darkoshi: (Default)
Back in high school, we had to choose a scene from Macbeth, memorize it, and later recite it to the class. I chose one of the shortest scenes I could find, because, while I was good at remembering things, I wasn't particularly good at memorizing long strings of words.

I'm not sure if I ever recited it to the class; as much as I dreaded having to speak in front of the class, I usually ended up not having to do so. I never volunteered to go first (or 2nd or 3rd, or ever), and so the class usually ran out of time before getting to me. (Though in retrospect it would have been good to have more practice at public speaking. And it probably was a tiny bit of a let-down, getting all worked up at having to speak, and then not having to speak after all.)

As with the few other things I've memorized, I remembered it for a long time, because every so often I would recite it to myself. I didn't remember it perfectly - over time, I may have swapped in some wrong words here and there - but could still recite most of it.

Lately I had noticed that I could hardly remember any of it, except the first line. But this week at work, while standing at my desk, for some reason I started reciting it in my mind, and I remembered the whole thing again! The words flowed without a break.


It's the part with the witches talking, Act 3 Scene 5, that starts with "How did you dare to trade and traffic with Macbeth in riddles and affairs of death..."

But actually, reading that link, it turns out that in the intervening years, I had completely forgotten the 2nd half of it. I thought it ended with "thither he will come to [meet] his destiny". But I used to have the rest memorized too. "I am for the air" ... "my little spirit, see, Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me." Yep, I liked those parts!

Heh. And now I learn that the scene I memorized probably wasn't even written by Shakespeare. The above link describes the scene as "un-Shakespearean". This page says: "Some literary critics believe that these [sic] scene is way too hokey to be Shakespeare's work..."

Heh, hokey! You stick your left foot in, you stick your left foot out, you do the hokey-pokey and you shake it all about!

And that's another example of me remembering something, but not remembering it quite right.

*It's like how sometimes people's names are easy to recall, and sometimes not.


Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 11:35 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
At work, a corporate diversity email was sent out in honor of LGBT Pride month. I thought the sentiment was nice. It was similar to other ones we've gotten for African-American History month, and Hispanic-American pride, etc.

I heard a co-worker a few cubes away, however, joking/scoffing at the email. Saying she sometimes wished she could unsubscribe from all these corporate emails. "When are we going to get a heterosexual pride month?" Something dismissive of transsexual people. And then something like "I don't think we have anyone (LGBT) on this floor, do we?" (simply in a curious questioning tone).

The way she said all this didn't sound hateful to me; I could believe she doesn't really have anything against gay people. (And she probably has no experience with real trans people.) But it also sounded like she doesn't get it.

I started thinking that I could tell her that if she wanted to celebrate pride in her heterosexuality, that's fine. But the reason why LGBT people need Pride marches and such, is to counter-balance the shame, fear, and stigma they've grown up with.

Personally, my gender-neutral trans-ness and asexuality is mostly invisible to others, and I haven't encountered any such stigma myself. It's not something I feel a need to have pride in, nor is it something that I've ever felt bad or ashamed of.

But for gay and trans people who haven't been so lucky and who have faced hatred, bullying, and mocking during their lives, who've felt the need to hide their identity from others, the *pride* is necessary simply to offset that weight of negativity that they've encountered. It's necessary, simply to be able to feel good about themselves. And it's a way to share camaraderie with others.

It's not the same thing to be told, "you're gay and that's ok now, but don't flaunt it". Because not flaunting it can be interpreted as needing to hide it, as any expression of gayness can be interpreted as a flaunting thereof.

Anyway. I wasn't really planning to tell her all that; it simply crossed my mind. Then I thought, she's just reacting to an experience she's not used to; she'll get over it. Someday she'll get used to these kind of things, and that's part of the point of them.

Then I had the idea to send her an email telling her that yes there's someone LGBT on the floor, that I'm trans though probably not in any way she is familiar with. At that thought, my pulse started racing, and I could hear and feel the blood whooshing in my head*. I quickly decided that I couldn't compose any well written email in such a mental state. So I went out to lunch instead.

*Similar to what it used to do in school/college, whenever I seriously considered raising my hand to ask the teacher a question, or to comment on something. That's a big reason why I didn't do that very often; it was so very nerve-wracking.

