Wednesday, February 06, 2008

worst phish evar

I got a phish at my hotmail account. This in itself is not unusual. What's unusual about this one is that it has to be the worst phishing letter I've ever seen. When I get a 419 letter, I expect the grammar and so on to be a little off, because the sender is Nigerian, or at least pretending to be Nigerian. But this is just lazy:

Dear Bank of Lancaster County client,

You have received this email because you or someone had used your account from different locations.

For security purpose, we are required to open an investigation into this matter.

In order to safeguard your account, we require that you confirm your banking details.

The help speeed up to this process, please access the following link so we ca complete the verification

of your Bank of Lancaster County Online Banking Account registration information.

[link redacted]

If we do no receive the appropriate account verification within 48 hours, then we will assume this Bank of Lancaster County

account is fraudulent and will be suspended.

The purpose of this verification is to ensure that your bank account has not been fraudulently used and to combat the fraud

from our community. We appreciate your support and understanding and thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

© Copyright 2007 Bank of Lancaster County is an affiliate of Sterling Financial Corporation.

The link didn't even work. Amateurs.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

trust me, I know what I'm doing

When I took the TA job, I was told that I could do as much teaching as I felt comfortable with. The course covers all of British literature until 1800, and while the professor is a medievalist, my area of expertise is more toward the 1800 end of things. So we agreed that I would teach more later in the semester. This idea doesn't bother me; I like teaching, and I feel fairly confident with 18th century material. I do not, however, feel confident about teaching Chaucer ... which is what I ended up doing last Friday.

The faculty member who teaches the class, whom I'll call "Sister Mary Clarence," called me on Thursday to let me know that the heater in her house had died earlier in the week, and the repairman had given her a window of "sometime on Friday" during which he would appear and fix it. Considering that the temperature here has been in the twenties and thirties lately, that seemed to me like something worth staying home for. So of course I said, "Yeah, no problem, I'm all over that," followed by, "Um, what would you like them to know at the end of the class period?" She gave a few suggestions.

I spent many hours in feverish preparation, and still arrived in class feeling less than confident. The students didn't seem to know the difference. Adhering carefully to my notes, I rattled off some historical data about Chaucer, the Plantagenets, and the Canterbury Tales, and they all wrote it down as diligently as if it had been the Word of God, and not something I'd read in the same Longman anthology they'd all brought to class. It was very flattering.

At first I wanted to laugh at how seriously they were taking me, because in my mind, I was bluffing - it's not like I've never heard of Chaucer, but I wasn't telling them anything they couldn't have found out on their own with a couple of hours of research. Then I started to wonder about my own professors. In graduate school, the classes I've taken have been very specialized, and the professors have been teaching things that they specialize in. But as an undergrad ... I took Early British Literature, for example, from a Renaissance specialist. I am not suggesting that she was "bluffing" to the same extent that I was. It was an excellent class, and she was very knowledgeable. But the Medieval material was taught very differently, and perhaps less in-depth, from the way SMC teaches it. And my professor taught very little about novels, which came into prominence during the 18th century, and are a significant enough genre in English to deserve more attention, IMHO. Do professors ever walk into class and feel like they're bluffing? Surely not.

Friday, February 01, 2008

seven things

I've been "tagged" by Amy. I do not have seven other people to tag, but I am willing to play along with Amy's invitation to share seven random things about myself.

1. I used to be afraid of waiters. I got over it by going out to eat a lot.

2. I'm still afraid of spiders, formal occasions, and most dogs.

3. I like 80s hair metal - Guns 'n' Roses, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, etc.

4. I hardly ever wear makeup - maybe twice a year. It's not a matter of principle or anything like that; it's just that I'm not good at putting it on, so it takes a ridiculous amount of time, and somehow I never seem to have that much time to spare.

5. I need a haircut.

6. As a teenager, I decided that 26 would be a good age for me to get married. I was, in fact, 26 years old when I got married.

7. I never finished kindergarten.