Las lenguas

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De la manana, tengo un examen del espanol.  Estudio todo el dia y miro los programas en youtube con los subtitlos en espanol.  Muy buen divertidos!  Mi gramatica es horrible y no hay las tildes (no sabo si “tildes” es el palabra correcta) con WordPress.  Realmente, deseo escriber el parrafo en espanol, pero no peudo escriber.

Bueno, Feliz Halloween, todos.  Comes muchos los dulces!  O los alimentos saludables, si tu nombre es Jessica.   Tengo consado!  Buenas noches.

Ok, so what that was all meant to say was simply:

Tomorrow, I have a Spanish exam.  I study all day{I don’t yet know past tense} and watch shows on youtube with Spanish subtitles.  Very good entertainment!  My grammar is horrible and there are no accents (I don’t know if “tildes” is the right word) with wordpress.  Really, I want to write a paragraph in Spanish but I cannot write.

Well, Happy Halloween, everybody.  Eat lots of candy.  Or healthy foods, if your name is Jessica.  I am tired.  Good night.

The passage is a lot more fun in my sexy (albeit botched) Spanish.  This is why becoming trilingual is of the utmost importance!  Forget travel and work opportunities, I just want to sound exotic no matter how bland the subject matter may be that I am discussing!  🙂


Getting goofy studying soc

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So today I am studying for a sociology midterm I have this coming week, and lately I’ve been listening to Sarah Slean’s "Duncan" excessively. Not any other songs on that album or any other Slean album, mind you, that my sister has ripped onto Windows Live Media player, just the one. I am obsessive like that.  Anyway, this has been the result of mixing the two:
Whatever happened to Durkheim?                                                           
Alex was talking to him, they say.*
He was concerned with suicide and anomie
and now he’s gone away.
When the soc students study him
they don’t really know what to say
except he was the first functionalist;
groundbreaking in his own way.
Oh you fool, you fool
To see where we are now
we must go back to the start
Analyse the theorists and the theories
of which we are a part
they’re all in categories
but really they should mix
look at it all from different angles
or you’ll end up in a fix
and whatever happened to Marx?
He wasn’t a Marxist, they say.
He was concerned with inequality and power
conflicts which remain true today.
And then there’s Erving Goffman
He interpreted it all as a play
And feminist Nellie McClung
who said women can lead the way.
Oh you fool, you fool.
To see where we are now
We must go back to the start
Analyse the theorists and the theories
of which we are a part
they’re all in categories
but really they should mix
look at it all from different angles
or you’ll end up in a fix
This is society
We must see that it sucks again and again
And fight a thousand times
for the sake of less suckiness
but never once in vain
*the reference to Alex is an inside joke, which my two loyal readers will recognise.

The truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God

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So here’s a taste of my escapades at Mun thus far, whether wild and wacky, intellectually challenging, or just plain embarassing.
My french prof is a pleasant, middle-aged kook who I suspect, gets a little bored going over how to conjugate verbs with unethusiastic first-years who always seem to be half-asleep during class, especially since a grand majority of the material we cover can easily be self-taught with the help of the text book.  No matter, he entertains himself by acting things out to explain them, asking stupid questions (that’s not a complaint, he did once ask "Who likes stupid questions?" so I’m not being mean) and generally just being a bit of an oddball. I sit next to Sandy, my newfound French buddy, and intitally between the two of us we were answering most of the questions, but lately it seems that others are making dints in their cacoons and putting things forward more readily.  What I took away from today’s french lesson?  "Pour la prochain classe, vous lisez page deux cent vingt deux.  Ou deux deux deux.  Deux cent vingt deux.  Deux deux deux."  "Ta ta teetee ta," I replied, for I’m still trying to assimilate to my new classroom environments as well as possible.  I’m not sure how successful that attempt was, however.
Spanish class is like going back to grade one and learning how to count and tell time.  Even something as simple as your name can trip you up.  Today I panicked a little. For a second I actually thought I was meant to say "Me llamas" instead of "Me llamo"!  Yikes!  And no, I’m not trying to communicate about my secret pet llamas in a bizarre, primitive fashion.  "Me llamo" (May yahmo) is actually how one says, "I call myself." Nobody actually has a name in French or Spanish.  They’re always just calling themselves something.
Before I forget, I had a prized moment in the washroom today. I was in this one near the excellent cafeteria in the Engineering building, and I managed to get trapped inside the bathroom stall.  I unlocked the door and it wouldn’t budge.  I’m quite tough, though.  Once the other girl in the bathroom had left, I crawled out from underneath the door. Then when I removed my travel toothpaste and brush out of my purse, I accidently hit a button on my (my mother’s) cell phone, so it insisted that I "say a command. Say a command" in this awful Southern accent. What an awful lot of parroting was on the go today.
Psych is taught by this pretty energetic older guy who was supposed to have retired three years ago (good old profs) and there’s a bit of carrying on.  We study Wundt and the boys. Scientific method. Biopyschosocial or whatever it is.
My English prof doesn’t really seem quite comfortable in front of the class. She trembles. Maybe that’s neurological though, who knows. The literature in the text book is more challenging than what I’m used to, but so far we haven’t done too much. In-class essay on Thursday though. Pumped.
In sociology, Mark’s daughter breezes through a whack of stuff in the one class and confuses people. Well personally I don’t feel too confused. I just have a big ego and assume that at the times I am slightly confused others must be really out of the loop. For the first paper, we have to take two soc articles and compare them based on methodology and theoretical perspectives, as well provide strengths and weaknesses of each article. I have a fair chunk of a rough draft complete. I’m not entirely sure of what I’m talking about, but it’s fun to pretend.
Do I have any other intriguing tales to share? None that I can think of right off the bat.  Once I was sitting in the UC getting some work done and this couple was sitting across from me, and the girl was on her cell phone about the cheese at her house being mouldy for what seemed like twenty minutes, so that was kind of odd.  "Yeah, it wasn’t a huge chunk or anything that was mouldy.  Yeah, make sure to get milk at Wal-Mart too,  You’ll have to shop around. . ." It seemed like a bit of a traumatic event or something.  Another time that I was settled in the UC (or maybe it was the same day at a different time? Who knows? I have a lot of free time) I overheard this girl on a laptop telling this other girl all about her writing exploits. From what I could gather, it seemed to be rather Twilight-esque.  Fan-fiction maybe; I don’t know. Werewolves and a fairly sexual storyline. Not in an explicit way or anything. Seemingly innocent actually. Hard to explain. I felt kind of sad that there are people at uni producing those kinds of things in their spare time. But I got over it.  Whatever makes people happy. It wasn’t as saddening as the cystic fibrosis campaign, in which a straw is offered in a package and it tells you to breathe through it for ex amount of seconds so you know what it’s like to struggle to breathe every day of your life.
Anyway, I’d better be on my way.  I have a bed that I like to sleep in now and then. Extremely useful device. Helps me get up in the morning and everything, provided I use it early enough. Hasta luego, amigos.

