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Showing posts from December, 2017

Settling Down for a Long Winter's Nap

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So, this is weird.
I'm on VACATION!
I've returned to my home in Edinburg for the holiday, and it feels very strange to be back in my old office, hanging out with the cats. B and I made the trip down here on Sunday night/early Monday morning, and I've been in recovery mode ever since. My body hasn't quite caught up on sleep from the madness that was last week.
I'm just not very good at being on vacation, though, and sometimes, the stillness makes me feel even more anxious than the bustle of my usual semester. While having lunch yesterday, B explained to me, from a physics standpoint, that nothing or no one is ever completely "still." We're all orbiting around the galaxy at incredibly fast speeds, and we never stop. We're also orbiting around the sun. And we're rotating, too. And on a subatomic level, we're always bustling with movement. So that's why it's so impossible for me to be still!
Ted, my cat, seems to have the right idea. …

I Survived My First Semester on the Tenure Track!

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Excuse me for just a moment while I squee like Professor Farnsworth!

My first semester at Lamar University is in the books, and all in all, I couldn't be happier with both how it went, and also, that it's now officially come to a close. Today, I roamed about the MAES building one final time to turn in one last grade change form. B and I celebrated with dinner at Willy Burger's, and tonight, we're going to Classic Movie Night at the old Jefferson Theater. It's a truly Beaumont way to celebrate.

This semester, I went through a lot, accomplished a lot, and of course, I learned a lot. Here are some of the lessons I learned this semester:

1. Being an Assistant Professor is Nothing Like Being a Lecturer

As a lecturer at UTRGV, I got real good at being a teacher. I had to be; it was my job! Juggling a heavy teaching load became doable, enjoyable even, and the majority of my professional time and brainspace was focused on the classroom itself.

However, as an Assistant Prof…

Becoming Beaumont

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Today has been an interesting day. There's snow in both Beaumont and the Rio Grande Valley! I'm in the midst of that literal storm and on the cusp of the metaphoric storm of grading. My students' final papers and writing portfolios are due tonight. I'm ready for this last flurry of work before kissing my first semester at Lamar goodbye and taking a nice, long, much-deserved break.

I don't quite feel ready to reflect on what I've learned yet in this first semester, though I hope to return to that thought soon. For today, though, I'd like to instead share some fun news: I'm a columnist for The Examiner, Beaumont's weekly newspaper! My column is titled The Beaumont Book Beat, and there I am, above, proudly holding the first edition of said column. The second edition runs next Thursday, December 14th.

My column runs once a month and covers the literary happenings in Beaumont, the Golden Triangle, and the greater region of southeast Texas. Houston has s…