Oh man, have I been bad at blogging lately! I’ll tell you why in this post, and then in the next week or so, I’ll try to make up for it. In other words, this post will be an excuse post a.k.a. what I have been up to in the real worls, and then you’ll get some meatier posts later. I have been posting regularly on my photoblog so you can always check out the pictures I’ve posted there to satisfy you in times of regular blogging drought.
Let’s start as far back as I can safely pin this blogging absence down to.
April started off right running (unlike me) from the first day. I took part in the Eighth Creolistics Workshop at Uni-Giessen by presenting, along with my advisor, about my PhD project. I don’t really like speaking in front of large groups of people, and even less so when I am not 100% sure of what I am talking about. The conference was arrannged so that there were two parallel sessions, and I had my fingers crossed that my session would be at the same time as a more interesting one, but our room was packed full. It went well, but I was happy when I could sit down and just listen.
The day after the conference ended, Rob and I left for a simply amazing week-long getaway to Rome. We were there during Holy Week, the week before Easter, and it is easily my favorite trip we’ve taken. You can read more about in my quick blogs and see pictures of all the beautiful churches we visited in my first post about Rome.
Then, the summer semester began the day after we returned from Rome. It was a really great semester, easily my favorite here so far, for three major reasons. (1) I’ve been here two years, and finally felt really comfortable with the classes, interacting with my colleagues, and all that is required of me. (2) I love the more laid-back, fun-oriented nature of General Language Course, and I taught This I Believe in that class, which is near and dear to my heart. (3) I had a great bunch of students, many of whom I got to know last semester in Grammar Lecture and Basic Writing.
Somewhere in the middle of that, my cousin Tricia spent 10 days with us and we showed her around our little part of Germany, including my first visit to the state capital, Wiesbaden, and another state capital, Mainz, a delightful day trip. Here are some pics from her week here, including a photo of the Family Feud game.
Then, we started selling every piece of furniture we bought two years ago, started closing accounts and sending stuff back home. Rob quit his job in June and took on the full-time job of taking care off most, if not all, of that.
As soon as July started, the real grading started, and that took up most of my time. What free time I had, I did not want to spend it writing and editing. I wanted to tune out and relax.
At the end of July, we packed everything we currently own into a rental and drove to Berlin to move in with my in-laws until we return to the States, and I found inspiration for a novel. I use that term lightly right now because I don’t have much confidence that what I am writing will ever be printed, but I have 21,000 words now, and that is the most I’ve written on one topic before ever. In my free time*, I have been totally relaxing, working on my PhD, and writing my “novel.” When you’re inspired and the muse is singing in your ear, you don’t ignore her, so my writing time over the last two weeks has been devoted to private writing.
But I miss blogging! So I am going to make more time for it. In the coming weeks, I’m going to write about ProWash, a laundry detergent designed especially for runners**, ShapeWriter, my iPhone/iPod Touch note-taking app of choice, Rome, Venice, and maybe even Poland.
The blog posts I’m most excited about are the student This I Believe recordings! I had 31–over half–of my students come to my office outside of class time to record their This I Believe statement, and I hope that you will enjoy listening to them as much as I have.
* Which is now pretty much all the time
** In the interest of full disclosure, I received two containers of ProWash for free in exachange for writing a review of the product. I will be giving one away on my blog, so stayed tuned to figure out how you can win!