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Mindless musings on my thoughts, experiences, and hopes.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Took my first set of Arabic proficiency tests, which included interviewing a person for basic information and also 2-way interpretation where I was the translator between 2 people. Now the interview part was easy, but the 2-way was very mixed. Without giving specifics I had to translate about a crime one person committed and then translate back to the criminal, from the other person, how he did it and got away with it. I was laughing during this translation and it caught me offguard that I mixed up the subject in the next sentence and got it wrong. Oh well. The other involved a pilot having to go to the doctor and the scenario was odd that I didn't believe what I was hearing, so I messed that one up to! Best part though is that I'm now done with course material and just take proficiency tests till the end of August. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

If you have a chance, check out the article in the Washington Post about the National Guard and the Reserves. The NG and the Reserves have been used like regular army since the first Gulf War in 1991, which begs the question of why doesn't our government increase the regular military if it's always relying on the the reservists to fill in as full-time soldiers. Now when the U.S. is in serious major ongoing conflict, the reservists sure as anything want to help, but when it's a skirmish here and a skirmish here and a reservist is called up for active duty every couple of years, how do they retain a semblence of a stable civilian life back home? And when a reservist is called up, their job is on hold, they may or may not get paid, but either way the productivity of that employee is gone.
I took my buddy and his wife out to dinner last night to thank them for getting me a real nice place to stay for a few days back in June. I had some fruity drink there and did not judge the alcohol content very well (still feeling that headache now). After dinner we went across the street to chill, listen to music, and hang out with some of guys from post.

Oh, I will take a series of arabic tests within the next two weeks and that will conclude the course part of my studies. Then I take some strange gambit of arabic tests end of July and most of August. After that though, I take the proficiency tests for Arabic, hopefully pass, then I'm done! Then I'll be counting down the time to get to North Carolina and be with my girlfriend (I miss her!), back to real work, and hopefully look into picking up some grad classes.

Don't forget to check out Friedman's articles (link on left side).

Sunday, July 13, 2003

A bit of normal life here, but it would be better back home. Went out on Thursday to drink and to get a little, and I mean a little, dance on for a classmate's birthday. Friday, drank a bit while listening to some live music and watched Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday. J. Depp is a cool actor in my book. Fun flick, don't expect much except for a decent movie that can appeal to family viewing.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

So it's been a bit since my last post. Not much to report. I did go home for the 4th. Let's see: Thursday evening, had a great time at dinner with my girlfriend and her parents and on Friday we cruised down to Fredericksburg to chill with the college crew. We sat down along the Rappahonack River and watched the fireworks. Best part was just sitting down in the warm humid air with our feet in the water watching the fireworks break over the tops of the trees as dusk turned to night. I can't wait to get back to the east coast and move to North Carolina. As for school, just a bit more to go...finish at the end of summer. Can't wait.

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