Coffee Break

T

he past week has been the week from… well I don’t want to say hell, because it hasn’t been bad, but it has be exhausting. M had to go to Japan suddenly and unexpectedly due to a family issue, and she has been gone during what has turned out to be the busiest two-week period of the summer for me.

The day after she left, I gave that talk on contemporary Japan at that K-12 school in DC. The talk went fine, but I still had to “try” to prepare for it when I was running around trying to help M get things together for her sudden trip to Japan. I also had some extra work for our program: Language placement exams for freshman orientation last Sunday and yesterday. This entails grading, interviewing and reporting results of incoming freshmen who have had some Japanese training previously. Most are pretty ill-prepared–high school Japanese is not college-level Japanese, and my evaluations of their ability elicited more that a couple of frowns of dissatisfaction. (Sorry, dudes, it is what it is…) Also, these past two days–as I’ve mentioned earlier–I went to that workshop on incorporating culture into language teaching. It was fun and informative, but still required effort and time.

And so, I’ve been doing these extra things while teaching summer session Monday through Thursday nights, as well as talking care of and seeing to the needs of my stepson while his mother is a way. The workshop these past two days started at 9AM and my class ends at 8PM, so that was two 11-hour days back-to-back. (This should explain why I haven’t been able to comment on your sites recently as I normally do. Do you guys forgive me?) To top it all off, last night I met with some students who I had promised to meet a few weeks ago–before I realized that M had to go to Japan–and went out for a beer or three. I didn’t drink a whole lot, because I wanted to get home as early as possible, but I had a nice time. But because I was really tired, I think I may have been a bit punchy (punchier than usual?), and so if you guys are reading this, I apologize.

Anyway, that’s it for today, just some uninteresting ranting with a dose of good-old self-pity. I just need a REAL coffee break. You know the kind: Big mug of coffee, curling up on a sofa and reading a book or magazine. I just need to chill today. No grading, no preparing, no cooking, no laundry, no students, no Xang… wait, well maybe a litle Xanga. Hehehehe… Some have written, “Well, if you don’t have anything to post, don’t write anything.” You know who you are, because I certainly do–even though I may not have a *ahem* photographic memory. I will try to visit you guys sometime today, and I’ll be back tomorrow with some more stupid insights from the O-man.