family, goodness, humor, life, school

Burfdaaaaaah!

It’s mah burfdah!  Tonight I’m going to Korean BBQ with Dad, Sister, her boooooyfrieeeeeend, Boyfriend and Diminutive Roommate.  Friday is dojo friendship day: we’re going to Honda-ya Izakaya for birthday dinner and drinks.  I’m going to get destroyed.  Then I’m getting pancakes at BLD with Boyfriend on Saturday, then gelato with my old friend from elementary school whose older brother is an instructor at my dojo.  Very small world, very good people.  I cannot wait.

But god, all this awesome hangout time could not have come at a worse time, lol.  I have so much school work to do, it’s not even funny.  Gotta finish a paper, start and finish another (plus a third, shorter one before the end of the semester), plus my teaching video, all the follow-up documentation, commenting on other students’ videos, and one more forum post.  Plus, the last week of school might be filled with jury duty.  Yikes.

Wow.  Sister just sent me the best birthday email ever:

[My coworker’s] twins are sick. She told me yesterday how one of them got up in the middle of the night and threw up, and partially on his twin brother. Which made me laugh, which was probably inappropriate. Made me think of how good [tigerlilytoph] was at being sick, just lying there and staring at one spot.  

So here’s to [tigerlilytoph] the best sick kid there ever was, unless she needed to throw-up, in which case, she was the worst..no warning at all.
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY [TIGERLILYTOPH]!
So true 🙂
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goodness, humor, life

A poem for a grinning Valentine

My 30th birthday approaches, and with it (inevitably) Valentine’s Day will follow close on its heels.  I have no plans for either at present, but I found this poem today, and decided it might be worth some memorization, it tickled me so:

To My Valentine
by Ogden Nash

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or the Axis hates the United States,
That’s how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than a gin rummy is a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That’s how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you as much as a beggar needs a crutch,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I swear to you by the stars above,
And below, if such there be,
As the High Court loathes perjurious oathes,
That’s how you’re loved by me.

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goodness, humor, life

Too friendship, call the cops

Yes, it’s another friendship post.  I enjoy my friends.  We have a solid rapport.  Lots of harassment and support.  Good times.

Last night a group of dojo buddies came over.  We make plans to play a boardgame or watch a movie, but tend to end up just sitting around chatting and laughing.  Last night we watched a couple episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and I made them fried eggs and hash browns, followed by tea and cookies.  Pretty cute.

One of my dojo buddies got a new phone recently, and messaged me on Facebook asking me for my number.  So I texted him the following, and received a reply from someone who I assumed had adopted his old number.  Oops.

yarrrrggg!

yarrrrggg!

Naturally, it was him all along.  What a douche.  Good times.

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goodness, humor, martial arts

The beginning of a beautiful friendship

I went to lunch after yesterday’s Sunday class with Senior Ecuador, Dojo Happa, Oppa Sensei and his girlfriend, Slender (who is awesome, btw, and seems to be an endearing mixture of clever-minded and childish interests).  Oppa Sensei is loads of fun, and we all love hanging out with him.  He mentioned a Youtube series called Enter the Dojo, which is a spoof about a made-up deadliest martial art (Ameri-do-te, lol), and sent us a link via email last night.  I responded with this:

meme-tastic

meme-tastic

And a link to the ‘know your meme’ site to explain it to those who don’t live on the internet like I do.  Senior Ecuador (who is hilarious, btw) came back with this:

I saw the first episode…pretty funny Oppa-sensei! I will definitely watch more when I am not at work haha. 
And tigerlilytoph…that’s like my favorite meme. http://www.reddit.com/r/supershibe
So amaze. What coincidence.
.
Naturally, I could not help but burst out laughing while standing at my desk.  So I came back with:
.
So glad the boss wasn’t around to hear me burst out laughing at that.  Thanks, Senior Ecuador.  Very fun.  Much friendship.
.
So yeah, I like where this friendship is going 🙂
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goodness, humor, life, school

Taking the reins… for about ten seconds

I meant to post this Thursday, May 23rd:

As part of my master’s degree, I’ve been sitting in on English language classes every semester. It’s been a very valuable experience, and kinda wild to see all the different styles of teaching. The first instructor was a short, chubby Caucasian man who had a very gentle manner and an excellent rapport with his students. He taught a great deal of pronunciation and asked the students to tell about their personal experiences.

