Remainder – 2011/03-05

Let’s see.  I left off with the Hunger Banquet.  I’ll summarize.

Our volunteer food-servers arrived, and we finished setting up as we waited for the event to begin…

Here was the food area.

Here was my best attempt at a tourist… really more of a field researcher.

This was the club president, Spencer Dorsey, and his dad, Stephen Dorsey, the main speaker.  He’s the Peace Corps overseer for Costa Rica or somewhere.  He gave a spirited talk, despite his non-ostentation on the few other times I saw him.

The people began to arrive.  Considering that the event had been scheduled in conflict with at least two other major ones on campus, we had a good turn-out, though it didn’t fill the place — which May, one of the servers, later griped to me about.

The patrons were seated according to the “income-level” division scheme, and soon the event began.  Our group of servers made our way out to lower-income; the place wasn’t as crowded as we had thought, and most of us were finished after our “first wave” of serving.

Here are the upper-income patrons at their tables, the middle-income on chairs at the side, and our mass of lower-income guests seated on the ground.  You’ll notice the under-occupied floor space before the middle-income guests.

This was the humble lower-income meal (but actually, everybody who wanted extra got some, as we found our selves over-supllied).  That’s water, beans and rice, and a tortilla.

The entertainment consisted of several costumed dance groups representing various cultural backgrounds.  My former Namibian friend, Ndeshihafela Sakuria, was there with some African dance group; they gave a very active performance, but my picture of her was a little blurry.  Here is another group; Peruvians, maybe.

During the show, some of us went back out in the theatric role of agents of “corruption”, selling better food.  (We hadn’t been clear on whether we would do it this year; people were worried about regulations or something; finally, Spencer or somebody sprung it on us.)  Most of our servers reverted to observers for the show; a few of us went out to gather utensils toward the end, when Mr. Dorsey gave his fine speech about activism.  It was unobjectionable, but I again began to be a little concerned for the political atmosphere permeating the club.  Finally, there was a text-message-based poll taken (and projected on the wall) for distribution of the funds raised by the event, which went very well.

At length, the event concluded and people began to leave.  We started our clean-up.  That same girl Kylee from the spelling bee was there, and she interviewed one of the other two club presidents, Rachel Fisher, whom I once home-taught at Southridge (a local girl, I remember her as always being a bit edgy).

It was a good experience, in a way.  I liked it.  But I really didn’t think it was as good of a venue as last year’s, the ball-room of the Wilkinson Centre (which may have been scheduled for another event this year).  It was a little bright here; the decor was athletic rather than formal; and it wasn’t, uh… geometrical enough in lay-out.  I think those were bigger factors than the slightly diminished turn-out that some other organisers cited.  Above all, I guess dimmed lighting would have done it for me, and a non-outdoorsy floor.  And somewhat less card-board in general.  At any rate, most of the visitors seemed quite content at the end.  I hoped some of them had felt that same inspiration I had last year, of the need to stand up and act in the world…

The club core went out to Denny’s when it was over, some time around mid-night.  I was a little surprised at first; I would have expected them to be happy with the Hunger Banquet food, and, if they had an extra 5 or 10 dollars burning their hands, to have added it to the event’s funds.  Nevertheless, it was a well deserved respite.  When Spencer and… what’s her name… Ann, his wife (a frequent visitor to our Vietnamese class, which language is her mother tongue), invited me to join them, I hesitantly agreed.  We rode with his dad.

This was the club at Denny’s.

This was Spencer making a toast. -_-  Ha ha.  I hadn’t seen that one yet…

He actually lent me six dollars for my order.  They dropped me back off at school afterward.

I really don’t like chopped hair on girls; but they’re quite nice, those kids.  They’re… hapless, maybe…  Not all of them have been sold on liberalism by the monopoly of our time, “Pop Culture”; I don’t know how many, really.  The only ones who care about politics there seem to be those who study it, and as far as I have gathered from the “Political Review” publication at BYU, the department in general suffers from the acute and infectious liberalism that I have heard has also overrun higher learning around the country.  And it’s not a fatal disease, exactly.  Some of them, like Spencer, exhibit such symptoms as abortion-pushing and, like one of my servers, young May, unfair and cruel satire of conservatism.  Obviously, though, it seems to make them aware of the plight of other nations and cultures (if not American culture), while conservatives are often so entranced by their superior, mainly correct philosophies that they forget that other people actually exist in the world.  If liberals become overly exocentric, to the denigration of their own dying domestic culture, so conservatives may become too narrowly endocentric, and even — heaven forbid — be found advocating the horror of isolationism, gleeful in their discriminatory conceit as their global neighbours perish.

