Six students from the University of Pittsburgh Honors College trek across Mongolia in search of illumination, perspective, and the perfect cup of Yak-milk tea.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

School's in, summer's out

The start of school has arrived in my life, as has a rather nasty cold. I'm doing alright, though the sparkling wine we drank with the students to celebrate the start of the school year at the Press Institute (where I've achieved intern-faculty status as an English teacher) didn't mesh well with the Niquil I've been popping throughout the day. Kind of a fuzzy feeling all over, thought it seems concentrated in my brain. I thought I'd be healthy/tough enough not to need any daytime cold medicine. I thought wrong, but I'm finding comfort in hot tea and cold ice cream. Not a bad treatment, regardless of whether it makes me feel less sick.
Tuesday night marked the unofficial end of summer here. I'm not sure if it was the way the wind blew that evening or the effects party we'd just had, but when one of my roommates said he thought we'd seen our last summer day, we all knew he was right. Appropriately, the next day was blustery and very wet. Today was beautiful but chilly. I hear autumn's beautiful in Mongolia, so I'll try to enjoy all of the short season while I can. I have a feeling the winter will blow in as decisively as fall did.
As the national First Day of School draws to a close, I think I've realized one thing: If all of Mongolia celebrates the first day of school like the Press Institute does, with sparkling wine and no classes, we stand to learn a lot from Mongolia.