Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Recently, my mother went to go register Chet for his new middle school and she was finished with the registration part and was inquiring as to what else she should/was supposed to do. And so this random lady walks up to her and goes, "Oh You're Chaitannya's Mom! I've been meaning to call you about testing Chet for ESL."
Not being familiar with what ESL is, my mother responded enthusiastically, thinking that ESL was some kind of gifted English class for amazing kids like Chet. Upon realizing that ESL is, in fact, an English as A Second Language class, she tried to get him out of taking the test. And the lady asks, "But doesn't Chet have a different name?"
And my mom says, yeah, his name's Chaitannya, and we make everyone call him Chet because no one can pronounce his name. But that hardly means he can't speak English. And of course, annoying ESL lady was like, "No, it's required that children in homes that speak languages other than English and have funny names [people who are not white]have their skills tested." (They know that because my mother filled out a survey back in like, June, that said we spoke both languages at home, probably to make us look good.)
So of course my mother protested some more, and the lady pulled out some wacky state law, which I'm sure doesn't exist, or at least, doesn't apply to us, because we live in Verona. So she signs Chet up to take this stupid ESL test that's designed to make it look like people of other cultures are completely incompetent, when in fact, the kids of this culture have a hard enough time understanding English, without teachers ditching them to pay attention to the so-called challenged kids who obviously can't have a grasp on two languages at once.
And Chet can't even UNDERSTAND Hindi. Chet, being the most articulate 10 year old going into 6th grade in the entire world (this kid Google him, if you doubt the claim.), receives ridiculous praise from all people who know him about his amazing language skills. His essays get read to the class. My mother is in love with his handwriting. The people at College for Kids want to have his kids.And,just because we're not white, doesn't mean we can't speak English.
My parents speak English all the time. They're better at it than most senators, because they've been learning it since they were born as well. They know Oxford words. I won the spelling bee at my middle school. I got my 5th grade essays published in the school chronicles and published my own magazine in 5th grade. We're not stupid people. Not to mention that we're all amazingly gifted musically and academically. We can speak in multiple accents/dialects. We have good grammar. And just because we're educated, and know more languages than some people, we should have our abilities questioned? Just because Chet's name is simplified for folks who can't be bothered to pronounce his real name correctly? If we think that Chet can't speak English, then we'll put him in ESL ourselves. We're not going out of our way on a weekday, just to have my little brother objectified by a test that will eventually tell us what we already know. That Chet is the most amazingly talented English-speaking, American-born, Indian, 10-year-old sixth grader ever.
And my mom told them just that.
And the ESL lady didn't dare tell her otherwise.
Monday, August 14, 2006
I know this is completely narcissistic, but... I think that I'm beautiful.
Like, for serious, I do. Not all the time, of course. But secretly beneath my skin, beneath my insecurities and beneath all the time that I spend worrying about what I look like, I think I'm pretty smokin' hot. In fact, I may go as far as saying that I'm pretty much God's gift to all people who can see. And people who can hear, because I do have a lovely non-speaking voice.
So now that we have that out of the way.
It really really really bugs me, when other people don't think I'm pretty. I feel personally insulted. Like, really. I know it's all a matter of opinion and it's all about personality, but I feel as if it's so strikingly clear that I'm fabulous, that no one should even argue. I mean, what could be wrong with me?
I do tend to ask people what they think of my appearance quite a bit though. People think this is because I have low self esteem, but really, it has nothing to do with this. I just like to have my beauty affirmed by other people. A lot of the times I hope that they'll say something's pretty about me that I've never heard anyone notice before. This usually doesn't happen.
Sometimes, they'll grade me lower than expected. For example, I've been given a 6 out of 10, by about, 2 people. And they think it's a compliment. "YOU'RE ABOVE AVERAGE." is what they say, but what I think is, "Yeah, duh. I'm above average, but how much?" And 6 = bare minimum.
So if I'm bare minimum above average, than who's higher than me? I mean, I know I'm prettier than, say, Brooke Shields. And I know you're all like, "Omigosh, she just compared herself to Brooke Shields!" but you all know it's true. Celebrities are not any better than us, appearance wise, just because they're famous. I mean, grading myself, I'd say, I'm a 7.5. And I'd say Brooke is about a 7. Because we're talking in terms of beauty, not appeal, not popularity and not height. Yeah, sure, she's sexy.
Similarly, I get mad when I don't look as good as I normally do, or think is my ideal. And everyone else is like, "Oh, sweetheart, you look fine." But they don't know that I can look a million times better, and that this is bare minimum and a lot of the time bare minimum is not enough. Besides the fact that looking fine is not enough. For me, being beautiful and all.
But the thing is, people never realize how much looks don't matter. Because half my life was an awkward phase and half the time, I didn't even know it. Being pretty or whatever, has done absolutely nothing for me. I'm still a huge dork, whereas Brooke Shields isn't as pretty as me, and she's a total babe. It totally has nothing to do with looks at all. I mean, it seems that way, to the naked eye, but when you actually look, the people you think are pretty, aren't and the people you think are sexy, aren't much different from the people you don't think are sexy, and the people who you think are smart are just as smart as anyone else.
