College Souvenirs

College. Oh, college. It’s a special time in life. Friends are made, habits are formed, and sometimes you pick up a thing or two. One is hopefully a degree. But, sometimes you pick up something you weren’t quite expecting….like a disease. Yes. I admit it. Shamefully, I contracted a disease in college. It’s called boxfanitus. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

I lived in the dorms, which are often quite loud. I bought a box fan to drown out my noisy roommate. And the neighbors. And the girl on the basketball team who lived above me and insisted on dribbling her basketball. Incessantly. The fan worked really well to help me fall asleep peacefully.

However, it also created an addiction, a sickness, a disease. 10 years later, I still use a fan to sleep. In fact, I can’t sleep without a fan buzzing in the background. I wear out fans, because I run them all night, every night.

This also creates a problem when traveling. Most normal people don’t have boxfanitus, so they don’t offer you the droning noise of a fan to help lull you to sleep. A hotel usually doesn’t come equipped with a fan. What’s a girl to do?! Praise the good Lord in heaven that there are now sound machine apps that can recreate that soothing fan noise! My iPhone has been my savior many a trip now.

I wish I could kick this habit, get rid of this disease. Are there recovery groups for this? I’d imagine not. A pill you can take? Oh well. I guess I’m stuck with boxfanitus for life.

College Culture Night

After many hours of prep work, I pulled off my university’s culture night. And oh boy, it was more work than I ever imagined! I asked the participants, I helped them think of an idea for a performance, I wrote bios for each performer, I wrote the script for the emcee, I arranged the facility, and I advertised. Shew! I’m tired all over again from just typing that!

I desperately wanted to give our international students a chance to showcase their culture and their talents, and I wanted to give our American students a chance to learn about their classmates. We had students from Japan, Guatemala, the Philipines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, and America  perform. They all did an excellent job, and I do believe that all involved had a great time. I hope to make this event a yearly thing!

Japanese culture

Masa and Shin doing kendo fighting

Filipino student

Mara singing in Tagalog, a dialect of the Philipines

Japanese student

Hikari bowing in her kimono after her piano performance

Japanese kimono

Masa writing Japanese calligraphy

Puerto Rican student

Orgen rapping in Spanish

traditional Chinese dress

Minmin introducing a video about dating in Taiwan

Puerto Rican musician

Orgen, from Puerto Rico, playing the bongos

culture night

Culture Night Participants (I’m 2nd from the left in the front row)

Thanks to our school photographer, Derek, for the great photos.

If You Don’t Love NSYNC….

Man, I must be getting old.

I am officially 10 years older than the college freshmen I now teach. I am really starting to notice the age gap too.

Today in class, a student was talking about how a mom in North Carolina is going to court for allowing her 11 year old son to get a tattoo. I asked my student how old he thinks a person should be before being allowed to get a tattoo. He said he was 16 when he got his first one, but people need to be able to make a mature, informed decision. I went on to say that it was a good thing that I didn’t get a tattoo when I was a 11, because I would have been sporting an NSYNC tattoo on my arm today. My comment was met with blank stares. Are you kidding me? Do my students not know who NSYNC is?!

Apparently not.

boy bands

Image courtesy of Google

This got me thinking about some other things that make me feel old when it comes to daily interactions with college students.

– I don’t like skinny jeans.

– I like Facebook more than Twitter.

-I don’t get all the Pokemon references.

– I know what the floppy disc icon on Microsoft Word stands for.

But, it goes the other way around too. I work with a lot of people who are a great deal older than me. The other day at lunch, a lady I work with was talking about how it was her 28th wedding anniversary, and that she was married in 1984. I quietly snuck this jewel in- “That was the year I was born…” So, I probably made her feel the way my students make me feel. What a vicious cycle.

But to sum it all up, if you don’t like NSYNC, we can’t be friends.

Please Don’t Get Me Fired

The federal government gives money to American universities to have student workers. These “work-study” students can really help make a professor’s life easier. Or not.

My work-study is a sophomore and has been working for me for about a year now. She is so helpful, and I love her dearly. She has to record the tasks she completes each day on a time sheet. She just needs to write general things like “graded papers” or “ran errands”. Yesterday I asked her to take some martial arts equipment back to another professor’s office. They were wooden swords that my Japanese students were using for a cultural performance.

I looked at her time sheet today, and she had written, ” DELIVERED THE WEAPONS TO DR. MILLER.” That girl is going to get me fired yet!

Boys Will Be Boys

I am currently teaching at a university in the US. Apart from my ESL classes, I also teach some freshmen in composition courses and first-year experience courses. The college freshman is a rare species-especially the guys. Freshmen feel like they have something to prove. They were recently the oldest in school, the ones in charge, and now they’re right back down to the bottom of the food chain. And boys will be boys no matter how old they are and no matter what country they’re in. They still want to prove they’re tough, especially to females- even their female teacher.

I took some wasabi peas to class today that are so hot I’m pretty sure they’re soaked in acid and not wasabi. Wiping tears from their eyes, 5 college guys swore they weren’t hot.

Boys will be boys.

What Gives Girls Their Magical Powers?!

At the beginning of each English class, I have my students journal for 5 minutes. I always give them a topic, and some of the topics are ones they have suggested. Recently we did the following topic: “If you could be the opposite sex for the day, what would you do.” Oh, the answers! To the people walking by office today hearing me cackle to myself with tears rolling down my cheeks, I apologize for disrupting your day. The girls’ answers about being guys were mostly about not having to shower or put on make-up or do their hair. The guys were a little more creative…..
If I were a girl I would:
  •  probably just sit around and watch depressing movies all day like girls do. I’ve never really understood why they do that.
  •  do my hair. I could put on some make-up. I think I would try and go tanning. I’ve never went tanning before.
  • try to get free stuff from guys, because men will do anything for a pretty girl!
  • not do that, because it would be really weird.
  •  find out what gives girls their magical powers!
  •  name myself Destiny. (This dude must have previously put some thought into this!)
  •  dot my i’s with little hearts and not be judged for it.
  • learn how to make a sandwich. (There were actually a lot of sandwich jokes!)
  •  figure out the correct answer to “Does this outfit make me look fat?”
  • figure out how chicks are always right. 
I hope you got a kick out of these like I did! Oh, college freshmen!