Thursday, February 12, 2009

Odds and Ends Thursday 1

I’ve decided to implement a weekly “Odds and Ends” blog to be posted every Thursday night. This will allow me to write about micro-issues that don’t necessitate an entire blog, and it will allow for easy, bulleted reading for you on lazy Fridays. Admittedly, this also means easier blogging for me on Thursdays, but I’ve already begun to align my Thursdays to be coastable, and this is part of a larger scheme. So without further ado:
  • I ended up at the Congregationalist Church offices until 9:45 p.m. today working on Excel charts for the Treasurer’s annual report. By the end, I think there was little reason we were still there other than my OCD insisting that I re-create bank logos in PowerPoint because then they’d be vector-based. But they looked SO much cleaner.
  • I'm really bummed I didn't title yesterday's blog "Mines/Mavis: A Love Supreme"... or something like that. I was trying to think of a good pun last night, and the Miles Davis thing only came to mind right now. True, it's a stretch. Okay. It's more than a stretch. Yeah, nevermind. I guess it's just as well I didn't think of it til now.
  • I don’t want it to seem like I am putting my students in a fishbowl, but I have not gotten used to the intimacy with which males regard each other in my classes. It is not weird for them to sit on each other’s laps or for a male student to sit with his arms clasped around another male student. It is just so blatantly different from America. They are not gay or effeminate at all; in fact its often the tougher, more macho guys who regard each other in this way. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing… I’m just saying that occasionally I have to do a double take.
  • I was supposed to help a Samoan friend out with some computer stuff this afternoon, and I showed up a half hour late. And then I ended up waiting for him for about an hour and a half. No exaggeration. I was totally out-polychronicked.
  • In pictures this week, I showed off the muffin and coffee/tea hybrid that we are served every day at Interval. When I first arrived in Samoa, this coffee/tea concoction was bizarre, but I’ve grown to really like it. It probably has to do with all the sugar they add to it, but I’ve really taken to the stuff. The taste is familiar, but I’m not sure I can describe it exactly. It’s like a blend of instant coffee, a little bit of tea, and a lot of milk and sugar. The stuff I was served tonight tasted like a Starbucks drink. Or what I remember of Starbucks drinks, I guess.
  • What is the body’s reaction to termite bites? I think I’m being bitten at night by termites. The bite is extremely itchy to the point where I cannot sleep, and I can feel a small lump like a mosquito bite. It itches so bad it aches. But I eventually do get to sleep, and in the morning, no lump. No sign of anything, in fact. What if they’re burrowing into my skin? Ewww.
  • I’ve heard mixed reviews about the professional IT companies in Samoa, but my experience to date has been very good. One of the computers in my lab had a loose video component that was preventing the computer from sending data to the monitor. Since the computer was still on warranty, my principal called the company that provided the machine to us, and the problem was fixed the same day. It probably wasn’t too much of an issue, but still, it was speedy service, even by US standards.
  • Rather than having our trash picked up by the sanitation department, there’s an area behind our school where we heap our trash, and it is periodically burned. True, it’s not the most environmentally sound policies, but when in Rome… In any case, this morning I went to take my trash over there, and one of my year 12 students was straightening up the heap. He took my trash with a smile. It’s a bit surreal to have a student and a garbage man packed into one person.
  • I often want to refer to vector-based images as “vector-borne”. Why is vector hyphenated so often?
  • I’ve been considering writing up my 25 facts for Facebook, but I’m unclear on whether or not that’s passé by now. We’re all kind of weirded out over here regarding the 25 facts phenomenon. It’s a cultural trend that we completely missed, and it’s odd when our isolation is that palpable. In any case, is the 25 facts thing over? Are people strongly anti?
  • The cut on my foot was not from coral. When you cut yourself on coral, it often leaves toxins in the cut that can get cause infection at worst, and severe itching at best. The cut on my foot has yielded a regular old scab. Nothing too interesting.
  • I hope I don’t seem ignorant or uninterested in the Comments section here on the blog. I do read everything that people write there. Even if you comment on really old posts, Blogger alerts me. I’m always down for some good constructive feedback. So comment away.
  • I’ve misplaced my board shorts, so I went to shop for a pair at the store that is nebulously affiliated with Quiksilver yesterday. They wanted to charge $112 WST for a basic pair of board shorts. Ain’t gonna happen.
  • Finally, can people stop dropping out of their Obama cabinet nominations? I’m sure that’s passé by now. But let me know about the 25 facts.
I anticipate that I will not be posting tomorrow on account of going to Savai’i to visit Phil. But I do anticipate having some good news when I come back Saturday evening. So stay tuned… A couple pictures below.

The staff at the EFKS Treasurer's office that I tortured with getting my Excel graphs juuuuust right.

They bought me dinner cause we stayed so long. It turned out to be McDonald's. My first American fast food meal in Samoa.

The teachers have been asking for a workshop where they can come learn how to use the computers. We had about 10 teachers over the course of 2 hours after school today. I was happy with the turnout.


Anonymous said...

"on account of going to" - how about "because I'll be visiting..." Again, how much was the USC education? Have fun and be careful. Keep your camera with you this time.

Anna said...

i like the little old lady-teacher on the right- technology isn't passing her by! :) i dont think its too late for 25 things yet. have people felt the effects of the recession there, or not really? from what ive heard, it doesnt seem to really been that noticeable- but maybe thats because we're used to having more of everything.

Julya said...

You're not being bit by termites, it's bed bugs. I had them too... I was Group 75 on Savaii at Uesiliana.