I think, therefore...I think

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.
Good thing I'm a journalism major...

contests, diversity, job

Contests: Our Yosakoi club is doing great in the homecoming contests! We won first place in the sidewalk chalking contest, first place in the Spirit Banner contest, and first place in the window-painting contest downtown! Our artsy side is doing us great services in propelling us toward the $250 reward for the student organisation with the most points at the end of the week. And we're having a blast doing it! Tomorrow is the parade...it's going to be grueling. 1.5-2 hours of dancing over a route longer than a mile. But I think it's going to be pretty fun...

Diversity: This is a beautiful thing with a little bit of a rant attached to it for today. I have to start off by saying that I'm really glad I am at a big university where there are students from all different cultures, countries, backgrounds, religions and areas of the country that I can get to know and learn from. That is the beautiful thing. But today in University Experience lecture, when a Hispanic organisation came to talk to us about their bicultural program and showed us a theatrical production put on by some of its students to demonstrate the struggles of Hispanic students adjusting to college life, I was shocked at the disrespect shown by a lot of the students there. While the presenters were talking to us, there was quite a bit of disruptive whispering, most of which was snickering at the presenter's accents and moaning about why we have to watch an interpretive poetic play given half in Spanish. This confused me and seemed to defeat the whole purpose of the lecture. The presenters were clearly trying to show that everyone starting college is experiencing a new lifestyle for the first time, and that we can all learn from and support each other. How is this supposed to work if most of the students in my class won't even listen to someone who comes from another country or speaks another language? I was disappointed and embarrassed to be part of a class that clearly did not wish to take an opportunity to learn from others different from themselves.

Job: Back on the bright side, I got the job I wanted at the bookstore!!! I will be working more on the paperwork side of things, upstairs in a little cubby filled to the ceiling with books...I can't wait to get started! The interview I had Monday was a little out-of-the-ordinary in that we spent half the time talking about an armoire my future boss bought at the craft fair in my hometown, as well as about mosquitoes, and why lobsters "scream" when you cook them - both topics of books that came through the office recently. Some of the questions were quirky as well, like what type of food I would describe myself as. (In case you were wondering I said blueberry muffin - sweet and a little fruity.) But the people at the bookstore are so nice, and I can't wait to get started! Oh, and we get our own little cubby where we can stash any books we want to buy or look at later. I think this is going to be a great job!


what's the world coming to?

These news stories that I came across or received in e-mails from friends this week show just how paranoid or just downright silly people can get these days.

- Talk about isolated. An Austrian man was reportedly found dead in his bed - after five years. Landlords thought he had moved in with his caretaker, and never bothered to check the room.

- Looking for friendly faces on your next European vacation? Paris is apparently not the place for you according to this article. It states that several tourists each year need psychological treatment after experiencing street clashes and rude behaviour of locals that is contrary to their picture of Parisian society.

- And if that wasn't enough, we now have to fear a national threat from...Jell-O? A pile of the jiggly stuff was left by a roadside in Germany. Only after two hours of examination did five toxic waste experts declare that it was not toxic waste, but just a pile of discarded gelatinous dessert.


parents, crane party, homecoming

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted. So here are my 3BT's for the past few days.

Parents: My parents unexpectedly came to visit me on Saturday. We went shopping and out for dinner, which was nice, and also a break from insane amounts of studying for upcoming tests.

