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The original meaning of "sucker punch" appears to be a mean punch delivered in boxing to a "sucker", someone green, not wary enough and not expecting it.


Content warning: weight loss.

I have stayed in the hospital twice in my life. The first time, which I do not remember because I was four years old at the time, my mother talks about often enough. That time, my brother and I had the whooping cough. One day in the park, another child coughed at us, and mother says she immediately did not like the sound of that cough. She was right: that kid and the two of us had the only three cases of whooping cough in town, and because of how infectious this disease is (it is considered one of the most common "childhood" illnesses in Russia, along with chicken pox and roseola), we were sent to the hospital immediately after being diagnosed. Our mother somehow managed to be admitted to the hospital as well to take care of us, although normally, parents were not allowed to stay in hospitals with their children.

My second hospital stay happened more than 20 years after the first one, and I was not exactly sick: I joined a dieting program at the Nutrition Research Institute; it was one of the very few times in my life I've tried dieting. It did not work out, because the nutrition plan they supply you with requires too much effort. (Cooking five very specific meals a day? I never even tried after returning to the "normal" life).

It was still interesting to do it that once in the hospital, where you were allowed to eat nothing but what the doctors said you should, but very boring otherwise, and the attitudes of many patients were disappointing: they went to that hospital every year for the two free weeks covered by the basic health insurance (as did I), but treated the stay as part vacation part free taking off weight, while largely ignoring the recommendations of the hospital staff the rest of the year.

Talking to the other patients and visits from family and friends are one of the few ways to stave off boredom in places like this, especially when you are not actively ill, and although I have never talked to any of the people I met there since, I remember some of their stories and character traits quite vividly.

I was lucky to share our four-person room with two young women about my age for most of my stay, with whom we formed I little group of not-quite-friends.

Yet after our fourth roommate, one of the returning weight-losers, left, we had to also share the room with an older lady, who was an unrepentant malicious gossip: she pretended to be all white and fluffy in your face, then turned around and talked rubbish about you as soon as you left the room. She did it so transparently, however, that the three of us immediately united against her, and let her words slide right off our backs, having already known each other for more than a week before she arrived, a very long time by hospital standards.

To give you just a taste of her, let me imitate her coming back home once, all aflutter after a gossip session elsewhere in the hospital.

"Girls, you will never guess who is here, it's K.! (a famous TV actor) Do you think I could get an autograph?", then, without pause, "But what is he even doing here, losing weight, doesn't he know people like him exactly as he is? I think I better tell him this!"

And not a thought spared about that person's privacy or the likely very real health-related reasons for joining the weight regulation program.

I will not go into the details of what the really obese patients were going through in that hospital. Neither of my almost-friends nor I fell into that category.

I still marveled at the glimpses of these two young women's lives that I learned. One, E., was a sales assistant in an upper end boutique, and she took a vacation from work to hide the purpose of her absence, although she had a right to extra time off had been she hospitalized.

The other, I., a human hurricane of activity, was a well-paid lawyer, who was then in between jobs and using that time to check if her and her boyfriend's difficulties in conceiving the child they wanted to have were caused by her excessive weight. Only, it did not work out that way for her. The hospital we were at does not hold only the various dieting programs it is best known for, they also run comprehensive health checks and often discover that the problems you complain of upon admission (or don't yet know about) either are not the caused by your weight, or are not uniquely connected to it.

I's infertility wasn't. It was discovered that it probably had to do with a tumor an ultrasound found in her uterus.

As it often happens, unfortunately, when it rains, it pours. The same day her tumor was discovered, I. was also made aware that her boyfriend was cheating on her with his ex-girlfriend.

Not being one to take punches laying down, I. returned this sucker punch with one of her own, when the boyfriend came to visit her and beg forgiveness the following day. Using her generally upset state, which she made appear worse by smudging her mascara, and her ultrasound picture, in which the tumor showed like a small shapeless mass, she decided to tell the boyfriend that she had, in fact, been pregnant upon admission to the hospital, but the shock of the news of his betrayal made her miscarry their baby.

I try hard not to judge people, but one of the reasons why those two weeks in the Nutrition Institute remain so vivid in my memory is that these things my four roommates did, which I have just told you about, big and small? (Shrug.) I do not behave like that.

Sprezzatura is "a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it".
~Wiki


The head of our Plasma Physics department at college, Dr K., was, and is, because he still occupies the same position, a wonderful man, who helped create a good working atmosphere among his students and staff. He also seemed to me a being from some higher circles when I was his student, not only because he was the busy head, whose duties sometimes made him miss the class he taught us, but also because the subject he taught, "The theory and technique of fusion experiment" was as a matter of fact a collection of sightly adapted "real" research results and descriptions of methods compiled from scientific articles, without so much as a textbook.

He also knows, remembers and values his students to a degree that greatly surprised me to learn. You see, while I will soon have been working in the field of plasma physics for 15 years, since before graduation, my career, if you can call it that, has been completely lackluster. I keep the fire going, so to speak, but catch no stars from the sky. I consider myself forgettable, my good grades and the then-rejected offer to enter a PhD program immediately after graduation notwithstanding.

And yet here he is, greeting me at the very few conferences where our paths have crossed, approaching to express condolences at the funeral of a colleague, jumping at the chance to give me some translation work when he learned that I'd branched out there, and recognizing my voice immediately that time I had to call him in my role of the Science Secretary to ask for the phone number of a professor from his department whose Dr. Sci. thesis was being reviewed by our organization.

I like him a lot. I—love him. And yet, I can now also formulate the je-ne-sais-quoi, I don't know what, which, while it was not the decisive factor, influenced my decision to not enter that long ago offered PhD program, and which is also the reason why I wouldn't want to work with him permanently at my alma mater.

He is not a young man, in fact, he is exactly my parents' age, and all the time I have known him, he has exuded unwellness. It is a horrible thing to say, and it is also nothing concrete: he had never missed a single class for being sick, but it is there all the time in the tone of his voice, and in his demeanour, and in the air about him. Health is not a subject easily, if at all, broached in professional context, and his leaves me wanting to ask, unable to help, and overall greatly uncomfortable.

And then there is my current chief and department head, Dr I. He is also good at upkeeping a good, if somewhat stagnant, working atmosphere, and while I have never truly had a chance to observe Dr K. in the role of the head, Dr I. is the perfectly clever know-your-way-in-and-out, keep-yourself-in-the-good-esteem-of-the-right-people, know-how-to-act-politically Slytherin's Slytherin, and judging from the stories he tells, he always has been.

He keeps most of "his" people on the not-very straight and narrow, knows how to protect them, is not very fussed about the occasional lecture from the higher-ups (his favourite way of describing the constantly happening and often not very favourable changes is "this [news] is scary, but not very much"), and is also mostly fair, a very important quality in the head.

His one failure is a very Jane Austinesque long memory of perceived personal offences, whether intentionally or accidentally offered, and Mr Darcy's "My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever" attitude. I would not say "forever" truly applies to the lost good opinion of Dr I., but "a very long time" certainly does.

Despite these infrequent (and mostly at least somewhat justified) flares of temper, his general attitude to life is that of studied and content calm, which is good for someone who is in the middle of often competing requirements of a diverse group of people that comprise any larger working collective (our department is one of the largest in our scientific institute), is one of its main paper-pushers and often a shield between them and the unreasonable demands of the administration institute.

The first small episode when I observed him in this element happened before I started working so closely with him as the Science Secretary. Our department organizes an annual conference on Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. Conferences always generate a lot of paperwork, a lot of which requires the signatures of the chairman of the local organizing committee and of the accountant. The time I am speaking about he had maybe 300 papers to sign, which he did casually, conversing pleasantly with the other members of the Organizing committee, and his signature never veered toward the illegible chicken scratch of those who resent the signing chore.

