Monday, January 29, 2007

Finland is Europe's Third Most Sparsely Populated Country, With About Seventeen Inhabitants Per Square Kilometre

This past week has still been hectic despite my hopes for things to maybe calm a bit going into week 3. I have to finish a novel for Wednesday, complete a take-home German test, and doing some other reading otherwise as of now! Yay, homework! I am glad that some of the reading is really interesting and engaging; the two short stories I read for my English course today were amazing. Despite being a late class that causes me to freeze to death, I’m having a grand time listening to the discussions and hearing what everyone else thinks. Since I just got back, I'm still rather on the chilled side and hoping that a little blog update will return the rigor of my fingers, if not my limbs!
Last Thursday I attended my first Stammtisch (the German department dines with students, speaking primarily in German)!! Before I’d always worried that being late might be awkward since I’ve always had sword club during the first part of it, but Professor Wolber said that such a thing should be considered no problem at all, so I came! It was rather fun; we ate in Ham Will since the usual place (Smith hall) has been closed for remodeling. Some students brought their own food while others just grabbed something in Ham Will itself. We chatted about various things, and I even got my translation project approved! I’m taking Medieval text from the swordsman Meyer and translating it into English for MARRCA! A considerable amount of the spelling is different, but I’m familiar with a lot of the sword-specific terms and rough concepts of what is going on, so I hope this will prove a worthy adversary that is neither too easy nor too frustrating!
Saturday night a group of my friends and I wandered down to the Mean Bean for some coffee and a sandwich. The Mean Bean serves great coffee, and their chicken salad sandwich is rather impressive. (Did I mention the cookies the size of your head???) The cold tried to mock us and our fun, but our group refused to let some wind, ice, and snow belie our enjoyment! Below you’ll find some pictures from our little adventure~ do enjoy them!

The cookies ARE the size of one's head!!!

Today’s entry also features the first installment of something I’ve been meaning to include for two or three entries now!! The German Word of the Day!! Today’s word is…. Der kämpfende Bischoff! The battling bishop! (I thought I should at least connect one or two of these things with OWU!)
Pronunciation guide:
Der (masculine form of ‘the’): think ‘there,’ but with a ‘D’ instead of the ‘th’
kämpfende (the verb to battle used as an adjective): something like ‘kempf-end-uh’
Bischoff (bishop): pretty much how it looks; ‘bisch-off”

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

On a Pirate Ship, the Loss of an Eye was Worth 100 Pieces of Eight, Left Arms and Legs were Worth 500, and the Right Arm 600

Week two of the second semester commences, and the excitement has yet to end!
My classes are going well, and I have plenty of reading to keep myself busy highlighting and jotting notes down. I’m rather excited about several of the projects that I have coming up, like my German translating one. I get to choose a text (with Professor Wolber’s approval) and translate it; at the moment I’m looking into doing something for sword club if I can get the right texts together. I was originally considering something from a man named Talhoffer, but a lot of his work is relatively easy to find already translated; I’m hoping to find something that we can’t find anywhere else. (And then I have to hope that it’s in high German and not the old German, which is practically an entirely different language!)
While awaiting the new cameras for the OWU bloggers, I have been allowed to borrow an older camera from the Admissions Office. Therefore, picture fun had to ensue. Shan, Selbs, and I had a great time in Welch cafeteria dining, taking photos, and talking on our BananaPhones. Dinner is honestly never a bore when one has friends along!

Last Friday MARRCA threw a surprise birthday party for club president Susan! Happy 22nd, Susan! In the basement of Welch several members set up a lovely amount of balloons, streamers, and general happy bright party-ness! We played pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs, and apples to apples. Susan even got to destroy a head-shaped piñata! A while after she blew out the candles of her beautiful cake, the pizza faerie showed up! He performed a short pizza faerie dance after demanding a signature for delivering the pizza. Overall the night was outstanding; cards were played, cake and candy were consumed, party-favours were given all around, and faces were even painted. We became Susan’s own army of Wodes! She did a lovely job of painting all of us, and I rather loved my green face paint lattice work and mustache. Sadly, the picture I have doesn’t really show my face paint at all. Most of us were about until around twelve thirty, and the last of us filtered out around one.
Otherwise my weekend was fairly low-key; I read for my English course and cleaned (!!!) the room a bit; I’ve been compulsively sweeping up the floor of late for no good reason whatsoever. My pile of class books is calling to be organized soon, but reading out of several of them at once prevents me from finding an organizational system I like as of yet.