As with other contagion, you just have to take steps to limit your contact with soulless, covetous liberalism… and with conservative self-idolatry and that strange, paradoxic, adolescent folly of libertarianism, promoting freedom through enslavement, and civilisation through bestiality.

So, that was… Saturday, the 19th of March.

(3/22)

On Tuesday, I was approached by young May at the Cannon Centre.  She was kind to me, and sat for a while talking.  She’s very short and somehow cute; she reminded me of my sister, as most white girls do, especially those with that boyish street dialect.  She told me of her home in New Hampshire.  We talked about languages.  I brought up my interest in politics, after which she mentioned her liberalism (acquired ignorantly from the tale-spinner Colbert), perhaps having misjudged me from my participation with the SID club.  She confessed that she loved “making fun of Republicans”.  I tried to swallow my shock, smile, nod, and tip-toe my way back out of the subject…

After my meal, she accompanied me as I carried in my dishes by hand.  I had been distracted from getting a tray.  Her presence pulled away my attention just long enough for my only accident at that cafeteria: a bowl slid off my small dish pile and crashed to the floor…

I saw her a few times after that at the Cannon Centre, but we didn’t really talk much again.

(3/24)

On Thursday, I worked on my article for the Schwa journal.  There was some sort of cultism taking place that night, a so-called “basket-ball game”.  I guess BYU got eliminated from a national contest.  I took a picture of some of the Schwa kids worshipping.

That was right near the end.  I think that one standing there anxiously is………. Holly?  She was quite pleasant…  There’s Clinton standing there too.  Stetson (not my old friend Stetson) was one of my rare fellow non-sports-worshippers at this school; he sits there across from me, hard at work.

There was an art display for SID, showing some of the stuff that had been displayed at the banquet.  That was my last time attending that club, I think.  I finally dared to meet the lone Korean there, a short and scrunchy-faced girl named………….. Eun-gyeong… I think….  She seemed nice, but seemed to be picking up a weird, hybridized accent.  Our exchange went nowhere.

(3/25)

On Friday, the China-appeasing kow-tower who made Facebook (and was apparently later copyright-infringed by China), Mark Zuckerberg, came to our school with Senator Orrin Hatch and spoke to the students.  Hatch’s occasional politicisms seemed a bit odd to the audience, but he was very good-natured; Zuckerberg also came across as highly self-aware.

I left a little early.  It was hailing and snowing out-side that morning…

Later on, I met my study buddy, Jenjira, at the ELC.  After that, we accompanied Feng-yu, my other study buddy, to a newish Korean market close to the school, then back to her house, where she and Jenjira made dinner.  Either that day or the next Friday was the last time I met Jenjira.  She cancelled our appointment two weeks later; she seemed to be getting a little tired of meeting, and she would soon be returning to Thailand.

(3/26)

On Saturday, I went back to Salt Lake, to return the next day.  Shanna started a fight that left me discouraged toward my future relationship with her.  Strangely, Shane did a bit more religionising with me later, which was more agreeable than last time.

(3/30)

On Wednesday was the Humanities graduate/undergraduate “awards dinner” on the third floor of the Wilkinson Centre.  I had nothing coming, but it was free dinner, so I invited my mother to join me in attendance, which she did.

People got their little awards and back-pats.  There were two or three really cute girls there that made the dinner worthwhile.  I don’t clearly remember, but I think that that interesting and well-spoken Eve Okura went…  Lena Shvidko was also there, and………. what was that girl’s name?  Julie Chung?  The memories are fading…  Any way, I have nothing to do with any of them, but it was nice to see them finishing their programs, or whatever.  Beside many of the faculty, some other old faces and acquaintances went, including Aoyama Eiko, whose article we published in Schwa; Kendon Kurzer(?), a former Korean missionary; and Clinton Brimhall, our Schwa journal editor, seen below with my mother.  I think he planned to soon study at the law school here.

(3/31)

On Thursday was a bit of proof-reading for Schwa; we were almost finished with Volume 6.  They had a little party two weeks later that I dropped by.

