Things here are wet. After threatening to storm for a couple of days, the heavens finally rent and emptied themselves on our backyard. Before that happened, however, Nathan shot two snakes swimming in our lake with the .22 rifle we bought from him at Christmas. He shot another one a couple of days ago. We decided that they were all harmless water snakes. But when they’re swimming, it’s hard to tell the difference between them and water moccasins. I haven’t seen heard anything about the beavers recently. They may have moved on. Stephanie and Nathan found a live trap a few weeks ago out in a field. It’s big enough to hold a beaver should the beast wander into it and trip the plate so that the doors on either end snap shut. They set it up on a beaten path leading up from the lake and put sticks around it so that the only way to the other side was through the trap. A couple of days later, Stephanie went out in the morning to check the trap. As she approached, she noticed that something was inside! It caught something! Getting nearer, she saw that whatever it was had white on it. Puzzled, she hurried forward to find our cat meowing inside. The poor thing had left the barn to hunt but had her adventure cut short on the way to get a drink. After a week or so and no results, other than the trapped cat, Nathan and Stephanie got a tip from a former forester in our church about how to catch a beaver. They soaked bark stripped from the trees the beavers especially seem to like in sugar water overnight and placed the bait in the trap. The trapped has stayed there, however, and caught nothing. Not even the cat.

My grandmother came home today. She requires almost constant care if she’s not asleep. Mom spent the whole day fetching prescriptions, helping her practice speaking, etc… When Mom was gone, Stephanie and I took turns keeping an eye on my grandmother. It’s going to be different. But at least now we have a reason for telling Benjamin to shut up.

The name I made up for my Russian history test was Mecheck or something. I think I was trying to say Malevich, so I’m afraid spelling isn’t going to help me on this one. It should elsewhere, though. I misspelled Trotsky’s name two different ways.

We seem to cover everything so quickly in class. Our professor lectures for an hour and a half or so on Tuesday and then we have “discussion” on Thursday. That’s when she asks people to talk about what she taught Tuesday and then cuts them off and adds whatever else she wants to say.
That can be good if you can’t answer her questions. Sometimes we watch documentaries. It’s neat to see on t.v. what we’ve been reading about and listening to.

The NEP was interesting. It reminds me of Stolypin’s policy. Whenever they enacted some capitalistic emergency type programs and started making economic and agricultural progress, they’d cut it short to make way for something “better”. The most interesting thing I’ve learned is that
farmland has almost always been collective, first in the peasant communes and then in Stalin’s state farms.

I listened to The Last Tsar, a biography of Nicholas II on tape. It was very interesting. A lot of it was taken from his diary. Right now I’m reading Children of the Arbat. It begins during the first five year plan under Stalin. It’s amazing that everyone loved him so much and thought that communism was good when all around people were being arrested, tortured, killed, starved, or just having an all around bad time of it. I just started it and have to have it finished by the end of spring break. Ack.

I don’t think I’ll be skipping any school. For one thing, I wouldn’t want to. For another, I don’t want to pay the price. It’s much easier if I just stay in school. I don’t have any plans for the summer yet. Dad was talking to me about it the other day. He said something to the effect that I probably wasn’t going to have that many free summers anymore, so I might want to take advantage of this one. Mom won’t be able to come out for CBA’s convention in Denver like she did last year because she has to take care of my grandmother. Nathan and Stephanie are planning to come out for at least camp. Nathan’s family might even come to Colorado for a vacation. Staying out for most of the summer sounds appealing to me. If I’m guaranteed a camping trip, I’ll come.

I like to tear off the cards they have on flyers posted to the bulletin boards in the hallways at school and send them off to wherever they came from to get mail. I got one from the University of Miami in Ohio (don’t ask, I haven’t figured it out myself) from the political science department. I especially looked over the part about tuition being wavered and stipends being paid. That would be really cool, to be able to study somewhere for free and let the school take care of living expenses. Be a professional student. I like that idea.

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