The second instructor was a Filipina woman with a thick accent who spoke almost non-stop during the whole class without giving almost any chance for the students to speak or participate. As a result the class was disruptive, chatted among themselves and often didn’t pay much attention. Regardless, she reminded them constantly that they needed to continue their English classes, and shouldn’t give up on their education.

The third instructor I observed was a Caucasian woman who had married a Mexican man, and could speak fluent Spanish (but almost never did). Her lessons had a very predictable rhythm: speaking, reading, writing, dictating. Everything seemed very carefully planned, which demanded that the students pay attention and respect eachother.

This semester, the instructor is an odd mixture of scattered and organized. He teaches a level 1 class that consists of a large range of academic abilities: some students are barely capable of writing (having never been to school before), while others are fully capable of moving on to the second level by the end of the semester. As a result of this discrepancy, only some students consistently participate, and many of them are incapable of sharing detailed stories about themselves, which seems to cause many of them to lose interest.

I sat in the back and watched, taking notes on my laptop and occasionally circulating around the class to help with an exercise or answer questions. The students who sit in the back near me became accustomed to me, and often turned around to ask questions (sometimes related to the lesson, but often personal: Do you have a boyfriend? Do you cook for him? No? HE cooks? Really?).

vayate, gringa

vayate, gringa

A couple weeks ago, an older man who had not been in class for more than a couple of weeks turned to greet me when I sat down.
“Hola”
“Hi.”
“Como esta?”
“Bien, gracias, y usted?”
“Bien, bien…”
Then the instructor came around and we chatted while the class copied some vocab from the board. When he left, the older man turned and asked if I was from Argentina (So specific! Do I have an Argintinian accent when I speak Spanish? Why would that be?).
I said, “No, soy Americana. Soy de Los Angeles.”
He asked if I was Mexican (ethnicity). I said “No, soy, uh, una gringa.” He and a couple others at his table laughed. He said there is lots of discrimination against gringos, and pronounced gringos with an American accent. He and the people at his table asked several questions about pronunciation throughout the class, and felt free to catch my attention in between activities. One asked my name, and had trouble understanding (I’ve never met a Hispanic woman with my name). I said, “Es una flora,” which was met with “Ahhh” and nodding from the table, as though they understood.

The instructor gives me a chance to teach the class occasionally, which is intimidating but very valuable. The worst part is setting up the first question to the class. After that it’s easy and fun. I’m fascinated to hear what their responses will be. I looked for where we might be misunderstanding each other. I can tell I’ll get better at this with practice.

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goodness, humor

Alaska… maybe not

how did sledding not make the list?  HOW?!

how did sledding not make the list? HOW?!

Diminutive Friend and I have been chatting about doing a vacation together.  At first it was going to be Dublin, but Teacher Friend wants to do that with us (but hasn’t been available because she’s always travelling to amazing places.  It’s a rough life).  So we’ve decided to go somewhere else: Diminutive Friend suggested Costa Rica or Alaska.  Costa Rica would be a great reason to bone up on my Spanish, and I’ve never been.  But Alaska has its hooks in me.  The wilderness!  The wildlife!  The Northern Lights!  The indigenous cultures!  It all sounds amazing, until you Google “stuff to do in Alaska,” at which point that electric, adventurous feeling wears off, and cold, boring reality sets in.  Here’s a “Top Ten” list (written in all seriousness)  that seems to summarize everything you won’t mention to friends upon your return from the dullest vacation ever:

1. Visit the Native Heritage Center (this actually sounds great)
2. See a glacier
3. Visit the knife factory
4. Go outside
5. Visit the other museum
6. Look for wildlife (“remember to wear your bear bells”)
7. Go fishing
8. Fly around
9. Get drunk and eat a reindeer (no, really)
10. Take a train ride

This incredible list is followed by “buy a fleece jacket.”  Yikes.

