Author Archives: JudyTsai

Miss Suzie’s Steamboat

Miss Suzie had a steamboat
The steamboat had a bell (toot toot) 
Miss Suzie went to heaven 
The steamboat went to 
Hello operator, please give me number 9
If you disconnect me, I’ll chop off your 
Behind the refrigerator laid a piece of glass 
Miss Suzie sat upon it and broke her little
Ask me no more questions, please give me no more lies 
The boys are in bathroom pulling down their 
Flies are in the meadow, the bees are in the park 
Miss Suzie and her boyfriend are kissing in the DARK DARK DARK! 
Is like a movie, a movie’s like a show, a show is on TV 
And that’s all I know know know!

This is one of the many chants that is recited with a certain clapping pattern that I learned in elementary school.  Back then, many girls would say these chants during recess as a way of spending their free time.  I remember learning it from my best friend, who had learned it from other girls in her class.  Once we both knew it, we would frequently play this clapping game, whether we were at school or at each other’s houses.  It was a way of passing time when we were bored.
Looking back at my elementary school days, chanting this rhyme was extremely enjoyable.  Not only did it help ease my boredom, but it also provided me with fun.  Chanting the words with my friends made me laugh because of the words in the chant.  It implies inappropriate words without actually being inappropriate.
Remembering the chant reminds me of how much fun I had as a kid.  When I hear other kids recite these chants and play clapping games, I remember more specific memories that I had as a child.  This chant gives me a connection to my past.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget this chant because it has been implanted in my brain from reciting it so much.

The Punchbug Game

“You see an out-of-state license plate, yell out the name of the state, and you get to punch the person you’re with.”
My informant     learned this game as a little kid from his friends.  This game is very popular with kids, and I’m sure that almost every child or teen knows of this game.  Simple games such as this one are easily spread around by kids.  Duke said that most of the games that he learned in elementary school were games that he learned from other kids who learned from other kids.  This chain of learning happens on the playground and classrooms.  Games were part of children’s lives at that young age, so games are always on their minds.
Duke likes to play this game on long road trips to get rid of boredom.  When he spends countless hours in the car, he runs out of things to talk about and do.  While looking out the car window, he starts to observe cars and their license plates.  Looking for out-of-state license plates gives Duke something to do.  Also, being able to punch a friend after finding an out-of-state license plate gives Duke the opportunity to release pent up frustration.
He thinks that this game is fun with lots of friends.  When he’s with a lot of friends, he has more chances to punch people and laugh about it.  He thinks it’s a great way of passing time, but it can get annoying.  When all a person does is look for out-of-state license plates and wants to punch people, Duke gets frustrated.  The game can be played for a short while, and after that, it gets old.
I’ve played this game before, and I think it’s a great time waster.  It’s something that I would play only when I’m bored or when I think of it.  It’s a great game only if people aren’t obsessed with always looking for out-of-state license plates.  Once people compulsively look for them, it can be very obnoxious.


“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10…personal jinx!”

My informant learned this game in elementary school.  All the girls knew the game, so it passed around to everyone.  Basically, when two children say the same word at the same time, one of them needs to yell out “personal jinx” and count to ten without any interruptions.  Once the kid is jinxed, the person who yelled out “personal jinx” first is the only one who can break the jinx by saying the kid’s name.  If the kid talks while he or she is jinxed, then he or she violates the curse and deserves a punishment like a punch on the arm.
She used to play this game all the time with her friends.  She would always be the first one racing to call “personal jinx” on someone whenever someone said the same word at the same time as her.  She recalls playing this game because it was fun.  “Personal jinx” was one of those silly games that little kids play as a way of spending their time.  It allowed her to have a sense of power over her friends because she was able to control the length of time that they weren’t allowed to speak for.  By saying “personal jinx,” she would be the only person who could break the jinx.
As a mature teenager now, my informant seldom plays this game.  There have been many incidents in which she and a friend have said the same word simultaneously, but she does not always say “personal jinx.”  Now that she’s older, the game does not come naturally to her.  She only says “personal jinx” when she thinks of it, which is not very frequently.  Angel remembers the innocent days of childhood whenever she thinks about “personal jinx.”  This game is one of the many that she used to play back when all she did was play games and didn’t have to worry about important things.
I remember playing this game myself.  I was always the one getting jinxed.  Sometimes, I would just give up and receive the punishment for talking.  I think that this game is only suitable for elementary school children.  Playing this game now is just not the same.  Teenagers and adults jinxing each other is not very mature.  Back in the day though, I really enjoyed playing this game because it was just a ridiculous game that everyone played.  I don’t think that children can have the opportunity to rebel and not play because even if a child rebels, the person doing the jinxing can always just punish the person for talking anyway.

