Thursday, April 26, 2007

Antarctica: More To Come

Antarctica: More To Come

Wow, this blog for Antarctica looks really interesting. The pictures are great.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

George Bush

Mystery fossil turns out to be giant fungus-link

No Chuckle Zone

Boy it has been a no chuckles day at work. Ok, that's an exaggeration. But only kind of.

I'll just quickly jot down a few things that the students say add to my collection.

One thing lately is the guys have been coming in looking a bit tired. They explain how they are getting no sleep because of a certain noisy neighbor.

"Crazy chicken, always sing a song!" I guess there's this rooster over there that crows loudly all night. I did chuckle at how that was explained to me.

Today poor Bini was constipated and told me in the bathroom, "Today I cannot succeed!"

Here's one I hear regularly "I'm so boring!", meaning I'm so bored.

Enough for now.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Microserfs and Sake

CR=Comfort Room=Restroom

There is no toilet paper in the bathrooms here at the college. The management refuses. In the lobby of the school there is a cardboard box where sometimes there are methodically folded up squares of tp inside. The secretary folds them. In fact she was just doing a whole batch now when I asked her if she'd made the photocopies that I'd requested and she told me no, because the management said the students should pay for the copies. Scrap (flush) that idea, then.

Anyway. I just noticed today that the cardboard box I've been taking toilet paper from for the last 6 months (when management finally agreed after many student complaints that they might provide toilet paper sometimes) is a Japanese Hakushika Sake box.

I think I just noticed that today because I'm re-reading microserfs by Douglas Copeland. He makes life seem more interesting, thereby perhaps increasing my observational powers.

Even though I'm re-reading this, I don't think I ever read it in the first place. Two reasons. One: I don't remember it. Two: I distinctly remember not liking it. I'm reading it now, and I like it just fine. It's very entertaining and strangely current (current enough).

This book came out in 1995. 12 years ago. That's a decade plus. (Gotta remind old folks like myself that think that was last year.) Here's an excerpt.

There was a weird moment at the end of the night when everyone was pixelated. Ethan was carrying two flaming Sambucas, and tripped over a Planet of the Apes lunchbox somebody left on the floor next to a backpack, and the drinks sloshed all over the back of Susan's T-shirt, and she was on fire, like the "Flame On!" guy from the Fantastic Four.

I don't know, I mean that's no big deal I guess, but it seems strangely current to me. A book with so much technology in it should be absurd anymore. But this book isn't at all like an 8 track cassette. Douglas Coupland just has a way
Douglas Coupland really super cool interview.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Cho Seung Hui and George Bush

What's the difference?

A: George has opted to remain among the living.

(I'm in a bad mood today.)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Star Trek The Original Series versus Next Generation.

There is no 'versus'...Next Generation wins.

"There are four lights!" -Jean Luc Picard...very special quote to me.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wentworth and Brad: Some Observations

Well my love hate relationship with the internet continues as I search for Wentworth Miller information. I'm really upset because come to find out, there are quite a few other people who like Wentworth, too. I'm jealous. I like to be the only one, or one of the few. It's the way I am. Just found out also that not only is he a Princeton Graduate, but his major was English Lit *fanning myself again*.

I'm worried about Brad Pitt's mental health. He complained about this Vanity Fair cover. He signed a release form for the photoshoot, and this is an 'art issue' of Vanity Fair. What's the problem? The problem might be that Brad is in love with himself as much as the rest of us girls are.

I have more serious blog entries to tend to and issues coming up, but for now... here's some drivel. Some might conclude that I may need a boyfriend.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cho Seung Hui

This is how it unfolded for me. Yesterday morning in class, a student came in and told me he saw the shooting incident on the news. At this time. there was no information.

After I got home I turned on the news immediately, because my student said it was the biggest shooting in US history. At that time they were announcing that it was an Asian student.

As I was watching with my son, they showed the name on the bottom of the screen...Cho Seung Hui. I said "oh my...that's a Korean name." I told my son.

Cho is the last name. Korean Americans often times rearrange their names American style and use a more common first name. Example: Julie Cho. Even if they retain an Asian first name, they will rearrange, i.e. Song Cho.

His name starting with Cho made me believe that this student was actually from South Korea and was studying abroad there at V-Tech.


Then I said to my son, I wonder how long he's been in the US.

Because in South Korea, they don't have guns. They are outlawed. It's not part of their culture, and often when students ask me questions about the US they ask me about the 'gun culture'. I report to them that even with a 'gun culture' in the US as it's called, I personally have never seen a gun (that I can remember).

It was puzzling to me that a student would study abroad and develop an immidiate and deep interest in guns. The reporters were announcing that he used a glock and was skilled. The nature of these shots were disturbing, each victim shot at least three times and some students said he just shot people point blank in the head execution style.

