Birthday Blues

Of course, my birthday has to fall on the only day of the week when I have 6 teaching hours, going all the way until 7:10 pm. I wish I were more into work so that I could see this as something good. Or more into this work.

I have this very unfortunate character trait where I can absolutely love something but then one tiny little thing sets me against it, and that’s it, all love is gone. With people, if it’s that rare person I care deeply about, it takes something like a big betrayal to turn me off them. With people I simply like, a little thing is enough.

And this is what happened in my relationship with this school. I loved it but then a single meeting put me completely off. I try to fake enthusiasm but I’m a shitty actress. It’s very sad. 


We are preparing to celebrate Ukrainian Easter and Basia’s birthday. The thingies surrounded by painted eggs are paski. Paski take forever to bake, so I’d never make them. My mother is the author of the paski. 

Of course, there will be a ton of food on the table eventually. For now, I just wanted to show the decor and the paski.

Smoking Ban

Our university announced a smoking ban a while ago and inundated our mailboxes with notices, informing us that no smoking is allowed. Anywhere on campus! Not even in the parking lots! Or on the hiking trails! Anywhere! Ever! Huge fines await you! 

The campus was plastered with huge notices about the smoking ban. A no smoking sign greets you when you approach campus and long before any of the campus buildings are even visible.

And then I started noticing places around campus that seemed organized for smoking. They clearly weren’t spontaneous because there were cans for cigarette butts, and somebody was taking the cans away, cleaning them, and bringing them back again. There were many such smoking places, which had me confused because the ban still existed.

So I approached a group of smokers near one such place and asked them what was going on.

“Oh, they realized we were going to smoke anyway,” one student shared, “so they provided the trash cans for us.”

The student was right, and anybody with half a brain cell would know that you can’t keep smokers from smoking, especially in high-stress environments.

Everything is back to normal now: the same people smoke in the same places they used to smoke in. The only difference is that a sizable amount of money was wasted on printing notices and putting up signs.