Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Every week my university students are supposed to submit 20 minute long conversation tapes. It's really mostly for them to practice outside of class, but I listen with half an ear to give them suggestions if I hear anything flagrantly wrong. But today Williams and Evan gave me a *real treat* by discussing their sex lives and deep personal secrets on tape. I now know why Williams was fired from his job, what he would like to do to his boss, and why his girlfriend broke up with him--because he wouldnt go to class on time and he smokes! hilarious! anyway, very bizarre. I wonder if they think I totally don't listen or if they just think that maybe since Westerners are so loose--movies prove it!-- that I would think it was totally per usual. Have I told you that almost all my students say they deal with stress by singing songs? Yes, cultural differences are fascinating.

An unpleasant discovery was made when I went to do a little cursory research on comic book novels that our students check out 10 at a time and voraciously devour. I've been thinking it would be cool if we could make a comic serial part of one of our magazines. What is the appeal? Why are the comic stores packed with people sitting around reading???Yeah, basically porn. Porn and violence. There's a reason the comic novel store is in with the DVDs. Same general idea. Sometimes it scares me how my students know exactly the right things to say. They know what they should say in public, they know what they should be. But clearly in private their thoughts, if not their actions, are often completely different. Not that everyone in the world doesnt have their secrets and doesn't try to put themselves together in public. But it seems more drastic here. Sometimes it makes me feel like I can't trust anything coming out of anyone's mouth.

My favorite professor from Wellesley, Ann Huss, just got a PEN translation grant. That would be the professor who just got fired. Her name is on the same page as Philip Roth. The Wellesley administration is just vastly disappointing. They have left the Chinese department in complete shambles. Only crazy mercenary Ruby, the only person to major in Mongolian at Harvard, and two teaching assistants are left. Pathetic. In better news, it seems that the Asian Studies advisor at SDSU is a very involved, kindly man. he just wrote to all of us announcing a class in nations and nationalism that we can use toward our degree. If it has anything to do with the Chinese diaspora I may well have to bloody some people trying to get into it. But if China has taught me anything, it's how to be cruel and amoral whilst being cute and smiley. Awww.

Tickle tells me that the color that symbolizes Julie Inc. is orange. How Seventies. Speaking of which, have I mentioned that we are taking a trip to Graceland this summer? After Amy is on her way to her honeymoon, we are going to rent a car and go to Graceland. I believe the plan is to eat barbeque and Southern food and listen to Elvis songs on the way and definitely buy some really cheesy Elvis t-shirts. Andrea is in love with Elvis in a way that I have never been with anyone. I'm partly going just as a tribute to her passion.


Blogger Amy said...

WOW. My wedding and then Graceland ... I am impressed. Dude, maybe Tom and I should honeymoon there instead of Aruba.
How many of you are going? Just you and Drea?
Your students are nuts btw (as if you didn't know that).
Love you!

9:55 PM  

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