Too Many Things

I have too many things to say but I’m going to say them all.

First, I think it is ironic that I have so many things to say after having nothing to say last week.

Second, this post is going to mostly be a summary of my thoughts through this week, since I am what I  call, “the sharing type,” and just like to tell everyone everything.  But you already knew that about me. 🙂

So here. we. go.

Monday: Was Presidents day.  And my roommate and I discussed the presidents.  How appropriate. 🙂 Did you know that three of the presidents attended Columbia University?  Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt- for law school.  And our President Obama- just for 2 years and then he transferred to Harvard I guess.  So even though I share a soon to be alma mater with these dear presidents I still had to go to school on President’s Day.

But it was okay.  Because.

On my commute I discovered that New York City changed.  Being a holiday it was full of people.  But not just people. Tourists.

There is something safe and normal about my routine.  Part of it is that I share it with so many other people.  We are all part of an understood commuting routine.  But then tourists get on the train.  They look at maps and talk across cars and video dancers and suddenly I feel like part of the exhibit, part of the world they have come to look at.  And it’s weird. and wonderful.  All at once.

Part of the wonderful is 1. the comedy of them and their unawareness 2. the people who show up to entertain them.  On Monday I saw 1. two tattooed dancing men.  on my train. doing back-flips. straight up. no arm back-flips. on a moving train. and they didn’t hit the ceiling or the rails or fall.  i gave them $1. 2. a french clown. complete with a black and white stripped shirt, a red rubber nose, and a sign that said ‘merci’ (thank you in french) 3. steel drum player 4. a 10 year old boy doing a percussion set on a 5 gallon bucket and the subway handle bars to raise money for his own real drum set 5. a man playing an african drum, to a song about the value of african drums in music.

Wednesday: I had therapy.  Meaning, I provided therapy.  I haven’t spoken (yes, out here we say spoke not talked. it tickles my ears so I say it too) about my client very much.  Maybe some day I will?  But, overall, I am learning that I still have lots to learn but I love my field.

Thursday: Was international mother language day.  And we happened to discuss the speech perception abilities of second language learners in my speech perception class.  Did you know that often people speak with an accent because they hear with an accent? (Meaning, the way they say it is how they hear it.)

Also on Thursday.  I ran to the corner store for milk and bananas and was $.29 short.  And the guy behind the counter said, ‘O, just bring it tomorrow sometime.’  And I stopped to pay  my ‘debt’ on the way to school and he said, ‘I told you you can wait till tomorrow!’  And I just had to smile.  I guess I’ve officially lived here long enough to be known and trusted by the corner store guys. win. win.

Also on Thursday I read an article about religion and where it is processed in the brain.  Some interesting information:

1. “A variety of experiments suggest that children are predisposed to assume both design and intention behind natural events—leaving many psychologists and anthropologists to believe that children, left entirely to their own devices, would invent some conception of God.”

2. “The psychologist Margaret Evans has found that children between the ages of eight and ten, whatever their upbringing, are consistently more inclined to give a Creationist account of the natural world than their parents are.”

3. “‘Barrett makes the case, likening religion to language acquisition: we come into this world cognitively prepared for language; our culture and upbringing merely dictate which languages we will be exposed to.'”

And do you know what this all made me think of?
“Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.”  Romans 2:14, 15.
(Bolding added to convey the most salient points of these points.)  here’s the link if you want to read the article yourself: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2748718/
Friday: Today.  I am realizing more and more and over again that I really do love living in New York City.
 And to end this post. A video.  Of the zulu language. From youtube. Well. the video is from youtube. the language is from South Africa. And they use ‘click’s in their language.  And it just sounds so funny to me.  Languages are so fun. 🙂

Obviously

Normal life has very few and selective moments that are worth blogging about.  Especially weekly.  But I’ve done some thinking and maybe you will like the moments I have to share?

1. Did you know that sometimes us ‘east coasters’ name snow storms. I don’t really know what the rules are or how big the storm has to be before it gets a name.  But, our nine inches in Brooklyn last weekend came with the name “Nemo,” which allowed for several ‘finding nemo’ jokes to surface on facebook, which is how I heard about it.  And I thought it was interesting.