I do however often feel that I'm not trans enough to call myself trans to others. That they'd say I'm not really trans. They'd deny my identity. (Or laugh and start thinking of me as weird.) They can't even conceive of it. So why even tell anyone?

school fees

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014 10:58 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I didn't realize that some public schools in the U.S. charge parents mandatory fees for each student. It seems to be common in Illinois. Up to $500 or more per student per year, although they are supposedly waived for low income families.

From what I remember of my own school years, there may have been various fees, but I think they were mainly for "optional" things like field trips, after-school activities, school photos & yearbook.
darkoshi: (Default)
My hands got stained purple while I was rinsing out the hair dye in the shower. I had to scrub them to get most of the color off. Next time I should remember to keep gloves on until most of the color has been rinsed out. And to put a lot of vaseline on my entire neck before the whole process.

But it made me wonder if I could dye my fingernails a dark color using hair dye. If the hair-dye is non-toxic, anyway.

In the middle-school I attended in Wiesbaden, there was a fad one year amongst the kids to paint on their fingernails and hands using a certain brand of permanent markers... it was a thick ink, possibly metallic. I thought it was a neat thing to do, even though I never did it myself. I wonder if that was a popular fad in the states too? It didn't last for very long, as eventually the school officials and/or parents got worried about the toxic chemicals which might get absorbed into the students' bodies from the permanent marker ink.

Nikinje Jones. Tammy Ruda. Shauna and Shelly Acker(man?). Mrs. Barr. I still remember some names from back then. I wonder what I'll find if I look them up on the internet.

The science courses were split into 2 tracks in that school. The physical sciences were taught in a hands-on, small-teams, doing experiments, at-your-own-pace kind of way, while the life sciences were taught in a formal/regular teacher-led way. I have the impression that the "smart" kids were "supposed" to choose the physical science classes, because my teachers were surprised when, after the first year in the physical science class, I was insistent on wanting to transfer over to the life science class instead.

My problem with the physical science class wasn't the subject nor even that I was forced to work together with a team of 3 or 4 other students while doing the experiments. (Students who would waste time chatting about non-science topics and painting their nails with permanent markers instead of doing the class-work, and at least one of whom who pestered me until I finally let them take my workbook home with them so that they could copy all my answers and get credit for the material).

My problem was that after each section in the workbook, you were supposed to have the teacher check and grade your answers. But the teacher was always busy with other students, and there was no set way to get a turn with her. So I'd end up completing the work in 5 or 10 minutes, and then spending the rest of the class period agonizing over when to get up and approach the teacher; you weren't supposed to stand next to the teacher's desk waiting, as that could take ages, and you'd feel silly and awkward while doing so, and there was no process for indicating to the teacher that you were ready, other than possibly yelling out across the classroom which I was not wont to do, or sitting there with your hand raised for what seemed like eons. I hated it. I eventually stopped waiting for the teacher to check my work, and went on ahead and finished the whole workbook on my own. Then I got transferred to the life science class where it felt nice and homey, where the teacher had nice chats while all the students listened, and where my only problem was with being embarrassed by the growth of outward-projecting blobs on my chest.

(no subject)

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005 08:07 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Pledge of Allegiance ruled unconstitutional

Well, I'm pleased by that, but the ruling is only based on the words "under God" being in the pledge. If the ruling stands, they'll probably just rephrase it. I, on the other hand, have always been against the idea of being coerced into pledging allegiance to anything or anyone in the first place. The law says children have to go to school, but why should that mean they should have to pledge allegiance to this country? I'll choose who or what is worthy of my allegiance on my own, thank you very much, even when I'm not yet a legal adult. If I remember right, I usually chose to remain silent during the recitation. I found it especially silly to pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth. And knowing American history, the part about "with liberty and justice for all" was rather ironic.
darkoshi: (Default)
I saw a truck yesterday with a sign on the back... an American flag with some text, which (approximately) said "Support our troops. No aid or comfort to the enemy".

