Princes and volcanoes

Wow, I’m really good at freaking out about things that are not at all a big deal. I almost want to edit the last paragraph of the previous entry out.

It turns out that we were pretty much right–we are indeed being honored for the musical, but also for our general track record of community service and involvement. And Jordan isn’t going alone–another ALT, Chris, is going as well. Jord’s stopping by in a little bit to pick up a copy of last year’s musical to take along, since they’re heading to Tokyo tonight for the ceremony tomorrow. This is so exciting! I wonder if it’ll be on TV, so we can see it happening…there’s supposed to be a NHK announcer there, so I wouldn’t be surprised if news crews were there as well.

Today, I had nothing at all to do. I only have one more elementary school class this week, and I’m pretty much already prepared for it. I forgot my books and other time-wastersspending things in my rush to get to work reasonably on time, and I had essentially 5 solid hours of free time. I actually drew at work today–my second time ever–and requested a vegetarian meal for my flights next month and started on my personal statement for my grad school applications.

Speaking of books, I’m actually rereading a really good one–Simon Winchester’s Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded – August 27, 1883. It’s by far the most fascinating and comprehensive nonfiction book I’ve ever read. The amount of detailed research he did is truly staggering. Winchester is a geologist with a fantastic writing style, and in this book, he argues that the Krakatoa eruption–the second-largest in modern history (the first-largest being Tambora, which wiped out an entire civilization and a language, in 1815) and the creator of the loudest sound ever heard in human history–essentially triggered the formation of the concept of the “global village,” as well as setting off mounting anti-western tensions among the native Indonesian Muslims, tensions which still very obviously exist today.

The more I read about Krakatoa, and about the Indonesian area of the Ring of Fire (Indonesia is completely formed from the massive and rather unstable subduction zones between the Eurasian, Indo-Australian, and Pacific plates, and there are dozens of active volcanoes all over), the more I wish I could go there…but it’s not the best place for owners of American passports to be, especially with this latest round of protests and anti-western sentiments after Bush’s brief visit to Indonesia this week. But all these volcanoes I’ve read so much about…it was a dream come true to actually get to visit Unzen and Sakurajima, which I’d read up on quite a bit. It would be truly amazing to visit Indonesia, especially since I’m so close, relatively speaking.

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