I cherish the memory of the seeming ease he did it with, and use it as inspiration in my own increasingly frequent battles with paperwork.

Another much more important manifestation of this attitude is the way he does not allow his health troubles to disrupt the working process any more than they have to. While more than a decade younger than Dr K., he is also not a young man. In fact, he falls ill with with the year's strain of the flu almost every time during our conference, which is held in the Moscow region, and drives back to Moscow to recover in comfort at home instead of at the conference hotel. It is an inside "joke" in the committee on the second and third day of the conference: "Where is Dr I., where is our chairman?" – "He is home sick again." – "Oh. He will do whatever it is on Thursday or Friday then."

Note the tense here, "will". He is always there when he is needed. In case of the conference, always in time for the conference dinner habitually held on Thursday night, and on the last day and departure that happen on Friday. At work in general, he is also there when needed, and does not unnecessarily pressure people, whether with his own or work-related issues, which is why when some action is required from the workers, especially for the common good of the department, he has a good solid measure of trust.

LJ Idol - DW - 7: Steadfast (~850 words)

I don't know why, but my mother always purchases tickets for concerts and plays no closer to the stage than the dress circle, even when money is not an obstacle.

As a child, I did not question it, because I was not a fan of either. But as I slowly grew to like seeing good actors on stage and going to classical concerts, I discovered the stalls.

At first, it happened in theatre. Planning my trip to New York in 2010 to see Alan Rickman, I purchased tickets in the very first row, because if I were to travel all the way across the world to see him, I might as well see.

Since then, I have never sat further from the stage than the seventh row. It is simply not the same, and not worth it when you cannot watch the minute play of emotion on the actors' faces with your own eyes.

It took another eight years for me to try the same on concerts, because while I already knew that my life would likely never be the same afterward, it took this long to break the habit, and the stereotype that music was the same everywhere in the auditorium. I also worried about balancing watching the players and listening to the music (which is hard enough without distractions when you know next to nothing about it).

Today was the second time I sat in the stalls at a classical concert, and in the stalls I will remain in the future.

Today's concert was very special for a reason that had nothing to do with me, but because I was so close to the stage, in fifth row, I saw not only an orchestra and a choir on that stage, but people. People sharing an intensely private moment in public and with the public.

When we entered the auditorium, it was unusual to see a large portrait hung over the stage. Portraits of composers decorate the walls and foyer of the "Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory", where the concert was held (I even sometimes jokingly call it, "the hall of 14 white men"), but never the stage.

The orchestra entered, and took their seats, and after a while, the concertmaster gestured for them to stand. The orchestra standing up is the usual gesture of respect when the conductor enters the stage, but there they stood, silently, and no conductor entered.

The moment stretched—and one-by-one, members of the audience stood as well, until without a word uttered, all of us stood up to give respect to Gennady Rozhdestvensky, the famous Soviet and Russian conductor who died this summer, whose portrait it was hanging over the stage, and to whom this concert was dedicated.

When we sat down again after a silent minute, we were a different auditorium.

The conductor and the soloist entered the stage soon after, the conductor being very courteous toward the lady and waiting specifically as she sat at the piano and prepared to play. The soloist was Victoria Postnikova, Gennady Rozhdestvensky's widow.

She, and the orchestra, played Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 24 for us, and when it ended, it was touching and private to see her bow to the musicians and thank them.

The second composition chosen for the concert was Mozart's Concert for Violin, Piano and Orchestra, and in it, Victoria Postnikova was joined on the stage by her and Gennady Rozhdestvensky's son Aleksandr, who soloed on the violin.

All this, the subtle interactions, and even the significance of the solos, I would have missed, had I sat, as I normally do, in the circle, even with a programme on hand, because I don't know the music "scene", and I did not even recognize the deceased conductor from his portrait before getting the programme, even if I'd heard of him, and of his passing.

I would have equally missed other interactions, those of the other musicians in the orchestra. Today was the first time I saw a concertmaster act in so overt a manner, or noticed him carrying responsibility for the orchestra over his shoulders like a mantle, a duty and an honour. Or the "seasoned" musicians' practiced affected "ignorance" of the public. Or the lack of such ignorance in a young lady, one of the violins, who sat toward the back and looked—wonderfully new to the group around her. New, and not yet settled and self-assured.

I would have also kept wondering about the balance in watching the people and following the music, when it is so simple: if the music takes you, it does, wherever you sit, like it did in the second part of the concert, when it came time for Mozart's Requiem.

I don't speak Latin, in which the Requiem is sung, or understand its composition, but it moved me deeply how light it was, and how uplifting, like misty trembling air rising above the sand on hot summer days.


Note. I may come off as a privileged swot in this entry, sitting in the stalls everywhere I go, but it is not quite the case. I would rather sit in the stalls once than elsewhere four times, as simple as that.

Content warning: anxiety.

[Read on]Do you know how anxiety works? I am going to tell you how mine does.

You have to do something that you don't know how to approach. It is vast, and difficult, and you have already missed the first deadline, and the second one, and the third one.—You actually don't know how many deadlines you have missed or postponed or just wiggled your way out of.

It is vast, you have to do it, and you don't know how, and you feel that you can't. Can't, can't, can't. So you do anything but what you have to do. Anything at all, to avoid so much as thinking about it. On Monday, you put it off until tomorrow, and on Friday, having still done nothing, you sigh in relief and put it out of your mind until the next week. You get really productive in everything else, and you do a lot of—shit, but not that thing, or things.

And then sometimes you get anxiety attacks, too. Mine happen when all the missed deadline converge into one monstous "WHY HAVEN'T YOU DONE IT ALL YET". Anxiety attacks—they are not "can't" (but actually could, if I forced myself to), but CANNOT, physically, because my mind shuts down. Then I have to stop, and start back slowly, and say, fuck the deadlines. Starting doing it slowly and steadily often, but not always, helps.

And then your body cannot take the amount of stress you are putting yourself under to do the thing (but fail), and starts shouting at you that this will not end well. (This can manifest in different ways.)


Well, I have not been further than that down this particular destructive road than my body's loud warning. When it did it (you don't need the exact details), I was so afraid that I somehow just stopped not doing those things, because health was more important. I began doing them, instead. I began getting rid of them. You get at task to do, you do it, you get rid of it at once, and you don't add it to the pile of tasks you are struggling under.

Well, I did this in two aspects of my life: regular work, and translation work.


I have yet to do the same with my PhD.

Which, don't even get me started. I don't know how I will finish it on time, at all. I want to. And I will somehow, but currently it is like this: set self maximum and minimum PhD goals, every day. And fulfill the minimum one, whatever happens.

Today, for example, I procrastinated starting my goal (writing an article) for almost two hours. Because my research is ash and shit and piss, my anxiety is telling me. Because my references are understudied at best (not read in full at worst). Because, because, because.

Well, I started, but then I wrote one page, and began procrastinating again. Do you know how you procrastinate during a task you fear and don't really know how to approach? You fixate on a minor sub-task and do it and redo it, and you have to have THIS thing PERFECT, RIGHT NOW, AT ALL TIME COSTS. That, too, is procrastination and putting off what you don't know how to do. I did it with an illustration. Well, I decided that what I had did not fit, for valid reasons, and I do need to redraw it, but streamlining the text is more difficult, more important right now and comes first.

My must-do task for tomorrow is finishing up the text (and pictures, maybe) and sending the thing to my thesis advisor.


And I am going to sit my ass down and do it. Tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and the day after that, as well. (Take that, anxiety!)

LJ Idol - DW - 5.2: Tie-break (~620 words)

Today at work, I chaired the meeting of the Scientific Council of our department.

