yes i do have weapons.

i had some pretty horrible thoughts today. on the way over to my constitution test in santa clara, i really started to hate that police officer who pulled me over two weeks ago. i wanted him to get shot up by surenos. or nortenos. both are capable. i know, it's a terrible thing to think. in those kinds of roles, though, it's hard for me to see them as human.

and then all this stuff about korea feeling "ashamed" that the v-tech killer was korean. aimee said, "it's not like america ever apologizes for anything we've ever done." and then there was an image on the tele of kids gathering to create a "V" and a "T." all i could say was, "oh my god, get over it." i wasn't sure if i was refering to the kids, the people in mourning, or the media who has covered this story nonstop for the past week. i know it's pretty insensitive, just like the thought of the policeman, but those thoughts are there, and sometimes i don't know what to do with them.

i feel more and more desensitized everyday, but i am accomplishing things. i passed that constitution test, one last hoop that california makes its future teachers jump through. the cbest, cset, and constituion weren't very difficult. if these are today's standards for the state, i'd hate to think what they were 10, 20 years ago. you probably just had to wear a tie and you'd be credentialed.

oh, one last horrible thought i had. i knew it was horrible, and i even joked about it. i just went into the living room and said, "haha. a blue angel crashed." "what? what's a blue angel?" rachel asked. "you know, the blue angels. they fly around major cities. they'd always come to seattle, and you'd swear you were going to die because the whole house would shake every time they flew over you." "what are they for?" she asked. "they just perform air shows. and they use taxpayers' dollars for it." meagan said, "did he live?" "no," i said. "that's terrible!" she answered. i know. where do these terrible, insensitive thoughts come from? maybe because i don't really know these people. i've seen them, i've read about them. but i don't know for sure that they exist.

in the prologue to raymond carver's shortcuts, the essayist describes his stories and how they are all interconnected. "a small boy dies," he writes, "and another wins the lottery. they are the same thing."

i met an indian woman at the constitution testing site. she told me she did her undergraduate studies in india. she got her master's in computer engineering at san jose state. now she wanted to get her master's in special education. "why do you want to do that?" i asked. "my son is special ed. and after working with him, i thought i'd like to help others." we talked a little bit more. she said she'd never met an english teacher before. "i've met math, science, and history teachers. not many english teachers, though." then she talked about how lots of students drop out of school because they can't handle, or just don't like, their english classes. or maybe the woman distributing the tests told me that. either way, i started thinking about what my class next year would look like.

the first thing that came to mind were a bunch of laid-back, scrawny kids wearing baggy clothes. what the hell am i going to tell these people? "eschew surplusage?" "use active vs. passive voice?" that's what i tell the kids now. if anything, it's just kind of funny to think about. what also cracked me up today is myself. i thought about how i once asked jose lopez if he's ever had a burro. mr. rhodes has a little wooden burrow tied to a tree stump on top of his computer monitor. i asked jose if he's ever had one. "no," he said. a few of the kids laughed. i wonder what they think of me, asking my random questions, being quiet most of the time and then exploding all over the classroom when it's time to chant read. they probably ask themselves, who is this chinese kid, coming into our class everyday for no good reason? and mentally, all i can answer is, i'm filipino. okay, so my great-grandfather on my dad's side was chinese, but both my parents are filipino. how hard is that to remember? and then i find these internal dialogues pretty funny, and i smile to myself. man, people must think i'm nuts.

there was a store in santa clara called casket outlet. it was sandwiched, i think, between a donut shop and a laundromat. they really sold caskets. and in the window were some heavy, white, 70's looking curtains. a cemetary and mortuary were also in the neighborhood.

the testing facility was this adult school. i forgot the name of it already. it made me think of when my dad tried to go to night school. he didn't finish, said it was too difficult, that he was too old to try and start learning again. i'd like to help him get his GED. where to begin, where to begin? "Eschew surplusage," I'll tell him.

1 comment:

sprout said...

like a ray of sunshine, jimbo, like a ray of sunshine.