My day as an hostage

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So yesterday I was officially inducted into Memorial University and let me say upfront that it was a series of unfortunate events I could well have done without.
There is a certain episode of the quirky sitcom "Arrested Development" in which Michael, the owner of a company, refers to the members of his staff as "sheep".  This is followed by a sequence in which his staff, due to a miscommunication, end up boarding a bus that none of them are meant to be on, and without question or complaint, follow one another off of the bus and continue to engage in various travel arrangements resulting in them being lost, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, until a shepard ushers them all into his vehicle, presumably bringing them home. I mention all this only because my friends and I felt very much like sheep yesterday, during our "orientation", being herded into various neverending line-ups, all of which, for a while, anyway, seemed essentially only to lead to another line.
Initially we were directed into a massive line that began somewhere within a building, and extended itself outdoors, across a parking lot, an outdoor pedway, and into the nearby field. This was all for the sake of receiving our free subs, (orientation began at 11) which none of my friends or I particularly wanted, given that we’d eaten before arriving.  I declined the offering of a sub, but did take my beverage, water offered in garishly red water bottles, which all bore slogans of, "SEXUAL HARASSMENT  DON’T IGNORE IT. It won’t go away!"  Now that was a welcoming and reassuring message, if ever there was one.  I particularly enjoyed the declaration of, "It won’t go away!" which seemed more like a statement expressing futility than one encouraging activism or defiance.
After this we joined a line leading into a gymnasium within the field house. Here we were shuffled through the series of columns that form when lines are organised by those dividers (can think of no other term to describe them) that are used in movie ticket lines.  It was very warm in the gym and smelled of stale sweat. I don’t know if sweat can actually go stale, but that’s what it smelled like in the gym.  We were then organised into various groups,made identifiable by a sign held up by the group leader. The groups were all entitled with cutesy references to Newfoundland culture, such as "The Pitcher Plants" or "The Cape Spears." My friends and I found ourselves in a group called "The Flipper Pies."  I don’t know of any event ever organised in Newfoundland that doesn’t forcefully and often pointlessly insert, (what shall I call them?)  Newfieisms into the presentation. I love the province’s history and culture, but if I’m attending a play or an opera  that was written to take place in England or something, and the program jauntily informs me that this production is set in Cupids or somewhere, I am a little put-off. The nurse in Romeo and Juliet is going to refer to her charge as "my ducky" ? Delightful. Original.Eye rolling smile  Thank God we have our rich Newfie dialect to enchance the Bard’s colourless script. Interestingly, there are a number of Newfoundland youth who seem to regard their province with a resentful loyalty. "New-fun-land" my fellow high school students had impatiently corrected the Broadway actress we met on our school trip to New York who had innocently said "New-fin-lind." When she stated that she had heard the province was beautiful, someone scathingly replied, "No. Do you like fog?"
Bizarre forms of ethnocentrism aside, now that we had been fed, watered and sorted into stables, the leader of the "Flipper Pies" proceeded to lead us into a long, circular hallway,where we sat uncomfortably for a long period of time. We shared our names, our origins and what we were doing at Mun, filled out our orientation registration slips, played one icebreaker, and then had what seemed to be at least half an hour to chat amongst ourselves. I really needed to pee and I was hoping we would soon be beginning a tour, during which we would be shown washrooms for the benefit of our potential need at that moment and for future reference. However the next step of our arduous journey involved an activity on the race track. I asked my group leader where the nearest washrooms were, and she didn’t know, so a friend, who also needed the facility, asked a lady at the front desk. When we were finished in the washroom, we stepped onto a scene of mass confusion on the race track, the huge throng of people were attempting to organise themselves into groups based on birth month, as indicated by a man at a microphone. I couldn’t actually make out anything he said, I was only able to determine what everyone was supposed to be doing based on their actions and words. I decided that whatever this foolishness was, I wasn’t getting involved and sat on a bench near the front desk, practically bored to tears for at least an hour. The friend who had gone to the washroom with me left.
When this had ended, my remaining comrades and I reunited, and I was told about the thumb wars, back massages and such that people had been directed to engage in with each other while on the race track. BACK MASSAGES, I kid you not.
We were then all hauled around to the other side of the track,where we sat in sport stands. There was a bag of free items upon everyone’s seat, which consisted of a clipboard with "I Heart Mun" on the front, and a whack of coupons inside, a little paper to do with current bands and artists,a heap of Sears adverts, a coffee thermos sleeve and a bag from Memorial’s Wellness Program. I stared at this bag in confusion for some minutes, trying to determine what items we could be receiving from the Wellness Program, and the girl sitting next to me noticed, and chuckled. I then realised that in small letters near the bottom of the bag it advertized 10 condoms were available for the price of two dollars. The girl had assumed that my reaction had been due to that. I smiled a little, and later Susan showed me her chocolate flavoured condom that had been included in the bag. At this point it’s difficult to say whether a person should be offended or simply amused.
During all this excitement, an irritating and persistent mc was out on the floor trying to force everyone into the red "Memorial University Sea-Hawks" shirts we’d been given for free, in an effort to rile up school spirit. It was far too warm in there to put anything on over one’s shirt, but given the earlier back massages and whatnot, I would not have been too surprised had he insisted we all strip down for the sake of school spirit, or for the sake of getting comfortable with one another or some such nonsense. We were then subjected to break-dancers, cheerleaders, a big brass band (only a little exaggeration, it was a drumming group of some sort) and various speakers, one of whom divulged such groundbreaking advice as "don’t party on weeknights" and had compiled what was apparently going to be our "soundtrack for the semester." (I don’t even want to bother explaining that.) Another guy who was apparently a former actor and comedian, now a teacher, was encouraging us to go to the academic advisory centre,and he had the most drawn-out, torturously inane way of going about it. Finally, it was four o’clock and we were given a campus tour. This only lasted half an hour, in which we were walked around campus, and the group leader told us what each building was, and a bit about what was inside it. I had been hoping to be lead around inside the various buildings,shown where various sections were, given a bit of an idea as to how to get to my classes, etc. but apparently the whole point of the day wasn’t to do anything practical at all.
Anyway, now that I’ve exhausted everyone with that long-winded rant, I think I shall go relax. I have this somewhat unfortunate shade of nail polish on, which I would like to remove.

