Emails Home and a Blog Reassessment

I feel very negligent for having posted so little on my blog since coming to college. For half a year now I have written fewer and fewer posts each month. I have decided this needs to change.

If I want this blog to continue fulfilling its purposes - and I do - I am going to have to keep posting, and post more. Since arriving in DC my life has become busy enough that I feel entirely unable to produce posts of the length I'm used to writing, and indeed if I did so that would require time commitments that would further tax my work-filled and sleep-deprived schedule. Instead, I am going to aim for a simple alternative: I will write shorter blog posts.

Less than two hours remain in the month of September as I write this, meaning that this will be only my third post of the month, making it the least-blogged-about time period in my life since the creation of the Publisher. To think! - my first month in college being the time I write least about. It makes sense that I've written so little because of my adjustment and busyness, but it's also a tragic irony that such a pivotal time for me has gone relatively unrecorded.

I have, however, done some recording of my activities, and these have taken the form of emails to my family and friends. Considering that this will be the last of an era of extra-long blog posts, I think I will now post portions of these emails as a means to catch up readers of this blog (and members of my family who may not have read all the emails) on many of the highlights of the last several weeks. (Bracketed writing is from the me of today.)

September 1:
This morning I woke at 8:10 and had a quick breakfast - the last one I'll have that won't be on my meal plan. This is my last day of student orientation, and tomorrow my classes begin. At 9 I was up in Gaston Hall and after some talk with all the SFS students everyone split up into groups organized by the proseminar classes we were preregistered for. 
A few days ago I found out I was not assigned to either of my two choices for a proseminar. Instead I was assigned a class entitled "Latin American Leaders in Biographies and Novels." So today I went into my group rather apprehensively, thinking that I might want to switch into another class as soon as I was able to. I found that the class only has 11 students in it with room for 15, and that two of the eleven are Puerto Rican, at least two [three] are from Florida, and pretty much all the other students speak Spanish, are from states with Hispanic influence, or are themselves Latino - except me, of course. 
I did however discover that my professor, Thomas Dodd, is the [older] brother of the Senator Dodd, and that, more importantly, when I went online half an hour ago to look at the space available in other classes - there wasn't any. It looks like I'm stuck where I am, but I know I'll be fine with the classes I have. 
Tomorrow my classes will be French at 9:15, econ at 11:40 and history at 2:40. In a short while I may be going to the Mass of the Holy Spirit, a service to start the new year, followed by a barbecue, both of which will be out on the school's front lawns. [I didn't go.] In the evening I'll attend the last events of the new student orientation, and then... college will really begin!
September 7:
About an hour ago I came outside from having watched Star Trek and it was raining, which made me miss home quite a bit. It was kind of ridiculous seeing a lot of people get umbrellas out and even someone put a towel over their head, and it wasn't even that serious a rainfall, but I stayed outside until it subsided and it felt good to have been out there in the rain. 
For a while a few days ago I thought that I must have been missing short evening rains because when I went outside for walks the benches would be wet even though I hadn't felt any rain. By now I've seen the sprinklers enough that that's no longer a mystery for me. The sprinkling here, by the way, is ridiculous. Near my dorm building there's a little triangle of grass that's longest side can't be more than ten feet. There are no fewer than four sprinklers that water only that triangle of grass. I think Georgetown should let the grass rot and make printing free. 
On printing, I have discovered the price is actually only ten cents a page, which is not as bad as I thought, but in principle is still very annoying. The big place my GOCard account got hit today was in the laundry room. My first college laundry experience cost a whole five bucks, at 1.25 a cycle. I fit all my dirty clothes into a single wash, but after they all went through the drier once they were nowhere near dry, so I decided to split them up and try again rather than risk having it not work with them all together again.
September 19:
I have now been in Washington DC for more than three weeks, and have had eleven days of class so far in my college experience. During those days I've had plenty to get used to, from having one of my professors speak only in French (aside from a few words each class she absolutely has to say in English) to having classes where there's barely any homework (if any) and the teacher doesn't care at all whether you're late or whether you show up for class at all. 
I have had one big piece of homework so far, and it was the first college essay I've ever written. One of my classes is all about dictators in Latin America (or caudillos, in Spanish) and my essay was on an analysis of why there have been so many caudillos in history and what factors have made people see them as legitimate. If you want to read what I wrote, it's published on my blog right here: Pride in Porfirio et al. (The title of my blog post is different than what I titled my essay though, which was "Caudillos and their Prevalence"). [I got a B - possibly the first B I've ever received on a paper.] 
Besides French and Latin American leaders, I've also been learning about the basics of microeconomics, Hinduism, and theoretical aspects of international relations. I have my first econ homework due this Monday, in fact, so I'll be working on that as soon as I finish writing this. 
Now, if you know I started my classes on September 2nd and you counted my school days with Labor Day off, you might think that I'd have had 12 days of class so far, instead of the eleven that I mentioned a mere three paragraphs ago. That would have been true, but two days ago my one lecture for the day was cancelled because my professor wasn't feeling well. I didn't have any school at all this last Thursday! So, logically, you'd have thought on such a day I probably would have slept in 'til noon. I would have thought that too. But I didn't. 
Thursday morning I woke up at eight o'clock and immediately thought "Uh oh - I'm behind schedule!" I dressed, grabbed a book and breakfast and went as fast as I could to the university shuttle that took me to the nearest metro stop. I spent more than half an hour on the metro, going all the way to the University of Maryland. From there I took another shuttle to a big stadium, and then spent nearly an hour sitting and waiting while a band played, reporters shuffled around below, and thousands more people poured in until the place was filled nearly to capacity. What did I do all this for? I got to see the President speak! 
I listened to President Obama speak for twenty-five minutes on health care reform and a few other things, and I was pretty satisfied with the speech. Who knows how all the things he talked about will work out, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of seeing him and hearing him speak. I've attached some pictures from the event as well as well as some of my room, dorm, and the city. (Sorry if I've sent you some of them before.) 
I hope this finds all of you well, and I'd love to get emails from you as often as you'd like to send them. Things are going great for me in college and I'll be sure to keep you updated. My only problem now is that economics homework. :)


  1. I've enjoyed reading about your college experiences! I do think, however, that shorter articles and more sleep is a wise idea! Keep up the good work! Shalom

  2. Why is the title "Obama vs. Kucinich etc.?" I didn't read that in your post. Did you get sidetracked? I'd like to read something that fits that title! Thanks, your fan and mum

  3. More sleep?! What a novel idea!!! I think I may have heard someone mention that before...? I could be wrong. I love you!



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