Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The beginning

In the beginning of every semester, there's an opportunity to get it all right, or to start off on the wrong foot.  Last semester, I began on the wrong foot: I was behind on the very first day and I scrambled to get caught up.  Needless to say, I was stressed all semester, and my teaching and schoolwork suffered.

Fast forward through a rejuvenating month of winter break and a semester with a bit of a lighter load.  Week two, and this semester is amazing.  I'm on top of things for teaching, I'm keeping up with all my schoolwork AND I'm beginning to work on my comps readings.  I can't believe how much different this semester is from the fall, but I'm grateful.  Even my students seem more attentive and eager to participate.  I only had one student missing total out of both of my sections this semester, which never happened in the fall.

My goals for the semester are to stay on top of all my projects and read lots.  But even better: I hope to get some of my research out there and actually submit something for publication.  Maybe a few somethings.  I've got some work done that's not bad, and I think it'd be really good if I started participating in a vital part of being a scholarship: communicating my research to other people.

Besides school, I'm also training for the Little Rock Marathon and trying to keep myself healthy, though a hopefully mild calf strain is causing me some issues currently.  No matter--I'm taking a couple of rest days and eager to get back to it as soon as it's healed up. 2012 is going to be an excellent year.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Archies: 2011 Was a Year to Remember

Donna has posted her annual Archies (a list of her world's top things), which sparked me to do the same.  After all, 2011 was pretty epic.  It began with my first solo teaching gig and a wedding and finished with a pretty decent bang.  So here are my own Archies, in no particular order (except for the first):

1. Getting married. Our wedding was pretty awesome, after all.
2. Snowpocalypse 2011: Also known as the year we got married after one snowstorm and slightly before an even bigger snow storm that involved a really, really chilly night.
3. My first semester teaching.
4. PR for the half marathon: 1:56!
5. Two new nieces.
6. The return to the US of my Marine brother--just in time for the end of 2011
7. New Balance Minimus
8. This Kesha video--so bizarre.  Why are there unicorns? Why is Van der Beek wearing a bra?
9. A trip to Montana during the Arkansas heat wave.
10.  The National Writing Project Summer Institute
11. Swiss Buttercream
12. So much running--thanks to my running group!
13. Heckling at Twilight: Breaking Dawn
14. Sculpt class and yoga at Millennium Life Center
15. 100 push up challenge (and the ability to now do a "real" push up).
16. Storage units
17. CCCC
18. Wedding showers.
19. Bachelorette party
20. Dancing. (More dancing will happen in 2012)
21. Pinterest
22. Blood, Bones, and Butter--one of the best books I read this year.
23. Learning to make my own jewelry
24. HDMI cable
25. PR for a 5k: 24:30
26. PR for a 10k: 49:05
27. Getting accepted to RSA
28. Modern Family, Glee, and Mad Men
29. Designing and teaching a course
30. Nearing the end of coursework
31. Noodles (Ramen, soba, etc)
32. Pumpkin (or banana!) paleo pancakes
33. The Hunger Games
34. All the friends with their babies (there are so many!)

There are likely some more, but these are the ones that came to my mind off the top of my head, so enjoy!  I love list making--this Archie list-making is enjoyable and allows me to reflect on the year. :)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Day One of 2012

I began the day by sleeping in.  Already a win.

Then I read a book.  I'm on a YA fiction kick, so I've been reading Eon by Alison Goodman (preceded by the first two books of The Hunger Games trilogy and the second book in an interesting series by Alie Conde called Crossed--the first was Matched.)  It's the first of two books, so I'll probably start Eona tomorrow.

After I read for a while, I decided that I really needed to get going on my long run.  Usually I do long runs with my running group, but I wasn't feeling very good yesterday morning, so I skipped.  Which meant I had to do it alone. Or did I? Instead of solo, I asked Lance if wanted to bike with me while I ran.  We ended up both getting a lot of exercise, Lance didn't hate exercising with me, and I didn't feel lonely.  (He didn't ride beside me the whole time--just came and talked to me to break up the monotony and help me open my gels when my fingers grew too cold).  And I ran 18 miles!  I'm feeling more and more confident in my ability to do the marathon in March.

When we got home, Lance made dinner (noodles! yum!), and I took a long shower. We then ate dinner, drank wine, shared chocolate, and watched a disc of Modern Family, which we are both enjoying.

Looking at it, it seems like a boring start to 2012, but I think it sets a good trend: spending time with people I love, eating tasty food, running, reading a good book, and watching a good TV show. What's not to love?