from this Korean soap opera I like, which is called “Spring Waltz” and takes place in Vienna and South Korea and is available on Hulu:

  • It is fine to be rude to the lady you suspect used to be your childhood sweetheart as long as you periodically exchange meaningful glances
  • “If it was a misunderstanding on my part, please make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
  • Western pencil-sharpening technology has not yet found its way to South Korea. World-renowned concert pianists pay their road managers to sharpen pencils by hand.
  • If you like a boy, NOW is the time to start nagging him, being oversensitive about your relationship, and encouraging your parents to meet his parents and make awkward jokes about your impending marriage.
  • The cutest romances are conducted montage-style. Pick some goofy upbeat piano music for your romance!
  • Talk to yourself out loud about people who are present. Yes, do it. He won’t notice. Is he even Korean? Jerk.
  • Don’t make waves in small island fishing villages. News travels fast.
  • Makeup is a very serious gift to be giving someone. Are you sure your relationship is ready? If not, you can always carry it around in your pocket for a few days and gaze at it during thoughtful moments.
  • Make sure the jar of kimchee in the overhead bin is securely lidded.
  • Feel free to leave your children with strangers for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.
  • Dead son? Unstable, grief-stricken wife? No problem! Why not bribe a street urchin to move to Canada with your family?
  • Always be prepared for zany traffic mishaps.
  • Every Korean is adorable, even the grouchy one who is wearing a teddy bear sweater and scowling at you.
  • The birthday girl MUST HAVE her birthday soup.

Gordon and Tracie came to visit Anne and me last weekend. There was plenty of porch-sitting, Norman-wandering, and hijinks aplenty. We had a lot of fun, but we’re too cool to show it.

This last weekend I went as a “chaperone” (hahaha, I know, right?) on a camping trip for leaders of international organizations at OU. It was SO MUCH FUN I CANNOT EVEN EXPRESS IT. It was a relaxing and lovely weekend, and I met twelve billion (or maybe like thirty) new people. Here are some of the highlights:

  • As we were pulling out of the parking lot, my passengers asked me if I’m a good driver. I said, “Probably. This is my first time.” They didn’t realize I was joking and were seriously alarmed at first.
  • When we arrived at the camp, everyone noted that it looked like the setting for a horror movie (though to be fair, many places do at night). I pointed out that it was a church camp, so we were probably fine. Hai (Vietnam) advised us, “If someone comes into your room at night to kill you, you must say, ‘Oh my gosh‘ instead of ‘Oh my god.‘”
  • Hai also told us fascinating stories from his childhood–fleeing angry goats and setting his neighbor’s chickens on fire.
  • A moonlit game of Ultimate Frisbee–90% of the players had never touched a frisbee before, but applied strategies (and rules and jargon) from soccer and cricket, with varying levels of success.
  • While reading in my hammock, I heard the sound of bagpipes. Playing “Highland Cathedral”! Hark! The sound of my people, I thought, and–like any good MacLeod would do–took off in search of the noise. It was surprisingly (?) easy to locate. Had a nice chat with the bagpiper.
  • I got one marriage proposal, but it was purely accidental. I suggested to a group of internats that we go on a walk, and Kaji (Bangladesh) said, “Let’s elope!” He thought it meant to run away, and didn’t realize it was specific to marriage. Bet he won’t make that mistake again.

I think a big reason why it was so much fun is that I don’t get to spend time with international students in a friendly environment anymore–often when they come to my office, they are shaking in fear or already mad at me. So it was fun to play frisbee with them and not talk about visas.

Apparently a few people still check this blog everyday! I feel bad about this, since my posting has been subpar lately. Thanks for not giving up on me, guys. (Although to be honest, maybe you should consider it.)

I graduated a few weeks ago, which is exciting! I’m done being a student, after sixteen years of knowing no other life.

What is next? Ugghghhg everyone is asking me that. And my answer is this:

  • This summer I am continuing to work at the international student office at OU. I love this job and it’s in the field I’m interested in, so it’s a sweet setup.
  • I’m applying for grown-up jobs. What kind of job can you even get with a linguistics degree?? Glad you asked! I think I could teach ESL, work for the CIA (oooh!), or something along those lines. But my passion is international students, and I’m hoping to get a job at some university, maybe as an international student advisor.
  • That’s all I know.

Now that we all know exactly the same amount of information about my future, I will tell you the other things that are happening.

