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UBC Publications

The 432 Nov 9, 2004

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9th NOVEMBER 2004
'Primate Anatomical waste must be kept in frozen storage." (referring to "the entire carcass, as opposed to separate parts")
■ Official UBC Policy
Driver Declared Universal Symbol of Humanity
Iron is for the Devil/' proclaims Dubya, ''it's not even mentioned in the Bible once/"
(Ottawa, AP)
Beginning on Wednesday, November
10th, Canadians and Americans are
being encouraged to purchase large
quantities of golf drivers in support of
humanity as a foolish species. The idea
was passed today in a meeting between
Prime Minister Paul "Yes Dubya" Martin
and newly re-elected President George
"Dubya" Bush. The 432 has learned that
the US president came up with the idea
while perfecting his stroke at one of his
usual haunts. "It just came to me when I
started using my 3-wood. I decided to
make my wood famous by declaring
November 10th 'World Wood Day.' After
all, if you have good wood, it should be
noticed somehow," commented Bush,
"though a good wood can only truly be
appreciated when combined with a perfect
When asked why humans need another
narcissistic focal point, he shrugged his
shoulders and raised an eyebrow. "What I
do on vacation has to reflect my job somehow. I just thought this would be another
thing I should spend countless hours arguing for at the next UN conference. They're
always dragging the meetings down with
depressing subjects like starvation numbers and genocides, and I just can't take it.
I need to have a little fun at work, you
Financial analyst Joe Brown has been performing market calculations, allowing for
inflation in already high-inflation golf club
prices, and was not pleased when we interviewed him. "Look here, you see this steep
trend line in golf club pricing? That means
that the cost of celebrating humanity is
going to skyrocket with this wonky idea!"
Philosopher Wong Chu was a little more
enthusiastic, and offered us tips on becoming one with our drivers. "Mr. Bush, as his
name indicates, has a soul deeply rooted in
plants. In fact, I would classify him as a
'chlorophile,' since he loves shrubbery so
much. Golf lets him reconnect with his
ancestors in a way that ruling a country
like his father never could. He hopes this
connection will happen to us too; humanity is also embedded within the force we
call Nature. We must thank this brilliant
thinker for his gift to the world."
It is difficult to determine why Bush
would have plant-like ancestors, but it all
seems to fit in some twisted way. Perhaps
suggest Venus Fly-Traps.
A more important question has been
haunting the public: why a driver? Why
not a putter? Why not an iron? Why not a
pitching wedge? Prime Minister Paul Martin answered that for us concisely and precisely: "George likes to be in control of
everything. The word 'driver' implies control over passengers, or in this case, citi
zens. Somehow, if we had decided on a
putter, it would have conveyed quite the
opposite idea. An iron would make him
look like a dictator, and a pitching wedge
would just be uncool. I feel it's obvious:
Bush is already a household name, and
now he will be a household item."
We asked John Kerry for his opinion, but
he could not decide what his stance on the
matter was. Swift Caddies for Truth have
disputed Kerry's old claims to have hit
three above par in an incident documented
in his Oct 4, 2004 scorecard, for which he
won a silver stein for best score of the day.
The caddies claim he wrote down a birdie
with everyone's backs turned.
UBC students were generally open to the
new idea. However, the cost of drivers
upset them slightly. "Martin better not
make it law here to have to buy those
freakishly expensive things, otherwise I'm
driving over to the Hill right NOW,"
declared one student while stumbling
towards a nearby sink to clean a few shot
Mexican mascot Tequilamigo shared a
few profound observations, saying "these
golf drivers will become like urban sombreros on 'Seinfeld.' Once you buy one,
you're gonna get hooked senor! I have a
terrible feeling about this, much like I did
when I found a worm in my drink one day.
Although, after I ate the worm it felt good.
Maybe it's not such a bad idea now!"
In response to this meeting between two
great leaders, UBC has decided to erect a
large wooden driver atop every building
on campus, except Chemistry, where it
would hardly stand out amongst the chimneys. Each department is responsible for
the maintenance and repainting of the drivers on its buildings. Of course, once the
driver for the bookstore goes up, massive
increases in book prices are expected. Engineering is currently debating whether
placing a driver on the 'E' will detract from
the appearance and the history of the landmark. Commerce has gone ahead and
finalized deals with a gold-plating company to make their clubs stand out. The Science Faculty still has not decided exactly
what it wants to do with the drivers to
spice them up, but the current plan
includes a 'Lab Rat' figurehead on the grip
of each driver.
What will this new endeavour bring for
the rest of the decade? Will world peace be
reached by people brandishing new
Titleist golf clubs? Are sports really the
answer to solving worldwide problems? Is
a club really a good symbol for peace, or
would a spiked club be better? Did the two
leaders share their love of baby seals? Only
time will tell.
At no point during the conference was the
softwood lumber dispute brought up.
News Briefs
■joiw BDB-cw-AfJ&isV Fbooj£fz foe AwrHee emTin& ensovsoF...
Superglue Factory Sabotaged
Police currently looking for suspects, but
Cindy Copolate says the department is
"sure that the culprits stuck around."
Dismemberment latest teen trend
"By cutting off my dominant hand, man,
I'm protesting the man! Damn him for
making me go to school!" explained Chris
Saunders, a St. George's student. Members
of other generations, can't come to grips
with the trend. A local farmer exclaimed "I
just don't get it. They're all running around
like chickens with their heads cut off!"
Pat "Leprechaun" Pilarski kicked off
low-use campus bus for begging
"He was looking for money for his tailor,"
said witness, "It seems he was short."
Man found guilty of desecration
Jag Saminder was publicly tried and
found guilty for eating meat of a sacred
cow. His head will be placed on a steak
outside Tehran.
Nursing student misinterprets nature of
T-Cup football game
Sarah Leim arrived at Mclnnes Field
wearing her Sunday best, accompanied by
her great-grandmother's heirloom tea service. Now she wants her quarter back.
Sloth excommunicated from church for
committing deadly sin
The lazy bastard didn't last a week.
Martha Piper accused in sponsorship
After declaring war on rats, hired cousin,
Pied, to complete extermination program.
Man still standing at intersection, three
years later
Asked to comment, he declared that it was
the last time he was going to read a sign.
World's hottest chick located in Surrey
The two month old Cornish was running
a fever of 43 o C, four degrees above average chicken body temperature.
UBC Physics Department is currently
recruiting a new Head
The previous head had faulty faculties.
PTSD spreading on-campus
UBC student Sasha de la Quemadura is
now living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from an accident during a routine
laser hair removal procedure last month.
"It was horrible," confessed de la Quemadura, "the image will be burned in my
mind forever."
<JeVe RewacED V mill He
&0tf£«Nfl£MT uri-m    DiFF£fiE(»CE?
