School As Usual

Well, we’re back to the same old grind again. Classes have started at Clark; I was actually somewhat pleased to get on the shuttle in time to hear NPR announce that President Bush is encouraging Indonesia to keep up the fight against terrorism. They played a clip of him saying that Indonesia, “like the US, has felt the effects of terrorism,” but it seemed to me that it really should be the other way around. Honestly, Indonesia has experienced far more terrorism than the US and would have much more motivation than the US to stamp out terrorists. Not long ago 200 people were killed there in a terrorist attack, and this is hardly the only attack that has been staged. The worst part about hearing NPR was that President Bush’s clip sounded even more intelligent than the clip of Arnold (First Horseman of the Apocalypse) Schwarzenegger’s quote from a few weeks ago. The Dow was down, as was Nasdaq, but it is fairly early in the day yet.

Math = boring as usual, and since everybody continues to be otherwise occupied, I shall simply catch the next shuttle home and pretend this afternoon is a continuation of my break. Perhaps I can lure my unassuming husband into an ill-advised game of two player Risk. Bwahahahaha (rubs hands together evilly).

– KF –

Long Walk Off A Short…

Today we slept in for the first time in several weeks. Lack of sleeping in was mainly due to the fact that Saturday Ian had a Men’s Group which required getting up at 8 to attend; Sunday we rose at 9 for church as is becoming our sad, low-sleep custom. However, we both have today and tomorrow off, and are working hard to maximize our sleep time during those nights. After a restless night of tossing and turning I finally gave up and, taking my book, went out to the common room/kitchen to prepare myself some toast. It felt very domestic and calm to be able to sit in my pyjamas reading a book and eating toast with jam on it. At 11:20 Ian’s phone went off, and I rushed to answer it; alas, Ian had awoken already, but I answered it to hear Luke on the other end sounding apologetic and wanting to take us to Daka.

Well, we don’t pass up free food ever, so though I had eaten my toast I went with the guys. The rest of their plan consisted of going to get their hair cut and dropping by Best Buy to oogle over games that have not yet come out (Call of Duty, for one). I decided to accompany them, and instead of oogling over games I oogled over a very, very fine Sony digital camera Best Buy offered for only $725. It is exactly what I have dreamed of, and Ian offered to buy it for me: “For your birthday, and Christmas, for the next 10 years,” was his exact phrasing. Checking eBay I found it offered for $560 and ending in 49 minutes… Fortunately I have more self control than that, and am able to resist such desires. I also almost bought a tripod, but realized that my camera did not have variable shutter speed, so the tripod wouldn’t be particularly useful. I may ask for one for Christmas, but since my parents so wonderfully gave me the one I have just last year, I can hardly hope for such good luck again.

Turns out the hair cut place doesn’t operate on Mondays, so that part of the walk was in vain. Still, we had gone almost halfway to Best Buy in any case, so we just went the rest of the way. No harm in the exercise, even if it is through car dealerships’ parking lots for lack of sidewalk on Park Ave. We admired the tiny headlight-wipers on Volvos and mocked huge Ford extended-cab-ridiculously-long-bed trucks. Wind blew cold on the walk, remiding us that winter speeds towards us faster every day. WeatherUnderground predicts snow on Thursday and I would hardly be surprised if they turned out right for a change. Last year the snowing began in October, and I cannot imagine why it shouldn’t do the same this winter.

This choice stands before me: play Risk with Ian and Luke (to inevitably lose, for both have far more experience and for some reason far better luck than I with the dice), or to study for my Marine Bio exam coming up? My exams are: Marine Bio, October 28th; Geology, November 4th; Math, Novemer 5th. I shall continue working on Marine Bio and join the guys for a second game unless they press me too hard. I wish every day was a break day.

As a side note, for all you LOTR lovers out there, the Secret Diaries will make your day.

– KF –

Today has rolled by slowly, slowly, slowly, despite the fact that I slept in and began doing chores shortly thereafter. Vacuuming has actually never bothered me, though the sound does become a bit wearing after a while… Still, to destroy spiders and dirt sacrifices must be made. The bathroom also sparkles with all the elbow grease Ian and I put into it. If only bathrooms would self-clean, like those handy ovens. The thought occurs, however, that you can’t heat up a bathroom really hot and clean it that way: autoclaving would leave a bathroom as ashes – clean but not particularly practical.

Wisdom imparted to me today: Sacrifices must be made for the harmony of our marriage. Now we have act as mature as we claimed we were on August 9th, 2003.

– KF –

Some days refuse blogging. Others demand it. Today is not one of the latter, but I still have 25 minutes left until my thrilling Geology class (today: Mass Movements, as in rock slides, avalanches, etc.) with little else to do except read Supremacy by Stealth subtitled “Ten Rules for Managing the World,” in the Atlantic Monthly. But I really know all that stuff already, being Queen of the World and all, so I thought that I would do a blog instead.

I am wondering: why does it seem like so many fantasy books are set in medieval times? There is this allure, this far-off gleam of romanticism imbedded in our minds that associates Middle Ages and Magic. Perhaps we can more readily grant an author credibility when they set their impossibilities in a long passed time. There may also be an aspect to this in which we know the Middle Ages were fairly primitive (even compared to their predecessors, the Romans (for instance), due to various factors, the Black Plague not least among them) so we can also more easily accept the fact that magic happened then whereas now – and the future – belong more to the realm of science fiction. There are, of course, several notable exceptions. Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality are set in present day, and Mythago Wood, by Robert Holdstock, is set just post-WW II. Still, when you consider the preponderance of medieval-set fantasy stories you have to wonder what about that time period allows people to accept the impossibilities of fantasy more easily than in other settings. Any thoughts?

