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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.

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:

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.

Well, well, well. It has been a while, has it not? Trust me, I have a good excuse.

As you are possibly aware, I had a brief stint in the hospital recently. I had been feeling sick to my stomach since around Labor Day, but it was intermittent enough that I kept thinking I was better. These vain delusions kept me from seeking medical attention. Finally, late Friday night (or early Saturday morning), it got bad enough that Anne drove me to the ER, and I stayed at the hospital until yesterday afternoon. I won’t get into all of my issues, but my weekend involved: anemia, an ovarian cyst, surgery to get rid of said cyst, an internal hernia that may or may not exist (please pray that it doesn’t), and getting lots of holes punched in me. If you want to hear more about these lovely things, you can call me and we’ll discuss it.

Even though all of that was pretty miserable, everyone was so nice to me! Anne stayed up with me all night at the ER and made subsequent visits whenever possible. Mom drove down early Saturday morning and stayed with me the whole time, talking to the doctors, sleeping in a chair next to me, keeping people updated on my condition, etc. I was visited by a lot of sweet people. My friends drew/painted me lovely pictures, and played me music on the banjo and mandolin.  Gordon and Dad even drove down on surgery day. Basically I feel very loved to have so many people looking out for me. And thanks so much for all your prayers! They seem to be working. God is good!

Now I am back in Kansas for the rest of the week, since my parents figured kidnapping me would be the most effective way to get me to chill out (definitely true). I am in moderate pain but getting better, and a bit woozy from the pain meds. I plan to do some serious napping this week before I have to start in on all my homework. One benefit of this unforeseen vacation is that I get to spend more time with Uncle Glen and Aunt Holly, who are coming to Wichita today.

I think you can now consider yourself updated. I hope all of this made sense–I’m afraid the Percocet has compromised my capacity for logic and chronology. One last thing: until further notice, please do not make me laugh. It really hurts.

  • Campfire marshmallows–they’re as big as your face!
  • “Striped” as a two-syllable word
  • Harmonica/melodica musical fun sessions with friends on campus (or in class)–once we almost got a trombonist to join us
  • The way my professor (who claims to be Russian) says “rrisky”
  • Knowing Labor Day weekend is just around the corner
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Having a sister in town who lives (literally) a hop, skip, and a jump away

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

  • A hammock – I ordered a knock-off version of this hammock (from here) and it came in the mail the other day! I was on my way to the pool at the time, and ended up ditching that plan in favor of quality hammock time. It is AWESOME. I want to live in it. I have been taking it everywhere I go (it’s quite light). Happy sigh.
  • A piano – One of my friends is going out of town for a few weeks and I offered to babysit his piano. Yesterday he and his piano appeared on my doorstep, which is hilarious because I live on the second floor. It was an unexpected sight. How perfectly pleasant to possess a piano!
  • The answer to the question, “When were skittles invented?” The book I’m reading, which was written in the 1890s, keeps declaring that life is “skittles and beer.” This seemed anachronistic to me, so I asked Wikipedia and discovered that the candy was invented in 1974, but it is also a sport, which dates back to 3300 BC in Ancient Egypt. Whoa. (It’s basically bowling.)
  • A lot of international students. Their visas allow them to enter the country thirty days prior to the start of the semester, so they have begun trickling in. My experience in Israel involved getting yelled at by everyone (including the lady at the check-in office at the university) so I am doing my best to be super nice to these people.
  • A bird that looked like a tiny chicken came up to me as I was walking to work today. It had some red feathers on its head that looked like a comb. (And it was not a cardinal.) It wanted to be friends. Speaking of chickens, … never mind.
  • Jury duty summons. Ugh.
  • New contacts – thanks, Mom!

It kind of reminds me of Oscar (remember him?), but larger, rounder, and less resentful. And also it’s a different animal.

My life has been so musical lately! It’s refreshing. I found some pianos at the dorms that I’ve been playing, and when I was there on Sunday, a fellow I don’t know came over and gave me some pointers. For about an hour. Yesterday, my friend Maggie, who is a Music Composition major, took me to play the organ in Catlett Hall, which was great! Swell! Positive! (Haha! Organ pun.) I haven’t played an organ in a while, and I miss it a lot. Hopefully this will become a regular occurrence. Also, Maggie and I agree that the OU organ department needs a falcon. Maybe someday this dream can become a reality. In other musical news, my project for this evening is to learn a song on the banjo.

Summer is nice. I’m enjoying the slow pace – mostly I’m reading extensively and making frequent runs to various libraries, going on walks with friends, cooking and eating with friends, watching movies with friends, painting fences, eating cherries, looking for buried treasure, etc. On Sunday night some friends invited me to a “game night,” and when I got there, they were all sitting on the sofa in the dark, talking, and someone was playing the banjo. I wish every social gathering could be like that. In short: nothing thrilling is happening and I looove it.

At the ISS office we got a new air freshener that perches atop a cabinet and puffs out fragrance every 36 minutes. She reminds me of the white robot from Wall-E, and we call her Clarisse. I’ve been trying to get everyone in the office to say, “Gesundheit, Clarisse” every time it puffs, but so far I’m the only one who thinks this is funny. (And only gets funnier, every 36 minutes.)