Wednesday, 27 April 2005

Funny Age

It can get quite annoying when people think you're way younger than you really are. I recall trips in the taxi during my secondary school years whereby the drivers ask, "So, it's PSLE this year huh?" or something along those lines (For those who don't know, PSLE stands for Primary School Leaving Examination). On the rare occasion though, it can be quite Monday when I went for a skate practice.

I was as usual trying to work on that darn one-foot spin (which I still can't do properly) and as usual there are these kids who come up to talk. Anyway there was this boy...teenager say 14 or 15? He was trying to learn hockey stops and all on his own and I don't recall how, but we started talking and like we'd talk off and on... There were these two other girls...probably about 12 and they came up to ask me to do certain stuff (yeah I somehow end up entertaining kids too) and tell me I'm really good (although as usual I try and tell them the truth...that I'm really bad, but they never listen). So they skate around and come up to talk to me occasionally as well.

Ok here comes the hilarious part:
I had just finished another of those off-on conversations with that boy when the two girls come up to me and ask, "Do you know that boy?", 'that boy' being the one I'd been speaking to on and off. I told her I'd just met him today. The next question took me completely by surprise. She asked, "Do you like that boy?" (it was obvious she meant 'like' as in 'interested romantically' or something to that effect). Honestly I was kinda speechless for awhile (like duh! I'm like at least 5 years older than him and he's so obviously a kid). Then I laughed and told her, "He's too young for me! I'm gonna be 20 this year."

Oops, I lied, THIS is de really hilarious part. It was the shock on their faces after I told them how old I was. The girl who asked me even gasped and covered her mouth in shock. I really couldn't stop laughing, although I guess she must have been pretty embarassed, but hey! You don't go asking someone you'd only just met a question like that without setting yourself up for trouble. I asked her how old she thought I was...and she said "I thought you were like 14 or something!" Anyway she skated up to the boy and told him (I did see them speak to him once before earlier, but they don't know him). Then he came up to me and asked, "You talk to other skaters because you can learn stuff from them aye?" I said yes of course. It felt kinda like he was trying to show the girls that talking to me didn't mean that he liked me, but it seemed to me that the girls clearly had gotten the wrong idea.

Actually I was gonna ask the girl if she liked him, because why else would she ask me a question like that? But then I figured she'd already been embarassed enough. I don't blame her if she did have a crush on him though, coz he looked like one of those guys who'd grow up to be a looker. Now if he had an older brother my the brother would probably already have a girlfriend! 8p

Sunday, 17 April 2005

Skating Social Perks

Figure-skating isn't exactly the most social of all sports. You skate solo and learn solo from your coach, at different times from others, learn at different paces, do different practice is pretty much a solo thing as well.

While in Singapore, you'd be pretty unlikely to meet anyone on ice (which doesn't say very much for friendliness of people there), it's great here in Dunedin. Since getting back on ice, I've met quite a lot of people, mostly during public skate sessions. Seems like if you can skate resonably, people like to come up to you to get to know you. Strange huh? As far as I can recall, I've met someone every single public skate session I've been down to, and these people I've gotten to know range from 6 to 50+ years.

Like today, I met this guy, Keith, who does figure-skating as well. From what I gathered he used to be really good, but he stopped skating for ages and only recently started again. He's looking for a skating partner to do skate-dancing and he wants to eventually enter the NZ Championships. He asked me to consider becoming his partner and I'm actually thinking maybe I'd give it a go. Doing tango and the likes of it on ice sounds fun....not too sure about his ambition to get into the NZ Championships though...I'm not quite up to scratch! Also, there's a category problem. He's 50+ and that puts him in the Masters Category which is for those 25 and above, while I'm neither here nor there really... Anyway Deanna's coaching him as well so I might just ask her about it.

Aside from meeting people, another good thing about skating during public sessions is that people give you a space...I usually use the centre of the rink. So more or less you have an area that is "yours"...most of the time anyway (the hockey skaters barge in and charge everywhere). Of course, you have the occasional poor unfortunate soul who falls into your space.

A third controversial "perk" would probably be that the kids worship you. They actually come up and go "Wow! You're really good." While I must say that it's flattering, it is kinda embarassing at the same time...that is if you aren't really that good, comme moi! Then there are those who ask if you can teach them stuff...the most popular of all being how to spin (why am I not surprised?). I do try to teach them, but it's kinda hard when they aren't too stable skating forward in the first place...and most can't stop. It's like teaching a horse to jump when it can't even walk (Ok that's a lousy analogy, but I'm quite brain dead from tiredness). Still, whatever makes them happy, although I don't quite know what to say when they attempt to do what I demonstrate and can't do it and then laugh (or scream...a rather horrifying experience for my ears which I hope never to repeat) saying "I can't do it!" Well...duh...

