November 29, 2007

6 Months of Sweat and Tears

Cutting and pasting, one picture at a time...

I kid, it's a program for Mac's that did it for me. Amazing, isn't it?

November 26, 2007

Famous Fish Tacos

One day last week Nick,my roommate's brother came over for lunch. He's studying Chinese at Peking University on a study abroad program as a political science major at Harvard. We were talking about candidates in next year's presidential race. Nick mentioned that Steve Colbert (a Bush and O'Reilly basher) entered himself in the race. He also told us about a funny incident at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government where Steve Colbert took down a portrait of JFK and replaced it with one of O'Reilly (his political commentary adversary).

Me: So, Harvard, Nick? I mean that sounds impressive alone, but then you have the "John F. Kennedy School of Government". Was Harvard JFK's alma mater?

Nick: Yeah, it was.

Me: Hmm, I wonder how many US Presidents graduated from Harvard....Megan, you had some famous graduates from Wheaton, right?

Megan: Billy Graham would probably be the most famous. What about from San Diego State?

Me: (Long pause) Uh, Ralph Rubio from Rubio's- the restaurant with the famous fish tacos? You don't have Rubio's on the East Coast? Ah, it's good stuff. (Feeling pretty dumb.) And maybe a couple astronauts, maybe? Sometimes if we win a basketball or football game you can get a free taco with your ticket stub. (Laughing at the comparison and hoping the topic of conversation would change.)

Nick: Wow, free food when you win a game?! We never get that from our alumni...

Me: Yeah, uh, they're pretty good tacos. (Insert some genius and seamless change of topic.)

For the record, I Googled it. There were 7 US Presidents including Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and even our current President George Bush. Other graduates include T.S. Eliot, Al Gore, Tommy Lee Jones, and John Updike. But these guys don't give out free tacos after a victory, do they?

Did I mention that our school library is named The Love Library? And that a common past-time on campus is to sub-bathe on the grass by the pond? Who wants to join politics when you have the Love Library and California sunshine? You'd much rather have a fish taco at the beach, wouldn't you?

November 20, 2007

That Early Morning Stretch

Jenny is my Chinese teacher. She's also the administrative assistant of our school. Her English is quite good, and I took it upon myself to help expand her vocabulary and to introduce some slang. I started with the very feminine, eloquent word...'sucks'. That's right folks I chose to take Jenny's almost British accent/vocabulary and defile it with the word 'sucks'.
She giggled in delight when I started to tell her how to use it. I explained in a hushed tone, "You can say, 'This weather really sucks' or 'You feel sick today? That sucks!" I even taught her how to draw out the 'u' and use a valley-like intonation- suuuuuucks. I told her to immediately practice it with Megan and Diana. As I stood in the hallway one cold November morning I heard Jenny exclaim, "This cold weather really suuucks." Diana agreed, completely unaware of the usage. I'm not gonna lie, I was proud of Jenny. My mind reeled with future words I could teach her.
The best usage came a couple days later during our bi-weekly Chinese class. We got on the topic of the Beijing dialect and how some of the endings of words sound similar to the 'argh' a pirate would make. Jenny excitedly told me that she could teach me a few words from her dialect. I know that she considered this an equivalent to my slang lesson. She started with the word for tomorrow "ming tian". In her dialect it sounds something like "me-er-tean"-similar to the noise you make when you awake in the morning and slowly stretch your arms over head and grunt an incoherent sound from the depths. I tried once to repeat her, but I got a shake of the head and a repeated groan. On my second try Jenny just chuckled, shook her head again, patted me on the back and exclaimed, "You sucks!".
How perfect is that? My Chinese teacher just told me that "I sucks" at Chinese using an insult word that I taught her.

Let me tell you what doesn't espresso at Mars Chocolate every's "the bomb". (Can't wait to hear Jenny put 'the bomb' to use!)

Your slang feedback is always welcome. If you could teach an eager 23 year-old Chinese woman some American slang- what would it be?