zubeneschamali: (mdw)
I find it really hard to believe that we've been here for a month already. Feels like we just got here! On the other hand, New Zealand seems forever ago, and Melbourne is starting to feel familiar. There's only seven weeks to go, one of which will be in Sydney, so it also feels like it's all going to be slipping away soon. :( I don't know if I can handle going back to a place without five cafes on every block, and worse yet, a place where they don't have flat whites. There's no brewed coffee here, just espresso (short black), espresso with water (long black), lattes, or something like a cappuccino but with micro-foamed milk (flat white). So coffee is always freshly made and always really flavorful. And it's everywhere. Sushi bars, Thai restaurants, fried chicken shops, pizza parlors, ice cream shops, etc. I decided early on to set myself the challenge of having coffee from a different place every day, and so far I haven't had to deviate more than a block off my usual walk to campus. :D

So I'm loving the coffee, and I'm loving living on the 16th floor overlooking the city and one of the many parks/gardens that fill the city (and are great for running in; thanks to pedestrian overpasses and riverside paths, the distance you can cover without having to cross more than one or two streets is incredible), and I'm loving that I'm missing one of the coldest and snowiest winters the Midwest has ever had (sorry not sorry). Here's the view from our bedroom, followed by two shots from the balcony:

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zubeneschamali: (alhambra)
Apparently a cool thing that my university does when someone gets tenure and/or promotion is to allow them to select a book from the library and have a bookplate put in it in their honor. Which is so cool. But OMG, one book! How am I supposed to decide? They asked a month ago and now I have, like, two days to think of something: favorite novel, something of my advisor's, something related to my research, a favorite non-fiction book, etc., etc. IDEK!

Also, there was a thunderstorm early this morning with a huge crack of thunder that nearly made me shriek. On the walk into work this morning, we saw yard-long strips of bark on the ground two houses away and looked up to see a tree with a long slash of bark missing from the top to about halfway down. Guess that loud crack was lightning rather than thunder. O_o
zubeneschamali: (donuts)
Good morning! It's the first day of the new semester here, but it barely feels like it. For one, I'm only teaching one class, which is a graduate seminar on qualitative research methods (the "touchy-feely stuff" that social scientists get criticized for, like interviews and archival work and participant observation and such). For another, I have a fellowship for the spring semester, so I won't be teaching then, and I'm planning on taking a year-long sabbatical next year, so I won't be teaching any undergraduates for the next two years. (!) It's very strange. Instead, I will live vicariously through Mr. Z, who will be teaching calculus to 250 freshmen at 8 A.M., and then again at 9 A.M. (!!) He claims to enjoy it, but I just think he's weird. ♥

What's also different about this semester is that I'm going to be on the other side of the lectern! Faculty and staff can take courses for free, and I never had the time for it because, well, tenure. But I've always wanted to take advantage of that perk, and since I'm planning on this study abroad course in Barcelona next spring and know about as much Spanish as your average Sesame Street viewer, I've signed up for Intensive Beginning Spanish. Which also starts today, so I have two ways to be nervous, yay! (Also, damn, textbooks are expensive.)

I still need to post pics from my weeks in the mountains, and from the two baseball games I got to go to in August, including a really fun one with [livejournal.com profile] dugindeep. But for now, it's off to school...
zubeneschamali: (whee)
I suppose when the Dean of the college writes to personally congratulate me on achieving tenure, that makes it official?

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D

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zubeneschamali: (mdw)
Graduation was Saturday, and it was wonderful. It's definitely one of my favorite days of the year because everyone's happy, and I get to meet students' parents (which often cracks me up with how much they resemble each other), and it's a nice, small ceremony for only 3-4 departments, so everyone gets to walk across the stage and shake the Dean's hand. Astonishingly, I didn't cry, though I did come close.

Also! Congrats to everyone on my f'list who graduated this year; I know there's quite a few of you. I'm going to miss the college updates, but I'm also proud of you. :)

It's weird to think that I've been here long enough now that these undergrads came in as freshmen when I was already here. It's like I've always been here, as far as they know. Even some of our Ph.D students have now come and gone since I've been here. Five years this fall, and yet it feels like I just arrived.

Which means it's time to take off to foreign lands! Mr. Z is currently at a conference in Marseille, and since I've never been to France, I'm flying out to meet him. Then on Saturday we'll transfer to Barcelona, where I have been before, and where I'm going to be doing some of the groundwork for a study abroad course next summer. (For which purpose I will be taking Spanish this fall, turning back into a student for a few hours a week. Eep.) After a week there, we have a couple of days in Madrid before flying back on the 30th.

In other words, I'll be around even less than I have been, but with good reason. :) PM or e-mail me if you want a postcard, and I'll be happy to oblige!

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