A QA8AL orNCO- l
FASCIST ceootcs/
WEEK! Page Two
9th November 2004
Volume Eighteen
Issue Five
9th November 2004
Dan Anderson
Master Plan
Chris Baitz
Brie Aho
Cici D
Jon Lam
Jen Ross
Varun Ramraj
Angsty Asian
Chris Baitz
Jo Krack
Kiran Bisra
Angela Melick
Stephen Naphegyi
Stephen Notley
Nik Pinski
Jen Ross
Varun Ramraj
Dan Anderson
Careless Scientists
SUS Exec
Printed by
Horizon Pub, Vancouver, BC
Legal Information
The 432 is publication of the Science Undergraduate Society of
UBC. Words words words, words
words words, if you're not a lawyer
you're probably not reading this,
words words words. Small print!
All views expressed in this issue
are strictly those of the individual
writers, and as such are not the
responsibility of The 432, The Science Undergraduate Society, or the
Faculty of Science. Writers and cartoonists are encouraged to submit
their material to The 432. Submissions must meet the requirements
of making the editor chuckle thrice,
and should contain the author's
name and contact information.
If you want to be an ass ed in the
colophon, no problem, but it takes a
few hours.
Hit us up at: the432@gmail.com
WA5TED TALENT       &y angela melick
Rings, Babies, Bud?
Brie Aho
/ don't care
It's not that I didn't see it coming. Any
American with any amount of sense
knew that even if Kerry won the popular vote that by some means, Bush wouldn't leave office. And most of us with sense
could see the lack of it in those who supported Bush. I was ardently negative on
the night of the election, playing a passive
aggressive game with my emotions: if I
didn't give up too much hope for Kerry,
perhaps he would win, and if not, at least I
was preparing for four more years without
logic. But nothing prepared me for the
reactionary crisis that occurred immediately following.
As an American, my first reaction to the
inevitability of a Bush victory was to drink.
A lot. Apparently, this was a common
reaction. Not usually a fan of drinking
away sorrows, I drank to the death of that
last glimmer of reason in America. I drank
to all the people who would die in the
ensuing  wars  that  would  come,  badly
planned, poorly supported, and unethically waged. I drank to all the kids who
wouldn't have a chance at a better life,
because their chances would go to the elite
wealthy 1%. I drank to the rest of the
world, who were now at the whim of a
drunken cowboy puppet and Dick Cheney
(who strikes so much fear in my heart that
I can't even begin to find a description).
But most of all, I drank to the Democratic
Party, who took the loss lying down, who
backed the blandest of all the candidates
from the primary (I, like thousands of
other Washingtonians, had fallen in love
with Howard Dean and am still smarting
over his demise). I drank for their arsenal
of potential arguments against Bush. I
drank for a party who, though they should
have, didn't deserve to win.
Once I sobered up a bit, my second reaction was to ask a Canadian friend to marry
me for citizenship. Once, again, a common
reaction. Two of my friends in Seattle
called me to ask if I had any spare Canadians for them. There's even a website, Marry AnAmerican.ca, that promises to hook
up "sexy, single progressives" with Canadians willing to marry them. The urge to
Hour Science Undergraduate Society preeente.
Ever wonder inhere your SUS councillors dream up uinnderFul events For you?
Leonard S. Klinck [LSK], Rm EOE
Friday flnvember IS 200k 12'3pm
Jnin ue For an aFternnnn oF Fun!!!
There'll be Free Fnnd, and a draw Far wicked prizes!!!
IF you have any queatinna/movie requests etc., email Justine at
flee, by whatever means, is perhaps the
most common reaction. And I considered it
all: tying up my undergraduate degree for,
say 7 years; hiding out in Nunavut where
they couldn't track me down; cancelling
my credit cards and bank accounts and
faking my own death while secretly crashing on friends' couches. I feared for my
civil liberties and my reason, lest I go back
to the states and be brainwashed out of
them. Lord knows that after a certain
amount of time, the borders would close
and there would be no escape.
After having some time to process the
news, my urge to flee has calmed. My
desire to binge drink has subsided to the
normal level of a university student. I may
still marry my Canadian friend, but less for
citizenship and more because it would be
amusing. This isn't the first time America
has made a stupid and dangerous presidential decision. Let us not forget Nixon or
Reagan, who both caused Democrats to
drunkenly yell "See you in Canada!" It is
the legacy of America to pick Presidents
that are stupid. And we've survived this
many years in spite of it. Though I fear for
abortion and gay marriage, I do spot a
glimmer of hope on the horizon: the
dreamy Barak Obama, newly elected senator for Illinois. His appealing brand of hidden liberalism and his rousing speech at
the DNC are enough to make a girl write
giggly fan letters covered in lipstick and
knockoff perfume. Most importantly, I
realized that drastic attempts to flee an as-
yet dormant threat was just as unreasonable as voting for it.America needs the few
reasonable voices it has, now more than
ever.The wake of the election has left many
of us baffled. What seemed simple to us
was either misunderstood or ignored by
51% of the country. In just four short years,
our country has turned from a stable, religious free state into a terrorized theocracy
that is the enemy of both the first and third
world. Who knows where the next four
years could take us. I have thought about
the fate of America for a long time now,
and I've found many things to take comfort in. However, I am most comforted by
the fact that I am spending the majority of
the next four years in Canada, where I can
marry a woman, kill a baby, and smoke all
the B.C. bud I can get my little heathen
hands on. 9th November 2004
Page Three
Poppy Wearing Etiquette
Kiran Bisra
I was watching the news last night (yes
that's right, I watch the 11:00 news with
Lloyd Robertson) and the dude standing in front of the Parliament building said
that there are only ten World War One veterans alive in Canada.
I thought about these ten (presumably)
men. They were probably only teenagers
when they willingly signed up for the war,
young men when the Great Depression hit,
and helpless fathers who watched their
sons go to war when World War Two
broke. Bare in mind that Canada was never
under serious threat, these men went to
fight for people who couldn't fight for
themselves. And we think splitting our
Mars bar with our siblings is unselfish.
That got me thinking, "Would today's
N64, venti low fat French vanilla cappuccino with whip cream, MSN messenger, 'oh
my god Brittany Spears broke up with
Justin Timberlake" generation be able to
make such a sacrifice?" I don't know, but I
would like to think that we would do that
which our country called for. I'm not talking about going to Afghanistan or Iraq
(although it may become necessary  at
some point). I am talking about a a greater
as of yet unforeseen threat.
Looking around my group of friends, I
realized that most of us can't claim to have
a personal connection to either of the
world wars. Other than some long forgotten relative (I think my great-grandfather
fought for the British in World War One)
my family has no direct connection to the
wars. But, I was born here and I consider
myself to be a Canadian. As a Canadian, I
take great pride in Canada's contribution
during both wars.
"What did a small country like Canada do
during the wars? I thought the Americans
just went in and kicked some ass." Hell no!
Canada was in both wars years before the
Americans woke up from their ignorant
haze and got off their lazy asses. William
Bishop was the second highest-scoring
fighter pilot for the allies, for the remarkable feat of scoring 25 'kills' within just 12
days he was awarded the distinguished
Flying Cross. Americans were sent to
Saskatchewan to learn how to fly aircrafts
during World War Two. Major Canadian
battles that helped to win the wars were on
Juno Beach, Vimy Ridge, Ypres Dieppe,
etc, etc, etc. Canadians did play a vital role,
we just don't brag about it like the Americans.
Yes, Remembrance Day is about remem
bering those who gave their lives for our
freedom. "We remember those who traded
their lives for peace. Pretty shitty deal, considering what kind of peace we have." To
that I say, you don't know what peace or
freedom is my friend. Ask the children
who live in Israel, the Congo, Iraq, Syria,
Albania, Cambodia, Korea, Afghanistan,
etc. if they think that the deal was shitty.
We are free to pray to whatever ridiculous
'being' we want. We are free to wear whatever we wish, a kimono, a sari, a burka (as
long as we wear something). We can go to
the mall, and are relatively sure that we
will come home in one piece. We have laws
against racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, and religious discrimination.
But, this is a different rant.
We, as a generation, have only seen war in
movies or on tv. We can't even begin to
comprehend what these people told themselves as they went from city to city, from
village to village, from house to house
rooting out the enemy. What do you say to
yourself just before you open each door?
And for what? So that decades later,
insignificant people will wear poppies and
remember them? Of course not. They did it
because it was the right thing to do.
Ridiculously, today, this is considered a
waste and stupid.
That brings  me back  to  today  and  of
course, the poppy. The poppy is a symbol
of remembrance. That although we are sitting here studying for our upcoming
chemistry midterms, our thoughts are with
the ones who sacrificed their study time
(and obviously much, much more) so that
we could be free. It is not a logo, an accessory, a status symbol, or a fashion symbol.
It isn't meant to be worn on your pants,
your scarf, your purse, or your hair. It is
meant to be worn over your heart. "But
those veterans on tv wear them in their
hats." Well, when you go to Korea and
have a bullet shot up your ass, then you
too have earned the right to wear the
poppy however you wish. If you can't
wear a poppy properly, don't wear one at
all. Disrespecting the poppy is equivalent
to disrespecting the memory. Of course I'm
personally not going to go up to people
and rip their poppy off their school bag,
nor am I going to say anything directly -
that wouldn't be in the spirit of peace.
Despite where we came from, the one
thing that we can all claim is that no matter
where it was, here is better than there. Why
is it better? Because it is free. Remembrance Day is set aside so that we don't forget that freedom comes at a cost. So please
respect your green or black centered
poppy, and remember to give a moment of
silence on this, your day off school. It is literally the least you can do.
A Banana's Theory of Interracial Couples
A       A
Angsty Asian
Defined by skin tone?
Perhaps you haven't noticed, perhaps you have
noticed, perhaps you are in one, but interracial couples, specifically Caucasian guys dating Asian girls
is really prominent at UBC. Many factors contribute to
this, such as the large proportion of Asian bodies on campus (at least in Science), or the alluring stereotype of the
docile, obedient Asian woman (This is wrong by the way.
Asian women are really whiny bitches that use manipulative emotional mind control taught to them by their mothers). The real reason why you see so many White-Asian
couples is because the average Caucasian guy can't tell
that the Asian girl he is lustfully attracted to is actually
This is explained by a psychological phenomenon that I
don't know the name of because I never took Psych 100.
Anyway, it explains how people of any race are able to dif
ferentiate between those of closely related ethnicity, but
are unable to tell the difference between people of a more
distant race. (Want proof? Check out
www.alllooksame.com and take the test.) Have you Caucasians ever been bewildered at the ability of an Asian
friend to tell the difference between the seemingly "identical" faces of Korean and Chinese girls? (Ignoring the clothing differences between the Korean's oversized designer
sweater and the t-shirt of the Chinese girl with the vinyl
Hello Kitty on the front and the nonsensical English phrases such as "Bizarre must. Awesome Want"). White guys
see yellow-beige skin and black hair (or streaky brown or
burn orange or fried yellow or blue/purple/green/red),
while Asian girls notice the rounder face of the Korean, or
the rounder nose of the Vietnamese. No wonder only
Asian girls can see the ugly exuding from there, there, and
there that Caucasian guys miss.
Now, before you start informing me that the opposite is
true, Asian girls not being able to tell that the white guy
she is dating is actually ugly, let me remind you that
almost  all  Asian  girls  in  interracial  relationships  are
Bananas, Canadian born (or imported at a very early age),
so they have grown up in a Western environment and
have been exposed to many Caucasian faces for a long
time. Because of this, they have learned to tell the difference between hot and not. That Biol 204 TA is hot. That
guy you sit next to in Math 200 is not hot.
I'm not trying to claim that ALL white guys date ugly
Asian girls. What's being illustrated here is that there is a
higher proportion of white + ugly Asian couples because
Asian guys are way more likely to take the hot girls, so the
pool of potential Asian girlfriends for a White guy is more
saturated in leftover ugly girls. And there is nothing bad
about this at all: ugly Asian girls are able to have
boyfriends, White guys think they are dating someone
incredibly "hot," everybody is happy. And I'm just one of
the lucky hot Asians to be dating a hot White guy.
Note: The 432 does not endorse the term "banana" as a racial
label. We prefer to use it as a sexist label to denote males, those
idiots who think with their bananalike appendages.
UBC Engineering <& Science for Kids
SEERing Up! UBC Engineering <&
Science for Kids is a non-profit,
student-run organization dedicated
to promoting science, engineering
and technology to the children and
youth of British Columbia
throughfun, innovative and hands-
on experiments and projects.
Affiliated with the Faculty of
Applied Science at UBC, SEERing
Up! strives to reach all children
and youth, regardless of gender,
ethnicity, culture or socioeconomic status, with special
outreach for those groups
traditionally underrepresented in
the sciences.   SEERing Up!
provides valuable work experience
to its employees, and enriches the
University and community.
Do you like working with kids? Have a passion for science, engineering and technology?
Are a leader with excellent communication skills? Maybe this position is for you!
We are looking to hire a new Co-Director for a one year term. The position is a part-time
volunteer job for December 2004 - April 2005 and September 2005 - December 2005. It is a
full-time, paid position for May - August 2005. This is a salaried position.
As Co-Director, you will: co-ordinate the operation, management and program development
(project design, testing, etc.) of GEERing Up!; provide leadership and direction in all areas
including overseeing staff training and evaluation; maintain a positive atmosphere in a team
of 8 instructors and 30+ volunteers; submit reports as required by the National Office and
program sponsors; design, test, and prepare content and format of all programs including
workshops and camp; distribute information and advertise programs and pursue sponsorship
(financial and in-kind donations); represent GEERing Up! at conferences, perform
workshops (May / June) and satellite and travelling camps (July / August).
For more information, view our posting on JobLink.
Applications are due November 15, 2004. Submit cover letter and resume to GEERing Up!
c/o Office of the Dean, The Faculty of Applied Science, CEME Building Page Four
9th November 2004
Sex and the Campus
Karen Shagbroad
This issue: Does education make nerds
more horny?
For the geeks familiar with this paper,
the myth is true - Coitus does exist.
