Saturday, September 12, 2009

Back to the Market

So a lot has happened since my last post. For one, I have two new brothers from other mothers. Jorge, from Mexico, is second from the left in the picture, and Kensuke, from Japan is on the far right. They've been great additions to the family...even though I now have to sleep in the camper when I come home to visit. Regardless, I miss them and the rest of my family very much now that I'm back at school.

I spent a week back home between moving from Iowa and moving back to the dorms, and the Friday after I got to Marinette, I enjoyed my second fair of the summer. This time it was the U.P. State Fair, which I haven't missed once since I can remember. This year the newly-arrived foreign exchange students came with us, and a great time was had by all petting farm animals, eating fried food, and checking out exhibits. Below are some picture highlights:

Yes. They judge hay. I have no idea what the criteria can be for such a competition, but obviously someone figured it out. And yes, they apparently smoke suckers in Upper Michigan. Now, I am not a picky eater, but I don't think any amount of money could convince me to pop one of those babies in my mouth. This is probably wrong of me, but for some reason I feel canning should be limited to things that have the ability to undergo photosynthesis.

The following week I moved into my dorm...a much easier task this year than last, mainly because I had approximately 500 pounds less of kitchen equipment with me this year. Seriously, this is what my dorm room looked like last year:

Yep. That's an ice cream maker on the top shelf. And seven varieties of flour on the bottom pantry shelf. And a food processor. And two full sets of pans. And four stock pots in various sizes.

My first week of classes went well. I'm taking Old English, Literature & Ecology, Spanish, an anthropology class called the Culture of Language, and Chemistry. That's a lot of English for a Biology major, I know. And the more observant of you may notice that my course list contains no Biology classes. What can I say? I'm trying to take the holistic approach (my anthropology instructor would be so proud) to learning. And I am doing a 3-day, 1-credit Mushroom Identification workshop, so I guess I did manage to squeeze some Bio in this semester.

Anyway, after three whole days of classes and five whole days away from my family, I had the opportunity to return to Marinette for the weekend. Laura was home, and I hadn't seen her in about two weeks (which is a lot after having lived with her for the whole summer), so I was very excited to be back. Saturday my Mom, Laura, and I visited an art gallery/farm (only in the Midwest) that reminded me a lot of Miss Effie's. Of course, there's no replacement, and the day really made me miss my adoptive parents! I would have more pictures, but my camera batteries ran out. Fortunately this happened after I snapped a picture of this cool rooster sculpture:

And I walked the mile or so downtown to my first farmers market in almost a month! I was having serious withdrawals. The Stevens Point Farmers Market is nowhere near as big as the Freighthouse, but it is quaint and adorable and small-town and just what I needed after a week of rigorous studying. And I ran into an old family friend who also happens to go to UWSP. Only good things come from visiting your local farmers market, people. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I haven't gotten around to buying more batteries for the camera yet. No worries, though...I'm planning on going every weekend I can until the market closes for winter, so I promise I'll take pictures!

I'm going to leave you with a quote out of one of the books I have to read for Literature & Ecology (Bill McKibben's Deep Economy). Actually, McKibben is quoting from economist Kenneth Boulding. Anyway, I'm a sucker for doggerel, especially of the environmentally-conscious kind, so here goes:

"One priniciple that is an ecological upsetter
Is that if anything is good, more is better,
And this misunderstanding sets us very, very wrong
For no relation in the world is linear for long."

I know, it's pretty lame. But it probably made you think, too.


  1. That picture of your stuff from last year made me laugh out loud.

  2. Haha roommate's face was priceless when she saw my newly-arrived foreign exchange student collapse after carrying a set of cast-iron skillets up four flights of stairs...

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