Blogroll Additions
Cake Wrecks: a website devoted to awesomely bad professionally decorated cakes. The pictures and comments are hilarious.

Gene's Brain: Gene, my friend from Baiko University, is studying English at Indiana State University. She updates her blog in English and Japanese, and includes lots of fun pictures.


written by Ruthie @ 4:03 PM   1 comments
"I threw up in front of my dad once."

--Overheard at the opera.


written by Ruthie @ 4:02 PM   0 comments
Music Laughs
Musicians (more specifically, theorists and musicologists) love to make comparisons between music and things in daily life. Often these metaphors are very effective; other times, they are downright hilarious. Here is a sampling of the little things I've heard in music classes that have made me chuckle, if not outright guffaw (WARNING: those of my readers who are not musicians may not think any of the following are funny):

"Figured bass is like shopping at Target: it's an exercise in consumption, not production." (heard in a remedial music theory course)

"Polyphony is a disease of chant like life is a disease of matter: the disease does things that the host did not intend." (heard in a course on the history of the motet)

"Cut the sound like a warm knife cutting butter. The sound is the butter, and your cutoff is the knife. Don't spread the butter." (heard in choir practice)

More to come, I promise.


written by Ruthie @ 7:46 PM   3 comments
English Teacher
I'm an English teacher again.

I put an ad on the university classifieds offering my experience as an English teacher to any international students who are interested. Today I met with a Korean student to talk about starting some conversation "lessons" twice a week. He is a piano performance graduate student. I'm very excited for the opportunity to learn more about Korea from him, and also to abate some of my Japansickness through teaching English again.


written by Ruthie @ 3:26 PM   1 comments
My apartment complex has a pond. How cool is that?! I walk past it every morning as I walk to the bus stop. I look for the mallards weaving through the reeds. Sometimes I can see koi swimming near the fountain. I even saw a frog once (it was dead and squished on the sidewalk, but that still counts as a frog sighting in my book). It's nice to know that even though I'm in the middle of the city and in the middle of a bustling apartment community filled mostly with undergrads, I can still experience a bit of serenity and quiet in the quaint, manmade pond.
written by Ruthie @ 9:31 PM   1 comments
While I was in Japan one thought kept circulating through my mind: why can't America have cool manhole covers?! I have noticed since being back in the States that there are a few good ones, at least here in B-town:I saw another, even cooler one while walking hurriedly to a meeting, but I'll have to nab a picture of it some other time and post it here.


written by Ruthie @ 11:15 AM   0 comments
No Going Back
I'm getting used to being back in school. My mindset, however, has not reverted back to what it was when I was last in school. In undergrad I was carefree. I didn't think so much about what other people thought of me. I was a big fish in a little pond. I was usually the brightest student in the class. I talked back to my professors. I wasn't afraid to go to class in my pajamas. I dressed crazily. I was loud and often obnoxious. I was confident and bold. I was a student and still a child in many ways.

After two years of being on my own in Japan, I come back to the world of academia a different person. I am an instructor and getting more adult every day. I look at the incoming freshmen here and think they look so young and fresh and naive. I am quieter than them, more subdued, more practical. I am more humble and more aware that I am not at the head of the pack, but somewhere behind trying to keep up. I am also more aware of how I am perceived by others. I dress nicely, conservatively. I think a lot more before I speak. I am more polite.

Have I lost an important part of me through this change? Have I become boring? I'm still prone to spouting non-sequitors and oddball jokes. I like to wear some extremely bright piece of clothing every now and again. But something has changed. Some parts of me have moved beyond the person I was at eighteen years old, and there is no going back.
written by Ruthie @ 4:41 PM   1 comments
I love my new roommates.

By new, I mean the ones I moved in with last Friday, as opposed to the ones I was first placed with two weeks ago.

I live at Campus Corner Apartments (they aren't really on the corner of campus. That should have been my first warning), and they rent by the bedroom, instead of by the apartment. Most apartments are 4-bedroom, so unless you come in with 3 friends you know you want to room with, you are put with roommates based (theoretically) on preferences you list on a Roommate Matching sheet. None of my preferences were met on the first go-round. I requested to be with older students who don't drink often and who are quiet and neat. I was put with a 20-year old who binge drinks on the weekends and a 19-year-old with a dog (which I didn't agree to live with beforehand, but who moved in anyway). After a week of stress and frustration, my mom drove down 8 hours to help me fight with the management to move me to another apartment and buy furniture (the first apartment I was in was furnished. Since there were no grad students living in furnished apartments, we decided it was best for me to move into an unfurnished place).

Now I live with a 23-year-old grad student from India (she loves to cook. Lucky me!) and a 20-year-old junior from Ethiopia. After a week in the pit of hell, it is so strange to be living with people who are nice and respectful and generous. They actually offered to help me unpack!

Suffice it to say, my first few weeks of grad school have been topsy-turvy, and not even because of school.
written by Ruthie @ 7:33 PM   1 comments

Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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