07 April 2014


It’s an incredibly beautiful day outside (especially for a Monday!), so I decided to take my computer outside to sit on the benches between my residence hall (Akin Hall), and the Manor House and soak up some sunshine while I write this. There are butter-yellow daffodils and green grass, and a light breeze, and the tree across the walkway has recently exploded into bright white blooms of soft flowers, and I can hear the bustle of people heading to and fro behind me on their way to class or to the library. I’m even drinking a soy chai that I picked up at the Dovecote (an on-campus coffee shop) on my way back from class, and it’s delicious. It was my reward to myself for having the courage to do something I usually hate doing – giving an oral presentation. I had to talk for fifteen minutes about the research I’ve been doing for my Exploration and Discovery class. As I told you in my earlier posts, my research is on ancient Mesopotamian astronomy.

My roommate just walked by and plucked a ladybug off my hair. Thanks, Sully.

Anyway, my research, as I was saying, is about Mesopotamian astronomy and how it related to the formation of the first cities, especially with their economic system of redistribution. This is my second independent research project that I’ve done – the first was on a YouTube subculture for my anthropology class last term. It’s been a great opportunity to have help from my professors in pursuing whatever I want to learn more about. And my presentation actually went really well. I need to remember that no matter how nervous I get to speak in front of a crowd (albeit a crowd of 10 or 11 – my class is really small), it always works out fine and is a lot easier than I think it’s going to be.

I finished reading Pale Fire last week, but we’re still talking about it. I would highly, highly recommend it. Seriously. Go read it. Or come here, take a class with Lyell Asher, and read it with him. That’s even better.

Just stuck my ear buds in, and now I’m listening to Astronaut by Amanda Palmer.

I had a good first weekend back from break. On Saturday, my friend Dida and I went to a theatre workshop held on-campus by a woman visiting from New York. She’s a director and has had a lot of experience doing theatre in East Africa – particularly in Rwanda (post-genocide) and Uganda. Dida knew her already because they worked in Rwanda where Dida is originally from. I was just at the workshop to write an article about it for the Pioneer Log, but I ended up staying the whole time and participating in the acting activities. I got to meet a few community members and talk about crossing personal and cultural boundaries. We even created a little song-and-dance routine! After that, I was picked up by my friends from BuildOn, Katherine and Allie, and we went downtown to ask for donations from stores for a dress drive we’re holding to raise money for the construction of a school in Haiti. We didn’t get any dresses, but we did go food-carting! I had an asada burrito and some horchata, and they had dessert crepes: pear and chocolate for Allie, and peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon for Katherine. Delicious, and not too expensive!

Well, I’m actually getting a little too warm in this sunshine, so I’m going to wrap this entry up and head back inside. Any questions? Email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu.