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10 October 2009 / April

Cleopatra, Queer Bash, Etiquette

The heading for my calculus notes from yesterday is “Section 12.5: Why People Care About Calculus (AKA Maxima & Minima),” which is a paraphrase of something Adams said.

The reason I quote my calc prof in my notes is NOT because I worship him, despite what Emily says, but because it will make studying for tests so much more amusing.

But I also do really like Adams.  He was telling us the steps for solving an optimization problem using an example problem involving Cleopatra, and his first step was “Draw a picture!”  And he did. But the picture was not the graph of a function or anything mathematical, but literally just Cleopatra.

And, like any good mathematician, I have proof.


If there’s a question on Wednesday’s midterm that I am completely clueless on, I’m just going to draw a picture of Cleopatra and write, “Hey, you told me to.”

Friday evening was Queer Bash, which is an annual excessively hyped dance sponsored by the Queer Student Union.  In theory there are themes each year, but in actuality the only theme per se is “dress as scandalously as possible,” which involves guys wearing dresses and girls wearing… very little.

There are actually no existing photos of me from that evening, which is probably a very good thing, although the blue sparkly tank top and fishnet stockings were pretty epic.

It also turns out that many people, myself included, never actually made it into Queer Bash, because the line was insane and actually less of a line than a mob of people all being like “Fuck this, let’s cut the line” and not realizing that they were the ones making it worse for everyone.  Interestingly, there was a lot of waiting in line going on yesterday evening in general.  But yeah, it was a good time.


Next on my list of must-blog items (which I put as a post title so I’d be sure to remember them) was Etiquette, which was a bizarre but intriguing… theatrical experience.  Basically, two people reserve a half-hour slot in a public place and become themselves the actors of the play, saying and doing what the recording tells them to while those around them get extremely confused.  Actually, the participants get pretty damn confused too.  It’s avant-garde to the extreme.

Etiquette in Williamstown took place in Tunnel City Coffee, which is basically Gimme! for you Ithacans out there.*  That worked out really well because it was a cold rainy day, which was an excellent excuse for Emily and I to drink delicious coffee-cocoas.

Anyway, the experience was sort of surreal and very thought-provoking.  In many ways, you didn’t have to pay attention at all to what your partner was doing, because you could just listen to your recording and do what it said.  But if you did that, there were things in the dialogue that you missed.

The play also left me with an instruction in a pocket I don’t often use: the little card pictured above.  It’s very Gödelian and self-referential, and also more than a little profound.  Which I kind of like.

*PS. HI ITHACANS, I miss you and your/my town.  I’ll be back for Thanksgiving!

PPS. Fun activity: count the number of times I use the word “which” in this post.



Leave a Comment
  1. Sarah / Oct 24 2009 1:12 pm

    HI APRIL 🙂

    I felt your shout-out required a response.

    Your math professor Adams sounds awesome. Did you ever have Mr. Kirk as a math teacher? I’m taking AP Stats this year with him, and have an increased appreciation for the combination of math and humor. It’s an excellent class.

    In completely unrelated news, there are an excessive number of freshman in choir this year, I made Vocal Jazz!, and Loomis appears to be having difficulty finding an accompanist…

    • April / Oct 24 2009 3:15 pm

      No I never had Mr. Kirk… but I’m glad you’re having a good AP Stats experience, since there have been some not so good Stats teachers.

      And congrats on VJ! And tell Loomis I’m sorry I can’t be there to play piano for choir anymore…

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