Monday, January 30, 2012

Tele-Teaching (?!)

Well, well, well...

I was communicated this morning that next semester I will be "tele-teaching" a class for students at another university in addition to mine here and I was not that excited...actually, when I first heard of the possibility last week, I was positively scared and stressed out.

a quick phone call to my husband changed my mind just a bit ( he argued getting involved with this brand-new development in higher education might be another advantage to me, making me more "indispensable" blah, blah... though I only see it as further sign of my exploitation).

so, yeah... I know very little about this "thing," except from news releases I found online googling the name of the project (which I'm obviously not going to share here). My office-mate (the lovely lady from Iraq) will have to do it too and she already told me that we should receive more compensation for it & I fully agree. I just sent an email to the dept. chair giving her more information about my class (that she'd requested) and I put a line in there about compensation. I'm beginning my slow but sure fight over here, you can count on that.

I'll keep you posted. It's like I always say, there's never a dull moment in my "adventurous life." (sigh)

ha-ha-ha :p

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The "Hair" Post, or how I've been agonizing about hair since 1977 ;)

Here's the plan, folks. I'll write the post, then I'll take my time and make a photo album & link to it. And then, maybe I'll insert photos in the post later. I'll do this because I've been writing this post in my head for at least four or five years, it's hard time I get it out, isn't it?! 

I think it must have been 1977, the year I turned six. I don't know for sure. All I know is that my mom must have overreacted and been so upset about it that now I remember details from that day. Walking down the street and entering a door that led to the hair salon and leaving the place afterwards.

Problem was, the hairdresser cut my hair way too short, not exactly what you call a "pixie" cut here, but short and ugly. And I think that my (yes, that's unfortunately true) "unfulfillable" lifelong wish to have beautiful, long hair must have started that day. Alas, it was not to be!

I don't think I cared much about the short haircut, but I most certainly remember it. My mom kept my hair at "bob" length for most of my life. And she always carefully combed it and tried to straighten it, so it didn't look that great, but it was OK. What I never understood was why my mom never let my hair grow long (and I don't have the answer to this question, I never asked her, but I can speculate why).

At 13 I rebelled against my nicely combed curls. For the first time in my life I tried what was called (in Brazil, in English!) "rinse" cream (creme rinse). I distinctly remember the first times I put it in my hair and rinsed it off. I hated the sensation in the skin down my back, I got all slippery and sticky and even after the shower, it still felt strange. But... it made the hair so soft!!

And I quickly found out a secret! If I washed my hair, got out of the shower, shook my head like a wet puppy, and let my hair air dry like that, I would have a head covered in curls! That was new and pretty much it consisted the bulk of my "teenage rebelliousness."

From that day forward (I think it was 1984, time for the "New Wave" fashions, bright colors such as neon and lime green, hot pink, strong lavender... sigh... it was fun), my mom never touched my hair again.

A few years later I was able to proudly wear my hair in a short bob, parted on the side, kind of puffy, shorter in the back, just like a famous actress, I felt so cool!

That must have been my "high point" as far as hair is concerned. After that, I could never find a good hairdresser and I had a series of bad haircuts. The one I hated the most was the "mullet," which is how my hair looked when met K. I started growing it out soon after we met, though, and let it grow long for our wedding. Sigh.

My hair cannot be grown long, though. You  may think that such a thing doesn't exist, but that's becaue you don't know my hair. It's curly, so it looks like a lot, but I don't have that much hair and... the worst part of it, it's extremely, horribly fine, super thin. So... I can let it grow all I want, but it will thin out at the bottom and just look bad. (I rarely did it throughout my life, only now in the past 3-4 years -- but blow-drying the hair straight just make it look even thinner and lifeless).

After I moved to the U.S. I never cut my hair. Lack of money, fear of having a bad haircut. I went for years without haircuts, literally. I know. Horrible. The worst was during my pregnancy with Linton, I think it was the longest it ever got in my life. And it didn't look good, no, it did not.

I found some wonderful hairdressers in Brazil, though, and they cut my hair short and I realized it that I could even blow dry it (only during late Fall, Winter and early Spring) because the heated and dry environments here in the U.S. would keep it nice.

One of my favorite jokes (with just a hint of truth in it) is to say that I cannot go back to Brazil because that would mean living constantly with "bad hair days" (and, summers are one looong, never ending "bad hair season" for me, I have the photos to prove it, many of them).

