There is supposed to be a very bad flood happening in Iowa soon. The river that faces my hotel/hostel is on the brink of spilling over and people have been putting sandbags at the edges with hope the waters would not reach the campus. The sandbag people look grim – they say it might be as bad as the flood of ’93 where a bloated body of a grandmother was found in the forest.
A Filipino participant that I’ve met thinks Americans make a big deal out of everything. “In Manila, during floods, people will paddle around to get to the cinemas or shopping malls. Life still goes on.” Also, given his rich experience with floods, he doubts the sandbags will hold. “How can you have faith that it’s just going to reach your knees?” I am watching the Weather Channel right now with jetlagged anxiety, am so unused to this unpredictable climate thing. I only know that things are hotter and rainier in Singapore. But now, seeing a heatwave in New York, tornadoes in Indiana and winter in Colorado all at the same time really boils down to the fact that this earth is spiraling out of control.
Meanwhile, people here seem big on rivers and mountains. Hearing lots of stories about such pursuits with nature. I am lapping it all up. New Yorker Fresh Grad in my class smirks and says his story about the Gay Straight Alliance is so out of place with these “geriatric reflections” (most of them have children above thirty but oh, how rich their writings are because of all these experiences, am currently in love with the description “root beer eyes”) – my writings are too, but they lap it all up because I far exceed their expectations of writing a grammatically-correct sentence.
Top three Midwest myopically cute questions of the day:
– “Do you actually think in English?”
– “Honey, would you be offended about my story about my mother referring to the Japanese as ‘Japs’? I know it’s rude but it was such a long time ago y’know? You ok with it?”
– “Could you tell me why Filipino men are so giggly? My gynae was Filipino and he just laughed like a girl!”
I am also being flooded with ideas right now, which may explain some of the insomnia. I feel guilty for being so methodical with my students . I feel like there’s so much more I should have done. I feel I have feared too much. I feel my words are lame. I feel I should stop writing for money or for other people.
But this could all be just jet lag.