i have a question...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Word of the Day, vol. XIII

Word of the Day: DANCING

So, you know how having a “most embarrassing moment” somehow makes you a better conversationalist? I distinctly remember taking some time to figure out mine, so that this story would be at the ready if anyone ever happened to ask me what it was.

When I was 13, I had been dancing at the local Dance Studio on and off for maybe six years. At this point, I took my schoolwork and my dancing pretty seriously. I was in advanced ballet and beginning tap the last year I lived in New York and was dancing about three times a week.

Of course, at 13, our bodies start to change and suddenly, I found myself squeezing into leotards and tights and feeling…lumpy. Obviously, I was never going to be a ballerina, but it gave me something besides school and home to concentrate on and I truly loved it.

Every year, in the dead of June, there was a recital at BAM. I was performing in two classes’ final pieces, so I had two costumes. My costume for ballet was just a bright purple leotard with a small ruffled skirt, my white tights, and pointe shoes. My costume for tap, though, was a black one piece with culottes(!) and a gold shrug, a small gold cap and black gloves.

No, I am not kidding. There is a picture on my wall to prove it.

Needless to say, the tap costume was much more complicated to put on, and so, I figured, the tap dance was first, so that my quick change would be an easy one.

I showed up to the hall and discovered ballet was first and that I’d have approximately 35 seconds to change into my four-piece costume.

The ballet dance was a huge hit—I still remember some of the steps and also how we totally freestyled at one point in the dance. Thanks, Jennifer D.! (That was my teacher. She was so awesome.)

I scooted into the wings after the dance and quickly changed my clothes, with the help of a classmate. The black one-piece was held up by just a single string and of course, in the mix, it busted, so we had to pin it to keep it up.

The music began and I entered.

Flap, step, flap, step, flap, step, flap, ball, change. Annnnd….snap.

Mid-way through the dance, I realized the string had busted again. Which meant that suddenly I was doing the time-step in front of a huge crowd and my whole family with my 13 year old boobs in a sad black bra showing.

I kept dancing though, grinning sheepishly the whole time!

And then, I got offstage and cried. Nobody in my class had seemed to notice that I was giving the audience a wee peep show. (Or not so wee—have you SEEN my boobs?)

(To be fair, this embarrassing story falls into the “topless in front of a crowd” category. I have a really great “sticking my foot in my mouth” story as well, that I will save for another time. This is enough mortification for one Sunday morning.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Overheard in a Classroom, vol. I

"You can have my heart."--said many times to me by one of my Special Ed kids, but I promise, not in a creepy way.

"As God is my witness, I will dance on that stage one day."--one of my 8th graders after we saw In the Heights.

"Vait, I av a booger."--one of my 8th graders doing something inappropriate with a paintbrush, in a French accent.

"What are you doing?"--me checking in about one of my Special Ed kids getting some work done;
"Nothing!"--her very frank response.

"I wanna isskay."--one of the seniors using Pig Latin (is it making a comeback I'm unaware of?) to express her desire to work on the romantic part of their play.

"When I grow up, I want to be in shape...not like her."--snarky comment I overheard by one of my Special Ed kids, and in reference to me. (Yeah, THAT was a good day.)

To be continued...

P.S. This is my 400th post. Woot!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Word of the Day, vol. XII

Word of the Day: ”FAME”

It was a shock to my system when I realized, after seeing a flyer for auditions for the next season of MTV’s The Real World on campus, that I am too old(!) to be on it. Circa The Real World: Boston, I was determined to be on the show one day. I was sure I’d add an intellectual and reasonable air to any house of seven strangers. Alas, at the ripe old age of 26, I’ve missed that particular boat. And, of course, realize now that I escaped certain insanity.

Still, who doesn’t have a soft spot for MTV’s pioneer voyeuristic reality show? I was a devout follower of it through about New Orleans and watched some of a few seasons after that. One Christmas, I asked for several books about the phenomenon, in the days when reunion shows actually dealt with real issues the roommates had encountered, like alcoholism and pregnancy scares and death.