In conclusion, I'm writing this post to document this angst with hair that has followed me all my life. There's obviously more to this topic (not to mention tons of photos documenting every single thing I say -- remember the day of my 40th birthday, for example?), but I'll stop here for now.

The reason I wrote this post? I am always 100% decided that I will have the most radical haircut of all my life, in which the back will be really short and the front longer, which is the total opposite of how I've had my hair for the past 7 years when I began to have a "bob" most of the time.

You have no idea how "brave" I need to be to do this. This post cannot convey all that I've felt about hair and having haircuts over the years, but... you know what? I think it's time to "rebel" again, enjoy my forties, enjoy my dark hair before more white ones starts to crop up and when getting highlights won't be just an option, but a need if I want to disguise them. ;) I have this crazy "dream" though, that like my dad, and his mother before him, I will have very few white hairs. Except that I've got my mother's genes & everyone in her family gets to have gorgeous silver hair...  Well, the future will tell what will happen to mine!

blogger's block

So much that I want to write and yet... I'm so tired, I don't feel like doing anything, much less writing in the blog.

We've been really busy, as usual. I'm in a cooking groove. So much so that I'm hosting two meals this weekend at our house... I'll make a few soups for our friends tomorrow night and on Saturday a group of our friends is having a "Sushi & Friends" (friends=foods that go with sushi) potluck lunch!

I will try to post some photos later. If I find the energy.

You have no idea whatsoever how many meals/recipes/foods I photograph because I want to post them to the blog and then in the end I just don't. I see other people's gorgeous photographs of foods, I get frustrated (and tired, and blocked) and I reason that none of my readers cares about what I've been cooking anyway (and that it would be in that horrible category of "what I just had for lunch" tweet, or facebook update)... so... yeah, I just don't.

All right, after this couple of paragraphs I'm officially "unblocked," but I need to go to bed. K & I don't teach on Fridays, so I've volunteered to let him sleep in & I want to take the boys to school tomorrow.

P.S. that means that I've got to start working and planning and stuff. I'm trying to stay on top of things, though. Tonight I wrote a page and a half of my paper presentation for the conference coming up in March.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oh no! Not again!

Do you remember this? In a subsequent post, I gave more details and the latest update is that he is going to undergo radiation therapy starting in a few weeks. He had a bit of a hard time (pain due to the nerve that was removed) during K's family reunion during the holidays, but he was fine and we are all optimistic about his prognosis.

Well... what I don't think I shared here was that someone else in the family had undergone a biopsy back in November, but hadn't picked up the results until this week because of the Florida trip and another trip in Brazil that ended last week.

It turns out that my MIL has been diagnosed with a malignant growth in her body as well, just as we feared. Even more than my BIL's, hers is eminently treatable -- literally everyone we talk to say that if a person had to choose a type of cancer, this should be it, because it's contained and can be removed without too much trouble. (What a thing to say, isn't it? But several people have expressed that to me, today alone).

My own mother had her thyroid removed (due to abnormal growth, nothing malignant) several years ago and she explained to me that the biggest problem is figuring out the correct doses for the hormone replacement, so we're hoping everything will be well in the end. We just don't know she's going to deal with the trip to South Africa (by postponing treatment again? I hope not). Well, it's her life, not mine and I don't feel 100% comfortable blogging about this (she's such a private person, after all), but I had to share.


"Blogs vs. Term Papers" -- I tried to do it and was told I shouldn't

Matt Richtell wrote about this a few days ago in the NYT and I just wanted to let you know that that's precisely one of the things I had planned for my brand-new class last semester: weekly blog posts by students and a portfolio collecting the semester's class activities (which included questionnaires about the readings, group discussion activities, etc), in addition to a final research project.

When the (tiny, 3 people) general education committee reviewed my syllabus (which I designed after a week-long workshop back in June), they responded that there were not enough "formal writing assignments." In spite of the fact that we were on the third week of the semester (and a bit overwhelmed by 3 blog entries I hadn't yet "graded") and also eager to please the committee and comply, I substituted the remaining 9 blog posts by 4 short academic papers... BLAH...(one thing is true, it's hard to "grade" blog posts, they should basically all receive the full grade, unless it's too short or not engaging enough. Grading papers is more objective).

This semester I adopted a hybrid approach: 6 blog posts throughout the semester and 2 academic papers.  Someday I hope to be able to switch to a more interactive approach to writing assignments, particularly because I believe that when the students can share their feelings and reactions about the readings and, most importantly, relate the subjects to their own lives, they learn a lot more!

