My day was cancelled.

Published February 1, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Or something like that.  I drove down to the museum, cursing at myself for oversleeping, because for the second time in three days, I was going to have to explain that I was late due to oversleeping.  So I got there about half an hour late, and I was surprised to see that there were no cars in the lot.  Well, I thought to myself, she must have been dropped off by her husband.  (There’s only one employee that I know for sure will always be there.)  So I go up and ring the doorbell to get in, and there’s no answer.  So I try calling, and there’s no answer to the phone, either.  After sitting in my car and thinking about it for a while, I call the museum again, and leave a message explaining that I showed up and no one was there, and giving my cell phone number so that if she gets there she can call me and I can turn around and come back.  After all, I thought that maybe I misunderstood when I was supposed to arrive; maybe she needed more time to get there after church or something.

But I never got a call back.

Did I misunderstand?  Or did something come up and she wasn’t able to call me to let me know, not having my phone number handy?  I guess I’ll find out on Wednesday.  (The museum’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and she doesn’t come in on those days.)

Anyway, I spent the rest of the morning working on my reading for class, then spent the afternoon goofing off:  shopping for toys, playing Hyrule Warriors (someday, we are going to finish the Master Quest and Twilight Maps, I’m sure of it!), and watching the first episode of a new(ish) anime on Netflix.

So…with nothing else to talk about, I’m gonna gripe about my reading now.  Heh.  No, really, hopefully this is actually interesting.  (Hopefully, in fact, it’ll be interesting enough that I’ll pay more attention to what I’m writing than to Iron Man 2.  (Watched the first one last night, gonna watch Avengers tomorrow night, then Iron Man 3.  Which is the one I actually felt like watching, but I don’t like just jumping in at the end, y’know?))

Okay, so there are three things I have to read this week.  Two oral interviews, when I must compare and contrast in a brief paper, and a book(let?) on Greek immigration to the US that we’re supposed to read for context.  So we’ll start with the book-thing.  (It was a .pdf, but I think it’s actually an e-book version of a regular booklet.)  I actually started reading it Friday night, but was quickly defeated by the abject stupidity and lack of accurate information in its treatment of ancient Greek history and culture.

So I started reading the rest of it Saturday morning, and had to finish most of it last night after I finished my on-line stuff.  Have you ever seen the movie Matinee?  In it, John Goodman plays a man who makes B-movies, really schlocky ones.  We see bits and pieces of his newest movie, Mant!, during the movie, and one of the things that’s most memorable about it is…okay, actually, almost all of it is memorable, because it’s so wonderfully, humorously bad.  (Mant! is, I mean.)  Anyway, one particularly memorable character is a scientist, who always explains his “big” words to make sure the kids in the audience understand them.  So he’s talking to (allegedly) intelligent adults, but he says things like “Now he’ll grow at an accelerated, or speeded up, rate!”

I think that scientist wrote that booklet I had to read.

Seriously, the book thought it needed to explain what “genocide” was, and spent a paragraph explaining how the stock market works (before discussing the crash of 1929) as if the stock market was a thing of the distant past.  But the most appalling part was when it got to the part that said that Spiro Agnew went to prison “for tax evasion, that is, for not paying his taxes.”  Seriously, it explained what tax evasion was!

A! R! G! H!

Did someone get paid to write that?!

So now let’s address those oral interviews.  I’ve only read one and a half of them so far, and the differences are unbelievable.  (That, of course, is part of the point.)  Fortunately, I started with the bad one.  It’s a pity, because the interviewee was definitely an interesting person with a fascinating story to tell.  The questions weren’t terribly deep, didn’t particularly seem to have much insight into whatever the objective of the interview was.

But that’s not what really got to me.  What really annoyed me about it was the interviewer’s(who also did the transcript) poor grasp of English.  Now I know a certain amount of it may have simply been because as a student, he didn’t really care, perhaps because he figured his grade in whatever class it was didn’t matter.  But some of it is a basic lack of knowledge, not lack of effort.

Because if a person has a proper grasp of the difference between “there,” “their” and “they’re,” they they won’t use the wrong one.  But this person used “there” and “their” interchangeably, and never used “they’re” at all, even though there were times when it was the correct usage.  There were also times when “to” and “too” were used incorrectly, “where as” was used instead of “whereas,” and so on.  To top it all off, the punctuation was terrible.  Commas were missing, periods were missing, sometimes the quotation marks were in the wrong place…overall, a huge mess.  The worst thing about that is that if the reader isn’t thinking about it, they might come off with the misunderstanding that the grammatical problems were on the part of the interviewee instead of the interviewer, and that’s just not fair to the interviewee, who was (or is) a distinguished member of the local community.

But the crowning jewel of “ack!” was one word in the transcript that I stared at for a long time, wondering what the heck it was.  Because I was quite sure that this 75 year old Greek-American man was not talking about the local school systems having had their funk removed.  (Though that would be an amusing complaint.)  Then it finally dawned on me, from the context.  The student transcribing the interview didn’t know the word “defunct” and came up with “defunked” in an attempt to transcribe the sentence.

I have no way to respond to that, so I’m just going to stop here.

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