Oh my God, I've got Pandora back. This makes me very happy. Apparently you can use a proxy server in the states to circumvent the block in place that prevents access from other countries. It turns out that this falls under the category of "hacking". It made me kind of proud in a way, dedicated novice that I am, to be elevated to such a skilled sounding title. Too bad it's also a negative sounding title, but I don't care because I get to find new music to buy again! Pandora has turned me onto so many artists and bands that I hadn't known about and now I will be able to discover more. Everybody wins, right? Apparently, government regulations get in the way of access, and no one is happy about that.
Something else to be happy/unhappy about. Snow. I was sitting in the car waiting to go into a lesson when I saw ashes falling on the windshield. That's strange, I thought. Is someone smoking nearby? I looked around and saw no one. Then I realized it was snowing. It's been so long I didn't even recognize it showing up. Sigh. The long hard winter has begun.
I had a great class yesterday. We were talking about the cult "The Army of Mary" because I had given out an article about the excommunication of six nuns for belonging to the sect and purporting that its leader is the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary. (I give all my students different stories to take home and then they summarize them at the next class.) At the end of the student's storytelling, I asked if she believed in reincarnation. No. I went around the room. No. No. Yes. From there we descended (or ascended depending on how you look at it) into talk of astral projection and the tunnel phenomenon upon dying. We talked about the unexplained and the explained. We talked all about Chris Angel and his amazing tricks. There was a staunch skeptic in the room. All of it baloney. And then another student detailed her out-of-body experiences to us. I gave them my line that the truth is that we cannot know what happens after death so might as well imagine that it's pleasant. Then we got into the theme of Big Fish and ended up agreeing that believing in a little bit of magic makes life more interesting than believing in none at all. I think we even got the staunch skeptic to open her mind a bit. Yes, a very satisfying class.