Fish

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"OMG I hate Breaking Bad. I'm in the middle of Season 5 and I still can't get into it." -everyone I've ever hated.

Really, you hate the greatest television show of this generation? Then why in the world would you continue to watch all the way through season 5?
Oh yeah, because you actually like it but you're too much of a hipster to admit it!
More often than I would like to admit, I'll find out something that one of my friends didn't want me (specifically) to know. Usually, a gossipy friend will tell me "Okay, so and so said, 'Don't tell Stephanie', but just don't tell her I told you." The secret isn't ever about me, they just didn't want me in particular to find out what they're up to.

My main gripe is this: What is it about me specifically that makes people not want to tell me stuff? Yes, I can come off as horribly judgmental, but I defy you to tell me that I'm also wrong! I'm the most sensible person I know, and if I'm giving you any grief about something you did, you probably already know it was wrong. So fine, if you are looking for someone to encourage you to drink yourself into a stupor, neglect your responsibilities or hang out/sleep with toxic people, then yes, I'm probably the wrong person to go to. Besides,  I may scold briefly but I never try to impose my beliefs on anyone or talk them into doing what I think is right. I provide brief reality checks and then go back to listening thoughtfully and carefully.

I guess I just answered my own question, huh? haha...
Eh, whatever. I always find out anyway :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 4: You are an Astronaut, describe your perfect day

I have always enjoyed solitude in short bursts. I would much rather be alone or with one loved one than surrounded by faces that are meaningless to me. So, my perfect day would probably come some time toward the beginning of the trip, when I'm not too tired of myself yet.
I realized just now that the prompt doesn't say that I'm completely alone in the spacecraft, but that's what I assumed and that's what I'm going with.
I'm hoping astronauts have space pizza, because that's what I would eat on my perfect day. In space, no one will know how many slices I ate and I won't have to worry about leaving enough for anybody else. And I'm weightless in space, so I won't have to worry about getting heavier, technically speaking.
After eating, I would probably make a music video of Space Oddity like Chris Hadfield did while he was in space. "Though I've flown 100,000 miles, I'm feeling very still." 
In my ideal scenario, there's wifi in space, and I would aimlessly search the web for hours and watch reruns of all my favorite shows without feeling guilty about anything else I "should" be doing and without giving a flying fudgesicle about what's going on on Earth.
But eventually my loneliness would take over everything and I would pine for Earth once more, where I don't feel quite as insignificant as I do out in the vastness of space.

"I'd like to look down on the Earth from above, I would miss all the places and people I love. So although I might like it for a minute or two, I don't want to live on the moon."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On a semi-serious note...

Since I got to Cal three years ago, I've always been involved in one sort of service project or another: fundraising, tutoring, and most recently, teaching preschool lessons twice a week through Americorps. Through these experiences I have come to realize that there is fine line between considering your work service and considering it charity.When you commit to service, it is shockingly easy to go into it with a self-glorified savior complex: "Those people need my help. I am more fortunate than you, so let me lift you up. Look what a kind person I am for giving up my time!" Baloney. I myself teetered precariously close to this mentality at the start of my experiences.

What people often don't realize about service is that it's a two way street: Yes, I have helped teach a good amount of children to read, and this is a crucial component of their future academic success. But are they the only ones who got something out of the experience? Of course not. I have learned just as much from those kids as they have learned from me, and I am grateful every day that I got to meet and work with these children and their families. I am not just providing--I am receiving; these children are not just absorbing--they are helping to shape me into the person I am and the person I will some day become. I wouldn't even have the dreams I do today if it weren't for the children I have met over the last three years.

I often come across people who believe that performing service speaks volumes to their own generous character. Viewing your work as a sort of charity that reflects well on yourself is the first sign that you are doing it for all the wrong reasons, and this attitude only perpetuates the oppressor/oppressed relationship. In my case, my work has not only served me as fulfilling life experiences, but it has also opened my eyes to the passion I feel towards  more equitable access to education for people of all races, classes, and genders--people from disadvantaged backgrounds like myself. In this sense then, aren't the children and I actually working together towards a common goal? That's more what it feels like to me.

My point is that it is a privilege to work with the invigorating children and the devoted adults I have met over the years and I hope more people come to see their own lives and community work that way. I also hope that I never forget that fact myself.

This quote, which I heard in a presentation last night, sums up my feelings nicely:

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. 
But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, 
then let us work together."
-Lilla Watson

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 4: Write Facebook status updates from the year 2017

First of all, I hope I'm not still using Facebook in 2017. If I am, I honest to god don't know what I would be posting, Let's see...I'll be 24, hopefully working a steady job......

I'm sorry, this prompt is really dumb. I can't do this. I saved the above as a draft and spent all day thinking about it. I couldn't come up with anything. I'm going to modify this slightly and instead talk about pictures that I hope are on my FB by then:

-A picture of me holding my Berkeley AND my graduate school diploma
-Pictures of my darling and I in our own place.
-MY NEW GOLDEN RETRIEVER, HANK.
-Hopefully I've been to New Year's Eve in Times Square by then, so there should be pictures of that.
-If I'm teaching by then, then there should be a picture of my first classroom in there :3

BUT then again, it's much more likely that Instagram will be more relevant than Facebook in 2017, so these will probably be posted there.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Day 3: A houseplant is dying. Tell why it needs to live.

I once read this book called Willow Weep For Me, a memoir by an African-American woman afflicted with severe depression. When she discussed her recovery process at the end, she talked about her use of houseplants. She realized that other than herself and her daughter, there were no living things in her home. For whatever reason this mattered to her, and so she began to buy and care for plants. At first they all died, but she continued to replace them until she mastered the art of caring for them. I don't remember exactly what she said she got out of it, but I imagine it was something to do with being surrounded by life rather than lifelessness and feeling responsible for the growth and well-being of something (although I never understood why raising and living with her daughter didn't address this need).

Anyway, that's why a plant should live.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 2: The Worst Thanksgiving Dish You've Ever Had

I've never had a terrible Thanksgiving dish, but I have had fairly lackluster ones. My family was terrible at doing the whole "holiday" thing, so most of the time the dishes were half-assed and more for the sake of saying we did something. My mom's signature holiday dish is one she picked up from a hospital meal she had once (yeah, we had hospital food for Thanksgiving dinner). She would shred up a whole bunch of chicken, throw in some canned vegetables, drown it in canned gravy and stick it in the oven. Viola! Dinner is served, you ingrates.
It wasn't bad, just not terrific. It's soupy nature made it possible to dip the usually stiff biscuits in there and stuff. Despite it's mundane nature, my sister and I see it as comfort food. We had our first Thanksgiving dinner alone last year and we made some Hospital Food (as we've officially dubbed the dish). It was underwhelming and left us somewhat dissatisfied. We felt right at home.