Sunday, December 28, 2008

Peace on Earth?

While we were in Jordan, many of our team saw the light in terms of Palestinian Strife. In the US, we are receive a primarily Pro-Israel slant. Our government sponsors Israel so much that Jordanians would tell us that Jordan is the 52nd state-Israel being the 51st.
My views are as follows: there needs to be both a sovereign Israeli State, as well as a sovereign Palestinian State. I had hoped with the Obama administration, that goal would become true. However current events would dampen that hope. Pay attention to the news, and not just American sources. Al-Jazeera, as well as Jordan Times do pretty good jobs of depicting accurate news in English.
I hope that in this Christmas season, there may be Peace on Earth, however I may have to wait till next year.

Warning Slightly graphic nature:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

This is my favorite Christmas tune, have a very merry one:

Time in a Bottle

In the terms of the No Woman No Cry post, I got to thinking of other rather obvious things I missed in life.  Here was probably the best one I could remember:

            In my area there is an ATM company called TYME.  I believe it stood for Take Your Money Everywhere.  (Drake has an ATM on campus and believe that is where I started telling this story to some friends) So whenever we were younger and we were heading somewhere, my father would also mentioning have to “make a stop of the TYME machine.” 

Fast forward to Jordan One.  I was walking down a street corner looking for an ATM.  TYME in my area is a lot like Kleenex, that’s what we called, it, never an ATM.  So In Broken Arabic I asked for what directions to what translated to the Time Machine.  I could not understand why they looked at me as if I was insane.  It eventually occurred to me that TYME is a play on TIME.  My Jordanian friend still gives me a fun time because I was the American idiot who asked where to find a Time machine, as if I was waiting for a DeLorean to take me back in time.

First day off

Wow we have tons of snow here.  Iowa wasn’t bad in terms of snow, but there was always a  nice breeze.  Woke up this morning, and for once in almost the last two years, had nothing to do.  No papers, no meetings, no classes, no anything.  It was great!  However I am worried about boredom.  I went back to my old high school, and talked to some mentors and students.  I also was blessed to hear my former orchestra play. 

            I do not really have any huge plans for over break.  I will see friends, family and the norm.  Soon, I will head to Milwaukee for a day to see the Titanic exhibit.  When I was younger I was a huge maritime history buff, especially on the Great Lakes.  Later on I will be giving a panel discussion on college life to my former school’s senior class.  I hope to intersperse my postings with those answers.  All in all, very good to be home again.  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

No, Woman, No Cry

I want to apologize dear readers for my lack of posting.  We had finals which were very intense so I will slowly try to work on back posts:


I had my eyes opened up a few evenings ago.  Over the speakers of one of my favorite places to hang out in the evenings came on Bob Marley’s song: No Woman No Cry.  There was a group sitting around and everyone started to sway and sing along.  After the song was done, there was some major bonding.  It will be a sheer pleasure and joy if I see any of these people over the month long break.  For so long this place, these people, and this college thing has ruled my life.  I have enjoyed my first semester.  I akin it to being abroad, though the culture shock is different.  However the feelings of happiness are the same, and the feeling of ones place also stays.

  At the end of the song someone made the comment that it was a great song but was not very enlightening in terms of romance.  They, and truth be told I, always thought it was No Woman, no cry.  This would imply that hey man, even if you don’t have a woman, no worries.  However, the gentleman speaking told us there was an extra comma, which completely changes the meaning of the song.  In fact it should be written No, Woman, No Cry.  Implying the woman should not cry that “everything’s gonna be alright.  It is true the words Bob sang, that “everything is gonna be alright.” 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bulldogs n books

These last few days have been damn near perfect.  First off last night Drake beat Iowa State by 3 points even though we were down most of the game.  My friends and I got to watch it at a sports bar near campus because the roads were too nasty to try to get up to Ames.  It was an excellent game, and a nice atmosphere. 

My Arabic exam came back, and it was really good.  I found my ring from Jordan that I thought I had lost.  Currently I am out of books to read as I just finished The Sex Lives of Cannibals, which has nothing to do with sex or cannibals.  It was a wonderful light book about a guy who spends 2 years in Kiribati, smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  I was delighted as I was finishing when he talks about re-assimilating to Washington, and having to travel as a consultant for a development project.  He ends the book traveling, with escort, through my beloved Jordan to see Petra.  I didn’t know that was even in the book so I was quite pleasantly surprised.  There is not anything major going on at Drake, as we are all hunkering down for Finals week.  There has been lots of studying to do, but there are plenty of study guides handed out.  This shouldn’t be too bad.  The construction that has dominated my walking life for the past 3 months is finally over, which means new routes to make use of around campus.  

            On Monday I attended the RHA presidents board meeting and picked up a whole thing on different programs for the hall.  I am applying to become an RA and will keep you updated on such proceedings but hopefully I shall get to use some of the things I learned at that meeting. 


Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Comedy of A'ers

Had a pretty intense weekend.  Friday was my final class for ROTC.  I ended up receiving the Squad 2 Leader award.  I was really stoked about it.  Waking up at 530 am 3 days a week paid off.  Then I got to cram the rest of the day for Arabic.  I am done with the class and had my final on Saturday.  Dear readers, I want you to be the first to know: I received an A on my final, which would be the first A of my college finals.  This will result in some major celebrating at Drake Diner with the worlds best milkshakes.  Last night I attended one of the Greek Formals.  Think of something like prom or homecoming but for college.  Drake has about 1/4th Greek enrollment.  I am not in a fraternity, nor will I be.  However this goes to show that one does not need to be in a house in order to participate.  (I would also look to say that I looked damn good in a suit.)  The night before, after all the Arabic cramming, we went and saw a comedian form Last Comic Standing.  This was free because Student Activities Board brings comedians to campus every month.  I think I have permanent six pack abs form laughing so much.  The guy was hilarious.  After that Tyler, Alex and I went to Drake West Village, which are suite style apartments, brand new, next to campus.  All in all a great weekend.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Done with PT

Getting back into the swing of things down here.  We had our last ROTC PT  test today.  I ended up running two miles in 13:45, which is a personal best.  For the last semester, 3 days a week I wake up at 5:30 am to go workout army style.  And now it is over.  Friday is the final day of that class, and will be reserved for awards and debrief.  I am going to miss it, as well as the motivation, and opportunity it gave me to get in shape.  However, getting to finally stay up late and sleep in is something I cannot wait for.

            Mid terms are coming up.  I am nervous so next week will be nonstop studying.  I have been keeping up on notes, but also knocking off a few projects.  I am not sure what to expect, so wish me luck.

            Guys and girls both had basketball games the last few days, and both dominated.  I miss the student section at the UW but on weekend games the Dog Pound (Drake student section) holds its own very well.  If we hit ten 3 point shots, which we generally do within the first half, there is 30% off at the school store, so went on stocked up again on Drake gear.

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