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8 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Street Mag... · 0 replies · +14 points

I have to say I don't have much experience with gangs. I lived in Orlando during middle school and the school I went to wasn't intercity, but was pretty close. Over 75% of students were on free or reduced lunch and you heard about a fight somewhere in the school every day. I once went to the nurses office to get medicine to find a teacher being treated for a knife cut on his arm after he tried to break up a fight.

I'd started middle school at a rural school in Iowa, so this was all culture shock for me. I think I learned every curse word in the English language after my first week on the school bus. But even with all of this, I was never more than an observer. I was a quiet, female, bookworm that was in gifted classes, so except for electives, I wasn't part of the general school population. And the one time a girl tried to bother me on the bus (grabbing my book, poking me, making comments) I immediately told my mother, since that was how I was raised. We visited the school office and my assigned seat on the bus got moved. Granted, I was lucky, and, looking back, I realize racism probably played a part in how easily I was believed. There were more POC students than white students at the school, but most of the teachers were white. The girl bothering me on the bus was African-American, while I was a blonde white girl. I doubt they would've been as believing if the roles had been reversed.

After middle school I moved to Northwest Florida, where most of the people in my high school were from military families (Air Force primarily). There were a couple gangs at the other high school in town, but they were nothing like gangs in major cities. There was informal segregation and racism at the school, I'm not denying it, but all the teachers I encountered and my friends encountered were trying to fight it, or acknowledging it. After Orlando, that was another culture shock. I remember seeing a fight once, and hearing about only a handful of others in four years. It really drives home the fact that while informal segregation and racism occurs everywhere, it's affected quite a bit by the location, the school leaders (in Orlando, all the vice-principals were white males, in NW Florida the principal was a white woman and one of the two vice-principals was a hispanic male), and the cultural makeup of the community.

Also, what Mark said about how lunch was done at his school made me so angry. I spent several years on reduced lunch in high school and middle school and the only way anyone could tell was by the fact that I always bought lunch. There were no special colored lunch cards, special lines, or where you were restricted to eat.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Predicts 'Briar's... · 2 replies · +11 points

The nuns! Oh, god, the nuns.

And, as always, Mark is unprepared.

Juvpu vf rfcrpvnyyl fnq fvapr V qba'g guvax V'ir rire frra uvz cerqvpg n obbx fb npphengryl orsber, naq V'ir orra sbyybjvat uvz fvapr ur jnf ernqvat Gur Cevfbare bs Nmxnona...

Cbbe, cbbe Znex....

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Tris's Boo... · 0 replies · +9 points

Theories about the pirates:

Fb, V ernq guvf obbx bire gra lrnef ntb naq qba'g erzrzore nalguwat sebz gur frevrf rkprcg sbe Qnwn trggvat cvffrq ng fbzrbar sbe fgbccvat nyy sberfg sverf va ure obbx. Abj, znlor guvf vf zl fhopbafpvbhf zvaq, ohg zl gubhtugf:

Nlzrel vf urycvat gur cvengrf. Gevf urneq uvf ibvpr rneyvre ba gur jvaq nobhg fclvat naq jungabg. Ur'f gur bar gung Oevne fnj farnxvat nebhaq naq ur'f chfuvat fb uneq gb trg Gevf gb yrnir orpnhfr ur qbrfa'g jnag gb unir uvf snzvyl'f oybbq ba uvf unaqf.

Abj, V'z tbvat gb tb svavfu guvf obbx naq frr vs V'z evtug.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Sandry's B... · 0 replies · +5 points

I grew up with a hoarder for a mother, but didn't realize it until my parents divorced and my dad stopped cleaning. So I spent middle and high school living in filthy, crowded houses where I quite often got to school and suddenly realized my clothes smelled like cat pee. After that I lived with my super clean grandparents. That's given me an interesting perspective. I hate mess and things on the floor that don't belong (especially clothes or papers!) but a little dust doesn't bug me. Though I hate mold in the bathroom and clean it deeply once a week, I only really lean the kitchen once a month. My husband is very confused by me. With all his studying he ran out of room for his textbooks and had them stacked on the floor. I went out and bought him a small bookcase just so he wouldn't put things on the floor.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Sandry's B... · 0 replies · +5 points

I'm also living in South Korea and, yeah, the jjimjilbangs can be very disconcerting. Especially in the locker room where people are naked, fully dressed, or in various states of partially dressed. That makes taking the final plunge to remove your underwear a bit disconcerting. For me, personally, the bath part is no problem anymore, but at first I was always self conscious because I was practically blind and felt like ppl were staring at me. It took wearing my contacts a few times to realize I got no more looks then any other woman there. I've even done the naked ahi umma scrub done (your skin feels SO nice afterwards!). That took over a year and a half and a very self confident friend to get me to agree to it though.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Sandry's B... · 0 replies · +3 points

I'm from Niceville, FL, USA, but I'm currently in Daegu, South Korea. I've been here for three years, which meant I ended up rebuying all of Tammy's books on my kindle just so I could follow Mark.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Sandry's B... · 1 reply · +2 points

Teaching? I'm from Florida, but now I'm in Daegu, South Korea.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Sandry's B... · 1 reply · +14 points

I always saw Sandry's moment of awesome as: 'Oh, you want to play the privilege and class game? I can play that too. Also, you should never forget that there's always going to be someone better than you.' Like, she's not one to play the class game willingly, but if she has to, then she's going to play it with every tool she can get her hands on. Just like with gaining friendship. She'll use every tool she has at her disposal to prove she really wants to be friends, even making fun of herself. She's in it to win. That's why she can be patient about Tris.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads \'Sandry\'s... · 0 replies · +3 points

I always read it your way since if Tris had been sent back it would likely have said - Tris raised a fuss, and a dedicate sent her to the back of the line. Since, the expression 'the girl' had never been applied to Tris.

Like, the dedicates want to be fair and do a good job, but they just don't know how to handle Tris and her special abilities. So, when they see someone who can help her, they try their beys to get her with that person. Like an hourly wage employee encountering a situation at work that they just don't have the skills or experience to solve, so they head up the ladder to find someone who does, rather than just trying themselves and, In their innocent ignorance, making the situation worse. Though, that one dedicate should've noticed the phrases she did, especially when Tris could hear.

9 years ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Mastiff': ... · 6 replies · +10 points

I'm surprised no one has brought it up. But at the end, The narrative says that George is the King of Thieves for all of Tortall, when it Beka's time it was by city. How did that change? And was it Rosto that changed it or a different rogue? Was it brought about by what happened with Pearl Skinner? So many unanswered questions!