So, it's a bit sad that my first post of 2011 is in March, but I think that should be a fair indication of what the last few months have been like around here. So, here, in no particular order, are things I have been doing:
1) Dissertation Updates: I passed my defense last week! It was tough and exciting in equal parts, but it's over. I am now in the process of editing/formatting so I can submit to the graduate school. Graduation is set for May. Which leads me to...
2) The job search: I have nothing to say on this besides a plea for prayers. I am hoping for a lecturer/adjunct position somewhere in the general area.
3) On being sick: I have had 2-3 colds, a mild case of flu, what was possibly a sinus infection, and a round of stomach virus in the last few months. My doctor had told me back in August that there really wasn't any need to take my multi-vitamins since there hasn't been any proof that they do anything. I'm thinking that they do something for me, so I'm taking them again.
4) New Computer: After more than six years of excellent service, my laptop finally gave up the fight. I spent more than a week computerless, which actually taught me that the world will not leave me behind if I don't check my email every five minutes and that Facebook really isn't a life necessity. Nevertheless, I am very happy with the new laptop, and my ability to get online without a drive to the public library.
5) On books and travel: I never thought I would say this, but I have been devouring Jan Karon's Mitford series. I always assumed that these would be beyond cheesy and trite, but they are actually quite good - nice, peaceful, before-bed-reading. I have also been reading Great British Walks and feeling that pit-of-the-stomach, achy, love-sick feeling I get when I start thinking too hard about England. I want to go back sooo bad. I actually got out the Fodor's again, just for fun, to start thinking about where we would go the next time - I'm thinking fly into Manchester, hit either the Lake or Peak District, go through Yorkshire, then north into Hadrian's Wall country. Sigh. Oh, I listened to the audio book of Sarah Rose's For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History , an historical account of Robert Fortune's theft of tea production from China in the 19th century - very interesting.
6) Projects: After a mad flurry of knitting (I finished the Christmas gift shawl, the Villette vest, a pair of mittens, and a hat (pictures to follow)), I am taking a break from needlework. Instead, I have been breaking out the old colored pencils. For Christmas, Jordan got me a certificate for an art class on colored pencil technique which I very much enjoyed. Then, on the new bookshelf at the library, I saw Wendy Hollender's Botanical Drawing in Color. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
6) On working out and goals: Since January, I have been working out fairly consistently at the gym at school. I was doing a program that Jordan found for me, that involved actually going in the weight room, where I was invariably the only girl. I was actually impressed with what I was able to do - I finally figured out that the weights are supposed to be heavy (duh). I had always picked light weights (like 5lbs.) because I thought that was what I was supposed to lift, because I am a little girl. Then, I realized that you don't get stronger if you lift what it already pretty light. I quickly moved up to the 15lb. dumbbells, which are almost too heavy. I'm not sure that they are actually having the effect that I wanted - I think I am stronger, but my arms are still fairly stick-like. I've been running on the treadmill too, and as soon as it gets sufficiently warm outside, I am going to start training for another 5k. I ran one in 2009 in 32:10. My new goal is to run in under 30 mins.
I hope to blog with something approaching consistency; I also hope to learn how to end posts. They always seem abrupt or weird.