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Lego - Indiana Jones
Posted on Monday 30 August 2010 at 12:20 pm

Miss Me?

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It's been over a month since I updated my LJ. There've been multiple times I've thought about updating, but I've never quite managed to do it. I think if I tell you about everything that happened in the past month, you'll have a pretty good idea of why I haven't updated.

DC Trip: Research and Relaxation
When last I updated, I was in the DC area on a research trip. I was staying with my friend Julia (littlepixiechic) and having an awesome time while getting quite a bit of work done. When I wasn't working at the Library of Congress, I was paying card or watching TV with Julia (Doctor Who for which I've now seen everything out for the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh doctors and The West Wing). When I was working, I was really working. There was lots of good stuff for my dissertation of the LoC and I got through it all pretty quickly. In fact, even with occasional breaks for lunch and a bit of flirting with one of the security gurads, I finished going through everything at the archives earlier than I had anticipated and then stuck around for a couple of days to play tourist, specifically visiting the American History museum which I hadn't been to in almost 10 years and the Native American Indian museum which I'd never been to. All things considered, it was a really good trip.

Parents' Visit a.k.a I have minor surgery and get a new car
About a week after I got back from DC, my folks came for a week-long visit. We had a really good time. We spent sometime playing tourist in Charlottesville (where there are the homes of several former presidents including Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe), hosted a brunch for all my friends so everyone could meet, and generally hung out and had fun. Plus my dad spent some time fixing all the little things wrong at my place (e.g. the dryer, the vacuum cleaner, etc.). My parents had two main reasons for coming. First, they bought me a new car. They wanted to get rid of my mom's old car but decided they didn't like me being out here with a ten year old car so when they got the new one, they decided to trade cars with me. They bought the car in … May I think. The question from that point on was how was I going to get the car. The main option we were considering was me driving home rather than flying at Christmas. Then towards the beginning of the summer I got some slightly bad news that become the second reason for my folks to come visit me. If you guys remember, back last August, I had an abnormal Pap. They did some follow up testing, took some biopsies, etc. and decided not to do anything at that point but to do another Pap in March. That one was also abnormal but with slightly different abnormal results. The follow up testing and biopsies after that one still showed nothing cancerous, but also seemed to indicate that things weren't going to clear up on their own and there was a chance of it becoming cancerous years and years down the road. To prevent that from happening, they decided to do cryosurgery, or destroy the abnormal cells by freezing them. That was scheduled for mid August and despite the fact that it wasn't really a big deal, I was a little nervous about the whole thing so my parents decided to take a little over a week off from work to drive my new car to me, be here for me for the cryosurgery, and then drive my old car back to Texas. The cryosurgery went fine and I was in pain for most of the day of the procedure, and slept for several hours after it, but was completely fine the next day. In fact, it was the next day when we left for our two-day trip to Charlottesville. I'm basically fine now and will have follow up testing in February to see if this worked and cleared up everything. Oh, in addition to bringing me my car, my parents brought me Beatles Rockband for the Wii. Are they not awesome?

School's Back
In the brief time in between the DC trip and my parents' visit and after my parents left, I had to work on the syllabus for my class this semester almost non stop. Classes started last week on Wednesday and I was still working on the syllabus on Monday. Wednesday was the blow off class where I just talked about the syllabus for a bit then sent them on their ways. Friday and Monday have been actual lectures. It's been a bit rough. I haven't taught a lecture class in about two years and I've only done it the once before. It's taking me a bit to find the groove again. I think I'm better than I was last time and once I get into it, it will go pretty well, but maybe I'm kidding myself. My biggest problem with the two real lectures I've done is that I was teaching a Tuesday/Thursday class last time so I had an hour and twenty minutes per class. This time I've got Monday/Wednesday/Friday so only 50 minutes per class. Both my lectures have been too long. I don't think they were actually an hour and twenty minutes long, but I haven't figured out exactly how much material I need for fifty minutes. I'll get there and I'm really excited about this class. Las time I taught the second half of the American history survey, which isn't my specialization. This time I've got the first half so I'm more in my element. So far I've done mostly Spanish stuff, which isn't my thing, but next class is French and Dutch (Yay Dutch!) so that'll be good. After that is like 6 weeks where I feel like I'll really know my stuff before it gets little further from my interests, but always better than some of the stuff from the second half.

So… that's my past month in a nut shell. I can guarantee I'll be around more in the next few months. I have office hours Monday after class and Thursday mornings and at a guess someone will show up for those maybe five times the entire semester. I'm going to be working on lectures and my dissertation mostly at the library and at home rather than in my office (I can't really focus here and I'm not sure why) so I won't have much to do in my office hours and currently plan to use that time for things like LJing. I'd really like to get back into fanfic again since it has been years since I've really written anything at this point, but what with writing three lectures a week and trying to get my thoughts organized on my dissertation so that I can start seriously writing that, I don't know if that will happen. Here's hoping
Feeling: Busy
Exploring: Office


littlepixiechic at 1:33 am on 08 September 2010 (UTC) (Link)
You got a car and Beatle's Rock Band? Nice! How much Rock Band have you played since you got it?

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