In Richtell's article he reports that English Professor Andrea A.Lunsford from Stanford "has collected 16,000 writing samples from 189 Stanford students from 2001 to 2007, and is studying how their writing abilities and passions evolved as blogs and other multimedia tools crept into their lives and classrooms."
Her conclusion is that students feel much more impassioned by the new literacy. They love writing for an audience, engaging with it. They feel as if they’re actually producing something personally rewarding and valuable, whereas when they write a term paper, they feel as if they do so only to produce a grade.
Lunsford conclusion is very interesting and my students seemed to feel the same way. The end of course survey that my students answered last semester demonstrated that students thought that blogging helped them learn better than academic papers.

I wrote the first three paragraphs of this post before finishing the NYT article, so I had to smile when I reached this statement: "As Professor Lunsford illustrates, choosing to educate using either blogs or term papers is something of a false opposition. Teachers can use both." Yeah... I guess I figured that out on my own, didn't I? :)

Monday, January 23, 2012


Remeber the suspenseful waiting from last December?

I've got great news: I got the grant!! Isn't that awesome?

The best part is that this grant* and the subsequent study abroad program (if successfully implemented) mean that the university is investing in me and that maybe someday I can have more certain employment there.

I know... I shouldn't be relying on that (and I am not), especially because the sad truth is that if the academic job market is bad it's certainly much worse for foreign language instruction. However... now that I began to infiltrate into general education (my specialty in graduate school), there may be more hope for me.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my class, let's see if I'll be able to memorize the name of 40 students! (sigh)

*which was supposed to be awarded only to full-time faculty -- who are normally those who teach abroad.
Note: I only applied after my chair, who was the person who suggested I apply in the first place, talked to the study abroad people and gave me the go-ahead to apply.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One Year Ago Today

So, one year ago we made an offer on this house, which was accepted a few days later. We closed and moved in in April. I have a post about the house brewing in my mind for a while now, but I can't write it tonight... I just wanted to post this for the record! ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vera, or How I Don't Care About "Looking Professional"

This is my new (laptop) backpack (from here) and it makes me soooooo happy!
It's the most expensive (even on sale) backpack I've ever owned, but it is undoubtedly the very best. And I'm not saying that just because I think it's pretty, but because it's well made, roomy, seems to be resistant (it's all lined with synthetic materials on the inside) and it is very comfortable to wear, even with a heavy 16 inch laptop (in the main compartment since it only fits laptops up to 15 in.), two heavy textbooks and other books and things. It was just what I needed to be more efficient at work!

It does not look one bit "professional," but it's just what I wanted and I'm definitely taking it along when I go to my discipline's annual conference in March to present a paper. Flower Power!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Downton Abbey Overdose

OK, it's all your fault -- my friends in the computer!!

You kept tweeting  (it's not twittering, right? that would be the actually birds, no? ;) about Downton Abbey to the point that you made me want to check it out! The laundry is to blame too, because after feeling so efficient I wanted to reward myself with something fun and... well... frivolous. ;)

Oh, and I'll go ahead and blame it on Time Magazine's article too (from last week) that featured the real house and its actual owners (and how they need to rent out their estate for filming in order to maintain the house since they don't have much money). It definitely made me curious.

So on Monday night, after I loaded the washer for the fifth & last time, I went to look for it and figured out that the first season was available for viewing online on (note: it's not anymore, more on that in a minute). I watched the first episode (because I had to get ready to teach the next morning) and liked it. The problem is that I didn't realize that all of season one was only available until last night (1/17).

I needed to prepare classes for today last night, but I ended up caving in and watching episodes 2, 3 and part of 4 until 3 am! -- just because I knew they were going to "disappear" from the website (which they did). That was silly of me because they're available for streaming on Netflix -- that's how I watched the end of episode four (which is 7 in Netflix -- different number of episodes there from pbs).

The "bad" thing was that when I stopped viewing it and finally went to bed (midway through last episode of the season), I thought it was going really well, but tonight, after watching the end of the episode, I didn't like it quite as much.

The truth is... I realized years ago, that I don't really like TV or cinema, I like literature, so... I generally like book adaptations much better than original scripts (even when I haven't read the original! it seems I can "recognize" it's a literary work even without knowing sometimes). The latter seem shallow and contrived to me and that's precisely how I felt about Downton Abbey  this evening...

I will continue watching, though (online, we have no cable or tv that picks up the air signals). These things are addictive, unfortunately. Mindless entertainment (which I don't care much for, but... isn't literature that too? Well... yes, but it's more of an art than made-for-TV things, right. Right?!!

