We did secret valentine’s gifts today after class. I had drawn Darby’s name, so I got her two pastries from a pattiserie close to our study center. Incidentally, she drew my name, and I was rewarded with the craziest, flashiest spinning top thing to ever exist, and two chocolate bars. However, the clear winner of today was Chessy, who received a teeny tiny pet turtle that John somehow found and purchased in the Medina yesterday. John had already named the turtle, or I guess technically it’s a tortoise, Schnell (which means “fast” in German), and since no one here knows how to identify tortoise genders, we’ve pretty much just decided he’s a he. He’s pretty neat. Chessy has decided that she’ll keep him at our study center during the week and only take him home on the weekends, so I suppose that means our CIEE program has now officially procured a mascot. If you look at my Facebook profile picture, you can see a picture of Schnell with my head as a frame of reference. When he starts getting older, I suppose we’ll have to see if he prefers nun chucks, swords, sai, or a bo staff. Until then, tootleloo.