Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yes Day

After watching Jim Carrey in Yes Man a few weeks back, Hilary and I decided to introduced to introduce some more spontaneity into our lives by having our own unannounced "yes days" from time to time. For those unfamiliar with the film, this basically involves saying yes to any opportunity that arises...no exceptions! I woke up this morning in an unusually good mood and decided this would be my first one. As I was picking out clothes for church, Hilary came in and turned my yes day into this...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Senior Pictures

Since neither Hilary nor I got to participate in this tradition during high school in the US, we decided to take advantage of Mostar's beauty and have our own photo shoot! Some of the results are seen below... It was a day of dress-up overall, since it's also the Jewish holiday Purim. Observers are invited to "drink until they don't know themselves," also symbolized by the wearing of costumes. For our college, it was Halloween all over again.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Crossing the Map Again!

As our English professor Jonathan Boulting said, Spring has betrayed us. But even the rain can't dampen my spirits because early this morning, I found out that my project week will involve traveling to Abu Dhabi in March!!! I applied to the new campus of New York University there nearly on a whim, but a limerick, several essays, and a research proposal later, I've been invited to attend an all-expense paid candidate weekend before the final selection. My head is still spinning, and just the adrenaline of this has been enough to get me through the day. Looks like I'll be adding country #21 and continent #4 to the list even earlier than expected...now I wonder whether I'll have to cover my tattoo?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Sun

...it came out again today, a nice way to wake up on the day of my final oral exam! It put everyone in a sort of ecstasy, and I just wanted to start chanting, "the sun, the sun..." like at the end of Ibsen's play. And just in case I was getting too platonic, some of us had a heated argument over the Israeli food Niv made us. Yikes...the result of combining people who don't like to be wrong can be spectacular...but much more interesting than doing my Geography Internal Assessment. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Old Wives Survive

Mostar has had just one sunny day in my recent memory, and since my fifth umbrella was snatched the rain has become increasingly oppressive. Now, I really shouldn't complain since I live about 5 minutes from school, but when a middle-aged woman began yelling in local on my way home from an English exam earlier this week, I was reminded that exposing oneself to the elements has its consequences in this culture.

For one thing, I don't own the high boots and stylish long coat which are an essential part of any Mostar girl's wardrobe, so I've already got one strike against me. Secondly, walking without an umbrella is associated with deadly wet-hair syndrome which inspires so much fear here in BiH. For those not familiar with Bosnian culture, let me explain. It is taken to be absolute fact even by the most intellectual of people that going outside with wet hair can lead to paralysis of the face and even death. Apparently, being exposed to warm water opens up the pores on your head, allowing cold air and wind to wreak havoc on your body. Now I understand that heat is lost through the head and feet, which is why I wear warm socks and hats in the winter. But I don't understand what medical facts support my housemum screaming at me in terror when I go to the canteen without slippers, the canteen ladies making us promise never to come to breakfast with wet hair again, or the most hopelessly rationale of my friends stand up for the lady on the street. My apologies to Bosnian friends who take offense, but I'm not convinced your doctor was correct when he told you the static from underwire bras causes breast cancer, and I'm not too tempted to add massive amounts of meat, salt, and oil to my diet even though you insist it's the healthiest diet and I have seen some impressive longevity within the culture.

My Dutch rommate tells me that I myself am a bit remiss in thinking that being out in the rain is likely to lead to a cold. Apparently, it's common practice in the Netherlands to send children out in the rain to make them stronger and healthier! And I must say, she gets the award for most wet hair and fewest sick days out of anyone I know.

I wanted to end this post by saying that when it comes to these wives' tales turned fact we'll have to agree to disagree, but since Isa and I are both home sick today...you'll have to draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Life of an Extended Essay

Several months ago, Hilary and I realized that the dreaded IB research paper, while not actually the most daunting of tasks, is such a prolonged and talked up process that its hold on us can actually be equated to that of a human life. I submitted my final draft last week, prompting the following funny but incredibly creepy analogy:

Our EEs were conceived last April after numerous presentations outlining the nature of our impending parenthood. Their genders were soon determined with the selection of subjects, and names were tossed about during the spring and summer in the form of topics and titles. We dealt with all the expected stages of morning sickness, nesting, and pure curiosity and intellectual anticipation, and by November the things had been born as first drafts. The were brought up over the course of the fall and winter in a community of editors, peers, and other supervisors. They spent the holidays with our families, pused the limits of our sanity, and caused many ethical dilemmas and sleepless nights. At times, they were more of a nuisance than a source of fulfillment or pride. And yet. By January, the end was insight. Although never perfect, the things could finally stand on their own, and there were thoughts of empty nests on our minds. Finally, on a rainy Wednesday, MY Session May 2010 English A1 Extended Essay was married to an examiner in a ceremony officiated by my headmaster, Paul Regan. I expect there to be a family reunion sometime in July during which I'll see the results of my fastidious parenting, but for the most part, it's good riddance.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Possibly Impossible Resolution

We had one day of sunshine yesterday, and it reminded Hilary and I that spring, and summer, and well...the rest of our lives, are fast approaching. To make sure we stay in touch, we made a pact that we're gonna keep tabs on each other next year and force each other to blog regularly. And then we figured, why not start now? So, Fates, bring on the blog-able experiences. Anyone who's still reading, you can expect at least one sentence every day. It may not make sense, and it may not be much, but it'll be there!