The Council is a part consultative, part self-governing body. It determines the direction of the research carried out by the department, discusses the PhD and Dr. Sci. theses presented to us for review, ascertains that the PhD, Master and Bachelor students doing their thesis research in the department are doing their work, distributes the money bonuses among co-workers, has the authority to protest or confirm certain decisions of the administration of the Science Institute that the department is part of, and so on.

And I chaired one of its meetings.

It happened spontaneously. The head of our department, who is the default chairman of the Council, was absent: he was held up at his annual medical exam. The vice-chairman of the Council was fifteen minutes late. This left me, the Secretary of the Council, to chair it.

The Council is an elected body, which consists mostly of the heads of laboratories and leading scientists, all of whom hold PhDs in the field, and many of whom also hold the 'second decree' doctorate, the Doctor of Sciences (Dr. Sci.). All of them, except me.

And I chaired the meeting.

The objective of today's gathering was quite simple. In fact, it was one of those with the more predictable outcomes: we were gathered to discuss the official review of a PhD thesis, which had been presented at the seminar of the department a couple of weeks earlier, and to agree whether the presented work qualified its author for the honour of the PhD title or not. Seeing that no critical objections were raised during the seminar, it was extremely likely that the Council would merely confirm the opinion of the reviewer, that the work was good, and the author, worthy.

Still, certain procedures had to be observed. The Council had to meet, and listen to a short review of the work. And someone had to chair it.

And that someone, this time, was me.

"Dear colleagues, were have gathered here to approve the official review of the PhD thesis by Ms. M. The title of the thesis is...; the research was carried out at the Saratov State Research University and the review was prepared by our colleague S., Dr. Sci. Let me remind you that the work was presented at the seminar of our department two weeks ago."

I had heard that introduction spoken more than half a dozen times in the year and a half I have been the Secretary of the Council, and still I had to scramble to string all the words together correctly, with all the expectant eyes on me, all the while knowing that almost everyone present had read the email announcing the meeting, and the advertisement about the same on the notice board, and were present at the mentioned seminar as well.

After the review was presented, and additional questions as to the quality of the work and its details and possible applications asked by everyone who had any, "the word" was mine again.

Because I was the chairman of the meeting.

Theoretically, I could ask some questions myself. I had none, because the subject matter was if not Greek, then certainly Dutch to me (I speak some German, and understand a Dutch phrase here and there).

"Now, according to protocol, we should vote. Who agrees with the findings of the review?" — Everyone raised their hands. "Anyone against it?" — Noone. "Anyone abstains?" Noone. "And it's unanimous. Thank you everyone. Please do not forget to sign the attendance list."

I chaired the bloody meeting and survived the embarrassment. I was even complimented on the brevity and efficiency of the proceedings.

LJ Idol - DW - 5: Kayfabe (~1500 words)

In professional wrestling, kayfabe /ˈkeɪfeɪb/ is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true", specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or predetermined nature of any kind.
~Wiki.


In class, some people write notes, some sleep, some are bored, and a few rare ones write down not only regular notes, but also certain phrases the professor says, which, especially out of context, can be extremely funny.

I never was among the last group, and most often took copious notes.

Yet there is still another aspect of learning from someone I cherish: the little tidbits of personal experience, which they sometimes share. An unspoken rule of the learning environment is that a certain distance should be maintained between the teacher and the student, which makes learning personal things about your favourite professors all the more meaningful.

These are the few facts that I know about Valerian Ivanovich Gervids, my beloved late physics professor. He would tell us to practice drawing horizontal and vertical lines, circles and ovals by hand, because we would not always have rulers and compasses handy, and it was obvious from the way he wrote on the board that he practiced the same himself.

He had an old fluffy cat and lived on the 10th floor of an apartment building. This came up as we were studying gravity, with him asking if we had ever tried to throw pet fur off a balcony and had it fly upward, not down on the flows of air.

Finally, it came up during a class on nuclear fission that his son in law, also a graduate of our college, was one of the people who came from all over the Soviet Union to help "liquidate", eliminate the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe. And that while the young man was there, he helped develop a method of the remote discovery of the more radioactive debris, which had to be removed and sealed as quickly as possible, yet were invisible to the naked eye. To locate them, you had to superimpose ordinary photographs with images made from the same viewpoint using the X-ray film at a certain exposure. The latter only showed bright spots caused by the radiation, but looking at the two images together, the responders could go where they were most needed directly, and lose as little time as possible.

In Chernobyl, time was critical. You could go to certain areas only once, for a few minutes at most, then never in the remainder of your life be allowed near radiation sources again, for risk of the radiation sickness. Despite these precautions (which were ignored during the first desperate efforts to limit the consequences, when qualified personnel was in short supply and time flew), many developed the sickness afterward; some died from it.

I equally cherish the little in- and out-of-character moments actors have during and after the shows that I go to.

The only play I have seen the late John Hurt in was the one-man-show Krapp's Last Tape, which as story of an old man who lives alone and has an odd way of celebrating his birthdays. Every year, he records an (audio) tape summarizing his life to date, and listens to a single randomly chosen tape from the years gone by.

Despite the audience being there, the character is alone throughout the play, and does not interact with the spectators at all. Mr Hurt said in an after-show interview that the only way for him to judge the audience's reaction to his performance during the show was by how absolute the silence in the auditorium was becoming as the plot unraveled.

During one of the performances I was at, the silence was so absolute that the audience did not realize that the play was over. The silence continued into the final black out, but as the lights went on again, neither did Mr Hurt break character. We saw Krapp still sitting behind his desk, where he ended the play. Then he looked at the audience for the first time, shrugged, opening his arms wide—and was John Hurt again in the blink of an eye.

In the five performances I have seen of another play, John Gabriel Borkman, with Fiona Shaw, Lindsay Duncan and the late much missed Alan Rickman, emergencies happened with members of the audience twice in the same week (the only such unfortunate events I have witnessed in theatre). Both times, the actors left the stage while those who needed help received it. One time it was during a scene between Rickman as Borkman and Shaw as his wife Gunhild. It being a period play, he offered her his arm as they exited, like any gentleman would a lady.

The second time it happened during a shouting match between Gunhild and her sister Ella Rentheim (Duncan), which the actresses then had to restart from its shouting climax, with no emotional buildup preceding.

On the one hand, you go to the show and you hope it runs smoothly, yet on the other, little details like these make you love theatre, and your favourite actors, even more.

The off-stage and supposedly out-of-character moments can be equally fascinating. The "meeting actors at stage door" culture is noticeably less developed in Russia than it is in Britain and the U.S., and when I was young, "stage-dooring" was frowned upon by my parents as an excessive and overly exulted behaviour.

Myself, I go there rarely, when the need to say a personal "thank you" outweighs the feeling that I intrude upon a busy and already too-often-approached stranger's personal time. I have only ever approached Alan Rickman, Philip Quast and Stephen Fry.

My first time at the stage door, after Alan Rickman's play Seminar, was also the easiest. The show being on Broadway in New York, the stage door experience was semi-organized, with barriers brought out to separate the actors from the audience, and a security guard present in case of emergencies. It felt less intrusive that way.

The play told a story of a private class, a writing seminar, taught to four aspiring young writers by a greatly renowned editor and part-time asshole (Rickman).

It was interesting to see all five actors from the play interact with spectators at stage door, and the public personas they were projecting (in the case of Rickman, Hamish Linklater and Jerry O'Connell) and creating (Lily Rabe). Mr Rickman was all "you can take a picture of me" (not with me), as he attentively listened and stayed until every one who wanted and autograph got one. Mr O'Connell, in what, I believe, was his debut Broadway appearance, acted the hyper excited schoolboy. Mr Linklater was a slippery Janus who was both there with the fans and not. Ms Rabe projected a slightly exaggerated gravitas-in-training, and Ms Hettienne Park, the fourth seminar student, looked embarrassed by the stage door hoopla and often quietly slipped away.

