31 May 2006

Washington is hot!

by Cecily
I'm back in our nation's fine capital. It's pretty hot here too, but I am out of luck because I already watched all of 6 Feet Under.

And it is damp. It's not the heat, it's the humidity! If anyone else tells me that, I am going to dump a glass of water over their head. That will teach them a lesson about humidity. I'm not completely sure what the lesson is, but people will probably let me know after they learn it.

Anyway, what with my incredibly high capacity for enduring weather and not complaining, it's a good thing I'm planning to spend six weeks on the equator.

It's also a good thing I keep moving to places with even worse summers than the last place I lived. It's not very clear to me why I keep doing that. Honestly I have very little idea how I ended up living in any of these cities I have lived in.

In fact, it's pretty unclear to me why I do most of the things I do. It seems pretty unclear to other people, as well. (Why I do things, not why the other people do things.) So we are all in the same boat, of appreciating how mysterious and misunderstood I am. "Cecily why did you put the scissors in the refrigerator?" "I don't know! But did you notice how mysterious I am?"

All this heat and humidity is taking a toll on my mysteriousness, though. It is pretty obvious to everyone, even me, why I am running my head under the cold faucet and lying around listlessly, complaining about being hot.*

So, I'm going to go back to doing that some more.

*Because it is hot, that's why.

28 May 2006

Minnesota is hot!

by Cecily
Cecily sprawled across the couch

It was 102 degrees today. We all just sat around watching 6 Feet Under and saying "I'm hot" to each other.

Well, except the baby. He slept and pooped and cried, as usual. Then I gave him a bath; that was highly entertaining. And adorable. I love this baby!

Cecily giving Espen a bath

Now (as of 9:30 p.m.) it is only 89 degrees, so I'm practically wearing a wool sweater.

Ugh, typing the words "wool sweater" kind of makes me want to cry.

Cecily looking hot

I'm hot.

23 May 2006


by Cecily
I'm in Minnesota. It's pretty great here. So far I drank beer with Emily at the Tap, and drank coffee with Trisha at Coffee News, and ate ice cream with JoAnna in the back yard. So it has been a pretty productive trip.

Firstly, I have some pictures of a baby to show everyone:

close-up of sleeping Espen

Introducing: Espen Groth! He doesn't do very much but it is still pretty fun to stare at him. Plus his head smells good.

sleeping baby

This baby is three weeks old. It is nice to have his little fat body sleeping on me.

Cecily and Espen sleeping on the couch

Secondly, I would like everyone to take a moment to admire my excellent outfit that I am wearing while I drink coffee and type things on the internet. Its name is Fancy Pajamas, and it is made of:

#1 Frog Pajama Shirt (this is Trisha's, I stole it because I was cold)
close-up of frog pajamas

And #2 Cowboy Pajama Pants (mine, of course)
close-up of cowboy pajamas

Combining to make this flashy fashion statement:
taking a picture of the pajama outfit

Next, I am going to sit on the steps and paint my toenails. What a great day!

16 May 2006

I'm still a travelling man

by Cecily
When I decided to go to grad school, I was living in Minnesota and my school was in Washington DC. So I bought a round trip plane ticket between Minneapolis and Reagan. The return trip, originally, was for December because I figured that whatever happened I would be going somewhere for Christmas. And you have to fly through Minneapolis to get to Montana anyway, so why not stop off and visit my super nice friends on the way?

That's not really the point, though. The point is that since I lived in Minneapolis and MOVED to Washington, via air travel, now all of my plane tickets end up with me being back in the twin cities. Usually at pretty random intervals, because I don't really know what my schedule will be like next week, let alone in a few months.

But again, that's not really my point. I know I just said it was. I lied. The real point is that I will be in Minneapolis this weekend. I had to pick a date to return when I was flying back to school in January. So I randomly picked May 21. I really can't remember what my reasons for that were, or if I had any reasons at all. Knowing me, I probably didn't.

Anyway (yes we are still on the point. The point of me being in Minneapolis.) I made these travel arrangements long before my travel arrangements that involve Africa. So what will end up happening is this: I will be in the twin cities May 21st through the 31st. Do you live in Minneapolis?!? Or in St. Paul?!? Let's have lunch!!!

Then I'll be back in DC until June 8th when I leave for Rwanda. I get back from Rwanda on July 23rd, but my return ticket to Minneapolis isn't until December. Which leaves me in DC for 3 weeks until the subletters vacate my bedroom. (Don't be thrown off by how I stuck that "December" part in there. It's really not relevant. The subletters leave in August.)

So I guess I have another point: If you live in DC and you desperately need a houseguest from July 23-August 15, you are in luck! Call me!

To recap:
Point Number 1: I will be in Minnesota starting on Sunday. Hang out with me.
Point Number 2: I need a place to stay in DC at the end of July. Invite me over.

11 May 2006

Tent City

by Cecily
tent city

Julie and Jenny and I are making a website about the people who live in the tents at Gallaudet. Well, really Julie is making it. I only provided the fancy pictures of tents (look at those colorful tents!)

My contribution to this protest has mostly been artisticity. What, it's TOTALLY a word. Anyway I made some posters last night too, after I made all those tents for the website. It was fun although by the end of the session you could practically see the marker fumes. It was hazardous to my health. That's what I'm willing to do for the revolution: breathe marker fumes.