While normally defined as a covalent
pair bond's reproductive-style exertions,
21st century acceptance has redefined copulation as an activity ranging from at least
one person and a piece of a equipment up
to tertiary bond formations that would
make a Buckyball (C60) jealous.
A close group of friends and I have spent
a large percentage of our lives discussing
and decomposing the phenomenon that is
campus sex life. The pounding out of my
debut column was inspired by my friend
Erin, whose boyfriend (on a recent roll of
midterm success), has, in her words,
"brought them to a new level in the bedroom." Experts like UBC's Department of
Amphibian Reproduction professor Dr.
Anderson say that the learning environment provides a very potent mix for experimental and exploratory sex, with no obvious limiting reagents but what exactly
makes this so? Is it because our thirst for
knowledge transfers from our academic
lives to our personal lives, or is it more like
an escape from constant labs and assignments? However, we all know that alcohol
and certain leafy materials on fire directly
correlates with the number of sexual
events on campus, but these factors usually fail to integrate into the nerd demographic, and in fact seem to decrease the
intensity of the activity.
At this point I would like to emphasize
the fact that Eugene, Erin's boyfriend, is
undoubtedly keen with a horrible sense of
fashion. However, her choice to keep him
as a partner is her own, and she has mentioned that he has certain appendages that
make up for other areas. So, a geek with a
long schlong can get laid as well. The ques
tion I have posed above is difficult to
resolve due to the miniscule number of
people who fit the population specifications and have a sexual partner as well.
Despite this, a trend can be discerned upon
close inspection.
Erin has explicitly explained a cycle
almost disturbing in her sex life with
Eugene. As mentioned before, after almost
every favorable outcome of anything class
related, the action would become more
intense. She described times when, after
finishing a most long and difficult computer science assignment and seeing it prosper
on his computer screen, he would call her
over for what we now title a "Nerd Booty
Call." This begins with an excited breathless explanation of his achievements and
nerd jargon, followed with fervent kisses
and wild animal sex. No need to say I was
surprised. It was a new experience for all
of us in my group of friends, and I was
instantly fascinated.
Delving into the nether regions of the subject, and looking for an opportunity for
some hands-on experience, I visited the clitoris of campus sexual activity, the Interfaculty Publishing Office. Filled with geeks
and nerds of all descriptions, and both
sexes, the office is the logical centre to
begin my research. Unfortunately, asking
the computer-screen tanned and glazed
eyed editors of the various campus publications that were present at that time was
an exercise in frustration, as each eagerly
clambered to begin telling stories that
ended with some variation of, "and then he
slapped me and told me to back off."
More fortunately, in asking my more studious peers, I have discovered that many
learning environments provide a countless
resource for sexual innuendoes, fertile and
ripe for the imagination to pervert. For
example, Chemistry graduate Brie Aho
describes tubes going into flasks and fluids
being transferred, constantly, deliberately,
and very meticulously in her long and
laborious labs. Elastic and inelastic collisions of rigid bodies,  potential energy
Friday Nov. 19     11^^   4 to 8pm
Outside Between Chemistry
A-Block and Hebb Theatre
Brought to you by the Undergraduate Chemistry Society
being converted via alcohol into kinetic
energy, determining through experimentation the spring constant of your mattress,
the strong attractive force between charged
rods, magnetic attraction between poles,
and curves at a local maximum on a
smooth continuous function. Assignments
begin with the word "ass." Do all these
ideas perpetually being impounded into
the nerd mind build up into some kind of
sexual energy inside that is only released
when these concepts are reaffirmed after a
good grade, bursting into a frenzy of desire
for sex? And lord knows they build up a
lot faster than any of the construction projects on campus. It seems likely, and the
best possible explanation I can conceive.
As Erin has one of the best lays of her life,
I can only contemplate the sexual voracity
of a reassured nerd and the mysterious
psyche that they possess.
The Alma Mater Society, the student society of UBC, is calling for artist's submissions for the creation of a mural to be displayed publicly in the Student
Union Building (     ). >PURPOSE OF PROJECT
lb bring into critical examination issues around hate- and bias-motivated vandalism and express cultural awareness, tolerance, diversity and inclusivity; to generate critical discourse on these subjects, and
To promote public forms of art expression through providing a sanctioned, prominent example; possibly set a precedent for future campus installations, and distinguish the celebrated cultural practice of public art or graffiti from the
damaging intolerance and unlawful henscratching vandalism it has largely
become associated with on campus.
The mural will be painted on a transportable surface and mounted on a public
wall in the "conversation pit" of the SUB on the UBC campus. Maximum available wall size is 6.5 ft. x 30 ft, most specifications- medium (spray or otherwise),
format, exact dimensions- are somewhat flexble. Interested? Bring your creativ-
ity and lust for affecting change. SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
Please include a cover letter, resume, and examples of previous work
(examples need not be of prior mural experience- however, medium- or large-
format painting experience is advantageous).   V\fe strongly encourage multiple individuals to apply in groups, but please be prepared to create a cohesive
piece of work.  Artists wiU be provided with an honorarium of approximately $1,000 (specifics are contingent upon number of artists and specifications of mural).
Bring your project proposal to Lyle McMahon, AMS Vice-President,
Administration, In the AMS Exec Offices (SUB Room 238), or email it
to VRWmin@ams.ubc.ca.The submission posting doses Monday,
November 15th, at 5:00 PM.
m. 9th November 2004
Page Five
Chris Baitz
Once upon a time, you were born. Now
that that's over, you have nothing left to
live for. What, you don't believe me? It's in
the stars!
Money and love will come to you. You'll
see it coming, waving and looking right at
you. Now that you're distracted, midterms
and hardships kick your ass and money
and love go on to the guy next to you.
Sadly the stars that represented your
astrological sign sadly turned supernova.
So take into account that your sign is now
made up of black holes and I think you can
predict your own horoscope.
That guy that told you to fuck off is on a
roll. He has loads of opportunities coming
his way.
Your independence will not last long. In a
few more days, your reliance on others will
reach an all time high. This is when the
lawsuit against you is filed. That's just the
beginning of your problems, but some
things should be a surprise.
If you read this, it's already too late for
Ah yes, Libra. Do you like your
boyfriend/girlfriend? Do they reciprocate?
Are you sure? No time like the present to
check (or stop nagging).
Last month was exceedingly difficult for
you. The decision you questioned all
month and has finally come to a head.
While you await whether it was the correct
choice, I will tell you that the stars say it
was not. The rest of your life shall be lived
merely in denial and finally seclusion.
Some people enjoy it.
Sag... key word contained solely in the
title of your astrological sign. Doesn't happen too often does it. If you want some
advice for the month... well... look North.
My magic eightball, I mean, astrological
reading device broke down, so I'm going to
have to wing it.... You shall be happy. If
you need more, read last month and
rearrange a couple words.
Monumental disaster seems to follow you
like a plague. Literally, locusts are chasing
you. Run.
Inevitably, you're last, just like always. If
you haven't shot yourself yet, well I think
Aries has a bullet left.
