22.4.09

termites and BYU

All this grad school applying has raised a few perplexing questions in my mind.

Question number one. Do I report my grades from my calculus class that I took from BYU? And why in the world did I choose Brigham Young University? I know it is because Calculus didn't fit into my schedule and they were the only school that offered an online course. I just think it's funny that I virtually 'attended' a Mormon university for a time, as I do the fact that my professor stated in his profile that he had 15 children (or something like that). Luckily it was only an online course, otherwise I might have to dress like this: http://www.mtc.byu.edu/doc/sisters.pdf Not that I'm making fun of them or anything, but I'm not a jumper and black pumps kind of person. Although I had a pretty sweet lady-bug print jumper once. My mom made it for me.

Question number two. How did the lowest grade of my senior year go to the class "Backpacking"? Does this mean I am an incompetent hiker? Perhaps I carried too much gear than I should have, but it was still practically winter by Seattle standards...I hate the cold and I had to come prepared! That's no reason to give me a B, Dr. Weathers!

Some quite amazing storms have hit Penang in the past few days. What do storms mean here in Malaysia? Two words: Termite Infestation. Swarms and swarms of them, all attracted to light. They fly into all my light fixtures. When I turn all the lights off, they dive-bomb into the candles that I lit, drowning in the wax. Their 'winged-stage' only last a few hours, then they decide to drop their wings and find some wood to crawl into and destroy. The only remains of them in the morning was countless wings all over the place that are impossible to sweep up.

The same night as the termite infestation, I was at the night market. The termites were there, too, and they were swarming in full force. Not always, but once in a while, there's someone begging at the market. This evening I saw someone new - I noticed him because he looked Burmese and only had one arm - probably lost in work accident, my guess, and resorted to begging because employers don't give people like him compensation. We had bought some corn on the cob to bring home, so I thought I'd give him a piece. I wanted to talk to him, if I could, to find out if he is refugee. Turns out, he doesn't speak much english, but was able to figure out that he is indeed Burmese. I gave him my corn and he was grateful. As soon as I walked away, I felt a sudden tinge of guilt for giving corn on the cob to a one-armed man. How is he going to eat it? I thought to myself. Did I just insult a handicapped man? I'm so insensitive. I told this to Reuben and he laughed and demonstrated that you can, indeed, eat corn on the cob with one hand. I guess I'm used to eating corn with those little stick handles that come out of the sides - you definitely need 2 hands for those. Americans are so spoiled. Good thing refugees don't need cob-holders to eat corn.

I got my hair cut today. Malaysian salons (or as they call it, 'saloons') shampoo your hair without using a sink. Amazing! It comes with a 20 minute head and neck massage. I'll be coming back to the States with a little bit of a mullet, but the 80s are coming back, right?

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