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October 29th, 2006

twenty-six across: russian airline

I am now the junior member of a crossword puzzle gang. At least twice a week I meet with three graduate students from the university's anthropology department to go over the daily crossword from the school paper. Normally we all work independently and only ask for help when we can't get any further on our own, but last Wednesday we had only had a single paper between the four of us. Our solution? To pass the paper around our table so that each person had the chance to solve a few clues; put that way it sounds a bit like a knitting circle, doesn't it?

If you define areas of expertise by the questions others ask you, mine would have to be geography and dead Soviet politicians. The other day one girl said, "Hey, Paul, this is definitely one you would know ... what's Krushchev's first name?" I shouldn't sound so incredulous though, as that was a question I could answer. Give me clues about baseball players or movie actors though and I'm at a total loss.

My new associates also invited me out to a costume party hosted by some of the anthropology graduate students, which I attended with Min. We saw some interesting costumes, ate pumpkin pie, and had a few people comment on our own choice of dress, but the main person to spend any time chatting with us was Maia - who might just be the only cultural anthropologist in the graduate program. Oh, and she's the one responsible for my costume, since she pretty much picked out the whole thing herself and had me model it in a local store.

Earlier that evening we'd stopped by a party organized by one of the graduate students from the math department, and it's interesting to note that I had a better time there than I did at the anthropology shindig. It felt more comfortable there, everyone was a lot more open, and there didn't seem to be the same occupation with internal politics. Not that I'm planning on switching majors one semester before graduating - still, it was nice to receive an open invitation to visit again.

d'une chanson médiéval

A quote from the Crusades and the song Ahi, Amours! com dure departie ...

"Oh, Love! How hard it will be for me to have to leave the best woman who was ever loved or served! May God, in his kindness, lead me back to her as surely as I leave her in sorrow. Alas! What have I said? I am not really leaving her at all! If my body is going off ... my heart remains entirely within her sway"

- Conon de Bethune
(II. 1-80)