What? No advice to people who were born in
distant galaxies where these constellations
don't hold sway? Hardly open-minded! -ed
This Week in Sports
Nik "N-Dot" Pinski
Belligerent fuck
Writing a sports column in a newspaper put out by the SCIENCE
Undergraduate Society may
seem eccentric. Others would call it idiotic.
I am in that latter group. I only know 3.5
people in the entire faculty that actually
give a damn about sports. (I say 3.5
because Jim has to be counted as at least 1.5
persons. I mean *BEEP *BEEP *BEEP!! If
you know what I mean.) But you know
what? I don't give a fuck. Because I like
sports, and if writing for a small university
paper is about anything it's about writing
shit that only you will actually enjoy reading. With that wonderful attitude and high
standard in mind let's get to this week in
It's been 46 days (at time of writing) since
the NHL lockout and nobody's giving a
shit? Could anybody see this coming? And
no Tm not talking about the Americans.
They wouldn't care about hockey if Natalie Portman and Angelina Jolie decided to
play wing for the Panthers. Naked. Covered in olive oil. And whipped cream.
With a strawberry stuck in a very strategic
place. Is anyone else getting hungry? No,
I'm talking about red-blooded Canadians
like me. (Well actually Tm not Canadian.
I'm a pinko-Communist Russian. So technically my blood is red as well. Bitch.) I
remember only last year being ready to kill
myself for this team. Like literally. If there
were something I could do I would do it.
And I did. There's a reason I only have 9
toes people, okay, and it's not because of
my pet alligator. Because of him I only
have 9 fingers but the pinky toe is not his
doing. So why the hell am I, and everyone
else I know, not absolutely devastated
about this lockout thing? I know people
say they are angry, but people also say that
they pay their taxes and that they're getting laid. Frankly, when people are devastated or angry there is a lot more screaming, fighting, and whining then is going on
right now. Montreal rioted in the 50s when
Maurice Richard got suspended for 20
games. The city fucking RIOTED. Where
are the riots right now? Why is General
Motors Place still not burnt down? I'll tell
you why. It's because nobody is giving
enough of a shit and I'll be damned if I
knew why. Personally, I blame it on the
Minnesota Wild for ruining hockey,
(Quick aside: If you're a science geek and
you don't get some of the sports references,
and want to complain about that, I kindly
invite you to lick my balls. In addition: Bill
Daly, Bob Goodenow, Kansas City Scouts,
Ichiro, 86 years, the "tuck" rule, Geroy
Simon, designated hitter, 4-point play,
Carlos Boozer)
This week's analysis. A lot of people want
to know. Why is there an NHL lockout
anyway? Why doesn't this happen in other
sports? What do the players want and
what do the owners want? When will it all
get resolved? The answers to all those
questions and others can be found at your
local library. At one of the computer terminals, you can access something called the
"Internet". There you will find the explanations you need plus porn. Or, depending
on whether you're a glass-half-empty or a
glass-half-full kind of person, porn plus
the explanations you need. Here's something that you will not read on the Internet,
however. I'm sure that even if you're a
non-sports minded person that you've
heard of the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, and
the NHL. Right? Wrong. It's the NFL,
NBA, and MLB. That's it. The NHL does
not even belong in that group. The revenues, TV contracts, attendance, and continental interest (ie including the US which
is where the bucks are) are on the level of
ARENA FOOTBALL, rather than those
other 3 leagues. Unfortunately, for the past
10 years both the players and the owners of
the NHL have convinced themselves that
they ARE on the level so they handed out
the salaries comparable to the other
leagues. Until they realized WHOOPS.
You can pay a guy 10 million in the NBA,
but you can't do it in the NHL, or else the
team will lose a lot of money. And that's
why they're all in the shitter they are right
now. Ain't life grand? Thank god we don't
give a damn yet (see above). If we did,
maybe we'd get mad and burn something
down (see above). I've actually written a
full-length serious article that you can read
for a low one-time price of $9.95. Call in
now and receive a free cracker.
The NHL players are slowly starting to
whine about being out of work. Wow. It
turns out you actually need this thing
called "money" to survive. And wow!
apparently if you've been a perennial
minor-leaguer all your life (Mike Commodore) you realize you need some more
of that NHL cash. I'd commend Mike Commodore for speaking out against his union
and saying he'd accept a salary cap if only
he could work again, but he's a Flame. And
Flames suck. Oh and you can bet the union
is gonna fine him for this. So expect a quick
and loud backtracking from Mr. Tplay-for-
a-team-that-sucks-balls within the next
week or so. Just like with every other hero-
for-a-day! John Madden, Jonathan Chee-
choo and others.
The Boston Red Sox finally won the World
Series. Yaaaay! Wait. Baseball? Do'h. I
gotta be honest though. The idea that
they've finally won one after EIGHTY-SIX
YEARS of disappointment interests me
greatly. Not so much that Tm happy for all
the fans that got to see it. Whatever. Until
the Canucks win a championship (2004-
1970 = 34. So 52 years from now) I refuse to
be happy for the fans of any major sports
team. Rather, how funny it would be if you
were a Red Sox fan born in 1919 and followed the team your entire life and died in
2003. Isn't that hysterical? Am I the only
one laughing at those suckers? Wahahaha-
hahaha. And look over there! It's a quadriplegic that fell in a mudpuddle! Hilarious!
Anyway I promised all my friends that if
the Sox win the Championship Tm going
to Boston and that's all there is to it. The
party that is going on there right now is off
the hook. But, I happen to be a compulsive
liar. So I'm still here. I'll go if they win next
year. I'll also pay my Visa bill next week.
Good things come those who wait. I cannot wait for the Canucks championship
parade in 2056. Tm gonna drink some beer.
Tm gonna eat some nachos. Tm gonna fill
up my colostomy bag. It's gonna be awesome.
In other baseball news, baseball is boring
and lame. 3 hours that can always be summarized in 30 seconds of highlights, I kid
you not.
Flames suck. Bitter? Moi? Fuck you. Shut
up and go back to Calgary, douche.
The NBA regular season is about to get
under way. Since the Grizzlies left town
the team has improved greatly. However,
even less people are going to see it in Memphis than here, and the owner is losing
even more money. Can I get a hell-yeah?
That's karma, bitch. Don't mess with Van-
The biggest news in the NBA before the
start of the year is that the Charlotte Bobcats are added as an expansion franchise
bringing the total to an even 30. For those
of you not in the know, the New Orleans
Hornets moved from Charlotte only two
years ago. I'll allow you a moment to let
that sink in. You know why the Hornets
got relocated? Because they were averaging less than 10,000 people a game. Whoever is in charge of all of this decided that
even though people in Charlotte did not
want to go see a playoff team with two
NBA All-Stars (Baron Davis and Jamal
Mashburn), they would go see an expansion team that will not have any good players and won't make the playoffs for at least
3 or 4 years. When Hitler used that same
logic in 1942 to invade Russia he got his ass
kicked all the way back to Berlin. The stupidity in people never ceases to amaze me.
