Right about then, my eyes got wide--
I don't actually remember how to do the math or have a base sense of when I'm being generous or unexceptional.
I was white knuckling the arm rest trying to move decimal places in my head and remember some trick Sebastien taught me when I realized there's probably an app for 'that' and no one will expect a tip for another 4 months.
I got a chance to share the X files with some folks in Lanzhou city for Pi Day. I never noticed the show had developed its own fake brand of cola called Perk or just how funny technology and fashion was in the mid 90s.
It was so clear to me why Wes Anderson's formalism feels so right to me. Triangles everywhere in that show--and not all of them in Bermuda!
Apparently they're doing a reboot but I can't probably be bothered to watch it. Ask my stepdad and he'll tell you that my room at 16 was modeled after the Lone Gunmen's hideaway. There were nebulae, glow in the dark stars, and Alien conspiracy quotes all over the place. Plus X-Files books and fan art, TV guides and entertainment weekly clippings....maybe even some fan fic that I'm too shy to share with everyone up to and including Sebastien. (All monsters courtesy of Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy)
I even bought a 'Mother, Should I Trust the Government?' Pink Floyd poster--and not for the music, which I've always considered needlessly tangential.
But that was a few life times ago by now and I have more engaging matters to attend to. For instance,
I'm going to graduate school in New York City.
*Cue old El Paso Gif I'm too lazy to create*
Yes, New York City. The New School. hahaha, this was never the plan.
It's a cray tale, buy me an ale to hear the rest.
I've started volunteering down at one of the four local primary schools in Yuzhong.
I go there every Tuesday with English majors in their first year to work with the kids. This week I had to use their textbook and they are much further along than they should be for their level.
We were working on sentences like, "who made this? What is this? Who is this?"
But the textbook wanted them to talk about holidays for a whole calendar year when they don't even know how to identify the months by their names in English.
|Grades 1-5 lining up for the end of the school day dismissal|
I got a chance to share the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower with my film class again this year.
It feels really awesome to have gone from being Charlie and growing into being Mr. Anderson. I always have the students write a letter to Charlie, giving him advice for his next year of high school and inviting them to share their stories. It would be easy to pick out some of their more comedic lines, E.G., "Here in China we're not so exposed to sex, drugs and Christianity" but that would just turn a moment with the mirror into a cruel farce.
What I hear a lot of is how lonely they felt in high school.
How they had no lives beyond studying.
One of my students even came out to me as part of the LGBTQI community and shared the story of their sibling finding out. Later in the week, I gave them a side hug and a thanks for the letter--but I plan to respond to all of their letters personally before the week is out.
Shout-out to all the adults who make it safe for kids to come out to them.
And if you never found one,
live long enough to be one.
I will talk more about the New School in future updates. Promzies.
I have to get things in order before the weekend's travels to Zhangye to see two of my faves, Rainesbanes and Kulleh.
Hopefully the Air Quality Index will be below 300 by then.