Archive for December, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

A Short Report written by Bob Thurston

Here we are–from top left, Tom Bellamy, Alexander, Bob; from bottom left, Gretchen Ziolkowski, Pushkin the Wonder Dog, Lara:


We all feel like we’re doing pretty well.  In alphabetical order:  Alexander is in a PhD program at Northwestern in Sub-Saharan Islam.  He went to Nigeria for a month last summer on a reconnaissance trip, and plans to go back for much longer in 2011.  He passed his big theories of religion exam with no sweat and has only a few minor (well, not so minor) exams to go before he becomes a PhD candidate.

Bob taught at the Miami U. Luxembourg campus in the winter semester, then hung around Europe for various reasons until mid-June.  He bought a Volvo, Das the Car, in Sweden on arrival in January, and drove it in Europe for 10,000 miles.

Das Day 1 

Bob saw great coffee museums, among many other fabulous sights.  Also went to Brazil for a week in July to look at coffee farms.  You can find an awful lot more about his travels below.

Cagliari Coffee, Modena, Italy

Sertaozinho Farm, Sao Paulo State, Brazil   

Gretchen became acting chair of her department in the fall, and man, was she acting.  She had to act every day to deal with myriad problems.  We have a new family phrase that applies to some things she heard: “your words have clouded the minds of idiots.”  I think she has done a great job in really trying times, and I know that her colleagues appreciate her very much.  At least, the Chinese ones give her many presents.  She has also made a lot of progress on her book on Euro folk/fakelore.

Lara has had mountains of work to do in studio art and in art ed classes.  Artists who teach seem to be particularly disorganized, but interested in handing out massive assignments.  Several nights Lara was sawing wood and doing other things at our house until midnight, once to 3 AM.  We are going to go as a family to get her degree.  She shows signs of developing a wonderful sense of form and color.

A Lara painting.

Tom Bellamy has been taking classes at Miami’s Hamilton campus, especially, for some reason, history.  He has done really well–he could not have done better.  He makes us all laugh with jokes and constant good humor.  What is wrong with this guy??

Pushkin continues to enjoy playing with a tennis ball, hopping up on the bed after the alarm goes off, and going for walks.

The cats are tolerable.

We wish you all peace, love, jobs, warmth, publications, and relaxation.

Bob, Gretchen, Alexander, Lara, Tom, Pushkin, the cats


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