Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don't worry!!! I'm still alive!

I have to apologize for my lack of bloggage the last few weeks. I have a good reason for it, you see. I was going to blog...I really was. But I got distracted, had a presentation, saw a hedge hog, lost at go-cart racing and bought a really cute top, and in the midst of all that important work, blogging got left behind. But, suffice it to say I have emerged from my grave and scholarly endeavors and can spare some time to write now. However...since it is midnight, I'm going to give you the quick update version.

1) This has been the week of wildlife. I saw a fox and a hedgehog AND there was a guy with a cage of bunnies on the train-A big cage! It made me feel better about the odd things I have taken on the train, particularly that day last week when a friend and I carried 3 big pumpkins on the train. Speaking of pumpkins, on Halloween, and the same day I saw the bunnies, I saw a guy who looked just like Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hallow. (for the unfamiliar: http://www.bartleby.com/310/2/2.html) He was extremely tall and gangly, with a big, bird-like nose and green eyes, and though I had never seen Ichabod Crane myself, I had heard he still travels between here and his native Hudson River valley, teaching school and giving music lessons. He got on at the musik akademie train stop, and I could hear him humming to himself in the next seat and it only confirmed my suspicion that this was most likely Ichabod himself. Plus he was dressed like an American. I was concerned about where he was headed on this Halloween night. I wanted to warn him. "Don't go to the party! Or if you do, don't flirt with the girl, or don't ride a horse home!! But he was preoccupied with the very large bench he was carrying (really!--also on the train), so I didnt bother him. Late Halloween night I had 4 or 5 little ghosts and goblin trick or treaters, and as I dropped snickerdoodles in their sacks, I heard in the distance the hoofs of two horses, racing along the cobblestone street, and I heard a mighty crash, and I haven't seen Ichabod on the train since. But I did see a hedge hog. So I think it is possible that the hedgeless horseman turned Ichabod Crane into a hedge hog that night.

2) I have the possibility of spending a semester "abroad" in this program. My options include several universities in South Africa (which I have not yet investigated), or a semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is one of the schools that so shortsightedly turned down my application earlier this year. Please take time to vote in my poll about what I should do concerning semester abroad!!
pros/cons at this point, color coordinated for your convenience:
UW-Madison Pros: One of the best African Studies schools; among the oldest in the states; snow; I could work (positive for the cash flow!); I would live with Chantelle, my British friend from here; larger program, more class options; potentially good for making important connections for further graduate study; cheapest possible way to take classes at a US school--pay Swiss tuition fees and go to a US school. That is a great deal.
UW-Madison cons: It could be constituted "wasting Europe time;" wouldn't help my Deutsche much, opportunity cost of studying in South Africa.

South Africa Pros: Study in Africa would be an interesting experience, more than Wisconsin, I venture to declare; Opportunity to travel in Southern Africa (maybe); potentially establish good internship or job connections.

South Africa Cons: Don't know much about the schools on the list; I hear parts of South Africa are a bit rough; would be going "all by myself" (and I know that doesn't seem like much of a problem, considering I did move to Switzerland by myself, and at least in South Africa they speak my language); no working possibilities, as far as I know.

Not doing a semester "abroad" pros: can focus on getting to know people here, learning German, traveling in Europe; Cons: no additional connections or opportunity to get to know other people in other programs (including teachers), potentially narrow view of the field as a result.
So there you have it! Your opinion matters, so be sure to vote, or post your advice in a comment.

3)GREGGORY IS COMING TO VISIT! (Insert celebration dance here.)

4) I went go-cart driving with a bunch of guys yesterday for my friend's birthday party (I was the only girl invited...what do you think that means? I think it either means they were counting on me to bring cake, or I should wear pink more often so there is less confusion). Anyway, go-carts are fun, but be forewarned, it messes up one's hair, with the helmet and all. I lost the race, unfortunately. My fastest lap was still slower than all their fastest laps. But in my defense I hadn't driven a go-cart in about 10 years, and they go all the time, and furthermore I was being careful because I am not totally sure my insurance covers me here....so...I thought it best to err on the side of caution. 'sides. Someone had to lose, and I didn't want any of them to feel bad...getting beat by a girl and all. But next time...NEXT time...no more Mr. nice guy.

I have quite nearly finished the Noll book on colonial America (I'll write y'all a review and post it on here). Other recent procrastination tactics have included writing stories in ecology class, staying up until the wee hours of the morning watching the democratic debates (go Obama), shopping at the fall fair, and looking for work. The latter is only half procrastination. I really could use a job. I applied at Starbucks this week, and I hope it works out. My German is one major deterrent I'm afraid, but I talked with the store manager, a sympathetic ex-pat who encouraged me to apply anyway, so that sounds promising.

Well, I am sure other interesting things have happened, but I can't think of any at the moment. I will try to write more often. Until then, all my love.


1 comment:

  1. Hm. No advice on the study abroad options yet? I think that's because the path is clear, in my unbiased opinion. You definitely want to stay here and get to know people better - and what about that Swiss husband? I suppose there's a chance you'll find one in Africa, but . . .