I have moved out of Kraettli! This is sad because:

  • I lived in the same apartment for 3 years and it felt like a home.
  • I had the same roommate for 3 year and she felt like a sister. (On a very happy note, she is studying abroad in Austria all next year! Glückwunsch an Rachel, ja?!)
  • The people in Kraettli are marvelous. Before we left, the Armenian family next door had us over for a tasty dinner. I’ll miss all the Kraettlians.
After finals ended, I went to Florida with friends from the campus ministry I go to, RUF. It was glorious! Lots of quality time with the beach and people.

A few of us drove back to Norman by way of Tuscaloosa to help our friends there clean up from the tornado. It was hard work but quite fun, and everyone was so very hospitable.

Now I’m living in a house near campus, working working working. A house?! Is it nice? Yes! It has a giant kitchen and a big front porch and lots of windows. It has other important attributes, but those are the pertinent ones. It’s also got friends living inside it. Last night during the tornado scare, we hunkered down in our creepy basement with a guitar, a gerbil, and a bottle of port. Ahh memories.

You are now pretty much caught up. I hope your summer is off to a splendid start! Mine is.

Things I’ve been doing lately:

  • Going to class. I’m taking Hebrew Grammar, Hebrew Bible as Literature, Freedom in Rome, and Evil in Modern Europe. They are all wonderful, which is a nice way to end my college career.
  • Playing the accordion. Funnest instrument ever (THANKS GRANDMA)! I played it at a friend’s concert and sometimes play it in worship at church. No one has complained yet, although my suggestions that we “polka it up” go completely unheeded.
  • Putting six snow days to good use (aka gleefully squander them). I spent most of my time with friends–we built a blanket fort, went on loooong walks, read, had jam sessions with strangers, made bagels, painted pictures (of an owl, a woolly mammoth, and six meerkats).
  • Met with an adviser to get a degree check. I will indeed be graduating this semester, as we suspected.
  • Dealing with various scary grown-up institutions, like the pharmacy and Department of Human Services.
  • Swing dancing. And Israeli folk dancing. And the Charleston.
  • Attending book sales. I need more bookshelves!

Things I have not been doing lately:

  • Writing on a blog, obviously.

I enrolled for next semester! I’m taking Hebrew Bible as Literature, Topics in Hebrew Grammar, Freedom in Rome, and Historical Jesus. It looks like it will be a very biblical semester, which was unintentional but can only be a good thing.

I heard last weekend was Halloween? I didn’t dress up, but the day after Halloween, I thought of a good costume for next year: a backpack. I’ll just get someone to give me a piggyback ride.

On Saturday, which was also Crazy Game Day On Which Everyone Is Insane, a drunk guy yelled at me that I was “sneaky like a ninja.” Which was totally unmerited. However, I was flattered. It is the nicest thing anyone has ever drunkenly yelled at me.

Excitement of the day: I lost my keys and the sweet Taiwanese lady who lives downstairs found them in the marching band field. Out of the vast number of Kraettlians (or marching band hooligans, I suppose) who could have found my keys, I am very grateful it was her.

I need to stop doing irresponsible things like that; it’s almost time to be a grownup.

On another note, this brightened my day:

This life is therefore, not righteousness, but growth in righteousness,

not health, but healing,

not being, but becoming,

not rest, but exercise.

We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it,

the process is not yet finished but it is going on,

this is not the end, but it is the road.

All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.

– Martin Luther

1781 – After the Battle of Yorktown, Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington, prompting Britain to end the war. If it were not for this, we would all speak with a British accent, eat Hobnobs, and possibly value dental hygiene less than we currently do. A decisive moment in the history of democracy and freedom!

202 B.C. – Scipio defeated Hannibal and his army of elephants (and humans) invading Rome. If Hannibal had won, I’d like to think we would all ride elephants everywhere we go.

 

I found this picture on Wikipedia, and it is clearly an authentic photograph.

 

1959 – The first discotheque opened. I wasn’t around, but I assume the picture above is also an accurate depiction of this event.

Today when I was kicking acorns, I hit two people, and one of them was on crutches.

It’s Thursday! Three exams down, one to go. Study study panic panic. I know I’m not the first person to notice this, but somehow the longer I have to choose between Studying and Doing Less Productive Things, the second option seems more and more appealing. That is probably why I am writing a blog post. And why I whipped up some chili for lunch yesterday and have been practicing banjo rolls (less action-packed than it sounds, but still fun). Don’t worry, my grades are not suffering; willpower generally wins.

Today when I was walking on campus I overheard this conversation snippet: “This is a pretty well-planned riot, don’t you think? They brought grappling hooks.”

New furniture! It’s lovely and still smells like furniture factory. My favorite thing (other than my giant bed) is our green pleather chair. I can tell that we are gonna be friends.

Here’s a video of a fat cat trying to climb into a pot. Somehow it’s completely hilarious.