Friday, May 28, 2010

Planes, trains, and automobiles

I can't stop smiling. Life is pretty wonderful right now. It's summer.
Had a spectacular trip to Europe in spite of the fact that Planes, Trains, and Automobiles all broke down. We had plenty of reason to be stressed, but our whole group had a great attitude. It's an adventure when your bus breaks down in the middle of Spain, miles from anywhere, except, thankfully, a truck stop that served snacks, meals, ice cream, and beer! The first picture is of the truck stop.
The plane from Chicago to Paris broke before we got on board, and though we had to sit in Chicago for four extra hours, and thus had to readjust our schedule in Paris, we weatherd it well. Two subways malfunctioned while we were aboard, and all we had to do then was get off and wait for another.

Three passports were pickpocketed/stolen from girls in our group. Huge lesson to be learned about keeping that passport next to your body at all times! In spite of these, now memorably humorous mishaps, it was a life-changing trip for lots of students.

Walking through the Louvre and seeing original work by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Giotto, Delacroix, Gericault, etc., etc., brough several people (me included), to tears. And then the Musee D'Orsay with Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Degas, Renoir, Bazille, Seurat, and lots of vanGogh...all of whom we'd studied...was moving at the very least.

In Spain, everyone fell in love with Barcelona's beach and beautiful parks and climate. Gaudi's crazy architectural designs had most of us walking around with our mouths hanging open. After seeing Gothic cathedrals in Paris, seeing such a unique and quirkydesign for a cathedral of Sagrada Familia's magnitude was breathtaking. (Second picture here is of La Sagrada Familia).
More about the trip to come! In the meantime, I'm basking in the great time we all had together.
Now: writing like an S.O.B. It's summer!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Research Paper and Mother's Day

Ah, I always wanted to spend Mother's Day grading research papers. Not. But, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Back at it...

Soon, Europe, then summer and writing and riding and getting to see my kids!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Freya's official TDI Dog portrait

Had to have a mug shot for Freya's Therapy Dog International I.D. : ) A photo that shows recognizable details isn't all that easy to get on a black dog! But we got one.

Not getting 75 hours in a day, so better make the most of it

So my wish for 75 hours a day for the next two weeks isn't going to be granted. I just have to stay on task ALL the time and make the most of it.

Countdown to France and Spain begins. We--all 33 of us students and faculty--leave in ELEVEN DAYS. I'm so excited, but right now I don't have time to think about it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kids and school and writing and biking and gardening and FREYA

So much going on, my head is spinning. But it's all good and life is pretty damn wonderful. Springtime and all, too.

Nikki's pregnant, and I am pretty excited, no, scratch that. I'm am SOOOOO excited!!!!!!! I think about it all the time.

Tim James visited my Humanities classes this past Thursday, and he kicked ass. My students loved him, and I felt like they learned so, so much. They thought it was terrific. So fun. He talked about Dali, Picasso, and his own (amazing) work. We talked about the progression from realism to twisting it to do something other than realistic representation. Surrealism, Abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, and Expressionism. And Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. I felt like everybody got most of the distinctions!

Hoping to plant my veggie garden this afternoon. Have to finish grading first.....
Want to get a ride in, too, but don't know if I can do it all.
And then, there's working on my WIP (Work in progress/next novel).

That's why I need 75 hours per day for the next two weeks. Two weeks from today, we leave for France and Spain!