And just because you know that you're pretty, or just because you are, doesn't mean anyone else will think so.
And really, I don't always think I'm pretty. But I always think other people should think so. It would bug me to think that someone looked beyond my looks and decided to like my personality or something. I don't think anyone should have to deal with being treated like that. Because I think that a lot of people look good in different ways, and it really doesn't have a lot to do with the way they look, but really, who's looking at them. Because I've never seen an ugly person before.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Today it occurred to me how easy it is to hide from others and from ourselves. We teach ourselves to believe that we shouldn't or don't feel a certain way... and then suddenly this tiny thing that we brush aside and keep far away in the depths of our conscious hits us in the face and we're stunned.
It is so so so easy for me to complete shut my parents out of my life. In fact, I notice myself doing it all the time. I long for the relationship with my parents that I see on Boy Meets World or Gilmore Girls, where their parents just sort of "got" them. I've wished countless times that my life were that simple. And sometimes, they do get me and then I realize that we're not so different, but it's only for a second and then, I'll ruin it by turning the music up too loud or something else that shows "complete disrespect for the house and the family".
The other day, I was online and it was like, 3 AM or something. And my mother was waking up, because that's when she normally starts her day. [She's crazy.] She, of course, expressed disbelief at my power to still be awake at 3 AM. She asked me what the hell I was wasting my time with on the computer at this hour. And I said I was doing something creative with one of my blogs. Then she said, "Why would you have a blog? That's like an online diary."
and I said, "Yeah. Cuz it is."
Then she said, "You won't tell us anything, but you'll tell a bunch of random strangers?" I didn't say anything. I was tempted to tell her to read my blog, just like everyone else, but I knew that having me confide something in them shouldn't be some huge deal. I mean, after all, they're my parents. Most of the time, anything that means anything is communicated after a long, thorough, drawn out, full-blown argument or at least, direct questioning until I finally scream out the response. It's not as though, I don't want them to know anything, it's just that I tell myself that they can only be using any information that they know against me, like they're interrogating me in a courtroom. But my parents are not unlike me. They build it up in their head, realizing that I won't open up, so they'll try to get the information forcefully. And it's one horrible vicious cycle, because I feel like I've not talked for so long, how can I start now?
I forget sometimes, I build a wall, sometimes, keeping them out. I notice how they're my worst critics, but not enough that they're my biggest fans. I feel like a hypocrite if I go on thinking I'm some wonderful communicator because I can talk and I say what's on my mind, if I can't even open up to my own parents. For so long, probably since 5th grade, it's all on a need to know basis with my parents. Like today, I went to my friend Caitlin's house to hang out and watch movies. I didn't tell my mom about it. Me and Caitlin had been talking about it for like, a whole week, but I just never got around to telling my mom, because I figured, there was no reason for her to know, because she wouldn't be my ride, and I got all my work done for her. And I figured.. why bother her? But the thing is, my mother wants to know. I don't tell my mother the simplest things, like the people I eat lunch with or what my favorite ice cream flavor is. And for some reason, I expect her to just know. I'm insane. I know it. And I'm lucky. I'm lucky that my parents want to know what's going on in my life. I wish I wasn't so terrible about it. I know so many people who's parents don't ask and don't tell. And I think, how ... empty it must feel. And here I am, with my interactive family, just keeping them out. I feel terrible for having wasted them for so long. I've realized lately that you don't get to keep everything forever, so you better use them really well when you got 'em. I don't want my parents to slip away from me.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I read this on Cnn.com
Does anyone else look at this and think "Horrible. Disgusting. Disturbing."? I know I do.
Cerak, 19, of Gaylord, was among nine people from Taylor University in Indiana riding in a school van that collided with a tractor-trailer on April 26.
Five people died in the crash, including Laura VanRyn, a 22-year-old Taylor senior. But VanRyn's mother and father were mistakenly told that she was alive while Cerak's parents were told that their daughter, whose injuries initially left her in a near-comatose state, was dead.
VanRyn's family and boyfriend kept vigil at Cerak's bedside for five weeks before realizing the error.
How would you feel if you thought your daughter was saved from a horrible accident.. only to find that she was dead? What kind of heart string pulling do you need? Whoever is responsible for the mixup makes me ill.
And how could the family be so silly as to not recognize their own daughter/girlfriend? I mean, if you look at the pictures.. they look NOTHING alike.
Friday, August 04, 2006
They have a tendency to go off on tangents.
"AARUSHI. YOU COULD GET PREGNANT TOMORROW!"
They actually pledged that should I get pregnant, even though I shouldn't unless I want to, that they'd keep the kid and take care of it.
Which scared the hell out of me.
They also reminded me that I'm only 15.
All of this based on like, Jason putting my hair behind my ear in front of my dad.
Well that's okay, I guess.
I'm not planning on getting pregnant today anyway. It would kind of run in with my guitar lesson.
Speaking of sex talks...