The Quinceañera

    “The tradition of quinceañeras started back in the days of the Aztecs.  Young girls were being sacrificed and the ritual showed the transition from girlhood to womanhood.  As time went by, it turned into a ceremony to commemorate a girl turning into a woman.  Families would reserve a church to celebrate the ceremony, and then they would invite special people.  The ceremony would be a day of partying and such.  Also, a girl is required to take classes before the ceremony in order to learn the significance of the process.”

Because Lizzette is from a Hispanic background, the tradition of celebrating girls’ quinceañeras has been a must in her family.  Almost all women have participated in it.  Lizzette’s grandmother, mother, and aunts have all celebrated it.  Currently, her family is preparing for her sister’s fifteenth birthday with a large quinceañera as well.  Lizzette’s own quinceañera was a great moment in her life.  She loved preparing for the ceremony.  She was able to wear a beautiful dress that she still cherishes, eat great food, be the center of attention, and spend time with her relatives and close friends.
Lizzette sees this celebration as a major part of a girl’s life.  Just how some people have a sweet sixteen, a quinceañera is a special part of her upbringing.  A lot of people see it as an excuse to party, but she sees it as an opportunity to grow.  A quinceañera is the moment a girl is revealed as a woman.  With this ceremony, people change the way they act with the birthday girl.  When a girl turns fifteen, she’s seen as more mature and developed.  Lizzette’s quinceañera was extremely important to her because it was a celebration of her transition from childhood to womanhood.
I think that the celebration of a quinceañera is very valuable and should be maintained as a tradition for young girls.  Since this tradition has been preserved for such a long time, it has a special meaning.  Its purpose is actually meaningful.  Acknowledging a woman’s maturity is essential to a woman’s life.  Also, quinceañeras are such a big deal that families invite many people.  This celebration gives families a chance to reunite with loved ones or people they’ve lost in touch with.

Shell Station Joke

Q: Where did the turtle go to get gas?

A: At the Shell station!

My inormant learned this joke from a joke book that she got when she was in elementary school.  As a child, she loved reading joke books and remembering jokes.  Because she enjoyed being humorous, she would tell her newly learned jokes to her friends to see if they thought the jokes were funny or not.
On the way to dinner one night, she and her friends passed a Shell station.  Using this perfect opportunity to say her joke, my informant recited the joke.  After a long pause of everyone in the car looking at her, she burst out laughing to end the awkward silence.  Even though this joke isn’t very funny, she tells it when there’s nothing else to talk about or when she’s bored.
My informant does not actually think the joke is funny.  She actually believes that this is the stupidest joke ever.  She only thinks it’s funny because of how lame it is.  It’s just one of those jokes that is easily remembered to tell in any situation.
If someone were to tell me this joke, I would laugh only because I think it is lame.  This joke is definitely not one of the funnier ones that people enjoy hearing.  I agree with her, this joke one of those jokes that people tell when they’re bored.  It’s also a great ice breaker when there’s an awkward silence or when people just meet each other.  This turtle joke shows how jokes are necessary in our society.  Jokes provide people with something that they can all relate to.  Jokes give people an opportunity to all agree on the humor or lack of humor of the joke.  They’re great topic starters and offer people a chance to see what kinds of people they’re with.