Life has, in a word, exploded. For the last six weeks, I've been teaching a condensed version of a class that is already a lot work when spread over sixteen weeks. For 75 minutes a day, five days a week, I have lectured about everything from the pre-history of Spain ato the recent release of a Colombian police officer by the FARC. My twelve students have each written (and, thus, I have graded) ten essays, taken three quizzes and three exams, and given oral presentations.
I now know more about the factors precipitating the Spanish Civil war than I ever thought I could (or should). I can tell you that no one is sure whether Salvador Allende was killed by Pinochet's military forces or if he committed suicide in his office in the Palacio la Moneda in Santiago, Chile. We could talk endlessly about the tendency for countries in the hispanic world to depend on a single product as the basis of their economy. Or about dictatorship. Did you know that Venezuela has the longest, most difficult history of dictatorships in Latin America? Or that Colombia has for the most part been spared that fate? Not that they haven't had their own problems (cf, nearly constant civil war).
I have one final set of essays to grade and I can't say that I'm sad to see this class end.
In the midst of all of this grading and lecturing, I have also been conducting the pilot study portion of my dissertation research. It has been, in a word, disastrous. Much of the disastrousness has been my fault, but some of it hasn't. I think that's just the very nature of doing classroom-based research--there are far too many factors that are beyond my control. I just have to do the very best that I can.
We have been staying with my in-laws as they live about an hour closer to where I teach. Mr. H-B has been working on a neighboring farm to earn a little extra money, but also to spend time doing what he loves. Living with the in-laws has not always been easy, but I'm learning about patience and when to walk away.
We're headed home tomorrow after I turn my grades in and I am so excited to get to sleep in my own bed and watch my own television. I can hardly wait to organize my office and rearrange things so that I can be at my most productive. Now it's time to buckle down and write my dissertation proposal and, I hope, be a more frequent blogger. There are tomato plants to tend to, quilts to quilt, and data to analyze. Hello, routine, how I have missed you.
*That title's for you, ML2, wherever you are. Remember how you used to call my former place of work SC-a-roony?