Skip to this page's content

Home » Undergraduate College » Admission » Communications » Faculty » Bob White » Blog

Back to blog homepage

October 2011 Archives


Dear Diary,
All the Little Monsters came to class today.
I played Bela Lugosi's Dead.
It is a wonder that we did any teaching at all.



Comment on Happy Halloween.


Dear Diary,
I had quite a time at Safe Halloween. Quite a fun time. There was a great crew of volunteers who were my Greeting Team. I missed the big old chair I used to sit in there in South Hall Living Room. New furniture, you see. Groups of children were brought before me and to them I read. Then they were gone.

My gosh, the first ones were quite a bit older than I expected. A bit rowdy & talkative. I stood and delivered a big voiced version of chapter 1 of The Halloween Tree, all scary as you can imagine, and when they didn't settle down, I decided that an edit was in order, and I changed the text killing off the central character.

The second ones were very young, so I sat and read the same chapter all gentle and sweet with all the beautiful poetry that Ray Bradbury brings to the page. And in the end our hero is not dead. He comes to the door of his all haunty house and tells his friends, "Sorry that I'm late. Trick of Treat!"

Happy Snowloween to one and all.


Comment on Once Upon a Scary Time.


Dear Diary,

It is sNOwing. i spent the day preparing lectures for the week. Like putting up jams and jellies.

Especially if I can not get to the office tomorrow.

Perhaps it will just rain. For heaven's sake it is still October. And still Daylight Saving Time.

Shouldn't ought to do that.


Comment on sNOw.

Dear Diary,
I was a little whacked by my flu shot.
Slept late.
There was the threat of black ice and slippery sidewalks.
i arrived at the classroom weary and weak. When done I lugged my stuff, quiz sheets, DVD, and Halloween skull, up to the office. Closed the door and reached for a

Turn off your mind relax and float down stream.

I did not have the energy to move, but with a novel in my hands I could return to the problems and struggles of a character vanquishing evildoers outside the law, slugging it out, and helping little old ladies cross the street.
A little of that and a lot more coffee and I was ready to face my last task of the day - read Halloween stories to youngsters (and help little old ladies cross the street.)


Comment on gimme a.


Dear Diary,

A little bit of Hollywood blossoms at 300 The Fenway this time of the semester. Six dozen (and some change) students have completed their 2-minute narrative films. Stories, mind you, with a beginning, a middle and end (I think that is Aristotle.) No home movies or Paranormal fake home videos or surveillance tapes or cell phone stuff. Real attempts at wrestling with the integrity of cinema.

A selection process has been undertaken. The best (a collection that fits in our 50 minute classtime block) will be screened. Families and friends and faculty and staff will pack jampacked into C-103. 

Let me tell you, it is one good time.


Comment on Festival Time Again.

Dear Diary,
I know someone whose birthday is today. 10/26.
I know that the time of my birth was 10:26.

Today was seven things. 7 was this. 6 was a PBS Mystery on my white iPad. 5 was Chinese Delivery not to be confused with Axel Rose's last sad attempt. 4 was a meeting. 3 was Video Class. 2 was Communications Media. And 1 was breakfast with the remnants of the so-called Breakfast Club which hasn't been the same since Dan Cheever retired.

I have always been fascinated by numbers.

Tonight may be the season's first snow for some.

A friend once did my chart for my birthday knowing the time of my birth.
I can not remember when the stars said my life would end.


Comment on 10:26 10/26.


Dear Diary,
1Q84 will arrive soon. When I first encountered the title I thought it was IQ84. Like Intelligence Quotient. Then shortly after I started to think about it as Q-teen 84, I read the Sunday Times cover story on Murakami & his riff on the Orwell title.

It feels good to be waiting for the arrival of a novel.
Robert B Parker is dead.
I miss his work.


Comment on Q-teen 84.


Dear Diary,
The next thing the animation students are going to do is bring a character to life on the screen. We have several marionette-like creations that are going to be given motion. Today I went through the process. I started with a workout of jumping jacks & then I moved on to a simple dance move inspired by Will Smith from a music video for "Men In Black."