Having told all these stories, I come, again, to the same conclusion I often do, that I prefer most things in moderation, and that there is no better way to emphasize a role, be it in theatre or in society, than by occasionally breaking character.

To conclude, here is a prefect example of this from yet another play, the musical Follies, which I went to see because Philip Quast played one of the title roles in it. The story told is that of two couples, Ben (Quast) and Phyllis and Sally and Buddy, who return to New York for the anniversary party of the old musical Follies, where both ladies used to star while the boys waited "downstairs" for them to come out after the shows.

At the party, it comes out that all four suffer from the midlife crisis, are on the verge of divorce and do not know what they are doing with their lives anymore. Sally is ready to elope with Ben, her old flame, and Phyllis feels dead inside.

Yet nothing changes after the play, and the couples, through much turmoil, learn that maybe, just maybe, their perfect partner has been by their side all this time.

In the culmination of the musical, all four main characters sing their main songs, also called "follies", which summarize all that they have gone through and learned about themselves. And in Ben's Folly, he stumbles, and stops, and for a heart-stopping moment your heart drops for thinking that it is the actor who has forgotten his lines, and not Ben who does not know how to go on anymore.

Philip Quast was improvising that heart-stopping moment differently every night. During one performance, I was seated in the center of the front row, and when he (Ben?) asked the laughing audience, "You think it's funny, don't you?", the illusion was complete that the words were said to me, and the invisible "fourth wall" separating the scene and the audience had disappeared.

LJ Idol - DW - 4: Ghosting (~1150 words)

This year is the 13th year I have been blogging online. Back in 2005, when I first considered writing about my life publicly, a friend told me about two blogging platforms, the exclusively Russian diary.ru, which she preferred, and the international livejournal.com, which she found too vast and uncomfortable.

Yet it was the international aspect of LJ that immediately caught my attention, because back then, I was chafing under the lack of opportunities to speak English. I had newly graduated from college where, although not a language student, I followed further-education courses in the language during my senior years, and with that avenue now closed, I had an "itch" to speak, and needed a new outlet.

This is why my blog has been bilingual from the very beginning, with a few exceptions such as the LJ Idol entries. Sometimes, not as often as I should, I write those separately in Russian as well.

Over the years, my blog has had many phases. At first, I not only translated my entries, but my own comments as well, for the ambitious, and now embarrassing, reason that someone might want to follow the discussions, too.

Then came the era of memes, or flashmobs, which were, once upon a time, many and varied. You could let them sort you into the Hogwarts houses from Harry Potter, determine your psychological types, use a series of questions to announce to the world your moods, book, movie and music preferences, sort your favourite icons in various categories, summarize your year, or month, or the week. You name it, there is probably a meme for it out there on the net.

Personally, I was a proud Ravenclaw as a child (the House of those who value knowledge), but now also value Hufflepuffish (loyalty and hardworking) and Gryffindorish (reckless bravery) traits, and see the advantage Slytherin cunning can afford.

I can also tell you that I am the INFP Myers-Briggs type, and a "negotiator" in some other classification, and my favourite way to round up the year is by selecting objects and people that represented it best (the persons of this year, for example, are my PhD thesis advisors, its language is English with a dash of French, and its books are various religious texts, such as Matthew's New Testament and the first surahs of the Quran).

Afterward, I was active in the communities. There was the "Hogwarts Elite" sorting community, in which it were the members themselves who chose your house after reading your answers to an extensive questionnaire, of which I only remember the question that asked you to name at least one historical or literary character whom you would place in each House, and explain your reasoning. Yet, if you did not answer fully enough, or most members did not like what they read, you could be rejected, and "squibbed".

I was a Ravenclaw there as well.

Later still, I joined "Marchland", an awesome space for inner growth, where members agreed to speak openly about the toughest problems they were facing in life. A lot of effort was put into making it a safe space for everyone, and even though the group has since moved to Facebook, which has never felt safe for me, I will always consider many of its members my very close and intimate friends.

And this brings me to an aspect of blogging I frankly did not give much thought to when I created my journal, and also one of its most important. Interaction with people.

On the one hand, this is one of the most important reasons for keeping a blog, instead of, or together with, a personal paper or digital diary. On the other, it is much less straightforward.

People come and people go; people disappear and reappear. People's expectations of yourself and your expectations of people do not match. You can hurt someone without meaning to.

I will never forget the first person I unfriended on LJ. We had similar educations, and close tastes in music and literature, and we did not "click" at all. I will be equally always grateful to all the people whom I would never approach in real life, but with whom I easily, or eventually, become friends through the internet.

Several times, I have made joking comments in the heat of a moment that were misinterpreted as malicious and cost me that person's acquaintance even after immediate and sincere apologies.

For the longest time, I was terribly afraid of losing people if I expressed an opinion that they would disagree with, or call them out on behaviors that rubbed me the wrong way. And yet, despite the careful way in which I tried to interact with others, the event that I now consider another cornerstone of my LJ life still happened. One day, I was ghosted by a person whom I'd known here for almost ten years, and who I looked at, and looked up to, like an elder sister. By then, we were not only connected through LJ, but Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as well, and she removed me everywhere at once.

I don't know what caused it. I do know that ghosting was her usual way of removing people from her life who she no longer wanted there, due to an unfortunate history with suffocating, disrespectful and "sticky" people who did not accept "no" for an answer.

It was probably the single most unpleasant thing that has ever happened to me online, and caused me to experience a veritable storm of emotion, which I was shocked to identify as the infamous stages of grief. Disbelief, shock, denial, anger, frustration, lowered self-esteem for being considered the same as those "other" people, they were all there, and they percolated through my mind for many months.

And then, as I like to call it, I grew myself up. She will always be my sister. Only now she is the same kind of sibling as my birth brother is. The brother with whom I almost never speak, and don't keep in contact.

Most importantly though, I have come to realize that I am not responsible for, or able to predict, other people's actions, thoughts, and emotions. I am only responsible for my own actions, and I have a duty to myself to do the best I can. Boy, have these exact words been used and abused a thousand times and more, and are they difficult to live up to.

Saying "no" to people, online or otherwise, is still difficult, but now I do it in situations I find unacceptable. I write them a detailed letter, explaining the way I view their behaviour, and why I do not find it acceptable, and as I hit "send", I mentally say goodbye. In many cases, these friends do not realize what their behaviour even looks like from the outside, modify it, and even thank me. In one case, I am no longer in contact with that person.

Many things have happened in my life in my 13 years on LJ, most of them positive and personally important, and it pains me to see its gradual decline, which cannot be denied. I have considered moving to another site, or creating a personal one, but I still like to think that I will stay on Livejournal indefinitely.

LJ Idol - DW - 3: Tsundoku (~650 words)

Tsundoku is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them.
~Wiki.


In the Russian higher education system, there is no tenure or "professor emeritus" status. There is also no age of obligatory retirement.

One of the best professors I have ever had, a sunny, wise, knowledgeable "grandfather", who was once bowled over by a car before class and still came to teach, was 80 years old when I was his student. Ironically, one of my worst professors, a disrespectful, rude, status-conscious brute of a man, was also in his 80s.

Like everything else, this lack of regulation can be both good, letting the worthy stay, and bad, allowing the worst to linger, and the has-beens to be there in name only while their younger colleagues and PhD students shoulder all their classes.

A similar situation occurs in science. While a director of a science institution will probably be made to retire at 65 or 70, or become the "scientific advisor" of the institution, ordinary workers can, and often do, continue to work productively until shortly before their death.

