Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Different Font

I'm still in the throes of late-semester whatnot.  I took an exam yesterday; here are my notes (PDF).  I've posted them here not because I expect you to read them or because I think you'll find the bits and ends collected in them very striking.  Just share with me in marveling at my attempt to rake it all into a single heap.  Later on, I will come back to this entry which will trigger my fast-fading memory and point out to me that I over-prepared responses to questions that were not on the exam.  We were confined to just three pages of notes.  Three pages? No problem.  I openly gamed the 8.5x11 by changing font size. By switching to a seven point font--voila!--5,000+ words, equivalent of  sixteen pages of text.  If nothing else, it's a testament to an evolving mania, which has blossomed handsomely toward the end of this first year of coursework. (Surprised?  Well yeah, I try to keep the shenanigans off the blog.)

You know, with the font-smunching I also started wondering whether I could go a degree or two further--a five or six point font, say (something distinctive like TrueType Pismire 6).  But if we could use a magnifying glass as a mediating tool to assist reading, why not a microfilm reader? Or a computer?  What's a page's volume for condensed data if we're allowed the help of mediating devices?  Of course it won't get me very far thinking like this; was just wondering about it.

Today I'm buttoning down (up? snapping down?) a project for 611: The Development of Modern Composition Studies.  Suck in, dammit!  It's like fitting old bluejeans that are two inches too slim.  So maybe more than buttoning it (which would presume everything fits when, uhm, no. it. does. not.), I'm actually applying a figurative safety pin--a carefully chosen safety pin, at that.  Or a belt. Whatever the case, I'm locked in with a familiar font size, so one thing about the project will look conventional.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at May 10, 2005 7:04 PM to Unspecified

Did *you* just post a PDF? Dude.

Posted by: Krista Kennedy at May 10, 2005 9:13 PM

I did? Great golly, I did. Clearly something has gone very wrong. But good that you caught it. Goes to prove the surrounding influential forces (not naming names) so enchanted with the Portable Document Format.

I was just torn between linking a .doc or a .rtf or...linking the notes at all. The laptop always wants to print PDFs (I shoud *do* something about that), so I went ahead and saved the file, FTPed it. Definitely spent one of my hypocrite coupons though, eh?

Posted by: Derek at May 10, 2005 9:31 PM

For my PhD qualifying exams, Marily Cooper gave me a one-week take-home question that dealt in a particularly detailed way with a long section of Hegel. The funny part was, we hadn't read any Hegel, and it wasn't on my reading list for the exam.

After I turned white and stopped and stopped breathing, I flipped over the sheet, i saw she'd written "Just kidding. Here's your real question." Then she asked me a question about Virilio (which I knew how to answer).

So when I wrote my answer to the Virilio question, I turned in my answer as as 4-point Times with 0.1" margins on 5-point leading. (And I'm sure she looked at it and said, "I'm not reading this," and decided to just pass me as she pictched the paper into the trash.)

Posted by: johndan at May 10, 2005 9:33 PM

and by the way, happy belated "if it's all the same to you, i don't _really_ want to take an exam on my" birthday. :)

Posted by: tyra at May 12, 2005 8:13 PM

Well, thank goodness, Johndan, this wasn't a qualifying exam. Just one of those "good-for-ya" semester-enders, "good" in the same category as cod liver oil and abstinence. Some of the SU folks would be good-humored if I turned in a 4-pt font, but others...I'm not so sure yet. By the time qualifying exams roll around--another year-and-a-half--I should have a better sense.

And T., the exam definitely would have spoiled my birthday, so I'm glad everyone agreed (even if it was an ambivalent assent of silence) to push the date back. Plus, if we'd gone on the fifth, I would have missed the first chunk of the symposium. Ought to count it as a gift from the entire class, huh?

Posted by: Derek at May 13, 2005 8:30 AM