The Spring Clean Challenge

I’m starting a spring clean challenge that I will do for 18 days. Bonus points for those who can figure out why it’s this particular number of days. The challenge points are:

1. Going to the gym every day for the duration.

2. Doing the Korean beauty routine every day.

3. Not buying any new books for myself no matter what happens.

4. Reading 40 pages of an Anthony Trollope novel.

I also have a bunch of other things in the challenge that I’m not ready to make public.

Every year, the end of the academic year has me bug-eyed and a mental wreck. I want to avoid it this year by concentrating my attention on something completely different. The challenge is aimed at distracting me to the point where I’ll forget to get overwhelmed by the end of the academic year.

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Consistent and Smooth

What’s fascinating to me is that Obama’s and Trump’s policy on Russia clearly comes from the same source. It’s a crescendo of silent blows that go from a tiny pinprick to harsher and harsher ones. The consistency and the smoothness of the operation makes it clear that the people we see on TV are not the ones who create foreign policy. We all knew it was the case during the Cold War. But it’s fascinating that there is still a consistent policy independent of any particular administration or party. Now the really fascinating question is what it is. What is its organizing principle?

Unfinished Sentences

When you are not a native speaker, people keep finishing your sentences for you. Even when you have no trouble expressing yourself. The smallest of pauses one might make is interpreted as a struggle with insufficient vocabulary. As if people with enormous vocabularies never needed to think about what they are saying.