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Colds & Christmas Crackers

I woke up in Wales on Monday morning, looked out the window, and went back to sleep. Here’s the thing about working in a school library: whenever a new super-strain of bacteria or virus emerges after circling happily through the kindergartners, it’s only a matter of time. Every teacher around you can be hacking and coughing and sneezing and sniffling, but you always think to yourself, “I’ll be okay. I wash my hands. I have a giant bottle of hand sanitizer that lives on my desk. If I see a child sneeze on a book, I wipe that book down with germ-killing alcohol. And then spray it with pure ozone. While wearing a biohazard suit. Besides, I have excellent immunity from constant exposure to these things. I eat about ten clementines a day.”

Well, readers, there comes a point when even the best precautions can no longer protect you from five to ten different versions of the common cold all vying, like tiny gladiators, to battle against your immune system in the grand stadium of your body. One of them is bound to get in.… Read More

Morocco, Week Fourteen

Week fourteen began with Austrians and ended with Germans. I had two delightful Austrian house guests, Sabine and Hans-Peter, who kept me entertained on Monday and Tuesday. Both of them had quit their jobs, bought motorcycles, and embarked on an around-the-world journey. (They took crash courses in motorcycle repair before leaving.)

Next up: traveling down the western coast of Africa. Their trip ends, I suppose, when they get tired of traveling and move on to the next thing in their lives. We ate delectable Moroccan food, played with Loki, and had a long, fascinating conversation about the attitude toward the film The Sound of Music in Austria and why most Austrians have never seen it.… Read More

Morocco, Week Five

It’s hard to believe I’ve been here over a month already. Sometimes I feel like I just arrived, and other times I feel as if I’ve been here for years. A strange feeling, like making a new friend who becomes close so quickly that you forget there was ever a time when you didn’t know each other.

My workweek was action-packed, and by “action-packed” I mean “hours in front of the computer preparing a pretty exciting edtech project”. More on that soon. I mostly remembered to eat food: I made harira again, ate liver by accident for the second time, and probably devoured my weight in homemade Moroccan treats.… Read More

San Francisco 2011, Day Seven

A weekend road trip took us north up the coast to Bodega Bay, where we hoped to spy some Hitchcock-esque scenes. Ironically, Bodega Bay was relatively bird-free and we had a hard time even finding a flock of birds larger than two. Not much going on in a town that I expected to be teeming with avian-themed attractions. We even attempted to find the schoolhouse from the film. Well, we found a schoolhouse circled it twice, couldn’t decide if it was the right one, and eventually left disappointed. Bodega Bay did have some redeeming characteristics, however; some beautiful piers, a couple of lone egrets, and picturesque rows of houses along the bay.… Read More