Whimsical slumber and other such nonsense

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    I must profess that my sub-conscience has an unusual and excellent way of keeping me entertained while I sleep.  Last night I had a dream within a dream. I woke up to find myself in a horse-drawn carriage travelling along city streets I wasn’t familiar with, in the dead of winter. It was a little eerie as there was no driver, and as previously stated, the area was unfamiliar to me. Yet I wasn’t cold despite my meagre garments, and the houses along the streets were quite pretty. Sometime after finding myself safely returned to my bed, I discovered that it had been a painting an artist had put me in. I was tracking him down trying to determine why he did so but I don’t think I received a definite answer.
I have been in a horse drawn carriage only once in my true wakeful hours; on my trip to Montreal this past summer with my parents. It is a popular tourist activity there and we all enjoyed it; the only aspect that makes it less elegant than one would imagine is the smell of horse deposits that line the streets one travels on. Despite this, I sometimes have a fanciful wish that we all still travelled in carriages all the time. I think my mother would be rather inclined to the idea also; at least, if cabs were only ever horse-drawn affairs because she always feels that cab motorists drive dangerously fast. Her nerves were shot in the cab from the airport to the hotel on our first day. On a somewhat unrelated note, I also had the opportunity to view the inside of Notre Dame church while I was in Montreal, and it is intricately vast and beautiful. It was a treat to look at it, but it does make one wonder as to the odd… how I shall I describe it?  Almost arbitrariness of religion. Art is painstaking but does it really satisfy our souls or our attraction to extravagance?  No exquisite sculpture of Moses ever put a meal in any impoverished person’s stomach.  But it is an old conflict I suppose, residing in the hearts of fortunate humans almost as long as time itself.  My, I seem far less caustic and more philosophical than yesterday. Both states are rather tiresome I suppose.
On another note, in the past couple days I have found a new magnum opus for myself, which is good (will never forget what the original animated Charlotte’s Web film did to enrich my vocabulary). I have a play script in the early stages of development; it is intended to be a mild comedy inspired by Oscar Wilde’s delightfully sparkling dialogues. He has been a great companion to me this past summer, and a lovely muse, I must admit. I very much hope to see this project through to completion, I have a habit of deciding my work is not up to par and giving up part way through.