In other NBA news, the Lakers have been
decimated during the off-season and Kobe
Bryant is now surrounded by a good-for-
nothing lackluster supporting cast. Sounds
like Kobe is gonna use this as motivation to
go absolutely nuts. The scary thing is if he
gets his head out of his ass he can. Look for
him to win the scoring title even while
missing half of every game to attend his
rape trial. The civil suit, now. Kinda like
what happened with O.J. except he's innocent. Probably.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, the
experts (be it about NHL or the NBA) are
idiots and do not deserve a job. Yours truly
is a genius and does.
Something's happening in the NFL and if
I actually paid attention to it I'd know what
it is. But I don't so you don't get jack squat.
Oh. New England was undefeated for like
21 games or something. That's cool. Boston
sports fans don't deserve that kind of happiness about their teams, though. I say we
do something to knock that silly grin off
their damn faces. Does anybody have any
Okay maybe the Flames don't really suck,
I mean they did make it to the Stanley Cup
Finals, right. But certainly their fans do.
Stupidest fans in the NHL and that is not a
matter of opinion but of science. I proved it
using a mass spectrometer.
In local news the UBC Thunderbirds are
doing something but nobody knows what
and nobody except those on the team gives
a damn. Except when we beat SFU. Which
we did. Twice in the last month.
SFU sucks.
Brains I Humour
UWMwg their Triumphant Return! Page Six
9th November 2004
The Only Truly Sustainable Power
Stephen Naphegyi
Hummana Hummana!
There is growing concern as to the energy crisis that
the world is facing today, and people are turning to
alternative power solutions such as solar power,
geothermal heating, and cars fueled by McDonald's grease
(seriously, some guy at UBC built one) (actually, it runs on
Pit grease, but whatever, -ed) to lessen our reliance on oil,
which we all know isn't going to last long. Recently, Vancouver has proposed to build hydrogen fuel stations (presumably for hydrogen-fueled cars) along the revamped
Vancouver-Whistler highway in time for the 2010
Olympics. As the search continues for "how-to-unfuck-
ourselves-for-less" one source of limitless chemical energy
has continued to remain untapped: teenage angst.
Think of every teenager you know, and recall being a
teenager yourself. The only two emotions that teenagers
seem to feel are the desire for sex followed by depression
because they cannot have sex for whatever reason (apathy,
while prominent, is not really an emotion, and most likely
results from not getting any anyways). Think of all the
teens out there, sitting in their high school classes, brimming over with hormones they don't realize they have
(mostly because they don't pay attention in classes, I know
I didn't), looking for an invitation to jump the person sitting next to them at some party in the near future. This is
a resource that we could be exploiting.
We would have to start with the Goths. These kids are the
least complex and the most depressed. The basic Goth
mind state is as follows: Can't get any because I'm (insert
insecurity here), wear dark clothes, mope around, spend
lots of money on eye shadow and nail polish. There you
have it, after a careful analysis of the Goth mentality, we
can easily tap into their angst and turn it into fuel. The first
thing to do is to get them to volunteer their angst. Now, if
you've ever had a discussion with a teenager, whilst not
being a teenager yourself, you will find that they have no
idea how full of angst they are. Any attempt to broach the
subject will result in them locking themselves in whatever
area of the house they hibernate in (basement, attic, family tomb), lighting a bunch of smelly candles, and blasting
Linkin Park really loudly for the next six hours, or sometimes less if they leave the house in the ever-unsuccessful
pursuit of sex. From there, analyzing other cliques is just
as easy: jocks want sex and sports, geeks want sex and
video games, and some people will accept sex and candy.
So I propose an easy way to rally teenagers to our harvesting facilities, henceforth known as Angst-o-mats©.
Telling them that there is a teen group meeting there will
only attract religious kids and keeners (these kids are usually either well-adjusted or preachy nutbags who think,
"I've been volunteering for 18 days without food because
it will help me get into med school, you'd better start
doing the same or you'll never make the cut") and nobody
wants to deal with that. No, we need a way to attract them
so that they won't know why they're really there: tell them
there are free band T-shirts; you know those really ugly
concert T-shirts that cost $60 at the show, and then you
never wear them again because you realize how ugly they
are (and that everyone who sees you will know you spent
$60 on that ugly shirt). The teens will file in to the Angst-
o-matic©, sit in the "waiting room" chairs (actually a high-
tech, angst-sucking machine that absorbs the hormones by
osmosis), and leave with nothing. They won't care that we
didn't give them T-shirts because when they leave they'll
be less depressed and realize "I don't really like Marilyn
Manson anyway". Then, when the hormones build up
again, the teens will think "I never got my T-shirt, I'm
going back to have an angst-induced tantrum (or whatever they call it in their own minds)!" Then it's, "Oh, sorry,
we forgot your T-shirt! Have a seat in this chair and we'll
bring it right out to you". The cycle is complete! Free,
renewable energy and all it costs us is innovation!
As the teens grow older and move out of their parents'
garages, the allure of free T-shirts and pent up sexual
depression will have fizzled and they will stop remembering about the free stuff we promised them. By the time
that happens though, there will be a new batch of angry,
sex-craving, hormone sacs just beginning their depressed
high school dramas, and in the mood for a free Korn T-
The key now is to stop them from having sex, not that Tm
against teenaged sex for any religious reasons, but because
they have a power source that can be harnessed and
exploited. Tm sure that blatantly exploiting teen sex will
be no less opposed than the subverted exploitation of it
that goes on already, besides parents who complain about
their kids belly shirts and tight jeans would probably
rather them become productive members of society (willing or not) than getting pregnant at some random house
party. It's not like many of them are having sex anyways;
yes, there are a lot of teenage pregnancies, but compare
the number of teenage mothers (and fathers) to the total
number of teenagers in Canada. The majority of them
come home depressed and empty-handed on Saturday
night and, hormones ablaze, proceed to take it out on their
families. So basically, by using Angst Power-© Tm saving
people both money and grief. Sponsors can send donations to my crack team of scientists (namely myself, my
fiance, and our pet rat, Felix) and can be contacted at
Musings on Restaurant Psychology
Varun Ramraj
Drooling for you, babe
I am a restaurant connoisseur. To me,
there is no weekend night better spent
than heading out for a little taste out of
the ordinary. Over the years, I have
acquainted myself with world cuisine;
each ethnicity brings fresh flavours and
fresh business models. More importantly,
as I have grown, I have found that different restaurants respond differently to me,
as a customer. Three years ago, if I let my
then scanty facial hair grow, I was provided with a wine list along with my menu.
These days, being clean-shaven, and in a
suit, brings me that same benefit! Showing
hints of goatee would probably serve as
proof of age. So, if I extend this logic, technically I could rent an expensive European
car and take it to a posh restaurant, and
then my drink would be on the house (note
to self).
It is a fun and engaging experiment to
analyze how each type of restaurant differs
from the others. Take Italian restaurants as
an example. They are usually loud, crowded, and their food is some of the finest
available at that price range. There is also
usually a LOT of food, making it a great
monetary deal (Indian senses tingling!).
