Monday, July 8, 2013

A Half in a Whole Grain World

So, in recent days, some of you might have seen the new Cheerios commercial. If you haven’t, let me describe it for you: There is a little girl talking to her white mother about the delicious cardboard goodness of Cheerios. Then, the girl goes out and gives Cheerios to her dad, who is black. This of course means (if you are squeamish, you may want to stop reading now)….*dramatic music*…that the child is biracial. What?!

Of course, this being America, the land of equality and opportunity, there was a lot of public outcry about the commercial. How could Cheerios portray an interracial couple with a biracial kid? This is AMERICA. That just doesn’t happen. Or does it?

According to studies, by the year 2050, kids of mixed race will outnumber kids who can claim to be descended from one race. Say, WHAT?

So, why do I even care about any of this? Well…here’s the shocking truth…I’m biracial. I know. It’s a horrifying reality. Mixed race people. We do exist. And the even crazier part is that most of us don’t even try to hide it. Some of us are even kind of proud of it – and some of us are really proud of it. However, I can honestly say that no kid of mixed race has had any easy time of it, and most of us have even had times when we really didn’t like being mixed race.

The first time I decided that being of mixed race kind of sucked was when I was in the first grade. The week of standardized tests came and my teacher passed out the little magic bubble sheets that would tell us all if we met the government’s standards for intelligence (you can tell I love standardized tests, but that’s another blog). On those sheets, you are supposed to answer what your race is and you have your standard answers: Caucasian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, Asian, etc. Of course, my little hand went in the air and I asked the teacher if I could fill in more than one of these bubbles. Kindly, she shook her head “no” and told me to just choose one. Well, that is quite an identity crisis for a six year old. Which race did I feel more like? Which one did I choose? Which part of me was more important? I don’t remember what I decided but I remember thinking that it was ridiculous that I couldn’t be what I really was.

Then, in the fifth grade, something happened. Added to the regular list of races was the option: OTHER. This, I remember marking. I also remember feeling like that meant I was something else, something so un-special that I didn’t even deserve a title. An outsider, someone who didn’t fit in. Oh well. That’s cool, right? Every kid entering middle school wants to stick out. Ha!

I suffered through some teasing in middle school and high school about how being half Asian (not telling which half though, haha) somehow boosted my grades. It had nothing to do with my work ethic, of course. Then, there was the general run of the mill racial slurs that I usually ignored.

Finally, I graduated from high school and entered college, where my race wouldn’t be such a big deal, right? My first semester I made friends with several other mixed race kids, but I faced a new problem. The school where I graduated from, there hadn’t been a ton of Asian kids so I was a welcome addition to their little group. In college, I wasn’t Asian enough to hang out with the Asian kids, but I was still enough of a novelty to the white kids that hanging out with me was considered very democratically open of them. (Personally, I think it was more democratically open of me. I was the one who had to deal with dumb remarks like: Oh, you’re half Asian? I love Panda Express! Or – my personal favorite: Oh, you’re half Asian? I saw Kung Fu Panda and I can totally eat with chopsticks!)

And then there’s dating. Have I ever mentioned that I went to school at college renowned for its Agricultural program (i.e., lots of white people)? Well I did. This means that there are a lot of opportunities for me to date nice guys from small town (read again, i.e., more white people!). Many of these guys admitted to me that one of the reasons they wanted to date me was because they had never dated an Asian before. But, thankfully for them, I wasn’t TOO Asian so their slightly racist parents wouldn’t freak out entirely. Then, there were the Asian boys. Many of them told me that they didn’t want to date me because I wasn’t Asian enough, or, I was too Asian and they wanted to date a white girl. I even met boys who were also half Asian and told me the same thing – either I was too Asian or too white. So, needless to say, I am always leery of a guy who shows interest in me because I’m not sure if he’s interested in my perky personality, incredible intellect, and beautiful face and body, or just interested in adding a novelty to his long list of women that he has dated.

Of course, some of you are thinking: Yes, all of this is terribly sad, but because of your minority status you are eligible for lots of other scholarships. True. Let’s say “yay” for the one perk of being biracial.

