Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Although the vacation provided a welcome respite, the last two months have been stressful for me and Andrew. I've been preparing for a work trip to DC, which happens next week. I'll be so grateful when it's over, because although it's very useful for me professionally (I'm learning more about how to write grants, and I'll be giving a talk to my old research group), I'm doing things that aren't familiar to me. In education talk, I'm in my Zone of Proximal Development, which is the place in where you're on the border of the skills and knowledge you know, and where you need experience with other people and activities to proceed. It's also the place where you learn. But all this learning is exhausting, I tell you.

Andrew's a bit stressed out because, well, he's madly writing a dissertation. And he's gotten sick three times in the last two months, which is more illness that he's experienced in the past two years.

I don't want to complain too much. I have a good job, my husband will be living with me in nine weeks, and I ate homemade spaghetti for dinner. Life could be much worse.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What I learned on my summer (okay, winter) vacation

Where have I been? Well, I've been on vacation. My whole family come to visit me. (Just the parents and brother and his family, thank goodness. I don't know what I'd if my 10 aunts, 8 uncles, and 16 cousins came to town.)

We rented a condo in Miami Beach, because our house is too tiny. At one point, Andrew was trying to convince me that all eight of us could stay in our 350 square foot apartment, and he and I would sleep in a tent outside. Luckily, I know a foolish idea when I hear one. Our apartment, so cozy when two are sharing it, seems positively bursting when four people even try to all sit in the living room.

Anyhow, we had a great time. My report on will be brief, alas, because I'm madly preparing for a work trip to DC next week. However, I do have time for a list of what I learned during my summer vacation.

1. That's my nephew. I learned that he can eat at least four clementines in a morning, probably more if he can convince someone to give them to him.
2. I learned that Florida strawberries are really, really good. My niece loved picking strawberries, and I loved filling my freezer. I might go back and get more, because boy-oh-boy are local strawberries different than those berries you buy in the plastic packages at the supermarket.
3. Miami Beach is gorgeous. Even though we were staying only 20 minutes from my real home, waking up to this view really made it feel like we were on vacation.
4. I learned the four-year-olds can, and will, color on any paper they can find. My niece made many pictures, as well as hand-colored valentines, one for me and one for my cat (who came along for the vacation).
5. There's great gelato in Miami! We ate gelato four times last week, and it reminded me of our trip to Rome. Actually, Miami Beach did remind me of our trip to Rome, what with all the restaurants whose tables spilled out into the pedestrian shopping area, the crazy-expensive clothing stores, and the parade of beautiful people.
More vacation pictures soon, hopefully.