Despite all the "perks" and the social bits of a not-very-social sport, I must say that nothing can really beat being on ice...alone...with the whole rink to yourself. It's like a whole different (albeit anti-social) juz gotta love it. 8)

Wednesday, 13 April 2005


Today I found out why I've been having so much trouble skating on my left outside-edge. It's coz my leg is munted...or rather my ankle is. Apparently my ankle is crooked and somehow I can't lean in to my left on that foot. *sob*

According to my coach it is quite "bizzare" and she recommended that I see this pilates guy who can find out which muscles I'm not using and then work out a training program or something. It would however cost me about $200 to try and correct it and when I last checked my bank account, it was under $20. Yes, under $20!!! I can't believe it myself....I've to wait till Thursday when the NZ govt once again hands me my weekly allowance. It's so sad, I can't even pay the electricity bill till then!

Anyway, financial problems aside, I wonder if I can practice enough to accommodate for the munted ankle... The weird thing is that I walk on the outside edge of my shoe. We looked at my shoes today and it wasn't worn on the inside while the outside edge was falling apart. I don't recall ever walking that way though, but walking around today I've consciously been trying to walk more on the inside edge.

The Dunedin skating club is holding its annual club competition and the coach has asked if I wanted to take part, which would give me something to work towards and we could work out a program. I'm supposed to select music...I'm not too sure what kind of music I should pick though although I'm quite in favour of the opening of 'Carmen' by Bizet and some of Strauss's waltzes... But I'm gonna have to really work on that darn outside-edge. It's screwing up my footwork!!! I've decided that I will somehow do it....or die trying...probably will die anyway, from all the bruises.

Thursday, 7 April 2005

Myriad of Faces

My social psychology lecture today struck a chord. The lecturer was talking about selves and the self concept and how we are different people in different situations. The funny thing was that I was just thinking about it the other day, during one of the times when I randomly think about the more philosophical aspects of life.

Anyway, I digress. Reflecting on the whole issue about different selves, I suppose I've got many selves and sort of multiple personalities, as do most people (just to assure you I'm not crazy!). I reckon it'll be interesting to be able to be in the mind of someone else for awhile just to find out how they view me, be it positive or negative, although certainly I'd rather a positive view!

While I am aware that I do have different faces, I've never actively considered when I put on different masks. Masks. Are they really? Or are they a part of me? Sometimes you put on a 'mask' and you feel like you are wearing one, yet if you can put it on, is it not you? The lecturer mentioned the 'actual self', that being what you truly are. I wonder though, how many people actually know what or who they truly are, considering how complex the self is. It's a connundrum I suppose...although it makes you wonder what happens if you finally figure it all out? Perhaps by then you'd be at the end of life's road.

In the meantime, I guess it's way easier to focus on the simpler stuff in life, like getting over with the next assignment. And we continue shifting in and out of differnt selves, putting on the various faces the situation calls for. The show must go on after all.

Sunday, 3 April 2005

Time Tunnels

It's rather scary sometimes just how fast time passes. It only seems like such a short while ago that I began uni life. Once in awhile I get that feeling of astonishment that hey I'm an undergrad already! It's like things have shifted and moved so far ahead without you noticing and when you finally stop and take a look around it's strange how much has changed, as if you've fallen through a time tunnel into another reality. Have you ever felt that way?

I mean I never would have thought that I'd actually be here in NZ, living on my own, setting up my own home and all. I never thought that I'd actually grow up this much and become this independent. Its not that I'd never considered the possibility. It was just distant. But here I am and looking back, the difficulty of leaving all I've previously known and moving to a new continent is a distant memory. I can't quite imagine going back to my old life. It's like I'm a totally new person.

It makes me wonder though what would happen in the future which is likely to come straight at you without you realising it. Right now as a student I can honestly say that I can't fathom not being a student. The 'real' world out there seems scary. I'm gonna be graduating in 2 years...and then what next? It doesn't feel like even with all this education I have the skills to be able to go out there, into the 'real' world, and get a job based on my degree. I don't feel I'm anywhere prepared for that!! Not for doing something on a higher level...despite all the goals and dreams.

I guess I'll learn to jump that hurdle when I get to it. Right now the upcoming hurdle would be jumping another continent...onto Europe - Italy, which is more challenging, considering it's not an English-speaking country... Or maybe it's wiser if I just ended here and concentrated on jumping the minor hurdle in the form of an upcoming test for one of my psyc papers next week...8p

Friday, 1 April 2005


It's funny how much we tend to take things for granted and you never realise how much you miss something until you no longer have it. I've also just realised how much I've come to rely on technology. It's all good and well to say that 'sure I can live without the internet, the tv, the cellphone' while you still have them, but when push comes to shove, you find it's like missing a limb.

The phone company finally connected me to broadband today. It's great, like I've finally got an arm back coz it means I can now work at night and access online journal articles from home. It also means I can once again socialise in the cyber world with those miles away. I think I appreciate having the internet a lot more after not having the convenience of it 24 hours a day for 3 months. I'm quite certain though that I can't quite live without it.

Another can't-live-without piece of technology would be the cellphone. I really felt quite uncomfortable not having it. It was not very pleasant to realise after I came down to campus that I'd left it at home. My phone is like a secretary of sorts and a form of social connection. Without it, there's this feeling of loss and disconnection from the rest of the world (ok maybe I'm stretching it slightly but you get the idea)...

Bottom line is, technology pretty much runs our lives...or mine at least...even when you don't want it to! So much for total independence... 8p