free stats Carmen's Web: March 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Can you read this?
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 10:05 AM
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Santorini Wedding
When I heard that my friend was getting married, the first emotion I felt was "hate" (the ghetto, slang version). I'm ashamed to even admit this, let alone to have felt it.

I don't experience jealousy often. Actually, it's something I rarely feel because I'm always genuinely happy for other people, especially my friends. I'm fairly content in my life (or so I like to tell myself), albeit the tragic issues I have to deal with every now and then. So when one of my closest friends announces that she's getting married, IN SANTORINI, you'd think I'd be thrilled for her. The thrill came later. The hate came first.

I hated immediately that some people just have it so easy; that they can live the kind of life they want without being encumbered by familial, religious, or traditional obligations. (The issues I have to deal with every now and then...I have a tendency to bury them so I don't have to look at them, but once they rear their ugly heads they're REALLY ugly).

So what did I do? I called my friend and wished her the best of luck. Told her how happy I was for her. And as I listened to her story, her struggles to actually get married, the problems she had to go through, I found the hate gradually disappearing. Sad, isn't it? Once I realized that she too was suffering I let go of the jealousy. It's not that I was happy that she was suffering, but I think I was relieved to know that I'm not the only one struggling. I feel REALLY alone in my struggles sometimes. And though I know that I'm not the only one who suffers from problems (I'm not vain enough to think the universe is solely focusing on me), it just seems like I am because no one really wants to talk about these ugly issues. So we all go around and pretend that we're happy, that life is easy.

No more morbidity. Here's a pic of the happy couple. I am GENUINELY happy for them :) (and will shower this happiness on them in Santorini!)

Thoughts shared by Carmen at 10:17 PM
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Monday, March 13, 2006
If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
Emma Goldman
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 8:33 AM
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Sunday, March 12, 2006
Pandora's music
For the music lovers:

Check this site out. It helps you discover some of your favorite music then streams it. Lots of fun...
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 9:28 AM
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Thursday, March 09, 2006
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 7:36 PM
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Monday, March 06, 2006
Virgins only please
South Dakota just banned abortions. Well, nearly all. As we all know there are exceptions to every rule. Here's who South Dakota state senator Bill Napoli would make exceptions for:

"A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."

I guess only virgins get traumatized by rape.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 7:57 PM
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Sunday, March 05, 2006
It's not easy growing up
A 14-year-old boy, walking on the promenade by the East River, jumped into the freezing waters two days ago. He took his coat off, said goodbye to his 6-year-old sister, and climbed over the rail into the river while she cried out begging him not to do it. His body was found by divers this afternoon.

I was told of the story by Olorin who couldn't comprehend what kind of despair would lead a 14 year old kid to commit suicide. I couldn't comprehend how it was even possible for Olorin not to know what this kind of despair would feel like. When I was 14 I was so full of pain that I wasn't sure I'd ever survive it. I'm not being overly dramatic here. I'm not talking about unrequited crushes, bad hairdays, or acne ridden skin (I suffered from all of the above). I'm talking about real pain, real struggle. Everyday was a struggle for me. And I (wrongly, apparently) assumed that everyone must have felt the same as they were growing up. I was actually surprised to hear that someone managed to get through his teenage years without ever having felt this type of DESPAIR. I'm always in awe of people like that...people who have never been driven to despair; people who were/are actually HAPPY or at least content in their lives because it has taken me years to get to this point and it's taking a lot of strength to actually maintain it sometimes.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 9:27 PM
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Thursday, March 02, 2006
I'm not sure one should joke around with uranium...

All teachers, every now and then, are afflicted with annoying students. You know, those students that make you cringe when they raise their hand to talk because you know their answers are just going to be so STUPID. And once they start talking they just won't stop. You have to pretend to listen and offer positive feedback when all you want to do is tell them to SHUT UP and stop being STUPID. You KNOW the type I'm talking about, even if you're not a teacher.

I know teachers should remain neutral and objective, but it gets difficult sometimes. I have one such student right now and it takes all of my energies not to kick him out of my class (or throw him out of the window). There's no real reason to kick him out. He's not an unruly or troublesome student, he's not neccessarily offensive...he's just A-NNOY-ING. I feel bad even writing this, but there's just no way around it!

I met him for the first time in my grammar class about a month ago. I learned that he was from Turkey, at which point I immediately decided to hide my nationality and religion lest he think we could become best friends by virtue of it. He discovered my secret one day, however, when I went to school wearing a Koranic chain. A couple of days later he comes up to me and says,

"You wear something Arabic. It is Koran". I tell him, yes, I know.

"Only Muslims wear thing this [this is not a typo by the way]." Umm, okay.

"You Muslim?" Yes, I am. Great deduction you got there.

And he decided that I was going to be his best friend for the remainder of his time at the school. All the other Turks learned about me through him and I immediately became popular with them. I couldn't pass one of them in the hall without hearing Arabic phrases. I became their best friend too.

Anyhow, I digress. My annoying student walks up to my desk two days ago as the rest of the class was packing up to leave. I was sitting at my desk completing some transcripts when I looked up to see him walking towards me with something in his hand. In general I wouldn't worry when a student tries to approach me. I mean, what can a student really want?? Help with homework? General life advice? It shouldn't be scary. But as he approached me I was filled with nothing but dread.

I looked up at him and gave him a polite teacher's smile as he extended his hand to show me a folded napkin in his palm. He brought his hand closer to my face and started mumbling something. As an ESL teacher you get used to students who have difficulty expressing themselves in English, but what he was doing was just creepy. He kept mumbling and whispering something incomprehensible,

"I have slkjdaoiepj;lakjh;dlkfj, home".

I had to stop him and ask him to speak a little slower, at which point he said,

"I have uranium in my hand that I made at home...sssshhhhhh...don't tell anybody".

He opened the piece of napkin to reveal a Turkish Delight and let out an annoying chuckle. Ha ha ha.

These kind of "jokes" are probably not so safe to make when you're an international student from the Middle East studying in New York City. I know his little uranium joke was just a way of expressing our shared Middle Eastern heritage post 9/11 (I truly, TRULY hope that he doesn't make jokes like that with other people), but PLEASE don't talk terroristic to me!!
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 10:34 PM
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Who: Carmen

Mini-Bio:
xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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