Crane Party: This weekend both my roommates were out of town, so I had our three-person room to myself. So, I had my cousin come spend the night. We went to Hobby Lobby and bought decorative paper to make paper cranes. We had a nice relaxing evening folding cranes, listening to random music on YouTube and watching Bulletproof Monk, which was actually a pretty good movie. Now I have a flock of paper cranes circling around my bed.
Homecoming: Homecoming was kicked off at my university this Sunday morning with a 5K race. Ten members of my Yosakoi club (including me) ran the race. It was freezing to begin with, but certainly warmed up over the course of the run! We even had a small cheering section, yelling and clapping Naruko, the wooden castanets that we use while dancing. That afternoon we had a sidewalk chalking contest to incorporate our club with our homecoming theme, which this year is 'Homecoming of Heroes'. We drew our school's mascot dressed as a yosakoi dancer in front of our own version of Kakushika Hokusai's "Great Wave off Kanagawa", a picture that has come to be a symbol of Japan and shows a giant tsunami wave and Mt. Fuji in the background. We had a great time chalking out the design, and getting chalk dust all over ourselves. We even got a picture in the university paper. Next up: painting windows in the dowtonwn shopping district. Homecoming is turning out to be really fun, as opposed to the cumbersome obligation it could have been in a week packed with studying.


words, wisdom, interviews

Words: They're so much fun. Especially when you can play with them - like snug, and green. They can be adjectives describing a cozy corner or a spring leaf, or verbs (The snail snugged through the grass as the sun greened the trees.) There are words that just sound cool, like plash and glisten, and plant names like rowan and pepperpot. And then there are the words that nobody uses anymore like 'perambulate', as in 'I perambulated about the university lawn this afternoon'. And words that Shakespeare used as insults in his plays like 'puny onion-eyed canker-blossom' or 'bootless beef-witted apple-john'. There's a lot more where those came from here. If you find words as fascinating as I do, check out this blog by Word Imp, and make up your own definition for the word featured each day.

Wisdom: Some quotes from one of the best books I own, that offer a little guidance throughout the day (by Elder Amphilochios of Patmos):

"Prayer without love is like a bird that seems good and beautiful, but, as it has no wings, can't fly."

"We must love Christ: this is necessary for the life of our soul. We also need to love God's creation: animals, trees, flowers, birds, and, above all, the most perfect of God's creation, man."

Interviews: I have not one, but two interviews after applying for jobs! One at a Chinese fast food buffet, and another at my favourite book shop downtown! We'll see what comes of this.



Upon the request of Annika Rose, a blogging buddy, here is a 'getting to know you' type of survey. Comment, ignore or try it yourself. :)

What was your first word? Hmmm...it's been awhile. I think it was 'da-da', in reference to my dad.

If you could have chosen where to be born, where would you choose? It's one of the great things in life that nobody gets to choose where they're born...it just happens the way God wants it to. But the Midwest, where I was born is great. It might not have a lot of mountains, cityscapes, or beaches but it makes a great base camp for discovering the rest of the world.

What do you do when you have unexpected free time? Free time - what's that? :P Actually...I usually end up doing something by myself: answering letters, taking a walk or curling up with a good book. Maybe watching an adventure movie.

What day of the week is your favourite and why? I would have to say Friday. The school week is over, it's a pretty relaxed schedule, and of course there's Yosakoi practise! Yay!

What do you think of the Middle Ages? I could go on about this. I wouldn't want to live there, what with the rampant disease outbreaks, violent fueds between kingdoms and political unrest. But the Middle Ages have produced some of the most interesting literature and architecture around. And who could forget King Arthur, and the dragons? Because they did exist. :)

What's one thing most people don't know about you? Ok...it's been over a minute pondering this question and I haven't come up with anything, so there must not be too much...I'm pretty up-front about my interests. And if I told, then everyone would know it, wouldn't they?

What is the last book you read, and what did you think of it? Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. It's hilarious. Maybe a tad sadistic and secular. But definitely a sarastic criticism of society disguised as an intergallactic space adventure. Did I mention it's hilarious?

If you could be any character in any book, who would you be and why? Eowyn in Lord of the Rings. She's just the right balance of humble servant and warrior princess, royalty and empathy for the people. She's loyal, brave, and determined. And she gets to marry a pretty awesome ranger prince.

You are any animal on earth, which and why? A peregrine falcon. Who wouldn't want to be able to fly over landscapes and see what's going on below...and then divebomb unsuspecting prey at 217 miles per hour? Kidding. But flying would be amazing.