I put the word of the day in quotes because…the people on these shows, while I did become strangely attached to them…aren’t actually famous. Well, most of them aren’t. Eric Nies has carved out a sort of career for himself, post-Real World: New York. He was a model and on-air MTV personality. Jacinda Barrett is sort of a legit actor—she was on the London season. Sean, from the Boston season, is a politician in Wisconsin (and married to Rachel from the SF season—they have six kids!). But otherwise, most of the people we came to know and love either escaped media attention altogether and are living in the country and doing things like teaching elementary school or they continue to assault us on the never-ending permutations of The Real World/Road Rules Challenges.

I don’t really have a point except to express that, as a young adolescent, I thought these people were important. I learned from their debates about race and from their sexual indiscretions. I wanted to see them hook up and for their relationships to last and was pleased to discover that some of them actually have.

And, a couple days ago, I found archive videos of certain seasons on MTV.com.

I rewatched all of the San Francisco season, looking with new eyes at a city I have since gotten to know a little bit but which seemed foreign and exciting as an 11-year-old in Brooklyn. For your information, Judd and Pam are married and have babies now. Cory lives in Southern California with her family. Rachel, as I mentioned, married Sean from Boston and they have six kids. Even the notorious Puck is settled somewhere with a family.

And then, there’s Pedro. Pedro who died the evening the final episode of his season aired. From AIDS. At 22. I will never forget watching a marathon of the season in my room in New York and tearing up at Rachel’s final confessional, in which she cried about how much she’d miss everyone. Then, the screen faded and the words “In memory of Pedro Zamora, 1972-1994” appeared. I burst into tears, shocked and heartbroken and feeling kind of silly that I was so affected by the death of someone I didn’t know.

Nothing has really changed since I watched these episodes as a younger person. These people still aren’t famous. Further, the show itself has gradually deteriorated to be mostly a sad spectacle of binge-drinking and distasteful sexual behavior.

This review of the show has made me nostalgic for a time when reality TV was about putting people in a spotlight with something of substance to say. And to realize how educational and influential some of what they put out there was for me. Even if it never made them famous to anyone but me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Inexplicable Fear #1274919820

Once in a while, the cops set up a table at my T station and do random bag checks. It's never occurred to me to wonder what they're checking for: is it drugs? Gun powder? Snacks they can confiscate?

I've been stopped a couple times, and I always giggle to myself. It reminds me of the time my bag got searched at an airport security line, when I was carrying literally a book and a magazine and the security officers laughed to themselves. Of course, I don't carry anything illegal! I don't even carry cigarettes anymore.

This morning, the station was pretty quiet, and I saw that a search table had been set up. Sometimes they don't stop me, but this time I was asked to get my bag checked, and I suddenly and irrationally got nervous.

My brain actually went, "Well, maybe I DO have something illegal this time!" I tried to make small talk with the cops, who had noticed the pins on my bag, while a female officer swept the little search patch over it and then placed it in the mechanical reader that traces remnants of cocaine or whatever they're looking for.

I was so relieved when it got cleared. The drug habit and gun stash I've been hiding even from myself remain undiscovered! Victory!

...I'm so weird.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Joys of Pirated TV

I don't watch TV live very often these days. I don't have cable and commercials are SO annoying and I'm rarely home when things are actually aired. So Hulu and Sidereel and SurftheChannel and other strange, foreign sites are frequented on my computer, so I can watch my stories in peace, in my room, without too much commercial interruption.

Here is a list of TV shows I have watched in succession since returning from Connecticut in August:
Sex and the City
Modern Family
True Blood
I have now seen every episode of all of those shows. In order. And sometimes in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Incidentally, pretty much across the board, these are excellent shows that you should all check out.

