The World Behind Closed Doors (part 1)

23 11 2011

Last year, I took a Creative Writing Non-fiction class, and despite the not very good teacher, I had a lot of fun writing and re-writing the two assignments that we had for the course.  Although I’ve previously written about my first relationship, I decided to write about it again, since it was a familiar experience and as my first big assignment, I didn’t want to do anything too out there.  Anyway, I’ve been hesitating to put it on my blog because I considered sending it around to publications but never got around to it.  I figure that I can still send it out and if it’s an issue, I could always take it down from my blog.

With that said, enjoy.

The World Behind Closed Doors

Like all Harlequin romance novels begin, it started with a message – sent via an online dating site.

I was 19 at the time, and my world was built upon piano keys, papers of all sorts of writing, and crushes on boys who would, one way or another, never end up with me.  Because of my lack of any working gaydar, I had resigned to meeting other gay people online by signing up on a few gay online sites.  I met Kemuel that way, and assumed he was just going to be another name added to my list of people I met online who, after meeting them once or twice, would be yet another boring guy I’d rather not talk to again.  I remember the message he sent me: he mentioned that from my profile, I liked music and went on to tell me he that music was also fundamental in his world – he was a student at UBC in the Music Program.  At first, this surprised me – not because he was in the Music Program but the mere fact that someone in cyberspace had 1. bothered to read my profile despite it not having keywords like “bottom boy”, “casual”, or the popular misspelling, “cum”, 2. sent me a message that didn’t include the aforementioned words or have the generic “how r u?” and leave it at that but instead, 3. sent me a message that actually mentioned my interests and started a stimulating conversation.  Now this was profound.

We instant-messaged each other a few days before he wanted to meet, insisting sometime soon.  Still being wary of meeting people from online, it already felt rushed to me.

(continued in part 2…)





Change

8 09 2011

Maybe it’s that it’s only a week into the school term but I don’t feel excited about any of the courses like I used for previous semesters.  Everything seems so much more formal, with more work and less fun.  I also don’t know any of the instructors nor students in my classes, which makes things a little more difficult.

I’m gonna vent a bit.  Here’s a list of the courses I’m taking this term.

1.  French conversation and literature.  I specifically took this course because even though I honestly feel like I will never be fluent in French, I would at least have the opportunity to practice speaking in the class, which I didn’t get a lot to do in any of my previous French classes.  It was always more focused on grammar, reading, and writing, which is good, but I don’t plan on reading/writing– I want to speak the language.  And since I took a conversation Spanish course in the Spring, I thought this course might be along the same lines, where we would get paired up every class and just talk to someone with everyday questions and sentences.

So far, that isn’t the case.  There was review of grammar, lots of vocab I haven’t seen before, and since I’m very rusty on my French, having taken my last French class over a year ago, a lot of I had forgotten.  I really do hope we get to actually speak a lot more because that’s the whole reason I took this course, but I’m not holding my breath.  I see this as the last change I’m giving to my French abilities and it will probably be the last French course I’m taking (unless there is a strictly conversational French course which I might consider).

2.  Sociology.  I was really excited about this one because it was my first Sociology course I would be taking and it was also a course that seemed really interesting (social problems).  Even though it’s an online course, I wasn’t deterred by that, as I’ve never taken an online course before so I thought I’d give it a try.  It’s only been a few days, so there really isn’t a whole lot to say about this class except that the first assignment/presentation is due not next Monday but the Monday after that, and we’re put in groups to do that, which I think might be hard to do/organize since it is an online course.

I also just don’t feel excited about learning about it anymore.  I think it’s because I was reading some of the textbook and it was really, really dry and boring.

3.  Health Sciences.  Like Sociology, I was really looking forward to this class because it’s about human sexuality, which I think is amazingly complex and fascinating.  The class has been okay so far, not much to complain about.

4.  English.  The instructor who is teaching the class is one that I have wanted to take a class with for many semesters now, and it’s finally happened.  I think he talks quickly (not a bad thing) and has a good sense of humor, and I’ve always liked English courses too.  The amount of reading in the class makes me a bit apprehensive though, and the projects too.

In almost all the classes, there’s a mark for participation, which I dread because I’m usually the quiet guy in the class, and I often lose marks because of that.  All in all, I just don’t feel the same as I did before about classes, and maybe it’s a sign that I’m ready to finish school, at least for now.  It’s good thing I’ll be graduating next year, I suppose. I’m also getting tired of this city, but that’s a whole other story.  I thought about dropping one of my classes but I think I can stick it out, and that things will get better.

I guess we’ll see.





Last day of classes

7 08 2011
Batman by icy_snow88
Batman, a photo by icy_snow88 on Flickr.

Tomorrow. Finally. And then it’s one more thing out of the way before I actually get to enjoy my summer instead of thinking of what to read and do for my classes.

Oh right. First exams. And then freedom! Huzzah.

Here’s a picture of my cat. Just because.





30 Day Movie Challenge: Day 4: Favourite drama

16 06 2011

Before I watched Citizen Kane, I heard, basically from everyone who had seen the film, that it was boring and overrated, which, admitedly, made me not really want to watch the movie.  Despite this, while I was at VFS, in one of my classes, we talked about some top 10 lists of films and Kane had made the top of the American Film Institute’s list twice in a row, and was the only film to do so, according to my teacher.  Anyway.

I probably shouldn’t have listened to people without even knowing what the movie was about.  At last, in my Survey of Narrative Film class at Langara, Citizen Kane was on the list of films we would be studying.  I’d finally get to see it for myself.

It’s important to know the background and historical setting (such as what was going on in society at the time) to really “get” a film.  As the teacher at VFS would tell us before watching any “old” film, “It’s time to take off our 2008 caps and put on our [insert whatever year the film was made] caps”, which I’ve found is really important to any film.  So in our film class, we learned about all the film techniques that had been popular up until Orson Welles made the film as well as all the things he pioneered and experimented with, such as showing the ceilings of rooms (because most films were made in the studio where the ceilings were open), using different angles like the broken snowglobe, and even things that we take for granted today like people talking at the same time (whereas previous to Kane, actors would say their lines nice and neatly).

After I saw the film in class, I was speechless.  There were no words to describe what I had just seen.  I thought it was absolutely brilliant.  The story is great, and for me anyway, holds up for its time because of the key themes in the film, like really knowing people.

Citizen Kane remains one of my favourite films of all time.  I should get the DVD sometime…





The reason I speak Spanish better

6 04 2011

In Spanish class after my oral presentation:

Theresa:  That was great!  You did a great job!  Very creative.

Aaron:  Thanks!  🙂

Theresa:  Yeah, your… prounciation and accent has improved a lot since last term!

Aaron:  Oh, thanks!  🙂 🙂

Theresa:  Thanks to your Spanish boyfriend and all.

Aaron:  I was gonna say it might be because I’m taking two Spanish classes this term and–

Theresa:  No, it was your boyfriend.  Don’t let go of him!

Aaron:  :)?





Anyone have short stories?

21 02 2011

Earlier this month, I came across an ad at Langara about a student at the school looking for short stories for an anthology she was putting together.  She wasn’t looking for any specific kind of themes or stories, and I decided to email her to ask her about it and to send some of my stuff to her.  It turns out her aunt owns a publishing company, who would be the one to publish this anthology.  She’s putting the anthology together partly because Langara, though it does have a yearly book of writing that students past and present can submit their material to get published for, they have a limit of 2 or 3000 words for short stories.  The other part is just to have something published, which I think would be super awesome.

We’ve emailed each other back and forth for a bit and she’s still looking or material.  If anyone reading this has any short stories lying around on their computer or knows of anyone who might have something or even feels inspired to write one for her and her project and would like to send it to her, send an email at jchan12@mylangara.bc.ca. And if you have questions, obviously ask her instead of me since I am unknowledgeable.

I sent her three stories I had written.  She hasn’t decided how many stories to publish and I don’t know if she’s set a deadline though at this point, since she’s gotten so few submissions, she might not have a set day.

So yes!  Get on it people!





The Hill

3 02 2010

Jumping forward in time to the present, here’s something I wrote last month, also for my Creative Writing Poetry class.  We had to write a poem with exactly 25 words, no more, no less, if you’re wondering about why it’s uncharacteristically short. And yes, it’s a real place too.

The Hill

North Shore mountains’ lights shimmer
Like teary eyes against Petro Canada’s red glare
Soft hum of Knight Street traffic
Someday, He’ll fall for me here.