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Amparo Bertram

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06:13 am: 'Twas the week before Halloween
The Ritsumeikan teachers seem to be getting really into the Halloween thing. The first-year classrooms are all decorated with orange and black streamers and many other things. The library is planning on hosting a Halloween party...though I think it's for children, because I'm supposed to read some Halloween-themed picture books. At first it was scheduled for October 30, which seemed reasonable, but then it was rescheduled for November 6. (A week after Halloween, guys? What's up with that?) Well, I suppose they didn't have much choice, since November 1-2 are half days, the 3rd is a national holiday, and the 4th-5th are the weekend.

Speaking of the national holiday, I've agreed to go with the Minna no Salon crew to spend a day sightseeing in Hikone. That should bring back memories of when I was there studying Japanese for a year.

I'm hoping to have my second-year students watch Nightmare Before Christmas this week in their listening class. I showed it last year, and the students seemed to appreciate it. (They even answered the questions I handed out...about the same amount as they answered the questions in the textbook--which is to say, only a handful of students tried, and the rest waited to copy down the answers when they were written on the board.)

In Warcraft news, my guild paired up with another guild to attempt the 40-person instance Blackwing Lair. (We tried doing it on our own, but we could never muster up more than about 25-30 people.) This time we took 20 from our guild and 20 from the other guild. In a five hour run (which includes preparation time and explanation time and potty breaks), we got as far as defeating the second boss, the dragon Vaelastrasz. The problem with this is that, if we do a different instance (such as Molten Core) and 30 people are online, everyone gets to go. (MC is also a 40-person instance, but we can beat most of the bosses with fewer people.) Blackwing Lair has better rewards, but when only 20 people can go, the remaining 10 people feel left out.

Personally, I'm just playing the game to have fun and do things with my brothers/friends. I feel sorry that other people get so uptight/angry/hurt about who gets what loot and who goes on what instance raids. The social give-and-take is interesting from an anthropological perspective, though.



[User Picture]
Date:October 22nd, 2006 11:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's just pixels on a screen, so all the related drama is perplexing. We're going through something similar in one of my Final Fantasy XI linkshells atm. It's so annoying and silly, and it really brings out the worst in people.

[User Picture]
Date:October 24th, 2006 08:00 am (UTC)
I guess there's always going to be drama wherever people get intensely involved with something...even when the reasons seem quite silly.
[User Picture]
Date:October 24th, 2006 09:34 am (UTC)
But who decides who gets to go and who decides who gets the loot when the dragon is dead...and where is Snowbunny? Did she die?
[User Picture]
Date:October 24th, 2006 11:31 am (UTC)
But who decides who gets to go

The officers of our guild make the list, based on the player's level of experience, participation in guild events, and gear. (For example, most of the damage that players take in Blackwing Lair is from fire. Characters who have a lot of fire resistance on their gear--and are therefore more likely to survive--have priority.)

who decides who gets the loot when the dragon is dead

The raid leader (my brother, that time) does a random roll (like flipping a coin) to see which guild gets each item. Within the guild, each member has a certain number of points earned by helping the guild do things (helping kill tough bosses or supplying needed materials for potions and such, things like that). We have a silent bid for the item, spending these points to "buy" the item. Whoever bids highest wins it.

...and where is Snowbunny? Did she die?

Snowbunny didn't get to go. She doesn't have very good gear yet, though I'm working on improving that. Instead, I took Glaya, who is my main character.

Snowbunny is currently engaged in PVP (player-versus-player). You sign up for a kind of wargame where you try to fight against opposing players to achieve a goal. You get "honor" for killing opposing players. The more honor you earn, the better rewards you are eligible to buy. I'm really not any good at PVP...I don't like fighting other players...but it's an easy way to get better items on my own during the time I'm able to play, which is the middle of the night/early morning in the US (when few other guild members are online).
[User Picture]
Date:October 23rd, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
I hope your students love the movie.

In retrospect, although I didn't think of it early enough when I was there, it would have been fun to have visited Hikone and JCMU just to see where you studied for a school year. Maybe we can put that on a list in case there is another opportunity. (Hint, hint)

I'm so impressed that the teachers are decorating for Halloween. Here I get away with decorating later because of Día de los Muertos (Nov 2 -3). Some classes are hoping to have a fiesta on the 2nd. It's not really Halloween, but there are skeletons and skulls.

It must be hard on those who have to choose who can go on the raid. I wouldn't want that job.

[User Picture]
Date:October 24th, 2006 07:58 am (UTC)
I hope your students love the movie.

Strangely, this year the teacher running the DVD player showed it with English captions instead of Japanese subtitles. This made the handout less a listening exercise and more a reading one. I was worried that they'd lose interest with a movie entirely in English. I heard the students singing the songs after they left the class, though, which is a positive sign.

Maybe we can put that on a list in case there is another opportunity.

Sounds like a good idea to me.
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