Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Script of a Morning

Our story begins as the resplendent rays of sunlight awaken our sleeping heroine, Stephanie. She lazily rolls over to check her phone (which doubles as her alarm clock) to see how many more luxurious moments she has until she needs to be up. The clock calmly states that it is 9:30 am. (Cue frenzied music)

Our heroine bolts up in bed (note: this would be much funnier if her apartment had really low ceilings). 9:30?! The clock has betrayed her! It should have gleefully awakened her an hour and a half ago. Our heroine must now race against time...

Following a shower that will go on record as being one of the fastest (complete with the "fun" safe-cracker routine in the beginning to correct the water temperature), our heroine makes a startling discovery: She forgot to iron her clothes when she brought in the laundry the day before.

Stephanie: "Alas! What foul calamity hath befallen me!" [Artistic liberties have been taken with the dialogue, since "DANGIT!!!!" does not sound very eloquent.]

As Stephanie gathers her clothes, iron, and ironing board, she is overcome by a wave of dizziness, and abruptly sits on the floor. Apparently, her blood sugar has decided to crash (for those who don't know, our heroine is hypoglycemic and has permanently low blood sugar). Gone is the former plan of skipping breakfast and grabbing a chocolate milk to drink on the way to work. Our heroine needs protein!

Feeling particularly ambitious, our heroine decides to cook breakfast and iron at the same time. (Cue ominous organ music, indicating trouble ahead)

Many of you are anticipating that our heroine will burn herself with the iron. Not this time! The cunning iron fails in its mission to burn all humans who dare to use it. The crafty stove also fails its identical mission. Our heroine safely navigates both potential threats to her well-being and is instead defeated by...the broom?!

Yes, the broom. In her haste to grab the iron moments earlier, our heroine knocked the broom slightly off balance, sending it to the floor. Feeling bitter, the broom now finds its opportunity and grabs the foot of our heroine, sending her, too, to the floor (the low blood sugar is also partially to blame). Fortunately, Stephanie's breakfast is still safely on the stove.

After devouring her breakfast in a frenzied, unladylike manner, our heroine races against the gleeful clock to dry her tangled mass of hair, find a matching pair of earrings, and get her contacts in without permanently blinding herself. When all three feats are accomplished, the winner is...the clock. Stephanie should have left five minutes ago.

Stephanie: "Alas! What further foul calamity hath befallen me!" [Artistic liberties have again been taken with the dialogue, since "DANGIT, DANGIT, DANGIT!!!!" is far from eloquent.]

(Cue appropriate spy-movie theme music) Our heroine fights her daily battle with the bike lock (which is determined to fulfill its sacred duty of preventing anyone, including Stephanie, from taking off with the bike). Once on the bike, the still-dizzy Stephanie frantically peddles as fast as possible, bravely navigating the dangerous streets of Gyeongju. The cars of Gyeongju perk up at the sight of their favorite prey and the hunt is on! Adjumas and small children do their best to block Stephanie from using the sidewalk, forcing her onto the streets, where the predatory cars wait to strike. Through skillful maneuvering of the bicycle, our heroine arrives at school undamaged.

The stairs, another formidable daily adversary, eagerly wait to claim their victim, but somehow the now-extremely dizzy (and slightly nauseated) Stephanie makes it up all three flights without harm to herself. She has just enough time to call out greetings to her boss and her boss's husband, grab the kindergarten textbooks and stickers, and convince the stubborn copy machine to yield four copies of an activity page. It is now time (cue "da da da dum" music) to face the kindergartners.

Since our heroine's low blood sugar (for some reason, breakfast has not raised it) is making her brain foggy, she opts for as many sitting activities as possible. The first class goes along quite well until it is time for the craft project. Stephanie, in her low blood sugar stupor, gives scissors to the young children and expects them to cut out the puzzle pieces on the clearly-marked lines. (Cue the ominous organ music again)

Stephanie: "Harry, what are you doing?" (This question never has a happy answer.)
Harry: "Teacher, me cut!"
Stephanie: "Yes, I see, Harry, but you were supposed to cut on the lines. See, like Stephanie-Teacher did."
(Harry's lower lip begins to tremble)
Stephanie: "It's okay, Harry. I can fix it. Wait a minute..."
(Stephanie fetches the tape from the office, trying to ignore the dizziness that hits her as soon as she stands up.)
Stephanie: "Okay, Harry, let's tape it up. Oh, thank you, Jay, you're going to help, too? Oh, and Amy wants to help! Okay, you two hand me tape, and Harry and I will do the taping..."
(The whole process takes four times as long, owing to the three eager young "assistants.")

After surviving the second class, the still-dizzy Stephanie rushes home for a fast lunch, then back to the school (again braving the Korean drivers who clearly want her dead) for the mandatory Tuesday teachers' meeting. She arrives out of breath, and definitely worse for wear. Stephanie and her co-workers idly chat for ten minutes, waiting for their boss to come upstairs. Finally, the usually-prompt Cate arrives.

Cate: "Oh, I forgot the meeting today! Okay, we'll wait till next week!"

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"