Quite a bit going on since my last post. All of my readings, with the exception of the articles to read on the Political-Economic Transformation in Egypt, are done! This included three books (actually 11 chapters out of the books) and seven articles that cover the Political-Economic Transformations in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Syria.
Before Oxford sent out the final reading list with the specific chapters and articles to read, I had gotten well into Saudi Arabia in the Balance and A History of Iraq. Luckily I had read the chapters I needed in for Saudi Arabia, but I had just gotten to where I needed to read for Iraq. So basically,...I've read the whole book. Wasn't able to get to one article since it wasn't in electronic format to download. I emailed Dr. Fred Lawson and he will be distributing this specific one himself.
Since my last post I also submitted my Final Project Proposal (Master's Thesis) in June and my topic was accepted by the committee. So, after Oxford, I will be writing about how social capital has been utilized in the growth of the Evangelical Political Machine. This is very fitting since I live just south of one of the largest evangelical Universities in the United States (and world) at Liberty University.
I'm also in various stages of cleaning around the house. Trying to get things in as much order as possible before I leave so that my wife will be able to focus on our daughters and her work. Still a good bit to do, but very close to getting things in order. If I don't,...fire and brimstone are a good possibility from my lovely wife!
Very thankful that my mother-in-law lives relatively close to help out while I'm gone. Also, my niece and her son will be coming up during the last week I'm at Oxford to help, and visit a bit. The girls haven't seen their cousin in about two years. This should be good since my youngest and their cousin are about the same age.
Have several loads of laundry done and packing is underway - well, sort of. The good thing is that packing for guys doesn't take that long. Just have to be strategic in what I take to the UK. It's not nearly as hot there as it is in Central and Southside Virginia this time of year.
Have to put a quick plug in for my old boss, Anthony Carey, who is the General Manager at the Siena Hotel and Il Palio Ristorante in Chapel Hill, NC. Since I'm flying out of RDU on Saturday, he's arranged for me and my family to stay overnight so we can spend some time together in a nice place before they drop me off at the airport the next day. The Siena Hotel is an incredible place to stay - Four Diamond hotel and restaurant and consistently ranked high in Zaget's Survey of hotels and restaurants. Great place for wedding receptions, meetings, or romantic getaways.
Still have three shifts to work at Gerald's, the locally woman-owned restaurant I'm working at right now while finishing up my Master's Degree. I've also got my weekly political call-in to still do this week with WNIS AM790 out of Norfolk, VA on the Dave Parker Show. Always interesting since the station is conservative leaning and I'm left-of-center, as they say. At least the phone lines light up when I'm on! This is suppose to be a good thing - for them.
Now, back to cleaning and folding laundry...(YEAH! - Not...)