(4/1)

On Friday I ate with Feng-yu at the Cannon Centre, where I met Keith Wilson, a religion faculty member.  I’d met him earlier in an elevator up on the campus; I’d known him from some of his BYU-channel round-table discussions on t.v..  We talked a very little during and after that elevator encounter, then a good deal more at the Cannon Centre, where he was eating with his family.  He seemed like quite a good man.

(4/2)

On Saturday, I bussed home for Conference.  I attended the priesthood meeting at Temple Square, which is always enjoyable, if you can skirt the mentals.  Actually, they were easy to ignore.  I smiled at some guy’s youngish daughter — maybe Lonnie Pursifull’s — on my way into the main north gate of the square, as she was singing a nice hymn about Calvary.  And on my way back out the same gate, I was feeling so uplifted that I went and patted old Lonnie on the back (between his breaths, of course) and greeted him.  “Hey Lonnie!  It’s been a long time.  Nice to see you…!”  He seemed to not immediately remember me.  “It has been a long time…” he agreed as I waved and turned to go.

I felt… good about him, somehow.  Maybe people just grow on you… even your adversaries.

(4/6)

Late on Tuesday (the 5th), I stayed up the entire night finishing my presentation that was due the next day for Linguistics 490.  I didn’t know if I could actually stay up a whole night any more, since I’m getting older… but I managed to not fall over dead.  It also enabled me to catch my morning 420 class (phonetics).  I skipped my noon Thai class to work more, then gave a somewhat sloppy, rambling, semi-conscious presentation.  My speech gets a little strange when tired… but nobody had any questions for me at the end, except some perfunctory ones from the teacher.  My ideas weren’t sufficiently developed in the first place, because I’d just switched projects after sensing that my first one was unfinishable.  It was a good experience, maybe, though it amounted to nothing tangible in the end (see below…).

Somehow, I stayed awake till my 5-7 Tibetan class.  There was some food there.  I slept for ten or twenty minutes in that class.

At the end, I walked out with Joseph Thorin, a class-mate from South Dakota who’d been a missionary in Taiwan.  It was nice to know him a little better…  Finally, I stumbled back home…

(4/8)

On Friday, Jenjira cancelled our study meeting, but I was able to meet and sup with Feng-yu.

(4/10)

On Sunday (back in Salt Lake), I watched the movie “Avatar” (finishing it in Provo), and I finally realised what Na’vi was.  (Our phonetics teacher had used it in a lesson, and I’d thought it was a real African language.)

(4/12)

On Tuesday I worked hard to finish my phonetics class project.  It was kind of a simple assignment, really…  Kids usually just measure the vowels in a language, or compare dialects, or stuff like that.  I decided to only study a small class of consonants… across all my languages (well, not French or Spanish; I also couldn’t scare up any Japanese helpers) — plus Indonesian, which I am ignorant of.  My realisation of the focus of the project had come somewhat late, and I was in a rush to find and schedule volunteers.  I had already gotten Jenjira to help me.  I spent virtually the entire second half of Tuesday scavenging the library and inner campus for volunteers whose voices I could record.  I didn’t find many, but I was able to at least superficially cover my languages.  The paper wasn’t due till the next Monday, but after Tuesday, I was so worn out with it that I refused to try for any more samples, and just used what I had.

I had met some Hong Kong girls in the “Cougar-eat” of the Wilkinson Centre.  They scheduled to help me after their lunch, but when the time came, one had left, and the other refused to go, claiming to have expected that I had portable equipment.  I had chosen to not haul my computer around because I considered the microphone quality too poor; but, thinking back on my data analysis, I’m now confident that a portable recording would have been sufficient after all.

Fortunately, I found Man-lai, the current Cantonese teacher’s aide, later in her office.  Also, I was lucky to meet Rita Jeng (?) in the library.  Rita is a wonderfully interesting-looking sister from Macau.  I had overheard her speaking Cantonese once, and had almost tried to talk to her before.  But now she was free, and agreed to help me.  It turned out that her mother had taught her the Hakka language.  She wasn’t nearly as unsociable as her non-smiling prettiness had made her seem.  It proved to be only a passing interaction, any way.

(4/14)

On Thursday, as I sat holed up in the JFSB lab, I spied, out the window, Petra Pintar sitting down by the fountain, talking to some girl.  Soon, some weird guy showed up and seemed to demonstrate his possession of Petra…  It must’ve been the one she told me about earlier, back when they weren’t so close…

(4/16)

On Saturday…………… well.

