Thursday, June 04, 2009

Odds and Ends Thursday 14

The unease of Tuesday morning in Auckland (Monday morning on the blog) has not passed yet. I was weary coming back to Samoa, and having nothing to do for a whole week doesn’t help. I think it would have helped if I’d laid out an agenda for myself going into it. I don’t think I needed anything formal, but having some idea of what I’d like to have accomplished with this downtime would have been great. And of course there’s lesson-planning and other school stuff I could easily be working on, but who’s got that kind of motivation? Here are some other odds and ends from the week:
  • My cousin Michael graduates (graduated?) from high school this week. Congratulations, Michael!
  • I’m not lonely in Samoa. I live in Apia, and I get out enough. I engage with students and staff and my host family, and I have Samoan friends apart from all that. During the weariness of Tuesday morning in Auckland (Monday morning on the blog), I was feeling homesick, but I was still looking forward to returning to Samoa to see many of my friends here. Loneliness is a common Peace Corps problem, so I can’t say anything for sure about your Econ teacher, Greg Louganis, but I can assure you that despite my sudden twinge of homesickness coming back from Auckland, it has nothing to do with my loneliness or the lack of amiability of the people of Samoa. Sometimes you just want things to be familiar again. That’s all.
  • I’ve been listening to month-old NPR shuffles, and they keep talking about how overblown the Swine flu thing was. It’s funny that swine flu warnings got to Samoa with relative immediacy, but news of how it may not be as big a deal as initially thought hasn’t really been reported at all here.
  • It feels good to speak Samoan again. I wouldn’t call myself bilingual, but anytime you can ditch your native language, it gives a thrill; like riding your bike with no hands or something.
  • I saw an episode of “Flight of the Conchords” on the way back from Auckland in which Murray booked Jemaine and Brett as a Simon and Garfunkel tribute band. And the prime minister of New Zealand visits a Barack Obama look-alike. And Patton Oswalt has a guest appearance as an Elton John impersonator. I admit I didn’t get it at first, but that show is genius.
  • A bunch of us went to see Nicholas Cage’s new movie “Knowing” last night. It was a terrible movie, although I did realize about halfway through that my zip code when I lived in Pasadena was 91101 or 9/11/01 or September 11, 2001. Pretty creepy, right? That said, I moved there in 2005, so it wasn’t prophetic or anything.
  • During one NPR this afternoon, they were interviewing people in Mexico City about swine flu, and I had a relatively easy time understanding the Spanish. Do you think it’s possible that learning Samoan has improved my Spanish? I do. I figure it’s the same as how playing a lot of basketball gets your body in better shape, indirectly improving your ability to play soccer. Maybe the skill set is different, but there are parts (e.g. keeping track of the ball, strategy, reacting to a play, etc.) that are the same.
  • I haven’t unpacked my bags from New Zealand yet. Where is my motivation?
  • I was planning on going back to the village at some point this week, but I don’t think that’s going to happen now. I feel bad. Maybe next weekend.
  • It’s unclear if classes will actually start next Monday, or if there will be a day or two of cleaning so we can transition into the new term. The syllabus for term 2 is crowded, so I really hope we can just jump into classes.
  • Last night Koa pointed out there are no carpets in Samoa. The more I think about this, the more I realize I’ve never seen carpet here. Weird.
That’s all I got. Hope your week is swell. Pictures below.

Luisa and I randomly saw a car identical to mine from back home. Except it was right-hand drive. Ewww.

My old permanent retainer.

Before/after pics of the new retainer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So you're tri-lingual???