If We Were Having Coffee: Happy 2015!

If we were having coffee,

coffeemeI’d tell you that it’s been four years since I had surgery to get my replacement knee. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I remember that even on the day of surgery, I could feel the difference when I moved my leg. The only downside is that the surgery was done during my second year in Taiwan, before my husband had joined me, but there were so many wonderful friends and colleagues who helped get me through the hospitalization and recovery. So happy anniversary to my wonderful knee! Wishing you many more, dear knee! 🙂

I’d tell you I have set several intentions for the new year based on my vision for the new year.

I’d tell you that this is my first post of the new year. In fact, it’s the first post since November 21. But I’m making a comeback in a limited way. And one of those intentions is to reconnect with the blog world. But I’m going for regularity, not numbers. That means the plan is to write one blog post a week. If I do more than that, great, but I will do at least one post every week.  I’ll figure it out as I go, but no time like the present to start.

I’d also explain that here in Taiwan, our college semesters are significantly different than they are in the US. For starters, our weeks are 18 weeks long, instead of 15. And we start a bit later in September than most US colleges and universities. As a result, we’ve been teaching since September with only two holidays. Our semester break comes in time for the celebration of Chinese New Year. (There is talk that Christmas will be included in the holiday calendar next year.)

Now that you know that information, I’d tell you that final exams are this coming week. And then the grading, and then our semester break. Yeah, it sounds great to have a month off, but don’t forget I taught on Christmas Eve day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. (We did get New Year’s Day.)  I have to admit though, that although I dislike an 18 week semester — everyone gets so worn out, I do like the break at this “unorthodox” time. I feel like it’s more of a break than just being off to engage in lots of holiday hoopla. The Chinese New Year still has a lot of newness to it for us.

I’d tell you that, barring anything unforeseen, the textbook project is over! The relief is amazing. It will be even more amazing when all the ink is dry, and the books are in the students’ hands. My stress level has gone done dramatically.

I’d tell you that I have a big list of loose ends I want to tie up over break, especially things that had to be put on the back burner as I finished the textbook. But it feels good to feel like I will have some time and space to make some real progress.

I’d tell you that I’ve started peeking at a few blogs, starting to read. Not a lot of comments yet, but I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the great people I’ve met here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’d tell you that it’s official. David and I (and our wonderful Puppy) will be heading back to the US in July of this year. This is my sixth year of teaching in Taiwan, and while I have loved almost everything about it, it’s time to go home.

I’d tell you that the next six months are going to be a bit of a whirlwind, as I complete things here in Taiwan and anticipate the move back. But it’s exciting, another phase in our lives. I will especially love being to grandparent at a closer range. Hey, Logan! Grandma’s coming!

I’d tell you that it feels good to write this post. I look forward to next week. 🙂

I’d tell you the days are moving by, and there are only 127 days to 60.

Thanks to Diana for gathering everyone together this week.  🙂  https://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/if-we-were-having-coffee-the-inaugural-weekend-coffee-share/


28 comments on “If We Were Having Coffee: Happy 2015!

  1. This is wonderful Deborah, so much news! I have definitely missed you. You have been busy working so hard teaching and writing the text book. Happy Birthday to your Knee long may it serve you ! Well returning to the States in July that will be lovely for your whole family .. I bet your Taiwan friends and colleagues will miss you ! I am delighted to hear from you and look forward to your next post!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

    • I guess when I’m gone for six weeks, that does make for a lot of news. 😉 I have missed you, too. I’m really trying to put a lid on things so I’m not quite so busy in the coming year. I don’t want to have to have so little time for the blogging world and the wonderful friends I’ve met here. I’m working on adjusting priorities and saying no to tasks that don’t fit into those categories. I’m trying to realign my crazy eagerness with the actual time available. 😉 It will be an interesting experiment. 🙂 Have a great years!!! ❤

      • It is wonderful to have you back. I am so pleased that you will be back in the US soon. Such wonderful things happening in your family. I am so pleased that you are back

  2. Wow, July will be here before you know it! I was just thinking about you the other day, glad you are doing ok! 🙂

    • It’s certainly true about July, so I better get a few things done before then. 😉 Yeah, we’re doing ok–just lots to do to get ready for our return. My current fun includes applying for a few jobs. And people accuse me of not knowing how to have fun! 😉

      Wishing you all the best! See you soon on your blog home turf. 🙂

    • LOL! That’s one good thing about being here. I get two shots at a new year. My husband asked recently, how they justified double-dipping here. 🙂

      I hope you have a great year, too! I’ll be around to see you soon! 🙂

  3. It’s wonderful to hear from you again and I’m glad that everything is going well. Semester breaks are such an amazing thing, I hope you’re able to make great progress on your list of things to do. 🙂

    • Thanks! It’s kind of odd how it’s like you have to be brain-dead for a couple of days just to recover from all the nonsense. But my grading is moving along, and I’m making progress on a couple of other things (priority items, of course). 🙂 I’ll be stopping by to visit you soon. 🙂

    • Thanks, Diana! It’s great to be back. I love the link up, even though I’ve not yet made much of a circuit. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I’ll be around more.

      In response to the 18 week question, I don’t find it more helpful. It might be my imagination, but it seems like two things happen.

      1) Students figure there are so many classes, if they miss a couple, it’s no big deal. In addition, between extracurricular activities and part-time jobs, the problems seen in the US become even worse here. By Week 14 for example, they have no energy to just get through a couple more weeks, they still see a big haul in front of them, and they are tired.
      I don’t have as much trouble with sleeping students in my classes as some other faculty (don’t ask – haha!), but by Thursday, these students are pretty much dead. Add that to the overall drag on the semester, and you have a lot of really ineffective time. (They also take too many hours — most of them with 18-24 hours on a regular basis, and most of those are two-hours, so they’re juggling LOTS of subjects and instructors.)

      2) At least at the university where I teach, and in the departments I teach for, the gap in students’ English proficiency makes it difficult to really predict how far you can get with the different types of projects you have. I teach mostly writing courses, and I use a “relaxed” method of grading homework, but in those last few weeks, students are bombarded with final papers and class presentations (often based on group work). It’s sort of that “illusion” that the more time you have, the more you can do, but in this case, it really seems to backfire.

      That’s probably more than you wanted to know. But if you want more, let me know. I can ramble with the best of them. haha

      • haha…It’s really fascinating though! I like learning about how different countries structure their school and university courses. 🙂

    • Thanks, Cate! For my next trick, I’m going to get back to visiting other blogs. But as you will see in this week’s post, the semester is coming to an end. So maybe for a few weeks at least, I’ll be back to my usual visiting self. 🙂

  4. So glad to hear from you . . . and two days before I am to get a new hip! For that reason, I particularly appreciated the “anniversary” note to the knee. Hope the countdown to home goes at exactly the pace you want it to.

    • I hope your recovery from surgery is going well, and that you’re “enjoying” the new him. It does take a while to get things to normal, but it won’t be long before all the effort is more than worth it. Thanks for your good wishes. I’m in the job application process now, so it will be exciting. 🙂

    • haha! I usually feel that way by the time I write a post like this. No wonder I’m so tired. I am trying to reduce my commitments in the upcoming year. We’ll hope that it’s successful, and we can all get more rest. I certainly don’t want to wear you out from visiting my blog. 🙂

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