I’ve kept what might be considered a “wish-list” here on this journal.  Most recently, I named two political dreams of mine, and two social ones, one of which had already been met…

On Saturday, the other one came true.

The one I once loved…

…befriended me again… Bomie Lee…

Previously in Salt Lake [on 4/2], I had re-installed MSN Messenger.  My current version is very user-unfriendly.  I can’t even access my block list… and can’t respond to non-contacts, either.  But after putting back on an earlier version on my home computer, I think that I somehow became visible again to my old contacts.

Later, once or perhaps twice, she messaged me and let me know that she had seen me at the Cannon Centre with my study-buddy, Feng-yu, where she said that she also liked to eat some times (though, curiously, I had never noticed her there).  I tried to respond normally…

Then, on this Saturday morning, quite suddenly, she messaged me and asked if I were going to eat there, and suggested that we meet for a meal.

…And so we did.  …For lunch.

We talked about this and that…  School, mostly…

It was……………….

…..very normal.

I was forcing myself to treat it normally…

It’s a bit hard in those situations, eating with new people, because you have to keep getting up and going to get food; and you’re not really “there with” the person; either of you may need to leave at any time.  You’re both just eating together at the moment.

Any way, it was… quite nice.

She had that same unique and beautiful face.  It was a bit older.  She looked… well, very different in many small ways, particularly her eyes… but in general, she was still recognisable.  At BYU, I had thought — rarely with total certainly — that I had seen her around occasionally; and I had often wondered whether, in trying to forget my earlier selfish desire toward her, I had lost my familiarity with her.  Sometimes new students would show up, and I would have to stare at them for a full 15 seconds before deciding they weren’t Bomie.

But there in the Cannon Centre, I could see that it was her.

Her English was amazingly better than I had remembered it being, but she still had that same trace of an accent that… used to be… so musical to me…

Ah…  It was nice.

…But, it was also normal.

Things were different.  The past was gone away…  I was a different person, and she, I assume, also was.

We were… friends, or something; two normal old acquaintances eating lunch.

We finished our respective meals.  Looking out the window (we sat on the north side, just east of the western door to the patio outside), I saw some girls coming in, and leaving these big piles of napkins fallen on the ground, starting to flutter away in the breeze.  How typically careless…

Without really thinking of my company there, I jumped up and hurried outside to recover those napkins.  It took me a minute or so, since I was being thorough.  Just before I finished, Bomie came to the door to tell me she needed to leave.  I came back in and acknowledged her, saying an over-casual goodbye… and suddenly felt a little stupid for stepping away right as she had been preparing to go.

Oh well, I thought.  It was normal…

I finished up my own food, and soon left.

Maybe I had been thinking of her after all when I got up to go outside.  Part-way through our lunch, I had noticed her accidentally drop her own napkin, and then — very unexpectedly — say, “Oh well, somebody else will pick it up,” and leave it there…

Ha ha…  I had laughed in my heart, hardly believing what I had heard.  This was BYU, alright.  And she was certainly not Myeong-seon.  …But I quickly stifled the thought, determining to keep the whole meal as the very positive memory that it was already becoming.

Yes… it was quite nice.

My wish had happened…

It threw a strange, peaceful glow on the rest of my week-end…

I should have liked to eat with her again some time.

Maybe some day.

…Ah…

…So… later… I took a bus back to Salt Lake.  Our beloved step-mother, Lucie, had asked us the week before if we wanted to go eat with her on Saturday night… so I was expecting to do so when I got home.

I don’t know why, but it never happened, and nobody even mentioned it.  I think they all must have forgotten.

(4/17)

On Sunday we had a celebratory dinner for my mom.  Later in the evening, I went back to Provo…

I met an interesting guy on the train.  He was probably twice my age.  I think he was nearly my height, not too short, and faintly jolly in girth; not obese.  He had fairly thick gray hair and a respectable nose, with perhaps a bit of facial hair after an earlier shave.  He was wearing slacks and a suit jacket with a bit of dust on the shoulder, and, I think, a light, buttoned shirt without a tie.  Other than seeming slightly disheveled, he was quite presentable.

I had my bike there at the end of the car, and at one stop, he came over to look at the map on the wall behind me.  He turned back to take his seat right as the train accelerated, and tipped back toward me.  I caught him, but I wasn’t sufficiently balanced, and got pushed back into the wall with a slight jolt.

