Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"There is no downward limit to how dumb a question can be"

Things are going pretty wonderfully. After a week of solid traveling we have been to Amsterdam, Leiden, Den Haag (The Hague), and of course are now in Vienna. Right now it’s 10:30 in the morning. This means we have been in Europe now about one hour shy of a full week. Thankfully after the first four of five days of meeting people and having coordinated events all over the place we are finally about to settle down, do some reading, and start figuring out what exactly it is we’re supposed to be doing on a daily basis.

My grand plans today were to wake up early to make some eggs and coffee, and then head downtown to check out the climbing gym I’ve been raving about for the last couple of days. The plan lasted about 2 minutes. I walked into the bathroom to take care of the usual morning business, turned on the light, started what I went there to do, and then noticed I was standing in complete darkness…dammit, the power is out.

No coffee. No eggs. So it goes…

Instead I’m stuck with eating Haribo gummy bears and daydreaming of stopping by a coffee shop on the way into the city. This is the second day in a row I’ve missed my coffee, by the way...truly unacceptable if I do say so myself.

Last night was our first official class in the program. Not too bad really, although four hours is a long time to sit and listen to anyone talk about anything. At the start of class a young lady from the student support center brought up a tray of coffee, cream, sugar, and a bottle of water. Awesome…I can get use to this. Our professor is a relatively high energy little Austrian fellow with a slight stutter and a propensity to confuse people with his examples. His thick accent results in a very distinct and emotive “pow-uh” every time he says “power,” which I find completely amusing. I should add that the title of this post is one of the first things he said in class last night. 

I feel like the first class was a little like getting shot out of a cannon without any pants on (I know that really doesn’t make any sense but I like the example.) What I actually mean by that is we spent 2 hours trying to analyze game theory, the prisoner’s dilemma, and zero/positive sum games without actually touching on the core theories of international relations first. I’m sure it will all come around though, I’m just antsy to get started. 

Speaking of getting started...here is a picture of the books we have to read for the 8 week term in Austria. For your reading pleasure I had also included my last 3 gummy bears as proof of the enormity of this task. 

Off to the climbing gym...cheers.



  1. Hilarious post, Jonathan!

    I agree with you; 4 hours is a long time. I'd like to think that you "get used to it", but truly, it can be a real bear. No gummy pun intended. Keep up the sugar intake, as you will need it.

    More pow-uh to you and Brandy and the 29 others for taking on the exciting but enormous task that is the Global IR Program! We are cheering all of you on from St. Louis.



  2. Thanks for sharing your gummy bears along with a great post :)