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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Game of Spoilers

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: March 2014

It’s Tuesday, March 25, and by the time you’re reading this I will either be:

A) On a now-missing flight, which was probably sucked into a black hole.

B) Lost in South Korea, wandering the streets aimlessly trying to barter single issues of Watchmen for directions back to the airport.

or C) Eating my weight in kimchi.

Last night I found out the hard way that watching videos of “what not to do in South Korea” is the fastest way to go from mildly stressed out to completely convinced that you’re going to accidentally make inappropriate hand gestures and insult your new sister-in-law’s family in a really unfixable way. Apparently there’s a whole slew of customs centered around drinking etiquette, and public drunkenness is a totally normal thing there. I’ve been to Mexico, Germany, and France, but South Korea seems so far removed from anything I’ve ever experienced, I don’t really know what to expect. When I return I’m sure I’ll have a bunch of weird stories for you all, but until then, let’s catch up with what’s going on in the world, shall we?

Some teachers seem to really have a grasp on how to properly motivate students. Like any good foreign language teacher who knows that in order to get students to pay attention, all they really need to do is teach them the slang and swear words on the first day. Another shining example of an educator doing it right is a high school math teacher in Belgium who kept his class on task by threatening to reveal spoilers from the Game of Thrones novels. Nieuwsblad.be reported, “Asking his students which of them watched the fantasy drama, the majority raised their hands, to which the teacher responded: ‘Well, I’ve read all the books. If there is too much noise, I will write the names of the dead on the board. They [the dead] are enough to fill the whole year and I can even describe how they die.’” Whatever works, right? Of course the downside is that this tactic assumes that all the kids are interested in the Game of Thrones series, and haven’t yet completed the books. It’s a good tactic nonetheless though, and could certainly be amended to include any number of series.

And lastly, for an update on my LAG, aka “life after glasses.” How come no one told me about how terrible it is to wear glasses in the rain? At least one of you should have warned me. Also, I’ve discovered that I am a very lazy glasses wearer. They are always smudged. Does anyone have any tips for easier glasses wearing? Help me, I’m inept!

Arielle Mullen