Dinosaur kid

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JURASSIC PARK was the movie that started my love of soundtracks. It’s the first movie I could remember coming home from the theater and humming the score. Thank you John Williams.

I went through the “I’m going to be a paleontologist!” phase hard when I was a kid (oh yes, I went to Dinosaur Day Camp–my first sculpture, which my parents still have in the basement, was a papier-mache triceratops), and I loved JURASSIC PARK. I don’t recall being scared by it, though maybe that’s because I read the book first (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?). So perhaps JP was also my first experience with “the book is better.”

I’m looking forward to seeing JURASSIC WORLD this weekend, and I hope it’s good. I can’t help but feel a little manipulated, though, feel that my childhood nostalgia is being taken advantage of. I’ll just have to console myself with oogling Chris Pratt in that case.

What will be the “Hold on to your butts!” quote of this movie?

May Book Photo Challenge: Day 11

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Day 11: my book boyfriend. Meet Ashe from Elizabeth Haydon’s Symphony of Ages series. My dad brought me the first book in this series as a freebie from his work. I didn’t really care for the cover (which doesn’t have Ashe on it), so I thought about not reading it. It’s a wonderful series, though, and there’s a new book coming out soon. Elizabeth Haydon was the first author to correspond with me via email way back when it was text only. I had a fangirl squee something fierce in the middle of my college dorm.

May Book Photo Challenge: Day 7

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Day 7 of the May Book Photo Challenge: childhood book.

My godmother gave me this set of THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA when I was eight or so. Obviously I read the first book much more than any other. I also apparently chewed on it at some point. My favorite thing to do when I was little was to curl over a book with a steaming bowl of ramen noodle soup, so there are quite a few stains where the chicken broth splashed while I was reading. Every so often I try to reread the series, and I always get stuck on the part in THE HORSE AND HIS BOY where the kids encounter the people who each only have one giant foot, so I really don’t remember how the series ends.

School Day

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I just finished listening to a program on St. Louis’ NPR affiliate (@stlonair) where they talked about chronic absenteeism in public schools. The guests mentioned that most chronically absent students fall into three groups: The ones who can’t get to school (elder or family care keeps them away), those who won’t (kids who get bullied or feel unnoticed), and those who don’t (ones who feel like school isn’t for them). I listened and felt sad. I went to public school for all of my elementary and secondary education, and I always wanted to go to school (except for that bit in high school, but I think most people encounter mean folks at some point in their schooling, and mine wasn’t that bad). I can fully understand those who can’t make it to school, be it that they are helping care for family members, or they can’t find a ride, or they have to work to support their family. I understand those who feel the only way to avoid bullying is to just not show up. But school was always fun for me. I liked to learn. And I just wish that those who don’t want to go, who feel like they will never get anything out of education, that they would discover that one thing that makes school fun, whatever it is for them.

Of course, I realize that not everyone had the upbringing that I did–my parents cared about my education and did whatever they had to do to make sure I was doing well–and I was able to come home to a stable environment every night, and these are powerful tools in schooling. But what makes one person love learning, and another one shake it off? Sure there were boring days in history class, and trigonometry still gives me headaches. But for every unfathomable bit of esoteric and useless trivia I encountered, there was a new phrase in English class or a new artistic skill, or those silly clocks in Geometry class and the lathed chess pieces from Shop.

Education is so important. The folks on the program talked about the need for mentors, someone kids can go to if they have questions or to be the stable force to advocate for them. One of my biggest fears is that my future kid won’t want to read or learn, and there will be this great gap between what makes me indescribably happy and what makes him or her smile. I can only hope that I can be a mentor to my kid, and any that I come across. I benefited from my education, and I hope we as a culture can find a way to make sure that all kids enjoy (and are able to go to) school.

A horse, of course

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Galloping Horse Lanterns #6

Galloping Horse Lanterns #6 (Photo credit: chooyutshing)

Gung hai fat choi! Welcome to the year of the horse!

Last night I conveniently remembered that I still have the t-shirt from the previous year of the Horse, in 2002. I participated in Wash U’s Chinese New Year Festival, singing the US national anthem with a fellow showchoir member, and presenting a fashion show of Chinese clothing. I wasn’t skinny enough to fit into any of the dresses, but I did get a nifty gold robe. And the t-shirt I’m wearing…bright red with a hand-drawn logo that wraps around to the back, where a horse leaps.

Hard to believe it’s been 12 years since I did that.

Anyway, the year of the Horse traditionally¬†an optimistic time, with opportunities for travel, surprises, and sudden victories, but it’s the year of the Wooden Horse, which could mean explosive events. I guess we’ll see…May your year be filled with happiness and optimism!

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