or so, so I'm not thinking about it the whole time on the slopes of Tahoe next week. Neurotic boy.

After class, I had a Cheese Ravioli entree, with a killer salad. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. And I was so hungry. Can you tell?

I met Joe at Flex at 10:00, where, once we were there, we found out that it's now "Open Mic" night on Tuesday nights. We knew that Karaoke Tuesday was going away, just not that there was something "official" replacing it.

A guy named Barry Ingrahm was playing the keyboards and singing. He had a decent voice, but I only recognized one song he sang the whole night, which was Dolly's "Joelene," and on about the second stanza of the song, he messed up the words, laughed, and just stopped playing it. He wasn't a country singer at all, and the way he was singing "Joelene" was certainly not like The Lady sings it.

At one point "Toola Box" came up to us, and I said, "We haven't recognized a song he's sung tonight," and he responded, "That's because he sings all original stuff." I didn't really buy this, but I'm not sure why not. Toola, herself, knew some of the words, as he had seen Barry previously, and had actually bought one of his CDs.

Joe and I played two games of pool, which we had to pay for as it wasn't Free Pool Sunday, and we just absolutely sucked both games. On the first game, I knocked the 8-ball in on like my fourth shot. We kept playing without it. On the second game, Joe knocked it in about half way through the game. We were able to "grab it" before it went "down," and we re-spotted it on the table, trying our damnest to hit around it to finish getting our $.75 worth. :-)

We both despised the bartender that was there tonight. He's that straight guy (which is not the problem, because, repeat after me, we all know by now: it's not a choice), but what is a problem is that he feels like he needs to have his girlfriend there whenever he works (or she feels like she needs to be there), and she stands right in the way of where you order your drinks. Hello bitch! Not a good place to stand. We're trying to get a drink here, not your honey, honey.

However, that's not the worst part of his bartending, it's that he is simply not customer service-oriented. And you know how that sets me off. He will take a cell phone call behind the bar, and he will damn well finish his call before serving you. Now that is unacceptable. In fact, I'll go so far as to say it's alcohol abuse.

He's the one I told the manager about, probably a month or two ago, and the manager said, "As long as the guy's hot, and there's a chance I can sleep with him, I don't care how he bartends." Nice. Good luck. With missy there to guard him like a hawk, you will sleep with him when

. (Notice the period here to end this sentence properly.)

That said, the guy is hot, and I don't want to be attracted to him, but he's got that "like-a-person-exercising-in-a-thong-bad-accident-can't-stop-looking-at-him" thing going on. Jesus. Men are pigs (wings aside).


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 2nd, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC)
Genre Analysis drama
I can totally relate to your roller-coaster about your paper. I did something very similar throughout the entire process. I would get hooked on what I thought was a great idea heading in the right direction, and then re-read it later and think, does that really *work*?? What was it that Dr. Swarts said about that? I *think* I got that right. No, that's not right. Wait, I think I meant *this.* I must have re-read that paper 50 times and I know I re-wrote sections of it a dozen times. Finally it reached that point where I didn't know what else I could possibly do with it (and to be honest, it didn't even make perfect sense to me anymore because I had read it so many times). I went ahead and turned it in Thursday morning because I was just plain sick of stressing about it. It had consumed the past week of my life and I was at a loss for how to make it any better.
My stomach dropped at the thought of five papers causing that blanket statement about revision opportunity. Which, by the way, I am eternally grateful for!! I'm always grateful for second chances. :)

I know I'll be thinking about mine on the slopes over spring break too. But I'm from the NC mountains so the slopes in my neck of the woods aren't as pleasurable as Tahoe!! I hope you are at least distracted by the pleasure of all that fine snow and terrain out there.

Mar. 2nd, 2005 11:50 pm (UTC)
LOL, I just knew all men were pigs. . .
but I just can't believe the guy would make you wait for him to finish his cellphone conversation before he waited on you. Isn't bartending about tips? How does this guy afford to eat giving such bad service? Does he just get tips because he's hot? I thought only blondes could get away with that kind of behavior . . .

So are you guys doing usability testing in another class? How interesting.
Mar. 3rd, 2005 01:04 am (UTC)
Re: LOL, I just knew all men were pigs. . .
I love making you laugh out loud, Michelle. re: usability testing: Yes we are... in ENG 508, which is, well, "Usability Studies for Technical Communication." :-) My favorite part is the snacks we share with the participants afterwards. No Nutrifood for them!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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