Statistics and crime map…
Dec 24 Published in Remembrance, Reflections by Purple
This is a continuation of my journal from my 2001-2002 school year. Please read the previous posts to give this entry context.
Wednesday, December 19th, First Day of Finals
Trent Razor of Nine Inch Nails sings, “Everything I hate about you is seeping into me.” When I first met my husband, I could hardly stand to ride with him. He drove with his thumb on the horn. I felt he was rude and impatient. I was proud to say that I never used my horn!
Today I beeped at a pickup. As I was coming down Riverside, the driver started to turn in front of me. I’m sure, in retrospect, he was simply beginning his turn into the empty lane beside me and would have completed the turn after I passed. Nonetheless, his behavior made me nervous. While my husband certainly uses his horn less, I’ve also grown to appreciate the value of a horn. It can say, “Hey, the light is green,” or “Watch out for that car running the light,” or “You left your groceries on your roof.”
I feel like this period of my life, with my husband, with my yoga practice, is about growing a spine, not being so afraid of confrontation, of being assertive, of occasionally tooting my horn. Yoga practice has strengthened my lower back, so I can lift up out of myself.
Thursday, December 20th, The Winter Solstice
As I drive to work, the sun is rising through dark, striated clouds over the mountain silhouettes, tinting the rain clouds peachy gold.
The day is rainy, with thunder and lightning and reports of hail on the evening news.
No great surprises. Xochitl didn’t come since she had two F’s and her exam couldn’t make any difference in the outcome of her grade. The only other student in that boat was Roberto, who came, but didn’t put much effort into the test. Who could blame him?
The annoying students were the ones with split grades who needed to pass their exam to receive their credits and then blatantly screwed up their finals. Soledad, for example, didn’t even read the story on which the written section of the final was based. Raymond apparently skipped every direction on the test. For example, he wrote definitions rather than sentences for his vocabulary words, something no other student managed to misinterpret. Both students received F’s on their finals and therefore failed the first semester of English.
Rosa and Gustavo were pretty annoying, too. Rosa, who had the B- first quarter (I still wonder if I made some sort of error), and a D- this quarter had the chance to earn a decent grade overall, but she didn’t turn in the second sheet of the written part of her exam. Gustavo had two D’s so his final exam couldn’t greatly affect the outcome of his grade, but it still bugged me that he, like Soledad, didn’t bother to read the story on which the written section was based!
The Marine on the Plane
My husband and I spent the last full week of vacation in Zihuatenejo on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. We flew down on Alaska Air, our first flight since 9-11. When I discovered the young man seated beside me was a marine, I thought, “Grrrreeat!”
Then he took out his barf bag. He didn’t need it, but he did offer the explanation that he’d been partying for the past five nights with his friends. This led to the CD’s they’d made for him and photos pulled from his wallet. Photos of two ex-girlfriends. Which one did I think was cuter? Photos of his friends at prom. Last May.
He’s never been out of the country except to Mexico where he was born. Now he’s shipping out to Okinawa, and did I have any gum? (I half expected him to say chicle like my students.) I gave him a mint.
Later he sneezed and sniffled. Did I have any tissue?
Before he got off in Los Angeles, he also had my water bottle.
My marine disintegrated into a boy. A child.
He would learn a lot in the next year.
Or come home dead.