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What a splendid weekend! Let me tell you some of the things it involved, in vaguely chronological order.

  • Pool party with the International Programs department at my boss’s house. I took gingersnaps, which were a failure in several different ways, but the pool party was fun!
  • Walked around at the nature park after dark (not allowed) and admired the fireflies.
  • Went to the farmers market and flea market with my friend Claire, even though neither of us needed farmers or fleas. I bought a sweet belt. In fact, I am wearing it now. They had goats for sale at the flea market! I seriously considered buying one, but fortunately, I am poor.
  • Librrraaarrryyy
  • I bottled beer with some friends! That was an experience. I was in charge of putting the bottle caps on. I smelled like booze for the rest of the day because I was bad at my job.
  • We crammed seventy billion people into a friend’s living room and watched the USA-Ghana game. I had fun, but some of my friends cried. Later to cheer them up, we started to watch a documentary about the “Homeless World Cup.” I don’t know who thought that would be a pick-me-upper; it just made things worse.
  • I finally got to see Toy Story 3! It was SO GOOD. I recommend it heartily.
  • Pool time at the OU pool. It is conveniently located across the street from my apartment.
  • Last night I went on a walk and played in the sprinklers in the marching band field. I convinced Rachel to come out and join me, and we had a grand old time. I hope to make this part of my daily routine.

Today I found out I have been using staple removers wrong for my whole life.

I’m enjoying my new job at the International Student Services office. Sometimes I can even answer a few questions without asking a supervisor or crawling under a bench in terror. The students’ names fascinate me. So far my favorite is Sock-Pin, which is someone’s first name. I’m not sure where it’s from, maybe Thailand? Thanks to that syllable-final non-nasal consonant, I think we can all agree that it ain’t Chinese.

Someone told me last week that the Chinese name their children by throwing forks in the bathtub.

Current music obsession: The Avett Brothers.

It is So Stinkin’ Hot. I am counting it as one of my many blessings though – since my clothes get steamed when I walk to work, I don’t need an iron.

The bark is falling off all the sycamore trees. Is this ok??? The bark is crunchy and fun to step on, but NATURE IS FALLING APART.

Someone told me yesterday that there are a lot of homeless students here on campus. They sleep in the library or in the union and shower at the gym. I do not know if this is so, but it made me wonder:

If you had to be homeless for a year, where would you want to be?

This is a video filmed by a sea turtle.

And this is something I wish I had invented:

I would use that everyday.

I started my new job working at the OU International Student Services office! I am enjoying it so far, but it’s quite a change from the lawbrary, where I was being paid to be a body sitting at a desk. It looks like this job won’t leave me much time for activities like creating library-wide scavenger hunts for law students in my downtime. Or leisurely perusing the statutes section. Or examining all the plants to see if they’re real/carnivorous. (Just kidding, I never did any of that.) At the ISS office, I do actual work. I do various officely duties and help internationals fill out various forms. I guess it’s a little bit similar to a thing called “the real world,” of which I have heard tell but never experienced.

Last week I took three good friends to the airport. On Saturday Christine (our former neighbor) headed home to Taiwan, where she will teach English to high schoolers. Our friend Geraldine, from Mauritius, left on Tuesday for Germany, where she will finish her masters degree in English literature and marry her German boyfriend. My good friend Deah also left on Tuesday for Wales, where she will care for young pregnant women and new mothers. Sigh. It was rough, and it’s hard for me to look past my selfish thoughts of how much I will miss them and HOW CAN THEY LEEEAAVE MEEE and instead be excited for the cool things they are doing with their lives.

I rode a bike tonight for the first time in almost a year, since this hellacious experience. And it didn’t kill me and I enjoyed it. Many many thanks to DAD for helping me fixing up my bike with no help from me and on very short notice!

One of the Google searches that has brought someone to my blog was the phrase “how to spell potluck in japanese.” I hope they were able to find something helpful.

Anne is coming down to Norman tomorrow to enroll at OU! Boomer sooner! Anne – once you enroll, there is no turning back. I hope you’re sure about this.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Catharina von Schlegel 1752

  • In case it’s been bothering you, NAFSA stands for “Association of International Educators.” Since when is that kind of acronym-finagling allowed??
  • I get to ride a lot of escalators.
  • My mentor took me out to lunch yesterday. She is a very wonderful lady who works with international students at a university in St. Louis. I got some delicious soup and wise advice for free!
  • Christine (my erstwhile Kraettli neighbor from Taiwan) and I have thermostat issues in our hotel. She wears leggings and a sweatshirt to bed and sleeps under four blankets and is still cold. I sleep in a cotton nightgown under one sheet and still feel like the room is on fire.
  • I saw Salman Rushdie speak yesterday, which was amazing and probably the highlight of my week. Now I just need to read his books.
  • I’m getting a lot of business cards from interesting people and a lot of free pens from organizations about which I don’t give a hoot. But hey, free pens.
  • Oh, I’m also attending interesting sessions. Topics include: advising Middle Eastern students, explaining academic integrity to internationals, and world peace. I’ve also walked out on a few that weren’t helpful, since apparently that is socially acceptable here.
  • I’ve been going to bed at 9 pm every night. Whoa.
  • Tonight Christine and I went out for Gates barbecue, which was splendid! Their classic sauce made my heart sing.
  • Later we went to the Plaza, where we crashed a protest of the Gaza blockade and took pictures in front of seven billion different fountains. These pictures are all on Christine’s camera, and she claims she’ll share them with me. Time will tell.