An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Friday, March 31, 2006

On Again, Off Again

Blogging will be sporadic during the beginning of take some time and visit my links.

...but please come back!!!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Week 19 Sonogram

Now for your rorschach test. Yup! It is sonogram time!

I'm trying to take a nap!


You've seen the heart, you've seen the spine, now let me get my beauty rest!

Celebrating the Military Child

Did you know that April is the Month of the Military Child?

Military children do not voluntarily enlist for this MOS, but nonetheless sacrifice and serve.

What are they doing on your post to celebrate these brave young people and educate the community?

On our post, we kick off a month of seminars and educational outreach with a huge FREE festival. I have been on the planning committee, though post employees do most of the work.

I also made this a Junior League volunteer event and we are contributing some volunteers (eight right now--I am hoping for a few more!).

One of our members is a US Army Officer AND Mrs. Texas. Not only is she volunteering at the event and getting some of her soldiers involved, but she told them they could use her to promote the event if it would help. What a class act!

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

You Gotta Have Faith

One of the most interesting things about moving to Texas has been the opportunity to chat with a lot of people who believe intensely.

I do not think the people who live in the Northeast metro areas and in California really understand how deep faith runs out here.

I've encountered a lot of people here who are "literalists"--they believe that every word of the Bible is literally true.

Their argument is, in a nutshell, that since God is omnipotent, He can do anything. Also, if there are contradictions, that is just something to take on faith, since God's will is essentially unknowable.

A segment of these believers also believe in predestination--that who is saved and who is damned is foreordained.

One friend recently explained that I do not feel comfortable with this since I am a humanist.

I realized, too late, that this is not quite the issue, although the insight may be true.

I came to this epiphany while reading an article on constitutional interpretation.

I am not so much a humanist as I am an originalist.

I have no problem believing that God can do whatever He wants. I am sure that He can work all the miracles in the Bible and more...

However, I believe that God allows us free choice. God does not NEED us to choose Him, but WE need to choose Him. Otherwise, He would have simply saved us (or some of us if the predestinationalists are correct) rather than send His Son in human form to die for us. I think CS Lewis does a pretty good job of discussing this in Mere Christianity.

Now, on to the "originalist" issue.

While certainly God COULD engineer the exact twists and turns and political machinations and translations that have brought the Bible to us today, it seems to me more likely that He gave us this wondrous gift and opportunity and then gave us the free will so we could choose to answer His call, for our own sakes.

I believe that the Word of God, which is perfect, has been altered over time. God's word poured through imperfect human vessels. Not so much so that it is unrecognizable, but enough that our prejudices and ignorance crept in.

It is not that I want to approach religion in a purely academic, intellectual way--solely through the disciplines of history, archeology, anthropology, etc.

The social scientist in me comes into play when people seem to want to freeze in the Middle Ages or some other period of history. I am a traditionalist--but the Church was not born in the Middle Ages, and I cannot ignore what I know of that time period.

If I could know the Church in its earliest days, then I would want to go back to that. Since I do not, though, I rely, not on history, but on faith to guide me.

I rely on the idea that if I heed God's call, I will be able to, in my own imperfect way, answer.

Thank you for letting me share. Please feel free to share your thoughts, too.

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's a...

GIRL!!! My baby will be a girl. Lavender, pink, butterflies, flowers, rainbows, and all the rest...

The nursery will still be gender-neutral (jungle themed) but I sense a lot of ruffles and lace in my future.

More info:

She is about as cooperative as her mother. I've seen her three times on the ultrasound before this (once when my friend snuck me in, once when my midwife was sick so I had a doctor instead, and then when I tripped over Loki). All three times she wiggled and stretched.

Now when we were finally trying to determine gender, check her vitals, and measure her, she decided it was nap time and curled into a ball.

The technician practically tipped me upside down to try to wake her up. My hand was starting to go numb.

Finally we hit the last checkpoint--a visual on all four chambers of the heart.

The technician said she had really full lips.

DH and I are thrilled.

I think Calypso (our Russian Blue prima donna) will be less thrilled to be supplanted as the baby girl of the house.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Nice Person!

Today at the post office, I opened the car door and a gust of wind blew the door wide open.

I looked at the other car and there were two scuff marks in the paint. It looked like I could have only caused one of the marks. I was not sure I had done anything, but I left a note.

