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Monthly Archives: April 2005

Silliness with Students

It’s my last class of the day at the education centre I work at.
It’s gorgeous outside – as we’re all well aware because my classroom
has a huge window opening up towards the sun. It’s obvious we’re
all eager to be outside rather than inside learning/teaching. Ew! We’ve
all been feeling a litte bit silly because of the sun. Kevin
is one of my favourite students (because I like playing favourites)
because he’s really bright (doing grade 10/11 workd while in grade 7)
and funny and well rounded. I guess he was having an off day
too…

He tells me about how he’s got a new pen pal from Holland. And then asks me where Holland is exactly.

Me: Oh, it’s north and a little over to the east.
Kevin: Isn’t it more south?
Me: Oh no, it’s more north than south.
Kevin: Isn’t it south near Mexico or something?
Me: Er,… it’s in Europe – the Netherlands…
Kevin: Are you sure because I remember reading it in a book somewhere…

I then attempted to draw a warped map of the world and pointing out
the Netherlands in Europe. And then Vancouver and then Mexico. Kevin
was still unconvinced. So I tracked down an old student atlas we had
and had to show him exactly where Holland was. And it turns out, what
he thought was Holland was Honduras. And to make him feel better, I
told him that up until recently I thought Bolivia was in the Middle
East. Turns out I kept mixing it up with Bosnia. (FYI: Bolivia’s in
South America.)

At the end of the day, he and I are discussing his plans for
the summer. He tells me he’s gotten into a summer school
program at BCIT.

Me: Oh yeah? What’s happening there?
Kevin: It’s for computer programming. Video game making and stuff.
Me: OH WOW! That’s so cool!
Kevin: Yeah, you get to make up your own video game.
Me: What kind would you make? RPG?
Kevin: Yup! *smile*
Me: I’d love to make my own video game too. Although I don’t know what kind I’d do.
Kevin: Probably one about marking and stuff, right?
Me: HAHAHHAHA! Oh Geez, No! Hahahahahaha!

Can you imagine a video game about marking?

Find as many grammatical errors as you can in thirty
seconds. Go! Figure out which one of these papers is plagiarized. Put
these short answers from best to worst.

Or in two player mode, it would be like BishiBashi where you’d race
against each other to see who can finish marking the multiple choice
test first. Or who can keep the students awake the longest with your
lecture. Or who can catch as many students cheating during a test.

Ooooh boy,… yeah that would be one heck of a video game.

So I went on my morning internet routine. checked my email and then my
online journals and then my miscellaneous pages, including friendster.

Now,
usually nothing exciting ever happens on friendster. I go to see if
people sent me an odd random message once in a while. Well, in my inbox
I got a message from this guy I dated for a bit last year:

From: ****
Date: Thu Apr 21 17:22:00 2005
Subject: hi
Message: i dreamed about u last nite. you were dancing on
your porch and i was watching you from next door.
hope your doin well.****
ps. your not a good dancer, but you tried hard 🙂



Ew…
He always seems to send me the random messages and phone calls. Ew…
and I’m fairly sure it’s because he wants to see if we can hook up.
Ew… You’d think he’d get the hint that I don’t want to talk to him
considering how I never ever reply or pick up or call back. Ever. But
he doesn’t. Ew…

He makes me feel so icky. I want to shower again.

Trackers and Anonymous Stalkers

The other day, I was checking out my sitemeter,
randomly perusing through the “referrers” page and I saw a yahoo search
entry for “boobie emoticons”. Somehow that lead people to my page.
Hahahahaha. Turns out I’m on the 2nd search page. Look me up.

******

People commonly refer to the Internet as
“anonymous”. But more and more, I’m finding that it’s really quite easy
to be exposed and watched.

What with all the trackers for Xanga
alone out there, everyone knows who’s come by, how they got there, and
how long  they stayed. We can have a list of how many times
everyone’s visited and from what ip addresses. Not even logging off is
suffice to keep your anonymity. (There are, however, certain people who
have managed to stay under the radar of these trackers, and I’d like to
ask you how you did it.)

I can attest to the popularity of these
trackers. Most of the time when I randomly click on a person’s page
without leaving a comment, I will almost inevitably have them click
back on my own page to check out who it was. Of course, I do that same.
I tend to check out how someone got to my page, and if it sounds
suspicious, like from a search, I go to check it out – especially
considering I’ve had a few people plagiarize my writing. Sometimes it’s
really outta curiousity about who it is.