Whenever an Italian man enters an Italian
restaurant, he will usually know the
owner, or the owner's daughter. Heck, he
may even be the owner! As an Indian man,
I enjoy going to Italian eateries because
their business model revolves around
jovial servers and attractive bar attendants
(alas, for my eyes only). I enjoy listening to
and watching the other customers slowly
deteriorate mentally with every sip of hard
liquor or wine. Mental looseness also causes one to order more food on occasion,
making it a win-win situation for both
restaurant and customer. Customers usually get louder as the evening progresses,
providing me with warm memories of the
streets of Bombay. My verdict: choose an
Italian restaurant if want to mix the ideologies of eating and having fun.
Indian restaurants, on the other hand, follow the golden rule that spicier is better.
Particularly creative restaurants will have
a fine selection of food from all over India,
along with decorative sculptures to adorn
their walls and make the corners look more
interesting. The price is right, and the
atmosphere vaguely resembles a medical
convention. (What, there's blood everywhere?
-ed) Bollywood's latest tracks are constantly pumped through speakers, and somehow, Indian music fits with Indian food.
Being bargain-sharks at heart, Indian
restaurant owners will use abnormal levels
of advertising, while simultaneously keeping the price just low enough to make a fair
profit. The North American manifestation
of the Indian restaurant revolves around
samosa and milk sweet take-outs, while
trendier joints will provide a dark, clublike atmosphere. Stewards are usually
Indian, and dressed in cultural attire. Stewardesses are evolving... I see that more and
more restaurant owners are hiring non-
Indian stewardesses these days to make
their businesses more conducive to, err,
business! Indians who visit Indian restaurants will inevitably have some private
business venture for the owner, and will
ALWAYS find a familiar face in the crowd.
People walk in feeling hungry; they walk
out with a big smile on their face (or ten
cups of water, as the case may be). To
recap, the business model here is: cheap is
good, spicy is better; throw in a little classiness, increase the price, and seed the place
with non-Indian stewardesses: that is a
clear winner.
I picked Indian and Italian joints simply
because they were the two places I visited
this weekend. Every other type of restaurant will also feature some sort of interesting business model to capture customers.
Next time you walk into a restaurant,
instead of spending an hour just waiting
for your food to arrive, use that hour to
analyze and critique the sales tools used by
la place gastronomique. I guarantee that it
will be food for thought!
And on that final pun, he leaves us hungry
for more? -ed
*AND. A* V0U tAH %tt   ««*•** Hi,   A  Stmt
ftltflftf I* FPtHlf^C IH THE   Fo«l*No«f...»
Write for us! Otherwise we'll remove
your brain through your nose!
Walking like an Egyptiaaaaaaaaan! 9th November 2004
Page Seven
The Dirty, Dirty Drawers of SUS
Patricia Lau
So guess what? We will be finally publishing an article about the social
space project in the Paradigm coming
out later this month! I would like to apologize for the delay in updating you all but
unfortunately we had to jump through
some administrative hoops and spend several meetings making sure everyone
involved with the project was fully
informed. Only after this process was completed on Thursday were we given the "a-
okay" to make the timeline public knowledge. You'll be happy to know that the
space is definitely chugging along and construction will aboslutely begin within the
next few months. When everything is all
said and done we will have a brand new,
absolutely stunning and very functional
two story building for STUDENT USE
right across from the old bus loop.Pick up
the Paradigm in two weeks or so to find
out all (and we do mean all!) the details.
Questions/concerns/comments? Email
sus@interchange.ubc.ca. No questions or
comments? Octopii!
Vanessa Ho
Director of Sports
hat are you doing Jan 7-8 2005?
The UBC Student leadership
Conference is back for its 3rd
consecutive year with an awesome new
theme: Ripples of change: Have you hit
the water yet? This promises to be an
amazing and eye-opening experience, so
check out www.ams.ubc.ca/slc for more
Jonathan Lam
Director of Publications
I do not like Execs reports
They're not fun to write at all.
Especially when it's late at night
And I am full of alcohol.
By now you really should have noticed
This report is all in rhyme.
So on to actual reporty-business:
First topic is The Paradigm.
The Paradigm is almost here
Expect to see it at month's end.
It will be a lot of fun so
Grab a copy and show a friend!
Also worthy of a note:
My Committee is all prepped for fun.
Ready to go gallivanting
Off into the setting sun.
And now I'm sad to say
I must finish this report.
This exercise in rhyming
I regrettably abort.
Reka Pataky
Director of Finance
Ms. Reka Pataky
Central Bank of AMS/SUS Operations
Dear Friend,
I am Ms. Reka Pataky. Working in department of Fund released order in the Central
Bank of AMS, I know this letter might
come to you as surprise, but take it like
your own deal.
Mr. Jonathan Lam from Surrey executed a
contract in the Science Undergraduate
Society (SUS) here in LSK, the contract
worth of Twenty Four Million US Dollars
(US$24,000,000) but on the process of
transferring the money to him, he died
with his family in the photon torpedo
attack that occurred on 8th Spocktober
2004 recently in the SUB Partyroom. Meanwhile, his money has been signed to pay in
my office before I will give order to the
Central Bank of AMS for final endorsement of his money.
Nobody knows what is going on except I
and two (2) of my workers; this is the information of the late Mr. Lam's contract num
ber and sum.l. Contract Sum:
{US$24,000,000} 2. Contract number:
FMA/FGN44007- 2001. You will act as the
beneficiary of the said fund, and also to
change the former Account number to the
new Account number you are going to
provide, once this is done, we will forward
copy of Change of Account Notice (C.A.N)
to our Offshore Bankers Pacific Bank
Switzerland to release the fund to your
account.I will send to you the whole relevant documents that required in this transaction immediately you accept to co-operate with us.
Below is the requirement:
1. Your private phone and fax.
2. Name of your company and Address.
3. Your receiving Bank Account Details.
To enable us start the transfer immediately, we have decided to compensate you
with 20% of the total amount, while the
remaining 80% will be for us. This is 100%
risk free and has nothing to do with Government project both past and present. I
am waiting your urgent reply to my proposal through my confidential e-mail,
Sincerely yours
Ms. Reka Pataky
Go to www.sus.ubc.ca for more propaganda. Go on, I dare you.
Andrew Thamboo
VP Internal
I hope everyone is having fun with their
midterms. I still have 2 more lousy
midterms... which does not look
promising. I guess shouldn't be using up
this precious 432 space to write about my
personal issues... so here is something that
pertains to you all: Like Hot Chocolate?!?
The First Year Committee is selling Hot
Chocolate outside Chem B250. All money
raised will go to charity. Come out, get
warmed up and show your support.Now.J
know this has nothing to do with my position but I want to urge people to join the
Science Week Committee. This is like the
best committee in the world..why: 1) Your
doing something awesome for Science students 2) I promise you that you'll reap personal benefits.Jike free food/candy/something like that and 3) easiest way to get
involved on SUS!Well...see you all in two
SUS First Year Committee Presents.