And because it is animation it is perfectly OK for the characters to be able to dance while floating in water.


Comment on animatin dancin.


Dear Diary,
This picture showed up on the internet a while ago.
I like it a lot.
This week I will be reading Halloween stories to children of all ages.


Comment on Scary Monsters.


Oh Those Joyous Moments, Dear Diary,
when I get to meet the friends and family and assorted sordid loved-ones of our students!
This is such a time. Family Weekend 2011. 
I had several guest in Communications Media this morning at 10. That is early wake up time. Getting there by 10.
Tonight they disperse. Some to Shear Madness. (What is a haircut?) Some to Quadside Late Nite - Games and tall freats I think they said.
But I am banking on Student Performance Showcase in Alumnae Hall. Concert Choir, Dance Team, Gospel Choir & The Sirens. SOUNDS good.


Comment on Family Weekend.


Dear Diary,

I received an email requesting an interview for a blog today. The answers to the interview questions are to be returned by email.

I received a request for a magazine interview last summer. I turned it down. I believe I said I did not want to stand in the spotlight at the time. But I looked at similar features in previous issues of the magazine and I began to demure. When a polite insistence accompanied another request I agreed.

Then my mind started churning. I plotted the number of words that might be allotted to my profile. I imagined questions. I began to write statements which I would use to reply to any question even if the answer had naught to do with the question. I wanted the few words to be true and fine and mine.

I could not help it. I kept writing the interview in my head.

And then the quiet came. There has not been a followup actually setting the date.

Today I thought that I would answer the email-email interview questions with tangents. (Name: I wear Reebok size 10.) Then I thought that I should say that I am saving myself for the magazine interview.


Comment on Interview.


Dear Diary,

Here's a note I got from a Poole. (There a million of them Pooles.)

Please join me in a card shower for Alden Poole (Grandpa) on his birthday this coming Halloween. He will be 86 years old. He's not up for a big party, but we'd like to give him something special. What is a card shower? It's a whole bunch of people sending someone birthday cards. 

Alden Poole 125 Winthrop Ave Quincy, MA  02170

Thanks to all for showing my Dad how loved he is.

Well, I love the man. And more than just a card.


Comment on Send Alden Poole a Card.


Dear Diary,
Mid-semester just about. Halloween coming. October Country. Nobody does Halloween like Ray Bradbury. The circus in Something Wicked This Way Comes. Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show. Listen to the rhythm of those words. Like the sound of a train whistle far away. But coming closer in the night.

I want to pull the covers up under my chin,
and be nine years old again,
and run with the boys to The Halloween Tree.


Comment on Mid.

Ya got, Dear Diary,
2 movie projectors. This is how i start my day. One ( projector! Stay Sharp, there) has sound but the picture lamp is burnt out. The other has no sound but the picture lamp is fine.
Whadaya do?
Do I have to say it out loud.
[this interlude is brought to you by the successful screening of the 8 minute animated short Where The Wild Things Are]

A visitor from another country (Canada doesn't count. . .) asked if he could take my picture. Happens more often than naught.

A little child in a stroller strolled by me and then asked her mother, "Is that Santa Claus?"
Be my walk home.


Comment on between a rock & a walk.


Dear Diary,
Family Weekend coming up. I made a video with toys to show students how to introduce me to their family members and friends. I learned this half a century ago. i have no idea if this is in Good Behavior & Polite Accomplishment, the volume of ettiquette I frequently consult. (parenthetically, by the way, it used to be Parents' Weekend like Father-Daughter & Mother- Daughter before PC intruded).

I crash Family Weekend. There used to be a Friday afternoon event to meet the faculty. No more. Faculty members used to be invited to ALL the weekend events. Also nada. I imagine they say we stopped the inviting because they didn't come. And they probably say we stopped coming cuz they don't invite us. Sound like Catch-22? Bet nobody remembers when it stopped. When it started.

So I just keep showing up. Wow! You are the only faculty member here!
Everybody visiting during the weekend so likes to chat with the professors.
"Added Value" whateverthatmeans.

