If you were wondering where I was these past few days, I was buried under 125 pieces of crappy 300-600 words essays and struggling to make them remotely interesting.
It’s always the fucking day job that takes time away from doing what you love.
It got to the point that I was so depressed and angry at myself and for what???—punishing myself just to survive in this economically depressed world where suddenly money is all that matters? Going two to three days without writing even a haiku on a greasy napkin is enough for me to put a noose around my neck and jump off a building. So I’ll take a moment here to thank Matthew Dryden for instilling my faith in teaching again by introducing me to those Taylor Mali videos. They have helped me through those tough times when I couldn’t read a single Chinglish sentence anymore and was sorely doubting my very own ability to formulate good English because of the amount of crap I was reading. Crap they may be but I now believe that I could help these students turn them into passable works of art.
It’s all about believing in them.
And that thought has relished me all throughout that hellish period of marking and preparing my materials for class. If I slush through these piles of essays with ambivalence, I’d just be one of those nameless teachers who dismiss their students and don’t give a damn. But I’m not of them. Because I do give a damn!
So even if I wasn’t writing my heart out this week, at least my students will have found their voice, let it sing from their souls and finally, finally be able to create art.
Let’s get to the point of this entry. Sal has tagged me with my first meme. It’s to write 6 random things about yourself. This kind of meme was fun to make although my students would make you snooze if they were to write this stuff (No Sara, telling me you clean your dorm twice a week is not something I’m interested.)
1. I’ve got a pretty boring life. That might be hard to believe since I live in China but work has domesticated me. It’s mostly home-school-home for this busy teacher. There’s the occasional rockin’ party like this weekend but it happens so rarely. The solution? Invent a delicious tale of murder, blood and mayhem of a guy discovering his friend’s murderer and try to get into his mind and live that life. Problem solved.
2. I know how Jesus felt during his crucifixion. Before I got lasec surgery, I used to be as blind as a bat without my glasses. When my aunt’s car was getting out of the garage, I jumped out of the way only to land in a bed of long nails that she put beside the driveway. I actually didn’t realize what was happening until I saw the slow trickle of blood pooling around my feet. These were great memories to dig into when I was writing earlier entries of The Devil Wants You Dead.
3. I was exposed to a lot of killing when I was quite young. We used to watch our cook lift the chicken on the chopping board. Watch it wriggle and struggle as she brought down the cleaver down its unfortunate head, splattering blood on our faces. One day she failed to chop it properly and the chicken broke free and flapped around with its head barely hanging on to its neck.
When I was five, I saw a kid my age ran over and saw the insides of his head spill out on the road. I thought it looked like pink jello at that time.
4. I love dirty jokes. Blame it on my cousin who has infected me with the love for sexual innuendos. My favorite potty mouthed colleague and I would often discuss holes, fingers and nipples over lunch. It hasn’t helped that my Chinese students often make mistakes such as ‘I love playing with myself all day.’ Of course, I had a hard time explaining what that meant without being too graphic.
5. I’m left-handed. It’s tough surviving in a world of right armed chairs, scissors and bicycles bells. Or when you’re writing longhand for a long time, you lift your hand only to discover it’s turned black at the side. Or the time you have to find another leftie to sit with in class or else you’d constantly be bumping elbows.
6. I love music but music doesn’t love me. I can’t go a day without listening to music. I’ve got to have it blaring whether I’m preparing for class or just doing the dishes. Naturally, I’d sought to create it. The first try was the flute. It came out as a screaming banshee. Next I tried the violin and the guitar. Both instructors were frustrated in changing their dominant hand to teach this leftie. My longest period of study was with the drums. The teacher threw up his hands when he discovered I’ve got dexterity issues not to mention a serious problem in hand and feet coordination. The day I decided to quit was when my neighbor complemented on my playing.
“Dude, you totally rocked,” he said.
“Really?” I beamed. Maybe all that practice was paying off. I could hold onto the drumsticks for two minutes now.
“Yeah, I was doing my homework last night and you were on fire!”
“Last night? That wasn’t me. That was my dad!”
Here are the rules of the meme and I just copied these from Sal’s (Sal, hope you don’t mind. : ) )
1. LINK TO THE PERSON WHO TAGGED YOU
2. POST THE RULES ON YOUR BLOG
3. WRITE SIX RANDOM THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF
4. TAG SIX PEOPLE AT THE END OF YOUR POST AND LINK TO THEM
5. LET EACH PERSON KNOW THEY ARE TAGGED AND LEAVE A COMMENT ON THEIR BLOG
6. LET THE TAGGER KNOW WHEN YOUR ENTRY IS UP
Here’s the list:
Wendy of Ask Wendy because she’s such a sweetheart and awesome mentor.
Melissa of Writing Forward. She’s such a great help and inspiration to the writing community. I’m wondering if I could see more layers of her.
Amanda of Becoming A Fiction Writer. We’re both in the writing journey and she comes up with these amazing comparisons between fiction and a symphony. I’m excited to see what she’ll spring on us.
Buds Vienna, Bev and Reggie because like me, they’ve probably never done a meme before and I’d like to see what they can come up besides cool things like headbanging, Twilight, snide political comments and goldiggers.
And just in case you’re wondering, don’t worry. The Devil Wants You Dead is going to be resumed shortly.