Saturday, June 23, 2007

eight anecdotes

i was tagged by PZ myers.

The Rules:

1. You have to post these rules before you give you the facts.

2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog

1. when i was 15 i went to south korea for one month to visit my aunt amy who was living there and teaching english. i enjoyed helping her out with some of her classes and taught a group of young students an origami fortune teller game that i enjoyed playing with my friends. i slowly explained how to cut the piece of paper into a perfect square, then fold the paper in half to make a crease in the center, then unfold it, etc... after the next fold, a boy came up to me and excitedly said "teacher, teacher, i know, i know!" i was a bit confused but said "good! do it!" he went back to his desk and furiously folded while i went back to instructing the class. eventually, i showed the kids where to write the numbers and where to add little statements and fortunes like "you are nice," "i like you," "you will be rich." i showed the kids how to play the game, but it proved to be very anti-climactic as they didnt really seem to get it, but kept wanting me to go through the game so they could choose numbers over and over. as i was demonstrating how to play the game, the excited kid came back to me, said "see?" and handed me the most intricate origami bird that i had ever seen!!! wow!! i was amazed, and told him it was beautiful. then i felt completely embarrassed as i showed him the simple little game i had originally intended for him to make and read the fortune to his confused countenance "you will have many friends"!! easily outdone by a six year old!

2. one morning a couple years ago, my ringing phone woke me up. i saw that it was my sister's number so i answered... i strained to hear the little tiny voice on the other end saying "hello auntie manda!" it was my 3 year old nephew, keldan... i instantly smiled and relaxed into a waking state. he immediately asked "what's a telescope?" how freakin cute! he and i had talked about his binoculars during my last trip home so i described a telescope as big binoculars with a place for only one eye to look through at a time. you use telescopes to look at things in the sky at night. he told me that with his "bindahkoolars," he looks at "far away things" like birds and squirrels. i said that i use my telescope to look at far away planets and stars in the sky. he said that he always sees "two stars in the sky and a lot more." i told him that he could use his binoculars to look at the moon and he'll see dark spots and bright spots which are mountains on the moon. he yelled "WOW!! papa, there are mountains on the moon!!!" he was so excited.... i couldnt stop grinning. what a great way to wake up!

3. i have 51 first cousins. i'm grandkid #2 on my mom's side and #6 on my dad's so i've always had tons of little kids running around at family gatherings and i quickly became an experienced babysitter! on my dad's side, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren have finally started to overlap, but surprisingly late since the first cousin to have a child was 31 years old at the time. i cannot imagine the potential craziness of either family had my generation reproduced at the rate of my parent's generation!!

4. my family likes to sing together. for as long as i can remember at the gigantic gathering on christmas day, we have sung christmas carols. this tradition goes so far that there are packets with lyrics to over 50 songs that are distributed among the masses while everyone fills up their cup and takes their place in preparation for the event. this was terribly embarrassing to admit to people as a kid, but now it's so much an endearing part of my family's culture that i really miss it when i can't make it home for christmas. the last song we sing is always jingle bells. as soon as this song begins, santa appears at the top of the stairs and makes his thru the crowd of adoring youth and jovial adults towards the christmas tree. at the end of the song we all cheer for santa and he tells us about his year and usually adds a bad joke. he distributes all the presents with the aid of a few lucky little helpers and then we cheer him off again as he returns up the stairs to his sleigh. so very quaint! the infamous song that makes everyone perk up, prepare their ears and roll their eyes is oh holy night! the harmonies reveal themselves as the volume increases. the voices intensify toward the climax of this song when aunts and uncle stand up, reach out their arms to wail "oh niiiiight diviiii-iiiine!!!!!!" inevitably, there is always an encore of the last verse and on a good year, we all smile and laugh and clap at our accomplishment.

i'm a bit hesitant to reveal this evidence to the world, but here goes...

(last year's performance was admittedly not so enthusiastic, and the harmony levels were a bit low (due to my father's absence i think) but it's the only video of the event i've ever seen!)

5. i sang in a band for a few years as an undergraduate in cincinnati. i not-so-jokingly asked myself many times whether i should be a rockstar or an astrophysicist?

6. i've always been a cat person. i'm not anti-dog or anything, i've just never had a dog or even lived with a dog. when i was young i got a kitten and named it "sock". unfortunately, the kitten died, but i liked it so much that i named the next kitten "two socks". my other favorite cat name was "roxanne cruella deville bauer" or "roxie" for short!

7. i had no patience yesterday, so you can read about my crazy dream thing here.

8. in one year i will graduate with a PhD in astrophysics and i have absolutely no idea where the universe will send me upon completion. it's a bit scary to realize that i will exit the "professional student" status that i've held onto without a single break from school since i started! but i admit that i'm really ready to not be a graduate student anymore! so other than the typical research/academic post-doc positions that i will apply for, anyone have interesting leads to jobs involving science writing and/or bringing science and astronomy to the masses?

this was fun, so i'll ask these folks to participate:
operation bumblebee
fraser cain
the bad astronomer
holly mazurka
lab lemming
agujeros temporales


Dr. Lemming said...

Will you take a rain check? I fly out to the field tomorrow...

Unknown said...

indeed, dr. lemming... as i leave town myself tomorrow, youre off the hook.. for now!!

blissee said...

i just read this TODAY for the first time. looks like i'm a ::little:: bit late...