Friday, February 24, 2012

Have a lovely weekend!

Hi guys,
I'm sorry I've been so late on posting lately.  I've just had a ton of work - the life of a Reed student, I guess!  The best part, though, is that it's work I really want to do - I find myself excited to do my humanities and French reading, and I always look forward to the Bach homework.
I also find myself taking more risks this semester - while last semester I spent most of my time on campus and just hanging out with my friends on weekends, this semester I make an effort to actually do things.  I go to most of the concerts on campus every Friday or so, and this weekend I plan on seeing Giselle with friends.
What are you up to?
(blurry photo from Commons by me)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Developmental Biology

If you've been reading this for a while, you've probably picked up that I'm not exactly a scientist.  I write about books I love, about music and family and travel.
However, today was the last lecture of my developmental biology module at Reed, and I would just like to talk about my lecturer for a second.
Professor Steve Black is retiring this year, and he made biology fascinating for me.  He taught me about how masterful genes aren't always masterful, about the difference between radial and spiral cleavage, about how pharmaceutical companies are out to make money and not really to help you.  I learned that the surrealists were fascinated by sea urchins and about mosaic development.  He explained meiosis in the most simple and clear manner so that I finally understood what was going on.
I learned a lot of biology in the past so many weeks, but I've also learned to love biology.  I never thought I was going to enjoy looking at sea urchin eggs under a microscope - I was honestly just taking bio to get my huge science requirement out of the way - but somehow I do enjoy it.
Today Steve came in wearing a tie-dyed blazer and ended the lecture rapping about everything we'd learned.  I love my school.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


It is cold and grey in Portland today, like so many days, but beautiful, and I have a vase of flowers from a secret admirer to brighten the afternoon!
What have you been up to this Valentine's Day?  Every so often, in the middle of developmental biology or Aristotle or my absolutely incredible JS Bach class, I'll remember that I was in Paris this time last year.  It's hard to believe, and I still miss it all the time - coffee in the Pacific Northwest, while incredible, isn't the same as an espresso on my balcony at Place Denfert-Rochereau.
I'm also still getting over my illness, so thank you so so much for being patient with the barely-there posting!  I'll get better and post more often, I promise!
(the photo is of a bridge in Hampstead Heath, from the BBC)

Monday, February 13, 2012


Hello blog readers!
I'm sorry I've not been around - I've got tons of work and on top of that, I'm sick with something...
But in other news, have you seen these stamps?!  Is it impractical to send for British stamps to Portland?  Probably....

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Friday

Hello, blog readers, happy Friday!
I'm a bit sick today, but I'm still looking forward to the weekend.  This afternoon I'm going to a talk on Stravinsky, and tomorrow I'm going to the Oregon symphony!  I'm super excited - they're performing Beethoven's fourth, one of my favourites.  The rest of the weekend will probably be work and (maybe) a little Superbowl-watching - I have to support the Pats, after all!
 (photo of lost tourists in Paris by me)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


One year ago today, I moved to Paris.  I got on a plane in Boston by myself, waltzed through Heathrow the next morning, and ended up at Charles de Gaulle, and, from there, to my lovely flat at Denfert-Rochereau.
The first couple days in Paris were scary - all on my own, with the wrong kind of visa and a sun that didn't come out until eight-thirty, an iffy-at-best grasp on the language.  But I loved it - I loved the bare branches of the square-cut trees in the Jardin du Luxembourg and my quiet cafés and walks down the river - especially in February and March, when the tourists hadn't yet arrived in droves, where some streets were still my streets and didn't belong to the millions of other people making Paris theirs.
Some streets still are my streets - Rue Daguerre with Thévenin's buttery croissants, or Rue de Sevres or Boulevard Raspail - those will always be mine.  And I know the code to get into a complex with a courtyard and gardens and a beautiful room with a piano that I visited to hear jazz concerts.  I know the code to get into the ancient building where I lived the last month of my Paris experience in the third, and I know the cool dark stairwell of the Denfert-Rochereau flat.
I miss Paris, but it will always be mine, and I'll come back to it soon.  That's a promise.
(rooftops from my window, by me)