As most of you know, my 22nd birthday was last Friday. As fun as a trip to waffle house would have been, my suitemates and I decided that an escape from the mountain was in order. It turns out that 3 of the 4 of us have January birthdays....and the 4th's conception date was in January (which I'm sure is more information than any of us ever wanted to know). To celebrate this most hallowed of months we got tickets to a mystery theater(I mistakenly called it a musical theater in my last entry) in Chattanooga that included dinner and certain birthday embarrassment..most likely in the form of singing. Everything was great -- the timing worked, the show was supposed to be good, and we were all excited.

Then, on the morning of January 29th (my birthday), it began to snow. And snow. And rain. And sleet. And rain some more. And snow a little. And then rain some more..............and then freeze. The end result looked something like this:

I can't take any credit for these photos. I stole them all from facebook because I am a loser and didn't take any pictures. It's a good thing that I have artistic friends!

Anyway, needless to say, we didn't make it to Chattanooga on Friday. The last 22 years have been great, and I really didn't fancy dying on my birthday. Especially not for a mystery theater.

In reality the roads were probably fine, but you never know about these southern drivers (dear all who are from the south who read this: Don't hate me. I've just lived around snow a lot and I don't trust y'all). The police dispatcher would also send us e-mails like this every few hours:


That is a direct quote. The university is so small that the police have nothing to do and therefore mostly issue parking tickets and alert us to weather conditions. They also really really like capital letters.

In lieu of watching the mystery theater, we watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in the room and ate my massive birthday cupcake/cake (my suitemate recently acquired a cake mold that is the shape of a large cupcake). Since the movie is a million hours long, that took up the better part of the evening.

Then I decided to check my e-mail. In the middle of my frenzied quest to purge my inbox of police weather updates and facebook notifications I spotted something intriguing: an e-mail simply entitled "U.S. Fulbright Program". I was a little hesitant to open it, since I was pretty sure it was an e-mail letting me know if I had made it to the semi-finals of the Fulbright ETA selection process. I would have really hated to get bad news on my birthday. Luckily, it was all good news! Whether it was birthday magic, a good resume, or a combination of both...I MADE IT!! The way it works is that 30-40 people make it to the semi-finals, and 20 receive the assistantship. Now all I have to do is wait anywhere from February to May to find out if I will get an assistanship (I really hope that I do. I am not in the mood to think up an alternative life plan for this upcoming year).

Monday (yesterday) I had my Russian interview. I mentioned last time that is was supposed to be on Saturday...however, it seems that they had some scheduling conflicts, so they moved it to Monday. Overall it went pretty well; I understood all of the questions and answered most of them. I also found out that the interviewer's son plays the French horn. I'm hoping that this gets me some brownie points, since the French horn world is a small and close-knit one. There was really only one problem: the call was from Moscow, and it seems that they got the time zone mixed up. I was expecting a call at 8:20 am, and as such I dutifully set my alarm for 7:45 so that I could make sure that I was up and coherent by the time that I had to have my interview. However, promptly at 7:20 am my phone rang. I jolted awake, caught the phone on the 2nd ring, and let the adrenaline rush carry me through the next 15 minutes. I was actually quite impressed with myself -- I went from deep sleep to speaking Russian in about 5 seconds, and I don't think that the interviewer noticed.

In true senior-year fashion, I've decided to extend my slackerly ways and make 1 of my 3.5 classes pass/fail. I do have some sound logic behind this though! Right now my GPA is hovering at about a 3.7. I'm pretty confident in my other 2.5 classes, but the 3rd is a new subject for me -- "The Art of Diplomacy". Usually in subjects outside of my major I work really hard, but still end up with a B or an A-. I did some math, and I determined that the risks of dragging my GPA down with a B far outweigh the benefits of getting an A. Grades are a competitive business you've got to play the game right. Additionally, this means less stress for me, and I do so hate stress.

Well, it's quite late and I have class semi-early tomorrow, so I should go to bed. I think I've covered everything of recent importance.

On a final note, here's a quote from the blog "Sleep Talkin' Man" (if you can't guess from the title, it's a blog that the wife of a chronic sleep-talker keeps)...I feel like this all the time:
"So many little people. Pet them on the head. pet pet pet pet pet...."

as well as:
"No, not the cats. Don't trust them. Their eyes. Their eyes. They know too much."


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