So… I hear Costa Rica’s nice this time of year…

(seriously though, I still want to visit Alaska somehow)

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badness, goodness, humor, life

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Flo

Going to an all-girls’ middle school and high school skews one’s perspective of the world, and in so doing, failed in small part to prepare me for the very different social dynamics of a not-all-female environment.  There were about 500 people in my high school, only 112 in my graduating class, and we all more or less knew each other.  I had become so accustomed to being around nothing but social, friendly females that I assumed I could do what I did in high school (be friendly) and get the same result (friendship).  Not so.  I walked into my first college class, sat next to a female student and immediately introduced myself and started up a friendly conversation.  She was shocked into near-silence, and I was shocked by her shock.  We created a shock-echo that sounds like nothing and vibrates at a frequency between awkward and stage-fright.

pretty accurate

pretty accurate

I encountered another social speed-bump when sharing a suite of four bedrooms with seven other women in my freshman dorm.  One of them called out to me with a question, and I came out of my room with tampon in hand, joined them in the living room and started chatting.  A few sets of eyes kept darting to my hand.  ‘What are they looking at?’ I thought.  Not one to allow the elephant in the room to go unmentioned, I ended a sentence with, “Dah-ling,” and pantomimed smoking my tampon like a 1950’s Hollywood starlet.  A couple eyebrows shot up.  ‘Why aren’t they laughing?’ I thought.  I had found a point of cultural disconnect that I never knew existed between white, female Americans of the same age on a topic we all shared.  Initiate shock-echo.

In high school, I went through a rapid shift of hiding tampons when I went to the bathroom to tossing them into the air for fun while I waited outside for a stall to open up.  I give credit to the healthy self image the school managed to help instill in me as a female while still teaching Catholic values (quite a balancing act), and to my parents.  The first day of my first menstruation, my parents congratulated me.  My mom gave me a pad, then told my dad, who came rushing into my room and literally said, “Congratulations, sweetie!” before pulling me into a bear hug.  It was a healthy environment for a young woman, which did nothing to prepare me for the shame and secrecy I would be expected to keep surrounding my menstrual cycle in the future.

she's so stylish

she’s so stylish

I work in an office now, and I wonder where the line is for unprofessional behavior when I comes to dealing with natural bodily functions.  Is walking to the bathroom with a tampon in hand unprofessional?  My knee-jerk reflex says yes, but why?  Is it any less professional than carrying a box of tissues around if you’re sick?  Using a tampon is evidence of health and fertility, while being sick is proof of a weak immune system, and a threat to the health of everyone in a twenty-foot radius.  We should be more offended by the sickly than the fertile, given that menstruation isn’t a catching illness, and yet the male (and sometimes female) population occasionally reacts like I’m walking through the halls of my office holding a grenade instead of thanking me for doing what must be done to keep myself from bleeding all over everything for days at a time.  YOU’RE WELCOME, PEOPLE.

This needs to stop.  There’s no reason for me to feel ashamed of my ability to menstruate.  I’m capable of building an entire person.  That’s AMAZING.  I should get high-fives on my way to the bathroom, not shunned and encouraged to keep what is essentially a super-power in the down-low.  I’ve never understood the culture of shame that surrounds menstruation.  So I’m done hiding my tampons at work.  Anyone so horrified by the blatant display of my (and by extension, half of the human population’s) desire to keep blood stains out of the office chairs is welcome to explain themselves.  Starting now.

bring it

bring it

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