The guy called and thanked me for leaving the note. He said one of the scuffs was old and it was no big deal.


After paying $106 for the stupid fillings, I was not looking forward to dealing with the insurance companies or paying for a paint job on someone's car.

How nice of him!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Can You Ever Return to the Magic Garden?

I loved The Magic Garden! My parents even took me to see Carole and Paula live when I was little.

You can even order the original episodes.

Being pregnant has made me nostalgic for my early childhood. However, I am hesitant to order. I am afraid the 70s sentiment and sensibilities would seem hokey to me know.

Perhaps The Magic Garden is best left in my memories?

Need a Better Dentist

Last night I lost a filling.

When I woke up this morning, I called for an appointment at Smile Care on post.

They gave me one for an hour and a half later.

So far, so good.

I go out to get in the car. Dead battery. Jump car. I was wondering when the deployment gremlins would make their reappearance.

So, not the best start, but I'm on my way.

I get to the office and wait. And wait. And wait some more.

They call me and as I am on my way back, she asks if I am pregnant (which I was just about to tell her when we got settled). I reply that I am. Apparently they were about to x-ray me.

So, she sits me in another room and I wait.

Then another assistant or hygeienist or whatever comes in. "Can we take a few pictures? We'll double bib you."

No explanation as to why this is necessary.

"No. I would prefer not to have X-Rays done."

So, I wait.

About two hours after my appointment, the dentist makes an appearance to verify that yes, I lost a filling. She starts talking about scheduling me for a filling.

She explains that there are other patients...

I love how they always act as if you being selfish.

Ummm... why when I called would they schedule me for an appointment when there was not enough time to fix the problem about which I called?

Her answer? "Well, I guess they thought you were in pain."

Why? I never said I was. They never asked. If I was in pain, she would have just suggested some of that puddy they sell in the drugstores anyway...couldn't they suggest that over the phone?

When I get up to the desk to make said appointment, they now try to explain that the dentist has to look at it first in a separate appointment.

So, now I am selfish and stupid. I can't tell that a glass-hard filling came out in my mouth?

Please. I have been to many dentists in my life and every time they scheduled enough time for the expected procedure.

Anyway, she observes that I have chosen the tooth-colored enamel. No, I haven't chosen anything. The hygeienist asked what I had before and I told her. Then the receptionists mentions the "two fillings." No one told me that.

No one told me anything. No one told me there was a two hour wait. No one told me it was just a diagnostic. No one told me about the different types of fillings. No one told me there were two. Most disturbingly, no one told me why an X-Ray would have been so necessary to perform on a pregnant woman.

The end result? Two hours down the tube and in a week I will have to shell out $106 (even though I have dental insurance) to get my fillings done.

UPDATE: After getting over the stupidity of a non-essential X-Ray, I started to think about the stupidity of not covering composite fillings for pregnant women. I have e-mailed TRICARE Dental to ask why they do not cover the composite fillings and why they make no exception for necessary fillings in pregnant women. Asserting that I have a "choice" between silver and composite is ridiculous given that there is a controversy as to whether or not silver fillings are safe in pregnant women. Of course I will spend $106 if there is even the slightest risk the silver fillings could harm my baby...but with insurance, a standard, medically necessary procedure should NOT cost that much. I'll let you know what response (if any) I get.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I'm Open Minded

Apparently I am very open minded. This isn't one of the most fun tests, though...the questions are so loaded, in both directions.

For example:

"You don't think less of someone who is on welfare." Well, is that all I know about the person? Why is that person on welfare? How long has that person been on welfare? Does that person have a plan for getting off welfare?


"You could be convinced to change your mind on an important ethnical issue - like abortion or war." Well, anything is possible...a better question would be "How old were you the last time you changed your mind on an important ethical issue: 0-12, 13-17, 18-25, older than 25?" or, "When was the last time...: in the last year, in the last five years, in the last decade?"

You Are 72% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.
Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.
But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.
You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Smart Aleck

DH would be proud, mostly.

I have an (apparently) annoying habit of answer people's questions...when they are just wondering out loud, like in a museum or something.

DH tells me that they really do not want someone to answer their question. If I ask a question, I want an answer!

Anyway, I was in Target and this young couple was looking at decorations for their house--apparently a "jungle" theme. The man picked up a Southeast Asian-style Buddha and his wife (girlfriend?) declared it scary and kept asking, "What is that?"

