Temporary Thing

Another week is winding down class-wise, with my work week of Friday afternoon and Saturday just around the corner. Thursday night I went downtown, bought a falafel pita, and listened to live music in the square. There’s usually a band playing there every evening given the pleasant weather we’ve been having. I had to forget studying to avoid insanity. Yesterday I did my first math test without studying; I expect a score below 50%. This shall not happen again. And that is why I had to get my mind off of homework. After returning from my mini-vacation I was able to finish economics and accounting homework in good time and frame of mind.

My petition for in-state tuition was finally accepted. In doing so, they withdrew an $8,000 university grant for this term, but I still save a few thousand dollars a semester. I suspect this may be a way for the university to garner state funding as budgets are tight right now.

I’m hiking Humphrey’s peak Saturday with some Phoenix people. I worked long and hard Friday afternoon and got everything done so I could take Saturday off. This weekend is also Route 66 weekend in Flagstaff and hundreds of classic cars are ascending up to this town in the high desert. I took Davis out for dinner tonight then we went to the square and hung out for a few hours in the town square. These laid back weekend nights are what I really love most about Flagstaff. Everybody turns out and eats pesto pizza and pitas in the town square with good music and movies in perfect weather. The movie tonight was Cars; very appropriate for the setting here on a Rt. 66 weekend. Davis comes from a city of 12 million in China—this small town camaraderie is a new thing to him as it is to me. This town is pretty isolated from cities and popular American culture, but I’m beginning to like the idea more as time goes by.

The subject of social capital is a fascinating one to me. Knowing what little I do of Chinese society, and combining that with concepts put forth in economics class about the development of industrial countries helps me see in part the importance of trust and protocol in our daily lives. I can’t define exactly what I mean by social capital except that it is that which ‘good’ citizens do at small cost to personal productivity to promote the greater good of a community. When developing countries, and people, take all they can get all the time things do not go well, contrary to logical reasoning. A common Flagstaff bumper sticker states, “Everybody Be Nice.” That’s the American way, if only I wasn’t so prejudiced against the social and ethical standards of other cultures. That would be nice.

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