Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What I like about my Greek class

A big part of the appeal of this course for me is that I'm now taking it as a linguist whereas before, in 1997, I was taking it one who randomly acquires information. Before, I was memorizing paradigms because that's what I was supposed to do. Now, I'm wondering where the paradigms came from. Like, there are a gazillion verb endings and permutations of those endings. There are 3 types of accents. And we just have to know them from memory and regurgitate them on demand. And when a student asks why Greek words are constructed the way they are, the answer is a smile and a shrug. My mind is spinning, trying to see the rhyme and reason. I want to write rules for everything.

One student brought up the modern day pronunciation of the Greek theta, which doesn't sound like the th in the. Modern Greek pronounces theta as an aspirated t. He was wondering why we learn it as th, what the precedent is for that. Got me curious. I did some digging. Get you curious? My first response to his question was to draw up a phoneme chart, seeing how nicely the theta fits in the fricative row with the phi and chi as taught in our class. But the modern pronunciation of aspirated p for phi and k for chi would make just as symmetrical a chart. Hmm. What's up with all this? This student, the Ryan who helped me move in the day I arrived, has a Mounce book he's going to show me that explains the phonology of Greek in a way that will purportedly eliminate most of the memorization.

And phonetics is helping bunches. It's kind of frustrating to see other students transliterating with English spellings and then reading back what they wrote with a different pronunciation which is allowed by the English orthographic rendering. A prime example is the rendering of chi as the English ch in transliteration. But instead of flowing out as the ch in chemical (or Christ, for that matter), it usually comes out as the ch in cheese. Whereas I just wrote the IPA version next to the Greek letters. I'd love to teach everyone IPA but there'd be no point at this point. It would be counterproductive, eh? "Hey ... here's a brand new alphabet that you can learn to help you learn this other brand new alphabet."

Have another quiz tomorrow: 22 new words and 3 paradigms. Am just about ready.

And earthlink email sending is back on line. Yay!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Greek begins

Greek is cool. Alot of this stuff is coming back to me quickly from the Greek correspondence course that I took in '99 but I'm enjoying this interactive setting more than I did my prior solo efforts.

Will elaborate later ... I'm off to an impromptu study group as we will have quizzes every day. That includes tomorrow. Will I ever take a course again where everything isn't due tomorrow?

Email woes

I went to send emails after finally getting online, now that I'm settled in SC, but couldn't send them from Outlook. Here's my chat transcript from an online help session with Earthlink:

Welcome to Earthlink LiveChat. Your chat session will begin shortly.
'Stephen M' says: Thank you for contacting EarthLink LiveChat, how may I help you today?
eshinee@earthlink.net: I can receive email in Outlook but cannot send.
eshinee@earthlink.net: I changed the send address to smtpauth.earthlink.net and did the other steps recommended on the support site but it didn't help.
Stephen M: It is a known issue and our engineers are working on it. It will be resolved as soon as possible.
Stephen M: I apologize for any inconvenience caused to you in this regard.
eshinee@earthlink.net: What do I do in the meantime? Does this mean I can't use OUtlook anymore?
Stephen M: You can use it as soon as the server is up.eshinee@earthlink.net: Do you have an estimated time on that?
Stephen M: Unfortunately, I do not have an estimated time when the problem will be resolved.
Stephen M: It will resolved as soon as possible.
eshinee@earthlink.net: OK. Is there any way I could get a notification when it's fixed?
Stephen M: I am sorry we cannot send a notification.
Stephen M: You can try after some time.
eshinee@earthlink.net: OK. Thanks. Bye.
Stephen M: Is there anything else I may assist you with today?
eshinee@earthlink.net: Naw ... that's it.
Stephen M: You're welcome and thank you for using EarthLink LiveChat. Should you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us again.

Online help is a nifty idea. I just prefer it when the end result is me being helped, which is more often than not the case.