I was just hunkering down with a snack to rewatch one of my favorite episodes of Sex and the City, shuffling through some sites that wouldn't let me connect and finally coming across one that would allow me to watch.

Here is that site's description of "Boy, Interrupted," the SATC episode featuring a DREAMY David Duchovny as Carrie's high school boyfriend, with whom she reunites:
Carrie goes to a alliance to see how actuality high-school drove -whom she dumped- is, and finds Jeremy got alike added attractive. Back in hot Manhattan Samantha can’t get canal the cat-and-mouse account for Soho House club which has a basin with service, but picks up some Annabelle Bronstein’s abandoned pass

It was too good not to document for posterity. And now I've just discovered an added bonus to watching TV shows streaming online.

Last Semester in Grad School Starts...Now

Here is my schedule for this semester, so you will know where I am at all hours of the day. You will also know where to find me when I inevitably collapse from exhaustion at some point in the next 16 weeks.

Monday: Student-teach 1030-230, probably work til around 4 at the school

Tuesday: Student-teach 1030-230
Work with RM 3-5

Wednesday: Therapy 12-1
Work with RM 2-5
Class 6-10

Every other Wednesday: Student-teach 745-1030, probably work at the school till 11
Therapy 12-1 (I thought about cutting down to seeing my therapist every other week to avoid these ridiculously long Wednesdays but figured, with this schedule, I'd need it every week. C'est la vie.)
Work with RM 2-5
Class 6-10
(It is probable my collapse from exhaustion will occur on a Wednesday.)

Thursday: Student-teach 1030-230, probably work at the school till around 4
Class 4-6

Friday: Student-teach 1030-230, probably work at the school till around 4

Saturday and Sunday: I imagine most Saturdays I will not leave my bed. And Sundays will be homework/laundry/shopping/socializing days. Call me on Sundays.

See you in May.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

[clever title] turns 3!

3 years


36 months


156 weeks


1095 days

No matter how you count, it's a lot of writing, a lot of time, a lot of life.

Thank you all for your continued interest and support!

Happy birthday, [clever title]!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Word of the Day, vol. XI

Word of the Day: NAMES

I learned all 55 first names in about a day, gave myself the test of greeting them each by name as they walked into the classroom where I’d eventually be teaching half of them this semester.

Some of them are wary of me. Unsure of the young-ish but obviously authoritative woman working so closely with their regular teacher, apparently seamlessly, disciplining them as she does, using their names to their faces in encouragement and consternation and concern.

Wasn’t I just in high school? I swear they smell the same on the East Coast, so every time I walk the halls, I remember walking through my middle school, with the veneered wooden floors and plastic chairs. The echo-y halls smelling like bacon one day and beef the next. And always sweat.

Except, this time, I also have access to the staff bathroom, passwords and copy codes, the teacher’s lounge with one table, a water machine, and no working microwave.

This has all happened so fast.

My Program Director told me I wouldn’t be able to “just get through it,” which is what I thought I’d be able to do, as I’ve done so many times in my life before.

He’s right. I can already tell. I am a different person today than the one I was on Sunday, before I started. Not only because I’m doing this at all but because I think I’m good at it.

And, suddenly, I’m a “Miss.” A teacher with no first name.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I am a Pop Culture Genius, vol. X.5: Another True Blood-Glee Sighting

The dude who plays Coach on Glee plays the vampire who replaced Longshadow in Eric's entourage on True Blood.

The shows must have the same casting agent or something.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I am a Pop Culture Genius, vol. X: True Blood(y) Glee

While I'm waiting for my regularly scheduled programming to resume after the holidays, I have started to watch True Blood. So far, it is pretty awesome. I say, if you want sexy vampires, stay away from Twilight and watch True Blood. But what do I know?

Also, Artie plays the coroner's assistant in two episodes. HA!

P.S. He also used to be in a boy band. He was totally the "Cute One."

I know you couldn't have lived another moment without this information. No need to thank me.