10 May 2006

Yeah! Research!

by Cecily
I got this today:

Chère Cecily Whitworth,

L’institut “F. Smaldone” pour sourds-muets de Nyamirambo, a le plaisir de vous communiquer qu’il est prêt à vous accueillir cette été pour vous accorder l’opportunité de réaliser votre projet de recherche sur la langue des signes utilisée par les élèves qui étudient dans ce même Institut. En attendant d’autres nouvelles intéressantes à ce sujet, nous vous souhaitons une excellente réussite dans vos étude.

La Directrice
Sr. Clemens Gadaleta
This email says I can do my research project. Hooray!

Kigali landscape

I'm leaving for Rwanda on June 8th. I fly through Rome and Addis Ababa. I'll be there until July 23rd. My super awesome friend Emily is coming for the first couple of weeks, too. I am very excited about this.

Kigali landscape

While I'm there, I'm going to be teaching some English and doing some research on sign language at a Deaf school in Kigali. It's the same one I was at two years ago, L'Institut Fillippo Smaldone.

three boys at L'Institut Fillippo Smaldone

The email above is from the head nun at the school, who has finally given me permission to go ahead with the project. This is a huge relief to me, because I just spent a lot of time and effort designing the project, designing an independent study for next fall related to data I will collect, filling out grant applications and IRB applications, etc.

Deaf students in Rwanda working at their desks

I don't know if I got the grant, and I don't have IRB approval confirmed either. So it still could fall apart. (The grant isn't vital, because my wonderful father already bought the plane ticket. Thanks Dad! I won't be able to do anything without IRB approval though.) But the formal approval from the school is a big step in the right direction- communicating with them has been very complicated, for several reasons:

The school is in Rwanda, obviously, but it is run by the Catholic church which is (also obviously) based in Vatican City. So most of the nuns speak Italian as their first language. Although when I was there two years ago, there were also several who were from Brazil (and spoke Portuguese) and a couple from Rwanda (who spoke Kinyarwanda and French). No one speaks any English.

bird and gazebo on Jambo Beach

Also, there is extremely limited internet access there. It seems like none at all, at the actual school. They have cell phones, but no relay services will let me call international numbers. And since no one there speaks English, I'd have to do the relay call in French anyway, and my French is really not up to a real-time phone conversation about a research project.

I can do an okay job of reading and writing French, but I wouldn't label it more than "okay." It basically can get me through a conversation about what kind of food I would like to order, and the location of things like the entrance and exit and W.C.

So most of our interactions were me emailing things to my dad (after my professor helped polish up the French. Thanks Debbie! And also Lindsay's boyfriend Vincent helped a lot too. Thanks Vincent!) and after I emailed the files to my dad, he printed them out and drove them across Kigali to the school, and then after a while I'd get an email back, and start the process over again.

group photo of IFS students with Cecily

So, if anyone wants to buy any paintings, now would be a good time. Proceeds will buy me a bigger external hard drive and more t-shirts and colored pencils to distribute.

two high school boys at IFS

Also, of course, if anyone is interested in making any kind of contributions directly to the school, let me know.

08 May 2006

All right, then.

by Cecily
I'm done with everything I have to do. For at least 2 weeks. This morning I finished my IRB proposal, had a professor look it over, took it to the IRB office, went to the bank, and bought groceries. Including more soy ice cream.* So now I probably won't leave the house again for 3 more days, because I am only halfway through the second season of West Wing.

If anyone wants to come over and eat soy ice cream* and watch the West Wing with me, let me know!

Also, several people have inquired about the status of the angry protest at Gallaudet. Well, it's still happening. And I still am not making any public comments about it. Elisa and Adam and Ridor and Jesse and Ben all have opinions, for those of you who are interested. And you can watch quicktime movies about it here.

*No, I didn't stop drinking milk. But my roommate Alyssa is vegan, so we had some soy ice cream that magically is the best ice cream ever. I'm serious. I bought more of it even when I had the chance to buy real, dairy-product, lactose-full ice cream. This kind of fake ice cream is called ... I can't remember. Something about Decadent and Mint and Chunky (?) and perhaps Madness. It includes mint, chocolate, and some kind of cake-like substance, all mixed together, and it doesn't even taste like gross Vegan dessert. It tastes like DELICIOUS!!!!

06 May 2006

birds flying home

by Cecily

Birds flying home
(I, II, III, IV)
oil on canvas
10" x 8"/each
$75 per piece

03 May 2006


by Cecily
So most things down, some things to go... I have one final paper left to write. Hopefully I'll get that done this evening. Then I need to finish an IRB proposal, finish two paintings, print a price list, make some name/price tags, and take some books back to the library.

All of which would be easier to accomplish if I didn't keep watching this over and over again, instead of doing something constructive with my time.

I don't care, it's worth it.

02 May 2006

May Day

by Cecily
My school is in an uproar.

four student leaders addressing crowds of angry protesters

angry students at the front gates

The Board of Trustees announced the new president yesterday. Chaos ensued.

more swarms of protesters

The pictures are from yesterday afternoon (thanks Julie!). But as of 8:00 this morning, the front gate is still blocked off.

I'm not really sure what I think about all of this. I've been too wrapped up in my own projects to be very involved. I still am too wrapped up in my own projects to have any kind of well-thought-out opinion. You can learn about other peoples' opinions here and here and here. And there is a Washington Post article here.

I have to finish my schoolwork.