Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Every single word emanates from the heart, and is not just uttered by the mouth."

And yet again an oddly warm spell crosses Ohio, leaving many with dreams of spring as it tempts with its odd January warmth… All day today has felt like early spring, and even the damp and slightly chilly breeze couldn’t ruin the warmer temperatures, but after days in the single digits, I don’t see how they ever could entertain thoughts of doing so anyway.
Week three, and the quizzes have already begun. Ah, to be back into the grind again! At least the geology one was fun, as I had the chance to do the utra-professional student action of doodling a sea monster next to one of the questions. But, then again, I had extra time, and the question did have a lighthearted intention about it, so I think my cute, angry giant squid-like monster at least has some justification, if only a little. Next I get to look forward to a geography quiz, but that’s Thursday, so no need to stress tonight!

Tomorrow I get to sit about wondering if I’ll tutor anyone again, but I’m also to find out if my hours need modified… Two students in one of the mid-level courses are interested in having tutoring available but are unable to come during my current times, so I may have to shift things about, and of course right after I got used to the time! But I kid; it’s no big deal, really. The only bother is that I’ve enjoyed being able to wait for the lunch rather than trying to shove myself into the mass of fifty people trying to buy lunch where only about 15 can do so comfortably… So if I move things up too much, I shall have to locate a helm and hope for the best.

German Word: Stars are Sterne and the clear skies of late have offered a slendid view of them, and even Orion was cool enough to appear!

Still searching for interesting angles to take shots of University Hall at; I love the tower, but it’s always the star.

Welcome to Ohio Wesleyan, where buildings sometimes have random hallways with murals on them.

We talked about cool old maps like the on e below during cultural geography. Isn’t that exciting?

Maybe dualism like we discussed during philosophy. This picture is right out of our book!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Aristotle, who considered himself a geographer and not a philosopher, tutored Alexander the Great

Second week in, and the first official week as far as I’m concerned, particularly since my schedule has changed!! Tai chi was cancelled (again…unfortunately…and I still miss it), so instead of doing that, I’m using the timeslot for my German tutoring. (Did I mention that I’m going to be tutoring German for the Modern Foreign Language Department yet…? I’ve a terrible memory for these things, and it was unofficial for a while, but I am! Not a ton of hours, not a ton of pay, but just enough to have something on the side, and I get to tutor German!! Which is a lot of fun! Sadly my services have not yet been called upon, but classes haven’t been back very long yet.)

Besides this excitement, I’m getting close to my textbooks, as they finally arrived!! So, a week in, I now get to play reading catch-up! It’s a fun game, particularly when one has two paid hours to play it during when no one shows up to ask how to say ‘to dance’ in past tense. I get easily distracted, however, as the Japanese tutors have already had several customers, and I must admit to having a liking for the language, so I start paying attention to that and talking with them a bit rather than reading up on whatever I happen to have on hand. I’ve thought of maybe taking Japanese here, but I’d really like to learn Finnish. (Yes, I am that random. No, I’m not going to explain why right now.)

…And we still haven’t gotten to the archery range. Which is frankly depressing. Particularly since our impressive group of eight was turned sadly away when Chuck revealed that his indoor system had a virus and was awaiting a medic via mail. Ah, soon, one hopes, soon….

German Word:

Hear the roar of Grey Chapel! …or maybe not.

Snow clinging to campus, desperate to remain in control this winter!

I originally was trying to catch some of the steam that was coming from our heating system in a pic with these trees, but the wind foiled me, and thusly my attempts at being ‘artsy’ failed more miserably than usual.

I’m probably very weird for being obsessed with this door and wanting someone to dress up as Martin Luther and nail his 95 Theses to the door… If only because it doesn’t really even look a lot like a church, and that’s just a weird thought in general, but yeah. It’s still a cool building.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

If you have no idea who Patrick O'Hearn is, I suggest you find out at http://www.patrickohearn.com/index.htm

Ah, finally back on campus after a long winter’s break. A new semester of (hopefully) exciting classes has just begun! Rather tired, I peck at these keys today after a nice, moderately standard first Monday back. Arrive at class, role call, syllabi; all that. Dr. Flynn gave the morning a lively splash of amusement, particularly when he got even further off task by following up on his uestion of “Goethe or Milton?” for me; he asked everyone something and followed it up a bit until we were out of time, but my response and reasoning seemed to interest him for whatever reason. An hour of great humor later, and I was off to investigate my mailbox, food, and my book situation. For any reader who has had the blessed naiveté of worrying over buying more than one twenty dollar book at the local bookstore at a time, avoid university bookstore bookshelves for the sake of coronary and wallet health… Buying books online is the way to go when one can get the same book for half of the uni’s best price, and often in better condition. This is not to attack the university bookstore, per se, but the prices can be scary, and unfortunately a trend all universities seem to take in stride. But, when it’s unavoidable because one needs a book to do reading that week, well, it’s nice to have a place nearby that has it in stock.

