june study challenge day 18:today is father’s day in the u.s.! describe your dad or another male role model that has helped you in your academic life. my dad’s a food chemist, so between him and my mother’s microbiology work i literally grew up inside labs and we lived inside the campus itself. he’s a very good teacher and he knows so much, cooking with him is so interesting and yet he’s never pushed me towards science like the rest of my family, he always encouraged me to make my own choices. i look up to him a lot, since he has to deal with being an immigrant and a non native speaker of portuguese, and yet he works so hard and has achieved so much! besides he’s created & published optimized chromatography methods and imo that’s really cool
Before my eyes, it blocks my path. A high, high wall; what sort of scene is on the other side? What will I be able to see there? T h e V i e w f r o m t h e T o p . A scenery that I will never see on my own; but if I’m not alone, then … I might be able to see it.
Here’s the journal entry I did yesterday about my trip to a cat cafe~ My friends and I also stopped by Paper Source and I picked up a new washi and a stamp! I got an Amy Tangerine roller stamp as well yee
“I tried to do handstands for you, but every time I fell for you. I’m permanently black and blue, permanently blue for you.” // Journalling + Reading today, when I read I love to copy down poems and paragraphs that I fancy. I also felt the pictures were very fitting. ( 1 6 / 0 6 / 2 0 1 7 )
i saw a post on this exercise where you draw your current self and what you imagine/hope you’d be like in a set amount of time — it sounded fun so i decided to give it a try! haven’t gotten around to the future self part yet, though.
june study challenge day 19: what piece of work from this year are you most proud of? it’s not a grade or any project that i’ve created, per se, but this school year i made myself proud by stepping up and looking for a third year internship ahead of time (and securing it!) in the area i wanted. grades are important, but so is putting yourself out there and actively chasing your goals!
yesterday i was feeling claustrophobic after two days at home so i went to my usual café and solved exams to prep for today’s exam.
june study challenge day 3:what keeps you motivated at the end of the school year? i feel like everyone, including me, struggles a lot with this. what motivates me most is (a) the idea of going back home soon (b) the study process itself, which distracts me from feeling sad or empty and, just like a good workout, feels rewarding when i’m done for the day.
Sure thing. In a nutshell, after rolling up your attributes (everything in Traveller is randomly generated), your character starts out as an 18-year-old with no skills or resources to speak of, and you have to pick a career path. Early versions of the game assumed that all player characters would be military veterans, so various types of military service were the only options available, while later iterations add post-secondary education, civilian career paths, and even being a “wanderer” (read: space pirate).
Your character’s life is then divided into four-year terms, and you play each term out as a simple minigame to determine what you learned, what you experienced - and yes, whether you survived. As you can imagine, there are lots of random tables. In the earliest versions of the game, blowing your survival roll simply means that your character is dead, so there’s a tension between staying in longer in order to gain more skills, and the risk of blowing a roll and having to start over. Later versions of the game offer a variety of potential consequences for failing a survival roll, including scandal, imprisonment, or simply being horribly maimed.
Here - I’ll walk us through a basic example right now. For reference, I’m using the second Mongoose Publishing edition of the game (there are several) - you can find a bit of prior discussion on that subject here.
The Mother drops by at times to give her siblings the apples she grew herself because she loved the meaning her previous Eve gave to them. She believed in the meaning, and believed that things will be resolved without resorting to violent feelings. She is particularly keen on how Lawless is doing because of the whole incident, but seeing now that he is doing better, she is relieved. The apples did pay off.
This story is a series of vignettes following the premise: “Imagine if Jamie travelled through the stones, but instead of finding Claire in Boston he found himself having arrived years too early, when the War was still happening and Claire had yet to meet him… What would he do?”
Formatting note: Bolding in Jamie’s letters = underlining
Another long night in surgery by the end of which I wanted nothing more than to scream.
But, as always, Danton was there waiting for me at the shed with whisky and an open ear. I don’t know how he always knows when I’m in most need of company, but it means the world to know I’ve got a friend, not just friendly people with whom I work, but a friend. He’s always there to listen, drink with me, say a word of encouragement, and get me laughing by the time I leave to go to sleep. Still a tough nut to crack, all things considered, but I’ve rarely encountered someone so intuitive and incisive. He’s quiet, but when he speaks, it’s with such intention.
