Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Goings-On

I've been back in the US since June 25th, so sorry that this is my first blog post. I feel like I've been back longer than just the last 2 weeks. I guess I've had my plate full of things to do. Obviously I did not post regularly on this blog while I was in Israel. That was undoubtedly the most exhausting trip I've yet taken. Suffice to say I did not have any trouble falling asleep every night. It was all I could do to take notes each day, and hope that I remember enough to fill in the blanks when I get home. Not everyone was such a wimp though. Several people wrote their journals out on the bus, which is a good use of travel time, but is mostly just a fast-track to carsickness for me. I figured that my notes and my pictures would guide my words once I was rested back at home. It worked pretty well. I'm still not anywhere finished with this course though. There are still a couple of books that I need to read and summarize.

It's probably for the best that we didn't stay any longer than we did. I had found trouble effectively communicating with several of the people on the trip, and that's never fun. Israel was beautiful in its own way, and the warm, dry climate is very enjoyable, but I was more than ready to trade Roman ruins for the grassy green hills of Missouri. ...and for television that wasn't in Arabic or Hebrew. One night while in Bethlehem, I was watching TV alone in my room while making notes about the past day's events. I watched Al Jazeera in Arabic for a solid 30 minutes... I was probably very tired, but I was still perplexed with my own behavior when I realized what I'd done. If it was the night that I'm thinking of, I woke up at 3 in the morning to throw up and do other things until I was so weak that I couldn't pry myself off the bathroom floor. My roommate was Jordan Buchheit. I genuinely thought that I was going to blackout...possibly with my boxer briefs around my ankles, so I started yelling for Jordan. He got up and went to find Loren, the nursing major of our group who came to help me. Though by the time she came just a couple of minutes later, I had gotten half my sense back and completely regretted waking up Jordan. Ah, the joys of travel.

For the past week, my top priorities have had mostly to do with transferring to Mizzou. Except for financial aid, every thing is in order. My major now is "International Studies," which was a surprise to me when I logged onto MyZou. Clever name. Better than "TruView?" I think maybe, I filled out some form a while back on which I ranked my top choice majors...somehow Political Science got the boot, and International Studies won. Originally International Studies struck me as a poofy major, not a real major, like Gender and Women's Studies. But I took a look at the course listings and the International Studies classes are shared with several other majors: Poli Sci, Psychology, Sociology, Economics... It seems perfect for me at the moment.

My parents helped me find an apartment. My dad found a place just a few blocks from campus - I could ride my bike to class. The man who owns the place told Dad that he usually rents only to graduate students and adults, and that he'd have to meet me in person. I guess he liked me well enough. The rent is cheaper than other places we had looked at, and the location is so much better. It's a one bedroom with a good-sized living space and and a small kitchen. I think it's exactly what I was looking for. It's on the basement level, so not an abundance of natural light, but on the other hand, my utitlies should cost less. The neighborhood seems quiet and there's a park with a bike trail directly across the street. I'm letting myself have only positive thoughts about getting a good job to pay for my apartment and food costs....cause I have to.

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