It makes for a wonderful job stability (several people in my department have worked in it since writing their Masters and Bachelors theses until after their technical retirement. These workers know the research that has been conducted here from the empty hull of the installation while it was constructred to its current advanced state. They intuitively "feel" "the iron" and know why the experimental results are such as they are).

Yet at the same time, things can and do get what I call "fuzzy". I invented this term for situations in which everyone is so comfortable in their little roles that change does not happen anymore, and people lose sight of the forest behind the trees of their local work groups.

Long-term workers sometimes they also "grow" metal forests inside the rooms they inhabit for decades, accumulating machinery and spare parts that are neither used not written off for years and years. There are devices on our shelves that cannot be simply thrown away because they contain traces precious metals. Yet with the persons who had acquired them no longer present, the exact process dealing with these place holders becomes unclear and also "fuzzy".

Others grow forests of books. Before my time, there was a colleague, now deceased, who, as the stories go, bought books by the dozen: entire collections of fiction, sets of textbooks and other literature on a wide range of topics both common and professional. He bought them, and brought them to work, and stacked them in the small room where he worked alone.

Upon his death, when the family refused to collect the tomes (apparently, he also hoarded books at home), the room had to be cleaned. Some books went to the local library, some where distributed between the colleagues, some were sold off.

And you will never guess what was found when a path to the other side of the room was cleared. A fridge, hidden behind the stacks and long ago forgotten. Plugged into a socket, it worked still, but after many power outages over the years, the ice inside melted and grew again, melted and grew, swelling the refrigerator to alarming proportions. Those who found it were horrified and very grateful that it had not blown up like a time bomb.

You could tell a mentor you highly respect that it is time for them to retire, because they are in the way of the young, but it is both unbearably askward and not a done thing in many circles in my country.

There is no grand lesson to be learned from these experiences, but sometimes I wish for an ideal world where the positive sides of things are nourished, and the negative squashed. Alas, it cannot be.

Three weeks ago, one of my PhD thesis advisers and I went to a science conference in Perm, a town near the Ural mountains. My colleague can no longer fly after an automobile accident that left her permanently relying on blood-thinning medicine, and so we took a sleeper train, which covers the 1500 kilometers between Moscow and Perm in roughly 21 hours.

Sharing a small space with acquaintnces and stranges for days is a peculiar bonding experience. I think in many ways, while planes are similar to hotels, long-distance trains are similar to hostels: if you and your fellow train passengers are so inclined, many interesting conversations and sharing occur over shared food and tea (and on many occasions, something stronger as well).

On this journey, the two of us shared the four-person compartment with a self-employed young men in his late twenties, owner of a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Moscow region, and a fifty-something ex train driver, now train driver instructor, from Perm.

My colleague and now adviser is a very talkative person with a kaleidoscopic knowledge of the world, and our younger companion needing a distraction from the purpose of his journey (we learned later that he was heading for his grandfather's funeral), the two talked each other's ears off, while myself and our fourth companion listened and participated occasionally.

You can learn a lot about someone talking with them, and you can learn about them differently listening to them tell the stories you are already familiar with to someone else, because merely listening allows you a small distance to think through what you are hearing.

I learned a lot about my colleague that day, but even more importantly, I knew with absolute certainty that I finally found someone who was living their life through the lens of natural sciences.

I will try as best as I can to explain this odd statement and its fundamental and grounding importance to me.

My whole life, I have been surrounded by people of the natural science inclination: aviation engineers (my parents), programmers (our closest neighbours and friends), geologists, physicists, mathematicians. My own two higher educations are also in physics and radio engineering.

And yet, through all of it, I never saw science lived in the daily life the way I see it reflected in my colleague's and her family's. The way I saw it before (and my eyes are no perfect mirror, because I have never felt completely submerged in my educations), private lives were private lives, and professional lives, professional.

Your field of work is so far removed from what you do at home (my father couldn't really talk about his work constructing plane engines to his family, nor apply it to "real life"). I have nowhere to use my data processing skills outside of work, my mother's geologist friend wouldn't need to calculate the stability of the soil her country house is already standing on, or its suitability for construction of larger buildings and factories, and so on, and so forth.

I oversimplify, of course. My father's knowledge of physics in general allows him to perform tasks around the house much more efficiently. My mother's later expertise with book keeping lets her keep her and father on the straight and narrow with their taxes. My mother's friend knew there was an artesian water table right under on her property when she ordered a well constructed.

Still, the separation is there and glaring, and I have always thought it was just the way it was.

The example of my colleague's life, however, belies this certainty. Her way into science was difficult and unrothodox: being very short-sighted (-10 dioptres on both eyes) she was refused entrance to Moscow State University and a number of technical colleges despite her top grades from high school, and received higher education as a teacher (do not ask me about the logic behind someone with her disability being "not strong enough" to do brain work but strong enough to teach children). From there, she managed to prepare a PhD in her desired field, and later get the title of the Doctor of Sciences* in the same.

Most importantly though, it allowed her to develop (unless she has always lived that way) the purely scientific approach to all spheres of her life. Fact-analysis of fact-drawing on all knowledge available to you-trial-error-result in dealing with the fact-generalization of acquired knowledge-unification of new knowledge with existing "database"-application of all acquired knowledge regardless of origin, regardless of field of application.

Knowing people really live science is important and a great relief to me, because science, my bread and air, is not as dying as I feared more and more it was.

And yet. At the same time as I learned, and greatly admired, her approach to life, I also became aware of its limitations. Imagine a person who has been wearing thick glasses so long that they have forgotten they have side vision. (It is an ironic image because her eyesight is too bad for lenses, and she wears thick glasses to correct it.) That is her, as well. Everything that is not a proven scientific fact she brushes off and refuses to so much as discuss as unimportant, and sometimes places proven scientific results above people.

During the last election for example, a two-level system of video recording was developed and implemented, which, theoretically, allows one to prove or disprove any and all allegations of cheating. One level of recording does so in an average quality. These images are collected at once and sent to a central database. The other images filmed in much higher resolution, quality and, consequently, "weight", remain with the local authorities unless requested if the results are contested, since their transfer from all over the country over existing data channels is complicated. Theoretically, these second, better records prove it all. Practically, local authorities regularly threaten independent observers (of which our younger companion was one), and others who may, in theory, demand proof of electoral fraud, into silence.

For my colleague, the making of the system is an incontestable proof of the country's progress. For me and the young man, its inefficiency because of the "human factor" is inconsequential, or pretend progress, or no progress at all.


I am not sure where this new knowledge leaves me. Happy with the odd discovery that science...exists in people. Grounded in the knowledge that while this is true, science exists. Disappointed that even scientists are people. Even more certain that I, myself, is not a scientist.


-----
*In Russia, we have two degrees of "post-higher" education: a Candidate of Sciences, roughly equivalent to a PhD, and a Doctor of Sciences, which is a higher title that requires a much more serious amount of scientific work to be performed both prior and during the writing of the Doctorate thesis. A Doctor of Sciences, basically, is an originator of a new field of science or someone who contributes greatly to the existing ones.

Родители собираются гулять с собакой.
Мать — отцу, открывая входную дверь: "Выходи с ней первый: со мной она насикает прямо в подъезде".
Отец: "Она уже сикает".

(Собака пулей выскочила в полуоткрытую дверь квартиры и пристроилась на коврике возле двери.)


*****


My parents are going for a walk with the dog.
Mother to father, opening the door, "You go down with her first, she always pisses inside the building when I walk her out."
Father, "She is already pissing."

(The dog went straight out of the door and started doing it on our doormat.)
When you are a child, your life is easy, because it has a purpose, or at least a lack of understanding that you need one.

My childhood purpose in life, implicitly set by my parents, was simple: grow up, study, get an education, find work... and then all will be good and proper.