So, it kind of made sense when the news unfolded revealing that he actually moved to the US when he was 8 years old. He's very American. He's not a citizen technically, but a legal alien resident. I'm guessing from his name that his family has kept his heritage strong, and maybe their house is very Korean- language intact, customs, food. It's just conjecture on my part of course at this stage, but this is what I expect to learn.

I knew that South Korea would be horrified. I knew that going to work the next day would be interesting, if they've seen the news. They really do act as a cohesive group. I say "they" because they say 'they'. They lump people together into races and categories as general practice, and definitely hold the crimes of one person against their entire particular race or heritage. I have had several people tell me, "black people look like criminals to me"

So I know what they expect. They expect for the US to hold this against their entire population.

This morning I woke up early to turn on the news. I never turn the tv on in the morning. Before work I watched coverage of the victim's lives and families. I couldn't help but feel something. While showering I felt deep sadness for the gunman's parents.

At this stage that might be a controversial statement, but I'm serious, and I stand by it. The victims died innocently. But the Chos lost their son to suicide and the fact that he murdered 32 innocent people. There is no crime they could have comitted against their son that would warrant that kind of behavior. Sodomized kids don't act so badly. There just isn't an explanation or excuse. So, yes. their pain might be greater than all others.

I walked into my class room this morning and I erased everything off my whiteboard, which I usually don't do. I even erased something that has been written on the board for months. I erased everything. I wrote in the center, not too big...

Cho Seung Hui

I had to go out and check my schedule and prepare for staff photo taking. Mr. Moon, one of my bosses was behind a tripod and camera coaxing me, "Come on, smile...give me big American smile." It was hard, I felt quite solemn. (He hadn't heard yet, he thought some Chinese dude did it.)

Later when I entered class, there were students in there waiting for me. Two of my favorite students had serious yet warm looks on their faces. I said, "good morning..", they said "We're sorry." It actually took me a second. "OH!...yeah..."
I just smiled "you guys are so cute, so nice- apologizing for that..." I said in a nevermind kind of way. It bothers me that they are apologizing. I really like these guys. One of them is visiting the US after this place, and his face had gone completely pale from dread. He's going to San Diego. I told him, don't sweat it. It won't be a problem.

I turned around and one of my other favorite students, "Brown" appeared in the doorway- he was due to attend a class down the hall at that time. Brown is a senstive kind of chunky guy that reminds me of Sam from Lord of the Rings, but the students call him Frodo. We looked at each other. He held up a finger gun and pretended to shoot me "Pop pop pop." I burst out laughing and tackled him in the hallway. "I love you Brown!"

I have three more classes today.
Tomorrow I will erase Cho Seung Hui and I will write...

You are individuals.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Wentworth Miller

So I was wondering aloud in class whether or not Wentworth Miller might be gay. The students didn't want to think so. I don't know anything about him, but I don't hear about him dating. The thing is, that I don't really pay attention to celebrity news, I'll hear the big stuff, but most news I don't hear. So...I thought, well, there's no reason to think that he's gay except he's geneticly gifted and I'm attracted to him.

I'm attracted to guys like Anderson Cooper and Douglas Coupland, so you do the math. Of course, I also like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt which puts me in the category of...female. So where am I going with this? Brad and Johnny aren't gay. BUT if someone told me that Angelina used to be a man, I would believe it.

SO what I'm getting to is that the other day I looking at Wentworth Miller news here on my own blog, with the link on the side of the page here...and this article came up. 'Wentworth Miller denies that he's gay.' So I guess I wasn't the only one wondering.

But what he said just made me chuckle a bit. He said he's not upset about the rumors because people have fantasies. It's ok, he just wants them to watch the show.

I'm guessing this guy likes himself.

I also see that he's a graduate of Princeton University. I literally had to fan myself.

So, Wentworth, you have a new admirer here, add me to the list, even if you're conceited. What is it about him? It's the eyes, and the -everything.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Being Married vs. Staying Single

So here are some insights into the Korean people in their 20's and early 30's.

One of the questions for class discussion is, 'Which is better, being married, or staying single?'

The first point of interest is not that ALL the guys are saying that being married is better, but it's the emphatic manner in which they answer 'yes' that makes it even more interesting. Common answers are "Of course marriage." with the emphasis on 'of course'. Or "Absolutely...marriage is better."

Next point of interest. While most women say they want to get married, I have had more than a few female students answer that single life is better and they wish to remain single. Some swear they will never get married. Hilarity ensues.

Whenever I've had this answer given by a woman in class, the men get upset, "WHY?" they demand. After almost a year here and spending hours with countless groups of students I've been able to piece together the 'why'.

