"To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom....Since our office is with moments, let us husband them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, October 12, 2007

Pre-game thoughts...and a lot more

T-minus 20 minutes until game 1 of the ALCS. I'm sucking it up and planning on staying up tonight to watch the game. Granted, this is the farthest the Indians have made it in 10 years so I feel like sacrificing some sleep is worth it. The whole situation gives me a feeling of deja vu from this spring when the Cavs were in the NBA playoffs. They were viewed as the underdog a large way through the playoffs, but still managed to make it to the finals. Hopefully, the Indians can emulate that run.

Besides that point I have a lot of other thoughts to share. Part of the reason for this "outburst" is the fact that I'm half way done with my time in Denmark. Hard to imagine, but I only have 5-6 more weeks in Denmark itself. This is because starting Sunday for the next 3 weeks I'll be traveling around Europe on a mini, well I guess much more than a mini, vacation. I'll definitely be sharing my thoughts on my travels during and after the trip (all dependent on when I can get internet access), but I'll at least let you know where I'll be going. The first stop is back to my stomping grounds two summers ago as we spend a couple days in Berlin, Germany. After that I'll be heading further east to spend a couple days in Poznan, Poland. I'll be going to both of these cities with other DIS students from the Medical Practice & Policy program as part of our long study tour. Following a night back in Copenhagen I'll be back on the road with other DIS students heading to the Czech country side and Prague. Post Prague will involve a train ride to Budapest and a day spent there. Next will be a flight to Milan, immediately followed by a train to Genoa, where I'll be spending a couple days. I'll then move eastward to Florence and then to Siena for the next couple days. Finally, it will be wrapped up with a train to Milan and a flight back to Copenhagen. It's a crazy schedule and I couldn't be more excited!

Now on to my other random thoughts.

First, there was quite a stir amongst DIS students two or so weeks ago as former President Bill Clinton was in Copenhagen. Apparently he was giving a speech somewhere in the city, with tickets running close to 1000 DKK or about $200. However, he was also signing copies of his new book at bookstore right by the DIS center, which a fair number of people managed to get in line for. In fact, one of my friends from Carleton went to see him and they ended up in conversation about how great Carleton is (Clinton gave the commencement speech in 2000). I would never dream to meet a former or current US President in the states, but then when I go to study abroad in Denmark I find a President. What are the odds?

Indians update: 1-0 Tribe, heading into the bottom of the 1st.

On another political note, I have begun to notice my own increased interest in the current political climate back in the states, especially in regards to the potential presidential candidates. My only explanation for this is that the primary elections to be held in March will be my first foray into voting in a presidential election and I want to be informed when making a decision Just an interesting observation on my part.

Do you know that if it wasn't for polio you might have health insurance provided by the government? Let me explain. In Health Care in Scandinavia we just read a text discussing different kinds of welfare states. When he was explaining the social democrat model, which includes almost all of Scandinavia (Side tangent: interestingly enough, my professor highlighted that one of the main keys to the Danish welfare system is homogeneity -- of culture, race, ethnicity, and goals. Without it he doesn't imagine it could succeed. This is perhaps an indication that a welfare state could not work in the US.), he states that this was the path the United States was on under FDR's New Deal programs. I wonder what would have happened if his 4th term wasn't cut short by polio, maybe health insurance?

Indians update: 1-1, heading into the top of the 2nd.

I'm having quite the unique experience in my Impact of Epidemic Disease course. The main text that the course is based on, Plagues and Peoples (1998) by William H. McNeil, is consistently contradicted by my professor. It's just so odd to do the reading before class only to have the professor completely rip it to shreds in class the next day. An interesting dynamic to say the least.

After being in Denmark for 7 weeks now, I think I have finally found a couple things that I miss. Granted there have been a ton of things that I have had moments of longing for, but none of those longings have been consistent over my entire time here. The two exceptions relate directly with Carleton. The first is fall colors. I want nothing more than to be able to see a line of sugar maples completely golden, glimmering in the sun. I miss how beautiful Carleton is in the fall. The second thing I am missing is the stars in the Minnesotan sky. Typically, when walking back from the libe or from somewhere on campus I entertain myself by looking up in the sky at the stars shining down on me. I just cannot replicate these things in Denmark.

Finally, I had an interesting night tonight. Once a year almost all of the cultural locations in Copenhagen are open for a one time fee. It's called Copenhagen's Night of Culture. There are literally over 100 different locations that have various programs for the public to enjoy. My host family offered to take me, and I gladly accepted. We started off the evening with dinner at a cafe much like the community restaurant I described a few weeks ago. We then headed to our first cultural event which was taking a look at Black Diamond, which is the University of Copenhagen's newest branch of the Royal Library. It is an absolutely gorgeous building and it was cool to finally see. We then walked around the ground of the Parliament a little bit, which included a quick stop at the Danish Armament Museum. Then for the true experience of the night we drove over to the zoo! It was completely open, and completely dark. It was definitely a different way to experience the zoo, and while interesting, I'm not sure I'd recommend it. Animals sleeping is only so exciting. Regardless, it was still a great evening and a unique way to see Copenhagen, and especially appropriate as I'll be leaving this town (my 3rd/4th home) for the next 3 weeks.

Alright, C.C. doesn't have his stuff tonight -- again. He's throwing too hard and letting the playoffs get to him. It's so frustrating because I, and all the other Indians fans, know how good of a pitcher he can be if he just stays under control. Top of the 4th, Cleveland 1, Boston 5.

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