Thursday, November 26, 2009

UPDATE: Social Skills

I came home tonight, and golly gee, Samil was still home. But it appeared like he was about to leave, since his stuff was thrown all over the living room. As you know, the first step in packing for Thanksgiving is tossing all of your stuff around the living room.

Also, he was walking around the house yelling "What the fuck, man! Aaaarrgh! How does this happen?!"
"Hi Samil."
"I lost my phone - twice in two days." (I knew that, since I had to call his phone a few times yesterday).
"That sucks."
"This time its for real. I've been looking for it for two hours. Wait... one hour. I took a nap and woke up and I couldn't find it. Its going to straight to voice mail. How does this happen to me?"

I did not offer my best guess on why these things happen to him. Instead, we talked about his predicament. You see, he needs his phone on Monday to meet with an English Professor. (FYI, its still Wednesday). So what to do? Well, he could a) Beg someone to give them a phone and try to find a Verizon store open on Thanksgiving to activate it, b) Look for the phone some more or c) just fall asleep mid conversation.

(Yeah.... it was c)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Social Skills

It's been quiet lately. I think for the most part I've become desensitized to Samil's idiosyncrasies. We've also been not around at the same times a lot, so its a smaller sample size per day of things that would be mentionable here. That said...

This morning I didn't see Samil until right before I was out the door. The following exchange took place:

Me: "Hey, are you going to be home tonight?"
Samil: "Um, yeah, I'm going to my aunt's for Thanksgiving."
Me: "All right, I'll see you late when I get in... 10ish"
Samil: "No."
Me: "Huh?"
Samil: "I'll be at my aunt's."
Me: "Right."
Samil: "I'm heading there tonight."
Me: "Oh, okay. Well, have a good Thanksgiving."
Samil: "Okay. Yeah, you too."
I open up the door to leave and take one step out...
Samil: "Oh! By the way."
I stop and look wondering what on earth could have just crossed his mind.
Samil: "Oh, um. I. Oh, yeah. I just got this hemp protein and I had it today in my smoothie. As soon as it hit my stomach I could feel it working on my digestion."
Me: "That's...good"
Samil: "Yeah." (Self congratulatory look) "I'm really happy with this stuff. It's AWESOME."
Me: "Um. Bye, Samil."
Samil: "Bye!"

This evening, I was on gmail at my laptop at Starbucks. I sign on and a few minutes later, Samil starts up a gchat. "Yo dude." So I respond. No joke... 20 minutes later he gets back to me. "I meant to talk to someone else." Oh, okay.

Last weekend he went to an English Teacher's Conference and told me that he thought most of the early seminars he went to were really dull, useless, and a waste of time, and he wished he noticed that people were walking out of them freely. Because I dunno, a guy who has been teaching for a year and freely admits he has no idea what he's doing should be bored by the ideas presented at the nation's top conference on teaching English. Those people clearly didn't know what they were talking about. That said, he found it really important to tell me, as he was walking out of my room, that he met this really cool guy who wanted to change the name of English class to something else. "oh?" He wants to call it Personal Studies. Now THAT'S valuable for his professional development.

There's something really unique about Samil that makes me just have no response so often. I don't know how he's developed this ability to just throw out topics that are totally absolutely uninteresting to me, not even a little bit. It has to be a combination not just what he talks about, but how he presents it. You have to wonder how some people function in this world when they spend so much time having awkward relations with the people around them. I hope that my students become much better socially adjusted, which I'm not really concerned about at all, since nearly all of them can make it through a conversation with me without me raising either of my eye brows or forcing me to pick my jaw off the floor. And this is in middle school, which well, as you should all know, is an awkwardness cesspool.

When he had his report card night last week, he told me about one mother who found out her daughter was doing very poorly in Samil's class. The mother had, what I think was a look of anger on his face, but when Samil demonstrated it, it just looked sorta blank. Samil ended the telling of this story by saying "I don't know if I should have been happy that her daughter was in trouble or" he paused, I looked at him for a second, and then he started talking about tomato sauce.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Smart Phones Reviewed

I mentioned in an earlier post that Smart Phones are not named that because they make you smarter, but because it requires some intelligence to operate them.