I followed this road, only somewhere along the way, I discovered that no goal in life mysteriously appears out of the fog of adulthood.

You grow up (check).

You study (check, eternal student achievement unlocked).

You get an education (check, two Masters degrees and a number of further-education and self-study courses).

You find occupation (check, been working in the same organisation since obtaining my first Masters).

And then you flounder. The nice people you are working with obviously have a purpose, but it is not written anywhere, it is not stated out loud, and nor is it implied in the tasks you perform as a junior member of the team.

You ask around, feebly, about this purpose, but you are not heard, are not understood, because your problem is alien to the older generation, and you are too young, too awkward, and too much in the dark already to yell, shout, insist that you are lost and need to be shown a guiding light, and be answered. And this, because you are ashamed. Ashamed to show that your new education had not taught you the most important thing of all.

You stay with the good people you have found, because you have no purpose of your own, and no burning need for change, and because you are lost and ashamed. And for years you exist without really living, only finding short-lived purpose in short-lived outside projects.

And then you realize, subconsciously in the beginning, that the Purpose will not magically appear in your darkness in a burst of heavenly light. That you have to find it, somehow, and that only you can do so. That it does not revolve around your work, but your life as a whole. And that, the most confusing of all, your rational mind, the one your education, and conscious thoughts, have been training all these long years, will not help you in your quest, because that which you are looking for is to it transcendental. That too many of your own, other people's and society's morals, ideals and compasses are foggy, transient and questionable, some objectionable and others downright harmful.

Pundits say: do not steal. Your society punishes with three years in prison a homeless person for stealing a tin of food worth two hundred and lets go with a slap on the wrist and a one-year suspended sentence the scoundrel who took hundreds of thousands from the orphans.

Your country's constitution proclaims freedom of speech. Your country's authorities slap criminal charges for extremism and seeding racial hatred on young people who repost memes mocking religion and those in power on their, already months deleted, social media accounts with less than three dozen subscribers.

You try and you try to find your purpose, to reconstruct a system of beliefs that will hold you afloat, but again and again, your castle of sand comes down and you question anew.

Yet at the same time you start to find here and there small things that no matter how you question and turn them left, right, upside down and inside out, always hold true, no matter what others do with them, no matter everything else.

I will not organize events to "punish" someone who has offended me. I will not pretend, and lie, and premeditate hurtful things to hurl at and do to them. I have seen people do it, and prepare it, and think nothing of it, and I will only say, their choice.

I always look to the better selves of people. No mater how many others caution me about some specific individual, I accept the possible consequences of seeing them thus, and do it (they scare me, the warnings, sometimes they scare me stiff). And I have never yet run across such consequences.

There exist a few other things here and there, but the two above I can write out in the full knowledge that I hold myself to them.

...You find these anchoring rocks, and maybe you build something.

I wouldn't know yet. My purpose looms somewhere close in the fog, but its true form escapes me.

LJ Idol, again

I really don't have time for this (I am going away to a conference next week, for goodness' sake! and my PhD thesis won't write itself), but I've missed going all out in writing so much, I am joining the new LJ Idol mini-season, a writing competition, anyway.

For reasons I don't accept as valid but put up with *evil grin* it is now held through dreamwidth.org. Come join the fun (you can OpenID your LJ account) or read the FAQ.

*****

Времени на это у меня нет совершенно (и вообще я уезжаю на конференцию на следующей неделе, да и диссертация сама себя не напишет), но мне так не хватает повода писать как можно лучше, что я всё же буду участвовать в новом мини-сезоне писательского конкурса LJ Idol.

По причинам, которые я не считаю достаточными *грозно потрясает кулаком*, но с которыми приходится мириться, конкурс теперь проводится через посредство сайта dreamwidth.org. Здесь можно присоединиться (в том числе и по OpenID из ЖЖ), а здесь прочитать FAQ.

Tags:

Useful link

I do not know if anyone else has to sometimes submit documents in the LaTeX editor (it is sometimes required to use it to format conference abstracts and articles), but this online editor: https://www.sharelatex.com/ appears very useful. No more downloading LaTeX on your computer and suffering from lack of necessary libraries (I hope). Also no more nonsense of the type "WinXP no longer supported". (I hope, finished editing my abstract from my laptop at home, where I have a very basic Win7.) It is also free for personal use.


*****


Не знаю, требуют ли ещё с кого-нибудь предоставлять документы, отформатированные в системе LaTeX (тезисы конференций иногда приходится в нём оформлять; иногда - статьи). Если требуют - мне понравился онлайн-редактор https://www.sharelatex.com/. Больше не надо загружать LaTeX на компьютер (и биться об стену "мы больше не поддерживаем WinXP". Я надеюсь. Пользовалась им сейчас в первый раз с домашнего компьютера, на котором семёрка). И не надо также разыскивать с фонарями библиотеки (тоже надеюсь). Плюс он бесплатен для личного пользования.

Harry Potter and I

Another of itsjustc's questions from the long-ago meme I have not forgotten about was about Harry Potter.

Oh, boy. I do not know where to start, and there is no end in sight.

In an nutshell, if it were not for Harry Potter, I would be someone very different.


Wall of text it in no particular orderCollapse )


*****


Продолжаю отвечать на вопросы itsjustc из давнишнего, но не забытого флэшмоба. Второй вопрос - я и Гарри Поттер.

Не знаю, где начать, а конца и края и вовсе не видно.

В двух словах: если бы не Гарри Поттер, я была бы совсем другим человеком.

Беспорядочная стена текстаCollapse )

DH II, 8.5/10

What can I say, David Yates finally managed to create a decent movie. Only, it took him five years and three mostly failed attempts to do so.

I didn't regret I went to see it, in the end, even though I was prepared for the very worst.

Catching the first showing of the third day was a correct thing to do. But even then out of the ten of us in the whole auditorium, there was one noisy kid right there two seats away and I had to tell him off for commenting out loud. Was quite surprising to see him there at all, he wasn't even eleven most likely. Isn't there an age line for the movie? But then again, kids view such things differently and I don't know whether these bars are for the parents to feel good about themselves more than for the kids not to see violence. In fairy-tale type movies, at least, where it is not quite that evident.

Disjointed expressions, contains spoilersCollapse )

And now I have a second reason to go to Scandinavia. Hopefully, they do not dub movies in their theatres.


*****


Потрясающе, у Йетса наконец-то получилось снять приличный фильм. Правда, на это у него ушло пять лет и три почти загубленных предыдущих попытки.

Поэтому я не пожалела, что пошла, хотя готовилась к худшему.

Первый сеанс третьего дня показа - это хорошо. Правда из десяти пристутсвующих в зале всё равно нашёлся противный ребёнок, которому пришлось сделать замечание за комментарии в полный голос. К счастью, он сидел рядом, так что не пришлось слишком громко на него шипеть. Но неужели этот фильм не "старше чего-то там"? Тому самому ребёнку, судя по росту, и 11 лет не было. Хотя с другой стороны, дети по-другому всё это видят; интересно даже, для чего существуют подобные запреты на фильмы-сказки, для для убережения детей или для успокоения совести их родителей?

Всякие разрозненные впечатления, спойлерыCollapse )

Появилась ещё одна причина ехать в Скандинавию. Есть надежда посмотреть этот фильм по-хорошему, без уродств "перевода".

Десерт.
Примеры переводческих перловCollapse )

Snapishness, Part V

And now, The Order of the Phoenix asks for rather interesting conclusions.

Snape HAS to Occlude, hasn't he? What conclusions do we draw from this fact?Collapse )


- When explaining something uses effective, yet rather complicated and flourished language

- if in order to Occlude one's mind you need to let go of all emotions, anger included, and if Snape is a spy, he absolutely couldn't be incapable of subduing his anger. Had he come to the presence of Voldemort with all his emotions on his sleeve, or even suppressed, he would have been discovered. That leaves the conlusion that most part of his behaviour is a mask. That covers what exactly?
'Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked so easily - weak people, in other words - they stand no chance against his powers! He will penetrate your mind with absurd ease, Potter!'


