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I never believed adults when they used to tell me that the older one gets, the faster time goes. Unfortunately, I am finding out that they were only too right. Case in point? My summer. Tomorrow is the first day of August. And dammit! I have to go back to work in August.

The summer started with so much promise. I had a lovely three weeks after my spring term ended (final grade tallying and submission, convocation, and all) before hitting the grind again with a short summer session. I think I spent most of that time sleeping in, cleaning, and a bunch of not much that now I'm hard pressed to remember.

Then summer school. Two hours a day Monday-Thursday for five weeks. I can teach Western Civ in my sleep, so it was a really easy way to earn some extra bucks. Granted, not as many extra bucks as I'd expected, because Uncle Sam really took more than what I thought was his fair share. Oh well...I should get a chunk of that back next spring. I know I didn't do as much else besides summer school as I'd liked, but at least it still mostly felt like summer.

That ended about a week or so before my birthday. My big goal for that time? Tile the kitchen backsplash. It had been several months since the kitchen had been finished otherwise, and the very pretty travertine harlequin mosaic tile had been sitting in my living room for about a month. So, I duly rented the wet saw, bought a paddle attachment for the drill, and set out to do my first tiling job since I helped my mom with our kitchen about twenty-five years ago. With the exception of a few grouting touch-ups, I'd say the backsplash came out great! Touch-ups will have to wait until I get off my butt and get a grout bag at Home Depot.

I am teaching two new courses in the fall: The Ancient World (a course already on the books but which has not been offered in at least 4 years) and The Vikings (a new course I proposed). That meant that I had a ton of prep work to do, including the creation of syllabi, blackboard pages, and assignments. July has been "course prep month". By the end of today, the syllabi and blackboard pages will be completely finished. The assignment sheets will be tweaked during the term as I see how students are doing with the material. So, yay for staying on schedule with that job!

What's allowed me to be so productive with my prep is that I finally broke down and replaced my computer. The old trooper was nearly ten years old (I got it upon getting to Toronto for grad school), and was definitely starting to die. It was actually more of a hindrance than a help in the last week or so before I replaced it, causing me much aggravation. So, I took advantage of a very nice deal at Best Buy, and, voila! A computer that actually works! I'd forgotten how nice a fast computer can be. All I need now is a digital camera and an Ipod and I can truly enter the 21st century!

August is the month of meetings. I have no fewer than *four* faculty meetings prior to the start of the semester! Ugh. Each one requires that I drive my ass up to York, thus tacking on another nearly two hours to the length of the meeting. However, I would also like to spend as much time as possible in the Johns Hopkins library, doing preliminary research for my book, and there's an article I must revise (it's been about three years since I got feedback on it, so it's pretty ridiculous that I haven't gotten to it yet). There are also other house projects to work on. I have already tackled a few minor things around the house, but I need to finish patching, prepping, and painting the den walls. There was the most hideous wainscoting on the wall (which was the victim of my winter break aggression), but the room's looked like a work in progress since I removed it. Which it is, but I'm ready for it not to. Well, looks like August is destined to be quite the busy month!



[Musing postscript] It's amazing how different my summer is from how my summers used to be. I am reading about everyone's trip to Pennsic, and all the Pennsic experiences they are having. I haven't been to Pennsic in ten years, and haven't even thought about going in almost that long. The only camping I do now has nothing to do with garb or feast gear, but has often been the prelude to whitewater rafting, hiking or something of that sort. Reading everyone's posts is making me a bit nostalgic, but not nostalgic enough, I imagine, to go back anytime soon. I don't suppose someone could bring me back some Pennsic chocolate milk, however? :)
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griffinick

July 2011

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