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Archive for April, 2009

Before we get to that “oh-so” lovely title, lets back up a bit. The impending heatwave of the summer has been wonderfully delayed. The past few days have been absolutely gorgeous. Blue skies, light breeze, warm temperatures. So yesterday, having finished class at noon, and visited Tina in the hospital where we scarfed some Sababas (where I eat, way way way too often) I brought, I had the whole afternoon to myself.

So, I wandered up the street to Raohe Nightmarket…a plain old street in the daytime, and towards the end of the street cut through the alleys to the river. There after you go up and over a questionable set of stairs you find yourself with broad, open views of the city and the Danshui River.

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I walked a bit in the flowers and bikers and the plopped down in the grass for some reading. Mmmm real, green, grass. No more pavement and creepy mangrove trees.

Now today, a little less relaxing. Kindy then 2nd grade smartboard time. The smartboard is a giant projector/touch-sensitive white board. Its awesome because it lets the whole class play interactive games. So usually for a smartboard class, I pull up one or two relevant videos on Youtube and then 3 or 4 games from educational sites. Today was pretty normal, but the computer its connected to has been acting up (i’m pretty sure its chock full of viruses but elisa and ivy are a bit clueless about that, and I can’t help since the entire operating system is in Chinese). So instead of clicking on my pre-made link, I typed in the address. However today I typed in…

http://www.outube.com I accidentally left out the y…because you can’t see the big screen from where the computer sits behind it. Guess what happens if you load outube.com instead of Youtube. Just do it…go…beware, its a bit NSFW. Ok really really really NSFW.

So yeah…THAT… loaded in giant 5ft by 4ft glory. With me screaming and tryin to cover it with my hands while simulatneously trying to click it off. It was the longest 7 seconds of my life.

Meanwhile the 2nd grade class, died of laughter claiming it was so “colorful”…and that teacher was a “colorwolf”. I have now been informed by Tina that colorwolf is basically a direct translation of the chinese word for pervert. I guessed as much. We all got an eyeful. Great. just great.

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Spelling words

The assigned spelling words today for second grade were from their story this week which is about Native Americans.I wrote up all the words AND the definitions, but I’m not really sure why I bother because I generally end up re-explaining 8/10.

Spelling word #1: reservation….as in Indian reservation.

“Teacher…whats reservation?”

…so it is an area that the government gave back to the indians to live on because they took all their land from them when they settled America. (but usually its not very nice/good land)

“But aren’t Indians from India?”…..ok ok…Native Americans…damn political correctness…like aboriginals like in Taiwan, except we don’t call them aboriginals…why? I don’t know…sounds like a more legit word to me.

*I’m pretty sure they still don’t get it

#2….spirit. I can already imagine the insane discussion behind this, given the superstitious nature of the culture here.

“Teacher…. what is spirit?”

Its….its..some people think its the thing inside of you that gives you life, that makes you who you are. If you die, you lose your spirit.

“So a spirit is a ghost?” ….”a spirit is an ancestor”…

No.. not really…its your…soul *blank look*…its your life that is not your body…

*Lightbulb…then cue the 20 minute debate about ghosts and “near-death” experiences. Robban swears he has lost his spirit before and floated outside of his body, Thomas claims the same for his mother. I just nod, and mmhmm, and saying  “interesting, interesting” till class is over.

–I cannot wait to see the sentences they have to write for these words on Wednesday. Hil-a-rious.

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A sudden realization today that this time last year I was a college student. I was wrapping up papers; sitting in a library, typing my brains out over Jewish-American literature and medieval prose-fictions. Now? Writing example sentences like “Yesterday I went to the supermarket.” (Shit supermarket is too big of a word…erase and insert…..store…yeah store).

God. Where did my literature degree go?

bookbag(one of two giant suitcases I filled with books to move out of my dormroom)

I was spending days on end taking five-hour-energy shots and sitting in the studio listening to the same Stars songs over and over and pulling prints until my hands were cracked and my back was aching. In one week, I successfully ruined every pair of pants I owned with ink stains on the crotch. Did I learn to wear an apron?

No.

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I was spending every evening at Sam’s with pitchers of Newcastle, and Mondays at Saucer with pints of Pyramid Apricot and Anchorsteam. Getting into arguments about various things that were relevant and somehow important at the time.