Anyone else out there watching?

Efficient Monday (just for the record)

I'm a couple days late posting this, but you'll soon know why...

I just wanted to record in the blog (for my own benefit, no one else's, as everything else I write here) that I did five loads of laundry on Monday and by the time I went to bed (very late, more on that soon) four of the loads had been folded and put away (while the fifth was drying): two loads of dark clothes, two of light colored ones and one of "hand-washables" (including six of K's dress shirts that needed to soak in oxyclean, my favorite stain remover, before washing).

I felt so efficient! (and, BTW, I prefer to do lots of loads in one day every two weeks or so rather than spreading them out several days a week).

P.S. I really enjoy doing laundry and I've blogged about it on and off. I haven't written more because I think it's probably a boring subject for other people.

Edited to add: since I started, and because I'm just plain crazy, now I'll have a full list of  my main "Laundry posts:"   :)
Fun times! At least for me!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Total & Complete Schedule Disconnect*

We knew that our Spring Break would probably never coincide with the boys', but we never expected that the disconnect* between their school's schedule and ours at the university would be so great!

Our university has a slightly different schedule from others -- we begin before Labor day, and the school year ends on or around Memorial day. The school also operates on most major holidays (including Labor day) -- except for today, Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day (good thing: as a result, we have a week off on Thanksgiving).

The boys, on the other hand, have all holidays off from school, except -- obviously (and as "Murphy's Law" would dictate it) -- MLK's Day!!

Isn't that just awfully aggravating? So today we are enjoying a peaceful day of work at home while the boys are at school while next month on Presidents' Day we're going to have to bring them to the university with us. In addition to the holidays, their school has  several days when their teachers have an "in-service" day or other training activities. I guess the worse will be their Spring break: what are we going to do with them for four days? (at least both K & I have Fridays off this semester).

These are problematic, but minor disconnects, though, when compared to the big "vacation disconnect." K's summer grants go from June to the end of July (but not in May, when the boys are still in school), so the best month for him to take the month-long vacation he's entitled to would be August. Guess what? The boys' school starts in the middle of August. Thankfully their school year ends at the end of May, so they have all of June off, so in the future when K doesn't have to rely in the university grants anymore and has outside grants, we can schedule our vacation trips for June.

(annoying first world problems, I know, but still real)

* I'm not 100% comfortable in using disconnect as a noun, but I truly enjoy the plasticity [flexibility] of the English language in which "better" can be a verb too, not just a comparative adjective. This post by Ubuntucat (which I found by googling "disconnect as a noun" is pretty good. I might have to start reading her (?) blog).

That's why we spoke only English in Florida :)

As you know, we try to speak only Portuguese at home and not let the boys forget their first language (they didn't know any English until they were 4.5 years old). It's getting harder and harder, though, particularly for our youngest boy, who talks a lot -- he has to think before he tells us things in Portuguese. The boys' language skills would be better if we could travel to Brazil every year, but that's no longer the possible. :(

Why then, would you ask, we spoke mostly English in public with the boys while we were in Florida? Well, well... this may sound ridiculous or crazy, but there were so many Brazilian tourists all around us everywhere we didn't want to: (1) have them overhearing our conversations; (2) be thought of as tourists and not "locals." (K was the one who was most adamant about this & I was the one constantly having to struggle not to speak Portuguese -- he's not too excited about me writing this post. ;)

And why am I sharing this anyway? Because of this report that came on today on CNN's website:

Brazilians LOVE to shop in the U.S. and they come to Florida (and New York city) by the hundreds of thousands every year.

I just didn't know that there were so many wealthy Brazilians buying properties in Miami, but Time Magazine's "2012 User's Guide" should have tipped me off. On p.60, Michael Duffy* posed the 10 multiple choice questions for the readers, #2 was: "The U.S. economic bubble most likely to reinflate is: A. Miami Beach condos, because of record investment by Brazilians." And while that is not the correct answer -- "Iowa and Illinois farmland, because or record corn shortages in China" is -- it's defintely something that's making waves in Florida's economy and, consequently, in the country as a whole.

P.S. I guess another reason for what we did in Florida is that we're identifying less and less with people from our country, which is true, but sad.

* apparently I can't link to this because Time Mag. content is only available for subscribere.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Talk About Feeling Sore!

Last week I was really surprised that I wasn't sore after the two hour-long "body-sculpt" fitness classes that I took, but this week was "the fitness-classes' revenge!" ;)

Yoga 2 is probably the one to blame because today's 45 minutes of body sculpt probably only exacerbated the soreness of yesterday's 50 minutes of more advanced yoga. It was my very first Yoga 2 class and I loved it! Most importantly, I think I'm ready for it, but... I think I will feel sore for the first month at least!

