Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life after thesis-ing

I can see now how blogging can be a pain in the ass. It's not that nothing has happened to me over the past two weeks--it's that upholding the enthusiasm in regards to writing about aforementioned things is difficult to do.

Regardless, a major milestone has been accomplished. I finally finished my thesis on nationalism and education, and can now begin doing things like regularly cleaning my room, riding my bike, and doing laundry.

On the project front, my partner and I had a good meeting on equipment purchases and curricula development last Thursday. By this Friday we intend to get all of the necessary tech supplies for the project. Our collaboration on-island has coalesced a bit more. Today we also have another meeting with the head of his department who was interested in potentially publicizing our work. We are definitely going to hit the ground running when we arrive in Guåhan.

Last but not least, I've downloaded a copy of Genius in order to work on developing my Chamoru language skills. You can read all about the program, which utilizes an algorithm to maximize individuals' memorization skills, here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Guam Cribs

I am generally offended by all that I see on MTV, and the show "Cribs" is no exception. The show, does, however, encourage me to discount the aesthetics of the nouveau and not-so nouveau riche, in particular their decisions to paint Chinese characters on the walls of their dining rooms (way to go, white people with no idea what that stuff means) and employ "dungeon" as a legitimate interior style.

For those of you not in the know, "Cribs" is an MTV-style "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous," except in this case the rich and famous are the 15-minute kids of fame who had the right look and the right hook at the right time to get exploited.

However, I do love this send-up of the show by a kid on Guam. I can't wait to move.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The people you meet

One of the things I do love about temping (other than the requirements that 1. I have to ask to use the bathroom, 2. I get abused by at least one office worker each time, and 2. I get abused by one caller at least once each time) are the other temps I meet.

I was a mid-level apparel company yesterday. When I say mid-level, this company owns a lot of other labels and tends to sell them in stores like Sears, JC Penny, and select outlets. One of the guy temps who covered my desk while I took my bathroom break I found out had escaped from L.A., where he had written for a prominent comedienne's TV show for five years, her subsequent talk show afterwards for three, and bought a house with the residuals and income earned from selling drugs. Oh, and he was a dressmaker for the studios. He's been here for a year.

The other great thing about temping is the mythology that you get to pick up. He told me about this other temp who got hired at a legal firm even though this gig hadn't been open for ten years, and the woman vacated it because she was getting married. This new temp is currently pulling in $110,000 a year as a legal secretary. I guess that is the Holy Grail of temps.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

According to the dictionary...

Sanlågu = Continental United States
San- = Directional prefix, used with locatives. Gasgas sanhalom-mu. Your insides are clean.
Lagu = North (in Guåhan and Luta), west (in Saipan).
Lagu = type of fish-gaterin diagrammus, also known as sweetlips.

Thanks, Chamorro-English dictionary (Topping, D., Ogo, P. & Dungca, D. [1975].)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oh dear

As if donor suspicion regarding nonprofits weren't enough.

The New York Times Report Sketches Crime Costing Billions: Theft from Charities

And on the project front, I had a really excellent meeting without someone who had worked for foundations before and is now in the academic machine. He essentially told me to take my project for-profit if possible, equating the nature of nonprofit organizations to slavery. Strong words, but given his stance on nonprofits as an extension of the service industry, not necessarily a stretch, either. When I was an undergrad way back in the late 90s I was expecting to maybe swing around $23,000 for a starting position at a New York nonprofit--and this was after I had already donated nine months worth of time (about 540 hours) to one museum.

His advice regarding my ongoing problem of figuring out how to network with other nonprofits and gain informal kinds of technical assistance? Be straight up, transparent, and if worse comes to worse, play the student card and pretend I'm researching the organization.

Future topic: Founder's Syndrome. He apparently had tried to write a grant for an organization, and it turned into a tortuous process (I assume, given his facial expression) because of the founder's inability to cede control (and perhaps rhetoric) in order to persuade rich people to give the organization money.