The Enemy? If the person who designed that sign really thinks there is a group of people who are so distinctly the enemy that they don't even need to specify who those people are, do they really believe anyone would need to be told not to give aid and comfort to those people? Who exactly do they think the enemy is? It boggles me, the world-view the person who created that sign must have had (as well as the people who put such signs on their vehicles).

And it makes me wonder, if I was desperately looking for a job, and was hired to drive a vehicle, but then found out that the vehicle had some such disturbing sign on it like that, what I would do...


"Support our troops". That sign is on so many vehicles. In a way, that message by itself doesn't bother me as much. Because, yes, American troops are just people, like any other people, stuck doing difficult things which they might not even want to be doing, and they need support just like everyone else does. And maybe that's what the people (friends and family of troops, etc.) who display those signs mean to imply.

But the blind patriotism that slogan can also seem to imply does bother me. Our troops are just following orders. Do the people who use that slogan want us to support our troops, no matter what orders they are following? Do they not question those orders? Do they not question the people in charge, who are giving those orders? Do they not care what kind of a war those leaders start, or why? Do they really have such an us-versus-them mentality, in that everyone on "our side" is good, no matter what they do, just by virtue of being "on our side", and everyone on the "other side" is bad?

Reminds me a bit of the pep-rallies when I was in high-school. Why were we supposed to be cheering our team so much, and jeering the opposing team, just because they were our opponents in the game? Sure, those were just games, and supporting one side of a game was supposed to be part of the fun, and why not support the side your school's team was on. But I never could understand that mentality, that "we are better than you, just because we are us and not you".
darkoshi: (Default)
grade 3:
(P.E. teacher): *** is very quiet, however, is an outstanding student in following directions and trying her very best.
(class teacher): *** is an excellent student and a fine young lady. I am happy to have worked with her this year.
(TAGS teacher): 1st report. *** has seemed a bit unsure of herself in TAGS. She often appears very uninterested in what we are doing. She seldom participates in our discussions. I know she has alot to share but doesn't seem willing. Discuss TAGS with her, I want her to enjoy coming so she can benefit from it.
2nd report. *** continues to show me her creative side, but seems very turned off and unwilling to talk about anything we do. I'm trying and I hope she will too.
4th report: *** has grown alot this year. Please encourage continued stimulation over the summer (reading, writing in a diary, collections, original mind benders). *** has a very promising future to enjoy with encouragement from us all. Have a great vacation!

grade 5 (3 different teachers/schools)
1st report: *** does very good work in all her subjects. My only concern is that she may not feel challenged by grade level work.
2nd report: *** is a conscientious, outstanding student in all subject areas.
3rd report: *** is an outstanding student in all academic areas. She is very quiet and seldom contributes to class discussions.
4th report: *** continues to do exceptionally well in all areas. However, she still does not contribute to class discusssions nor play with other children during recess time.

grade 5, psychoeducational report
Reason for Referral: *** has exceptional academic performance but does not relate to her peers, does not show emotion and speaks so softly that she is difficult to understand.
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised.. Verbal I.Q. 128 Performance I.Q. 129 Full Scale I.Q. 132
Discussion: *** had been encouraged by the social worker to speak up when she saw Ms. W. Apparently, she remembered without prompting as most of the time she did speak so I could hear her, although it was softer than the average student speaks. Only two or three times during the testing did I have to ask her to repeat something because I could not understand it or hear it. *** shows very little affect and as I recall, never smiled during my time with her. She worked very well in the test situation and her responses were very...

grade 7, part of assessment for placement in TAGS (talented and gifted students) program
Slosson Intelligence Test. Chronological Age: 12-8. Mental Age: 19-1. I.Q: 138.
(English/Homeroom teacher) Numbers 4, 5, 11, and 12 - I cannot accurately answer these questions. She is too withdrawn. *** comes into my room early each day, sits down quickly, and reads without moving until class starts at 8:25.
She never speaks to me or any student unless asked a question.
Unlike her classmates, *** has no friends who come into the room before 8:25 to visit her, wait for her to go to lunch, or stop by after school. She never volunteers in class and never smiles. She does her work without questions and maintains good grades.
We have a positive atmosphere, and since this is an Honors class with more motivation, more ability to learn, and more maturity, I am more relaxed and "myself," so she cannot fear me or any classmates.