In other December news,
- We're back home as of last night from a trip to visit my mom, brother, and his family. As these things go, it went pretty well, but there's simmering tension between my mother and brother that added a level of strain to the whole thing. Fortunately, my nieces are totally adorable and lovely and really the major reason we make the long drive. And now I have almost a week of unscheduled time before school starts again!
- Three of my five senior advisees are now in college, including the one that I was most worried about! And the other two I have no concerns about. Big relief.
- Co-Author blew up at me again a couple of weeks ago, this time over a change in the curriculum for seniors for next year. This change is something that we've discussed at countless meetings that she was at, and she was part of the unanimous departmental approval of these changes, but somehow it hadn't occured to her that her teaching would be affected (although since one of the changes we approved was dropping a course she's taught, I don't understand how she could have not understood that she would be affected). She caused some problems for a few days in the department, and she told me that I was high-handed and showed poor leadership and that she was going to go to the top to make sure that these changes were now reversed so that she could continue to teach what she wanted. Fortunately, the administration is really into these changes that we've made, and so they had my back on this one. In fact, the academic dean arranged with Co-Author that the latter was going to send me an email explaining that she now understood the changes and was fine with what she was going to be teaching next year; she did not in fact send such an email, and the academic dean just sighed. Basically Co-Author is going to get grandfathered into most things that she doesn't want to do. Whatever. She did ask me how my mouth was doing the day after my tooth extraction, so that was a conciliatory note for us to end 2013 on.
- Speaking of which, my mouth is doing better, but I'm hoping that at some point the gaping hole in my gum will close up. I get food caught in it, and sometimes even rinsing my mouth out (which I'm doing regularly) doesn't get it all out, and then later in the day a bit of an earlier meal will suddenly drop into my mouth. It's kind of gross, and I'd like it to stop. I have a follow-up appointment with the dental surgeon in a week or so, so I'll ask him then. But at least there's no longer any reason for me to clutch an ice bag against my face, as I was doing for the first week.
- We went to a friend's wedding the Saturday before Christmas, and it was lovely. D. and I hadn't been to a wedding together in years, and it was so nice to dress up and dance together. It was the first e-Harmony wedding we'd been to, and I found it interesting that their internet origin was the subject of one of the speeches. There was a time when people were very hush-hush about meeting people through online dating services, but clearly that time is long past.
- Before I get too jazzed about my week of unstructured time, I should remember that I do actually have a set of papers to read before school starts again. But they are personal essays which I've intended from the beginning to grade somewhat leniently, which will make it an easier project.
- My other project for this week is to do some excavating in our messy house. But in a strictly no-stress way: I'm going to set the timer for 15 minutes and work in a room until the buzzer goes off, and then I'm done. And then later in the day, I'll set the timer for 15 minutes again and either keep working in the same room or choose another room. But no more than four 15-minute sessions per day. Perfectly reasonable, and could make a real difference in the house by the time I head back to school on Monday.
- D. applied for a teaching job a week or so ago; the hiring season for independent schools is beginning, which brings with it lots of hope but also stress and disappointment. Must find a way to stay Zen about it as much as possible.
Okay, I think that's it for 2013. I'm off to the gym (for the first time since before I had my tooth out, since I was forbidden to lift anything heavy for the first several days and then went out of town) and to buy black-eyed peas for our New Year's Day traditional meal. Our plan for New Year's Eve tonight is ... doing absolutely nothing. We couldn't be happier about this plan!