Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Well, that's done

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a very relieved blogger. 
After doing everything you're not supposed to do in writing a thesis all summer (delaying the actual writing till the last two weeks, and then suddenly working an extra 20 hours when a certain todd let's nursery was shut last week, and then getting horrifically sick as soon as I theoretically had time), the dissertation is complete at 10,523 words. 
While I haven't been actually writing all summer, the theorising, data collection, and topic tweaking has been going on since January. Theoretically, I think it's more original than my MSU thesis on MENA food and water, so it probably represents a more exciting intellectual project than the other, though it was a less involved total commitment. We will see what my supervisor thinks...this dissertation advising process has deliberately been much less involved than my MSU one was. My supervisor hasn't seen drafts, or even heard the fully fleshed out theoretical framework. Which is all the more exciting because it's an expansion of a theory he originated. So we'll see how that goes! It's a real page-turner, let me tell you...let me know if you want a copy. ;) Watching "Ramblings with Rebecca" will pretty much do the job for you, though. 

In any case, she's finished. Next on the list:
-Transitioning off the International Office staff. I'm putting planning for a North American Thanksgiving mixer in place and responding to my last student enquires. I'll only be in the office twice more!
-Planning the 7th International Workshop on Hydro-Hegemony with the aforementioned dissertation supervisor. It's going to involve the theoretical reworking presented in my thesis. 
-Packing and moving to Edinburgh (!!!!!). We have to be out of uni residences this Sunday. I'll be staying with Anne-Marie for a week and then roadtripping to Edinburgh with mates. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

"Just So Stories"

Iorwerth and I have been happily listening to Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories" read by Geoffrey Palmer while he naps. When he gets sleepy during the day, he requests to listen to "Cat that Walked by Himself" - he remembers that one because the title poster hangs in his room. Quite delightful...except I get caught up in the stories and don't leave to do work while Iorwerth naps because I'm having too much fun cuddling and listening!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Edinburgh Courses

Unless I somehow did not get my email in on time or some other unforeseen circumstance prevents my utter joy, next year will involve:

Year-Round Classes:
International and European Human Rights Law on Thursdays 14:10-16:00
International Environmental Law on Thursdays 16:10-18:00

Semester 1 Additional Class:
Inter-State Conflict and Humanitarian Law on Mondays 14:10-16:00

Semester 2 Additional Class:
International Climate Change Law on Mondays 14:10-16:00

  1. How am I supposed to concentrate on finishing my thesis when Edinburgh keeps emailing me with this exciting stuff?!?
  2. What on earth am I going to do with myself on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays!?
  3. WOOHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Cumberbatch and Egypt and Homework, oh my!

Okay, folks.
Many of you have heard my rant about how the so-called "Arab Spring" is horribly, wrongly, and unjustly named.
It is not exclusively "Arab". Dozens of countries, all around the world, Arab and non-Arab, had protests.
It is not a "Spring". The action did not come from unknown, mythical source in the ground. It came from a lot of really hard work by really dedicated, passionate, and professional people.
Nor did it happen in a single season.
People are still protesting.
People are still dying.
To call the revolutions that began in January/February 2011 the "Arab Spring" is an insult, in my opinion, to the thousands of people working, fighting, and dying.
So don't do it.
/end rant

Because we sometimes need a bit of happiness to bring ourselves into these issues, here is a photo of the ever-fabulous Benedict Cumberbatch, who you may know as "Sherlock" or "Khan".

But seriously.
For real.

If you don't know what he's talking about - and even if you do - please, please, please check out:
-My friend Salma's blog, especially this blog post about the pain of trying to deal with this as part of daily life.
-The news. Read the news. There is joy and beauty in the world. There's also a lot of really awful stuff. And pretending it doesn't exist will not help further the joy and beauty. So read! For stuff on the Middle East, Al Jazeera English is a good starting point. If that's too scary, try the BBC or New York Times.

So that's your homework. Read about what's happening in Egypt, do something about it if you can and feel called to - pray, write a letter to a policymaker, send some love to a friend in the region, whatever. And then, make sure you find some joy in the world. And spread it. 'Cause we need it, folks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


After a journey of:
1. Car ride Mount Pleasant to Detroit;
2. Dinner in DTW Airport with Bubba;
3. Flight 10:25pm-10:25am Detroit-->London time;
4. Tube to Russell Square;
5. Battle with Scottish football supporters;
6. Dropping off visa application with Marshall Commission;
7. Walk to Euston Square;
8. Long wait at Liverpool Street Station;
9. Two hour train ride to Norwich;
10. Walk home;
I'm home! Hurray!

Bed feels rather delightful...I'm really, really bad at sleeping on planes. But I have managed to unpack everything and start the laundry...probably going to finish a book I started on the plane, crash circa 9pm, and hope I wake up in the UK morning. :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The weddings photos are starting to be posted on Facebook.
I am in possession of the bouquet.
I did not so much catch the bouquet as I was thrust at the bouquet.
We all lined up, and jockeyed for positions in the back.
Chelsea threw it.
It landed five feet in front of us.
No one moved.
Someone shoved me forward...

...and so I picked it up.


But now I have a pretty memento of the wedding!

Sunday, August 11, 2013


I was blessed to be able to attend the wedding of some very dear friends from CMU Wesley yesterday. Tim and Chelsea Ellis are married!!
The timing of the wedding worked out well with the conference UEA sent me to, so I was Stateside at the right time. 
A great many sniffles of joy were had by all. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lake House

The Farnums (Farni?) have gathered at a gorgeous lake house on Swan Lake in New York - along with some of the Douglis-Bahler and VerNooy clans, family friends from way back when. (As in, two+ decades ago.)

Let the intense, never-ending board games begin!

We have managed to get many of us out on the lake as well - Charlie and Gregory even managed to sail!