I bit my tongue.

Then the man said it was a Buddha...but the wife was not convinced. "Buddhas are fat and they smile," she argued.

Still I bit my tongue.

Just when I was about to explode, the man saw me glancing over and asked, "Its a Buddha, right?"

And I said, "Yes."

The lady asked, "Aren't Buddhas fat?"

I explained, "A lot of the Chinese ones are...but the ones in other Buddhist areas usually look like this one."

Okay, so I did not keep my mouth shut entirely...but at least I waited until the question was directly posed to me. I also didn't launch into a 2-minute mini art history lecture.

Aren't you proud?

Boy or Girl?

I sent a version of this poll to all my friends...and I am wondering what my readers I having a boy or a girl? I should find out in less than a week, so get your votes in now!

DH and I are just happy to be having a baby, but it is fun to play the guessing game. If you have a different method you want to use, ask me in the comments section.

My Ballot Box

What are DH and I having?



What method did you use to answer?

Age of Mother = 28 at conception and birth

Birthdates of Parents = Dad (11/05/76) Mom (10/17/77)

How Mother is Carrying = hard to tell, kind of low

Mother's Cravings = no big cravings, more salty than sweet

Baby's Due Date = August 17, 2006

Mother's Hair and Nails = growing fast

Mother's Morning Sickness = none

Baby's Heartrate = 144 at 17 weeks

Mother's Face Change = none so far

Gut Instinct

Wild Guess


How sure are you?

Very sure

Somewhat sure

Not sure

View Results

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sheik it Up! (Great Quote)

Check out this great quote the Patriette's hubby sent to her. Stop by and let her know you appreciate her and her husband.

It Moves!

I felt movement from the outside! Baby was moving and I put my hand on my stomach and I felt it!!!

I've been feeling movement for a couple of weeks now...but this is the first time I could feel it by putting my hand on my stomach!

A Little Scare

This morning I tripped over my big fat cat. (As opposed to my tiny svelte one)

When I feed them or open the closet that has their treats, I am always very careful. That is not how this happened.

I went to a corner in my room to take something off of my night stand. In the meantime, Loki decided to take a nap right in my return path. I turned around, took two steps, and promptly tripped over him.

I fell pretty hard.

So, I got on the internet and researched. The answer? "Try not to fall when pregnant."

Thanks. That helps.

So, I called the Women's Clinic and the nurse or receptionist responds, "Oh, Dear."

Now I feel like crying.

So, off to the Women's Clinic where I sit and wait. The doctor was really nice though. He told me that if I was not cramping I was probably fine. Still, he did an ultrasound and checked for the heartbeat.

Baby waved and wiggled.

So, just a little rugburn and soreness, all else is well.

I forgot to add that last night I had a dream that I was horseback riding but I was scared because I was afraid to fall and hurt the baby. Before anyone gets any funny ideas, I actually do love to horseback ride. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

First to Pop

Anyone here been the first of their friends to have kids?

I'm not the first, first. Of course almost all my friends here are other moms or moms-to-be...but I am talking about the friends from pre-Army life. If DH does decide to go back to civilian life when his commitment is up, that will be my main social group.

I have one friend who is now on number two from college, but she is one of my younger friends and my older friends do not know her. Also, she is in DC, not NYC.

DH and I really didn't go "clubbing" anyway. I haven't done that since I was a teen.

Still, most of our friends are in the city.

Even the fact that a growing family may mean DH and I will move to the suburbs instead of the city will totally change our social life.

Will they take the train out to the suburbs to play cards with us and stay over or catch that last train back in? What if they have to be at work the next day? Lawyers do work on Saturdays.

Will they really want to be around babies and all of the noise and mess?

I know I will be fine with these changes, and I have high hopes for DH, but I wonder how my friends will adjust?

Not a huge worry, mind you...because my priority is my newly growing family...but I am just wondering.

Three Month Slump

Anyone else feeling it?

Right now DH and I are a little past the three month mark. I've pushed through to this point and I still have a bunch of things to keep me busy.

Somehow, though, I feel like I have hit a slump. Maybe it is because this will now be the longest without even seeing each other once. Maybe it is because DH has had less and less time to chat online. Maybe it is the hormones plateauing. Maybe it is just because DH won't take mid-tour until August when the baby is due. Maybe it is because a lot of my volunteer work will wrap up in April or May.

