Thursday, August 30, 2007
Today was the first day of Stern. Tomorrow I'll write a post about my first two days as a whole, but I just want to take a moment and think about the fact that I had two English classes today (well, two and a writing class where the teacher didn't show up) and Dr. Schwebel wasn't there. And I don't mean to sound so depressing but it was just, well, weird. I couldn't stop thinking about how she should be there and how it all felt so wrong, somehow.
This whole thing is weird. I feel almost as though I'm inventing part of my relationship with her. I'm a pretty cautious person when it comes to developing relationships with people and it sometimes sounds, from my writing, that we were a lot closer than we actually were. I think. But, like a wise friend reminded me today, it isn't like I should have done something I didn't. There was no way I could have been closer to Dr. Schwebel last year. Though I didn't visit her office outside of class time, though we didn't have lengthy conversations in the hallway, though, that one time I met her in Barnes and Noble by accident, I didn't know what to do or say and she ended up talking to me more than I spoke to her, I was slowly opening up. I needed more time. This year, I know I would have gone to visit her in her office. But now, of course, I can't. And I hear there's a new Latin professor. Someone asked me if I was taking Latin and I said I wasn't. I don't even know if there's a Latin II. It wasn't in the course catalog when we were all registering for classes last spring. But I can't imagine taking Latin with another teacher. There was just this bond Dr. Schwebel and I had, I guess being a one-on-one sort of class will do that to you, and it was almost like having a chavruta, honestly, only we were reading Latin, not Hebrew or Aramaic. But the way she would tell people who saw us together that I was her Latin student, and in this proud sort of tone, just...wow. I miss being her Latin student more than anything else.
And the reason the title of this post is so fitting is because Dr. Schwebel and I shared a Monty Python appreciation moment during class one day, not long after I posted this.
And now I really need to go to bed because I'm rambling and making myself cry from my ramblings and it's two friggin thirty in the morning.
Everyone is saying it. The subways, the LIRR, the London Underground. And why? Why do they feel this constant need to remind us to mind the gap? Do not be misled - it is not because there is an actual, physical gap between the train and the platform. Oh, no. Not at all.
It is because "mind the gap" is a very important philosophy of life.
Whenever you start something, anything, there is always a gap you must hop across - carefully, of course. There is always a bridge, always a pathway towards your new destination, always a doorway, a threshold, a gap that needs minding.
You do not simply glide from one experience to the next. You mind gaps. You may think I'm crazy, you may think I'm writing this at two in the morning (uh, well, erm, *cough*), but what I'm saying is truth. TRUTH.
So the next time you're travelling and the voice comes over the intercom and says, "when you exit the train, please mind the gap between the train and the platform," you'll know they're not just talking about the space between, well, the train and the platform. They're talking about all gaps. All thresholds. All intermediary periods along our life-journey where we must grow and adjust and reach and, finally, achieve.
So before I go to sleep, I leave you with this.
MIND THE GAP.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I have just spent the past ten days in San Francisco with my family and with no computer access, hence there being no new entries from me.
BUT HARK, A NEW ENTRY.
(I have no idea if I used "hark" correctly, but hey, it's a cool word, used correctly or not).
This isn't a REAL entry, it's just a fake one letting y'all know that I have now returned to cyberspace. Hooray!
A real entry coming soon!
To be continued...
(Haha, don't you hate it when TV shows end that way?)
Friday, August 10, 2007
Anyway, speaking of trips, I'm going with my family to San Francisco for ten days on Sunday! We are still working out our itinerary so does anyone know of any really fun/cool/interesting things to do in either San Fran itself or just the San Fransisco area? We're also going to Yosemite for three days so anything there would be cool, too. Thanks! (And if no one knows of anything, we will blaze our own trail!)
Thursday, August 9, 2007
What about little babies or kids who die for whatever reason? Can their purpose have been so small that they needed so short a time to do it? What about people who live long lives - did they only fulfill their purpose at the end or was their whole life one big purpose? Why did they die after so much time? Why not earlier? Were they granted extra time just for kicks? Why not other people, then? Should we shy away from fulfilling any purposes so that we'll live longer?