I enjoyed learning new poses, such as the dolphin (which I may have done once or twice last summer):

(photo from The Yoga Journal)

the supported shoulder stand (my one year of gymnastics back in 1990 in college helped me with this one!):
(photo from The Yoga Journal as well)

and one I'd never heard off, that flows out of warrior 2 -- the bird-of-paradise (I love this flower, BTW!)

 (photo from that's fit's "Transform Yourself with Yoga" with Mandy Ingber)

This will be a great semester with yoga!!! Bring on the soreness!

Blackboard Sucks

and that's all I'm going to say about that right now. BLAH!!!

The most counter-intuitive piece of software I've ever had to use in my life.

Qualtrics (for surveys), on the other hand? ROCKS big time!

I wish the they could be one and the same  ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Joy of Books - AWESOME!

Have you seen this?

It came about because of this: (a bookcase organization project gone crazy ;)

My son Kelvin and I LOVED them just couldn't stop watching these videos over and over. And, of course, I immediately looked at these in our home library:

and felt like spending a few nights taking photos to produce similar animation  -- of course we won't do it, it's lovely but too complicated! So I'm very glad that Sean Ohlenkamp and his wife Lisa Blonder Ohlenkamp did it both at home and at Type Bookstore in Toronto.

Long live to books! (I can't bear to think that they may be on the road to "extinction")

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I'm just coming off the phone after talking to my credit card company regarding two fraudulent charges that I just noticed on our credit card.

Thankfully I had logged in to check our balances both in the bank and the credit card and I noticed the two charges for over 1K, for tickets in an Israeli airline that were done today and I called right away. That's why I'm not even that nervous right now...

This is so scary and annoying! I cannot imagine how those who suffer identity theft feel. The bad part was that I had just purchased a gift for my brother (whose birthday is in two days) with the card, so I'm not cancelling and getting it replaced until that purchase goes through (all the way in NZ). The credit card company will call me to verify each transaction, though, until I replace the card.

Very unsettling, but, hopefully, a problem that can be solved.

The Second Day was Better

The classes I teach Th-Th are different from Mo-Wed so the second day was actually my second "first" day and it went well.

I still had trouble with the syllabi, but this time, instead of handing out a document with errors, I decided not to hand out the syllabus just yet since most students have been with me since last semester or previous ones  and they know how our class works (this is the fourth semester with me for four of my students).

I was glad to see that both of my classes today have windows too! I miss some students from last semester that didn't return, but we have good groups and three new students who are starting Portuguese in the 2nd semester and who will have some catching up to do.

Now, feMOMhist asked yesterday in a comment whether I'm planning to teach wearing yoga pants Mo/Wed and here's my plan: in the winter it's pretty easy to go straight from yoga to class, all I have to do is to wear tight cotton leggings under my regular work pants and a workout top under my blouse or sweater. I wear long underwear all winter long anyway, I'm always cold, so the leggings will replace those on Mo/Wed. Then all I have to do is to remove the top layer for yoga class and put it all back on quickly to go teach. The class is only 50 minutes long, so I don't get very sweaty, which is good.

When it warms up it'll be a bit trickier. I have a couple of shorter dresses that I wear over leggings and which won't require changing clothes if I wear the workout top underneath, but I will need to change if I want to wear other dresses or other kinds of pants (e.g. capri). I don't really wear skirts & blouses much, so that helps. That's my plan, what do you think?

OK, I have to go update the faulty syllabus now and do a zillion other things. It's hard to work in the afternoon since I have to coax two boys to do homework and practice piano while I try to cook something for dinner, which reminds me I haven't posted about food and cooking for a while, right? I have to post a "to-do" list for the blog as a reminder.

Monday, January 09, 2012

First day wasn't bad

I didn't post yesterday because my post was going to be too negative, with snippets such as this one:

(post title: Back to teaching)
"sense of being perennially under-prepared (I was going to say unprepared, but I'm generally prepared, but not as much as I wish I were)"

This was the only thing I'd written of the post, BTW.

So... I just decided not to blog and to spend my time preparing a bit more to teach and then I went to bed (at my usual 2 am time, I know, very very bad, right?).

