Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thank You Saint Nick!

Hello. My name is Justin and I am addicted to the internet. It has been 5 days since my last relapse and I'm ashamed to admit I've once again begun indulging in my addiction…

Let me start from the beginning. Last week was a 6 day work week for me with school being open on saturday to make up for not working next Monday which would be Christmas eve. I woke up that morning on saturday with that terrible news of the tragedy that occurred at the elementary school in New England and then had to go to school myself. If that already didn't make for the worst day ever I came home to find that my internet had died. It has done so before and I've had the same reaction every time…"NO! You can't do this to me! No! Please no!" or something along those lines. I could go on and on and describe the nonsense that went into getting it working again but I will simply say that it took 5 days and literally 5 telephone repairmen in my bedroom to finally get it back and during that time I had a lot of free time to reflect and realize just how reliant I am on the internet and just how a disruption to my life it can cause. Maybe not so much a real disruption but a perceived disruption, of all the urgent emails I was missing, all the friends in urgent need of my help or worried of my absence, and who knows the unspeakable things that could have happened in my family. But of course its just a trick of the mind to always dwell on the worst when the reality is unknown.

I am thankful in any case to have it back after thinking day after day that it would be fixed I was beginning to lose hope but luckily when I woke up and came to breakfast my host mother told me that she had had a dream and also that today is the feast day of old Saint Nick so the internet would definitely be back by today. Thank goodness for both. Now I'm starting to wonder if good old Santa Claus was kind enough to visit me today would he be back to visit me on Christmas? I guess we will have to wait and see.

Speaking of Christmas, a white Christmas is all but assured for me. The weather has been true to its winter nature and it has been nothing but cold and snowing for the last 2 weeks and because it has stayed below freezing (right now it is about 15 degrees) none of the snow has melted which just reinforces the feeling that I am living in Siberia. However, I accept the snow lovingly in acknowledgement that any change in the weather would bring me either a world of mud or a world of ice. Neither is something I look forward to so I'll accept the snow for as long as it likes to stay.

Monday, December 10, 2012

What Holiday?

It was about this time last year when I stopped posting to my blog for almost a month and I’m determined to not let that happen again this year. The reason being that as the days get shorter and colder everything kind of becomes depressing and dark and there really isn’t anything to do except running to and from school, which can become monotonous and so there isn’t much to write about. Along with that, aside from the cold weather and the Thanksgiving dinner that was filled with Christmas carols I am really having trouble thinking of it as Christmas season. It’s amazing the effect it can have on your way of thinking when you don’t see Christmas lights and decorations everywhere you go. Christmas has a way of easing you into winter and cold weather in a way that makes you feel more comfortable and happy about it. Unfortunately for me it feels like Christmas already passed and I missed it. I tried to bring in a little Christmas cheer by watching some Christmas movies and playing Christmas music. I even played the Jackson 5 Christmas collection while my 11th grade students took a test but to no avail. It seems to have the same effect as listening to Christmas music in July. You can feel the Christmas cheer while the music plays but it feels artificial and wears off quickly after the songs are over.

The main reason I care about holding onto to Christmas so badly is that for one it adds a level of familiarity to my daily life and also because I’ve always had a much higher tolerance for cold weather during the holiday season when almost all the movies and music has cold weather as a theme. In my way of thinking cold weather works almost as a Christmas decoration in how it makes Christmas feel more like Christmas when there is snow on the ground and you can see your breath as you go shopping. But if you take away Christmas, winter soon becomes the biggest hassle of the year. If I had my way Spring would start working its magic right after New Years, and the whole short cold days and long colder nights would quickly give way to beaches, barbeques, and driving with the windows down. (Couldn’t think of another appropriate ‘b’ word to continue the alliteration L.)

Well anyway, enough of that. I have two weeks of school left, one of lessons and one of semester tests, and then I’ll be coasting my way through winter vacation. It’s hard to believe I’m already approaching the halfway point to the school year. Won’t be long now before the school year is over and I’m left trying to throw two years of my Moldovan life into a suitcase to take back to America. But who am I kidding. That’s still a lifetime a way. Better to focus on the now. I’ve still got a lot of work ahead of me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Blog Housekeeping

Today is the first day of winter and it feels like spring outside. My host mother has taken this opportunity to do an early version of spring cleaning. Inspired by her I have decided to do a little spring cleaning of my own starting with my blog. The thing with managing websites or blogs is that once they are running I get in the bad habit of just letting them run and not doing any maintenance work until I have a list of things that I can't really avoid any longer.

Anyway, I have removed the view counter from my blog first of all because I found that it wasn't giving very accurate numbers first of all and second because I did't see why I needed to have it in the first place, numbers aren't important. Secondly, I have found that my twitter update gadget has stopped working which means that when I post something on twitter it will no longer be shown on my blog. Unfortunately, this is not an issue I can fix as the gadget itself is broken and there doesn't seem to be an alternative gadget I can use to take its place. Lastly, I added a translator gadget where my twitter gadget used to be in an effort of full disclosure. Having reviewed my visitor statistics I have found that quite a few people view my blog from places other then America, with the largest proportion being people in Moldova. Since I am writing about my experiences in Moldova I think it makes sense to make my blog accessible in Romanian or Russian so that anyone who is interested in reading what I have to say can do so. I don't write my blog in English as an effort to keep people from reading it but more because writing in English is simply easier.

Now it's time to get back to enjoying the beautiful weather!

(Sidenote: Google translates Wishful Thinking into Romanian as "Confusing Wishes with Reality." That almost makes me sound like a real writer.)