I met a really nice guy named Haitao (pronounced high-tao, upward inclination on the ‘tao’ part). When I told him my name he said, “Oh wow, you’re Jessica? Wow.”
I was like … (???) “And how did you hear of me?”
He said from A.J.
My reaction: (???) But I never talk to him! The only time I remember meeting A.J. was during the last fourth Friday when he shook my hand and said, “I’m A.J. by the way!” He said he’d emailed all the summer students and had seen me but he wasn't sure we'd officially met. And that’s literally almost all the conversation I had with him.
Haitao asked me, “You didn’t know him before?”
I said no, in fact, I did not.
However, I realized later today that A.J. is an extreme version of Wallace - *extremely* talkative and a coordinator of people, somehow. I’m extremely mystified how I developed a reputation with him. Or maybe he just talks about everyone enthusiastically – that's probably what it is. He’s quite hilarious to listen to.
So the rumor about the number of ladies is true!
Emo got her undergrad degree and masters in France and knows how to speak French, Chinese and English! WOW! I told her that’s just the most amazing thing ever. She said her parents ask her to call them every day – they have for all six years – and still did, because she was an only child, and she looked lonely to me. I told her mine would do the same thing. I really hope she’s ok. I would hate to be in another country all the time away from my family. It would be *extremely* hard for me.
Heidi had been homeschooled as well – I forgot that. She's really sweet and said she's interested in organic mostly.
Other people I talked to
I met another Korean guy who’s name was Ace. He had the largest black-rimmed glasses I’ve ever seen but was really nice. Not that his glasses would imply that he was mean, or anything.
There was a Chinese guy sitting beside me – I think he said he came from central China. I wish I could remember more of what he said, because it was interesting. He seemed really nice.
I asked him if he'd been to the U.S. before and he said, nope, this was his first time. (!) And he was calm as a cucumber and here I was, nervous. Kind of takes one down to size. I so admire these international students. I'm extremely mystified how they can stand traveling so far away from home for so long. It must be a skill. Or else they just suffer in silence, which is what I think. Being away from home is terrible. Why do they do it?
I talked to Greg, who likes organic chemistry. I recalled him from visitation weekend.
Matthew Jones (the guy who 'proposed' to Ann Dasher at visitation for the scavenger hunt) was there and was talking to Robert most of the day.
You know – just a general comment – I feel as if when Dr. Lynn is talking and the other people too – everyone who talked today – it would be really nice if they would project, as they spoke – you know, speak up loudly, using one’s diaphragm? No one talked loudly enough. I couldn’t catch every word, which was frustrating. Sometimes they’d trail off into intelligibility. You would think that they would know not to do that. I’m not sure why they’re not more confident as they are speaking, especially Dr. Lynn. He should be really confident!
After the sessions, waiting for lunch
While we were waiting around, all us girls stood in a circle and talked. We had a nice girl pow-pow. There was a lot of circles of people unforming and reforming around us, like lipid vesicles budding into and out of a cell.
And no – you might think I’m trying to make all these science metaphors to sound cool or something – but that *really* is the image that just popped into my mind. I know – you don’t have to say it – I’m really strange.
I suddenly realized at one point that I had unwittingly attracted a large circle of people and was talking loudly to them all, and I thought to myself (as if watching myself) … “Who is this weird person?” I felt as if I was acting like an extrovert. It was bizarre. And I wondered why I was doing that and what triggered these weird moods? This happens at times and I can't tell when it will occur. Well, at the time, I think it was because I was nervous and sometimes when I get nervous I get loud and talkative. But sometimes I don’t and I become completely silent. What makes the difference? I have no idea. I totally confuse myself.
All of us girls and us summer students were the groups that I felt the most affinity with. Wallace, Keon, A.J. and Matthew are great. I didn’t get to talk to Matthew much, except at the very end, when I was leaving and found him sitting on a bench. I told him and Robert that they were welcome to join our absurd circle of nonsense at any time and Matthew said thanks. I didn’t want them to feel left out.
The safety meeting and fire extinguishers
We all got to fire a real fire extinguisher! I had been looking forward to doing that this ENTIRE TIME!! That was so cool. I’ve never fired one before.
However, while I was watching everyone extinguish this fake fire with them, it looked very suspicious to me, like the fake fire was getting shut off, rather than extinguished. It was on this grill mechanism.
Afterward I asked the fire safety person if it was really being extinguished or it was just being turned off and she said that in a real fire situation, it would get extinguished just like we saw today, but she implied that she wanted to speed things up for us so it wouldn’t take so long to get everyone to fire the extinguishers. I thought it looked suspiciously easy. Hopefully a fire really would go out that quickly.
After everything was done
Then I went to Tribble Mill Park to look for the Lord. I was feeling really burdened. It’s really nice just to go out someplace totally alone and be alone, on some nice rocks near a river, and talk to God. He talked to me a while and helped me. I stayed there a long time. See here for some of what I talked to Him about.
Then I went home. Now I’m going to work on science stuff this weekend – lots to work on. Although, after 2 p.m. tomorrow, I’m going to visit Ms. Harmon at her house to say hi and give her updates. That’ll be nice. I've seen all the other Oxford professors this summer except Dr. Shapiro and her and I really wanted to at least see her before the craziness starts in earnest at Emory.
And that’s about all!