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Monday, March 20, 2006

Athehna!

So I'm actually going to Athens (hence the new graphic). Ever since I got accepted to the program last year, I have harbored this secret hope that the entire nation of Greece would just fall off into the sea or something so that the program could be cancelled at the last minute, and I could stay here at my beloved (and nervous breakdown-inducing) U of C. That way, I could say that I was prepared to go abroad, but unforeseen forces prevented me. I wasn't being purposely parochial, but fate just won't allow me to leave the 20-mile radius around Skokie. Convenient. But no, last I checked, Athens is still on the surface of the planet. (And the title of this post is apparently the modern Greek way of saying Athens, not Athena, but don't take my word for it.)

So I'm actually going to Athens. I suppose I'm sort of looking forward to it, if only because it promises to be a completely for-credit academic vacation, and I kind of could use one of those right now. The longest assignment expected of us for the entire quarter is one three-page paper. I might be able to handle that. However, traveling is stressful, homesicknessful, and sunburn-inducing. Especially in places where no one speaks your language or even knows your alphabet, they mostly hate your country, and you're stuck with some of the more bizarre specimens of your school.

Right. I'll be gone until the beginning of June. I don't know how Athens blogging will go; we were told we'd only have 3 hours of free internet per week (leading me to strongly suspect that Greece is a third-world country), and I find travel writing to be exceedingly boring to read anyway, so I don't know that I'd like writing it any better. But we shall see. After Athens, I'm going to Washington for a couple months, so regular blogging will definitely resume then.

Unfortunately, this means goodbye to my nice apartment, my hott magazine, my would-be spring quarter clases, my non-classics obsessed friends, my other important people, and, most sadly, my kitty magnificent:




And collectively: Awwwww

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

An open letter to the A-Level patrons

Dear A-Level patrons,

You know that big red sign on the door that says, "Do not enter or the ALARM WILL GO OFF"? Yeah, they're, like, not kidding. The alarm really does go off. Every 30 seconds, in fact, if you continue to enter and exit through it. So why don't you shut up, enter through the other fucking door, and let me write my paper in peace?

No love,
Rita

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Tenement life, part 1

Right now, there are six people living in our 3.5 bedroom apartment, all sharing one bathroom. More to the point, one of those people is sleeping in our hall closet. That's right--sleeping in the closet. Who lives like this? (Ok, don't say Mexican migrant workers or people in third world countries or my parents in Russia; I know there are many poor and sad people on this planet, but I am spoiled and it doesn't make me feel any better.) We are all fairly affluent people. We pay to attend a school that costs $40,000 a year. We did not sign up for waiting in line to pee. Fortunately, it's a temporary arrangement, and everyone involved is fairly clean and sociable.

At least I still have my own room, now free of under-bed dust bunny piles.

And I also have SO MUCH WORK, including two more cover letters, and then I have to figure out this whole Greece thing. This quarter is going to be such a wash. I wish I could be here in spring to fix it.

UPDATE:
Rita: There are two different people at the Reg right now who are telling me to come by immediately because they have something exciting to tell me. Do you think this sounds like a plot to lure me there and kill me? Should I go?
Alex: I mean, if it were my friends, I'd be intrigued. But your friends are weird. They probably just found a new translation of Plato or something.