The following are all from Susan’s birthday celebration! Pictures include party hits such as the Wode warriors, Susan blowing out her candles, and the remains of the pinata head!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Saladin Sent Richard the Lion-Hearted Fresh Peaches, Pears, and Even Snow from Mount Hermon When He Heard Richard Was Dying from a Fever

Today has been chaotic! Wow! I spent the first half of the day enjoying my new German course, the one on nonfiction! I think it's going to be very exciting despite the lack-lustre, academic title fate bestowed upon it. We get to do research projects on subjects of our choice, and the book we're using is going to introduce us to a variety of random and pertinent vocabulary! Grammar is also going to be looked at in a practical manner, which is exciting for anyone that verges on giving high-fives for seeing someone use the subjunctive correctly like I do. I had time for a short breather, grab some lunch, and explain my misunderstanding about a class meeting time. (I'm extremely capable at making extremely silly mistakes at times, and I entirely missed that the time for one of my courses had entirely changed until this morning, after the first meeting had been held! Thankfully I didn't lose my spot; I've heard so many good things about professor Olmstead and his classes that I had to take one myself!) The second half of today saw me running back and forth between the book store and my dorm room; first checking book prices and realizing my modest pocket change would not do(I'm trying my best to be optimistic about book prices; I've been lucky thus far- my neighbor paid over $100 for one book!), and then to try the ATM machine in Ham Will. As luck would have it, the machine stopped service sometime between my leaving and returning, which allowed me to quest with a moderate level of excitement to The Bank in downtown Delaware. A few blocks and a wind-whipped nose later, I convinced the machine to provide me with the proper amount, which the bookstore promptly consumed all but $2.89 of. My prize? Six books, ripe for the reading and a slim, no-need-to-diet wallet! I get to dig into a healthy serving of Global Issues reading tonight as well!
It’s great being back on campus, seeing everyone and starting new classes! Tomorrow I get to attend my tutorial that I have with Shannon; it’s about children’s fiction. I’m rather excited about it! Shannon and I had a small ramen party yesterday when my computer freaked out, and I needed to borrow the wireless you can pickup from someone’s router there to download Window’s Defender. Our ramen parties are always fun, and AIMing someone two feet to the left of you can be hilarious, especially when you attempt to do so in an accent that doesn’t translate well to being written!
It’s getting colder here and finally acting like an Ohio winter, even if it’s a bit late and still giving us a relatively easy time of it. (Not that I’m complaining!) Some vague attempts at snowing made by the clouds today were not exactly applause-worthy, and a mass of squirrels still played in the grass. I saw seven(!) playing and eating in front of Thomson, their poofy tails twitching as they busied themselves with chewing on random things found on the ground. I still want to have a pet squirrel for our room; Abigail even liked the idea, since Kevin Bacon would make too much noise exercising all night if he came!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Klaus Nomi Came From Outer Space to Save the Human Race

The last week until break is over looms… the final countdown! Grades are in, and I hope no one has gotten any nasty New Year’s surprises via the post! A whole new year is upon us, so cue the dramatic music, start the parades, and get the fellow with the tuba out front and playing. A lot of people like making resolutions, but I’ve never been that good at remembering to, so maybe I should give it a shot this year. I resolve to have a New Year’s Resolution! Suggestions appreciated!
I hope everyone is enjoying their time off and spending it how they want; I’ve been lucky with having so much time to devote to drawing, writing, and painting! I fancy character sketching the most, but sometimes I get a little over-zealous looking for the right references to add to the overall look. I spent quite some time scouring a Victorian reproduction sales catalogue before finding just the right brooch to hold a character’s puff tie in place, but it looks lovely, granted slightly modified. (I added to it and slightly changed the jewels and colour scheme.) The original piece is a reproduction of a Civil War mourning brooch, and the symbolism of one’s “loved one [reaching his/her] heavenly reward,” as the catchy description provided states, hopped up in down, waving its arms for me. Alas, but such time will be soon spent on more pertinent things!
('Artistic' interpretation of the brooch I threw together using Flash)
Getting back into the proverbial grind of homework will be a change from hours of shading and checking proportions, but I’m looking forward to several (read: most, if not all) of my classes, especially the tutorial I have with Shannon on children’s fiction! I also can’t wait to see what my German nonfiction class with Herr Wolber will be like! German 361, the German Novella course with Herr Kremling, was a lot of fun, and I’m going to miss not having it every Tuesday and Thursday.