Another welcome back to campus came in the form of puffy white snowflakes that drifted about lazily today, or, in my experience anyway, shot right into the eye with stinging speed and accuracy while its friends grab onto the coat to laugh and look on. It was, even with all the wind whirling it about, quite exquisite, particularly accompanied by my newest CD. I, like not a few others, joined the iPod and MP3 craze a year ago when I got an iPod Nano, and have sensed delighted in its wonders, carrying hundreds of my favourite songs with me on the way to and from class, having, essentially, a personal soundtrack for each scene of the day, just like in the movies, except here one can change the soundtrack when it starts to try and steal the spotlight too much. Today I finally got hold of my copy of Glaciation, Patrick O’Hearn’s newest album. Patrick who? Yes, I listen to fairly obscure stuff. Stuff most encounter in elevators on in the background of films, or automatically associate with a collection of music to meditate or do yoga to. Real, quality new age music does not necessarily associate itself with any of this (I cannot deny that some of it does; Patrick has done a couple of soundtracks, and his music is truly moving stuff!), and I could go on, but listening to an album inspired by ice whilst walking about our snowy campus was rather satisfying and slightly ironic.

German Word: So I've been using my little German phrase calendar thing, and it's lacking the exciting phrases thus far. Well, in my opinion, anyway. And some of the pronunciation guidelines look iffy, but that's another matter entirely. And let's be random this week. How does one say 'pope' in German? Der Papst, of course!


I sincerely hope this looks like over a hundred dollars in text books, because just these two set me back that much… Although that’s pocket change next to most of the science department book pricetags…

This is Byron surveying the cold weather and wishing he could sit by our pond again, but I feared losing him to the winter cold, so my bay leaf tree came to the uni instead.

A blizzard?!

Not really.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Zen Monks Composed Jisei, or Death Poems, According to Ancient Tradition, Often Using Forms Such as the Haiku, Waka, and Kanshi

It’s January in Ohio, and it’s 64 degrees outside. That’s insanely unnatural. Insanely. It’s hard to believe that just a few days ago I wandered in a yard filled with several inches of snow and slush where now only mud and a few wanton puddles remain. I poked about my garden for a bit, still unsettled by the weather on the whole, worrying about how it may affect the welfare of my plants, tossing out a few tea dregs for fertilizer, and was not a little surprised to hear a few noises of spring.

I recently received a few book recommendations from Herr Kremling, and I’m very happy with the one that I brought home this weekend thus far. Zen in the Art of Archery is a fascinating read thus far, in which Eugen Herrigel goes out to explain more clearly the religion of Zen Buddhism, which, for many westerners, is nigh impossible if not impossible itself to understand clearly at all. Herrigel explains this, and how many of the phrases often used to try and describe Zen leave many highly confused, and he even explains how hard it was to find a master to study archery under due to previous experiences the masters had had with western students. I’m eager to finish, but I don’t want to rush through it, so I’m trying to savor it this week, particularly since I probably won’t be able to get to the archery range this week myself.

German Word: Now that I have a desk calendar filled with random German phrases, I can cheat a little in this section and just grabble a phrase from there every now and again. Unexpected uses for holiday gifts always bring added cheer, I suppose. Unfortunately I believe that I’ve already gone over the phrase it shows for today (the irony…), es schneit / it’s snowing, so I’m still on creative duty on this end of things. I don’t believe that I’ve given the translation of my favourite beverage, tea, which is simply Tee pronounced “tay”. Kaffee (koff-ay) seems to be more the drink of choice on campus, but a lot of Americans overall prefer coffee anyway.

My copy of Zen in the Art of Archery just hanging out, waiting for me to come back and curl up with a nice cup of tea, possibly green.

The rolodexes that I filled for my father…. They took forever seriously hours…. There were nearly 1000 business cards that I had to sort, alphabetize, staple to their little cards, and cram in there… But now they’re done and snazzy!

Danilo enjoying the odd weather… at least the standard non-summer Ohio sky looks normal.

The lack of snow and fact that I’m wearing a light hoodie rather than my heavy coat create an unsettling combo. The grass looks happy, though.