Monday, July 23, 2007

Jersey Cultural Anthropology Report

From now on to be referred to as JCAR (that's J-Car). But I figured since I tried to report on the average Pragger, I should do the same for the average Jersonian... keeping in mind that I'm not exactly living with average Jersonians... but we'll get to all that later.

Right now I'm making some Granny soup, waiting for the potatoes to cook. A watched potato never actually cooks, so I decided that I really ought to post something on the good ol' blog.

Things are pretty good. I just entered my third week of work here... so, after this week is over, I will be half done. Honestly, I wouldn't mind if the job lasted eight weeks instead of six... or even eight months. It is a good job--pretty cushy. (One of the guys I work with was complaining about how he was completely exhausted after work and all he could do was go home and sleep. Me, I'm just happy that I'm only working eight hours a day and I still have quite a bit of energy when I get home. I'm just trying not to get too used to it).

What I'm doing now: writing test questions for a major test of English Language ability. The test questions are pretty difficult to write. I have to do a lot of research to come up with (non-controversial) arguments that I then write points and counter-points for. So far I can write about three in a week, but I have a feeling that this week is going to be a very slow one, as I seem to be unable to come up with anything acceptable.

The folks I work with are fine. I was expecting it to be all TESOL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) folks, but it is only me and one other guy who actually do this for a living. One is a high school English teacher, one is getting a PhD in Women's Studies, one is an undergrad at Princeton, and one is starting Georgetown in the fall as a Pre-Med major (he got the internships because his mom works at the company). I've sort of become the intern expert on whether a question is culturally biased. The other will talk about their questions, then I'll say something like, "well, just so you know, it is a little different in other countries." I try not to be obnoxious about it.

Anyway, that's work. I'm considering, at some point in the future, applying for a job at this company--they offer excellent benefits (dental, anyone? Or heck, in my case, how about HEALTH?)--but that may have to wait until the wanderlust... wanders off.

So, sorry I've not posted recently, but I have been a bit busy. I get along with my roomies, and one of them and I have generally been hanging out on the weekends. Yesterday we went to the beach (Saturday was devoted to reading Harry Potter). No, wait, we went to the SHORE. Yes, Jersey does not actually have a BEACH, it has a SHORE. My friend (we shall call her C.) had to remind me of this several times on the way to the SHORE, growing increasingly annoyed with my complete inability to make that distinction.

Once we got to the SHORE, we parked the vehicle, grabbed bags, and schleped towards beach--shi*t, SHORE. We almost made it, too. Only we were stopped by an official-looking (well, official-ish looking... It is hard for someone to look official with a belly hanging over swim trunks and a back-hair rug) guy who informed us that we needed to buy passes to use the beach.


Yeah, I know. Passes. To use the Beach. (Sh*t, did it again. Right here I would love to make a crack about needing to attach electric shock electrodes to my nipples to remember this whole beach/shore thing, but I figured that would offend, so I'm just not going to do it.) Turns out the passes cost five dollars per person. Five dollars. That's the cost of a... well, of a gallon of gas!

Sorry to leave you guys hanging, but Granny soup is DONE and I am FAMISHED.


At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anna said...

You're right. Attaching electric shock electrodes to one's nipples should not be in your answer bank. It would be distracting, if not necessarily culturally offensive and/or biased. ;)

This sounds like a very very interesting-if-challenging job. And maybe it's cleansing the wanderlust palate between...wanders? :)

Could you get into a cultural bias discussion w/ the "It's a SHORE" chick? :)


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