But now we are having much nicer weather and the snow is melting.  So we are happy.  Here is a nice random picture of my train stop on a nice random day this week. Image

2. a. Also this week- was…. Valentine’s Day. obviously.  and since i’m single. obviously. I decided to count all the valentine’s things I saw on my way to school on Thursday.  Valentine’s Things included balloons, flowers, and gifts.  I went to school at about 6:00 pm (for my 7:20 class) – so I happened to be traveling at the prime time to see everyone else traveling to see their loved ones.  I counted 45 Valentine’s Things sightings on my way to school.  Pretty impressive I must say.  For as heartless as New Yorkers can be, they do a pretty nice job of spreading the love on Valentine’s Day.

b. Also interesting thing about Valentine’s Things sightings…. in Brooklyn most people had helium balloons and in Manhattan most people had gifts or flowers.  I think this says something.  About the cultural differences between the two places.  That’s what I think.

c. And don’t worry.  I got some Valentine’s day too.  I made cookies. And shared them with my friends. win winImage

3. I also made pasta this week. Yesterday actually.  And the ‘rotini’ noodles also came with not rotini noodles in the box. Lame.Image

4. Also this week.  Today actually.  I went to Long Island.  It’s part of the island I live on and part of New York state but not technically part of New York City.  A lot of people who live on Long Island commute to the city for school and work.  But I went to Long Island to study, with my friends, at the house of one of my friends (from school, obviously). But it was interesting.  On Long Island they have houses, and yards, and towns (or villages as all their signs say), and it’s by the ocean (so- I got to see part of the sea today <3).  And well, it is just a different place than the city.  And it has a different feel.  And I liked it.  Because I got to sit on carpet to do my homework.  And pet a dog.  And hang out with my fun friends (even if we did have to study).

So there. That was my week.  For all of you dying to know how it went (mom. grandpa. 🙂 )

And just a parting joke- since I’m getting so fond of these.

You may think you’re cool…

Happy February Friends.

Chillin

This week has been a pretty ‘chill’ week.

Part 1 of my chill week:
School is actually pretty manageable and speaking Spanish in therapy actually isn’t that scary.  And when I’m having fun at school it makes it a lot easier to have fun with my life.  So. For now, the semester is looking up.  Plus, even though I still have till next spring, I can see the end, which makes me appreciate this time even more- knowing that it won’t last forever.

So. A part of this chill week was that I learned some interesting facts.

Fact Number 1:

In order to swallow a sword you must: take a big breath, close off your airway, line up your mouth with your throat, and relax your lower esophageal sphincter. This will all line up your mouth with your stomach, enabling the sword to go all the way down to your stomach without harm.  Just be sure to remove it before you try to breathe again!  Also, please don’t try this on account of me!

Fact Number 2:

There are 75 dialects of New York City. That said, please don’t ask me if I ‘talk like a new yorker yet.’  I’m having a hard time deciding which dialect to pick.

Fact Number 3:

I am amazed we don’t die more often.  In some of my classes I am learning about the results of strokes, brain injuries, and swallowing problems. If I could describe to you the intricate precision it takes to successfully swallow anything without choking and dying and/or breathing it in your lungs (which causes pneumonia), I would. And then you would understand why I think evolution is an impossible idea and why I think every single breath and swallow we have truly is a miracle. Also. Learning about the brain this semester makes me feel fragile.  Like all my ideas and identity are held together by the tiniest of strings of neurons.  Again, life really is a miracle.

Part II of my chill week:

My schedule this semester allows me to go to school half the week and stay home and do homework the other half of the week.  And staying home is mostly fun.  Especially when I get to wear PJs all day, like I did yesterday.  Good thing I know how to do homework in my PJs.  win. win.

Also. This weekend NYC and the east coast was hit with a blizzard!  Well. That’s what the news says anyways.  But since I didn’t leave the house yesterday it’s hard for me to say.  But I did walk to Jamaica Ave. today and got these pictures:

ImageImageImage

So, yeah, I’ve hit the part of the semester where ‘normal’ happens.  And I like it.

And since I don’t know how else to end this post. Here. This if for you. 🙂

It made me smile.

The Ivy League and Other Comedies

I was ganna make this blog about my school. about what it’s ‘really’ like to attend Columbia.  I was ganna post these pictures: ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

I was ganna write about how the only time I really think about being in an Ivy League school is when I see my tuition bill or hear live classical music or when I walk around on campus for no particular reason and realize just how old and beautiful the buildings really are.  I was ganna talk about how I don’t know how to respond to people when they respond to me telling them I go to Columbia and how I don’t really even know how to tell people that I go to Columbia, b/c- while my school is ‘prestigious’ is really is just a school.  A school where I learn and make friends and spend all my time.  Just like the schools that everyone else goes to too.

