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Archive for the ‘Overseas Adjustments’ Category


Linds loves herself some dairy. Needless to say, she had a bit of a hay day during her time in France for that very reason.

I, however, am what scientists refer to as a “lactard.”

This makes life difficult for my counterpart from time to time. She gets to buy less milk and cheese than she’d like to–there’s no one to help her finish it before it goes bad–and in a country with great milk and cheese, even I can see the tragedy.

So every once in a while I encourage her to splurge when she gets a dairy craving. Such was the case today. We were in Carrefort-Express, the only grocery store in Leuven open on Sunday (post forthcoming), when Linds spotted one of her true lactose loves–fresh milk.

For those who don’t know what fresh milk is, or who like me, assumed that it’s just milk that’s … fresher … than other milk, a brief explanation: fresh milk is milk that hasn’t been homogonized or pasteurized, but it’s often skimmed, which differentiates it from whole milk.

Most people find fresh milk to be more “milky” in some way–more akin to the metaphysical ideal of milk. Linds describes it simply as, “SO GOOD!”

So, being a properly supportive fiance and penitent lactard, I urged her to buy it. She feigned protest for a moment, citing the aforementioned reasons we don’t keep too much dairy stocked in our apartment, but within seconds set to carefully deliberating on which one of the three available fresh milks she should purchase. After far more discussion than was necessary, she selected the freshest milk with the lowest fat content.

And that’s when things went horribly wrong. (more…)

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My cohort in adventuring has promised you all that I’d give some insight into classes here, so I guess now is as good a time as any.

Here, classes are simply classes, and I love it.  Once per week, I go to a room, I sit down, and I write as someone much older than me talks for two hours.  Here and there I have the opportunity to ask questions, and from time to time I’ll have a presentation or a paper, but for the most part, the system is very straight forward.

They have no concept of busy work here.  It’s actually sort of refreshing to have the time in each class not only to read the primary text but also texts that the professors suggest might broaden our understanding of the authors in context(s).  It’s also nice that–for the first time in my college career–I don’t have to keep at least two extra jobs to support myself here.*  Certainly, the system is different, but for someone like me, who’s lived in academia for more than a fourth of his life, the routine is all-too familiar.
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Dearest friends, family, countrymen!

We finally got the blog set up! It’s only taken about 2.5 weeks, but we finally have something to work with here. I appreciate all the patience from those of you who actually want to know what’s going on with us, which I know is about 3 of you 😉 But how to sum up the last 2.5 weeks…well I’ll do my best.

For those who don’t know, Trevor is going to Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven) on a full scholarship to study philosophy of religion in a 1 year pre-doctoral program. I’m along for the ride trying to find a job in French speaking Brussels. We are in Leuven, Belgium, a Dutch speaking college town in Flanders (Dutch speaking part of Belgium. Wallonia is the French speaking part, and there is a tiny German speaking part whose name I can’t recall).

First of all, getting here went pretty smoothly though Trevor and I did fly separately and had 4 bags each (which is quite difficult to handle alone as you might imagine). We arrived Friday Sept. 17th me in the morning and Trevor in the evening. I spent that first day waiting for Trevor to arrive to the Brussels airport hotel where we were staying and napping. The next day, Trevor’s bday, was spent in Brussels where we experienced our first Belgian beers (Leffe Blond for me, Westmallen Triple for Trevor) and our first, absolutely mouthwatering, Belgian waffle.

Oh, the waffles. I could, and probably will, write an entire post about them later. All I can say is, it was beyond anything I could have ever imagined a waffle could be. But more about those later. (more…)

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