So introduce me well.


Comment on familia.


Dear Diary,
What a beautiful Autumn morning. One hundred geese, no fewer than one hundred geese were feeding along the gravel walkway across from the Main College Building. A tiny old lady herded them away from the traffic racing by.


Comment on The Goose Girl.


Dear Diary, I usually walk to school. I have been doing it for a long time. For that long time people walking in the opposite direction have become face-familiar to me. Some brave souls will exchange a smile, others a wave, a few will speak the street-greeting.

As the years go by, some disapear.

Recently I have seen the Budda. His smile is vast. His cheerfulness is monstrous and gentle.

I have had the Simmons Universal Cough & Cold all week. One day it was particularly bad. I felt especially bad. I did not realize it but I walked with my head down. He STARTLED ME, the Budda did. I was forced to snap my head up as furious waving, like a crazy flock of wings, manifested itself next to my head. The Budda was passing by. He did not break his stride. Before I knew it he was gone.

On that dreary morning I continued to walk to school with the smiling Budda face, glimpsed for a moment, lifting my spirit.


Comment on Street-Greeting.


Dear Diary,
Professor Leanne Doherty Mason delivered the Toast to the Class of 2012. She based her remarks upon an "interview" with her four year old son. It was delightful to see her gently expand upon a simple instruction like, " Say 'Hello'."

President Drinan celebrated her conversion to the world of the iPad and genius of Steve Jobs.

There was a chocolate fountain! And all this fresh and delectable fruit for chocolate fondue.
And champagne. Of course, champagne. And as the delivery system slowed down as Leanne called for glasses to be charged, the President herself grabbed a tray of flutes and served the Seniors.

Well done to all.


Comment on 2011 Senior-Faculty Toast.



T'is the season to be jelly.


Comment on Boo.


Dear Diary,
Day Off. Academic Holiday. No classes. Day Off. Not really.
I received an invitation this morning at breakfast to join the staff in a Reception. Today was not a holiday for the wonderful staff. The Reception was an informal welcome for Dean Renée  White. A chance for a congenial chat over hot cider and delectibles, many featuring the apples of autumn.

This gave me the opportunity of having my copy of Dean White's book signed.

Also gave me the opportunity of sampling some apple crisp before I returned to the office to prepared for tomorrow's classes.


Comment on Day Off.

I live by the rhythms of the contemporary novel.
By the patterns of narrative film.
Don't mean to.
Just do.
Dear Diary, Just do.


Comment on Books & Movies.


Dear Diary,

In Blade Runner, J. F. Sebastian lived alone in an apartment building. I never saw any of his neighbors. 

During my last years living at Longwood Towers, I lived alone in one of the Towers. Condo conversion and construction had displaced the rest of the residents. I didn't just live by myself alone. The rest of the apartments were pretty much empty alone.

I loved the quiet. And it was like the place had been art-directed like a movie. Broken everythings cluttered the halls. Alice in Wonderland pathways lead down to the Grand Foyer. One day there would be scaffolding and on another day there would be blocked passages. I might have imagined the sounds of strange creatures approaching. But they were not.

I loved that quiet. I was never disturbed by neighbors talking above me or babies crying below me or loud TVs or arguments or gunshots stabbings or murders.

It was like owning a house. It was like having a


Comment on Home.

No.jpgDear Diary,

There used to be book stores. There used to be more books.

Barnes and Noble is. Borders is not.

The aforementioned B&N stores will no longer carry DC Graphic Novels, because Amazon has exclusive rights of DC digital editions. Kindle YES, Nook NOPE.

I remember the post-apocalyptic TV show DARK ANGEL. The reason for the apocalypse of this post-apocalyptic world was something called The Pulse. It was like this magnetic event that wiped out all the computer data. Big Magnetic Event. Wiped out computer data and stuff. Like bank records. And like Kindle and Nook and iBook ebooks, oh my.


Comment on The Book Wars.


