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In a couple hours I will be heading up to Kansas once again! This time I’m bringing my Taiwanese ex-neighbor Ching-Yi (she also goes by Christine). We’ll be in Andover for a couple days, loading up on supplies and rifles and oxen. Then we will continue our journey to Kansas City for the NAFSA conference! I have no idea what NAFSA stands for, but it’s a giant conglomeration of international education people. Since that’s the career I’m hoping to go into, an advisor recommended this week-long conference, and I coerced Christine into joining me. It’s intimidating, but I think it should be a splendid experience.

What do you think NAFSA stands for? Leave your guess in the comments.

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Last weekend I got to go up to Kansas for Anne’s graduation! She’s officially the last MacLeod to successfully make it through AHS (unless we can get Fritze or Gracie enrolled, and I would definitely question the wisdom of that move). Nate and Jenn Appleton and Grandma MacLeod came down from Wisconsin for the joyous occasion, and it was SO GOOD to get to spend time with them. It was a busy weekend, full of quality family time, good food, dogs biting each other’s heads, Witchitä sight-seeing, and deck-sitting.

God has been taking really good care of me lately, especially on the summer-job front. Last week I got a job at the International Student Services office on campus, which is AWESOME because I’m hoping to someday have a  career working with international students. So this should be pretty good experience. Since I’m a student assistant, my job will include answering phones, filing, greeting people, and other super-important stuff like that. The timing and hours are pretty much perfect, and the people who work there seem nice. I’m starting in two weeks, so I’ll update you then.

Meanwhile, people keep leaving. Milena is leaving tomorrow morning! Nooo. Another friend, Geraldine (from Mauritius), is heading to Germany soon to get married. Since she’s always wanted to go camping, Rachel is taking her this weekend. Geraldine has expressed a hope that there won’t be any “any bugs, insects, grass, dirt, mud, or water.” Ha! She’s in for a treat.

In two weeks, my dear dear friend Deah is leaving for Wales to be a “House Mum” in a charity that takes care of young pregnant women. I’m going to miss her A LOT – she has been one of my closest friends here since we met freshman year in the dorms. She is a huge encouragement to my faith – she’s like my Yoda. Or my Ruth, if you want a more biblical analogy. The ministry she’s getting involved in sounds like a pretty good one. Here’s the website for that, and here’s Deah’s blog, where you can read her support letter and donate something to help her out if you feel so called.

In other news, those little black dots inside bananas are tarantula eggs.

Fact: A lot of Israelis wear shirts with English writing on them. A lot of times the writing makes no sense at all.
Hypothesis: They don’t know what their shirts say. (This might be similar to people getting tattoos of Chinese characters and not knowing if it says “tranquility” or “sesame chicken.”
Idea: A lot of the things I saw on t-shirts would make great band names. I could start a business. Here are some of them:
Active Actitude!
Zipstyle fun and glory
Tick tock apple clock
Space disco

Last summer I noticed a lot of Israelis wear shirts with English writing on them. A lot of times the writing makes no sense at all.

Hypothesis: They don’t know what their shirts say. (This might be similar to people getting tattoos of Chinese characters and not knowing if it says “tranquility” or “sesame chicken.”)

Idea: A lot of the things I saw on t-shirts would make great band names. I could start a business. Some of my favorites were:

  • Active Actitude!
  • Zipstyle fun and glory
  • Tick tock apple clock
  • Space disco

What brought these fond memories back: On Sunday when I was driving back from Andover to Norman, I saw billboards for Ponca City that had sayings like “Agile Econovation.” Which would be a terrible band name.

Finals: check.

Getting three free meals at the cafeteria from kind people with extra meal points: check.

Capstone paper: check.

I turned in my onomatopoeia paper yesterday (38 pages! Yes!) and one of the linguistics professors tried to convince me that onomatopoeia doesn’t exist. Who does that.

Painful goodbyes: started, but mostly still looming ahead.

