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Nix, nix, pulchra nix!

Nix, nix, pulchra nix!

It means “Snow, snow, beautiful snow!” and my high school Latin teacher, Mrs. Mabe, would write it on the chalkboard the first time it snowed every year. And the first year students would be surprised that you could write something that was more or less correct without declining or conjugating anything, the second year students would smile a little and happily chant those four words as they walked around campus so they could sound smart1 and by third year it was a tradition, as was the story that went with it.
“My Latin teacher would write that every year, as did his,” Mrs. Mabe would tell us. “Sometimes I wonder if back in Rome, and all through the Dark Ages, teachers wrote that on the first day of snow, Which was rare in Rome…” and she would be into her teaching.

Now, thirteen years later, when I can’t even remember the difference between the ablative and the accusative, all my Latin replaced by two years speaking Tagalog, I too say “Nix, nix, pulchra nix!” the first time it snows each year, and wonder if I’m joining a long line of Latin teachers and students in welcoming the winter.

Thank you, Mrs. Mabe.

  1. why else would we take Latin? []
Grad School

Grad School

So, the first hard part is done: I got admitted to grad school at Utah State University. I’m an Aggie! I don’t even know what an Aggie is! But now I am one! Yesss! The emails came, and it was all exciting and everything. I sent in my response1 and was feeling pretty cool. It’s something new! I’m on my way!

And then they send the “here’s what you need to do before you come to school” list. It’s long. And suddenly I’m not so sure that I’m actually ready for this.

But that’s the thing: Life is like that. Things look hardest before you actually do them. Once you actually start doing them, they hard for a while, then they get easier as you get more capable, and then you know what you’re doing, and life is good. It’s the transition from “not doing” to “doing” that is hard to get past.

When I was 16, I would lie in bed and imagine I was laying in bed as a college student, or as a missionary, or as a husband, or a father. I would imagine what my bed would be like, what I would be thinking about, what would keep me awake, what would help me sleep.

Now I’ve been all those things. I’ve slept in the Philippines, Alaska, Utah, Kentucky, and other places, as a missionary, a college student, a husband, a father. And I learned this secret: When you are something, it doesn’t seem “different” or odd; why would it? I’ve been a husband for almost eight years, and it’s how life is: wonderful. I’ve been a father for four; it’s not something new any more. It’s life, and my life is very good. So the lesson is that life gets good once you get used to it.

Yeah, probably not finding it’s way onto a bumper sticker any time soon.

Speaking of finding things, I have yet to find a “tone” for this site. My tone for CANS is easy: Snarky and pro-Apple. C[2]N isn’t that hard either: professional programmer. But here I’m supposed to be me in a medium where (as my Dad puts it) “I can talk to nobody and anybody can listen”. It’s hard to know what to say to the Internet, and more to the point, how to say it. Expect some experiments in writing for the next little while.

And thanks again for dropping by!

  1. along the lines of “Yes, I would like to attend grad school at USU” []