It’s odd to see who
constantly comes by but never say anything. (I’m a friendly girl. I
won’t bite… unless provoked.) It kinda hurts my feelings to see some
people who know me in real life come by a few times and not even say
hi. (Of course, since I then know who it is, how come I don’t say hi
first?) It’s annoying to have people read my page and respond on their
own page indirectly attacking me. (If you got something to say, say it
to me. It’s fun to engage in debates) It’s disturbing how easily
stalkers can find you and keep tabs on you (No, I haven’t heard
anything from him since January). But moreso than any/most of this is
the detrimental effect these trackers seem to be having on creativity.

I,
for one, find my writing has become inhibited knowing more and more
people read my journal. I don’t write with the full force of my
emotions, knowing all too well certain people read this page and read
much more into it than I intend to. I know if I really wrote about how
I felt, I’d hurt some feelings. I also have the distinct feeling that
people are judging me based on my writings, as if they have a clear
picture of who I am.  So lately, I’ve been writing “safely” and
this in turn has resulted in a writer’s block.

The solution seems to be either

1) Screw it all and just write. Let people think what they want to think.

2) Stop writing altogether.

3)
Get a new Xanga and try again to maintain a decent level of anonimity
(of course, my attention whore side will never let me get away with
this).

4) Get rid of all my trackers and just pretend no one really stops by here.

Bleh…


Which “Saved By The Bell” Character Are You?

“See that man walking beside? He’s going to kidnap you because he
sees you don’t have a mommy,” my mother hissed to me in
Vietnamese as we walked down the streets of Chinatown. I
looked up at the man walking beside me, long shaggy hair, long shaggy
beard, scruffy clothes and ice blue eyes. I quickly decided he was
definitely not someone I’d like to be kidnapped by. So I grabbed my
mother’s hand and held on tight.

Ever since as long as I could remember, my mother’s instilled in me
this fear of being kidnapped. Adbuctors were lurking in every corner,
strangers ready to relieve my mother the trouble of me if I didn’t
behave by holding her hand in the market or by staying by her side in
big crowds of people. She’d even warn me about strange scary men who
would break into our house to kidnap me if I didn’t make my bed.
“They’ll think a boy lives here and will want him to work for them,”
she’d tell me.

I know she told me all those things to make sure I was safe and to
keep me obedient out of fear. While her tricks worked, it also had side
effects I’m not completely sure she intended for.

Whenever she’d leave me and my brother alone in the house to go work
at the farm, I’d have these morbid thoughts of strangers bursting in to
take me away. I’d develop these elaborate plans of where to hide and
how to escape being kidnapped. I’d live in fear of being alone, so I’d
follow my big brother around constantly, making sure he’d always
know where I was. And if he wasn’t willing to protect me, then maybe,
at least, the kidnappers would take him and leave me alone.

Obviously now I don’t have that fear anymore of abduction attempts
at every nook and cranny. But I can still see the lingering
effects it’s had on my thinking. Everywhere I look, I see the potential
for danger. When I drive around in my car, I always seem to briefly
play a “worst case scenario” in my head. For instance, a car cuts in
front of me and immediately I imagine it hitting me and our vehicles
are smashed. When I walk around ever, I imagine myself running into
benches, poles, etc etc. It’s not just physical danger either. Whenever
there’s a boy I’m interested in, I always imagine our worst case
scenario. Either him annoying the heck out of me or me clinging on to
him like an insecure little girl. Whenever I meet new people, I always
imagine them disliking me, finding me loud and obnoxious. Perhaps
that’s why I usually like take a backseat and observe everyone
first before I can get comfortable and open up.

I also think that’s the why I have this pessimistic attitude about
life. I’m always constantly picturing the worst that could happen. And
it’s hard to imagine a brighter outcome because the darker outcome’s
always to obvious that it’s staring me in the face.

Checked out friendster a bit
last night and I stumbled on to some page called “vancity’s finest” or
something similiar. Out of curiousity, I clicked on the link to see who
our “finest” were. Gotta admit, the pics of the girls were really
pretty. I clicked a few of their profiles to check em out. After about
three or four girls, I realized something.

All the girls looked
like copies of one another. Long dyed hair, with blonde highlights. Big
eyes rimmed with black eyeshadow. Pouty lips. Tiny bodies with big
boobs, being shown off in boobie tops. A lot of clubbing pics. A lot of
import pics. A lot of professional photo pics.

So while they
were pretty girls (I could never look like that for my life), I found
there wasn’t a lot of individuality amongst them. No one really stood
out. As a matter of fact, right now, I can’t name or picture one girl.