You can experience any day in history. Which and why? Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech. I imagine the mood must have been electric.

Did you learn to walk or talk first? Talk. I'm still working on the walking part...

You just got a 1 way ticket... where to? At the moment? Japan. I would love to experience the culture I'm learning about as I get into Yosakoi, and meet people from Japan. I'd love to see my friends' homes, taste the food and experience city life and festivals.

What do you see in the mirror? details... I see...my reflection! That's good, right? Not too amazing, not too plain. Just brown-haired, brown-eyed me.


foliage, fellow bloggers, job application

Foliage: Yellow ginkoes, red maples, bright brown sycamores. And those are just the trees! So many bushes and shrubs around campus are varied shades of orange, purple, red, green and yellow. And in today's grey cloudiness after yesterday's rain, most of the leaves have sparkly coatings of water droplets.

Fellow Bloggers: I'm feeling a lot of comment love of late. Thanks to all of you who are stopping by my blog and leaving comments. It really makes my day that you take time to leave notes on my narcissitic ramblings. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your blogs!

Job Application: I've been looking for a job. I applied at a dining centre and a buffet restaurant on campus and haven't heard of any openings. Today I applied at the bookstore I mentioned earlier (8 Sept.) They told me their application process was a little 'different' - I was supposed to write whatever I thought they should know about me on something other than a plain piece of paper. So, upon the suggestion of my cousin, I wrote my informal resume on a sycamore leaf. I thought the creativity sounded good, and when I returned to the shop with my leaf, they said 'Oh, this is perfect!'. I'm going back for an interview sometime this week...hope one of these jobs comes through!


walk in the rain, cream crackers, fall festival

Walk in the Rain: It was a quiet, drizzley grey morning. I took a walk to find the university gardens I'll be volunteering at this week. It was a nice quiet walk, and the gardens were gorgeous: lots of flowerbeds, greenhouses, and insect zoo and a vine-covered cupola. I'm excited to see what I'll be doing there tomorrow.

Cream Crackers: Kind of like Saltines, but more, well, creamy. Tastes great with peanut butter. Enough said.

Fall Festival: Tonight was our complex's fall festival. We ate chili, caramel apples, and s'mores, although they were oven-baked instead of made over an open fire, as it was raining and we had to have it indoors. We also got to paint assorted pumpkins and gourds. My roommate painted a gourd with a red-painted 'head wound' and a single tear, and named it Jack (as in Jack-o-Lantern). On the way out, she slipped down the wet stairs and Jack went flying. A passerby handed her the gourd, but she was finished with it, and threw it at a nearby tree. I'm eagerly awaiting tomorrow, when I will laugh if I see the gourd lying on the ground. But I won't be laughing nearly as hard as we were walking back into our dorm, amused bystanders staring after us.


oasis, dinner, paper cranes

Oasis: What a great band. They remind me a lot of the Beatles, and it's so relaxing to sit and listen to them while I'm tooling around on the computer. Don't Look Back in Anger and Sunday Morning Call are favourite tracks of mine.

Dinner: I had dinner with some of my Japanese friends as well as a couple other international students. We got to know each other a little, joked around, and had several conversations over the misinterpretation of English phrases. It was nice to talk and linger over the food as other students hurried in and out. Dessert for me was purple blueberry ice cream. My friend decided she'd rather not try the unusual flavour, so what did she get? Vanilla ice cream with blueberries. :) A nice, leisurely time to eat and enjoy good company.

Paper Cranes: I learned how to fold a paper crane! Maybe I will find some fancy origami paper and fold a flock of them to hang from my ceiling. You can learn how to fold a crane here.


parking, paisley, running

Parking: After a post-lunch Wal-Mart run, I came back and found lots of open spaces in the closest parking lot. Yay! A shorter walk for such cold weather.

