If a guy somewhere in Asia makes a blog and no one reads it, does it really exist?

Monday, October 18

I'm the center of the world

It's weird how little things in my life fall into patterns. Is it coincidence or a grand alignment of the universe? For example: Right after I became obsessed with Hawaii, I discovered that Hollywood is going to make a movie about King Kamehameha starring The Rock. I bought a couple books by Thich Nhat Hanh, then immediately came across an article in The Sun magazine written buy a Vietnam vet who studied with him. After I get sidetracked while making a Scrabble game for my English class and read all about the cutthroat world of tournament play, I found that a documentary called Word Wars was an entry at the 2004 Sundance Festival.

These coincidences arise, of course, simply because I became aware of the existence of these things. It's like when you learn a new word. Before you learn the word, you never hear it being used; but as soon as you learn it, you hear it all the time. People don't start using that word more often because you learned it. I suppose it's human nature to think that you're the center of the world. Or it could be that I'm subconsciously picking up on current trends and vibes, and I'm nothing more than driftwood being tossed about on the waves of the media. Dag, man, that's some freaky stuff.

At least I'm not watching FOX. Ok, that's a lie. There are some shows on cable that are probably from FOX, and I'll admit, they are morbidly fascinating. Shows like "The Bachelor," "The Swan" and "America's Sexiest People" (or something like that) ("I'll give you a 8.4 on the face, but your thighs are a bit meaty, so 7.4 on the body.") I feel like taking a long, hot shower after watching shows like this. What happened to wholesome family entertainment like "American Gladiators?"

Right. I feel physically ill when I come to Jecheon East Middle School. Even as I write this, the bile is rising in my throat. It's totally psychosomatic, I know. The students are little punks, like peachy-skinned uniformed versions of Samuel L. Jackson's students in 187, a movie all fed up teachers should see. I'm lucky if the English teachers here speak ten words to me a day. Even nature is against me: when I opened up a classroom window last week, three huge mutant wasps flew into the room and started divebombing me. "Out, foreign devil!" I could hear them buzzing.

There is a 34 year-old 3rd grader at this school. He wears a school uniform and attends class with the rest of the 17 year-olds. I think the story is that he's a former gangster who's trying to set his life staight. I guess they don't have equivalency tests in Korea.


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