18 December 2008

Snow Day!

School was cancelled due to the 'heavy' snow fall last night. Of course, a heavy snow fall here is really a dusting to those back in Wisconsin. People in this city just do not know how to drive in any less than perfect driving conditions like snow; even a heavy rain freaks them out, considering the number of accidents last night, too many to even report on the traffic update. But is it any wonder considering this city gets this kind of snowfall only happens once every thirty years? The last time this city saw a snow day was in 1979. This city is hardly equipped to handle any amount of snow; there are no salt trucks or plane de-icers, which translates to the airport effectively being shut down and the roads being icy and slick.

You know, I think I am more excited now, as a teacher, when there is a snowday than when I was a student (both comical and ironic?). At any rate this is decidedly good because I have a lot of busy work to catch up on before my flight leaves tomorrow: laundry, packing, frosting and decorating Christmas cookies, and last minute school business (which obviously I am putting off to do more pressing things...like blogging and facebook. Below are some photos of this rarity.

15 December 2008

Vans and Skinny Jeans

The classroom is at once, both unsentimental and subversive of American individuality.

I am put off by what I should have remembered: The only point to becoming a teacher is to become a student. Stop dressing like a teacher. After all, does not American myth takes its meaning from adolescence?

So in a vain attempt to stay hip, I bought my first pair of Vans shoes a few weeks ago. It was starting to get cold here finally, and my sandals had seen their better days, so I went shopping. Nearly ALL of my students own at least one, if not many more, pairs of these shoes. I haven’t quite put my finger on why they are so appealing. Perhaps it is their simple, classic design, while at the same time, coming in countless designs and colors. (Everyone has the same shoe, the need to “fit in,” be like everyone else, while at the same time maintaining ones own sense of identity, sense of individuality.)

The spectator infers from this rite that the individual life does not matter. The American experience.

I almost forgot how the shopping mall is THE hangout place for high school-ers, since they have in innate, social need to get away from their parents and hangout with friends, but aren’t old enough to go out to bars or clubs, on top of the fact they have zero financial responsibility outside their own retail whims. At any rate I felt, once again, like a teenager shopping on a Friday night for my new shoes. I settled on the classic black and white checkered pair.

Instantly hip. Two weeks later I bought two more pairs: another checkered and a plaid pair.

I was shopping with my Filipino friends, one of whom, despite being well out of high school, can pull of skinny jeans. So, as I was shopping with friends who can pull off skinny jeans, and I took a look around at all of the high school-ers at the mall wearing skinny jeans, I felt the need to jump on this cultural-fad bandwagon.

All of a sudden, it came to me: I have jeans I no longer wear because I don’t like the way they fit. And I have students who are also in Fashion class, and the Fashion teacher is a good colleague…Which only logically left me with one answer: my students would become my new seamstresses (archaic?) tailors, taking in my boot-cut jeans. An instantly new and cheap fix (not to mention a green thinking solution). Needless to say, I now am the proud owner and wearer of skinny jeans.

So now I have Vans and skinny jeans, which makes me look feel young. Ahh, the keenness of youth.