Saturday, November 1, 2014

Week 11: *yaaaaaaaawn*

 Dear Husband and I went to the Texas State Aquarium today and had a wonderful time.  The aquarium is really neat, and being right by the gulf, had a lot of sea creatures that you can actually come across in the area.  I have some decent pictures of the dolphins, but this one of one of the sea turtles came out the very best.  I was so pleased with it!

The picture below is from the beach right outside the aquarium and is of me in front of the U.S.S. Lexington, a floating museum.  We didn't go there today, but that's on our list of things to do before much longer.

It was a nice day to go.  It's been about 72 degrees with a nice breeze off Corpus Christi Bay.  It's apparently 37 degrees in DH's hometown, and there was a nasty storm with ice and sleet last night.  It's been a bit weird for it to be November 1st and not need at least a hoodie. Instead, I was wearing my Men of Marvel dress from Her Universe.  It will actually be warmer at the beginning of next week before going back into the 70s on Wednesday.

This is, apparently, considered cold for Corpus Christi.

I've been having weird dreams the last couple of nights--dreaming about my Mamaw Hardiman.  It's been several years since she died, so I don't know why it's come up now in the last few days.  But I miss her dearly.

This week were student conferences with my 1301 and 1302 classes.  Over the last week, I've had almost 100 students in my office.  Some of them I told to keep up the good work, some I told just to keep on keeping on, and some I scolded.

That's all to be expected, naturally.  But then there were some who came into my office, and talked to me about what was going on in their lives.  I gave out bookmarks to the retention office, post-it notes with the number for the counseling office, tissues, platitudes, and hugs.  Then they left my office, and I needed the tissue for myself.  So many of my students are working so hard to overcome so much, and there's not much I can do to help but to sit there and be a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.

At the same time, I've also seen these students succeeding--and doing so fabulously, overcoming all of these things that they're dealing with.  They're so determined to make a better life, and I am so thrilled to help them do that.

We've been studying prayer in our Sunday School class, and I think one of the most powerful things I can do right now is to pray for my students.  The older I get, the more prayer becomes important to me, and the more I recognize the power of prayer.  It's not so much because I believe that God will do everything I ask of Him--I recognize that I can pray for something and sometimes the answer will be "No."  But while I can worry over my students, I have to learn to let it go, so all I can do is turn it over to God.  And that takes practice and patience and prayer.  So I'm learning.

Today starts National Novel Writing Month.  Whether I get a full 50,000 words written over the month of November, I have no idea, but to be fair, I'm kind of cheating in that I only want to finish my novel this month, and I've just finished chapter 15.  My word count on the novel can be found at the bottom of the page.  I'm starting with 35,362 words.  I'm aiming for about 60,000 words with this novel, and then it's on to the second in the series.  Several of my friends are working on novels this month.  There's also a Corpus Christi group of people doing NaNoWriMo, and they're going to have "write-ins" at the Half Price Books this month, and I'm thinking of joining them.

In other news, I've been doing a pretty good job on the academic writing front this week.  I've got a complete draft of my Tennyson paper, and I have some colleagues, current and former, who have agreed to read it before I submit it to a journal.  I'm looking forward to their feedback, and I hope that I have something publishable.  Still, I want to get some feedback before I send it off.  In the meantime, I have an idea for a new paper I want to write, so that's the next goal.  After all, as soon as you're done writing one thing, it's time to start another.

DH is taking a nap on the couch right now.  He's been working overtime in the registrar's office--which looks like it will continue for the foreseeable future.  He says he's never bored while he's working!  He seems to be enjoying it, and they seem to be happy to have him there--naturally.  And it's wonderful to have him on campus with me--we get to eat lunch together on Mondays and Wednesdays, and we get to drive in together almost every day.  I'm in my office a lot more, so I'm getting more work done, so we can both come home and leave work at work.

One thing that's been interesting is that this weekend is Dia de los Muertos.  I'm still learning about the holiday, but it goes from Halloween on Oct. 31st, through All Saint's Day on Nov. 1st, and ends on All Soul's Day on Nov. 2nd.  We'll be celebrating All Saint's Day tomorrow at church, and I'm looking forward to it, as I've never been to an All Saint's Mass at a 'high' church.

This week has me finishing Hamlet with my 1302 classes, working on advertising with my 1301 classes, and reading Poe in my American Lit class.  (We did "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Young Goodman Brown" on Thursday in anticipation of Halloween.)

In the meantime, DH and I will be missing the snow from home and the fire we know his mom and dad are building--and hope that our weather calms down a bit, if only for the sake of the garage.

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