I have mixed feelings about icicles. On the one hand, they are beautiful. On the other hand, they often indicate ice dams which, I have learned this winter, can be a real concern and destructive. I know this, because our window is leaking, and will be until the spring comes, the snow melts, the moisture dries, and the leak can be found and caulked.
But – icicles! My personal favorite was this, which I spotted while walking home the other day. Icicles formed on the wires immediately below the corner of a roof.
With the snow and rain of this weekend, I knew the icicles were going to slowly (or not-so-slowly) disappear. So I went out on a short “icicle walk” to find cool specimens and take some pictures. Fortunately, no icicles fell on me whilst taking these photos; let’s hope that remains the case for the duration of the semester…
On April 15, 2013, two Chechen men – boys, really – planted a backpack with a bomb in it at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Today, April 21, 2014, is Marathon Monday again. I wasn’t at the Marathon last year, but it threw me all the same. I was supposed to be there, and I had friends running the Marathon. I had friends nearing the finish line when the bomb went off, who didn’t get to finish the race they’d been training all year for. But at the same time, I had friends who were just a little off their expected pace and as a result, my friends survived.
No-one I knew was one of the three people tragically killed last year, although they did number among the 264 injured. People I knew posted online to volunteer spots on the floors of their houses for runners who couldn’t get home because of the transportation shut downs. People I knew went to donate blood, and some of my close friends were the first to start the social media actions among Tufts students to make sure all our classmates were safe and sound. People I knew were part of the movement that proved just how true the saying Boston Strong really is.
I’m not going to pretend I know what it was like to be on the finish line that day, and I’m not going to say I can identify with the people that saw that tragedy first hand. But it is impossible to be someone who was in Boston that day and to be unaffected by it. To be someone who woke up multiple times to notices from Tufts Police telling us not to leave our dorms, or to be someone who sat side by side with her friends glued to the TV screen, watching and waiting to see if the terror was moving closer to us. Everyone in the greater Boston area was affected by that horror. But all of us are moving on.
I told myself that very day that I was going to run the Boston Marathon because of the bombing. Because the bombing was a terrorism act intended to fill the city with fear. There is no way to know why the bombs were set, or what was intended to come as a result, but I know that I’m not one to cower in fear. So I said I would run the Marathon. And dozens of other people said the same thing.
This year, the Marathon has the second largest number of runners in its 118-year history – 36,000 runners. And though I can’t run with them, I’m with them in spirit. I’m rooting especially for the Tufts Marathon Team, and all the other Jumbos that are running the Marathon for the second time this year, and who are actually going to get the satisfaction of crossing the finish line.
I’m rooting for everyone that ran last year and then ran on to donate blood. I’m rooting for everyone running this year because of last year’s tragedy, and I’m rooting for everyone running in spite of it. If I was in Boston, I’d be running it too (and that says a lot coming from a self-proclaimed anti-runner. Although I ran again this morning, so…)
As horrible and frightening as the bombing was, it proved the strength of the Boston community. It proved that the Boston community has spread all around the world, literally. Boston Strong made it all the way to Prague, and made it back this year. The greater Boston region, the United States, and the world as a whole have united around the runners of this Marathon and every marathon, and the runners are staying Strong. Today and for years to come.
I have exactly one month between today and my day of departure. One month to do all the things I still want to do in Prague before I head out. One month to write all my papers (yikes!), one month to make as much progress as I possibly can in my Czech, one month to finish my time with my new friends.
It is crazy to think that I’ve already been in Prague for almost eight months, or to think that I’m almost done with my time here. It is crazy to think that my year of romping around Europe is soon to come to a close. It is crazy to think that in the next 30 days, I’m taking a 4 day trip to Italy and a 4 day trip to Malta and a weekend trip to grandma’s house. Which means that, though I have 4 full weeks left, 4 full weekends left, I only have one weekend left in Prague.
At the same time, I look back on what I’ve already done in Prague and I am amazed. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, and the things I’ve done and learned over the last (almost) eight months is truly incredible. I don’t want to write a super-sappy “my study abroad was awesome” post, because I’ll write that one month from now. But I do think that it is important to note that I have only one month left of this amazing experience, and to remind myself to make the most of the opportunities I’ve got left.
When I saw that the San Francisco Giants were playing the Boston Red Sox here in SF, I absolutely, 100%, had to go. I mean, my hometown team against my other hometown team? The opportunity to root for the Red Sox with my die-hard Giants fan of a little brother by my side? What could be better than that?
The Red Sox crushed the Giants in two of the three games (7-0, 12-1), although they lost 3-2 the night I was there by loading the bases with walks in the bottom of the 9th, and then walking one more with the bases loaded. Dad was complaining that the Giants didn’t deserve to win, because they put men on third base with no outs in two different innings, and then left them there. Later, Robby was kind enough to point out that the third run wouldn’t count for the Giants hitter, because it “wasn’t earned.” I’m pretty sure the rest of the conversation went pretty much like this:
K: Wasn’t earned?
R: Yeah. Since he didn’t get on base because of anything he did, he doesn’t get an RBI.
K: So, what you’re saying is that the Giants didn’t earn the run?
K: So since they won on that run, they didn’t earn their win either?
R: Yeah. No! What? That’s not what I’m saying!!
K: Laughs. Walks to the train.
Sorry, bro. I won that argument, even if my Sox didn’t win the game.