Tuesday, August 10, 2010

YouTube Partnership, Translator in Jail, Reading Weblogs

Just a quick update.

Tomorrow I'm taking one of my students to the Metro Detention Center to help translate during my volunteer chaplain service. It's nice to be on the giving side, helping the incarcerated deal with the stress of confinement and an uncertain future. Having been falsely arrested and spending a night in jail last year myself, I can understand the difficulty their situation presents. That was really the reason I volunteered to take on the job left by Dr. Phra Maha Chanya, abbot of Wat Buddhapanya, as Buddhist chaplain at the MDC, and so far it has been quite a fulfilling task. For two weeks now, I've had a chance to visit the prisoner living areas, in an effort to encourage them to attend our meditation sessions. Last week, I met an Asian woman and tried to ask her how she was faring; she quickly shook her head, and the other inmates explained she spoke no English. Once I found out she was Chinese, I started racking my brain for the bits of my university Chinese left. I got the standard "ni hao", but then remembered another, "Wo shi lao shi", or "I am a teacher". Problem is, I had nothing to teach her. I put my hands on my lap, as if meditating, and she nodded, but that was about it. So, tomorrow, maybe we can get a translator. if not, I'm bringing a Chinese text translation of two of my videos, and hopefully I can smuggle that in.

In other news, YouTube has accepted me as a partner. I am not sure if that was a mistake on my part, as they assume I'm going to be posting ads on my channel (which I'm not) or renting out videos (which I'm also not). The plus side is now I get a banner and graphics with links to my channel and website, so it's all good... for now, anyway. I've also applied for Non-Profit status on their site, so maybe that is more correct... not sure what the difference is, though. The best thing is, it looks like video upload length restrictions are gone, and I can upload ten videos at once. Yay :)

Finally, just some notes on reading my weblog:

1. Please make sure English is your first language before jumping to conclusions about my posts... I often slip into colloquialism and am still prone to humour, sarcasm, and other human emotions that tend to confuse the meaning of my words if taken literally. I assure all non-native speakers that if English were your native language, you'd understand.
2. See that list of links on the right-hand side of the page? Most of those websites I never visit; none of the ones under "Blogroll" belong to me or are even affiliated with me, besides being at least partially Buddhist. I apologize if the content of those sites is offensive, but take no responsibility since probably the only reason I put their link there is because they put mine on their site.
3. Ask yourself why you are here. If you are reading this because you want to learn about Buddhism, meditation or the monk's life, then welcome. If you're here looking to stir up fecal matter, I implore you to find better things to do with your time, like meditate.