*The Pointless Writer*
has a life you're completely uninterested in. But it's okay because I can write. No abbreviations. No shoddy grammar (though I'm not immune to mistakes). Just quality writing on sometimes completely pointless topics.
UnPoints of Note
1. I write when fancy takes. Sometimes, fancy takes many months of leave.
1. a bathroom fisture consisting of a bowl, usually with a detachable, hinged seat and lid, and a device for flushing with water, used for defecation and urination.
Synonyms for toilet: comfort station, restroom, throne, washroom, water closet, potty, outhouse, lavatory, latrine, water closet, loo, john.
When I say the word ‘toilet’, maybe the first thing you think about is what people do in it. Ya know, the usual—pee, poop, to put it crudely. Then if you’re in a public place, maybe you start recalling that awful stench, and possibly the unwanted sounds of escaping gas, dripping excrements and plopping solids. Now, if you do your own chores, maybe you start thinking about the brand of cleaning liquid you use and how you’re running out of it and need to buy more.
Does the word ‘inspiration’ come to mind? I’m guessing… no.
Call me weird, but I get some of my best inspiration while I’m spaced out in the washroom. Honestly. The best inspiration usually comes when I’m bathing, since there’s more time to think while the water PUB has cleansed makes that soothing sound of imaginary rivers and flows down my back. Inspiration for WHAT? You may wonder. No, not for a prodigy toilet detergent. ;) Nor do I solve Math questions as my dad used to do in his sleep. No, I get inspiration for stories.
Yes, of course I write. I’m writing now, aren’t I? *peers over glasses on nose* But my preferred style of writing is fiction. Not the (hopefully) entertaining stuff I write for Maniac, or the below-par essays I write for GP (whoops! There goes my secret!). No, my first love is STORIES. Putting a world I have created with characters I’ve invented into words. I wrote my first book in Secondary 2. It was… horrible. I suppose, a good try for someone untrained, but ultimately, very lacking. In fact, I’m re-writing it right now. And OF COURSE, I mapped out many of my ideas in… the toilet, the star of today’s article. :) While the water flowed and my brother knocked on the door saying he needed to pee very urgently, I decided on the conflicts my characters would have, both internal and external, and tried, and failed, to decide who would be involved in a romance.
So… What is the point of my telling you all this? To let you know how weird I am? To entertain you? To… fulfill my quota? Nah. It’s to get you thinking about how YOU are weird, and what unusual things occur while you use that essential commodity called the [refer to list of synonyms above].
For the record, the inspiration for today’s piece was taken out of the dark air while I fell asleep. The bathroom isn’t my ONLY source of inspiration, you know, so’s my bedroom. (I was trying to think of some really random stuff to write on, to live up to my name, which I haven’t been doing very much lately.) Enjoy your next trip to our constant companion!
Voice Exam. (Huh? What's That?) Part 2
Okay… So I had my voice exam on Friday. The one word to describe it, which most of us are familiar with, is “SCREWED”. Sigh. Why would I think that a voice exam would be any different from regular school exams, and why did I even entertain the thought that I would exit full of the joy of singing rather than worrying about the grade I get?
Of course, the nervousness that seeped through my every cell did not help. It was, after all, my FIRST voice exam ever. And, it was Grade 5 at that. Wouldn’t you be slightly daunted too? I was extremely grateful to God that he provided me with an accompanist with whom I had rapport. Rapport is such an essential ingredient for putting on a good performance!
Nina, Maria Wiegenlied and The Birds’ Lament went by fine, for the most part. All you have to do to call it perfect is factor out my inane desire to hold on to the wall and sing with my eyes closed. This inane desire led to the discovery that the wall was padded with sponge for sound-proofing, and the image of puzzled staff wondering why the sponge had changed shape, assuming I gave in to that inane desire, formed in my mind whilst I sang. It definitely helped that the examiner did not make any eye contact with me while I sang, and kept his head bent low while he scribbled notes. The only time he established eye contact was at the end of each song. He commented that The Birds’ Lament is one of his favourite songs.