Paisley: It's such a fun pattern. So many different designs, so many colours! I have a bag that is cool tirqouise, blue and white with little bits of burgundy thrown in; also a headband with golds, oranges and pinks. These items look like they could have come from a shop in India or Romania, but add a funky splash of colour to a plain shirt and jeans.

Running: One of the ladies in Yosakoi is sponsoring me to run in the 5K homecoming race! She offered to pay for my entry fee, and tonight at class gave me the money in a little Sierra Club card. She told me, "I did this for my daughter last year; You can be my daughter this year." Don't worry mom - nobody's replacing you. But that generosity just made my day.


winter coat, picture, fiesta

My 3BT's for the day.

1. Winter Coat: Stepping outside for the walk to class today was like stepping into the arctic. I half expected to see snowflakes - they were in the forecast yesterday, but today dawned sunny, but snappy. Luckily I have a nice, bright red winter coat to keep me toasty.

2. Picture: I was scrolling through my Yosakoi website's list of practise pictures, and there was one of me! Stretching at the beginning of practise, I was wearing my purple happi coat. It was a nice, unexpected surprise.

3. Fiesta: Today our complex had a 'Hispanic Heritage Fiesta' with virgin margaritas, nachos, and dancing. At least that's what the poster said. The party didn't turn out to be too exciting, but I got to visit my neighbouring hall and see one of my friends' rooms. Not bad for an evening, even though the virgin margaritas were actually Sprite with margarita-flavoured syrup.

blogging question

So. I just switched my blog over to the Beta to take advantage of the new features. But I'm still confused...does anyone know how I can find out what people are searching to find my blog? It seems to be something pretty simple that a lot of other bloggers are able to see...but I can't seem to find it. Anybody know how to do this?

love, community, numa numa

Here are my 3BT's (Three Beautiful Things) for the day:

Love: We're discussing love and marriage in anthro at the moment. Arranged marriage, wedding traditions, and family relations are topics of discussion. We're also discussing the nature of love, from the midaeval tale of Tristan and Isolde to more modern verse from "poets" like Jennifer Lopez and Jay-Z. It's hard to explain or define. But my professor, when describing how his wife dedicated a song to him on the only American radio station in New Guinea where he was doing field work, became emotional and choked up. It's a powerful emotion.

Community: I'm finally getting involved! With my residence hall, it's upcoming programs like pumpkin carving contests, a dorm 'sleepover' and finals week relaxation activities. And with the advent of homecoming, Yosakoi is involved with various activities such as a sidewalk chalk contest, spirit banner contest, and dancing in the parade. Should be fun, and I'm doing it with awesome people!

Numa Numa: You might know it better as Dragostea Din Tea, the hit song by the Romanian group O-Zone. Admittedly, I'm nearly a year and a half behind the rest of the world's craze over the song. But listening to it for the first time today, I couldn't resist the fun, upbeat, catchy rhythm. It's my feel-good pick of the week. Maybe even the month. I dare you to listen to it without cracking a smile.



I just noticed in my profile that apparently there are some things I don't know about myself. Namely, that I live in Albania and am employed in the industry of accounting.

This must be the result of some absentminded scrolling when I edited my profile yesterday. I am not now, nor have I ever taken up residence in the fair country of Albania, although I'm sure a visit there would be quite interesting, as there are many Orthodox churches there, and that happens to be my religion.

As for accounting, I have no desire to take up number-crunching whatsoever. Kudos to those of you who are able to devise business management and track tax strategies. It's not for me.

Well, now you know the truth. I am in fact a pretty average, boring college student with no current career to speak of. Glad we got that cleared up...

google bar

Hehe. This is pretty cool. Try it yourself here.


what flavo(u)r is your English?

(pic from stencil-library.com)

To bloggers from the UK or other places that use the British-type spoken English (sorry, I don't know the technical term for it):

Does it annoy you that large-scale websites such as Blogger, Google, and other search engines have tabs that say 'favorites' instead of 'favourites'? Or that most printed information on the web speaks of practices, colors, and checks instead of practises, colours and cheques? Or does it matter at all, as long as you can understand what is being said?

