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Amparo Bertram

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10:40 am: Experiencing technical difficulties
I had intended to post earlier with a picture of me wearing my new uniform. Unfortunately, my camera is malfunctioning. Something is wrong with its ability to perceive light, because all of the pictures appear either completely washed out or bathed in shadow.

Classes are proceeding as usual. We're learning various manual procedures now, which mainly involves looking items up on lists and tables to see whether they are allowed into the country. Everyone asks, "Why can't we just look this stuff up online instead of flipping through this six-inch manual?" The answer is that the government is slowly accumulating the information into databases for us to access. The first chapter of the manual (the one handling fruits and vegetables for consumption) is currently online at FAVIR. (If you want to try out this site, note that the public does not have access to all of the special exceptions, such as seasonal exemptions.) Even when they get the whole manual online, though, they aren't sure whether they will teach classes using the online version...because if they did, they would have to provide the entire class with laptops to study outside of class time, and that gets expensive. Then what happens if the server goes down, or the connection, or there's a power outage? So we'll be flipping pages for quite a while.

Otherwise, things are going pretty well. The weather has turned quite cold, so it's hard to pry myself out of my room to go anywhere. I tried using the hotel's grocery shopping service, but it didn't live up to expectations. Though I wrote all the specifications of the grapefruit juice I wanted, they bought 30% juice instead of the 100% juice that I had requested. I guess I'll be doing my own grocery shopping from now on.

I did go out yesterday when a couple of classmates invited me to join them perusing the Frederick Christmas craft fair. It was pretty nice. Not as large as the Ann Arbor Art Fair, of course, but it did take up a number of warehouse-sized buildings. I made a few small purchases, though I had to limit myself to things that I could carry back to California.

My Warcraft characters are leveling slowly. What with my poor connection and the time I have to spend on training-related affairs, I'm not getting as much gaming done as I would otherwise. I'll get there eventually, though.

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[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:November 23rd, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
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It's great that everyone has his or her uniform now. It's amazing how everything takes so much time. That's what I find in my life, anyway.

Being able to use a good search engine to find each procedure would be a lot more fun under the best of circumstances. But nobody likes it when the server is down, that's for sure.

The Christmas craft fair sounds like fun. Even when I don't buy things, it's nice seeing all the originality and talent.

Sorry about the camera; that's a bummer. I wonder if the camera company has an on-line help desk.
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