Well.  I was ganna write about all that. But then I decided not to. I hope that’s okay.

Instead I’m going to tell you a true story. About me.

Today, after spending my entire (productive) time of the day on 2 little Spanish worksheets (side notes. 1. How do people think I can handle a Spanish client if it takes me 3 hours to make a worksheet for said client? 2. My worksheet is actually really fun. She has to match breakfast items to the countries that she thinks they are from.  If you want to play this game, I can send you the worksheet (and you can open it on google translator).) okay. I’m back. So. After doing that all day I began my walk to the train.  And instead of heading into the city I headed towards Queens.  However, here is no good way to actually get to Queens.  So I had to take the train to a bus to a bus and then walk. The total distance between my apartment and my destination was 8.8 miles (driving).  Can you guess how long it took me to get there?  Welll.. I’ll give you some clues.

1. I didn’t have to wait for the J train. And I took it 4 stops.

2. I did have to wait for the bus.  A long wait.  But when you’re waiting, who really checks to see what time they started waiting so they can say, “I waited 20 minutes!”? So, all I can say for sure is that the wait was long and the line was long.  So long in fact that I couldn’t fit on the first bus that came. And the second one didn’t go where I wanted to go. So. I got the third bus.

3.Which turned out to be the express. Or as they call it in bus terms “limited.”

4. But it took us 10 minutes to make it through the next stop light.

5. And I got some funny looks as I was one of 2 women on my bus.  The only young white one at that. All the other passengers appeared to be Hispanic men coming from a construction site.  Which is fine. It just adds to my night of comedy.

6. So, we finally made it to the mall, where my bus change was.

7. No problem, google maps says the bus should be here in 7 minutes.  Perfect.

8. Did I mention that I had decided not to wear many layers b/c I had been overheated in my house all day and thought a chill might be nice.

9. I did wait 20 minutes for that bus. And I know this because I got on the bus at 6:08, 8 minutes after I was supposed to be at my destination, where I had committed to helping w/ a kid’s club. And I called my mom just to tell her that I was freezing cold.

10. Well, I had been waiting so long that I was near the front of the line, which is actually a win b/c I got a seat.

11. But my seat was in the aisle and the aisle was filling up.

12. And who should stand next to me but a large blind man.  I know he was blind because he had a white cane and squinty eyes.  However, he must have not been blind for very long because he did not have a 6th sense, or what scientists call proprioceptive perception (The ability all of us have to feel where our bodies are in space, which I used to think was a basic human skill.)  So, that was kind of a problem b/c he totally invaded my space.  And apparently couldn’t tell the difference between the fabric of my coat and the seat I was sitting on.  So, he acted like he was trying to feel where he was, but ended up rubbing my back and side.  Which was unfortunate for me.  I offered him a seat.  He declined.

13. And when I needed to leave I got up and spoke to him while doing so, trying to let him know that I needed out.  But since he apparently had no idea how seats are situated on buses, or where he was at on the bus, or the fact that he was trapping me in my seat, getting out was tricky.  And then the bus jerked and we all fell.  And I grabbed a pole. So I didn’t really fall. But once I got my balance I made eye contact with an Asian look of death and realized that the pole I had grabbed also contained the hand of a nice lady and I had bent her wrist.  I apologized. She looked at me like I had broken her arm and moved out of my way so I could get off.

14. and then I got to the school and the door was locked and the security guard just looked at me and sat down and I was cold.

15. So I had officially arrived and ended up enjoying my time at kid’s club, even though I was 20 minutes late. And I thought, ‘maybe I should do this again (this coming and helping with kid’s club thing).’

16. But then I took the bus home. And realized, at best, it still takes an hour to get to Queens.

So, did you guess?  How long did it take me to span those 8.8 miles?  You’re right! I left my house at 4:45 and got there at 6:20. That is 95 minutes of either shivering or squishing.

And I decided that what’s great about the bus is that it has all the positives of road traffic, with all the positives of commuter traffic.

So there. That is my personal narrative of while I officially hate buses and hope they are never part of my commute and why I don’t have any friends in Queens.

The end. Or as we say in Spanish – El Fin. (The ‘l’ is released laterally, more so than an English ‘L’ and the ‘i’ is actually an ‘e’ sound- just so you know how to think it right.)

okay. now it’s the end.