I’m finishing this entry at home, having actually enjoyed our lecture on Mass Wasting – slides, avalanches, flows, creeps, and slumps are actually much more interesting than I would have guessed. I ran into my prof a little after class and we chatted briefly – the more I talk to her, the more I like her. She is very nice, however long her pauses may be between words in lecture. Also regarding academics, my math quiz went easily because he practically gave us the answers in terms of “hints” and I got my new TI-83 calculator today. It is exactly like my old one but the screen actually works, and it’s not as worn around the corners… and now Ian and I have three TI manuals, though we know how to do most everything on them anyway. However, I’m pleased in the assurance my calculator won’t just randomly die now (also this one doesn’t have battery acid remains in its battery case, so that makes me feel a little better too).

Now for four days of either wild debauchery and game-playing or actual studiousness involving study for exams that come after break. I’ll leave it up to your imagination which I’ll be doing.

– KF –

You know it’s time…

…to close the window when the temperature inside your room is 55 degrees F and the outside temperature is 43. Makes taking a shower feel awfully nice and warm though. I fear that this winter our room will become a cave, with no fresh air and – when it snows – little light penetrating. I shudder to think of our future power bills.

One more day of classes and Clark takes its random 4-day “Midterm break.” Actually I’m unsure of the duration of this break as it appears to be marked as a weekend and 2 days (stingy of Clark when WPI students get 10 days off)… Also, I don’t feel it’s much of a break when all of my classes have exams immediately thereafter. Why do they do this? BCS used to have lots of tests after Christmas break, and you get the feeling that teachers liked to give people time to “study” – i.e., forget all they learned. I am dismayed to find that professors here follow that same policy.

I’m beginning a New Advisor Search again, figuring that I need an advisor to sign up for this spring’s classes. If I actually am going to take classes this spring. I have looked over the Au Sable Institute’s program and feel that, if I were to do it, I’d prefer the 5 weeks camping in Washington to the Jan-term. It may seem silly, but I’d rather spend as much of Christmas break with Ian as possible, and that would cut it shorter by some 10 or 11 days. Also, I’m rather unsure about my feelings regarding going to Wisconsin in the middle of winter all by myself. For all I try to pretend to be outgoing and brave, I’m really an introvert who’s scared of doing new things.

Coming to Clark was the biggest thing I’ve done on my own, and the fear of it never really hit me. But for instance, job hunting: we all hate it, but I fear it too, in a deep and indescribable way. I would rather drown in my own bile than job hunt… I feel that strongly (terrified) about it. However, one must do what one must, and when I need to I will find a job. It is rather hard to be motivated when there’s always this feeling in the back of my mind that Ian and I don’t really need jobs until we get out of college, but that’s not even true. Where will we get money for food? Rent? Whenever we get a vehicle, its insurance and other costs? General personal upkeep? Our money will only last so long… When that runs out we need experience and an ability to “sell ourselves” to employers. Yuck! I want to read books and write & edit papers for my whole life. Hope springs eternal.

– KF –


The weather today is invigorating. Wind to sweep you off your feet, rain thundering down all night, leaves thrown to the ground in a caucophony of reds, oranges, and yellows, only to be swept up again in a gust and flown high into the grey sky. Wheels spinning swiftly along through rain-wetted roads throwing up rainbows of drops and the sky just bright enough to promise a new day tomorrow. The temperature is perfect, making me feel alive and excited for life, longing to go out and capture the joy with my camera. I am trying but I simply cannot move fast enough: there is so much wonder and I cannot – haven’t the ability to – freeze it in time for eternity with my camera.

The room is a mess, and I don’t mind it because when I come through the door I feel almost home. Not Seattle home, but that I have entered a place that is safe and full of peace and love, a stable place for the next few years. I am learning to let go of what I cannot control this year; to this end I have stopped worrying about seeing my friends, wondering how details will work out for tomorrow, and obsessing over next semester. Everything is still there, and I have not stopped working to solve problems, but the terror and loneliness have faded for the time.

– KF –

What did God mean?

Man was made to be in relationships with other people because we were made in God’s image. He is always in communion with his Son and Spirit. In the same way He has given us this longing to love others, to truly know each other deeply and truly. Those people who close themselves or are for other reasons not given the opportunity to have those loving and honest relationships therefore are not whole people. Human contact is a necessity, for just as the best-cared for but unloved babies die, so we will fade away without human relationships. They are not as God designed us to be, and that causes people to seek ways of dulling the pain. Alcohol dulls it. Drugs hide it. Knives block it. Casual sex postpones it. Exercising control deceives us. But in our hearts we know that life is not right, and that something is missing until Christ fills it.

And even then, a life without human contact is no life at all but a pale, sorry shadow of the truth of existence.

As a side note, the shuttle doesn’t run today because Columbus apparently discovered the New World today – how to verify that, I’m not so sure… Anyway, after a harried breathless scramble to Clark everything went well. Lunch with Kristin, Casey, and Kate made my day; class was easy, and dinner turned out well. Even got to talk to Jess while she was in class. Warmer yet fall weather makes you remember why people love New England.

– KF –