مرحبا عليكم!

I study languages.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


The experiment of writing somewhere else didn't work.

Lately, I don't write at all. I don't read, either; at least, nothing longer than the endless strings of two-paragraph satires that punctuate The Onion and Buzzfeed. I read all of those, every single day. I amuse myself with sound bytes and Netflix and status updates and nothing of substance. I have never been more addicted to the Internet. I spend hours--hours!--on my iPhone doing absolutely nothing. I have never had an iPhone before and I am scared of what it does to me. It has sucked hours, days, months out of life, periods where I cannot recall a thing because there is nothing to recall. School helps. Work helps. I love work. I have my dream job, actually. If I could do something for forever it would probably be my job. Work is my life. In fact, work is the only thing that keeps me from laying in bed all day instead of just most of the day. In bed I lay there and breathe and sometimes blink and am nothing and every so often the stringy thought blows across the barren desert of my mind, sagebrush catching on an errant rock: I am actually an extremely qualified adult. I will graduate next April with university honors, multiple degrees, speaking multiple languages, with extensive experience living abroad, and hopefully with acceptance to a doctoral program. I have been laying in bed for seven hours. Is there anything new on Facebook? Do I have any more emails? Work doesn't start until 6.

This is an attempt to find a piece of myself that was somehow lost in those two years, that immeasurable space between then and now in which I gained and lost so much. I could never have predicted the chemistry of characteristics that compose me now, for better or for worse. Overall, I think, I am better. I am more confident, more stable, firm, steadfast; I know what I believe, and I will never forsake the things I know.

I took the most coveted job my university offers, and now I teach Korean immersion in nine-week stints to sets of twelve 19 to 21-year-olds who vary dramatically in aptitude, ability, and maturity levels.
I was taught in the very same place, and entering the classroom from this side of the power divide has taught me a lot about who I am.

I resist authority. Inherently, naturally, essentially. Violently. If you are somehow placed above me, I am at odds with you. I like to be on top, the best, the star, the queen, and there are very few situations in which I cannot make that a reality. I am untouchable. I have a plan and my plan is the best. I always get what I want. Who are you to say otherwise? Who are you, with your weak attempt to coach, dote, praise, criticize, dictate? Leave me alone. You are not me. You are not even like me. Behind this raging fire, though, is smoke and mirrors. I am terrified of failure. I am dictated by the constant fear of doing something wrong, accidentally or otherwise. I have no tolerance for mistakes. I do not know what happens if I am not the best, and I dream torturous iterations of losing at my own game. In my work I do not encounter people like me frequently, but when I do I watch them closely, knowing. It is uncomfortable to see myself in a mirror but also venomously good, since this time around I occupy the higher position, the emperor's box at their gladiator fight. From experience I know that these people will obey, but not quietly. They will scream the whole way through and never surrender their weapons. And they will watch me, too, in my position of power. They rage against the dying of my light, watch it, mock it for flickers and breaks, all the while growing increasingly hungry to replace my weaknesses with the flame of their own strength, zealous to destroy all evidence of what there was before, because they know so perfectly that it is absolutely less than what will be there when They arrive.

I get these people.

But then there are the people who accept authority, wholly, meekly, submissively, without criticism or question. Inexplicably, they smile up shyly under your yoke, even when you test them, even when you control them for control's sake just to see what they will do. When you are lenient and when you are harsh, they express quietly, even verbally!--"I am Your student. I understand that I am subject to You. I am grateful to be taught and sorry for my mistakes. I love You for being what You are. Will You please help me?"

These people fascinate me.
They so completely elude my understanding that when I meet them the all-consuming fire of what I am is blown hundreds of yards back. I have no idea what to do with these. I do not know what they want. I cannot see their motives. They are nothing--nothing at all--like me. I watch them, take notes, poke softly, handle with care. I do not want to break them. They have a trait that must be preserved, something I do not understand but somehow know to be sacred. Humility? I cannot harm them. For some reason, I would never even try.