We both recovered and laughed off the collision.  He said something about being on the train for a few hours, being laid-over or something; then he made some joke or idiom about “wanting to kill himself”; I’ve lost the exact words.  I chuckled back without really catching his meaning…  I concluded that he meant that he was extremely bored as he rode the train back and forth.

As he returned to his seat, my thoughts sped to catch up with the train…

My second conclusion was far more perverse…

…Maybe the guy…

…was actually…

…going to kill himself.

I brushed aside the demented reasoning, turning my attention to the dark foliage rushing past outside, and the dimming sky… but the thought kept buzzing back…

…Maybe…

…he was… a businessman, or something.  He was a traveller, a conventioner, but…  Something has gone very wrong for him, and he’s been wandering around all evening… alone with his own despair…

…Now he was taking one last ride on the train, or something… trying to delay his inevitable, hopeless deed…

…And…

…This was the last time the earth would see him.

He had smiled so… pleasantly at me, as if in complete resignation…

Now he sat a few rows up, close to the door, facing forward.  There was one person between us, and a few more further up the train.

We passed another stop, then another.

Soon, I thought, he would just get up, push the button, and step off the train; nobody could stop him, nobody would even try to.  We’d ride away…

And that would be it.

…One less guy.

It wasn’t a joke he had told, I thought.

It was a plea.

…Another stop came and went.  There were only a few more till the end of the line.  If he made it that far, I and everybody else would get out; I’d go to my bus; and he’d head off back down the line, into an endless night.

I basically never talk to people on the train these days, unless they talk first.  And I was holding my bike.

And more importantly, it was crazy anyway.  It was a big question mark.  It was a drama I just made up.  This was Salt Lake; I’d never seen such a thing.  This was a perfectly normal night…

…It was all my imagination.

Right?

…But…

…what if?

…I had to try.

Only a couple stops left.  I pulled my bike awkwardly into the narrow aisle and started walking forward, past the other passenger.  Embarrassment swept across my face for an instant… but, nevermind.  It was already decided.

I came up behind the older guy, then beside him, standing with my bike.  Just as he looked over, I leaned forward and asked, “Now, where did you say you were from?”

I don’t remember the exact exchange…

He smiled.  Long Beach, by Los Angeles.  What brought him to Utah?  There was a business convention here.  How did he like it here?  It was nice; the only trouble was his long wait for his return ride home; he was travelling by train, and it wouldn’t be leaving for a couple more hours.  He was riding this line back and forth to pass the time and enjoy the scenery.  Ah… so what did he do?  He was in the music business.  Me?  I was a student.

Soon we approached the last stop.  I asked the man’s name; “Gilbert”, he replied with another grin.  “Oh, wait; let me give you my card.”  He pulled one from his suit pocket and handed it to me as we both prepared to exit, I with my unwieldy bike.  Once outside, I saw my bus, #811, waiting over at the stop.

Re-assured that his comment had connoted boredom after all, and relieved of my worry, I wished the man well.  He said it was nice to have met such a friendly person on the train.  I reciprocated.  By then, his name had already slipped right out of my mind.  I apologized and asked it a second time, as I fumbled with the name card he’d just given me.  “Gilbert (Something)”.  How about me?  “Steve Foster”, I replied, evoking his mirth.  “Isn’t that special!”  It was nice to be recognised again.

We parted, and I placed his card in my shirt pocket as I made my way to the bus stop…

Pardon me if my dialogue wasn’t exact.  And, as I just found, it wasn’t a name card at all, as I had assumed all along, but a business card.  It reads,

—————————

Performing the Songs & the Music
of the “Chairman of the Board”

MyWay1.com
omit www. in your browser

310-890-9605

—————————

Now, if you follow that address, you’ll find the page of a performer who does Frank Sinatra songs, “Gilbert Gauthier” by name.  While the face doesn’t perfectly connect with the blurrier one in my mind, I’ll assume that’s the same guy.  He’s also on Facebook.

(4/18)

Early on Monday, the whirlwind of final-examination week descended.

My Linguistics 420 paper was due in the morning, when we also were to take our tests.  I delayed going to class as I tried to cram in the IPA symbols we were expected to know.  It was not fully successful; I should have gone a little bit later still.  But, happily, I passed the examination; my project was well-received; and I passed the class.

Before the day’s end, we were also made to turn in a reflective essay relating our 490 course content with our final projects (and “thesis” papers) for the class.