This has been painfully clear to me on a regular basis in the last week or so, mostly because Samil has one of these phones.

To review: Samil this summer decided he REALLY wanted Pandora Radio on his phone. He wanted this at the expense of being able to accept text messages and add entries into his contact book. I sold him an extra memory card I had, which I hoped would resolve this situation, but he didn't put it into his phone for a number of weeks. This made his phone situation difficult while we were attempting to find an apartment, but also came into play when we were trying to get our Internet set up. Ultimately, Samil was hesitant to spend the 2 minutes it would take to do that because he's technically borrowing this Blackberry Pearl and will be moving to the Palm Pre, something he is very excited about.

Last week I got two calls during one class while I was teaching. After the class I saw it was Samil and got concerned. Something has to be up if he's going to call me twice in short succession while at work, right? So I call and leave a message saying when I'd be free to talk.

After lunch he calls again and I miss it since it was during class, so now I'm really wondering what is up because he called when I told him I wasn't free. This time, though he leaves a message. I play the message on speaker phone with my colleague. It was a very nervous plea of background classroom noises and lots of noises sounding similar to say... a phone rubbing up against a pant leg.

After school is over, I get a call from Samil "hey, what's up? You called earlier." I explain to him that he'd been calling me throughout the day and he found the whole situation to be amusing. One thing most Smart Phones have in common is the keyboard that requires a key lock on so that you don't pocket dial anyone. I told him about that, to which he said "Oh, yeah I forget about that sometimes."

This weekend I found out my Grandmother died. As I was packing up to leave, I realized that Samil still had not finished setting up the kitchen. No, that's not true. I knew he hadn't done it. I realized it was November all of a sudden and Samil had still not finished setting up the kitchen, and wasn't going to be home all weekend. So I called him to tell him he needed to do it. He responded with "well, it was a bigger task than what you did, and I've been really busy, and I've been wiping up in there, and that takes time." 1) It wasn't a bigger task (see previously linked post), and I also did everything in a week, he had a month. 2) I've been working 80 hours a week. How busy are you again? 3) Wiping up the kitchen after you cook is not special... its what you do after you cook. I do the same thing when I cook.

The next night I was at my Grandmother's wake. I get a phone call from Samil that I don't get a chance to pick up. Then I get another call. I excuse myself and call him back, but he didn't pick up. Then he calls again when I can't answer, so I quickly text him, "If you need anything, text me, I cna't pick up the phone while at the wake." Two minutes later, another call, which I was able to pick up because I wasn't talking to anyone at that moment, only to discover I was being pocket dialed again. The worst part... he never got the text message I sent because his phone's memory was full.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cooking with Samil!

I'm going to share with you what is carefully guarded family recipe: Samil's Brownie Recipe. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 ounce square of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup chopped

The cooks among you might be wondering what the hell is wrong, but, the answer is really elementary- Samil takes one serving size of all the ingredients necessary for brownies and puts them in a bowl. I mean... duh, right? (fyi, this is not his brownie recipe. I only chose brownies because that was the most immediate ludicrous cooking example I could think of to make my point...)

Last week Samil asked me how to use my blender for a smoothie. He was very concerned about screwing things up, and was very worried that his smoothie would not turn out right if he used the Mix setting instead of the potentially more appropriate Stir setting. I calmed him down by saying "just throw everything in and hit a button. they all work just fine for smoothies."

Only its not so simple! I come out to the kitchen about ten minutes later and discover massive amounts of pain and misery. The smoothie did not go well. It went so bad, he had to put WATER in it after mixing everything up. You see, to make the perfect smoothie, he decided to put one serving size of everything into it for maximum enjoyability. The flaw in this is that when you have essentially 3x the solid stuff to liquid stuff, your smoothie won't be so, er, smooth.

I think as time goes on, Samil will master the art of good smoothies. Until then, I'm hoping he avoids attempting to master the complicated art of that quesadilla making.