Add another tidbit to the Danton file: his mother’s name was Hélène and she had red hair. It makes him sad to talk about her, but he loved her very much.
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Will ye have you noticed, reading this, years hence, that I’m a different person these last several months than in the ones before? That I go days—weeks, even— without writing single word? That when I do, it’s brief pleasantries: what I ate, the tasks I undertook?
It isna because my days are less full than before; quite the contrary. Only, if I dinna force myself to recount the way I’ve let myself act around you, the way I order my day so that I can see you, the way I encourage your attentions, chaste and merely friendly as they are….If I allow myself to simply go to sleep with the sound of your voice still fresh in my ear, I’m better able to live with myself for it. ‘Tis infinitely easier to let myself live my days in an unexamined happiness, however fleeting, however much I feel the shame of it in my bones, deep down. Writing of it, having to face it, makes my weaknesses so abundantly and painfully clear. Denial, I have found, is its own sweet comfort.
Will you understand this, Sassenach? Will you understand the depth of loneliness that can drive a person to be so pitifully less than he ought?
Still, with every day that passes, each day torn between restraint and joy in your companionship, I find the voice of better judgement murmuring more and more determinedly in the back of my mind, the same questions that have been there from the beginning of this nightmare: What is it that I actually accomplish on your behalf? Is it only my pride that keeps me here? Would it be better for you, be less risky, if I were to simply leave, go to Scotland and bide my time until you should return? Am I doing you any good at all by staying?
C. E. B. Randall
Camp Nightwing, France
A working Christmas, but a merry one. Wrote a long letter to Frank with all my love.
Danton seemed absolutely shocked when I handed him his gift, and he tried to scold me for it, but everyone can use a new scarf, I insisted! It brings out the blue in his eyes. He grumbled about it even then, but honestly I think he was just embarrassed he didn’t have anything for me in return. Told him it was the least I could do to pay him back for drinking all of his good whisky, month after month. Then I told him the truth: that his friendship has been a tremendously dear gift to me this year. I swear to God, the man actually blushed.
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A new year, today, mo nighean donn. Ye pushed a paper cup of champagne into my hand at the gathering in the mess hall and kissed my cheek before running off to dance with your friends. It was a lively song first, but followed by that bittersweet one that brings tears to my eyes every time, even if I canna discern the tune:
….how happy, my darling, we’ll be,
when they turn up the lights,
and the dark, lonely nights
are only a memory.
You sat off to the side, during that one, looking as lonely and sorrowful as I myself must have appeared.
Nineteen hundred and forty-four. Another year closer to when I can take your face in both my hands and kiss you without end, at the stroke of midnight or no.
C. E. B. Randall
Camp Nightwing, France
Saw Danton wearing his blue muffler again. Teased him about it and he immediately grinned and pulled a little cloth-wrapped bundle out of his pocket. The bastard intentionally baited me!
My Christmas gift turned out to be a little carved-wood oval, polished and sleek as a pebble, with an intricate interlace pattern that, at the center, knits inward to form a dragonfly. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, and I honestly can’t stop staring at it. The time it must have taken him, and the precision needed for working on so tiny a canvas! He demurred, of course, when I raved about the craftsmanship, but I know he was pleased I liked it.
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You stitched up a wee French laddie today, no more than four years of age. He was hurt in the course of fleeing with his family, and it was clear that he was terrified of soldiers and of being in camp. Ye spoke to him softly in his own language as ye worked, though, soothing and comforting him as though he were your own. Ye sang to him, too. Being so sadly precluded from music myself, these last years, it didna occur to me before that ye might have such a lovely voice.
I’ve passed these last few hours in such beautiful peace, mo ghraidh: imagining the day when ye might take my head in your lap and sing to me as you stroke my hair; a day when a song drifts through our rooms, our home, and I peek through a doorway to see you cradling our child, singing them to sleep.
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You didna tell me he was coming to camp.