(4/19)

On Tuesday, we had our presentations for our Ling 473 TESOL literacy class; we had to demonstrate a teaching tool, strategy, or activity.  My tool was the use of a participatory vocabulary board.

I passed that class also; but, after spending so many happy hours at the ELC last year, I never quite managed to return for the two hours of observation required by this class, and my grade foundered.

(4/20)

On Wednesday, I continued struggling to finish my stuff for 490.  My mom came later and took several piles of books and other things back to Salt Lake for me, as I was moving out after that semester.

(4/21)

On Thursday there was… some kind of graduation ceremony that I skipped.  A bunch of speeches…  I guess Elder Richard G. Scott spoke.  I went and got pictures of the students, though.

I also got Feng-yu to eat with me at the Cannon Centre again…

Later, working in the library, I spotted Song Minhye — not the graduate Song Minhye, who once rejected my participation on a Mandarin-centric study of hers, but the undergraduate, who asked me once, during my phonelessness, what my phone number was before stopping talking to me….  (I’m not sure of either of their names, actually.)

Anyway, she’s the short, cute, and quiet but weird-faced girl who was in my 450 class in 2009 fall, and was currently in my 473 class.

School was ending, though, so I went over and chatted.  I showed her the name of her Korean friend in the ceremony program I’d swiped.

Well… we probably wouldn’t have worked out, anyway.  Good luck to the dear-face, though…

(4/22)

On Friday, my 490 paper was due, with some other work for the class…  Beside that, it happened to be cleaning-check day (which is also move-out day).  Besides all those, it was the day of the staged degree-conferral ceremony for the ex-undergraduates.

Looking back now, I think I should have just thrown aside that 490 stuff and gone and played all day.  But as it was, I thought I absolutely needed to finish it, so things became pretty tight.  My mom came in the morning and helped me finish moving, after which I finished cleaning, before returning to my school work, with its dead-line right at the same time as the beginning of the graduation pomp.  I did my best with it…  Nancy the cleaning checker came.  At least I passed that…  Then Dave arrived, and we drove to the Marriot Centre.

This is them in their seats.

It was a long event, but quite tolerable.  Sitting there in my false-priesthood robes before the procession began, I almost started to feel the very new sensation that I was surrounded by actual peers, instead of the campusful of little kids they’d been before.  It lasted only a moment.  Soon, they all got to gabbing and yapping and socialising, and I felt I was back in the monkey cage at the zoo.  Oh well; it was a nice moment.

We were ordered by name on our benches on the north side.  When it started, we began filing out the corner stair-way; those closer to the east side went to that corner, and we went to the north-west corner; then down we went.  Kate Chittaladakorn (????), a graduate student who had once half-heartedly helped me with Thai, had showed up late, and I tried to direct her to her proper place in line, telling her to check the name cards of those around her.

Once on the main floor, we sat back down, row by row.  Speeches followed; they were o.k..  Nick Hoban, a guy in two of my classes who I knew was cleverer than his peers, remarked that he hadn’t really kept up with the main talk, since he was in linguistics, and the speaker was more philosophy- and literature-oriented.  I hoped he was joking, and that these students haven’t been specialised to the point of semi-competence.

Row by row, we started walking again; through the south-east floor exit, around a tunnel, and back out.  Some helpers were there making sure our stuff wasn’t on back-frontward, and so on, for the sake of the expensive pictures that would be marketted to our parents.  Then, out we went, handing in our name cards, getting called, shaking hands, taking empty diploma holders, and getting pictures taken; all the while the giddier guests making vulgar disturbances when their graduates were called.  It went without any real flaws.  A little cliche’, but I guess it wasn’t unenjoyable…

My mom took this one.  Saved us millions in photographers’ fees.

Once finally released, I spent a few minutes searching out my parents, then we went to the truck.  I persuaded them to join me at the Cannon Centre (my last meal on my meal plan would expire the next day).

As always, it was a terrific meal.  Not too rowdy, either.

From there, we went back to my old apartment and got the other truck, which I drove back to Salt Lake, leaving my good-byes with Provo.

I’ll dispense with dates here…

I returned to Provo the next Monday to turn in some final things for my 490 class.