So, for those who may be emailing me: I'm getting your emails and I'm responding but my responses aren't getting sent because of a technical issue. Sigh.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

First day

Got a bit more settled in. There's an ELCA across the way and a bunch of us went there for Sunday morning service. Ate at Church's chicken for lunch. Got groceries with Cindy later in the afternoon. I'm doing OK with the city driving thing.

Chapel was at 6PM and there was an ice cream social afterwards. I stuck around for a bit, played pool in the Student Union Building with Archie (an older gentleman who works on campus) for an hour before returning to the dorm to make some calls and settle down for the night. Classes in the morning!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The dreaded move

Drove from Lynchburg, VA to Waxhaw, NC in about 5 hours, getting in around 3:30PM. I was going to stop in at Crossroads on the way through but I had heard rumors that thunderstorms were coming and I wanted to be sure to get the car all packed up before the rain hit. As it was, I was on the road to Columbia, SC about a 1/2 hour before the rain started coming down. Nice drive all the way; felt like I was practically the only car on the road. Listened to Tom Petty all the way to Columbia.

Rain was pecking when I arrived at LTSS. I had to trek all over campus to find an accessible bathroom and the security guard but I got my room key in the end. Some nice fellow Greek students helped me unpack the car and get everything in my room. Met Cindy, Ryan 1, Craig and John.

Called Rob to let him know I arrived. Realized that I had eaten nothing but rice cakes, granola bars and protein drinks all day ... nothing I could do about that. Zoned a bit as my back was hurting and I felt a little spacy.

Lindsay, fellow dormer, invited me upstairs to watch a movie with "the Boys"; Ryan 2, Seth, Craig and Jason. Twas good to hang out and relax with a fast-paced movie and a chilly Newcastle. Ah, the joys of the Lutheran seminary.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Where in the world is ...

I'm in Lynchburg, VA with Kate's family. Arrived Sunday evening. The drive went swimmingly. I got lost twice but gut-navigated my way back to the proper freeway the first time and made strategic cell-phone calls the second time. Thank God! I felt very peaceful about the drive while making it, despite the intermittent bouts of pouring rain.

I'm trying to nail down various arrangements this week. Got to buy my textbooks long-distance for my Greek course that starts on Monday and have them put somewhere that I can get them on the weekend. Spent a while on the phone with the INS regarding where my application is now (more on that later). Need to know where my class will be and what time it will start. Making sure I have enough kicking around in the right accounts to cover tuition when it comes due next week.

Very good to see Kate (and the wee folk) again. It is as if we had never parted. And it's good to be able to call Rob again.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Namibia map

namibia map, originally uploaded by vodkamax.

As a point of reference, for when we really start talking future stuff.


And I fly back to the US tomorrow. My flight leaves Fredericton early, about 6AM, and I get into Charlotte, NC around 10:30AM. From Waxhaw, NC, I'll be driving to Lynchburg, VA for my last week before school. It's roughly a 7 hour drive; my first major road trip solo. Actually, now that I think about it, it's the first time I've driven anywhere for longer than an hour and a half solo. I would appreciate all and any prayers for this one. The route was planned on Streets & Trips before we packed up the computer for the move so I have a rough mini map and a turn by turn guide that I'll stick to the dashboard. I may memorize the turns, a la Dora the Explorer. "85E ... 62N ... highest hill! 85E ... 62N ... highest hill!"

Nothing but blue sky

As long as Hope and Rob were letting me crash here while I waited for school to start, I figured I might as well make myself useful. Mom painted one side of the attic sky blue while she was here last month. We finished the job this week and I added clouds on Thursday.

Sky and clouds

Sky wall and ceiling

Sky wall with canopy bed

Sky wall detail

We're planning on adding a tree to the center pillar today.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Eye exam

Mom sent me birthday money in a card delivered by my brother Josh when he returned to NB on Sunday. It was Canadian so I was trying to think of what to do with it without having to exchange it and pay fees. Then I remembered that I needed new contact lenses and an eye exam. I wondered how different the price could be here. So, I called. I was pleasantly surprised. A contact lens eye exam that would cost me $150 US funds in North Carolina was going to be just $90 Canadian funds here! Sweet! I went for it. Thankfully, my eyes haven't changed prescription since I discovered a trick to avoid "eye appointment stress strain" and I don't have to get new glasses. I went glasses shopping anyway, just to see what's out there. Found a fabulous Roots frame but it would have cost me over $300 with the lenses and, hey, if I don't need new glasses, why fling money about needlessly? I think I need to pick up a spare pair for when I go overseas but I can always do that later, in the US.

