Somehow December 18th turned into February 6th; it’s time for a blog post! Because I seem to let so much time pass between the posts, they often end up being gigantic catch-ups, sigh. I miss the days when I was able to blog regularly and have some sort of a theme to them. Alas, here we are and here goes:
A few days after the New Year the Swede and I flew from one home (Stockholm) to another (DC). Having been in Sweden for three full weeks, we felt properly grounded there. Our time included a totally unexpected and fabulous surprise 60th party (my 30th plus his 30th = turning 60 together :), a trip up north to see his cousins (and our cats, whom they kindly adopted when we realized our new apt. was going to be pet-free), lots of dinners with old friends, family, and a heavy helping of Swedish cuddles. Just 10 days in and I felt the Swedish calm settle over my stressed American psyche. Life was good.
When we returned, we had a few more days to rest until the madness (grad school) began anew. This is my last semester of classes. I wish I could describe in words how wonderful that feels. Two Master’s and 12 more courses later, I will be at a whopping 30 grad school courses completed after this semester. A seemingly eternal student, I have to admit I’m tired. Drained. Exhausted. I’m ready for it to be over. Ready to begin phase two: dissertation mode. As scary as that word sounds, I feel that I’m ready for it. I’ve been prepping for years and for 30 courses. I will tell you all more about what exactly the diss. entails (did I mention the diss. comprehensive exams?) in another email. Let’s not get ahead or ourselves. Back to the last 1.5 months…
Now to the bad, the strange and the lovely—
1. The Swede is unemployed. Yep, his contract with the Swedish/Norwegian companies was completed and as they are not taking on new hires, it was not extended nor turned to full-time employment. This is also worthy of a separate or even multiple posts, but for now know that we are fine for the next 3 months. He has two more paychecks and we have the ability to cover that third month, so it’s all okay. He’s actively looking for something new, so don’t you worry your pretty little heads about us. Worst case scenario, we sublet our apartment for a month or two this summer and live at one of my parents lake houses while I read for my dissertation exams which I want to take in September. That’s a pretty okay worst case scenario if you ask me.
2. I am not teaching this semester. I was given two classes, both of which were cancelled due to under-enrollment. This was an issue department-wide, with other students ending up with either one section, or none, so I’m not concerned. My courses were also early morning, which undergrads are not so keen on. The good part of this is that I’m a research assistant again, which is far less stressful. The balancing act is much easier and I am much happier. I’ll have plenty of semesters in which I will be able to teach in the future, so don’t you worry your pretty little heads about this either.
3. I am employed for the summer session of 2012, at the institution in which I am employed currently! Yay! Life is good! No scrambling for jobs this summer! Woohoo! The second session doesn’t start until early July, which leaves us most of May and June (hence the lake house idea), but I will be good to go for July and August, leading me right on back into fall semester, 2012. I am very pleased about this not only because it decreases my stress level, but because you have to apply and only 4 grad students are chosen per summer. I feel extremely lucky to have been one of them. Plus it’ll give me the teaching experience, which I lost out on this semester.
4. I’m a finalist for the Fulbright to Brazil. Yep! I found out at the end of January and will get the final results between March and June of this year. I would be studying contemporary Brazilian literature in Brasilia, so that would be fantastic. Of course, there are a lot of other details to sort out if I get it, but in that case it would be March to December 2013, so I have more than a year to get that all settled. At any rate, I’m pleased to have gotten to this next step, but am also trying to show a bit of reserve. Did I mention I was a Fulbright finalist for Austria when I graduated from Wooster? Yeah, so I’ve been down this path before and know that it ain’t over till it’s over.
Okay, folks. I think we are up to speed now. I hope you all have lovely weeks and have great weekends behind you. Happy February to all of you and your lovely babies, hubbies, cats!
With love from our Nation’s Capital-