Monday, February 1, 2010




1: rule; especially often capitalized : the former British rule of the Indian subcontinent
2: the period of British rule in India

i had a hindu friend growing up. i asked her once if she was indian or american indian. i was ten years old and had sincerely not paid enough attention in school to know the difference. she laughed in my face.

are you kidding? what, do you think i go home and run around my backyard with feathers in my head?

i thought it was an honest question.

somehow i was in all advanced classes as a child. i guess i was considered a "fast learner." for a while i put in the effort. i liked to please my teachers, at least the ones who were parental figures to me. but as the time passed i lost interest. and since i didn't have authoritative parents breathing down my throat, my schoolwork plummeted. i still got decent grades but i wasn't absorbing anything. teachers often recited the phrase: you're just not working up to your potential. i didn't understand individual potential. i thought this meant i wasn't working as hard as the kids in the advanced group.

in the tenth grade i requested to take a step down from the advanced to the comp group. i was tired of being around kids who cried when they got an A-. i didn't care at all about school at this point. i failed classes to spite teachers i did not get along with. my junior year history teacher asked our class to raise our hands if we knew the vice president's name. i honestly could not raise my hand, and i honestly didn't care. i cared more about being unfairly judged than not knowing that al gore was the vice president. i didn't understand bigger concepts.

i've heard the word RAJ before, but i didn't know exactly what it meant until about thirty minutes ago. i know about imperialism. i've read Heart of Darkness. but i don't make room inside my brain for the retainment of this type of information. it's as if i've always known i was going to be a writer. the things i have made room for are the things that appear in this blog—random memories and anecdotes that i piece together to form ideas and concepts about my life, my individual experience. anyone can know what RAJ means to the world, but no one remembers that seema pursnani laughed in my face for thinking she was an american indian. and that means more to me as a writer and an individual than the history of british imperialism.

for the record, i do know that our current vice president is joe biden. but i sure as hell couldn't pick him out of a line-up. i don't watch TV.

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