What about purpose vs. potential. Purpose sounds like we live to accomplish something for the world. Potential seems more selfish. We're working on ourselves to develop who we are and what we're capable of. Do we use this potential to then fulfill our purpose? Can we fulfill our purpose without developing our full potential? Does a person have only one purpose in life? There are SO many people - are there that many purposes that need to be fulfilled? What about little kids who never had the chance to find out their potential? Does everyone have a potential? Do baby's who die or who are stillborn have potential?
I realize that none of you can answer these questions. Nobody can. We can speculate, yes, but we can never really know. It's just been bothering me.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Pencil Removed From Head After 55 YearsBy KRISTEN ALLEN,APPosted: 2007-08-08 07:54:53BERLIN (Aug. 7) - A woman who had a pencil lodged in her head for 55 years after a childhood accident has finally had most of it removed, which should end her chronic headaches and nosebleeds, her doctor said Tuesday.Margaret Wegner was 4 when she fell while carrying the 3.15-inch pencil, which went through her cheek and into her brain.
"It bored right through the skin and disappeared into my head," Wegner, now 59, told Germany's best-selling newspaper, Bild. "It hurt like crazy."
At the time, the technology did not exist to safely remove the pencil, so Wegner had to live with it - and the ensuing chronic headaches and nosebleeds -- for the next 5 1/2 decades.
But on Friday, Dr. Hans Behrbohm, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Berlin's Park-Klinik Weissensee, was able to identify the exact location of the pencil so that he could determine the risks of removing it, and then took most of it out.
The operation was difficult because of the way the pencil had shifted as Wegner grew, Behrbohm told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
"This was something unique because the trauma was so old," said Behrbohm, who has also done brain surgery to remove bullets from shooting victims and glass from people involved in car accidents.
Although a piece of a pencil about four-fifths of an inch long could not be removed, Behrbohm said it does not pose a danger.
And now Wegner, the wife of German boxing coach Ulli Wegner, will no longer have the headaches and nosebleeds, and her sense of smell should return soon, Behrbohm said.
"She shouldn't suffer any longer," he said.Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.2007-08-07 15:40:15
Airline Reports Monkey Business on JetAPPosted: 2007-08-08 10:14:05Filed Under: Weird News(Aug. 7) - A man smuggled a monkey onto an airplane Tuesday, stashing the furry fist-size primate under his hat until passengers spotted it perched on his ponytail, an airline official said.The monkey escapade began in Lima, Peru, late Monday, when the man boarded a flight to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Spirit Airlines spokeswoman Alison Russell. After landing Tuesday morning, the man waited several hours before catching a connecting flight to LaGuardia Airport.
During the flight, people around the man noticed that the marmoset, which normally lives in forests and eats fruit and insects, had emerged from underneath his hat, Russell said.
"Other passengers asked the man if he knew he had a monkey on him," she said.
The monkey spent the remainder of the flight in the man's seat and behaved well, said Russell, who didn't know how it skirted customs and security.
Airport police were waiting for the man and his monkey when the plane landed about 3 p.m., and the man was taken away for questioning. It was unclear whether he would face any criminal charges.
The city's animal control agency said the monkey appeared healthy. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was planning to take it for disease testing and keep it quarantined for 31 days, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.
If the monkey is healthy, it could wind up in a zoo.
"It is kind of a spirited monkey," Russell said. "That will be the nickname of the monkey: Spirit."Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.2007-08-08 07:29:17
(The last line of this next one made me laugh for some reason. Otherwise, the story is really cool, but not crazy.)
Scientists Discover Largest-Known PlanetAPPosted: 2007-08-08 11:04:30Filed Under: Science News(Aug. 7) - Scientists have discovered the universe's largest known planet, a giant ball made of mostly hydrogen that is 20 times larger than Earth and circling a star 1,400 light-years away.
Scientists believe the planet is 1.7 times the diameter of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, and has a temperature of 2,300-degrees.
