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2005-05-16 10:34 p.m.

the almost prophet

Well, I've started it, so I guess I better write an entry.

I found a mukade in my kitchen sink when I woke up this morning. I don't mind the giant spiders so much. They keep to themselves and eat the cockroaches. But I have to draw the line at poisonous centipedes. I'll have to start shaking out my shoes before I put them on in the morning...

There's a good number of mosquitoes buzzing around here now, too. I swat at them constantly, and I usually miss. But somehow when I do manage to put the smackdown on one, I always feel guilty afterwards. What's up with that?

All I can recall from my dreams Saturday night is this sentence: "I wouldn’t have suggested it if I knew God wasn’t good at video games."

Actually, I also remember that God was really big and dressed like a king. We were walking down a huge red-carpeted hallway, I think.

Whoa, wait a second. Did I talk to God in a dream? Why can't I remember the conversation? Dammit! I coulda started a new religion, or something! That woulda been cool! Bummer.

Arthur C. Clarke said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Did you know there are people in this world whose job title is "crystallographer?" Doesn't that sound like something from a fantasy novel? Even were I to tell you that a crystallographer is someone who crystallizes proteins and analyzes their structure using x-ray diffraction, doesn't that just sound magical? It's a weird world we live in.

That little girl I talked about before, who monopolized me at elementary school recess? She tried it again last time. When I wanted to spend some time with the first graders and didn't come right away when she called me away, she went off by herself and cried. Awww...

And the other seven year old I mentioned was the only attendee at my adult conversation class last time. She knows the alphabet and can more or less write all the letters, but she can't really read. So I started teaching her phonics. She picked it up pretty quick. I wonder what I could do with her in 90 minutes, one on one, once a week for the next fifteen months? Hmm. I bet I could get her speaking conversational English and reading at a second grade level. It's nice that the island's tax payers are paying me twenty bucks an hour so this kid's mom can have free babysitting on Wednesday nights, isn't it?

I had six classes last week. Seven if you count the "adult" conversation class. What a grind... I have only one more than that this week. And three of them were today.

Had the Down's kid first period this morning. Man, I'm just not up for that at 8:30 am. What a hard life I lead.


I love Pocky, man. I've become a big fan of Pretz, too, especially Tomato Pretz and Honey Mustard Pretz.

Oh, it turns out everything's cool in Ben Folds land. That's a relief. My faith that love can last would sustain major structural damage if he were to break up with the woman he wrote The Luckiest for.

Oh, I saw the stoplight turn red again today! That's the third time. So I'm averaging about once every three months. I always feel a little disappointed whenever it happens, though, like watching a bubble break.

The Hawk asked me today if I thought she was too strict with the students. Apparently the principal told her the kids said she was "scary." Ha. I told her straight up that she is often much more severe than I would be, but that she has much better control of the classroom than I could ever attain. So, whatever.

Oh, I also had a week-long Hitchhiking Odyssey recently. But once again, that's too big of a topic for me to tackle right here, right now. Maybe later. I will say, though, that it was a trip.

You know, there's something magical about reading in a foreign language. I can still remember a time when those symbols, or at least those arrangements of letters and accents, were complete gibberish to me. They still are gibberish to 99% of the people I knew growing up. Reading them now, I can still step back and see them not as passive carriers of information, but as compelling visual designs in their own right. But they are carriers of information, and, in the case of Japanese and French, I have the arcane knowledge necessary to draw that information out. How amazing. Whole worlds are available to me now that were closed before. Wow.

Actually, when I really think about it, I realize I felt the same way about English when I first started learning to read as a child. Reading is cool.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my second languages. It seems I've spent SO much time studying them, dumped SO much of my life into them, and still I totally suck at them compared with what I can do with the English language. But when I really think about it... What percent of the music on my mp3 player has lyrics in English, and what percent Japanese? French? What percent of the pages of text I've read in my life have been written in English? What percent of the pages of text I've written in my life have been written in English? I ask these questions, and suddenly I see that French and Japanese have a lot of catching up to do...

feel the word and melt upon it,