I went over to the apartment of some foreign friends, Milena (French) and Gyeong-ae (Korean), to say goodbye and see if they needed help with packing or cleaning. They gave me several of their half-used food items, tastefully arranged in a decorative Easter basket. The census taker came by while I was there. Hilarity ensued. We were frantically searching facebook for the full names and birthdates of their former South American roommates, who have about six middle names each, and Milena kept lapsing into French for no good reason, which confused the poor census fellow. Then he asked for her race, and Milena looked over her list of options and declared herself to be Cuban. He didn’t get it. Gyeong-ae was delighted that the American government came to talk to them personally and kept telling me how much fun she was having.

I don’t want these people to leave.

If the lost word is lost, if the spent word is spent
If the unheard, unspoken
Word is unspoken, unheard;
Still is the unspoken word, the Word unheard,
The Word without a word, the Word within
The world and for the world;
And the light shone in darkness and
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the center of the silent Word.
Oh my people, what have I done unto thee.
Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence

Happy happy Mother’s Day!

Last week of the school year! It should be survivable. By a happy twist of fate, I only have two finals this week, and only one that is seriously alarming. That would be Morphology. My capstone essay is due Thursday, and after that I am freeee!

We finally had our Korean cookout last Thursday. There was some kind of delicious beef/onion/mushroom concoction, Korean roasted chestnuts, dumplings, kimchi (here’s a recipe), and LOTS of rice. It was a little terrifying to watch my Korean friends cook – they were flinging raw meat around my kitchen and using magazine pages to cover the dumplings frying on the stove. Kraettli could have burned down! Happily, we all survived, and the meal was completely delicious.

On Saturday, my Chinese friend Ivory invited me over for dinner with her and her daughter Alice (they both became Christians over the break, I think I’ve mentioned them before). Let me tell you about the food she cooked. There was 1) fried chicken with some kind of strange and wonderful seasoning, 2) pink potatoes and pork, 3) red peppers and shrimp, 4) pork with “tree ear” (it’s a type of fungi, and the Wikipedia page freaks me out and I can’t believe I ate so much of it), 5) LOTS of rice, and 6) seaweed soup. 95% of the meal was waaayy outside my comfort zone, but I ate some of everything and had much fun. They are a sweet family and it was so nice of them to have me over.

All these people who are leaving keep giving us things, and Rachel and I are noticing that our apartment is beginning to look like Asians live here. We have little Chinese charms hanging everywhere, Korean ingredients in the fridge, a jar of chopsticks on the counter, and office supplies with cute pastel animals on them.

I am looking forward to a trip to Kansas next weekend for Anne’s graduation party, and another one the weekend after that for her actual graduation. So excited! On that note, here’s a fun vest. I wish I had had one to carry Oscar around in, back when he was skinny.

I don't understand why the foliage is necessary.

Throughout virtually the whole of the modern educational system there now exists one powerful and impressive form of super-tribal initiation ceremony, which goes under the revealing name of ‘examinations.’ These are conducted in the heavy atmosphere of high ritual, with the pupils cut off from all outside assistance. Just as in the tribal ritual, no one can help them. They must suffer on their own. At all other times in their lives they can make use of books of reference, or discussions over difficult points, when they are applying their intelligence to a problem, but not during the private rituals of the dreaded examinations.

The ordeal is further intensified by setting a strict time limit and by crowding all the different examinations together in the short space of a few days or weeks. The overall effect of these measures is to create a considerable amount of mental torment, again recalling the mood of the more primitive initiation ceremonies of simple tribes.

Desmond Morris, The Human Zoo

"How did this HAPPEN?"

These USED to be my favorite pair of shoes. As you can see, they are riddled with gaping holes, which my toes keep trying to fall out of. Also this particular shoe is now in two pieces.

I don’t know what to call a pair of shoes that is made of three components. My mind is blown.

Thanks for sending me new shoes, Mom!