Whatever it is, I feel that sadness creeping into my thoughts more than before during quiet times.

When I step outside and smell people firing up their BBQs...

When I see a beautiful full moon or a stunning sunset...

When I feel the baby kick...

I really thought that I'd miss DH most when things go wrong that he would normally fix. Instead, I find I miss him when life shows me how special the world is.

All of that seems bitter sweet.

Don't worry, I'm still positive! I support my husband 100%. Just being honest with you all, in case anyone is feeling the same thing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

St. Patrick's Day Care Package

Since the platoon, minus DH, came home for Valentine's Day, I sent them a St. Patrick's Care Package.

There is not much around here. I guess the Irish did not make it this far inland.

I baked some cookies. I tried to make shamrocks, but I put them too close together and did not make them thick enough. Since I figured they still tasted fine, I included them. I added some chocolate chips and some M&M cookies. I vacuum sealed individual packs of these three types for each of the soldiers and then vacuum sealed some extras to pass around.

At Hobby Lobby I picked up shamrock gift bags and stuffed these with the cookies, a shamrock pencil, and a sample sized Irish Spring. Predictably, DH said the guys asked if I thought they smelled. The St. Paddy's connection was too cute to pass up, though, and...well...they probably could use the soap. I mean, I know I would stink in their circumstances and we all know women always smell like rose gardens, baby powder, and banana bread. ;-)

I would have loved to have found some individual servings of Lucky Charms and maybe a four leaf clover key chain or some such, but no such luck. That was an unintentional pun, but I think I will leave it in and end on that note.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

More on the Yale Taliban Issue

Returning to the Taliban at Yale issue...

I just received my copy of the Yale electronic newsletter:

You may have read recently that a former press spokesman for the Taliban was attending Yale. The individual was approved by the U.S. government for a visa to study in this country. Yale has allowed him to take courses for college credit in a part-time program that does not award Yale degrees. Contrary to what has been reported by some in the media, he has not been admitted to Yale as an undergraduate.

Some of the articles I read said that he was applying in the spring for full-time student status and others seemed to imply that he had been accepted.

I am very happy that Yale has clarified this and has an opportunity to remain true to its values.

Please, do the right thing Yale.

If you are interested, you can see/hear/read about some of my friends speaking on the issue:

Articles on Read all about how a Yale bureaucrat called a friend of mine "retarded"

Watch one of my friends on Fox and Friends. This is another link if the first does not work.

Read the transcript of an interview with another of my friends (also has an mp3 file) on Hugh Hewitt.

My Personal DNA

I am a Dynamic Creator.

My Personal Dna Report

Developing the Potential of Women

This weekend I went to a Junior League Organizational Development Institute in Houston--it was great!

First of all, it was all paid for--the only cost to me was the shopping I did. I can justify shopping because I am finally showing and nothing fits anymore!

Second of all, I got to hang out with a bunch of fun ladies.

Most importantly, they gave us a new way of looking at the service we do for our comunities and a ton of great ideas.

How receptive our leadership will be to the ideas remains to be seen.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Busy Beaver

I killed my political blog a while ago because I did not feel I had anything unique to contribute to the discussion. My blogging time is better spend discussing what I live every day, rather than just ranting about world events. However, I commented on the Taliban at Yale issue because Yale is my alma mater. Little did I suspect I would get hundreds of hits in one day.

Despite loving this traffic, I now return you to my everyday life. If world events intersect again with my own little world, I will be sure to let you know.

Yesterday I got my blood sugar tested for gestational diabetes. I had to down some disgusting glucose drink in five minutes (tasted like a bad version of Sunkist) and then sit still for an hour. Then they drew my blood. I'll let you know how it goes.

Then I dropped off 3 dozen cookies at the Children's Advocacy Center for the kids who get services there. I had to drop them off back so as not to infringe on the anonymity of the families.

When I got back I worked and worked and worked!

Today I should have been doing a lot of work but instead I spent a lot of time planning a trip to Italy for me and my mom. My mom loves traveling but my father doesn't. Before I found out I was pregnant, I told my mom to pick anywhere in Europe and I would do the that should be fun!

Right now it is back to the work.