Should it reassure me, an indication that I’m insignificant enough that it didna even cross your mind to mention it? Or is it the worst of signs: that ye didna want to speak of your husband, of all people, to me?
There he stood, there at the quiet edge of camp by the pond, behind the barracks. Franklin Wolverton Randall, patiently waiting for his wife to go on leave. He truly does look like the bastard. I nearly reached for my knife when I saw him standing there, unannounced, unexpected. Then to see you, out of uniform, hair long and loose as ye ran for him, flew into his arms with that same abandon as you used to enter mine? See him kiss you, touch you like that—
I watched for far too long, mo chridhe. I confess as much to you, here. It was wrong of me, but I simply couldna look away. Even after the two of ye had left, hand-in-hand, your face alight and beaming….I sat under that tree for hours—trying not to think of where and how and for how long he was bedding you, tasting you. Would ye be making those same small sounds for him, reaching for him with that wild, lovely abandon? Would ye be crying out his name, moaning for him as
C. E. B. Randall
Camp Nightwing, France
Lord, it’s positively wretched trying to undertake an intimate visit in a mobile camp with no friendly town or inn nearby. A spare tent and two mattresses pushed together on the ground hardly can qualify as a love nest. Still, throw enough cozy blankets on top and a cozy husband within for good measure, and not a bad way to spend a day or two off.
It’s been over a year since we last saw each other. Always a little strange trying to get back into things, but it’s so good to have him here, to have even a short time to reconnect. It’s easy to get caught up in work, day after day and month after month; easy to forget, amidst it all, that I’ve a marriage to maintain.
Danton’s taken ill, apparently; asked for today and tomorrow off. Hoping he’s alright.
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I wanted him to be cruel. I wanted him to be the worst kind of scum.
But when I was so startled seeing his face again unexpectedly today that I dropped a hammer on my foot, he came over at once to see if he could help. He was kind and considerate, and had a warmth to his eyes, even toward a complete stranger such as me. He has nothing of the cruelty of his putative ancestor, not to me, and more importantly, not toward you. I could see the tenderness he has for ye, the evident care and the love as the two of ye made your farewells.
It only serves as yet another proof. You’re safe while you’re in camp. You’re safe when you’re with Frank. You dinna need me watching over you. You never did. The only one that needed it was me.
Today, Claire. It ends today. I promise you this.
C. E. B. Randall
Camp Nightwing, France
Danton is angry with me, I think. Every time I try to approach him to talk or just say hello, he’s turning tail and making for the other side of camp. He’s never in the wards anymore, nor do I see him taking his meals at the usual times. I made excuses for him for the first several days, but it’s clear, now, that he’s actively avoiding me.
It shouldn’t bother me as much as it has, but damn it all, I miss him; that calm support he’s been to me this year.
Jesus, looking at that on the page, I want to scratch it out. I have no right to be so entitled or territorial or whatever you wish to call it. The man’s never even told me his first name, for god’s sake, and he hardly knows a thing about me, either. Still, there’s a hollow feeling in my chest every time I feel that dragonfly carving in my pocket. I miss him, and I don’t know what I did.
How bloody dare he.
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I ache for you, mo nighean donn.
April 1, 1944
I rounded the corner so quickly, neither of us had time to avoid the other. We both just stood there in the narrow passage between tents, teetering mid-step. I smiled and opened my mouth to speak. He nodded once, put his head down, and walked around me.
“Oh for Christ’s sake,” I snapped, turning to follow him with my glare, “honestly? Danton, I’m not going to bite you.”
He stopped, but did not turn. “I know, madame.” Quiet. lifeless.
“Will you at least tell me what it is I’ve done to offend you so grievously?”
I didn’t think it was possible, but his shoulders tensed further. “You ‘ave done nothing, madame.”
“Well, something clearly changed.” All my pent-up bewilderment was barreling out of me in a fury. “You’ve avoided me completely for weeks. You won’t even look at me any more, like the past year was just— erased overnight! I mean, Jesus H. Christ, we used to be friends, didn’t we?”
A momentary flash of blue over his shoulder before the hair and the hat obscured him. “In truth, we do not know one another, madame. We ‘ave been friendly acquaintances.”
