Saturday, August 14, 2004 0 comments


Classes are going pretty well now.  I dropped Modern Lit.  I enjoyed the things we ere reading, but it was time consuming, and it's rather annoying going from upper-level English major classes to a lit class with various non-majors complaining about how long things are.  Besides, I still have twelve hours without it, and there's no need to bother with a class I don't need anyhow.  It's so nice to have a break.

I'm really enjoying the Western Heritage class.  It's a lot of cultural history, mostly, and it's really interesting.  We're learning about art, architecture, philosophy, and history, all intertwined.

I finished the book I brought, Barbara Kingsolver's Homeland.  It's a collection of short stories.  I really enjoy her work, and I think it will help me when I write my short story for creative writing, as her style is close to what I'd like to write myself.  I have a few starts for it, but I guess the hard part is writing something that will be interesting and coherent to everyone who has to read it.  The class reading my writing in Advance Comp wasn't a big deal because it was just more non-fiction--essays and term papers and such, like I've been writing for years now.  But this--no one but my mother, that I know of, has ever read anything fiction I wrote, well, besides a few poems and some stories when I was very little. 

The more I think about writing, the more things I remember writing as a child.  The first I remember was about a girl, her older brother, and her mother, but I remember nothing about the plot; Mom says she still has it somewhere.  Then there were the stories of Janella the Bear, and some I wrote in Gifted.  There was one that was something about someone who fell in a pit.  Of course I illustrated them all.  In fifth grade, I had a whole folder of story ideas--I loved to create characters.  I remember one about a mother of six who crashed her care over a cliff and landed on a ledge which opened into a cave, and how she survived, and how her children refused to accept her disappearance and finally found her.  I started my first novel that year, too, and called it "Together but Alone," which of course sounds corny now but seemed clever at the time.  It was a bout a family who won a trip on a cruise ship.  The shop crashed while at sea, and the three daughters were separated from the parents and were stranded along with a few other children on an island, and how they survived.  I had quite a bit written and typed it on the computer at school in what was supposed to be my "gifted" time, although it was more just a way to keep me busy because they didn't know what to do with me. 
Thursday, August 12, 2004 0 comments


We circled Brussels for the better part of an hour before we finally landed.  Then, we rushed to the train station to wait another hour for our train; we arrived in Verviers at about two in the afternoon. Verviers was absolutely beautiful even in a misty rain.  We got a lot of strange looks as twenty-nine people drug their suitcases through streets, busy with people shopping. 

Last night I went with Leah and Katy to L'Europe, a great little coffee shop/restaurant just down the street.  They got a type of milk coffee (I can say it, but I don't remember how to spell it); I tried a sip of Katy's but in only conformed that I am not a coffee person.  It looks good, and I wish I could drink it, but it's just too bitter to me.  Leah suggested we make it a weekly thing--that every Tuesday that we're in Verviers we will go down to the coffee shop for drinks and talk.  And the last time we go, we'll dress up in whatever new clothes we've bought while we're here.  

I got a little time this afternoon to explore by myself while; I went and got an ice cream after I accidentally went the wrong direction.  It was wonderful, and it was fun because I was able to order in French, and never spoke any English.  I read the sign and figured out what must mean one scoop.  My pronunciation was probably bad, but he understood me.  I'll definitely be going back--the ice cream was unbelievably good.  It was softer, creamier, and richer than what I'm used to in the States.  Then I made my way around the long way to the GB Super and the post office; in the grocery store, I was humming along with the music playing over the loudspeakers for a few seconds before it occurred to me that it was a bit strange that they were playing Marks Wills "Don't Laugh at Me."  American country music, in a little grocery store all the way across Belgium--it seems like in the U.S. we have every kind of entertainment industry, and we get almost nothing from non-English speaking places.  Well, shirts with French words or jewelry with Chinese symbols are popular, but nothing that really means anything. 

I bought some ketchup (they have Heinz here), some more notebooks, a birthday card for Kathleen, and a card that it a birthday card but has a little dog like Jack on it that I'll send to Papa and Nanny anyways. 

We all went to a park with a huge white gazebo for a devo tonight.  It was nice to sing again--it's been a long time, as there wasn't much this summer. 

Today I read Moliere's Tartuffe for the modern literature class.  It was funny, and not that long.  It was maybe forty pages, but easy to read, so I don't know why everyone's complaining so much.  I love the book we have for the class; there are so many great things in it.  It's a Norton Anthology's Words Lit Volume II; I wish I had more time to read it all.   I really think that I will buy every anthology I can before I graduate college.  

I want to find a copy of Pride and Prejudice in French, and maybe one of Charlotte Bronte's books, probably The Professor, since it's set in Belgium.   Tomorrow maybe I'll poke around in some of the bookstores in town, and Mandy wants to try the ice cream and I said I'd go with her. 

Well, I guess I will try to get some sleep.  My pillow is very hard and flat, but got one of the extra blankets to prop it up.  WE have class at 8:30 tomorrow morning, so I guess I'll head to the room. 
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 0 comments

August 10: Flying

12:51 a.m. US central time,  7:51 a.m Belgium time

We're about an hour out of Brussels.  As I thought, our night wasn't long.   We left Chicago O'Hare at a little after six Monday night.   We flew over Battle Creek and Lansing (or was it Detroit--I'll have to check the map) and then over Canada.  It got dark while we flew over Canada, probably by 7:30 central time. We crossed New York state and then the Atlantic.  Somewhere below the clouds we are now flying over Dover and London.  We noticed the sun was rising at 11:40 Tennessee time (I'm not sure exactly what time zone we were in at the time).  So, a four-hour night.  Most of the windows are open now and they're serving breakfast.  It's been a very good flight--the staff has been nice and have been good to serve drinks.  The inflight movies were Hidalgo and Under the Tuscan Sun.  I have been wanting to see the second, but I ended up watching most of the first and only seeing the second without bothering to plug my headphones in.  It would probably be a good movie--I enjoyed what I saw of it, but I just wasn't in the mood to get involved in another story right then.   Meghan taught me to play back alley bridge, and we played half a game of that as the sun came up.  Now shes taking a nap; I could probably sleep if I really wanted to, but usually I'm better off in situations like this if I don't sleep.  I just finished of the last of my chocolate, so I should be good for a while.  I'm listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd (Thyrty) at the moment.