Third Times a Charm

Last week I received an e-mail from wordpress.  My blog subscription was about to expire.  This e-mail gave me pause.  I liked knowing I had the blog around in case I ever wanted to post, but did I really want to keep paying money to have it look exactly how I want…the answer is yes.  But if I’m going to pay for something, I should probably actually use it, so here goes.  I’m hoping the third time will be the charm and that I will actually blog during the school year. So to make up for the last nine months of no posting I thought I would highlight one thing from each month.  Here goes:

September: What, me, a runner?

David and I with our pie after the pie race in November.

My school has this really old tradition, called the Pie Race.  It’s actually the oldest, continuous road race in America. The race is a 4.3 mile loop around campus.  If you can run the race in under a certain time (40 minutes for women), then you win an apple pie.  The race takes place in November between the fall and winter sports seasons, so a lot of students, faculty, and staff participate.  A couple of David and my friends put together a training group for faculty and staff wanting to do the race.  David decided to participate and I gave into the peer pressure.  Now we have run two races – the Pie Race and Old Sandwich Road Race (in case you were wondering – this race did not end with an old sandwich for the best times – unless freshly grilled hotdogs and hamburgers count…).

October: Snow Days

David’s snowman.

A blizzard, in October.  It was crazy.  We lost power, sent as many students home as we could, and had two days off from school.  Sunday, David and I took and incredible snow walk and then built snowmen with a few students.  Monday, we went down to Hartford to go shopping because somehow the mall had power even though the rest of Hartford was without power – people were literally charging phones and computers in the lounges. It was also hilarious because my students had a big project due Monday and I had given a long speech about how there were no excuses for turning it in late, so then when power went out Saturday night they all were really worried that I still expected a typed, printed paper on Monday morning (I didn’t).

November: The Loss of Wisdom…teeth

Resting post-surgery with Calvin.

I was actually dreading this for almost the entire month of November, mostly because I couldn’t eat or drink anything before the surgery.  As soon as someone tells me I can’t have water I get thirsty.  In the end, it was kind of a fun experience.  It was only mildly painful and David and I used the recovery time to watch the first season of Battlestar Galactica (we finished the series last month).

December: Christmas with the family

Warren Christmas tree

The end of the semester was actually slightly sad for me because I really loved the group of students I was teaching.  The spring was also the beginning of teaching two brand new courses, which was daunting to say the least.  In the middle of all this, it was wonderful to head back to Kansas and spend some quality time with my and David’s family.

January-February: Coaching an Undefeated Basketball Team

Rather than pouring gatorade on my and head coach’s head, the girls gave us cupcakes in the face after our final win.

The highlight of the season was the seventh game, when we played another undefeated team.  At halftime, we were losing by over 12 points (which is a lot in JV girls’ basketball where the average score is like 30 points).  In the second half we opened a can and came back to win by 5 points. It was incredible.  Beyond the actual wins, the girls on the team were (and are) just wonderful.  They were a real team and cared a lot for each other.

March: Spring Break in Chile

Hiking Villarrica Volcano in Pucon, Chile.

Its hard to summarize this trip in a few words. The highlights were getting to be out in nature.  We went on a couple really wonderful hikes, visited the dessert (my first trip to a dessert, and bought some wonderful Chilean yarn.  Sadly the trip ended with David and I both coming down with some sort of traveler’s sickness.  Thankfully it was the last night.

April: Leading a class trip to Turkey

Sunset over the Galata Bridge in Istanbul.

The travel was awesome.  We got to see really amazing sites around western Turkey.  I loved visiting centuries old mosques, churches, an underground city, shopping in the market, and walking through the cities. Traveling with students was wonderful and challenging. I had the opportunity to get to know students in more personal ways and see them get excited about the various sites around the country.  Yet it was also challenging keeping track of the students and caring for their mental and physical health (only one trip to the Turkish hospital…).

May: Finishing a Sweater (pic to come)

With graduation and end of year happening, school was pretty much all consuming during the month of May.  I felt like this year I was more prepared for the end of the year and planned my curriculum better so that my year didn’t end with a lot of long papers to grade, but it was also my first semester teaching seniors and I have a lot to learn about how to energize students (and myself) during the last months of the year.  Oh wait, but the highlight was this sweater.  When I first finished it I thought it looked terrible, but this just proves the power of blocking (washing the sweater and laying it out to dry).  After this process I fell in love with the sweater. Sadly its been too hot for much of the summer to wear it, but come fall…   My mom also came by for a long weekend, we had a wonderful time of fabric shopping and eating out together.

June: Family Trip to Friday Harbor and Seattle

Celebrating Daniel’s graduation from his residency program with the whole family.

At the end of June, David and I joined the rest of the Warren clan on the San Juan Islands. The Islands were incredible with a lot of fun adventures in the outdoors – like kayaking with orcas, walking the beach as sunset, and hiking.  But the real highlight was spending quality time with David’s family.   Christmas is often incredibly hectic, so having time to share with the family was a real gift.  We also had the pleasure of running into three friends from divinity school – all unexpectedly.  While I generally think the check-in feature on facebook is slightly creepy – in this instance it helped us reconnect with two friends, not bad facebook. Hopefully my next post won’t take 9 months.