“Ac…Acquaintances.” My blood boiled and hot tears prickled in my eyes. “That’s it? That’s…. bloody it?” My voice came out shrill and small.
His was like a dead man’s. “What more did you think it was, madame?”
I couldn’t even speak for a few moments, so great was the shock and hurt.
He made to walk away, but then I found my voice, low, teeth gritted. “Perhaps I don’t know you in the sense of having all the details of your life’s story. Why? Because you deign to divulge such things only once in a blue moon and I’ve respected that.” I rallied, trying to maintain control of the lump in my throat and my rage. “But you meant a hell of a lot more to me than I apparently meant to you.”
He was still for moment longer, then he turned and faced me squarely, looking me in the eye with a hostility I had never before seen there. “I am no longer interested in being your charity case, madame. And it is time you learned to carry on without needing a man to constantly congratulate you.”
He may as well have sliced me open.
“Fuck you, too, then.”
I threw the dragonfly on the ground and walked away without a glance backward.
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It was the only way I knew to complete the break.
I am so very sorry, mo nighean donn.
I shall be leaving as soon as I have enough wages to get home. I waited all my life for you. I can wait four years more alone.
C. E. B. Randall
Camp Nightwing, France
So many battles. So many wounded. German incursions and raids have locked down the camp until further notice.
God, just let this vile war end.
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You willna even speak to me, now. I hardly can blame you for it, as that was the intended result. Still, now it’s me keeping my eyes wide and searching for you at every turning, for you’ve been avoiding the usual sick bays, the places we used to encounter one another.
You’ve taken to teaching classes to the soldiers. It’s a credit to you, Claire. I’ve stood outside the tents and listened to you give your lessons on several occasions. You truly are grand at it, this world of healing and instructing. You have so much in you, Sassenach, so much to give.
I dinna wish to leave you.
C. E. B. Randall
Camp Nightwing, France
God be praised, the Americans stormed the Normandy beaches yesterday. Let this be the breakthrough that changes things, at last.
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Tomorrow. I’ve been given leave to depart tomorrow.
I’ve thought long and hard about it, Claire. Even if you dinna wish to see me, even if it is only a word and a moment, I shall say farewell face-to-face.
The sack felt leaden on his shoulders, though he had hardly any possessions to his name. His old sporran. A change of clothing. His book of letters to Claire.
This is not the end, he reminded himself over and over. This is naught but the end of a chapter that should not have been opened to begin with. This is not the end.
The walk across camp felt an eternity, made still worse by the fact that she wasn’t even in the barracks, where she would normally be found at 7:00 of an evening. She wasn’t in the instructional tent. He went to the mess-hall—not there either.
“Jesus, Claire,” he muttered under his breath after a full quarter hour of searching, “where in God’s name have ye gone?
At last, he spotted a familiar face and he all but ran to catch up with her, panting a little as he said, “Excuse me, Miss Nancy?”
Nancy jumped as though he had grabbed her, and it took all his control not to roll his eyes at the flighty wee thing. She never had gotten over that initial fear and loathing for his manner and look. More’s the pity that it hadn’t worked half so well on Claire.
He recovered and gave a cordial bow. “I am most sorry to ‘ave startled you. Would you tell me, please, where I might find Nurse Randall?”
“Whew, um,” Nancy put a dramatic hand on her heaving heart as she blinked and thought. “Oh! Yes, well, she’s not here, of course.”
“Not here?” In his shock, he nearly forgot to put on the French accent. “Where ‘as she gone?”
“She was part of the escort that set out to take those American chaps back.”
“…Ameri—” Then the world was shifting, tumbling, fragments of memory from another war suddenly sparking into horrific clarity.
“Surely you heard about it? The two Airborne lads that came to us because they got separated from their men after Normandy? They’ve been here for the last week, I can’t believe you haven’t—”
But Jamie wasn’t listening. He was running.
Of all the things Claire had told him, how could he have failed to recollect THIS? For today was the day Claire nearly got herself killed by German fire…..the day when Claire could get herself killed by German fire.