I went to an interesting celebration on Saturday called Burns Night. It's basically a national celebration of Scotland to honor the memory and legacy of poet Robert Burns. It was much more formal than I was expecting with many people decked out in kilts, suits, dresses, and all forms of formalware. It's a several course dinner along with readings of his poems, and also most importantly, in my opinion, the music. A couple of my friends were playing, so they really appreciated me coming, I hope at least. The food was good with smoked brisket and various tasty vegatables being served. The most interesting part of the food was the presentation and subsequent consumption of the haggus. Haggus is basically sheep, cow, or goat digestive organs ground up and cooked kind of like meat loaf. First of all the Haggus was broought in, escorted by, as it was described to me, an old guy brandishing a sword. A piper followed, a ceremony was performed, and then we all had to decide, if we hadn't tried it before, whether or not to eat the newly presented haggus. I ate the haggus, and actually didn't think it was too bad. The best way I can describe it as that it tasted much like meat loaf. If you didn't think about what you were eating, it was pretty tasty. There wasn't much haggus to be had, but since the whole table didn't eat it all, I had two little pieces of it. Mmmmmm sheep intestines and stomaches! Yummy.
The music was really good and the friends I came to see did really well. They're in the beginning piping class, and they'll probably be really good and playing full-sized bagpipes soon. The Ozark Highlanders, the main bagpipe band from around here, were really good. I think they numered about ten pipers with accompanying drummers. It was interesting how little Celtic culture I actually know. So it was good to hear the songs I so enjoy, and coupling it to the culture that created it. I never knew that there was a society here that, speaking in Arkansas accents of course, talked about their various clans and the games they had been to in the past. I don't know how many people were *actually* from Scotland, but that really doesn't matter too much, especially if they're so intent on keeping their heritage alive. I'd definitely go again if given the chance.
Later in teh evening. Just got back from really long dinner. Hanging with these guys really brings back memories of my time in Australia. Not that my friends bring back memories of the country, but I enjoy hanging out with people that care.
Got some reading for tomorrow' 8 a.m. class so that maybe I'll be able to understand what's going on in there. It seems like it will most likely be one huge differential equation that will explain things that I won't really understand, and probably won't use. It especially makes it hard that the class is so early in the morning. This clas, transport, is one that many a grad student in chemical engineering, myself included, dreads. It's one of the two classes I need to graduate, so I'll do them for sure, but I won't stop complaining. It's not anything like Statics, the professor actually wants to work with me, so that's good.
Well, time to continue watching this thing find more files. It's not looking like it will be too difficult to recover the files I want, but who knows. Will update more soon.