Between Third and Fifth year. There is a fucking difference. Snape should have let go of the majority of his bad feelings, if even he didn't find it a necessary thing to do during the previous ten or so years. Otherwise they would have gotten the better of him getting him killed.

And he IS good at it even as Harry this once breaks into HIS memories;

And by the way. During the Occlmency sessions he didn't insult Harry's father. Not. Once.

Yet Dumbledore is still nuts, isn't he? In forcing them this close together he's making Snape vulnerable. That is great trust indeed. /sarcasm

"+" hints HE utters falsehoods in Voldemort's presence; master talk on clearing his mind; during the lessons, he is furious with HARRY, for lack of practice and trying; not one insult as to his similarity to his father. More furious he's not practicing then about him having seen his horrible memories.

"-" *inability to teach Harry Occlumency. That is, to do exactly what he talks about and let go of hurt and rage to normally communicate with the boy (the cause may as well be him being natural at it and not needing instructions, but being attacked. And not bothering to listen to Harry when he says whatever. Complaints about not understanding included).
This case, his own skills go against Dumbledore. But these are two ends of the same stick;
*making fun of Sirius (this COULD be out of petty spite though)


-In Umbridge's office-: Snape might have thought Potter an imbecile who -had- drank the tea. Given Harry didn't babble out anything he should have already known Snape gave her something false;
therefore trust him that he listens. Specially when it is not a usual "shut up" but a more elaborate answer. Drat. Drat. Harry. Imbecile. ELABORATE ANSWER MEANS SNAPE IS TAKING THE SITUATION SERIOUSLY!!! Specially mentioning potions.

Harry is a besotted moron. But - this tiny bit he might not have noticed. He din't drink a thing after all so didn't know the Veritaserum was false. And Snape being his -not so usual- but still refusing self he couldn't have not reminded him of the night Crouch died.

*****

В "Ордене Феникса" всё становится совсем интересно.


- Строит фразы очень высокопарно, однако понятно, когда объясняет нечто важное

- если для того чтобы успешно защитить свой мозг от вторжения Чтеца мыслей, нужно освободить его от всех эмоций, включая гнев, и если Снейп действительно шпион, тогда БЫТЬ ТОГО НЕ МОЖЕТ, чтобы он не мог подчинить себе свой гнев. Приди он к Волдеморту в таком состоянии, да рожки да ножки бы от него остались. Из чего делаем вывод, что злобное поведение в большОй степени - лишь маска.

Из чего делаем вывод что между Третьим годом и Пятым есть "две большие разницы и одна маленькая". Снейп должен был разобраться со своими чувствами, даже если за тот десяток лет, пока Волдеморт сидел духом, он не удосужился это сделать. Иначе его бы просто убили. Или не просто убили а замучили до смерти.

И если сцена, когда Гарри прорывается в его собственные воспоминания о чём-то говорит, то именно об этом.

И тем не менее, Дамблдор самый настоящий сумасшедший. Потавил его в ситуацию, в которой ему снова и снова приходится "управлять гневом". Великое доверие /сарказм.


"+" намекает на то, что ОН лжёт Волдеморту в лицо; очень правдободобный рассказ о том, как очищать сознание; во время уроков, злится на ГАРРИ, за то что тот ничего не делает и не старается, и НИ РАЗУ не говорит о том, как тот похож на своего отца. Сильнее злится на то, что Гарри ничего не делает, чем на то что тот смог поглядеть его собственные пренеприятные воспоминания.

"-" так и не смог научить Гарри защищать свой мозг. То есть сделать именно то, о чём говорит с пеной у рта, и забыть на время о своей боли и злости, чтобы научить мальчишку тому, чему якобы учит (хотя здесь возможно другое объяснение. Что ему самому это искусство далось настолько естесвенно, всего лишь как реакция на атаки обучавшего его человека, что ему и в голову не приходит, что кому-то это может быть не ясно. Ну и кроме того, он же Гарри вообще никогда не слушает.); подзуживает Сириуса, чтобы тот совершил глупость (хотя это скорее всего просто продолжение "десткого сада").


-В офисе у Амбридж-: Снейп мог считать, что Гарри -полный дурень- и что он -выпил- чай. Выпив его и не выболтав все секреты, когда Амбридж начала бахвалиться, что опоила его, он должен был понять, что Снейп дал фальшивое зелье, следовательно, что ему можно верить, следовательно, что он слушает. Тем более, что он не сказал своё обычное "Заткнись", а дал более элегантный ответ. ААА, ААА! Караул. Гарри действительно дурень. ЭЛЕГАНТНЫЙ ОТВЕТ ОЗНАЧАЕТ ЧТО СНЕЙ СЛУШАЕТ И СЛУШАЕТ СЕРЬЁЗНО!!! И особенно, если упоминает зелья.

Боже мой. Но - он имел полное право не понять. Ведь он же -не стал- пить отраву. И не знал, что зелье было фальшивым. Плюс к этому -замечательное- снейповское поведене, которое не могло ему не напомнить похожую ситуцию со старшим Краучем.

Snapishness, Part IV

The Goblet of Fire

Not bad, tooCollapse )

There isn't much new to say, really.

1) adding "very well" to the list of repeated phrases;

2) and "shut up" to the list of phrases usually associated with younger people;

3) it's a pity Filch was present when Harry let loose his egg. Other than obvious embarrassment of having someone see 'Moody' in the position to lord over him we don't get much out of the scene. Especially with his back turned to Harry at the most crucial moment;

4) Filch does look up to him.


And lastly, it's time to start playing good or bad.

Against (the idea of him still being on the Light side):
him interfering with Harry getting Dumbledore to Crouch Sr. Even this is doubtful - Voldemort hardly had contacted him then; just being his nasty self;

For:
reaction to 'Moody''s slur about unwashable spots;
him being in impostor Moody's Spy Glass;
all behavior during the parting of the ways.

*****

"Кубок огня".


Немного нового появилось.

1) одна повторяющаяся фраза и одна "несолидная";

2) какая жалость, что Филч там был, когда Гарри яйцо своё уронил. Кроме очевидного смущения, что кто-то присутсвует при разговоре с Грюмом, который над ним имеет определённую власть, мало что можно понять. Ещё и спиной к Гарри он стоял в самый критический момент.

3) Филч действительно в рот ему смотрит.


И в заключение пора начинать играть в "хорошего" и "плохого".

Против (того что "Джон Уэйн всё ещё с нашими"):
то как он не дал Гарри вовремя привести Дамблдора к старшему Краучу. Хотя даже это сомнительно - вряд ли Вольдеморт ему уже объявился;

За:
реакция на язвительное замечание лже-Грюма о "пятнах, которые не смываются";
его пристутсвие в Проявителе врагов самозванца;
всё поведение пока расходились пути.

Snapishness, III

Here they are, Snape dialogs from The Prisoner of Azkaban.

finally something substantialCollapse )

Warning is in order: the following but my reflection, moreover, reflection after considering BUT THE FIRST THREE BOOKS

1) To quote "Pride and Predjudice" (film)
My temper I can not vouch for. It may be called... resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost forever.

Puts on labels and listens to nothing else.

