Saturday, April 10, 2004

Home Stay

I've been home the whole day. Right about now, I feel the need to burst forth and breathe air in the open. I'm not good at this. I'm not good at being sick at home. It was okay when I was asleep for those few hours this afternoon, but now, I'm restless again.

Dan thinks I need to learn how to do nothing. But it's not within my constitution, sick or not, to not do anything. I tried to watch Charmed this afternoon, and either I've grown up a lot in the weeks between the last season and now, or that it's gotten so bad that I can't bear watching it. I mean, hello, Valkyries that looked right out of Xena? An evil whitelighter (angel-guardian like person who looks after the Charmed sisters), it's getting too lame even for me and I used to watch it just to see what the 3 sisters would wear. With every episode, Alyssa Milano seems to get more and more tattoos on her body and seems to wear less and less clothes. *Yawn*

It seems a sad state when there are less shows to watch. Once upon a time, there was Buffy, Angel, The West Wing, Friends, CSI, Charmed...Now, it's whittled down to just The West Wing and CSI since Friends is in its last season, Angel too, Buffy's finished and Charmed's condemned. What will we do for entertainment? God forbid, read a book?

Speaking of reading, I subscribed to the Economist and Newsweek at the beginning of the year in an attempt to keep myself up to date with global affairs. My ignorance had come very much to the fore when I was helping with the World Schools team and I'd decided to take my ignorance to task and read these news magazines. Unfortunately, I've been away two weeks and I have 3 copies of Economist not yet read and one copy of Newsweek. Newsweek is much more palatable, albeit American-centric, but the Economist is better for information and opinions. At least there's colour now. I recall how we used to get photocopied articles of the Economist in college and had just taken for granted that it was in monochrome because it had been Xeroxed. My horror, when I actually picked up a real copy of the magazine and realised that in its original state, it was in monochrome as well. Think it was one step above the plaintive cry of a child when he/she realised the book he/she was reading had no pictures.

I brought Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan with me to Stuttgart and I haven't finished it. It's not a difficult book to read but I think the whole First Wives Club-women's independence- female solidarity- Steel Magnolia thing is just too much for me to handle. I don't buy into feminism nor do I subscribe to the notion of patriarchy wholesale, so reading anything in such extremes just annoys the heck out of me. Maybe I should just stick to my news magazines. At least, then I just get angry at ol' Dubya, that's clear, that's straightforward and it's cathartic in a bizarro way.

The O level (Cambridge Ordinary Level Exams- equivalent to Year 10 exams) results are out on Friday, which means my classes will be on tenterhooks tomorrow. Time to break out the comfort food-ice cream and chocolate which I am well armed for since I brought back kilos of chocs from Germany back for them. I think it was all a grand divine plan for me to be this ill when I got back, otherwise there would be no chocolates left for the kids and they'd be jittery and hysterical and I wouldn't know what else to say to them except that on the night before my O level results were released, I ate four Hazelnut Ice cream bars and a bag of chocolate chip cookies and proceeded to dream that I got 69 points. At that point in time and as a 16 year old, I had no clue as to the sexual connotations behind it. But I did know that if I got 6 (which is a perfect score) or 9 (not so perfect but acceptable), it was fine, but if I got the sum of the two numbers, 15, I was screwed and destined to be in a mediocre college. Thank goodness that did not happen.

Poor kids. I feel so sorry for them. The balance in their little worlds revolve around the aggregate score that they see on their slips of paper. It's no use telling them that after a while, no one really cares what you got for your O levels, but being tunnel-visioned is part and parcel of growing up so I shall allow their indulgence in their self- inflicted and perhaps also societal-inflicted hysteria. All I hope is that my good kids stay put and the ones who can't be bothered, find somewhere else to slum. It's not the perfect attitude for a teacher to have, but sometimes you help those who want to be helped and those who don't want to be helped, all you can do is wish them luck in which ever path they choose to follow.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:45

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