Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oh, Yeah, And...

I've been giving doctoral work some thought. I am going to go for it, although it looks like my official start date may be a ways off. I have to retake the GRE, since it's been over five years since I last took it (and thank goodness, because I really didn't do as well as I would have liked to the first time), and demonstrate a language proficiency.

The deadlines for two of my major contenders--MSU and UofM--are too close for me to cut it this year; besides, I'd like to keep my stress level to a minimum and only handle 2-3 major life changes per year. *snicker* BUT, this gives me a chance to work on the GRE thing--and actually study for it this time--and my language component. French is the obvious choice, because I've already studied it. I figure it would take me a semester to get back to where I was, fluency-wise, when I stopped, which was after the first semester of my freshman year. Mind you, I tested into the 300 level classes when I applied at Albion, so I was pretty good back then. I don't think it would take me too long to get back in the swing of things if I began studying it in earnest again.

To that end, I just applied at the local community college to see if I could start taking some French classes this summer. I'm kind of excited about that! I've always wanted to get back into learning foreign languages (I still want to learn Portuguese; when that brilliant day comes that I meet Roderigo Santoro, I want to be ready!).

And so, mile marker #1 accomplished!

Holiday Countdown

NaNo Word count: 30,622/50,000

Some days are full of surprises.

Today wasn't really one of them, but I felt like saying that! It was a pretty bog standard day, actually; it being so close to the holiday, I saw attendance in my classes take a serious dip. One of my classes only had one student in it! She and I sat and talked about her paper (we're writing about literature and the arts right now), about Shakespeare in general, and then about life. I am consistently honored and humbled by the way some of my students open up to me personally. It makes me feel as though I'm a part of their lives in a way that's more meaningful than simply teaching them proper grammar and how to write a strong thesis statement. It's what makes my job worthwhile.

Speaking of my job, tomorrow is my 90-day evaluation. Hopefully this goes well! I have no reason to think it won't, but you know how it is....evaluation. There's just no way to make that sound good!

On the family front, my grandma had a pacemaker installed (is that the right word? installed?) last week. They nicked one of her lungs, which is apparently a common error in this type of surgery, but she self-healed and appears fine. Better than fine, actually. Her circulation appears to have improved, and she says she feels more energetic. At the very least, we're hoping she won't be having the falls she was having before. She's back in her assisted living home and getting some PT during recovery. Mom said that she (my grandma) even got out her crochet needle and started crocheting! This is something she hasn't done in years--not since my grandfather died in 2004. I'm really glad she's doing it, because, well, she's famous for her baby booties, and I want to make sure I have a pair for when we start having kids!

I still think it's miraculous what the human body can do. A year ago, she had a massive stroke--the kind that can shut people down for good. And now, here she is, crocheting! And happier than ever.

For those of you who keep up with such things, my review of Patrick Rosal's My American Kundiman has appeared in Alehouse this month. So far, still no responses on any of my submissions from the spring, summer, and obviously not fall. I'm getting a little antsy! But I keep rollin'; I have my submission schedule to keep, and I'm constantly adding to it.

I've been really trying to focus on revision (around my NaNo exploits, of course)--I have a good deal of new material that can and should be edited. Much love to my friend Michael, who's volunteered to read my stuff and give me the real truth. *sheepish grin*

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