August 5, 2004
My new EMS® lightweight zip pants are working out well. In the left front outer pocket I keep my London tube card, left front inner a folded to-do list, right front outer school ID card that gets me through the gate. Pens, change, notebook and index cards are in separate sections of a messenger bag on my shoulder. All I need is a big slide rule for my shirt pocket.
So far one student has already dropped out of Arabic. The instructor gave out an exercise which was beyond our level and it clearly made her uncomfortable. This is day four of eight-hour days of a new language, which takes stamina. I read like a child with my finger or pen pointing at each letter, sounding it out. Today I expect we'll finish the alphabet, 28 letters that change their shape according to their position in a word, or sometimes depending on how much space the writer has. There's a lot of uncertainty in Arabic, or you could say a lot of flexibility.
There are five students around a wooden table — four women and me. The women are academics or graduate students. One teacher is from Syria, the other from Egypt. The Syrian begins promptly at 10 am, even if students are late, which three are each morning.
A few London observations: things are small — sinks are small, refrigerators are small, the subway, known as the tube, is small. It's like a toy subway. If I don't stand in the dead center I have to duck. The British use coins more than Americans, so you end up carrying a lot of change. Finally, Londoners do not walk as aggressively as New Yorkers. In New York I am routinely cut off by oncoming pedestrians crossing my path, often making me pause in stride. On the tube yesterday a young man in a suit was barreling around an underground bend on the Picadilly line. Unfortunately he was looking directly backwards over his shoulder. Since there was no time to move I brought my left arm in, lowered my shoulder and smashed into him, then proceeded without a word or looking back. There was no counterattack.
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I just read your article. It has been a while since I have read something so moving. I am at a loss as to what to write, which, for me, is usually not possible. You have my utmost respect. Our guys in the military ( and females!) continue to have my thoughts and prayers.
I think you are doing a great job and as a member of the military I understand and appreciate the risks you are taking to get the truth out to the world.
Keep up the good work and keep your head down!
Idaho Air National Guard
I'm on my way right now to catch up on anything I've missed that you've posted on the Fox News website, keep up the good work and take care of yourself, the world would be a much less informed place without you! Thank you again and God Bless America,
Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.