Korean men = not good!

I personally happen to like some Korean guys that I've met better than any guys I've met anywhere, but...the overall situation is painted as bleak by the women. Right now in Korea girls are lucky because in their age group 20's-30's there are more men than women. This is something that I guessed. There was a certain way that the men acted that made me wonder if there is currently a women shortage in Korea. The students tell me, yes, this is the case.

This puts the women in a favored position among men. The guys have become very romanitc beings, and say that they want a girlfriend to be a wife and a best friend. They enjoy "talkative" women, they say. I'm like...huh? wha? Wow, Im in opposite land here on the other side of the earth. I mean, day here is night over there and vice versa, so why shouldn't people be completely opposite?

Well of course they aren't. But right now in Korea is the best time to be a chick than ever before as I understand it. So why not get married?

To sum up the various answers I get: The girls say that Korean men are fine and dandy BEFORE marriage.
Let's just leave it at that.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wentworth Miller in Korea!

So, I'm adding page elements to my blog here, and one of them is the headlines element. I checked on adding Wentworth Miller news to the list, and up came this article about Wentworth going to Korea to promote Bean Pole jeans (March 21st). He was greeted at the airport by tons of giddy fans. They had some pictures there I looked at. Nice.

Yeah, he's huge in Korea. ALL the girls love him with no exceptions. After being told again in again in my classes how "good-looking" and "nice body-line" this guy was, I finally took note and caught the first episode of the first season on Star World here in the Philippines.

I'm hooked. He really is good to watch.

I wish I had known this news when it first hit, I would've announced it in class and had a fun discussion.

The guys love him, too.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's been a long break...:) and CNN is TERRIBLE

I am refreshed from my vacation.

I'm also absolutely disgusted with CNN's non-coverage of the Iran- British sailors incident. I have a brain in my head, I don't need them to tell me what to think about snippets they barely want to show on tv for two seconds. A few seconds of a sailor smiling and then blathering commentary about how the leader of Iran is a genius at media manipulation was all that was going on. And it was insulting.

Questions like 'were they really in Iran's waters' weren't even asked, but commentary was given as if the answers were foregone conclusions.

Sorry, but I have questions!

There are three possibilities. One is that they were completely in Iranian waters. Two is that they were daring to enter a disputed zone and then refusing to acknowledge in the media very loudly that the area was disputed and controversial. (I heard it quickly once or twice that this may have been a disputed area)the third option is that they were completely inside Iraqi waters altogether.

Well, question...if they were completely in Iraqi waters, then wasn't IRAN violating something by entering AND taking prisoners? It seems incredible.

With the big deal that this was, surely western powers and Tony Blair would have blown a much louder foul whistle had it been the case that Iran dared enter Iraq territory and then take prisoners. Come now. Or is there no restriction on that?

I mean, how stupid am I CNN?
How stupid am I Tony Blair?

I mean, I've known CNN isn't the best source for news. I figured that with CNN I was getting shallow news, but it's news nonetheless. Now I question if any of it's news at all. Where is media I can trust?

I don't even LIKE IRAN~! But CNN is starting to make me more sympathetic just by virtue of their barely veiled cover-up and spin. What is this, a government news station? Is this China? Or worse, Fox? ( ha )

Anyway, Ahadinejad may have all these clever plots up his sleeve, but I don't need CNN thinking for me and failing to answer begged questions. Give me a break.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Goodbyes Again

Yesterday at lunch in a different restaurant, I heard the Goodbye Girl song again. It must be popular here. Sometimes I feel as though I do nothing but say goodbye to people.

More students are leaving again. These last two girls are making me sad. Tyra held on to me and wouldn't let me go forever. Her hair smelled really good. I just told her, "Your hair smells good." I had to explain to them that this good-bye thing happens to me a lot now and so I can't say anything, but I feel-feelings. I've quit telling the students how I feel. I can't do it anymore. It's easier to say 'give me your email address.' Actually that's what I was telling Tyra when I pried her pretty smelling being off my person, "I'll email you right away." "I'll email you right away." "I'll email you right away." She had these big croc tears.

She chose the name Tyra because of the Tyra Banks show and I would tease her about it. I told her if I ever catch a couple of minutes of that show, I can feel myself getting dumber. She says, well fine, I like America's Next Top Model better. Ok. I admit from time to time I find that show interesting. No where near as interesting as Project Runway though.

Some students here are majoring in Fashion, so we talk about Project Runway. They love it. I'm ready for a new season of that, I can tell you. It's the closest interest I have to being normal I think. For a girl. I probably would choose Project Runway over American Choppers, if they were both on at the same time. But that's only because AC tends to get redundant.

I think Natalie my email me some pictures so that I can post more here.