This morning I consciously decided to sleep for one more hour (after getting the boys' lunches ready) and I then I was unable to go to the yoga class that's just before the class I teach.* It was OK, though and I like my 43 students a lot. Four were already my students last semester, so I already have some "groupies" who will see me four days a week! (they also take Portuguese with me) There is a large group of freshmen and I hope they like the class!

A few things went wrong, obviously: (1) I couldn't check out the documentary that I was planning to show the students because the department's resource center was closed, but I had another DVD that I could show (downside -- I hadn't previewed it, but it was ok); (2) I had minor trouble printing and copying the class materials and... (this one happens every.single.semester... [sigh!!]) (3) I had put several dates wrong on the schedule...  :( I blame this last one on my ADHD. :P

Most things were just fine, though. Because I couldn't go to the yoga class I had time to eat and finish the power point presentation which was OK. And things went well in class... looking at the survey results (the PP), going over the syllabus, meeting the students and... I was very happy that this is my very first time teaching in a class with windows in my 1.5 year here!! I was delighted to see the snow falling outside during class.

I have a feeling this is going to be a great semester and I truly hope it is! For my friends who are teaching or going to school, how is the beginning of your semester going?

*I changed my class's time on purpose so I can go to the lunch hour classes, but didn't realize I will have  only exactly 20 minutes to leave the yoga class to come and teach -- lucky for me, it's a 2-3 minute walk.

Friday, January 06, 2012

"Body Sculpt" is fun!

This week I went to two "body sculpt" classes and I really enjoyed them. Of course I selected the lightest weights and the least resistant stretch bands to be on the safe side, but I'm really surprised that I haven't felt any pain after both classes (I often feel quite sore after yoga and even more after "yogalates"). Maybe I should use heavier weights next time? I don't have to feel pain after every fitness class, right? Or maybe I'm just not that out of shape. ;)

So... as far as "new year's resolutions" go, I'm doing really well on # 1 -- including spending more time with my husband, but, sadly, that will change when we start teaching next week. :(

Songs from when I was born (July 1971) - facebook meme

I can't stand facebook, so I decided to post this fun fb meme on the blog instead.

The challenge is to find which song was the #1 on the week you were born, find the video on YouTube and post it to one's profile -- or blog! (Another meme I saw yesterday asked for the song from when you turned 9, but I like to go back further in time!). :)

According to Wikipedia's List of  Billboard's Hot 100 for 1971 singles, when I was born (July 7), there were two Carole King songs that were #1 (and they were in this position for five weeks in a row!):

Now, I remember the first one really well and I like both, but I was positively delighted to find out that one of my favorite songs was #1 by the last week of July, James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend"

Last, but not least, since my husband doesn't have a blog & doesn't post on fb either, I thought I'd share the song that was popular on May 26 (1971) when he was born -- so much fun -- "Joy to the World!"

Thursday, January 05, 2012

My Christmas Books!

I received many lovely Christmas presents -- we exchanged presents among all five families, including all adults, we even had lists on Google docs ;) -- but I think these were some of my favorites! My dear sister-in-law gave me two of the films I wanted (Jane Eyre and Once) and the book on the right The Annotated Persuasion, and K gave me Michael Moore's book!! If only I didn't have to prepare syllabi and classes and could sit back and enjoy them... sigh.

I desperately NEED to stop reading stuff online and to read more books -- both to prepare my classes better and just for my enjoyment. So... one more "resolution" for me, a person who has always been pretty anti-resolution.  (see how blogging has been changing that? ;)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

At 1:30 am, after 15 Hours... Home Sweet Home!

We drove back home yesterday from Florida and a trip that was supposed to take 11 to 12 hours at the most, took 15 exhausting hours because of weather and road conditions (some accidents). After a good night of sleep in our own beds, though, we're really happy to be home and the boys are delighted to have one last day to play at home before they  head back to school tomorrow morning.

This vacation was definitely too short, next time we need to plan to get our grading done as far ahead of the deadline as possible so we can be packed an ready to leave as soon as we post our grades! Maybe... just maybe next year we'll go to Brazil for the holidays. I don't know if it'll be possible (too costly), but maybe we can work it out and my dream can come true.

Now, we need to get back to work, getting our syllabi ready and preparing classes. I'm not ready to start just yet, but we have no choice. Sigh...That's the problem with vacations, getting back to "real life" afterwards is really tough! :(

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all have a wonderful 2012!

2011 went by too fast, didn't it? I have a feeling 2012 will be the same way. Maybe it feels that way because I'm getting older... oh well.

(and I thought I had posted this on the 1st, but I'll do it now, keeping the date/time when I wrote it).