I Believe in Karma

I’m in Phoenix; it’s a balmy 71 degrees outside at 11:30pm. The drive down here was spectacular, as usual, with millions of stars for me to gaze at while driving through the black mountains between Flag and here. It was a hasty decision to spend Easter with friends in West Valley; it took me all of fifteen minutes to pack and head out the door, leaving homework and textbooks piled high on the desk. They’ll be okay without me, but I still think about them, abandoned on my desk. We exhibit classic symptoms of an abusive relationship—we hate each other when we’re together, but we can’t muster up the strength to stay apart for long. Oh, well.

I received some more scholarships this week. This may be the first year that I have all my tuition and living expenses met with grants and scholarships. Tuesday I went to Finaid and applied to raise my ‘need level’ so I could utilize more money as it comes in. Many students are on full scholarships but I have to piecemeal it every year. Thanks to all the kind people out there who make extraordinary things possible for ordinary people.

This is my first year presenting at the Honors Symposium at the end of this month on an anthropology-related topic. Our anthro class took quite a hit, religion-wise, and we are now down to six students. It was listed as a hard-core evolution class and the professor made it clear on the first day that there was no room for religion in this class because science isn’t allowed in religion classes—or something like that. Nevertheless, classmates fell by the wayside throughout, offended by one issue or another; leaving us six brass monkeys—all that is left of the class—to fend for ourselves in the heady world of science and survival of the fittest. I consider this class an exercise in confronting bias head-on, because if anyone is biased against scientists it is me. I figure they can’t be all bad, but I’m never going to know for sure unless I listen to what they have to say. That’s my two-bits on anthro class.

David Orr from Oberlin College in Ohio was here to speak to the sustainability community here at NAU on Thursday. The auditorium was full of bandannaed heads, dog-hairy sweaters, sandals, water bottles, and friendly souls. I listened with interest to his lecture and went away inspired to recycle and be vegetarian and ride my bicycle everywhere I go. (Now here I am, in Phoenix, quite possibly the ecological armpit of the world.) One of my intentions is to not renew my parking permit next year in order to save the health of Jeremy and the planet by biking instead of driving. We’ll see how long that lasts…

Friday some of my Chinese friends took me out to a Chinese restaurant on the other side of town. These meals are always treats; they use the Chinese menu and we eat family-style, the table piled high with food that we barely make a dent in. Last night nearly everything came from the Szechuan part of the menu, which apparently means hot and spicy in Chinese. The fish soup was fish pieces in a broth made of red Chile seeds. Incredibly spicy and delicious. We also had spicy tofu, spicy pork, and spicy beef. And bowls and bowls of white rice and hot tea. A very good evening indeed.

And that’s long enough for a blog post.