Well, there’s the scholarship thing, and the fact that the biracial kids are adorable. Just saying. I mean, let’s look at some biracial celebrities: Nathan Adrian (Olympic Swimmer), Tiger Woods (golfer and part time pimp), Apolo Ohno (Olympic Speed Skater), Halle Berry, and Johnny Depp (if you don’t know who this is, you should probably just go die now)…all of these people are good looking! I mean, honestly, biracial babies are super cute and grow up to be good-looking adults. Not that I’m bragging or anything…

But really, America, get over it. Mixed race people are here, have been here for years, and we aren’t going anywhere. We were here before Cheerios made a commercial where you see a fairly typical family in America, and we are going to be here long after that commercial has been forgotten. And in case you have trouble recognizing who we are: we’ll be the ones who are busy getting scholarships and making cute babies


Friday, June 21, 2013

Why Girls Love Superheroes and Why Boys Should Be More Like Them

Boyfriend: The only reason that girls like superhero movies is that they enjoy looking at buff, shirtless men.
Me: Well, that's not the only reason. The only reason guys like any movie is because stuff explodes.
Boyfriend: ....
Me: ....
Boyfriend: Juice box?
Me: Absolutely.

Of course, the above is a highly fictionalized conversation between my boyfriend and myself. The reason why this conversation is highly fictionalized is because I don't have a boyfriend. Because the men I meet smell like bacon, which might be appealing if they didn't act like pigs and look like Richard Simmons (and they do like him, right down to their fashion choices). Aside from that little tangent, I have actually had conversations like this with my male friends - or male-like friends, okay, so they might be manly women. Kidding! I really do have male friends and we really have had conversations about why girls like superheroes.

So, onto the question that has clearly been perplexing your brains since you began to read this post: Why do girls love superheroes? Also, another question that might have been occupying your brain: Why does this matter? Well, the reasons that girls like superheroes are also the reasons that boys should be like superheroes. Now, gentlemen, you may be feeling upset and thinking: We can never be like superheroes! Those abs are almost entirely impossible to get, and no one, in reality, looks that good in spandex. (This, of course, is ridiculous. Lots of people look good in spandex, just no one that I know personally). Let me assure you that, as you read this, you will feel more able to become a superhero and get the girl. Ladies, for your benefit, the following explanation will help your significant other, or your parents, or your dog, or your imaginary friend, understand why you absolutely must see the next superhero movie.

And here they are, the reasons that girls love superheroes and why boys should be more like them:

5. Superheroes are hot. Okay. It's shallow. Suck it up, boys. And girls, admit it, part of the reason that we go to superhero movies is because they are good looking. Now, I'm not saying that boys should look like superheroes, but it wouldn't hurt you to work out. If you're expecting a girl who looks like a Victoria's Secret model to like you, you should, at the very least, look like Captain America (even if it is pre-superhero serum), be well-groomed and polite. Also, more boys should be attractive. I realize the laws of genetics are against me, but I still hope. In spite of the fact that the last boy I went on a date with resembled a white version of Steve Erkle with an overbite, and, of course, a slight aroma of bacon, I still hope.

4. Superheroes are selfless. Let's be honest. Girls love a guy who is willing to give more than to take. It's something that tells us that your brain functions on a higher level, which means that it functions in the area above your belt. Even Iron Man, as selfish as he is, is willing to sacrifice his own life to save others. That is awesome. Guys, be like that. Sacrifice your fishing trip, your night with the boys, your football game, whatever, just once, to do something for someone in your life. Then, don't bring it up to show that you're a great guy. Why? Because if you have to bring it up, you must have done something that is super jerky and you're going to need to look like Robert Downey Jr. and have his paycheck in order for it to be okay and something that we will never speak about again.

3. Superheroes fight for a higher cause. Same idea as number 2. Girls really do like the idea that you have something in your life outside of her because it means that you have interests that we can talk about. That, and it gives us something to tell you to go do when you're driving us absolutely up the wall. Basically, that's it.

2. Superheroes are noble humans who have flaws but try to rise above them. Alright, girls know that we aren't dating a perfect person. Shocking, I know. In fact, gentlemen, this might come as a surprise, but we probably know your flaws before we start dating you. And yet, we still date you. Why? Beats me. Just kidding! But, seriously, we date you because we see that you can become something better. If you're trying to be better, we are happy. We are also perfect. And don't say otherwise. Or, if you do say otherwise, have chocolate and then run away quickly.

