Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beautiful Day & President Obama at My High School

This video is spot on!

Today was great! The weather was perfect and school was fun. We talked about the beginnings of WWII in American History, and we had a test in Microeconomics. And that's it! I also kinda went for a run in the park, but it was more of a walk. I'm lucky to have such a great park close to my house.

I ran into a girl I haven't seen from high school and she was kind of a douche, but that's okay - it probably has something to do with her plans to be a biology graduate student in Kansas. I don't know what part of that repulses me more. Oh, and as I was leaving I heard this conversation between a mom and her (apx.) 12 year-old son:
Mom: Andre, come over here!
Andre: I don't want to walk! (Andre's a little chubby, wielding a $300 cell phone)
Mom: Andre, you walk with me! If you don't, I'll take away your texting privileges! (I laugh out loud at this prompting a curious look from an old lady)
Andre: I don't care!
Mom: It's hot - you can't sit in the car!
Andre: It's hot everywhere!

In other news: the President came to speak at my high school today (former high school). It's hard for me describe the feeling, but I can't help detecting some irony in the idea of an intelligent public figure like President Obama choosing my high school, a place that I largely saw as a bastion of ignorance and conservatism, as the setting for his speech about progressive legislation. Simultaenously, at another St. Charles location, an anti-Healthcare meeting was being held. *sigh* St. Charles. I think it's about to thunderstorm...I love a good thunderstorm. Only a month until my birthday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alarm Clocks

Every one has an alarm clock. They're born with it. It's set by the universe. Some people are gifted in that they have an awareness of the alarm clock, but most are completely oblivious to it. It's quite old fashioned, the kind that actually ticks, with confident little gears inside. Tick tock tick tock. Most people's alarm go off at some point during their lives: some very early, some quite late. They wake up to find themselves a new person, and with this kind of alarm clock, it's always for the better. Some people put a pillow over their heads, which dulls the ringing, but doesn't mute it - waking up is slower for them. Others are so deeply asleep that they never hear the clock, like it's not there.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 2010

Wow. The semester is going by so quickly. Spring Break for me begins at the end of March, and then a week after coming back, I turn twenty-one! Actually it's not that exciting for me. I hate getting older, and as far as alcohol goes, even if I were a regular alcohol drinker, it's not difficult to get someone else to buy it for me. Just another birthday for me. But I do plan to drink some alcohol, some fancy tequila.

I almost updated this blog several times in the last few weeks. I was going to write an entry about procrastination (really!), but I put it off and forgot about it. I was also going to write one about how my perfectionism hampers all aspects of my life.

My parents visited today. They cleaned up my apartment for me. I helped very little. It's wonderful. They also brought me a nice wooden bookshelf. Really brings my living room together. And I finally have a place to put that vase I bought in Palestine. I wish I had a story to go with that vase, like if I had met its maker in person. It was at the Lutheran church in Bethlehem - they provide university art classes. Painting, sculpture, and also things like cinematography. Documentary-making is a very relevant skill for students growing up in the West Bank who need the world to know what their lives are like. I bought my vase in the gift shop. It was like 140 shekels, but maybe not even that much. I think a female student made it, but I'm not even sure of that. Whatever the price was, it wasn't as much as that Swatch watch I bought from a watch-shop down the street. I was walking around alone. I was actually looking for a shop someone had mentioned that sold fake designer watches, but this wasn't that shop.
It was tiny, but there were hundreds of watches on display. I didn't want to buy one, but the middle-aged Palestinian man was so excited that I had walked in. Maybe I was projecting onto him an emotion that wasn't there, but he seemed extremely happy to have a customer. His wife quietly sat in the corner of the shop left of the entrance. She was very pretty, with an elegant head scarf, and I could feel her studying me as I asked to see different watches. One watch caught my eye - a silver Swatch watch. I asked to see the box. It was from several years past, though it looked brand new. I suck at haggling and I also suck at walking away. The price was too much, but I took out my Visa card anyway. I can't remember...I want to say that it was more than 400 shekels, which is around 100 dollars. While he was removing the links so it would fit my wrist I tried to talk to his wife. She smiled (again, extremely pretty) but shook her head because she didn't know English. The man was giddy the entire time: while he was adjusting the time, while he was swiping my credit card (I was half-hoping he wouldn't have a credit card machine, so that I could use that as an excuse to walk away), and while he was carefully bagging every thing. They both waved to me as I walked out. I immediately felt embarrassed and stowed the box in the pocket of my shorts. I felt like all the Palestinians on the street somehow knew about my ill-considered transaction, and I didn't mention it to any of the other people in my travel group. Back in my hotel room, I hid the box under the clothes in my suitcase and then recounted the entire experience to my mom via cell phone. That watch still doesn't fit me, but I still get happy thinking that maybe I made that man's day.