Isolation Amongst Many
Sometimes, while walking with the iPod on, I know I am humming to myself or pretending to beat drums or something. I don't care if I look like a freak, so it doesn't bother me to be open in this fashion. I did notice that there are many other iPod users across campus, students who also have the earphones in as they walk to class, and they never seem to be reacting to the music. That was my first observation. Then, suddenly, I realized...hey wait...a LOT of students are using the iPod. Depending on the time of day, I see about 25 to 33% of the students walking by with their iPods going. Wow! Then I started looking further, and I noticed that out of the remaining students, many were also talking on their cell phones rather than to each other. Even when students were seemingly together, they were talking on their phones. I walked by two anorexic sorority girls (identifiable by their greek lettered bags), sitting down companionably in silence near the water fountain near the library, texting happily to...for all I know, each other. Texting, talking, iPoding...all these people, hundreds of people, and nobody was directly using face-to-face communication. All right, "nobody" is a strong word. Let's just say "very few."
Is this really where we're going now as a society? Are we actually heading to a time when we try and talk to each other in every way but a position that involves eye contact? Amazing.
The other night, I wanted to get fried zucchini. I haven't had it in over ten years, and I used to love it. Alex looked puzzled and said he didn't know what it was. You know, that happens so rarely to him because he's extremely bi-lingual. He usually displays a higher vocabulary in English than most grad students can show. Now, my French is merde. So, when we have moments wherein he doesn't know the English word, I frequently can't pop out the French equivalent....
...except if we are talking about FOOD! Woohoo! I have long been highly motivated to know all sorts of foreign words for food items. That comes with the territory of being food-obsessive. "Courgette!" I cried out, grinning. "Courgette...frit?"
Then, of course, Alex's whole face wrinkled up. Let's be honest: the reason why he doesn't know the American veggie words (the Brits use courgette instead of zucchini too) is that the man doesn't enjoy vegetables. I've gotten him to like quite a few over the years, but I still have a long way to go! I had to laugh as he looked so displeased to find out what a zucchini was. He decided he would be a grownup, though, and try it despite its vegetable status. Good news: he liked it! Yay!
I'm still hacking up my lungs. I will never be well again. I swear.
My daughter has been chosen to be the goalie of her soccer team. Why, you ask? Well, she's the only kid who they tried out on that position who was extremely dedicated to keeping the ball OUT of the goal. The other kids would sort of stare at the ball as it went by or would make a halfhearted attempt at grabbing it. Not my daughter! Finally, the killer instinct I knew she had inside but she never really showed when she was on the field surfaced. Ariana dove, dove, and dove again. She even got smacked in the face once with the soccer ball, leaving a large red splotch on her cheek for the rest of the day. I was so proud...sniff! I need to take her to see some good women's soccer somewhere. She loves this sport. I want her to be inspired.
And speaking of women's sports, I would like to say that I am very, very happy with my alma mater's women's basketball team right now. Duke is ranked #1 in the country, and they are undefeated. They have one game left: against UNC, of course. Usually, women's sporting events are not supported. However, Duke is a basketball school all around, and the word has it that the tents are popping up as the students wait in line for tickets for this final season game. I can't tell you how happy I am to know that my school is supporting their excellent women's team in a fashion that they deserve. Even when women's teams win, they are often ignored. But not in Durham! Go Blue Devils!