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Now? Grownup job, international city, apartment of belongings. But I feel younger than ever. Still no guidance, but perhaps I’ve learned to worry less. This time last year I was a basket case about the future and what it held. The future has flown by, arrived, and shot forward again. This time next year? I have even less of a clue.

But I’m okay with that. I know I can do it.

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Are you kidding?

So today I’m sitting in my 2nd grade class…which tries every ounce of my patience three times a week. They are finally silent…something that is unheard of, when right at my left elbow I hear…”nyaaaaaaah,,,nyaaaaah..vroooom…shinnng shiiing” really really quietly.

I look over and Steven is making sound effects for his pencil as he writes and draws a comic about his mother (for mothers day). “Steven” I say…”What?”… he looks up oblivious to the fact that his inner monologue was actually an outer one.

I lost it…”teacher why are you laughing”……no….no…nothing…gasp….hee hee heee.

Also…”Fruit salad” the favorite song of my 3 year olds (I have no idea…this fascination baffles me)….has recently turned into “Flute salad” since we are studying music and musical instruments…..in their minds fruit salad and flute salad are the exact same thing. In my mind, the mental image is kind of hilarious.

I leave you with a panda bun from the bakery near my school…they were out of smiley men buns, so I had to settle for the cross eyed panda.

Hao Ke ai.

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And and one more this….this commercial I stumbled on today. Damn I wanna go there. Damn I want some fried pickles. Occasionally I miss things like this from the south.

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So I’m riding home on the bus from a lovely lunch with friends at The Diner (mega discounted thanks to Billy) I’m full of food so I’m half asleep, eyes mostly closed just listening to the bus robot name the bus stops we pass. We’re about two stops from my house when I open my eyes only to see an 8 foot  Chinese Deity staring me in the face.

Whaaaaat? My brain just shuts down, it can’t process if this is real or not, or what could possibly explain a creepy monster hovering outside my window.

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(mr. black face mc grimace  was the first one to wake me)

This is when I fully wake up and hear the firecrackers and lovely Erhu’s screaming in minor chords.

We are in the middle of a parade.

Some sort of religious parade, since I see the tables lined up outside every business, with the yellow table cloths and offerings of pineapples and ducks (with some tables featuring Coke and Doritoes…apparently the ancestors like junk food as well). I can smell all the symbolic money being burned outside everyones business and see the red paper from all the firecrackers littering the streets.

I get off at my stop and run home to grab to my camera to prove I am not insane. Of course some  “charming”  red-toothless betel nut chewing parade men try to chat me up and explain the parade while their eyebrows and guffaws indicate something else entirely, as I try to unobtrusively take photos. I snapped some shots then escaped the WW3 firecrackers going off all around, for the safety of my silent, oblivious side street.

deity(I like the guys face poking out a bit in the middle.)

2deitysparadeThe people sitting in this float/train thing did not look so happy…more like bored and exhausted. Cheer up imaginary ancestors…don’t you just love that guy next to you with the giant gong on a cart he’s been bang away at for miles?

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Thanks to my lovely coworkers at Creative Services I just discovered that they blew my face up and put it on a giant banner that says Scholarship and hung it over the street outside Branscomb. Granted I am the poster child for Scholarships at Vandy since I recieved a 120,000$ education for about 4,000$. And I know that my image is floating around the Creative Services stock photo database, thanks to that dorm shoot and graduation day I expected to show up in some admissions brochures or someting but still, A GIANT BANNER?

I eagerly anticipate the sun fading my photo into some sort of weird alien beckoning unknowing freshmen into Branscomb (the fratty hell-hole that made me seriously consider leaving Vanderbilt).

Thanks you guys. And thanks to the two separate people who informed AND took photos.

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Bob Ross

Sunday morning. I’m watching the asian verson of Bob Ross and his painting show. Its relaxing and equally as unbeleivable (just move your brush like so and BAM freaking mountains and forrests). Though I have to admit I do miss the “happy little trees and some nice fluffy titanium white” comments.

Eating some tiny cakes shaped like Doraemons. I think no matter what your age, it is still fun to the eat the heads off of anthropomorphichic baked goods.

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