Am trying out a new lens cleaning solution called Clear Care; peroxide based with a funky neutralizing disc built into the case. I'm trying out some Proclear lenses too.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

First speaking thing

After a couple of days of mulling over potential speaking material, Hope got Erika and Priscilla to come over Saturday night and I bounced things off of them. They nixed some stuff, got excited about other stuff. I felt somewhat ready.

We went to St. Matthew's in Fredericton for the 11AM service. What a supportive bunch! They expressed much interest in LBT and the things Rob and I are headed for. I had a 5-minute slot right after the sermon. I felt a little halty partway through and my mind went blank but my opening story came out well. The best part was when Bruce, the presiding minister, followed up my talk with one of his own, giving more info on LBT and Bible translation statistics. It was great to hear what impacts him about LBT and world need for Bible translation. I could sense people responding around me. I told him afterward that I liked what he had to say ... and that I was going to use his material. :) He said that I was welcome to it.

After the service, I chatted with people in the foyer. Left all my brochures there.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Toni and Liam

Toni and Liam, originally uploaded by eshinee.

Toni with red ball

Toni with red ball, originally uploaded by eshinee.


Toni, originally uploaded by eshinee.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

To Fredericton

Turned on the alarm function on the cellphone, to make sure I was up by 6AM to make it on time for my 8AM flight the next day. Woke at 4:30AM with the urge to check out the cellphone. The battery was dead. As in, had I not checked the phone and subsequently plugged it in, I would not have been wakened by said phone in time to get ready to go to the airport. Steve would have gotten me up, though. He says his eyes just popped open at 5:58. Mine did too. Guess there was just no missing that flight.

Flight checked in, arrived no problem. My niece Toni is getting cuter every time I see her. She greets me when I arrive with a sparkling "Hi!" That's her word. She didn't have any words when I saw her last. Liam looks like Toni did when she was a little booger. He's quiet, sleeps much. Met Hope's husband Rob's brother and sister-in-law and niece and nephew as well.

Has been a full day. Emailed Rob this evening, hoping everything is well with him in Fort Worth. He would have gotten in yesterday evening.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

To Toronto

We went to the airport together and I caught my flight to Toronto. Rob's flight was for later in the afternoon.

Got in around 1PM. Spent the afternoon with Dee, my cousin Steve's fiancee, and the rest of the evening with both of them.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Last day

Today was the defrag day, our last day together before going our separate ways for the summer. So, we went to Crossroads for espresso drinks and returned to the JAARS center for lunch at the cafeteria. We finally went to the Alphabet Museum on campus before booking it to the theater in Matthews to see National Treasure. Dinner at Fuddruckers (mondo cheeseburgers) and back to the pristine apartment for an earliesque night.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Happy Birthday to me!

Yes, 31. That's me.

Everything was brought to the warehouse that was getting shipped to Idaho. The cleaning happened. The car got loaded and unloaded at the Navratils. There were plenty of gaps in the rain to get the job done ... yippee! Thanks for your prayers; thanks be to God.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


OK, we have most of the boxes filled and we were going to do a test pack of the car, make sure I hadn't planned to bring too much to Columbia. We were also going to bring the first round of boxes to the warehouse for shipping. But it's raining. Yuk. I think we may have to just complete all packing and adjust what goes where on the fly tomorrow morning.

The alternative is getting a team of stalwart reverse-Elijahs. Pray to pause or delay the rain, just for 2 days. Even a few hours here and there might give us the break we need.

Ah ... the best laid plans of mice.

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