This is just something I randomly wonder about...I usually use British spellings when I blog or handwrite anything. I honestly don't know why. Maybe I'm just rebelling against the fact that a lot of Americans are unwilling to learn another language, while English is fast becoming the language of trade and commerce the world over. While British English is just as understandable as American English, it's just a little different, and I like to use it. Or maybe my fascination with the countries of the UK has just boiled over into my writing.

So, thoughts or opinions anyone?

Here is a link to an article about the differences and origins of American and British English.


three beautiful things

What a great idea for a blog. Three Beautiful Things, a blog by Clare from Kent, UK is just that - three beautiful things that make each day special or interesting. Inspired by this sunny little corner of the blogosphere, here are my three beautiful things of the day:

1. Eating breakfast with a new friend I have only talked to several times, we were talking about the coming day. "Your first class today is anthropology, right?" she asked. I was blown away that someone I met only a week and a half ago actually remembered something so seemingly insignificant from our breif conversation.

2. The weather! It's getting cold enough to start wearing scarves, thick socks and heavy jackets. I spent over an hour tucked away in the warmth of the library, studying and keeping warm on this grey, dreary day.

3. Naps. I took one today - it was only about 30 minutes long, but felt refreshing after a relatively uncomfortable night.

a taste of the world

This weekend I stayed with a friend almost two hours away from school...it was a refreshing break from the monotonly of study, class, eat, and repeat. We spent Saturday window shopping and catching up, and on Sunday we went to a Japanese festival, where among other things, I was able to sample some green tea ice cream and see the display of bonsai trees (pictures above). There was also classical Japanese music, puppet shows, kimono displays, a bazaar, and the opportunity to play traditional Japanese strategy games such as Shogi (Japanese chess).

Another pastime we engaged in this weekend was sampling snacks from different countries. Here are some that we tried:

Maynard's Wine Gums: British chewy fruit-flavoured candies. They aren't as sweet as gummy worms and such, and have an understated unique flavour. Black is my favourite.

Scottish tablet: Basically chocolate-less fudge.

Chilli Chatka: Spicy cheese-puff-like Indian snack. They start out a crunchy, salty snack but quickly make your mouth start to burn!

Tenkei marshmallows: Just soft marshmallows with fruit jelly in the centre. Ours were blueberry.

Ramune soda: Japanese soft drink in interesting little glass bottles. The tops contain a glass marble that you force into the bottle by pressing down on the lid. The marble then rolls around in the pinched, top part of the bottle while you drink. We had trouble figuring out how to open the bottle at first. When we finally got it open, we had fun watching other people trying to do the same.

Overall a fun weekend. My yosakoi team performed at the festival on Saturday, and I was sad to miss the performance, but apparently it went very well. Someone in the audience was even brought to tears! Next performance: our homecoming parade. Hopefully I'll be able to join in!


here's what I speak

Your Linguistic Profile:
65% General American English
15% Yankee
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern
These Blogger quizes are too fun for my own good.
Interestingly enough, I hail from the Midwest, and it's the only category I apparently don't use in everyday speaking. I guess that's what comes of trusting a 20-question quiz to tell me what my modern English sounds like, though.


still sore...

I never thought yosakoi would be so physically demanding! However, the dance is enough to work up a sweat, and at least as much strain on the knees as running. But it is exhilirating to finally master the moves...although I think it will be quite a while before I'm ready to join the rest of the group in any public performance.

The song we're dancing to now is called soran-bushi. It's so energetic and fun...I'm looking forward to the Japanese festival we'll be having on campus in the spring...maybe by then I'll be ready to perform!

The photos are of the elites practising a dance called Soul of Toppuu. They'll be performing it this coming weekend at a nearby Japanese festival - performance complete with costumes and makeup.


"They're like chocolate chips in the big sky cookie." - My Aunt Lois