Where Are the Forks?

A bunch of my friends and I lived in the same apartment building – so our parties were pretty awesome.

For whatever reason I can’t remember, I decided to call it a night around 2 a.m. and walk across the hall back to my own apartment.

Moments later, there was a knock on the door. A couple giggly drunk girls asked where the party host keeps his forks.

I said, “Um. In his kitchen, presumably?”

They looked at me wide-eyed and said, “Oh my god, where are you from?”

“I’m from here.”

They were shocked.

Later, I had to ask someone if “presumably” is that uncommon of a word and if it really is odd that it’s a part of my regular vocabulary.

Like… really?

From a young child, I took the things I learned in English classes to heart. Standard English was the name – to master it was my game. Don’t as me why. Maybe it’s a language thing. I’m the same way when learning/teaching myself foreign languages. Also, I like sounding intelligent and well read. (Correction – I am intelligent and well read. And I like to show that with my speech.) For this reason, I’ve been called things like “white girl” and “oreo.” As if proper English only belongs to white people?

Some people even thought my family was rich based solely on the way I speak.



Wall of Shame

The nicknames my elementary-school peers gave me paint a vivid picture of what they thought of me: “Smart Girl,” “Miss Perfect,” etc. (“Teacher’s Pet” didn’t come until junior high.)

So, I was smart, and I was a good student, and I prided myself on things like good grades, perfect attendance… and never having to go on the Wall of Shame (that’s not what it was called, but that’s how I felt – shameful).

I had cheer-leading practice or something after school, but our coach didn’t show up on time, so we were left in the auditorium, waiting. And what did we do? Play on the stage LIKE NORMAL KIDS.

We got in trouble for basically being kids instead of waiting outside like the building like lost puppies.

So. We all got detention – standing against the wall. I was mortified. (“Haha, look at Jasmine, on the wall!! Ha!!)

I asked one of the older kids, “What does regret mean?”

“It means you wish something never happened.”

“Oh,” I said. “Well. I regret this day.”

Thankfully, it was but a blip in my elementary experience. Nobody cared the next day.

In junior high, I was spotless. The teachers loved me. I had the top GPA in the school both years (4.5.), perfect attendance, never got in trouble. In one class, I was teased so much that the teacher had to move my desk up next to hers (and that’s when they started calling me teacher’s pet). But, being a good student was so important to me. It was pretty much all I had.

I made friends in high school, though. The fact that I was salutatorian instead of valedictorian shows that I actually had some inkling of a social life. I had friends, crushes, and boyfriends. I cared about my weight and my looks. I wanted to be fashionable. I wanted to be all those things – plus a good student. So I was second-best in the school. Not the worst thing that could happen. Besides, if I had isolated myself from potential friends, I never would have learned guitar or joined drama club, or entered Smash Melee and Brawl tournaments. People did hurt me, yes. But not all of them. So then. This interacting with people thing started to look like it had some potential.

By college, I went from getting mostly As to a fair mix of As and Bs. I kept a steady GPA of 3.7 all throughout undergrad and grad school (how the hell I managed that, I have no idea). I didn’t use sparknotes until I was a sophomore in college. I was always early for class and never skipped… until I learned that perfect attendance doesn’t mean shit in college. By the time I reached grad school, I had learned to skip strategically by keeping track of how many absences I had before they started affecting my grade.

I learned that grades aren’t everything. I learned that I benefited more by half-assing classes I didn’t care much about so I could put my all into the classes that I loved. Even as a masters student in literature, I found time to read for fun and write my own stories. And I have friends, a wonderful boyfriend, a great sense of fashion, way too many books (and I need more), and a masters degree.

They say that you can only choose two of these three: Sleep, Good Grades, and a Social Life.

Crafty little me – I found a way to obtain all three.

Take that, Wall of Shame.

Geez, China

So, I’ve been around the world today! My university is having this diversity thing going on today, and I stopped by nearly each table and asked them to tell me a little about their culture:

Iran, Yemen (damn, that guy was sexy, and charming, and funny), Sudan, Palestine, Somalia, and Nepal were very willing to talk about their culture, and I learned some things. Huzzah!

Unfortunately, the Brazil, India, Saudi-Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan tables were always too crowded for me to get to and ask questions. Though the guy at the India table was able to write my name in Hindi. So there’s that.

And China. Well… When I asked, they sort of laughed, talked to each other in Chinese, and then told me that they couldn’t tell me anything…
I guess there’s always the internet.