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Three classes down, one to go! And it's not for like two days! Rock!

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In other news I think that as much as I'd like to grow my hair out again and be able to do it in braids and such, I need a haircut. It's just too much work to deal with this, in the cold and the wind, with it getting all staticky when I put my hood up, and it's just no.

Now the question is, how short do I go? DECISIONS, DECISIONS.

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No more Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr until finals are done.

So, you know. Expect a sudden influx of LiveJournaling from yours truly.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get dressed and go bail a Spanish quiz.

I feel a bit nauseous. Not about the quiz, but it doesn't bode well.
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political viewpoint as fact

I’m reading the Vietnam page on the U.S. State Department website right now for a class project. It is a starting point for info on Vietnamese history, much like Wikipedia - except that the State Dept has more credibility and no links to outside sources.

Information about the country is presented as just that: information. Fact. Truth.

But I’ve noticed some subtle and a few not-so-subtle statements, word choices, and phrases that are, I believe, more political than factual. I don’t mean political as in conservative/liberal, Democratic/Republican (although I get that feeling a bit), but in a larger, geopolitical sense. It is pro-capitalism, pro-Westernization, pro-globalization.

I hadn’t planned on only reading this site, partly because it is not very detailed and it lacks any discussion of women’s issues, which is vital for this project. (It’s for Global Women’s Health and Human Rights.) But for those who would - those who accept the word of the government without a critical eye or without at least looking at other sources - I wonder how this would affect their overall view of Vietnam and of Vietnam-U.S. relations.

(x-posted to Tumblr)
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How can I be expecting to succeed at NaNoWriMo this year when this is only the third time this month I've updated my LJ?

Whatever. Here we go. :D
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Hey, everyone! So, I went home for the weekend two weeks ago for a family reunion, and then TRAINING happened, so that whole wfmad thing I was doing? Yeah, not so much. HOWEVER.

I have decided to reread the whole of the Harry Potter series right through - I'm already three chapters into Chamber of Secrets, and I just started last night! In celebration or something of that, I've decided to post another one of my fanfics. This one is different. It edges into the territory of rpf (real person fic, for those of you not in the know), but it's not creepy or anything.

I started this story back in creative writing class my senior year of college. I don't know if I ever finished it for that class. If I did, the ending has been lost forever; however, I finished it earlier this summer, and here it is!

Title: When Harry Met Jo, or, An explanation for the epilogue
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: PG, for a naughty word or two

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For today's wfmad post, Laurie included a Summer Moment of Zen video: six and a half minutes of nature in the forest where she lives. It's lovely. Most of it is a stream, water bubbling over the edges of rock and under a fallen tree. I want to go exploring there now. I want to walk into the water, barefoot, and splash water on my arms, feel the smoothness of the rock under my feet.

It's not so different from the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

I remember once my LiveJournal friend polvodestrella, Laura, posted pictures (as she often does) of places she has visited in Spain. This was maybe two years ago. Anyway, I commented something about wishing I could live someplace that had such beautiful scenery, and how boring things are here in the Midwest. She responded that she would love to come explore here. It got me thinking...

I take for granted this place where I live. I don't think so much about the beautiful things I've seen here in my own state. It made me start appreciating what's here more. I mean, I would still love to go exploring in Spain, or anywhere else in the world, really, but I love Wisconsin, too. There's plenty of beauty here.

I've seen the sunset over Lake Mendota. I've walked through nearly pitch black woods on the way to picnic point and laughed with friends around a totally illegal fire built on the edge of the lake. I've stood in areas of forest, huge tracts of land, with no other humans around than my family or friends. I've watched a storm over a lake up North, seeing the grays and blues of the sky, suddenly whitening with a slash of lightning, watching the clouds moving so fast over the choppy water.

I've waded into Lake Michigan and practically lost feeling in my feet standing there looking out across the water, the other shore so distant, I understand why some early explorers thought they had found the Pacific Ocean in the Great Lakes. I've scrambled up hills of red dust, staining my whole body and marveling at the softness. I have walked the Ice Age Trail, finding old remnants of railroads, stumbling into marshes and sudden water that I definitely didn't see coming.

I've canoed down the Fox River with my parents, the water so clear and low you can see every little stone and fish below. We've found secret little fields and literally cooled our heels in the river, while the hot summer sun beat down us, with no breeze to break the heat. I've watched the snow falling down, changing every little bit of scenery around me, making mountains (to my five-year-old eyes) where there were never any before. I've watched heavy storms turn half the sky black and bend trees practically to the ground.

I have kayaked around a forty-foot-deep lake, the water looking almost blacker than oil (which makes sense, really, since oil has a rainbow sheen). I've explored a little island with my friend, seeing the marks where floods have been before. I've walked on sandbars in the Wisconsin River, when the water is so low during a dry spell, seeing plants and rocks that are usually under ten feet of water.

One night when it was storming, the power went out on my side of town, and I watched out my bedroom window, while I was supposed to be sleeping, as lightning backlit, for just a moment, the steeple of my church. It was awesome.

What else? I've watched the rain pouring down and bouncing off the cars parked along the road. I've ridden a slow, old horse through the woods. I've seen the beginnings of mass flooding in south central Wisconsin as I drove home along an interstate that would soon by covered under feet of water for weeks.

I remember riding the Ducks through the woods and lakes and rivers around Lake Delton, and while the tour guides blathered on about whatever for the tourists, my dad tells me about sneaking down to that bridge, there, to go fishing with his brother. I've walked to the other side of Lake Monona, literally getting a new perspective on my new city, and feeling proud of how far I've walked without getting tired.

And I haven't even mentioned the Baraboo Bluffs, or Durwards Glen, or Devil's Lake, or Upham Woods. And all of this is so near to my hometown!

So, yes. I live in a beautiful state. It's not any better or worse than Spain, just very different. I'll sign off for now, before I get too wanderlusty.

Peace and love,