1. Superheroes fight for the girl. Girls love the idea that we're worth fighting for. We're like that. Guys, be like this because if you don't fight for the girl, she feels like she isn't worth your time. If we don't feel like we are worth your time, we will make sure that we take up your time. Translation: We will get whiny and vengeful. Guys, let me tell you a secret about girls: We're a little crazy. We don't "get over it"...we get even. *Dramatic music* Seriously though, girls can hold a grudge. One of my friends still remembers the time that I stole her cupcake from her pre-school...and she still holds it over me.

That's why girls love superheroes. And, of course, that's why boys should be more like them. Then again, I have met some guys who are like superheroes. Granted, they may be more like Captain Marvel, the superhero that nobody really knows about and that, at the core, is ultimately super lame, and that really wants to be recognized, but comes off as the dork who gets shoved in his locker on a daily basis, but, hey, at least it's some kind of superhero. It could be worse. I suppose boys could be more like super villains. As it is, most of them are like the guy in the movies who is randomly walking down the street and runs away shrieking when the aliens descend from the sky. That's okay. I guess. I'm kind of like the girl who serves Iron Man's coffee. Awesome, but unnoticed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Do What We Say or Die Alone

Every time I scroll through the news I see an article that says: “Ten Tips for Single Women” or “Dating Tips for Women.” And my reaction is the same every single time: Bite me. Seriously? Who are these people who have time to sit around and write these articles? And then the answer comes to me: It’s a bunch of single men who are eating potato chips after playing four hours of online “pretend games for adults who don’t have real lives and need something to feel fulfilled.” These are the same men who are living in their parents’ basements and come home from working at a fast food joint every day expecting milk and cookies. I’ve had it. I’m going to find these men and shove them into the lockers that I am sure they spent a great share of time in during high school. So now they have been warned. If you are the male author of one of these pieces, I will find you. You’d better run. I’d suggest that you run right off the face of the earth.

I cannot think of a more chauvinistic pursuit than telling women how they should be to please you. This kind of pursuit is, of course, based on the outrageous assumption that there are women in this world who want to date men like you. Men who write these articles seem to think that they understand women. Let me just give you a glimpse into women’s minds: You don’t understand us. And, as long as you continue to write these articles, you will never meet a woman who will teach you how to understand us. And, if you are married, and writing these articles about how women can be appealing to men, let me ask one question: Does your wife know what you do for a living? *Pause* I didn’t think so.

And if you’re a woman who wrote one of these articles – I will cover your body in paper cuts, tie you to a tree, pour lemon juice over you and then loose killer bees in your direction. Not that I’m angry. Not that I think you should be hurt. No, nothing like that. Women who write these articles are inevitably one of two types: The gorgeous ones who are super thin, have never seen a pimple, and never wore anything that cost less than a small condominium. How can these women ever presume to give advice on how to catch a man?! God gave them everything that they need, they don’t need any tricks, any strategies, any flirtation information. All they have to do is enter a room with their well-endowed chest, and perfume a la mankiller and say, “Hi.” They might as well yell, “PARTY’S HERE BOYS! TOO BAD GIRLS! THEY’RE MINE, ALL MINE!!!”

The other type of woman is the kind of woman who is forty years old, bitter, unhappy, and hoping to kill off the competition with bad information. I can just see them, sitting there in their homes, wearing bunny pajamas (with angry bunnies), drinking angry water, and pounding on the keyboard with an evil smirk on her face and writing something like this: “Don’t wear make up. Or take a shower. Ever.” Yup. That’s it.

As you can tell, I have a problem with those dating advice articles. You may wonder why I have such a problem with these articles, let me ‘splain. These articles seem to say to every single woman in the world: There’s something wrong with you. We know what it is. Do what we say or die alone.

It’s just absurd. I refuse. So take that. I’m not going to give you an advice about dating. Because I don’t know anything that the rest of you don’t know. All I can say is that I have one tip for all of those people who write the articles: Stop writing stupid articles. Write about something that is important, like the epidemic of men living at home in their parents’ basement.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Torturing Your Students: A Guide for Beginners

So I just started my student teaching. It's not as hard as people said that it was going to be. In fact I can think of at least one thing that is harder off the top of my head: childbirth. Seriously. Student teaching is well on its way to kicking my nicely rounded derriere. But I will survive. I will survive....and now I will bust a move to a Blondie song.