It is good to be busy. DH has been so occupied over there. If I wasn't so busy I would probably expend a lot of energy worrying about him.

More blogging tomorrow. If my blog is boring at the moment, add to the list of What not to say to a friend with a deployed spouse, check out some other Blue Stars, confess to Sandmonkey, or better yet--Support our Troops!

...but please come back soon!

Monday, March 06, 2006

What Not to Say

What not to say to a friend with a deployed spouse

I tried to find a link to this article in a newspaper, but no luck. Basically, Kelly Wright, lists some well-meaning but insensitive phrases she heard while her husband was deployed. At the end, she goes into NICE things to say--basically, invite spouses of deployed soldiers to SPECIFIC events, rather than a vague offer to come over sometime. I didn't copy that portion, but you can google the title to see the whole article.

Her words are italicized in blue and any comments I have are in black...feel free to add to the list and share your thoughts.

"I know how you feel. My husband has been away on a business trip for two weeks." (If your husband's job includes being shot at, traveling routinely over holidays and phone calls home limited to 10 minutes per week and you track his daily whereabouts on the nightly news, then you're right. I imagine you have an inkling of how I feel.)

Actually, this one doesn't bother me. I miss my husband when he's away. Whether it is for a weekend, a month, or a year. I've never had anyone claim to "know how I feel" (that does perhaps cross the line over to insensitive) but I have had friends sigh and complain about their spouse on a business trip. Usually they realize pretty quickly how silly they sound complaining to me, but I just tell them they shouldn't feel bad about missing their spouse!

"This must be so hard for you." (Actually, it is. But I'd rather eat a warm mayonnaise sandwich on a hot summer day than continually recap the hardships of our separation.)

I never know how to answer this one. Anyone have some good (polite) responses? I actually get this one and the opposite a lot: "Well, he is not doing anything dangerous, right?" I do not want people's pity but at the same time I do not think it is my job to reassure everyone else that it is sunshine and skittles over there. Let's just change the subject, okay?

"What will you do while he's gone?" (I don't know. Sit on the couch all day and cry?)

"When your husband gets home, how long will he be able to stay until he has to leave again?" (I love that question. I don't even know within three weeks when he's coming back or where we'll be living four months from now. Could you let us look forward to some time together before you have him shipping out again?)

"Don't worry, he'll be home soon." (OK, if you say so. By the way, what's your definition of soon?)

"Well, you both signed up for this." (What a compassionate way to state the obvious. Yes, we did indeed sign up for life in the Army, but I'm afraid "this" was not exactly in the fine print.)

Heh. I got this from the Superintendent while DH was training and I asked to take my second personal day (not just of the year, but of the entire three years I was working there) to see DH for the first time in months. The school district started a policy that year that they had the right to deny a request for a second leave day if both fell on the day immediately before or after a break. The goal was to stop teachers from using personal days to extend vacations. Not that there is any policy to stop students from doing this. Anyway, I explained that these were not days of my choosing, but rather that one was the only day I was guaranteed to see DH during OCS and the other was a wedding I was in and my first opportunity to see DH since OCS graduation.

My response was, "Yes, my husband did choose to serve our country and I do choose to support him. Given that I have taken two sick days in three years and only one other personal day, I was hoping you might see fit to grant my request." He did, but what a dork. This is also the dolt who the letter denying my leave of absence request becauseially beause I am a military spouse. He is so lucky I did not leak that one to the press.

Anyway...please add some of your own in the comments!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

How Hot Is It? (My Busy Day)

It is so hot... I had to turn the a/c on so the chocolate chips would solidify enough for me to vacuum seal the cookies I just made.

I woke up bright and early to attend the Ft. Hood Women's Conference. I learned some simple flower arranging and have my handiwork on my table right now. The next two classes were a little silly--Decorating and Entertaining 101 did not really teach me anything I did not already know or could not pick up from a book. I skipped out on my final session: Easy Gourmet Recipes. I'm a pretty good cook and figured I have plenty of good recipes already.

I am looking to quilt-making tomorrow!

Then I baked three batches of cookies for the Children's Advocacy Center, which provides services to abused children.

The remaining cookies will go to DH and his platoon. I am making a little surprise, but since he reads this blog I will share after he receives the package.

