Monday, October 28, 2002

So I had an orientation session for studying overseas on Saturday. (Yeah, I know I said it wasn't until November. What the heck, it's practically November! Anyway, it was all sorts of stuff about understanding that we're in a different culture and have to remember that, blah, blah, blah. Believe me, I'm not expecting to find Hamburger Helper on the shelf, although it would be nice. Part of the experience of living in another country is--hello!--living in another country. I guess they've had students who haven't quite cottoned on to that yet. Loath as I am to say "Dumb Americans", I have to say it . . . "Dumb Americans!"

They were talking about health insurance and that kind of thing, and saying, "Well, if you get critically ill you'll be Medevac'ed back to the US," and I went "Critically ill??" And then they started talking about "repatriation of remains", which quite frankly I was afraid to think about any further.

I'm still looking forward to it, of course, but now I'm going eep! for a little bit.

Books for today: More Than a Mistress by Mary Balogh. I'll warn you right away that this is a romance novel, and will admit freely that I read 'em like mad. But this one is very different than you'd expect from the back of the book. Mary Balogh has always had the guts to step out of the rut of "traditional" Regencies in acknowledging the darker side of that world. Try it out.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Hey, I inspired someone! What a great feeling.

So here's the story. I was talking to a classmate and mentioned this England trip. She said, "Wow, I'd love to do that, but I'm married and I have a job and it would just be too hard to do it for so long."

I replied, "Well, ya know, there's little summer sessions for a few weeks here and there . . . you don't have to do the whole year or even the whole semester." (Most colleges have short winter break or summer international studies, in addition to whole-year and full-semester programs. Just something to think about.)

She said, "Hmm, okay."

Well, she came up to me yesterday and said, "Mo, you inspired me! I'm goin' to Italy for five weeks this summer!" Woohooo! Lucky dawg, she's going to Rome.

Wow, I have a major case of the warm fuzzies now. I feel so good! Although that could be the DayQuil. I've had a putrid cold for the last few days.

Book for today: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher. This is Book Four of the Dresden Files, which are about the only wizard in the Chicago phone book. I'm in awe of Jim Butcher. He's just way too cool. The story is constructed with an eye toward pagan traditions, mythology, and other sorts of really neat and interesting stuff, and at the same time, there's a goofy irreverence about the main character that I have to just LOVE. Give it a try.