Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Visit to Middletown, CT...

I needed a day away from Willimantic and I've been craving a stack of new books to read. I love to buy used books so I found a shop that was fairly local and headed that way. The drive took about an hour, but I drove through the backroads rather than the freeway. I just wanted to slow down my pace a bit. This is a picture of Main Street in Middletown. It's a quaint town and I enjoyed the feel. It's very gloomy today, a sign of the winter to come, I'm sure.

I stopped in at the Emporium for lunch. They have a ton of teas to try and also some coffee offerings. The people behind the counter weren't overly friendly though. Not sure I'd go back.

This is my lunch. It's a cuban sandwich. I'd never had an authentic cuban, and honestly this wasn't one either. The bread is focaccia, not the roll you normally find associated with this sandwich. It was good though and the spicy mustard cleared out my sinuses!

Then off to the bookstore, located below the restaurant. This is a small hole-in-the-wall place. I went with a list of books on my Amazon wishlist, however, I only found one of the list in the store. Oh well.

Obviously, that didn't stop me from finding other new things to read! I picked up 7 new books! Hopefully this will keep me going for a short while. I have felt so lost the few nights without a good book to read. I did have "Great Expectations" on my nightstand but I find I just can't get into it. 'Tis is too short to try to force yourself through a book you have no interest in.

I was so disappointed on the way home from this adventure because the GPS decided to take me on the freeways! GAH!! I don't mind driving on freeways but I find I really like the old backroads when I'm not in some type of a hurry or when I don't have an appointment. The feel of the journey on the way home was so much different than the way there for this exact reason. I'll be sure to tell the GPS I want an alternate route to go home from now on.

All in all, it was a good day. It's New Year's Eve here and I've been thinking about my One Little Word for 2012 as well as the goals I'm hoping to set for myself. I'll write more about those tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Right Now...

listening: "Carol of the Bells" on Pandora.
eating: Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses
drinking: Hot water.
wearing: Nothing special.
feeling: Sad. No place feels quite like home anymore.
weather: Beautiful day in Knoxville - sunny and warm.
watching: Movies I borrowed from Carol.
waiting: for lunch...meeting a friend at Panera's.
wanting: Peace of mind.
needing: to pack my house up and get it into storage.
thinking: about how I'm going to get everything to NC and then to CT
enjoying: scrapbooking a few gifts for friends.
wondering: What the new year will hold for me.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Graduation and Stuff...

It finally happened! I graduated. December 8th I finally walked across the stage to earn my Ph.D. Man, it felt good! Interestingly enough, although my degree was earned during the summer I didn't feel very "doctorish" until I walked across the stage. Below is a picture of me with Colin, my advisor. Fun, fun, FUN!!

Being at home has been fun. It's been nice to actually be able to scrapbook a little bit again. I am going to take some supplies home with me. I miss it too much. Not only that but I have rented out my house here in Knoxville so the stuff needs to be removed anyway. Most of my items will go into storage but some of the scrapbooking stuff is coming home with me. Today I put together a small album for my friends Jackie and Paul for Christmas. It came out cute.

Heading out to dinner with friends tonight. Can't wait!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Monday will be quite a day...

Monday...11:00am...I will be finished teaching my first semester of geology. My goodness, I cannot believe that it will be done. After this first semester I know, for certain, that I am doing what I am meant to do. I have loved (almost) every minute of teaching these students about geology. I also can't believe that I've been able to keep up with preparations for class...think lectures, exams, study guides, labs, grading, etc.

Already, my mind has started thinking about teaching in the spring. I am again teaching two introductory geology classes. Now I want to add in some more content to the course so I have been looking at preparing thoughtful homework assignments, as well as revamping the major writing/research project that I have the students do. I will also be teaching an oceanography class. I will have to prepare everything from scratch for that class as well, but at least it's only one class I'm creating from scratch rather than the two I have been preparing this past semester.

On Monday I will also be finishing up my packing and getting things ready to put into the car. I'm headed back to Knoxville on Tuesday morning for a couple of weeks to graduate! I am so very excited to get to walk across the stage for the last time. My advisor, Colin, will be hooding me. It should be fun.

I will also be packing up my house and getting things moved into storage. I rented out my house - it seemed like the only logical thing to do because paying both rent and mortgage was really taxing me financially. I am so happy for the opportunity to do this.