Thought for the day: "Maybe understanding is possible only after." Thank you, John Steinbeck, for your delightful morsels of humorous insight. As an attempt to maintain alertness in all the classes I do not understand, which include all classes but math, I have been reading J. Steinbeck's Travels With Charley. For the third time. I don't know that the quote really applies to anything specific this week, but it just struck close to home. I am learning so much at this point in my life, but I don't believe I will fully realize or appreciate certain things until I return to the states. This is the same with my reading habits. I have certain books that I love, and I have read most of them 2 or 3 times at the very least. Each time, the book gets better. I take away something new each time, because I have lived different experiences since the last time. Maybe, understanding really is possible ONLY after. We have to go through all the bullshit in life to really learn. There are no shortcuts. Beth Wulf, my College English teacher, passionately fought to convince my class of the wonders of reading. She won me over. Beth believed that reading is a way to gain insight and understanding of people whom we would normally reject. I never used to read for such understanding. I read. I forget about the moral. I live life. I learn. I re-read the book one year later. My eyes pop open in realization. Holy shit, how did I miss that the first time around?! This has been my situation with Travels With Charley. From now on, Beth, I promise to take my time reading. I won't whip through a book just to stake my unimportant claim on being a fast reader. This is officially the shittiest paragraph I have ever written in my life, but "quite frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"
H1N1. After much internal debate between my social self and my honest-no-bullshit-self, I have decided to post about the H1N1 situation. I struggle with this, because I can think of two people that will probably pull a superfreak and fly down here to rush me to a vaccination clinic. Yes, Mom and Papa, I am referring to you both. I shrugged it off when my family told me about Argentina's H1N1 problems. Whoopie-doodle! Well, not so much. Sucre seems to be taking this flu very seriously. Massive informational signs sit in the entries of every business. The cashiers at the supermarket all wear masks. The school requires all the students to douse their hands with sanitizer before every class. The school was even closed this last Monday for "sterilization." Some students wear masks at school. I won't worry until everyone else starts worrying, but the matter is definitely a subject of discussion here. At least, if I become ill with H1N1 and walk away to tell the tale, it will make for interesting discussion.
Awkward moments. I already stick out like a sore thumb, and I certainly do not need a contribution from my own personal storehouse of klutziness. Every little stupid thing I do is emphasized with an extra dash of awkwardness. Dropping my pencil sharpener on the classroom's wood floors and spilling shavings everywhere. Walking in late to sit at the front of the movie theatre and spilling my friend's popcorn everywhere as I fall on my ass. Relaxing at the Recoleta as two disgusting stray dogs hop up next to me, thus causing me to misjudge the jumping distance to my escape off the ledge. Attempting to have a conversation with friends before classes and blowing snot on my scarf as I chuckle at something I finally understand...ya, that really puts a halt to the rare triumph of understanding something. We all know I am pretty okay with looking like a dumbass, but it is much different here. My dumbassishness is multiplied by ten billion gazillion trillion...and then some. It is the most awkward form of 'dumbassishness.' You know that sophomore kid that never really grew out of his freshmen shoes? I am him. I am the kid with nasty braces and no social skills. I am the kid that rides the front of the school bus with the lunch that his mom packed for him. Every little thing about my already awkward moments is enhanced with the awkwardness of being a loner in a new place; however, it is kind of fun. I still have the right to look like a freak.
Salsa. 'Ya bitch!' Reluctantly, I accepted a friend's invitation to check out a dance class for one evening. After I finally said yes, I dwelled on the knowledge that I would only be observing and perhaps I could learn a thing or two. We met up outside a hotel at 8:00 last night to walk to the class, and it was then that I learned Laura(the other foreign exchange student, from Oregon, bright red hair, lol) and Sergio would be attending as well. I was thrilled to know I would not be the only person with two left feet! Well, we made it to the class and I was in complete heaven. Hell if I was going to be observing, because the first thing I did was pay 60 bolivianos for a month's worth of lessons! The dancing started on this great little patio only open to the pitch black sky, and I was really doing well. I have hips, and my feet are adjusted properly. I left at 9:30 positively beaming, I woke up this morning wanting to dance, and right now I am beaming again. Damn, it just feels great to move like that. To hell with grinding at high school dances. Someday, I will require a man with dancing capabilities. And nice hair. Any takers? I would be a horrible person if I failed to mention the name of my invitee. Oriana/Ori. She is amazing, and boy can she dance. She knows how to have a good time, and she loves rhythm! She seems like me. Passionate about life. Willing to go to great lengths to make the new girl feel at home. She wrote me this incredibly nice letter after dance last night, which I read ecstatically this morning. Ori is an amazing chiquita, and I believe we have hit it off quite well. She is always making funny expressions and doing goofy things, which means that I fit right in. lol. What a great gal.
I apologize. This blog includes some of the shittiest writing I have ever done. This is simply because I am elated and overwhelmed with happiness. Organization of my thoughts is the last thing on my mind.
Go dance, biotches! I am going to go jean shopping with Vivi.