Oh dear, Dear Diary,
This may be the end for The Simpsons. Cartoon contract battles in Cartoon Hollywood. Tunetown singing a sad sad tune.

I really love my Simpsons hat. Me Mom gave it to me long ago. Something she picked up somewhere shopping with the thought, I imagine, "Bobby will like this."

I wore it to the Ottawa International Animation Festival one year. In that yellow tent up there. A rumor got started that I was Matt Groening. It's all in the Hat, ya know. Somebody thought I was one of the Brothers Hildbrandt, or both, they were twins at the time, at a Fanboy Convertion once. I wasn't. Seems like pretty frequently somebody gets it into their head that I am somebody. Well I am, but they mean somebody else.


Comment on Save The Simpsons.



won't be like


or any other year thereafter.


Comment on Steve Jobs - RIP.

Dear Diary, It was cool when Leonard Nimoy was in the new Star Trek as a major story element - Spock. He brought a dignity and majesty to The Next Generation when Spock appeared there. I think that he was born in Quincy. I lived there as a kid. He has directed fine films. He has aged gracefully. Such a beautiful face. I hear he will not be in Star Trek 2. I hosted one night of the Star Trek Club on TV. I have been a guest of the BSTA- Boston Star Trek Association- and lectured at Conventions. ( Even though I am a mundane. ) I bought Jimmy Doohan a drink in a bar & drank it with Scotty. It is sad that Nimoy won't be Spock again. There is a picture somewhere in the college archives of me teaching wearing a pair of Spock ears.


Comment on spock.


Dear Diary,
It was an inspiration listening to Eddie Daniels this afternoon. Imprisoned with Nelson Mandela among other things. A storyteller who had more and more to say. Apartheid victim and survivor.

My sister was in town on business. I rode with her on her route home. We chatted while her dog kissed and kissed the back of my head. She dropped me at JFK and I took the Number 8 bus back to Simmons. Take the 8 all the time, but I had never taken it that direction.

Two adventures. 


Comment on standing room only.


Dear Diary,
Got a postcard today. US Mail. I think. It came from England, but it got here to me. So US Mail. Sid Berger is one of the few people who send me picture postcards. He sends great ones. From Canterbury Cathedral Library. Nice old books.

Got me realizing my ignorance. How must postage now for a postcard? Sid's card didn't help being from England with a picture of The Queen on a Worldwide Postcard stamp. Not even pounds and shillings if they use them anymore. See my ignorance is compounded.

Looked it up. Twenty nine cents. $0.29. That's where I found The Little House on the Prairie stamp.

Gotta get out and get some postage stamps.
I wonder which Post Offices are left.


Comment on wait a minute, Mr Postman.


Dear Diary,

I miss my Art. I stopped working on it sometime during the summer. This picture here is the last one I made. The cast of characters. I had thought about working on it at The Museum School as I have in the past. But I was sure I would be unconscious by 9:30 every Thursday night when the class ended.

I used to set aside Saturdays. But the machine has to be running cogs-fitting gear-spinning piston-pumping smoothly. The way-I-teach machine is clanking and banging right now. No time to set aside a day.

I used to make a cartoon movie each year. 42 ish there have been. But I have fallen behind. Can't fix it now. 
Maybe soon.


Comment on Cartoon 43.


Dear Diary,
It is Saturday. This morning the theme from the Liza Minnelli movie The Sterile Cuckoo got stuck in my head. The Sandpipers' "Come Saturday Morning."

My Saturday morning had a long to-do list in my office. To Do in my office: prepare for the week's teaching. During the summer, I began a project of converting the movie clips that I show in class, the examples for filmmaking or graphic production or animation or of picture books, converting them to a video format that could play on my iPad 2.

I made good headway during August, but now I must catch up and prepare for the coming weeks. Today the iMovies had to become QuickTimes which had to become MPEGs as well as an iDVD version for panic-backup-OMG somethingz naught werkin! you know.

I read in the Phoenix that Bjork recorded some of her new album Biophilia on her iPad. I wonder how?


Comment on Saturday.

« September 2011 | Blog Home | Archives | November 2011 »