Which
gets me thinking. (To sound conceited) I consider myself a pretty girl.
But what makes me stand out from them? How am I different? I too have
long hair. I too have big eyes. I too have boobs that I like to show
off in tiny tops. Am I different? My knee-jerk response to that is, “Of
course, I’m different. I’m smart.” But that’s such stereotypcial crap.
Who’s to say beautiful girls are dumb? I know that some of them are
quite smart – university students, straight As, aspirations to become a
lawyer or a doctor.

I suppose the real question is, why do we
all look the same? Like 2nd or 3rd rate Maxim girls. Like a male’s
fantasy. And why do so many of us feel the need to conform to this
image? It’s so rare in Vancouver to see a girl with short hair. Or who
dares to wear her glasses. Or just go without makeup. Especially at
clubs or for pictures. I understand we all want to look “our best” but
does “our best” have to look the same as everyone else’s best too?

Dear Anna,

Please write something new so I may have something to read. Preferably long. I’m bored.

Love,

Jenn.

As per request…

******

 My Score Sheet


The other day, Jenn
and I were discussing all the boyfriends* we went through since we’ve
known each other. We started talking in our first year, which means it about six years now. Jenn named off three. I, on the
other hand, named off….

1) D1
The first boyfriend. At 18, he wooed and charmed his way into my heart.
And then proceeded to go after my best friend. Of couse, he had to go.
We were tense friends for about a year.

2) D2
The rebound boyfriend, who I went out with because it was a strange
sort of revenge in some way. While my first boyfriend played my ass, D2
was actually the one that was bad for me. He’d be great for the few
days I saw him. And then he’d be unreachable for about a week, until I
had it just about up to there with him when he’s be great again. After we broke up for the umpteenth time, he’d call me
to torture me with pretty lies for almost four or five months. This guy
left me angry and bitter for about a year until…


3) T

I knew T since before we could talk. Our mothers were friends back in
the old country. I never saw him that way before until one spring when
there was a spark. He and I hit it off…for an entire summer before it
cooled down just as the weather did. What we had with each other didn’t last. We broke up on good terms, and
we’re still friends although it took a while.


4) S

My first serious boyfriend of 2.5 years. He taught me a lot about
relationships – patience, consideration, communication and honesty. We
had our good times and bad times. Ultimately it didn’t work out.


5) J

…let’s not get into that one. I’ve gotten into that one too much. Bad. Bad. Bad. All bad.

6) Y
My current boyfriend, who’s been amazingly sweet to me. It sounds
stupid, but I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it and saying
things I’ll regret later on. I will say, however this much. I’m happy.

Hmmmm,…. I can see I’m averaging about one per year here. Is that
good? Or is that bad? I can also see I’m not willing to open up about
my more recent exes. Too close? Too much hurt? Too aware that some eyes
read this? (Damn tracker.)

* The term “boyfriend” is designated to those guys I actually called my boyfriend and who called me their girlfriend.

******
Hope
this is long enough for you, Jenn. But I’m suffering from a bit of
writer’s block. Was this entertaining? I guess not since you had to
suffer first hand through all the oohing and aahing and yaying and the
subsequent booing and hooing.

Scattered depressing thoughts

Lately I’ve been thinking about the choices I’ve made in my life. The
life changing incidents. Do we ever actually think, at the time, that
these moments will impact us forever? It seemed,…even just three or
four years ago, that the choices we made were so easily reversible and
nothing was permanent.

But now, looking back a bit down the path I’ve taken,… I sometimes
wish I went a different way. I sometimes wish I’d been smarter, or
stupider. I wish I wasn’t so scared. I wish I tried harder.

I wish I wasn’t so mean to some people I really cared about. I wish I,…

Some moments really define who you are. My ideal self wants to believe
I’ve always acted true to myself, my feelings and I’ve always tried to
be good and moral. But if I look honestly at who I am, what I’ve done
and who I’ve hurt along the way, I know I can’t say I’ve always been
that way. I wish I could take some of it back. A lot of it back.

I know you’re not supposed to live life with any regrets, that all
those experiences make up who you are. I know. I know all that. But
quite frankly, that’s crap. I’m human; it’s in my nature to over
analyse and over think everything. Of course I’m going to regret.

I wish I could bring myself to do the stupid things, to stop being
strong. But my moral conscience – and more tangibly and acutely, my
pride – stops me.

I find, I’m driven by fear. A fear of being alone. A fear of disappointing someone. A fear of rejection and a fear of failure.