Monday, September 26, 2005

The Vacation Blog?(!)

I originally wanted to stick on one purpose with this blog -- online community musings. However, there are several people who do a better job at posting regularly than I do. And those who don't post regularly, do so with quality. So it's time to loosen up the restrictions I've put on myself.

For the next month, I hope to blog a trip I have been planning for many months now. There are several reasons for my trip:

  • I haven't taken a "real" vacation in 5 years. Working at the Game Developers Conference or watching every film Toshiro Mifune made with Akira Kurosawa at the Pacific Film Archive while also reading
    The Emperor and the Wolf: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune

    don't count).

  • As a hobby, I portray a 16thC German surgeon. My interest is in how surgeons (who were trained as a trade, not in universities) started to follow the empirical evidence before them rather than rely on ancient incorrect theories based on belief rather than evidence. At the same time, the printing press allowed them to publish what they read in the common language of their peers and not Latin required by the academics which, in my view, helped advance the medical arts. As part of all this, I'm interested in obtaining reproductions of accurate instruments to perform demonstrations of procedures. To that end, I am going to medical museums through Germany to document the size and construction of instruments.

  • It's been 20 years since I have been to Germany and I do like the place and the people, not to mention the beer.

  • First I need to decompress
    But before I begin my Bildungsreise ("educational vacation"), I'll be unwinding in Cortona, Italy. The only reason for this is that friends of mine have rented a villa there and I just have to show up and cover my share. Of course, there will be a side trip to "La Specola" to see the 250 year old anatomical wax works.

    Three weeks, too many cities?
    Have I bitten off more than I can chew? In this map of Germany, my rough route is highlighted in yellow. I'll be making side trips to the typical tourist places such as Rothenburg, but also some side trips to the family home of Georg von Frundsberg in Mindelheim and a Peasant's War Museum in Mühlhausen (I should find a link to that before I go, huh?). It might be more than I can do, but I'm not going to push it. The medical museums I linked to above are my main goal. They will take me to many cities where I will have an opportunity to get away from the main tourist areas and find a small beer garden to relax. I've been learning German at the Goethe Institute since January and can easily navigate my way through daily life and might be able to hold up a basic conversation.

    I fly on Friday. That leaves 2 days of work and 1 day of packing....


    1. Hey, have a GREAT vacation! Sounds terrific. Come back with stories of great food from Cortona, ok?

    2. Hey Scott,

      Phil Collis here (Vaz's friend) ... I was checking your blog to see if you were heading up to the online communitys summit, but I'm glad to see you're taking a vacation!! Even better!

      Changing times around here, but hopefully will see you around sometime ;)

    3. I can neither confirm nor deny being Phil Collis' friend.

    4. Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
      I have read through one history
      Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

      People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

      A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

      ". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

      "And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

      "When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

      "I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

      For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing