Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Quick Takes

- 1 -

To start with something awesome: this absolutely blew my mind. Like, totally and 100%. Apparently, specific sound frequencies create specific patterns of vibrations on flat surfaces. This particular kind of metal square is called a Chladni plate. I found this through another article that suggests that the odd stone carvings in an obscure little chapel in Roslin, Scotland are actually musical notes, with the carvings corresponding to specific Chladni patterns, despite the fact that Chladni didn't "discover" them until about 300 years later. Read the article here (it's long, but worth the read).

But even if you don't pay attention to anything else in this post, watch this video and tell me you weren't knocked off your chair by its awesomeness:

- 2 -

I've been frantically working on submitting my visa application so I can do a one-year certificate in advanced Reformation studies at the University of Geneva this fall. I got my acceptance letters, one last week and one this week, before finding out from the Swiss Consulate in Montreal that apparently I was supposed to start applying for the visa at the same time I applied to the school; that is, before I was even accepted, because the process takes four months (bringing me up to the week I'm supposed to arrive in Geneva and register for classes) and I was somehow supposed to know that I should just get the application started and send along the supporting documents as they came in, despite the fact that it clearly states on the application that school acceptance letters, among other things, are required to apply, and that incomplete applications will not be considered. Argh! But, it is still an easier and cheaper process than what I had to go through with Canada (multiple times). The two major hiccups are that, 1) I have to just cross my fingers and hope it comes through in time, and 2) I somehow have to give them "proof" that I have access to 30,000 Swiss francs to support me during my stay. This is approximately $33,500, and more than twice what I was budgeting for myself. So I've been scrounging around and trying to convince my bank that they should let me open a $35,000 line of credit even though I have no intention of touching it but I just need to print off a paper showing I have access to it. Guuuuuhhhhh I hate money.

- 3 -

On a completely unrelated note, I discovered the Bad Catholic blog this week. It is so awesome that it is making onto my weekly list of noteworthy things. So y'all should run, not walk, over to this kid's blog. Yes, "kid". Try to guess how old he is just from reading his posts.

- 4 -

Today it finally decided to be warm. Like, I was hot being outside in a tshirt and jeans. It was up to 22 degrees Celsius (about 72 degrees Fahrenheit). Finally! I don't have to wear a coat! It's supposed to go back down to about 13 tomorrow, but back up again on Sunday. Woohoo! Dare I believe that spring might actually be coming ...?

- 5 -

Mom is currently on her flight back to Boston after 2 fun-filled and rambunctious weeks in Greece. She should be somewhere along the west side of Greenland right now, I would imagine. She'll be back on the Island Tuesday. It will be nice to have her home again after a whole month of being away, since for the first half of May she was house-sitting for a friend of ours down at the shore. It will also be really nice to have the second car available again. =)

- 6 -

Speaking of which, (sorta) I'm going to learn how to milk cows and try to find work as a relief milker this summer. It pays better than any other job I've applied for on this Island except for two: a government post which I'll never get, and a secretarial position at the University which I'm very sure I won't get. But I figure, if I'm here for the summer, first of all, I really need something to keep me busy. I have an inability to sit still, or to make my brain sit still, so if I'm going to be running around doing stuff I should at least be doing learning something new and be getting paid for it. But also, I figure, if I'm going to be in PEI, specifically, for the summer, I should really do something that I could only do here. And folks, milking cows twice a day is certainly not something I could ever do in Montreal or Lowell, MA. I'm pretty excited about it, actually. More excited than the prospect of moving to Geneva for a year, in fact. Probably (hopefully!) because it's a more immediate event, and also it doesn't involve applying for visas and trying to find a not-too-expensive apartment in a country a half a whole away which I've never been to.

- 7 -

I can see leaves on the trees. I know this is very related to #4, but let me tell you, after an extraordinarily long winter and delayed spring, I can not even express how awesome it is to see leaves again. Like, legit green ones attached to tree branches. I just noticed them a day or two ago. Everything looks so different and wonderful when the trees and bushes have leaves on them. The end.

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