Fields of blooming crocuses, especially in Linden park, are announcing that spring has sprung in Rostock. The days are almost 12 hours long (just two months ago they were only 7 and 1/2 hours long!) and it's feeling like a whole new place. I'm grinding through a long month of work, as I'm working extra hard so that when Peter makes his first trip here (in only 25 more days, but who's counting?) I can take time to play.
But speaking of hard work, I have to brag about my nephew, Sam Budig Hartle. Sam, a recent graduate of Washburn College and a budding journalist, was given FIVE awards for his reporting from the Kansas Press Association for his work on the Kansas City Kansan. The newspaper garnered 8 awards total, so Sam was responsible for the majority of those. I'M SO PROUD OF HIM! You can read about it at:
Other good news (but much less important) is that the Italian leather winter boots I've been admiring in a shoe store window went on sale for the ridiculous price of 3 Euros this weekend (that's abou $4.50). They had been $90 previously, so of course I had to snatch them up! It's too warm to wear them, but they sure look good walking around in my apartment.
It's been a quiet week in front of my computer otherwise, and unless you'd like to hear the details of harmonizing data coding for 12 different nations, it's best I leave it at that. I'm doing this for a report I'm writing for the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development, the report is about the pay penalties associated with working in jobs that involve "caring labor" -- meaning work that improves the capacities of the recipient (like teaching, nursing, child and elder care, protective services, etc.) While this work has human welfare payoffs, it typically isn't fiscally profitable. So unless social institutions support this kind of work, wages are less than they are for other jobs with comparable training requirements and care recipients struggle to pay for services. Anyway, I'm comparing this "care sector" in 12 nations to see whether and how different governments and policies reduce or exacerbate these problems.
Well, I'd better get back at it. I hope all of you are doing well this spring....
"Now that spring is here again, comes the season joyous,
Love is in the midst of us, life awakens victorious,
In the meadow sings the lark, caroling from dawn till dark,
Gone the sorrows from my heart,
Spring is here again!"