Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Break 2011

It's been quite a week - there's nothing quite like Fall Break to help put things in perspective. On the one hand, we're half way through the semester, which helps me figure out where I need to be in all of my classes (it also reminds me how close we are to the beginning of the spring semester - yikes!). I also cleaned the house, did laundry, prepared food for the coming week, met with a good friend who was visiting from Missouri, and caught up a little on sleep.

But four days off also gave me enough free time to complete page 5000(!) of the journal I started when I was sixteen. And as I do with many journal entries, I reassessed where I am and where I want to be in the future. It's just like having a long, introspective conversation with myself.

Just a few of the volumes I've written in since I was 16!
Many of you know that I am was hopelessly addicted to the Internet. A week ago I deactivated my Facebook account, and part of my reassessment included how important news and entertainment headlines, LOLcats, the Deathlist, etc. are for me. Answer: they're not. Like television, the Internet is a vast wasteland that can suck you in and reluctantly spits you out again. I got rid of my television years ago. And while I can't get rid of the Internet, which truly is a helpful tool for research and communication with students, I can limit myself to what's really important.

I also managed to set priorities and identify my big rocks: My long term goal is to get a semi-permanent teaching job, preferably in Austria (hoping I haven't jinxed myself by putting that in writing!). My immediate goal is to finish an article for the Proceedings of the Colloquium on Roman Provincial Art I attended last May. I also have to see my students through their next set of exams, and get them started on their term papers. And I've got some medical testing ahead of me, just to keep things interesting!

All in all, I am in a much better position, physically and emotionally, than I was a year ago at this time.  The Foreign Language Fourteen still meet once a month, but most of us have landed on our feet and are looking forward to what the future brings.

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