Soooooooo the pictures of all my new stuff are taken and currently trapped in Sean's camera, since he's not home and I don't know where the cord is :) I'd use mine, except the batteries are dead and I haven't the foggiest idea where the charger is.
Life is pretty good. I have some really neat classes, including the one that this letter is named for...
P is for Plagues and People.
This is an anthropology class, dealing with how plagues affect how societies function and develop. It's fascinating and incredibly disturbing at the same time! In one class we talked about how diseases are transmitted, and after seeing pictures like this of people sneezing, it kind of makes me want to live in a bubble. Last class was about the 1995Ebola outbreak in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. The NOVA film crew came on sight as soon as the outbreak was discovered, and filmed a heart-wrenching and terrifying documentary on the disease. The mortality rate in this particular outbreak was 81%. Read that again. 81% The most disturbing thing? That rate isn't because Ebola is an African virus (and therefore almost exclusively limited to poor and isolated villages), it's because Ebola is such a virulent hemorrhagic fever. They can't treat it any better here than they can in Africa. Our sole advantage would lie in the fact that we can more easily spread news of an outbreak through mass media, and more immediately institute precautions against a chain of infection.
At any rate. The class is cool, but disturbing! We all come out of there looking a little green and shellshocked.
I also have Gemology, which is wickedly cool. We've learned some setting techniques, and major methods for gemstone identification. Some facts:
A gemstone is a mineral valued for its beauty and (sometimes) rarity. A gem is a gemstone which has been fashioned and/or cut in order to maximize the beauty of the stone.
Diamonds are valued for a quality called fire. Fire is when a transparent stone emits multi-coloured sparkles when held up to a light source. The fire in diamond is caused by the fact that causes a great deal of light dispersion. When light enters a diamond, it is split into more or less the full spectrum, like a prism. The high refractive index of diamond means that these rays of light are reflected inside the diamond off the many facets until they are finally refracted out the crown (or top) of the diamond, resulting in multi-coloured sparkles. An improperly cut diamond will either have the light rays passing through the pavillion (bottom) of the diamond, so no sparkle will be visible, or the rays will only reflect once or twice inside, reducing the amount of sparkle.
I'm starting two jobs next week: data entry for the University Admin, and timekeeping for the Campus Rec Ice Hockey League. Yes, hockey. I will be bringing knitting to stay awake. I'm glad to have gotten the jobs, I just hope that I have enough time for everything.
The bus I take to and from school goes by three or four bridal salons, and I always check out the dresses in the window. I found a lovely one the other day, and Sean really likes it too. Of course, I wouldn't be buying it any time soon, but it's nice to keep ideas in mind! Strapless, diamond white bridal satin, with an A-line shaped skirt that stands out just slightly from the body (so it's got a crinoline underneath). Some light silver and iridescent beading along the neckline, and then little dots of beading on the bodice and slightly down the skirt. Cheap too, for a bridal gown - $499. I so could have gotten it cheaper too, because the beading was coming off in places, but I could have fixed it very easily!