:: eye of the storm ::

About Me

A 27-year-old PA student who wants to visit all seven continents, write a book, work at a pediatric clinic in Africa, and basically meet as many of the world's challenges as possible.

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current mood:
current mood

Life List

(already accomplished)

Become a PA

Visit all 7 continents

Take a SwimTrek trip

Bike through Western Europe

Raft the Grand Canyon

Improve my Spanish proficiency

Go on safari in Africa

Trace my roots at Ellis Island

Vacation in Hawaii

Work on a hospital ship in a Third World country

Celebrate New Year's in Times Square

Visit all 50 states (29 to go: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY)

See the ruins at Pompeii

Swim in Capri's Blue Grotto

Tour Mt. Vesuvius

Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

Tour the Colosseum

Visit the D-Day beaches

See the Mona Lisa

Visit the palace at Versailles

See the Acropolis and Parthenon

See the Egyptian pyramids

Hike the Inca Trail

Walk El Camino Santiago

Take an Alaskan cruise

View the Taj Mahal at sunrise

Hike Table Mountain in South Africa

Climb through the Amazon canopy

Walk at least part of the Great Wall of China

Get laser hair removal

Learn to surf, ski, and snowboard

Learn to drive a stick-shift

Learn to play the piano

Go on a tropical cruise

Ride horseback on the beach

Ride in a hot air balloon

Get tickets to the Olympics

Go to adult Space Camp

Witness a shuttle launch from up close

Build a full-sized snowman

Sew a quilt out of my old race T-shirts

Update and continue my Life Scrapbook

Become the oldest person to ever do the River Run

Live to be a happy, healthy 100 years old - at least!

(unlikely dreams)

woensdag 28 september 2005

Okay, well, I've made considerable progress on the senior thesis front - I'm up to six pages on my outline. The problem is really that I just don't know exactly how I should attack this. I mean, I'm not exactly presenting anything new - I'm just looking at word order changes in subordinate clauses in Dutch and English and, working from the assumption that the two languages once had a common ancestor, basically just reporting the changes. Is a senior thesis supposed to actually be proving something? If it is, no one's mentioned it. So it's kind of hard to figure out how to set this up.

But the thing is, there are several theories I've come up with which I actually didn't read anywhere, but which I'm sure are proven somewhere. For example, English uses a Place-Manner-Time order for prepositional phrases ('I'm going to Utrecht in my car tomorrow'), whereas Dutch uses Time-Manner-Place ('Ik ga morgen met de auto naar Utrecht'). French, like English, uses Place-Manner-Time. So my theory is that this is yet another product of the Norman French invasion of England in 1066 (which sparked the shift from Old to Middle English, changed a lot of our vocabulary, lost our case markings and tightened out syntax, etc.) You know, it really seems like the damn Normans were responsible for everything that changed in English, which sucks, because it makes the 'answer' to my paper (why English changed) too simple. Bad Normans. Grrr.

Anyway, another theory of mine has to do with Afrikaans. Afrikaans was born when the Dutch colonized South Africa ('between 1652 and 1705', according to Wikipedia). Although it is to an extent fairly mutually intelligible with Dutch - at least in my experience - it also has long been hailed as the only Germanic language to have a double negative. Well, Middle Dutch also had a double negative. So why have I not seen any literature that suggests that that double negative was CAUSED by Middle Dutch? It must be out there, but, like the previous example, I just haven't seen it. I don't want to build a thesis on something that's already been exhaustively proven, but I also don't want to give everybody else credit for these ideas if by some weird chance they're really NOT publicly known.

Bah. Enough for one day.

You know, I said upon arrival that I was never going to want to go home. But you know what - that's not true. I'm having an awesome time here, and, as always, there are lots of things that I like a lot better than the States. (When I think about Bush and all his backward proposals and behaviors, for example, I really could just stay here forever and pretend I'm not a member of such an ignorant, arrogant country.) But the fact of the matter is, that's where my life is, and I miss a lot of things about it. For instance, I keep getting swim team e-mails from Anna and Jenna about the Georgia meet in a couple of weeks, and I won't be there for it. I get the Honors Opportunities List every day from UF, and I read some of the things on it and go, 'Wow, I wish I were there so I could do that.' I miss wearing shorts, being able to see the Jags games, driving my car, choosing what and when I want to eat, swimming in the O-Dome, watching current versions of ER, Gilmore Girls, and Commander-In-Chief, being able to do as much laundry as I want whenever I want, and having enough American plugs for all my electronic devices at once.

I wouldn't call it homesickness, because I don't exactly feel sad or melancholy about any of it, and it's not like I'm unhappy or uncomfortable here, but ... well, put it this way. When I fly into Orlando airport on December 21st, Mom and I are going to Cracker Barrel and I am getting fried okra, juicy green beans, creamy mac & cheese, hot buttered biscuits, and a salad with tomatoes, decent dressing, and GREEN LEAVES. Then we're going to drive home and I'm going to sleep in my own bed with a plump, firm pillow (not flat). The next day I'm going to choose how early or late I want to eat breakfast, and then have some Kashi cereal and REAL ORANGE JUICE. Then I'm going to put on a pair of shorts, get into my car, and drive to go get Christmas presents, a haircut, etc. When I get home, I will choose a book or ten from my vast collection - none of which will be one the five books I brought here - and read them. Two days after that, I will sit in front of the TV and both listen and watch the Jaguars beat the Texans.

Yeah... by that time, I should be okay again. :)

(Of course, when that day actually gets here, I'll be whining about having to leave the trains, the chocolate, the second language atmosphere, the extensive bike paths, my huge room, the homemade pepper pizza, my friends, my creative writing class, frikadellen, Breakers, the colorful, stylish fashions, the two-minute walk to the academic buildings, kruidenboter, the fifty-meter pool, patajes met, the simplicity of living out of one suitcase, shoarmabroodjes with garlic sauce, and my cool saddlebag-bedecked bike... but hey, the grass is always greener, right?) :)


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