November 17, 2004
11 am - 2:30 pm
Chemistry Building
minimum donation:
one shiny quarter
A UBC Pottery Club Show and Sale
November 16-19, 2004 ~ 11 am to 5 pm daily
SUB Art Gallery (Beside the Outpost)
'Designer Tiles'
a charity project benefitting
I     Opening Reception
* November 15, 7-10 pm
with music by Martingale
free snacks & a cash bar
UBC Engineering & Science for Kids Page Eight
9th November 2004
Another Habit to Kick
Jo Krack
I had a cup of coffee yesterday. That's it.
That's the story. What's that you say?
You're not impressed; you had six cups
of joe yourself in just the past few hours?
You have your own personal IV drip filled
with precious life-giving Java? You sold
your soul to Starbucks years ago and have
never looked back? Well, let me tell you,
my cup of coffee was a big deal. To illustrate why, perhaps I should start by giving
you a bit of back story first.
Before yesterday, I never drank coffee.
Once, in grade 11 or 12 of high school, a
friend of mine started work at Starbucks
and made me a free frappuchino; I took
one sip and decided it was the vilest con-
cotion I'd ever tasted. Another time (probably that same year), a family friend gave
me chocolate-covered coffee beans (also
from Starbucks) for Christmas. I bit into
the first one and thought "yuck!", but I was
heavily addicted to chocolate, so when I'd
polished the rest of my Christmas choco-
stash and was prowling the house like an
alcoholic desperate enough to drink cough
syrup, I rediscovered the chocolate-coated
coffee beans and gave them another try. I
got used to the taste after the first handful,
and didn't come down for a week.
My only other coffee experience was
ordering (AGAIN, at Starbucks!) a mocha
something-or-other, which had lots and
lots of chocolate and sugar and very little
coffee. So the sum total of my coffee experience as of yesterday afternoon was: one
sip of a frappuchino, some chocolate-covered coffee beans, and a mocha.
Not that I'm a caffeine virgin or anything;
there was a time in my life when I was a
heavy Coca-cola user (I suffered
headaches, shaking hands, dry mouth, and
extreme irritability when I finally gave it
up), and I come from a long line of tea
drinkers. My mother has a few cups of tea
daily, whereas I can take it or leave it. My
father, on the other hand, is definitely
addicted to coffee, but we blame that on
his Greek heritage (the rest of you have no
excuse!). Suffice it to say, I grew up leaning
more towards tea than coffee, probably
due to my tendency to avoid anything that
was an acquired taste. My internal logic
went like this: you mean it tastes bad until
I drink it often enough that it starts tasting
good? Why bother? (This attitude kept me
from developing a taste for beer until later
in life; before then, I relied on sweet, sweet
girly drinks.)
OK. Back to the coffee story. So yesterday,
as part of my job here in Japan, I was supposed to visit a local after-school care centre and teach English to some adorable little nine-year olds. I get to see this group for
an hour a month, and they know almost no
English, and somehow I am supposed to
trick them into enthusiastically learning
how to say "How are you? I am fine!" I've
taught them only twice before, and both
times they were at least somewhat interested in what I was trying to teach them. But
yesterday, I quickly learned that the novelty of "new teacher" had worn off.
My first indication that something was
not right was the fact that the regular
teacher was on a business trip, leaving me
with Spineless-Sensei instead. Spineless-
Sensei was assigned to "help" me teach the
class, in that he came to the classroom with
me and diligently stared at his desk (there
were no papers or anything on it, just the
apparently irresistibly intriguing pattern
of the wood grains). The nine children in
attendance were in no hurry to do anything involving listening to the silly foreign teacher, and instead busied themselves with running around the classroom
and fighting with each other.
Although I have practically no experience
teaching children (but I speak English!
Therefore I must be an expert!), I know that
it's essential to maintain some semblance
of control over the class. Even the kids acting out prefer for there to be structure. But
sadly, I was hooped. Let me introduce you
to the nine children: one girl was sitting
very quietly and didn't appear to have any
friends (a clinically depressed nine-year-
old if I ever saw one). Three other girls
were playing some sort of game amongst
themselves, and while they weren't being
loud enough to disrupt the class, they
weren't paying attention either. The fifth
girl kept up a constant stream of loud chatter, aimed sometimes at me and sometimes
at the other kids. That leaves us with four
boys, all of whom were generally well-
behaved when not tangling with the girls.
In short: chaos.
The class was scheduled for an hour, and
after fighting the urge to leave after the
first fifteen minutes, I managed to hang in
there, mostly by chanting to myself, "Kids
are kids. Don't take it personally. Murder
is illegal." By the time "class" was over and
the children had happily fled the building,
I hauled the CD player (which I'd been
meaning to use to, you know, play games
and sing songs with the nice sweet earnest
children... not!!) back to the office. The
head guy (not Spineless-Sensei) thanked
me (as he hadn't observed the lesson) and
brewed me a nice cup of coffee, because
the regular teacher, who knows I only
drink tea, was on a business trip. And most
Japanese assume that tea is a Japanese
thing and Westerns prefer coffee.
So there it was. A steaming cup of black
coffee, freshly brewed, sitting in front of
exhausted, non-coffee-drinking me. I was
conflicted: should I remind him I don't
drink coffee, thus appearing rude and
unappreciative of his kind gesture? Or
should I get with the rest of the world and
drink it already? I heaved a sigh, piled in
the milk and sugar, and took a sip.
BLEAH. Yuck. I briefly contemplated suddenly remembering I was late for something and booting it out of there. But I
gamely gave it another scoop of sugar and
a second chance. Bleah. But better. Another sip. Hmmm. Not bad, really. A fourth
sip. Hey, this stuff ain't bad! And so on,
until I had eagerly drained my first cup of
real coffee.
home-now!" I said in one breath, and
cycled home in under 30 seconds. I then
proceeded to start making chicken soup
with rice, but it was taking too long and I
found myself doing an impromptu little
Dance O' Impatience, so I called up a
friend and started bitching about the
adorable children I'd had the misfortune to
try to teach. After about fifteen minutes,
when I paused to take a breath, she asked
if I was OK. Then I told her about the coffee. A hardcore addict herself, she just
laughed at me, like someone out of
Trainspotting watching a newbie inject
heroin for the first time or something: nostalgia tinged with envy.
To put it mildly, I was under the influence
of the all-mightly Java bean until late that
night. I even attended my weekly adult
"English club"; I passed the time trading
wisecracks with the other native English
speakers present and taking whatever the
Japanese participants said as mock insults
("You think I'd like that restaurant because
it serves big portions? Are you saying I'm
fat?!") I'm sure it was a learning experience
for everyone involved. I think I uttered a
record number of swear words, too (not
because I was upset or anything, just for
emphasis now and then).
Although it was a wild ride, Tm not eager
to hop on the coffee train again anytime
soon. I'll stick to my Red Rose orange
pekoe (only available in Canada! Pity! But
I brought a supply with me!) and my green
tea (more caffeine than coffee, or so I've
heard!), and occassionally a mocha-frappa-
cappa-whatchamacallit. I learned my lesson well: just say no to coffee. Because
crack is probably cheaper in the long run.
Comments? Email me at gimmekrack@hot-
Outside between
Chemistry A-block and Hebb Theatre


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