Really though, I am enjoying my student teaching. Except for the student part. And the teaching. Just kidding! I love teaching, although my students seem to think that my entire goal in life is to torture them. I can't even begin to figure out how they guessed the truth. Who told? Whoever you are, I will hunt you down and make sure that you can't ever talk again. How will I do this? I will feed you at least 9 and 3/4 pieces of saltwater taffy which will undoubtedly seal your mouth closed for the rest of eternity. But I digress.

I informed my students that I would be lecturing for an hour and that they would have to take notes. There was a great deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth. And I'm pretty sure I heard someone begin to sob. I may have also seen some students foaming at the mouth. Then it dawned on me. The way to world domination was clear: break young high school students' wills with note taking and lectures, turn them into certified zombies who are bent to my will and then take over the world! Of course, being the concerned edcumacator that I am, I thought I would inform my colleagues and any other interested soul on methods of breaking your students' wills. The following are the five guidelines that you absolutely must follow in order to torture your students into submission and force them to become zombies under your benevolent rule. Say that ten times fast.

Number 1: Practice your Xena Warrior Princess yell. Nothing scares students more than knowing that you are a trained warrior. True fact.

Number 2: When in doubt, quote Mr. Miyagi. Wax on. Wax off. Simple as that.

Number 3: Abolish the use of the word "like" from your classroom. You will see your female students go through visible withdrawals.

Number 4: Never, never, NEVER, let them know your secret mission. Or the name of your home planet.

Number 5: This is the most important one. No student must ever know this. So, I will use my Internet whisper voice. Ready? *Keep cookies hidden somewhere in your room. Not where students can see them, only where they can smell them. Then, eat them between classes.*

And there you have it. Five simple guidelines to breaking your students' wills which will enable you to take over the world. And now, I'm off to go incorporate these things into my lesson plans - and, of course, make lecture notes for the purpose of melting my students' brains out of their ears.

Monday, August 22, 2011

First Week of School Fashion Show

You step foot on campus for the first time in months. You know you’ve missed this place. You missed walking a million miles to get to a class that you don’t want to take just so you can graduate and get a job. You missed professors yelling at you for not turning in your paper on time and then taking seven months to grade it. You missed staring at the attractive people of the opposite sex only to realize that you have a piece of lettuce in your teeth and you spilled your water in a place that makes it look like the million mile walk between bathrooms was just too much for you. I know I have missed all of this.

In all honesty though I have missed school. I am glad to be back. I especially love the first week of school because it is like a fashion show. You get out of your car, off your bus, conclude your walk, or exit your spaceship and see everyone dressed to the nines trying to impress each other. The girls stomp down the sidewalks in 14 and a half inch heels trying to impress the guy who walked by staring at his reflection in the window of a building to make sure that every piece of hair is perfectly in place so that it looks mussed – of course the girls then trip and the guy inevitably runs into the nerd with the pocket protectors racing to the engineering building. Best fashion show in the world.

The first week of school everyone has done their back to school shopping and people come to that first week of classes dressed to impress. The girls wake up three hours and twelve minutes before classes to put on their make up perfectly and wear their cute new outfit, dreaming that “the one” will be in their class and hoping to make a good impression. The boys wake up a whole sixteen and a half minutes early to shower, do their hair, and put on the outfit that their mothers bought for them so that they look decent. Then, everyone struts their stuff down the sidewalks and to their classes.

In class, everyone is looking around to see if there is anyone attractive. If your classes are like mine there are about twenty girls who look like they have just been ripped from the pages of Vanity Fair (prom dresses are an option for the first week of school, after all, you want to look good). Then there’s one guy who looks like he may have modeled for Wal-Mart at one point and the rest of them look like malnourished versions of Mickey Rourke (post operation, of course)! Sigh. Such is life. Oh, if you’re wondering how I look for the first week of classes I shall describe myself: I’m the nerd sitting on the front row wearing glasses, basketball shorts, an oversized t-shirt and flip flops. I’m not wearing any makeup. Everyone else will look like me in two weeks. Unless they have amazing stamina. Or unless they are attracted to malnourished Mickey Rourkes.

I wait to do my back to school shopping until I’ve seen what everyone else is wearing and what is cool. It doesn’t really matter what I wear though. I always seem to end up attracting the malnourished version of Mickey Rourke who thinks he looks like Brad Pitt and thinks that everyone should be interested in the psychology of a nuerocircuit under the right moon of Mars during an eclipse. Sigh. Welcome to my life. And welcome back to school. Let the fashion week begin!

