It’s All on Him

If you have attended an American high school, then you’ve probably read the book Othello by Shakespeare. It’s a typical Shakespearean tragedy, with a tragic hero, antagonist, and all.

Warning if you haven’t read the book yet: spoiler alert! Basic summary of the play is a girl, Desdemona, leaves her father to marry a Moor called Othello, who has fought in various wars. The villain, Iago, manages to play each and every character of the play like pawns throughout the whole book. It’s quite amazing. And by the end of the book, basically everyone but Iago just about dies.

Iago manipulates Othello by telling him that his wife is cheating on him with his side-general, Cassio. Of course, he magically gets Cassio to help him without realizing what he is doing. And Othello loses himself and gets overly jealous, killing Desdemona in the end.

Just about everything falls apart for Othello. He kills his wife, becomes a paranoid man, and… ends his own life. He hits rock bottom pretty hard.

And it’s all on him; it’s all on Othello.

But people may argue that it was Iago’s fault that the story fell apart.

Yeah, sure, Iago was the devil sitting on his shoulders whispering to manipulate and trick him, but Iago never directly said, “Kill your wife.” Even if he did, it was Othello’s choice to actually do the action.

Not only that, but it was also Othello who did not recognize the fact that Desdemona left his father and her luxuries to marry him. Yet he was so quick to judge that she was cheating on him. He was blinded by his insecurities, which led him to smother his wife with a pillow.

Man, how crazily jealous do you have to be in order to kill your own wife like that?

Because Othello was so blinded by his jealousy and insecurity, he believes everything Iago tells him, not considering once to actually check it out for himself. Maybe if he actually even wanted to check it out for himself, things would have played out differently.

In the book, there is this strawberry handkerchief that plays a big part in the story line and fall of Othello. Othello had given the handkerchief to Desdemona as a gift and he, himself, accidentally dropped it without knowing. Iago gets the handkerchief and slyly gets it to Cassio without Cassio actually knowing. Neither Othello nor Desdemona know that Othello basically lost the handkerchief and of course, this causes drama.

Othello later sees Cassio with the handkerchief and explodes. And Desdemona fears Othello from then on, probably also rethinking the marriage she committed behind her father’s back. But too late to turn back now since her father passed away due to grief over the loss of his daughter.

Maybe if Othello had calmed down and just listened to those around him or even told his dear wife what he was suspecting, things would have played out different. Maybe he if he cared enough to look into it himself, the ending would have been different.

But he didn’t. ❤

Word of the Day: paraprosexia
(n.) constant distraction
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Stereotypes

I am a Korean girl.

What’s the first thing you picture and think of?

Probably some random teenager with black hair and glasses that is really good at math. In your head, I probably have a really thick Asian accent. Of course, you can’t leave out the very small Asian eyes.

I… Well, I do wear glasses, but barely. Last year, my hair was red and brown. This year, my hair is khaki and blonde. And as a student in Precalculus, I don’t understand anything– anything at all. So, we can cross that off the list. Accent wise, my accent is not exactly a thick Asian accent. People can agree and disagree to that.

Also, according to various porn websites and one-night-stand apps, Asian females are the most popular. Why? Who knows? Asian women are portrayed as sex tools for some weird reason that has yet to remain unknown. What about “us” turn guys on? I don’t understand.

Following these awkward questions, let’s add some more questions. Why and how did these stereotypes come to be? Just because the pace of students learning math in east Asia is much more faster than that of an American school, we have been labeled mathematicians.

Most non-east Asians have double eye lids. If you have no idea what that is and you are not an east Asian, then just look into the mirror. When you open your eyes, your top eye lids will have a small fold. This is what makes your eyes so quote-on-quote big. Most of us, on the other hand, do not have double eyelids. Thus the reason Westerners stretch their own eyes into slits and tease us. And when we do it back at them, pulling out eyelids apart to make our eyes bigger, they get offended. It’s also not that commonly done.

People say that stereotypes are just labels, but it’s not really just a label. When I receive my 8th D on a math test, I get depressed. Of course, anyone else would get depressed if they were continuously failing their tests. But unconsciously, people expect higher grades from me. That’s not because of my high records and good habits. It’s because I am yellow, because I am Korean.

The problem is that I can live with expectations. But once I start enforcing it on myself, it becomes something else. Once I start beating myself down because I couldn’t get these imaginary grades I am supposed to get, then that becomes something else. ❤

Word of the Day: yugen
(n.) a profound awareness of the universe that triggers a deep emotional response

Imperfect

I hated Geometry. I really really really disliked Geometry. Thus, the 82% in the class and 63% in the finals. But now that the SATs are sprinting towards me, I feel like I should have paid more attention during class. I honestly didn’t learn much in that class, but I do remember a few things about proofs. That’s a total lie. I remember one thing we learned about proofs: this is that but that is not this.

A tiger is an animal, but an animal is not a tiger. 8 degrees is cold, but cold is not 8 degrees. I am a girl, but a girl is not me. Flowers are plants, but plants are not flowers.

Excellence is perfection but perfection is not excellence.

Of course, no actual human can be perfect. Perfectionists are people who strive for perfection. And as people strive for perfection, they might end up achieving excellence.

A work cannot be excellent without perfection. Mozart, for example, was a perfectionist. He could not stand anything that was out of place, just like any other perfectionist. However, that’s how he managed to create excellent work; everything fits together, in place, and making sense.

That is what excellence is: everything fitting together and making sense. The movie I am Sam is excellent. I have watched the movie countless times, yet I cry each time. As I grow older and become more mature, I cry for and because of different reasons. Each important character had a story, and just about when someone seemed unnecessary, I was proven wrong. Like I said, it was an excellent piece. I would recommend it to anyone out there unless you’re someone who is trying to impress your new girlfriend.

However, perfection is not excellence. Someone could be a perfectionist and I could find that person to be the world’s most frustrating human ever. And that frustration will veer them far far away from excellence. Perfection will be the reason they cannot achieve excellence.

Of course, every case has an exception or two. There are excellent works that are a total mess.

But the fact that these people who are so imperfect and ruined create these great works make it even more excellent and marvelous.

Word of the Day: alexithymia
(n.) the inability to express your feelings.