Now I should go finish up and then actually do some work.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Friday it will "sprinkle"

I kid you not. Friday's weather forecast calls for not light rain, not drizzle, but "sprinkles."


Taliban At Yale

I've been chewing on this one for a few days. A few of my fellow alumni are up in arms and I've been reading and trying to decide what I think.

On the one hand, Rahmatullah Hashemi, a former ambassador for the Taliban, does not seem as extreme as his fellows. He also seemed to have started questioning the Taliban very early on during his career.

If he were perhaps a little younger, one could almost excuse him for mistaking the Taliban for the solution to Afghanistan's problems.

On the other hand, this new Yale students was a young man, not a child. He served in an official capacity for a regime that sponsored a terrorist organization that perpetrated heinous attacks on the United States.

He has also been an apologist for their misogynist and racist views.

Citing the Taliban revocation of ancient tribal practices like honor killing, exchanging women as gifts and arranging marriages without a bride's permission, he insisted that the Taliban had actually enhanced the lot of women by giving them the right of "self-determination."

Uh, yeah...and Hitler put the Jews in ghettos for their own safety.

This is how he responded to a woman who protested the Taliban's views.

"You have imprisoned the women -- it's a horror," she shouts, tearing off a burka in protest."I'm really sorry to your husband,"

Hashemi answered. "He might have a very difficult time with you."

The New York Times article would have it that he has repented, but I'm not quite buying it.

Looking back, sitting in the Commons after his class on terrorism, he said that were he to do the trip over, he would be less antagonistic. "I regret the way I spoke sometimes. Now I would try to be softer. A little bit."

So, he would have been less antagonistic when putting her in her "place?"

"On the East Coast the questions were much harder, especially about bin Laden and the Buddhist statues," he recalls. "The statues had just been blown up. I tried to distance myself from it, but inside I was dying. If I said I had nothing to do with it and didn't support it, I would have been in trouble back home."

This is easy to say now. We must not forget there have always been brave dissidents who have risked their lives when they could not stand to follow an authoritarian regime. If he was truly dying inside, he would have done something. Otherwise, this is hyperbole at best.

It wasn't until the fall that one of his new friends, Fahad, a Pakistani, tipped him off to the kosher meat at Slifka, the Jewish dining hall. (The Freshman)

Eating in a Jewish dining hall does not prove his tolerance; though it may prove hypocrisy. According to a Yale Daily News editorial, he has recently written:

"Seemingly, like the poor Taliban, common Americans are ignorant of the fact that their franchise state of Israel in the Middle East is serving as an American al-Qaida against the Arab world."

...but when you're hungry, it is okay to partake of Jewish hospitality.

We'll never quite know for sure, of course, how much his views have changed.

Even if he has changed, does it matter?

While it is true that Yale does not reject qualified applicants on the basis of their beliefs, this man went beyond beliefs. He did not just think or speak these thoughts. True, he does not seem to be guilty of actively perpetrating these horrors, but he served in an official capacity in one of the worst regimes in the world's history.

Assuming for a minute, that his prior work history should not be a barrier, the question becomes whether or not he really is so exceptional that he merits admission to one of the world's most selective universities in the world.

Academically, he seems to struggle with his classes in his special program. He does okay, but most work extremely hard to earn satisfactory grades in a class that he really should excel in:

And all the young minds around him were so fresh, it was daunting sometimes, people who looked as if they were hardly paying attention in class blazed through their exams. [...] He was happy about his grades after the fall-term finals. He had a 3.33 G.P.A. He had done better than he thought in Managing the Global City and worse than he expected in Terrorism: Past, Present and Future.

Keep in mind this is as a special student in a non-degree program--not as a regular student. Decent, but not Yale's usual caliber.

Academics isn't everything, however. Diversity of experience and ideas is an important part of college. However, this student tries to avoid discussing his experiences openly with his classmates. Who could blame him? At the same time, if he wins admission based on the idea that he will share this experience, that does not seem to be the case.

The Yale Daily News columnist suggests that perhaps the Yale experience will liberalize Rahmatullah Hashemi and that he will bring this experience to bear when he returns to participate in a newly democratic Afghanistan.

Perhaps, but aren't there any future Afghani leaders who are not tainted with a connection to the Taliban?

We may forgive those who were caught up in the spirit of a reprehensible regime, but we must never forget that there were always those who resisted.