Then my pianist left the room. And all hell broke loose. Jkjk. All hell almost broke loose. I nearly broke down from sheer nervousness. The last thread connecting me to all people familiar had been broken! Now, I was alone in the room with a male examiner whose name I did not know. I didn’t even know which country he was from. And I totally screwed up Molihua. The most embarrassing thing happened. I couldn’t reach my lowest note. Maybe you people have nightmares about… I don’t know, sleeping through the GSS? My worst nightmare (though I haven’t actually dreamt it) is having one of my notes crack while singing. It has only ever happened twice in the last 4 years, and only during choir practice, NEVER during a performance. *WAILS and beats at her chest in grief like a gorilla* It was sheer awfulness. I should have sung the song a semitone higher! I almost fell over when the examiner commented at the end that “the range for this song is rather wide, isn’t it? Even though it’s in E flat major, the notes are rather low, hmm? …Although the high notes were lovely.”
And no thanks to that horrifyingly stupendous failure, I screwed up pretty much everything else too. Halfway through my sight-singing test, I blinked, sang one note too early, sang the next one wrongly, forgot which bar I was at, and got the last two bars wrong. And almost fainted when he said, “…the rhythm eh?” I was watching his mouth move and not hearing anything till the last three words. Whoops. Ya know, like one of those movies where someone feels so embarrassed everyone’s laughter is in slow-mo? Mm-hm.
Then I blanked out when I had to sing a short melody from memory, which was played on the spot, as part of my aural test. It’s called a cumulative effect. Knock down one domino, knock down the rest. Screw up one segment, screw up the rest. And I probably clapped part of the rhythm wrongly too. Oh boy.
Ah well. I’m the kind of person who keeps the best for last. If there are three dishes on my plate for dinner, I eat my favourite last. Hence, I always share the bad news first. On to the good stuff! :)
I would like to thank God for answering some of my very specific prayers. I asked for my sight-singing test to be a score in major key, because I knew I was likely to freak out and sing all the accidentals wrongly. And I received! It was such an easy score I hummed it perfectly during the 30 seconds I was given to try it out. Also, I asked God for the latter part of my test to be in three-time, since that is the only time signature I can accurately identify, having difficulty differentiating between two- and four-time. So, God answered. The short piece played by the examiner was easily identifiable as 20th century and in three-time.
So, whether or not I get that Distinction I was vying for, I am grateful to God for answering my prayers. He let me know that He was there with me through all my anxiety. If I get a Distinction, I’ll know He’s granting me a personal miracle. If I get Merit, I’ll just work harder for the next exam. To God be the glory, the best is yet to be!
(Haha maybe it seems cheesy to use the school’s motto, but hey, it fits!)
Just this morning, as my dad was driving me to school, we were listening to BBC Radio. You should try it sometime; come of its programs are fascinating (not to mention, it’ll help you for GP). And that’s when I heard about the US’ youngest ambassador to Russia.
So, who’s this 10-year-old kid who took it upon herself to be ambassador anyway? Samantha Smith, born in 1972, was a 10-year-old US citizen who was gusty enough to write a letter to the leader of the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov.
Dear Mr. Andropov,
My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren't please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight.
Isn’t that heart-warming? I was astounded. A kid who paid this much attention to politics must have been very intelligent indeed! Yuri Andropov later replied to Samantha’s letter, and invited her to visit Russia, which she promptly did. She gamboled with the Soviet Union children during a summer camp in Russia and learnt Russian songs as well as taught American ones.
Through her, the Russians discovered what Americans thought of them, and vice versa. Some of the stereotypes were really hilarious. For instance, American women thought that Russian women did not shave their legs. Doesn’t that sound like regular gossip? I wish I could recall more, but the broadcast was many hours ago. BBC does broadcast the same show multiple times though, and I hope you manage to hear about Samantha one of these days.
One of the interviewees was fondly recalling her experience caring for Samantha while in Russia. She chuckled as she recounted that Samantha had been fascinated by the white ribbons in the Russian girls’ hair, herself wearing hairclips, and when the Russian interviewee had informed the Russian girls, they proceeded to present the sprightly American girl with 100 odd ribbons!
Of course, the media swarmed after Samantha, a child political celebrity of sorts, clamouring for interviews and information. She spoke in schools and even wrote a book entitled “Journey to the Soviet Union”. There were skeptics who entertained the notion that Samantha was unwittingly being used as an instrument of propaganda. However, I believe her childish innocence enabled her to see the good in Russia that was glaring adults who had been worn out by the world in the eye.
Sadly, Samantha died at the young age of 13 during a plane trip with her father. Countless people in both the US and Russia mourned the death of this extraordinary girl who had changed their views and possibly improved the two nations diplomatic relations. I think the US lost a great leader that day.