*Harry is a carbon copy of his father. Someone to extract revenge upon;
which, truth be told, makes him ridiculous - a grown-up man bulling a boy with insults that go below his belt; specially about a man that has passed away more than ten years ago
insults about father and son:
- like father like son
- exceedingly arrogant
- strutting around
- cut above the rest of us
- rules are for smaller mortals
- swollen head
- delicate ears
- precious Potter


*Ron is a sidekick worthy of the same and not another consideration;

*Hermione's an annoying know-it-all to be quenched;
*Longbottom is just a pathetic nobody; he trembles so wonderfully and doesn't hear a thing in his terror;
“Possibly no one's warned you, Lupin, but this class contains Neville Longbottom. I would advise you not to entrust him with anything difficult. Not unless Miss Granger is hissing instructions in his ear.”

*Lupin is but a dangerous animal he once met, so to be careful around;
He backed out of the room, unsmiling and watchful.

*Students in general are stupid, irresponsible but worth protecting
Black had bewitched them, I saw it immediately... They weren't responsible for their actions.

2) However incredible it sounds, he seems sincere in his talk with Fudge. (Since he sounds sincere with every remark, insult, whatever he says before.) Everything they tried to tell him in the Shrieking Shack, he didn't hear it. For there was not one person there who he would listen to. From this point of view his rage at the man's escape is very well justified.

3) Doesn't find it necessary to choose words with students (another proof of sincerity however twisted)
Tell me, boy, does anything penetrate that thick skull of yours?
don't remember asking you to show off, Miss Granger,”


4) Is very much at ease with Dumbledore.


About the infamous Defence class.
There was absolutely NOTHING they could do about it. Or, more exactly, one thing. It was obvious Snape came there to extract revenge on Lupin, as well as the class Harry was in. The one thing, that was done on my memory by a certain tenth grade (they were mistaken then, the teacher was not to blame), was to refuse to respect and acknowledge a teacher such as that. Every. Single. Student. When asked a question, up and silent. And let all hell break loose. Unfortunately, they a) were too young; b) didn't know what was coming.



You know, Joe (and I mean no insult here, I have said not once and not twice that I like Snape alot), he is much like you with this horrible ball of anger and hurt inside of him that he can't and won't let go of...

*****

Итак, книга третья. "Узник Азкабана".

Предупреждение: во-первых, это моё личное мнение; во-вторых, составленнное после раздумий ТОЛЬКО НАД ПЕРВЫМИ ТРЕМЯ КНИГАМИ.

1) Цитируя мистера Дарси из "Гордости и предубежденя" (фильма)
Не могу поручиться за свой характер. Его можно назвать... обидчивым. Один раз потеряв хорошее отношение к человеку, я остаюсь при своём мнении.

Приклеивает ярлыки и больше ничего уже не слушает.

*Гарри - двойник папаши. И поэтому его травля более чем оправдана;
детский сад да и только, взрослый мужчина мало того что взъелся на мальчика в подчинённом положении, так ещё и пользуется запрещёнными приёмами; особенно в том, что касается человека, которого и в живых-то уже вот уже десять лет как нет

*Рон - подпевала, и думать о нём нечего, а относиться к нему будем также, как и к Поттеру;

*Гермиона - отвратительная зазнайка, которую нужно на каждом шагу осаживать;

*Лонгботтом - вообще полное ничтожество; но как приятно над ним поглумиться, сделав вид, что в очередной раз объясняешь материал - он от ужаса всё равно ничего не услышит;

*Люпин - опасное животное, с которым он столкнулся в юности, около которого нужно всё время быть настроже;

*Ученики в общем и целом глупы, безответственны, но тем не менее их нужно защищать, хотя бы от них самих.


2) Возможно, это прозвучит дико, но искреннен он в разговоре с Фаджем. (В этом убеждают все прочие разговоры, будь то с директором, или насмешки, или самая настоящая злоба). Всё, что ему пытались сказать в Визжащей хижине, он благополучно пропустил мимо ушей. Ибо там не было никого, кого он стал бы слушать. C этой точки зрения его ярость после бегства Блэка очень понятна и легко объяснима.

3) Не считает нужным выбирать слова при общении со учениками. (Опять же в копилку искренности, хоть и извращённым способом).

4) С Дамблдором чувствует себя совершенно свободно.


И, наконец, о том самом знаменитом уроке ЗОТИ.
Сделать ребята не могли НИЧЕГО. Точнее, ничего за исключением одной очень радикальной вещи. Было очевидно, что Снейп пришёл не проводить урок, а мстить Люпину, да и всему классу, в котором учился Гарри. Тот самый радикальный поступок, который на моей памяти совершил один десятый класс (и в их случае вышла ужасная ошибка, учитель был не виноват) состоит в выказывании неуважения подобному преподавателю и отказе его признавать. Но участвовать должны ВСЕ. Когда учитель вызывает ученика, тот встаёт и молчит. И плевать на последствия. К сожалению, во-первых а) они были слишком маленькие; б) не знали заранее, что им грозило.



Знаешь, Джо (я не хочу тебя обидеть, кажется уже говорила не раз и не два, что Снейпа я очень люблю), мне он очень тебя напоминает. С этим ужасным комом агрессии и боли, которые он никак не может отпустить...

Snapishness, Part II

Here go Snape's dialogs from The Chamber of Secrets

it's more like itCollapse )

Conclusions:

1) The way he addresses Harry & Ron is proved to show disrespect. Malfoy was addressed "Mr. Malfoy" during a public occasion (Duelling Club) as were Hermione and Bulstrode and just "Malfoy" in a sort of private conversation;
2) Nothing out of the ordinary in conversations with Dumbledore and colleagues; these are TOO ordinary;
3) Harry respects him when shown what to respect (with Lockhart, telling him his is grateful to Professor Snape for the Disarming charm;
4) When mocking someone, uses mock-complicated language:
considerable damage seems to have been done
the decision to expel you doesn't rest with me
I shall go and fetch people who do have this happy power
I shall make sure this person is expelled
;
5) Repeated words in the aforementioned case:
tut, tut - fame clearly isn't everything
dear, dear,,, his own son...
;
6) First "open" show of emotions - when Ginny's taken to the Chamber of Secrets;
7) In addition to the last category, "simple" language:
I daresay

*****

Из снейповских диалогов в "Тайной комнате" делаем следующие

Выводы:

1) Обращаясь к Гарри с Роном, он намеренно показывает неуважение. К Малфою в "официозидальном" случе (Дуэльный клуб) обращается "Мистер Малфой", также как к Гермионе и к Балстроуд, и просто "Малфой" в течение урока;
2) Общение с Дамблдором и коллегами пока ничем не выделяется, кроме своей нормальности;
3) Гарри его уважает. Когда есть за что. Как, например, в случае с Локонсом и Разоружающим заклятием;
4) Высмеивая студентов, использует издевательски-возвышенный и "правильный" стиль;
5) В предыдущем случае также повторяет слова;
6) Первое "открытое" выражение эмоций - когда Джинни пропадает в Тайную комнату.

Snapishness

I have found every little thing Snape said. In SS/PS so far.

Not much to say the leastCollapse )

Conclusions:
1) His fault Harry always says but "Snape". Always calls Harry and Ron just "Potter" and "Weasley". Without "Mr.".
2) Doesn't exactly command respect in class. "Sit down" - to Hermione; "Idiot boy" - to Neville.
3) Speech pattern undetermined. Need more examples.
4) However, used "Blasted thing" and "them" when talking about about someone of undistinguished gender.

*****

Отловила все моменты (пока только в "Философском камне"), где Снейп говорит что бы то ни было. Немного в сети попалось.

Выводы
1) Сам виноват что Гарри о нём говорит исключительно "Снейп". Сам же называет Гарри и Рона просто "Поттер" и "Уизли". Без мистеров.
2) Поведение вроде "Сядь" - Гермионе и "Идиот" - Невиллу, во время урока, тоже не вызывает желания быть вежливым.
3) Характерных речевых оборотов пока выделить нельзя, слишком мало примеров.

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