Friday, June 24, 2011

You're All Winners - Except Those Who Aren't

It's that time of year when scholarship awards are being announced. After months of staying up late, perfecting your essays, crying because you knew that you should have volunteered to feed the homeless squirrels with the group in high school, or joined the Star Wars club, or maybe created your own language - this is the time when you know if all that heartache, all that berating yourself over not being involved more, all of that time spent at your computer was worth it. Probably not but don't tell the guys in the Star Wars club that I said that. They've already threatened to make me give up my lightsaber.

You check your inbox. There it is. The fateful letter. Now you will know if you have the opportunity to remain in college, if you will be able to future your career as dictator of the world, or if all those dreams will be shattered in one fell swoop of an unforgiving scholarship board. You click the link, the e-mail pops up and you see these words, "While we regret to inform you that you did not receive the scholarship, you are still a winner in our mind! Congratulations on a great effort!"

For real?! I hate that phrase. It's used all the time, "You're all winners." It's a lie. Psh. In reality, there is only one winner and they know who they are. Saying "You're all winners in our hearts" is like saying, "That is the ugliest woman I have ever seen...bless her heart." Actually it's not even close. For some reason "bless your heart" makes any insult okay. Saying "You're all winners" doesn't make anything better. It makes it worse because in your mind you're thinking, "Yeah I'm a winner. A winner of nothing! I am a winner of second place. First place loser. Grumble. Snarl. Deathrays in general direction of kid who won all the money."

Can you tell that I hate the phrase "You're all winners"? I think it should be replaced. I suggest, "One winner to rule them all, one winner to bind them" - wait. That's been used before. How about, "The winner who lived" - oh. That's taken too. I know! We could just tell the truth. "You're all winners, except, of course, those who aren't, and in that case, you're a loser."

Okay, so maybe that's a little harsh. I should be encouraging. Uplifting. Happy. Right. You whip those scholarship committee peoples' little tushies. Tell them that you will win that scholarship! You participated in high school! You drew caricatures of your teachers during your free time! You started a club that was centered on the study of medieval beverages (if this is true please tell me what meade is)! You sewed your own Captain Kirk costume and created a Star Trek badge out of recycled rubber erasers! You are the ultimate winner!!!!!!! And even if you aren't, it was a good effort anyway and, in my heart, you're all winners.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

It’s here! Summer break…finally. I would be more excited but, lucky me, I have to take a summer course online so I can graduate on time. The best part of an online course is that I can put my professor on pause. If only I could do that in real life. But that is not what this post is about. Fooled you, didn’t I? I would say “April Fool’s!” but, let’s face it, I’m like, over a month late on that one.

Speaking of fools, one of my ex-boyfriends won’t stop calling me. He’s a 24-year-old man who thinks it’s mature to block his number, call your phone, and then when you say hello, to breathe into the phone respond with, “Oh crap.” And hang up. Yup. It’s always about my ex-boyfriends. Except this post is not about my ex-boyfriends. Fooled you again, didn’t I? I’m tricky. You gotta watch for the unexpected with me.

Okay, so what this post is really about is Facebook statuses. It is. Really. I’m being honest. Keep reading. It gets better. I enjoy reading peoples’ statuses. Just their statuses. Sometimes they are funny, other times they are so overly dramatic that they are funny, and yet, other times so drab that they are funny. Facebook statuses are funny things. The Facebook statuses that really irritate me though (and you were beginning to think that there weren’t any of those) are the ones that are incomplete thoughts because people are dying for attention.

I can see the wheels in your heads turning, going, “What is she talking about?” Well, let me give you an example. I hate statuses that say things like: “Decisions, decisions.” Of course no one knows what in the Sam Hill this person is talking about so they ask, “What decisions?” That is the question that the person wanted someone to ask in the first place. Usually it turns out that they were trying to decide something like whether or not to shave the hair in their ears and then they proceed to launch into a long, self-evaluative, and WAY too detailed comment about how long their ear hair has gotten.

So, I am now warning you: If you ever post an ambiguous status I will comment and I will make it less ambiguous. How? I will give you another example: Your status says, “Decisions, decisions.” My comment says: “I know. I hate it when you have to decide between boxers and briefs.” Don’t force my hand. I will do it.

If you want people to know your business, go ahead and just post all the information in your status. Granted, if you advertise that you have finally decided to get that fungus on your big toe removed, you’ll probably lose a few friends, but at least you won’t look like you’re desperate for attention.