Thursday, April 19, 2007

Short Takes on failed youth, fish, blogs, ipods and diving

I had a smart yet very lazy student last year who simply stopped showing up for a while, and then would suddenly appear for a few days and then the process would repeat. Unlike most of the students who pull this, and there are about 10 per year even among seniors near graduation, he was above his peers in capability and brightness. Like I often do with these 17 and 18-year-old-students who need it, I painted a stark picture of where life was headed if he kept it up in this haphazard fashion. I give at least 10 of these talks a year and no punches are pulled. I make a point of mentioning the difficulty in finding an appealing woman (it is almost always boys of course) as an adult high school dropout making the meager wages dropouts tend to make. Sometimes these talks really work. Sometimes they don't. This one got the talk, and it obviously didn't take. I read in the paper today that this person, 18, was charged with felony armed robbery and is in jail on $100,000 bail. If convicted, and even if given the usual island slap on the wrist, will still have a felony conviction that will put the career Scarlet Letter on him in perpetuity -- even if he gets it together later on. All of this was for $4,000 in stolen poker room money presumably split among him and his alleged three accomplices.
One of the great things about living here, and there are plenty of them, is the fresh fish. Fresh tuna is $1.00 a pound island-wide right now, and I grilled up Cajun tuna steaks with Fettuccine Alfredo tonight. It rocked. The Miracle Blaze charcoal makes grilling very easy as well. It costs more than standard charcoal, but it is well worth it for a small grill used for a family of four.

I'm late to the party on lots of popular things, but as far as inventions go, the Ipod simply rules. I used to haul 600 plus cds around the world in three of those caseless flip binders, and when I wanted to hear something specific, I had to dig it out -- assuming I could remember where it was, and then drop it in the CD player. Often that hassle meant I never put the disc on. Now I just click the wheel and have access to 600 plus cds, and I run it through my AV amplifier so it isn't just for headphone use. The Ipod was really nice on vacation as well, as I could put on a lecture, or comedy act or more likely, something from my prodigious Dave Matthews Band collection on the endless bus, boat and plane rides -- or when my Tagalog relatives had enough English or me of Tagalog, which usually doesn't take long in either case.
I read Grant in Saipan's blog, and that guy has done some major exploring on this island and seen all kinds of natural and historical sites off the beaten path. I did some of these things at one point when I was friendly with some explorers, but as is common on this island, good friends move away and I've done little exploration missions since. Grant details all this in a very cool blog. I found myself next to him at the post office, having never met him in person, struck up a conversation and he was astonished that I knew of him in specifics. We forget how much we say on these blogs.
I'm jonesing to go diving in Rota. In fact, I'm trying to put together a trip June 8-10 after school gets out to Dive in Rota. The more people that go, the better the deal I'm sure that could be had. I've got about four interested parties right now. Email me if you are interested in going. I heard from Mark Michael at the defunct Dive Rota that June is the best time to dive the Rota Hole (to the left). These pics from the Dive Rota site look cool, and Rota is reputed to have spectacular visibility.


The Saipan Blogger said...

I'll be in Majuro!

Bev said...

i agree, ipod rules! I take that sucker with me everywhere! I'm diving Rota this weekend! Otherwise I would have totally gone with you . . . Maybe next time!