the future, exams and death

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My friends just left after coming over to spend a pleasant evening playing board games and chatting.  Everyone is trying to put their futures together, which is an extremely involved process in Newfoundland.  Essentially the weight of the world rests upon public examinations, these 3 hour extravaganzas which are worth 50% of one’s entire grade.  Upon entering grade 12 you have a year of preaching ahead of you to look forward to, all your core subject teachers are going to preach all year about the importance of the public exams and remind you incessantly that you are taking a public exam course, just in case there are any particularly fanciful members of the class who are waiting for their fairy godmothers to show up and turn the public exam course into an automatic diploma.  You get to write this set of public exams twice, as most teachers will insist you write a practice public which is still worth marks.  If you get overwhelmed by your course load and all of these publics, and end up failing one, you then have to wait until more than half the summer is gone before receiving your final grades — basically the report card you receive at the end of the school year is meaningless, and not worth waiting for during the five hour assembly at which people get awards for everything from being unbearably chirpy keeners to showing up at a mentor’s meeting once in their high school lives.  If you do fail a public,you then have two week’s notice to prepare for the exam all over again — in August you can write a supplementary,in which you get a new public on all the same material.  You can end up writing one or two publics 3 times in total if you’re unfortunate: you have your "phony" prepartory public,followed by public take one and then public take two. If you fail public take two,then you may as well forget the word "university" even exists because you’re not getting into one without a lot of hassle. Which unfortunately is the case for a couple of my friends, luckily not for me!     
My pal Susan wants to compare schedules so we can determine when we’re on breaks at the same time so we can meet up (we are both attending Mun in the fall.)  That will be nice, I don’t want to be too lonely my first semester. Brandon is crackers and is going to be busy all day everyday basically; he’s taking every science course under the sun on top of math and English. He has the intelligence for it but I don’t envy him.
Right now I am thinking about the fact that close to the end of the school year a student at my high school died (one I didn’t know) and a lot of people seemed shocked (which I thought was kind of odd, people of all ages die all the time) and many people were cynical (which wasn’t odd at all) commenting on the opportunism of certain students (ones who went to the lobby during class to look sombrely at his memorial although they did not even know him, etc.) and a number of people did not seem to care one way or the other, and the teachers all seemed to think it was unfortunate, but naturally they mainly just wanted everyone to focus on their public exams.  For whatever reason I’ve been fixated on the seventeenth century the past few days, not due to anything unique about the period, I simply keep thinking how everyone who was alive then has been dead quite a long time. Well, I am quite tired and I suppose I ought to go to bed, to rest myself for another day of purgatory which is the best my life has had to offer lately. I hope I’ll be happier when September arrives.

Holly, Edgar, Luca and me

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I spent the afternoon at the home of my friend Brandon, at which I had the opportunity to learn what my singing voice sounds like (far more feeble than I had thought) via a karaoke video game which records your work, and view an episode of Doctor Who for the first time. I also inadvertently almost killed one of the dogs and am sure I shall now be banned from any further Scrabble games at Brandon’s house, or board games of any kind for that matter. Aw,I lie, Brandon spoils me, he forgives me everything.  I later had a chat with my therapist in which we agreed I should be ok on my own, at least for a little while, so that was good.  (Fortunately the incident with my canine friend Holly wasn’t too traumatic for me.Smile)  I indulged some literary tastes this evening by reading Edgar Allen Poe, and I discovered a lovely little grim tale entitled "The Oval Portrait", which echoes some of the themes within the story of Dorian’s portrait, though in this case the fault was the artist’s, rather than the subject. What grave implications paintings seemed to have had in the nineteenth century!  I am clearly in need of an English course; fortunately September draws ever nearer. God, August can be a dull month. Well, I just looked at pictures of my cousin Tyler’s baby on his brother’s blog. The baby’s name is Luca, I really like that name. His mother is Italian. I’m trying to figure out what I am to Luca, a second cousin or something else? Anyway, that’s it for today.

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