Saturday, December 17, 2011

This Past Month . . .

For the sake of relatives whom I have not, perhaps, done well at calling or otherwise communicating with (although, to be fair, that is a two-way street -- you relatives could email me once in a while, you know!) and readers who may have wondered why I didn't blog for nearly a month, here is a summary of what's gone on this past month:

  • My VPN stopped working and a multitude of other technological problems/frustrations took place.  Hence, no access to my blog for weeks.
  • I tried out multiple types of (PAINFUL) Chinese medicine on my bad ankle, and finally decided to bite the bullet and look into surgery.  So, I'm heading to Korea in ten days, with the main purpose of the trip being to see a doctor.  Perhaps if we fix this ankle, I might be less clumsy!  (Or just find another body part to keep injuring.)
  • I got put in charge of designing/planning a game for our entire high school, which we'll do next week.  Needless to say, the game involves spies. ☺
  • I was coerced into eating another type of fish.  It wasn't horrible, so long as I kept my mind off of what I was eating.
  • I got lost trying to cut through the hospital to get to a bus stop and wound up in a maternity ward.  (To be fair, that hospital is MUCH bigger than it looks at first glance.)
  • I was introduced to three more fruits that I have never heard of before (which do not, to my knowledge, have English names).  All three, by the way, were quite tasty.
  • I accidentally taught moderately offensive English slang to a group of Chinese friends.
  • I got to relive part of my thesis research by teaching my sophomores about the Ottoman Empire.
  • I had my first experience with a Chinese tailor:  After doing a spectacular free-fall down the front steps of one of the buildings at school, I tore my only pair of black slacks (and skinned up my knees, naturally).  The tailor not only completely repaired the large hole in one day, but also did it for less than a dollar!  I only wish knees could be repaired so promptly!
  • I discovered that, contrary to the beliefs of several friends and students, a stapler CAN in fact be used to successfully repair a severely torn backpack.
  • It snowed a few times -- and very graciously all melted within the same days that it fell.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"