Monday, May 17, 2004

So close to midnight, almost bedtime. What's wrong with Blogspot tonight, anyway? Graphics not loading properly.

Watched the Nick Berg execution video with 03A2 today. Everyone so grossed out and quite upset. Understandably so as no one can imagine such a horrible thing happening in a world that is supposed to be humane and civilized. Unfortunately, while pockets of sanity exist in the world, the vast majority of our human population live, and even thrive, in squalor, misery and horror. Civilization is the exception to the norm, a truth we don't really want to acknowledge.

So the beheading is ostensibly in retaliation against the abuses in Abu Gharib prison. So what's going to be the response to the retaliation? More violence? It doesn't seem to have an end and on the one hand, I'm saddened that this is the world I'm passing on to my students (sorry we've made such a mess of things for you), and on the other it is so necessary to see the world for what it is instead of deluding ourselves that everything is 'just fine' when it obviously isn't.

I recall these thoughts as my phone rang in the middle of my last bowling game tonight. You're wondering right now how I could get so frivolous by changing the subject so abruptly, right? Just play along, ok? My caller was in pretty bad shape, facing a situation that no one should have to. I would love to lend a hand but I also realize my limitations and I know there are many things that lie beyond my ability to control. How do I advise in this kind of scenario? I'm sorry, but all I have is common sense: identify the areas that are your primary responsibility and take control over that which you can take control over, regardless of how small it may seem compared to the big picture. Seek help and accept what help you can get. All that stuff outside your scope of control, don't pretend it doesn't exist, but avoid expending more energy worrying about it than necessary. Seek to control your areas of primary responsibility first and be grateful always for small triumphs along the way.

In our own way, we deal with the frighteningly enormous picture of a world all gone to pot. Individually, there is so little we can do, but that doesn't stop us from doing what's necessary as an individual. We can only trust that our collective efforts (whether intentional or not) will take us human beings to a higher plane of existence in time. Considering where we are now, it'll take us many more generations to get there; so all you young'uns, listen up -- learn where we, your predecessors, went wrong and do it a little better, do it right, when your turn comes around. Teach your young'uns to learn from you, and so the cycle goes.

And on the the frivolous stuff.

When my phone rang, I was having a real lousy game. I just couldn't keep the ball straight and hit what I was aiming at. As I took the call, June had to stand in for me for a couple of frames and I must say she did well to maintain a reasonably respectable score for me. I felt energized after the call and though it was a tough struggle it came down to having to score a strike on my last roll in the 10th frame in order to win a(nother) keychain. 130 pinfalls awaiting 10 for a score of exactly 140. I am now the proud owner of 2 new designed flashlight keychains from 3 games in total. Messed up my first game and missed the keychain by 4 pins! Grrr!

Good company tonight with regulars, Anthony and Wendy, June joined me at last and bowled a credible 90+ average, and Celine and hubby, Chang Wei, came as well. Under pressure from lanes on both sides. On the right lane was a guy who scored a 6-in-a-row and chalked up the lane's high game of the day! On the left, the SYCC-Cathay Bowl league championship was going on and the bowlers were of the above 200-250 pinfalls category. I bowled a 3-game average of 147, which I should be proud of. And I am.

Other thing to be proud of: The Odyssey got a Bronze award at the SYF. Well done, everyone! We've worked hard at it and we have achieved a very decent result. You've kept the tradition of English Drama alive at our college and we are grateful to you, NYeDC 03-04, for your enthusiasm, teachability, and tenacity that got us this far. Celebrate we shall, so maybe this Wednesday for a change, NYeDC will focus on putting together the all-important PSYFP. Lookin' forward to it!

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