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I have now been to all of my classes and am so far feeling wildly ambivalent about them. Other than my communication classes, which I told you about last week, I am also taking Symbolic Logic and Freedom in Greece. I’m not sure why Symbolic Logic is required for my major or how to feel about it yet. It doesn’t seem hard–so far we are working with arguments like “All females are pretty. Jenny Craig is a female. It follows that Jenny Craig is pretty.” Freedom in Greece is basically storytime, which is exciting! The professor paces around the lecture hall and tells us stories from the Iliad that will make us better human beings, and sometimes he pokes at us with a stick. Maybe that last part is why I still have reservations about this class, because the rest of it is pretty great.

It’s been a busyfun weekend. After work on Friday, I went to “Art After Hours” at the OU art museum with some friends, where we learned about Turkery fashion in portraits by John Singleton Copley. Then we cooked some burgers and went to a free Ben Kweller concert. There I ran into a friend who I hadn’t seen for a year (she was studying rice farming methods in Indonesia) and we talked for a long while and then I hitched a ride on her bicycle back to Kraettli. (This is my new favorite way to travel.) On Saturday, Anne and I had a delightful homework picnic (we were so productive) and I took some brownies next door to meet my new Armenian neighbors. In the evening, I took a friend out for a birthday dinner. It was slightly chaotic–we had to go quite late because she is fasting for Ramadan, and we were joined by an American, a Korean, five French girls, and a Moroccan. So much fun! They all thought Johnny Carino’s was a very beautiful restaurant. When we got back to Kraettli, we all went to a party some Koreans were having. I love Koreans! They are adorable. They were sitting around a giant bowl of potato chips, which they dipped in ketchup. This morning I went to early early church and then hammocked and watched the squirrels romp about. Then Anne bought me a panino at the Union. Good day, yes?

My favorite Copley painting. Maybe my favorite painting ever?! Hmm.

So, what’s going on with Kraettli the Greatly this year, you ask? Excellent question. The weekly gatherings will not be happening, for various reasons that I can discuss with you if you would like. This is a big bummer. But I’m looking forward to getting to know international students better in one-on-one relationships, and hopefully we’ll still have a lot of movie parties and game nights. Also, a lot of my new neighbors seem to have children; maybe there is babysitting in my future. Basically it’s going to be a lot different this year than it has been in the past, but probably just as greatly, if not–dare I say–greatlier?! I have high hopes.

There is the lesson of “Cinderella,” which is the same as that of the Magnificat–exaltavit humiles. There is the great lesson of “Beauty and the Beast”; that a thing must be loved before it is loveable. There is the terrible allegory of the “Sleeping Beauty,” which tells how the human creature was blessed with all birthday gifts, yet cursed with death; and how death also may perhaps be softened to a sleep.

Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton

It’s been a while.

Fall semester started TODAY, which is terribly exciting! Actually the really thrilling news is that Anne is here!! She is one of the new little Sooners, and we moved her into the dorms on Tuesday. I think she likes it here. Sometimes she tries to convince me she has no friends, but as far as I can tell, she has more of a social life than I do–she keeps hanging out with people and declining my invitations. And living in a building with over a thousand other freshmen puts you on the fast track for friend-making, so I would say she’s doing quite well.

My classes for this semester include Communication Theory, Risk and Crisis Communication, Symbolic Logic, and Freedom in Greece. So far I’ve only been to the first two of those, and they seem like they will be moderately interesting. Risk and Crisis Comm should come in handy, I suppose, since risks and crises are lurking around every corner. I shall be prepared! At one point though, the teacher expressed concern about cramming too many kids in the room and violating a fire code. So I guess we’re trying to avoid risk? I think I must not understand what this class is about.

The ISS office has been INSANELY busy these past few weeks with all the incoming internationals. It is simply flabbergasting. I am hoping with every fiber of my being that things calm down. This semester I will be working about twenty hours a week, splitting my time between the law library and the ISS office.

I’ve met a few new exchange students. They have different visas than the internationals, so they check in at a different office, which means I don’t meet them unless we cross paths in Kraettli. So far I have met friends of Lily and Milena (two French students from last year) and a friend of Yu-Chieh (a Taiwanese student from last year). Yu-Chieh sent a present for Rachel and me that consisted of an assortment of keychains and brochures from a Taiwanese museum, and posters he made from pictures around Taiwan. I don’t think I can fully capture the glory of these posters in words, so I hesitate to try. But let me tell you, they are hilarious. The captions on the back are informative, off-the-wall, and sweet (my favorite was “your smiles are sweeter than the sheeps”).

My friend Laura (a French exchange student from two years ago) was in town today with her family! She is writing her masters thesis on Route 66, which obviously necessitates an epic family journey for research purposes. It was reeeeaally good to see her. We went to Wendy’s and I had trouble explaining how a Frosty is different from a milkshake. …Is it?

In other news, I tried to make meatballs the other day. They turned out soupy, which was not unforeseen for a few reasons. I used a meatloaf recipe, didn’t measure anything, and substituted in some very incorrect ingredients. They taste edible though.

The OU marching band practices in my front yard! How obnoxious. They are good at what they do, but they are ever so LOUD and the theme this year seems to be Lady Gaga. (Rachel almost fell out of her chair with delight when she found out about this.)

Time to eat some watermelon.