"There is probably not a really firm surface anywhere on the planet. You would sink into it," said Georgi Mandushev, a research scientist at Lowell Observatory and lead author of an article announcing the finding in the peer-reviewed Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Lowell, along with the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory in San Diego County and telescopes operating in Spain's Canary Islands, discovered the planet circling a star in the constellation Hercules.
Lowell announced the finding Monday. Scientists first spotted the new planet, called TrES-4, and a smaller one in spring 2006. Scientists at Caltech, Harvard University and the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii later confirmed the discovery.
"It's very solid stuff," astronomer Alan Boss at the Carnegie Institution of Washington said of the discovery of TrES-4. He marveled at the planet's extremely low density, about half that of Saturn in our solar system.
"It's just letting us know that nature has some surprises for us ... a much wider range of possibility than we could imagine," Boss said.
He said scientists "can't understand why these so-called fluffy planets are so fluffy. It really is a mystery, just how they can be so low-density."
Scientists also are working on the possibility of another planet in the same constellation. "It's tough," Mandushev said. "We're not really sure what's going on there. There might actually be another planet in this field, which would be incredible."
The participating Lowell telescope is housed on top of Anderson Mesa, about 15 miles south of Flagstaff.
Lowell is best known for the 1930 discovery of Pluto, which since has been demoted from planet status. (this is what made me laugh. Anyone else laughing?)Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.2007-08-08 09:21:59
When I get back from work today, I will write a post about the tornado that invited itself to my bat-mitzvah.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
(okay, not really, but we can pretend)
Anyway, just a shout out to everyone who has been reading my blog and not commenting! Hello!
EDIT: There are a lot more lurkers than just seven! I WILL GIVE YOU COOKIES. YOU KNOW YOU WANT THEM. =D
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Headteacher ruins Harry Potter book for pupils by reading out last pageBy ANDREW LEVY
It is the book that millions of children have been desperately waiting to read over the school holidays.
But for 400 furious pupils, finding out what happens to Harry Potter, his friends and enemies in the seventh and final book of the series came sooner than expected.
At the final assembly of the term last Friday, their headmistress picked up the 607-page book - and read from the last page to her astonished captive audience.
Pupils at St John's C of E School in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, who had been looking forward to getting stuck in to Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, were yesterday bitter in their criticism of head Carolyn Banfield.
Louie Swift, nine, said: "I don't know why she read it. She's not usually a spoilsport. She didn't even mention she had the book.
"She just picked it up and started reading it to us."
Jordan Ashton, ten, complained: "It has spoiled the book for me."
An 11-year-old boy said: "Lots of my friends complained about it. I put my hands over my ears and squeezed my eyes closed because I didn't want to know about it."
Parents were also fuming over the incident. Maria Travers, whose son Travis, eight, goes to the school, said: "He's read the last three books but there's no point reading this one now."
Another mother, who declined to be named, said: "It's appalling. My son was going to read a book instead of playing on his computer and I was going to have some peace and quiet.
"Now that's ruined. What was she thinking of?"
The climax of Harry Potter's clashes with Lord Voldemort was the subject of intense debate among fans, both young and old, before its release at midnight on July 21.
It became Britain's fastest-selling book ever, shifting three million copies in two days.
Mrs Banfield was away on holiday yesterday and unavailable for comment.
A school spokesman said: "The school was saying goodbye to the children and staff who were leaving.
"A very small passage was chosen to reflect the theme of saying goodbye. The school felt this reading would not spoil the children's enjoyment of the book and its plot.
"Many of the children and staff at the school are fans of the Harry Potter series and we used the text as a way of illustrating how uncertainty can sometimes accompany new beginnings."
Les Martindale, church warden of St John's Church in Midsomer Norton, which the pupils visit for services, said: "I'd imagine that if this did happen it was done in all innocence - an error of judgment.
"Carolyn has been a superb headmistress since she took over about eight years ago. She is very highly regarded and has done an awful lot of good work."
But education experts were less forgiving.
Margaret Morrissey, of the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations, said: "It was unforgivable. It's one of the cruellest things she could have done, even if she didn't mean it.
"Whether you approve of the Harry Potter phenomenon or not, it has encouraged children to read.
"This act will probably stop all those children reading the book."