I took my time getting settled back in, since my room was already full before I moved back.  My BYU Salt Lake class started fairly soon.  My English 312 (persuasive writing) teacher is, yet again, a leftist, but thankfully she’s somewhat informed about her biases.  It’s nice to be back down there, though I haven’t had much time to visit LDSBC.  I only go there twice a week; the intervening days seem to finish before I even know they’ve begun.  These weeks, also, I’ve been staying up till… about now every morning (6 a.m.).

Well, I can’t spend a whole entry on it now, but… some weeks ago, Maridee Beeston e-mailed me to let me know I’d been given a non-passing grade by my Linguistics 490 teacher, Janis Nuckolls…

I sent her by e-mail a few plaintive, haggling petittions to reconsider, repeating the offer I’d made last week after calculating how close I was (by a conservative estimate of my yet-unknown scores) to the passing mark: that she accept some of the work I’d done outside of class for credit in her class.  She refused the offer more explicitly than she had the first time, and let me know that, in fact, she had scored my thesis paper so fatally low that, in her mind, I had no possibility of earning a passing grade.

My e-mail campaign failed, I accepted that my good-byes to Provo had been premature, and that I would need to put off any thought of long-term employment till after retaking the soonest 490 class, to be finished this December.

Back home, Myeong-seon has talked to me a fair bit.  Since my MSN-M reset, I’ve also gotten reconnected with Chinese Jing and old Bee from Thailand/Holland.  A Shan Dong girl I once new, Xin, also contacted me on a web-site.

Kim Hyun-joo had also been talking a little more since the end of April, weekly or even semi-weekly, but she fell silent for two more weeks in May.  She left another message ten days ago, off-line.  I didn’t respond for about five days, feeling miffed by what was surely another show of friendship to secure some kind of help with her English-teaching work, only to be ignored the rest of the time.

Finally, though, I talked when she came on-line… and we seemed to have quite a nice conversation…  That was on Tuesday night.  On Wednesday night she favoured me again, and then again on Thursday night.  On Friday morning she sent me her Skype name… and on Friday night… by what trick of fate, I know not… she and I… voice-chatted.

I don’t know when the last time was.  I thought she said that we had voice-chatted on-line before, but I don’t remember it.  I do clearly remember my unhappy phone calls to her several years ago, though, since I journalled about them…

Anyway, it was really unusual.  I had no idea why she seemed to be acting nicer to me… other than the obvious fantasy.

The talk, though, didn’t go perfectly well.  I found out she doesn’t think much of politics; she found out I -still- haven’t graduated.  I found out she drives a big, fancy, costly vehicle.  She found out I have no appetite for wealth.  I found out she thinks her plan for 2 children (because an only child would be “bored”), with a potential but unlikely third, composes a full family; and she probably took me literally when I said I hoped for 9 (I actually expect only 5, but usually try to aim for 7 or more).

Worst of all… I started to think that we may have different personalities.  I naturally don’t have a lot to say, unless it’s about politics, or religion, or complaining about society, or that kind of thing, and she… I don’t know.  She mentioned… shopping with a friend… although she wasn’t going to buy anything…  And she talked a little about her work…  I couldn’t quite tell what she thinks her life is made up of.

Well… even worse than that… you know… is that she…

Ah. >_<  How can I say it?  Don’t think me ungrateful…  She’s extremely cute; very short, and pretty…

But… I just get the feeling that she… talks like a man.

Her voice is a bit low, harsh, and nasal (of course, her cute but widish nose would account for that).  Her laughter is rapid-fire…

It’s kind of like this… vulgar dialect the girls use around here…

Well, I don’t mean it the wrong way.  She’s probably quite nice when you get to know her.

She did say she didn’t go gooey over babies, which is… good, I guess…  But that could go either way…

Anyway, we haven’t talked since Friday night.  I’m sure she’s busy with work, as always.

It was her mother, maybe.  She’s told me a couple times that her mother “thinks I’m handsome”.

I really don’t know what to do or type… if somebody I have put such a priority on… instead makes me… think…

Well, the thought won’t finish.  But, I’ve been thinking since Friday night that I really get along quite well with Myeong-seon; and, though not her, I think I would be a little content with some one like her…  Some one “down-to-earth”, who took subways instead of driving…

She said she got sick easily on subways. -_-  I guess that’s… cute, somehow… but… whew, what a price-tag on that car of hers…

I’ll of course try to give her a fair chance, as all the others…  She’s… cute… right?  Doesn’t that count for something?

I’ll call this entry “caught up”, then.  Now I can start writing in this thing more regularly.  6:41.

-Steve

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