Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I know that this is not a particularly good time to do this, especially since I'm a guest for an online blogging workshop right now, but I'm going to stop blogging for the time being. I feel the need to live inside my own head for a while.

I started blogging because I felt like it made me notice more things and take more of an interest in my own life, and I was interested in sharing that. But right now, I only blog because I feel an obligation to others, not to myself. I've actually started to regret having comments on here at all, because they make me really care about whether anyone is reading what I write. I'm not writing for myself anymore, and that bothers me.

So I've declared a moratorium on public modes of communication. Until I'm comfortable with myself again, I'm only going to be writing things that I can see. I want to stop feeling like I'm always trying to pull my life back together from the fraying edges, (which isn't really a problem with blogging, but it's not helping right now.)

Ciao, and contact via email if you wish.

Monday, January 10, 2005

I came to some decisions over this past vacation. Last semester was pretty much generally miserable, and I don't want to do that again. There need to be some changes. So to start out with, I went out and got 12-13 inches of my hair cut off and donated it to Locks of Love.

The last time I cut my hair dramatically was 3.5 years ago. I had just returned from Chile, which had changed my attitude toward myself a lot, and I felt like I could do anything. It was an expression of independence and confidence. (Prior to that, I hadn't had it really cut since first grade. I donated 20 inches that time.) This time, it was a symbolic act meant to remind myself that I need to get myself together enough to really go through with all the other changes I decided I need to make.

The fact that I got my hair cut by the hair-genius John at Physios, and therefore ended up with a haircut that 1) makes me look fabulous and 2) not have to do anything but brush it quickly when I roll out of bed is really just a side-effect, not meant in any way to detract from the symbolism.

Back to the other changes, though. Perhaps the biggest decision I made is that I am not going to get my MA-Linguistics at MSU after all. This is mainly because most of the PhD programs I have been looking at would make me repeat some of the courses. It is also, however, because I am tired of being where I am. The linguistics department here doesn't really focus on much of interest to me, and I think at this point I'd rather just do it where I'm going to get my PhD (at some point) anyway. This means I have one less class to take this semester, which makes my life slightly more sane.

This also means I'll need to be in Michigan for one less year, so I'm exploring my options for next year. So far, my options are to stay in Michigan anyway and teach more at LCC, move back to NC and do something there, or go to China somewhere and teach. On the NC front, I applied to a position at NCSU for a study abroad advisor, but I'm betting they're filling it with someone they already had in mind, so I'm not holding my breath. Lee's looking for connections in China, but if anyone out there has reputable suggestions of places to teach over there, particularly in/near Shanghai, let me know.

Here's to a better, and final, semester at MSU.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Endings and Beginnings
Well, I'm back from vacation, and it's time to apologize for the extended absence. I went home to North Carolina for two weeks, the longest time I've managed since I graduated from undergraduate school, and didn't even take my laptop out of its bag. I was living in kind of a bubble of the minimum amount of contact with the outside world of technology or people outside my family, and given that I now feel much better, I think I needed that.

Vacation was wonderful. I got to see almost everyone in my family, aunts, uncles, cousins, the works. I got to see my cousin Adam and his new wife Tez, from the Czech republic, for the first time since they got married in a very small ceremony that none of us more extended relatives managed to attend. I got to see my cousin Michael and his wife Becky's two kids, who are as adorable as ever. Courtney is now three, and shows signs of being either an entertainer or a genealogist. Hunter is 10 months, and he was generally being baby-adorable and let me hold him a lot. Awwww. And of course, I saw all my other aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.

The only people missing were my aunt and uncle from Chicago, which was something of a cloud over the holiday for my dad's side of the family. My aunt Janice entered the hospital just a few days before Christmas with, as it turned out, colon cancer. She will have to have chemotherapy, but right now she is in a rehabilitation center to recover from her initial surgery, and my grandparents keep reporting that she is still sounding cheerful. Fortunately for my uncle, the hospital is only two blocks from their house.

On my mother's side, this was the first Christmas without Granddaddy, but it seemed to go well. Grandma miraculously didn't let her house get too chaotic, even though she had 7 people and a dog staying with her.

Beyond visiting with people, (and eating,) I read. Lots and lots of books. I finally got around to reading John McWhorter's Word on the Street, which was of course very interesting, and I'll probably get around to talking about it later. Then I stopped trying to be scholarly and turned to speed-reading my way through my parents' accumulated mysteries that I hadn't caught up on. For all that I still do not approve of Robert Parker's vendetta against the proper use of the question mark, the man does write quick and interesting plots. I also enjoyed a good dose of Stuart Woods' writing, which is both longer and without annoying lacks of punctuation. At one point during vacation, I was up to 2 books a day. It was exactly the sort of vacation I wanted.

Now, though, it is time to start the new semester. It will be different, as decisions have been made and plans put into motion, but more on that later. I wish whoever is out there a good new year.

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