Nov 16, 2011


I love my blog.

But one hard thing about the blog is sitting down and choosing a story to tell. Oftentimes, there are 4 or 5 situations floating in my head from the 24-48 hours since I last posted, and I have to choose which story to highlight - which means 3-4 stories never make it into e-world. Choosing which story and then naming that story is sometimes a hard choice.

I had several ideas of what to name this post, all varying from different stories I could tell about the past two days.

So here are the titles and their snippets, but sometimes I just can't shoose:

"Tears of Joy and Purpose"

Tonight I recieved a message on the Chinese e-messenger QQ. It was from a student from my second year at HDU, Sophie. She wrote me this:

Jessica ,真正的良师+益友 :)

The message translates to: Jessica, a true mentor. Blessings.

I cried a little. I love my life. I miss my Chi.nese college students, but life has moved on and I have so many new students to care for (Americans, doctors). But no matter who I teach, or who I have the honor of interacting with, my Chi.nese college students will forever have a special place in my heart and memory. I am so glad we keep in touch online.

"Sorry, I'm too old for you."

I have a french suitor. It's cute - but I have no idea what to do with this kid. He is making me feel old. I am flattered by his pick-up lines and the fact that he is interested in an old lady like me, but I really just need to tell the poor kid to go flirt with someone his own age.

It began at my friend Steph's birthday party a few weeks ago at a restaurant/bar/expat hangout down the street from my dorm. I was a few glasses of wine in, and had reached the point of tipsyness where I think everyone is awesome and everyone is my best friend.

A cute little European dude leaned from his table toward ours and we started chatting. He explained he's from France and I yelled out all excited that my Mamaw is from France and used my 3 phrases that I remember from 3 years of highschool french class. I said something that was funny, and the little kid was hooked on my old lady charm.

And he hasn't let up. I get texts in French. He invites me out with his little dude friends. I've run into him several times since and he is very friendly and flirtacious. I get texts that say things like, "let's hang out Friday so that you can tell me about being a supermodel and I'll tell you about being a rockstar."

Homeboy's got lines.

I'm flattered, but I feel like he's misplacing his charm. He needs to go find a little cute Asian and woo her. I'm old, busy, and only looking for serious relationships with marriable men. My eggs are drying and I don't want to mess around with a little 21/22 year old.

I told him a few nights ago that I was, "too old for him." He won't take that as an answer. He's charming and harmless and I'm flattered that a young chap thinks I'm worth flirting with...but at some point I've gotta let the little dude know that I'm not really interested in a semester fling.

"20 Sources"

I can't say too much on the blog about my job, but I do want to say how amazing it is to be a thesis advisor. I have had another student ask me to advise their thesis (now I have 2!) and I am really honored. This should be an interesting journey for both sides.

I've got my kiddos researching for their literature reviews. We are starting with 20 sources, honing in on what research they want to conduct, then going after 20 more sources for a total of 40 at the start of researching. I really want my kiddos to do great work, I'm excited about this. I'm not sure just how qualified I am to be reading thesis', but the only way to get qualified is to do stuff, so we're taking the academic plunge together and hoping for the best!

"Red Stamps."

I got all the stamps for my paperwork! I am going to the office to turn them in tomorrow. My old advisor practically filled out the paperwork for me! He took the paper and got the other education department signatures for me while I waited in his office. He's making up for something, that's for sure. I think my new advisor is awesome and I can't wait to sit down with him and hash out my study plan. He doesn't want to make the plan until everything is finalized.

I told the only other foreigner in the ed. department tonight that I am changing majors. We have become friends and I'm actually sad to not have him to text about everything. He was sad to see me go, but so happy for me. It is great to have friends share in your joy. He said to me, "I didn't think it was possible to switch. It really is a miracle." Amen, brotha. I got those red stamps!

"Dinner at the Wyndham."

Last night I received a last minute text from my British friend Abbie asking me if I wanted to have a free, fancy schmancy dinner at the Wyndam hotel with her for her birthday. My plans for the gym went out the window and I found myself at a Mexican buffet with silverware, guests in suits, live entertainment, and guacamole!

She said she thought of her friends who would most appreciate the dinner and thought of me (since I'm broke). I was so thankful to be included in her day, and thankful for the great food!

"Big American Fat Girl."

There is a foreign girl at the gym who is sleeping with one of the trainers. It's big gossip. At Abbie's after-party someone was there who is close to the situation and was confiding in me some things (I'm always that person people tell their secrets to). Then, half-way through our chat, his eyes light up and he goes, "You're her!"

Um, what?

"You're the girl she was talking about!"

Apparently, the foreign girl was telling him how there is am American girl who is always at the gym and, "used to be really fat and gross but has lost a lot of weight." This foreign girl was discussing me and saying she's, "jealous" of my results.

That was hurtful to hear. I don't think I have ever been, "really fat and gross." And frankly, I think people feel body judgement and body jealousy because they feel badly about themselves.
My weightloss journey has been very personal and quiet and to be spoken about by an almost stranger in that way is hurtful. I feel badly for how broken inside she must be.

It was a good lesson in making sure I am not taking about people in a hurtful way behind their back. It's not pretty.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

When I was having dinner at the Wyndam the general manager (Abbie's friend who gifted her the dinner) came over for a chat. I had never met him before, and we were discussing whatever people discuss when they first meet. He was very interested to hear of my life (doctorate studies, professorship, etc) and told me, "You are a very impressive young woman."

Coming from a 50'something year old man who has run hotels all over the world for 30 years, that was a great compliment.

He then looked at me squarely and said, "So, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

I was taken aback for a split second, then recovered.

With complete confidence I responded, "I want to do what I am doing now. I'm at the beginning of my career."

That was an awesome feeling to know that for sure. I'm at the beginning of my career. Hopefully it morphs and changed and grows, but this is the right path.

So, those are my stories. Here's some pics:

the Commie bulletin boards in the philosophy department:

BAM! red stamps of officialness:

this guy was looking out the window of a building at school and I loved the composition of the moment:
the Wyndam. With workers from Volkswagon in suits next to us.

Dinner not at the Wyndam. Our Wednesday night tradition of dinner before class.

Wednesday dinner dudies:

at this restaurant. The name literally translates to, "Northeastern wind taste."

Class. Bah.

Panda shoes.

So there's my stories.

Til next time the stories pile up and I need a place to store them...

walk slow. xoxo.

1 comment:

agapelife said...

you have such a gift for telling stories Jess. I'm so happy I know you.