Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yesterday/All My Troubles Seemed Just As Close As They Do Today

I walk to work because I like the air in my lungs, and the Castrol, and the sugar-sweet smell of freshly-baked Dunkin Donuts.

To walk to the front gate of the University, where I board a college trolley taking me to centre campus, is a seven-minute walk; which, if you're playing at home, is just enough time to drench my pits and lay a morning-sweat dew on the pistils and stamens of my chest and back hairs.

Yesterday, though, I was spared the sweat--or so I thought--when a student in my 8 o'clock class pulled over to the side of the road on his motorbike to say hi.

"Hello," he said.

"Hello, good morning."

"I take you," he said, pointing at me. "I take you."

Once I got the unpleasant lingering memory of an airplane movie out of my head, I hopped on the back of his bike and, before I could figure out where my feet go, we were off, on the most horrifying two minute hog-ride since junior prom (no, no, calm down, it's all a joke).

Anyway, from holding my ankles up by my butt for a three-minute motorbike ride, I got the best ab workout that I have in a long time. And it's a good thing that the ride wasn't a second over three minutes, or else something might have squirted out. Like my esophagus.

Also, riding on a motorbike did not prevent me from sweating profusely as I had thought it would. Maybe because my stomach was tense the whole time; maybe I was still a little worried about the offer/promise/threat to "take" me. Either way I got to work earlier so I bought what I thought was a bread roll but which turned out to be a bead roll filled with green goop; which, coincidentally, is the name of my best student in English 203.

Long day at work, ended with Cartoon and I having a long talk about the upcoming holiday. Apparently on July 4th (coincidence that this Buddhist holiday happens to begin on American Independence Day, she assured me), all of the "freshies" (no joke) divide into declared major and must walk up a mountain together. When they get to the top, each major has a choreographer "boom" that they chant and yell. The way it was described to me sounds a lot like stomping the yard (where you from?), except on top of a mountain in the mid-day sun in front of a sacred Buddhist temple. And not at "Truth University" (which, no, is not a real Southern university, friends).

What else. I bought a lot of novelty T-shirts, which deserve a post of their own, hopefully tomorrow. Was in bed by 10ish, woke up around 630, just in time to listen to the Braves game on the Internet radio between snores and mosquito attacks.

Later in the day I skateboarded (not a typo) to the mall, where I bought three sweat rags for 30 cents each. Now I can carry them in my back pocket and (hopefully) not be so disgusting when I skateboard (still not a typo) around town.

Speaking of skateboarding, one of my students, who had told me he was also a "skater boy," albeit a beginner, asked me to show him the ropes.

"I want you teach me," he said, unaware that I, too, am awful of skateboarding, perhaps worse than he is. I begged off and said I was too old to teach him how to do tricks, much less to do tricks. Heck, I'm a hare too old to eat Trix.

Good Lord what did I just write.

They all think I'm above 30, by the way. In my 101 class (with the "freshies") all of the students had to make timelines with predictions for when certain events would happen in their lives: good practice for the future tense. I drew an example of my timeline on the board and announced:

"For example, if this is my timeline, I could say, "I want to get married when I'm 28."

And there was a gasp--an authentic, audible gasp--from several girls in the room. The fact that I could, in fact, be younger than 28 was too much of a shock for their lungs to handle.

Anyway, most of them want to get married by the age of 26. Most of them want two or more children. All of them are sure that they will get promotions; not I might get a promotion, but I will get a promotion. Without exception. And this is not a class to boast: one of the questions asked if they would meet a famous person one day, and less than half responded that they thought they would.

"David Beckham?" I asked.

A few hands still in the air.

"The Dalai Lama," I asked next.

Only one hand stayed in the air: that of the class clown, who goes by "Joey Boy."

For the record, Joey Boy is going to get married more than once, have more than four kids, own several pets, meet the Dalai Lama, and drive a sports car. Kid's going places.

Okay, that's all. I had my first honest to pavement skateboard crash today. I made the msitake of thinking that I would be able to jump a speed bump, in the dark, when in reality I can't even skate over a speed bump, in the daytime. Nor do I know how one jumps on a skateboard. Nor do I know where five of my teeth are.

Nah, just kidding, I swallowed 'em.

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