Sunday, March 29, 2015

Pretty San Diego

I'm not a fan of flying anywhere, especially long flights, but the four-hour flight between Chicago and San Diego is one that I enjoy, especially because of the views it affords. My camera doesn't do them justice for the desert landscapes make Earth look like another planet. I never get tired of looking out of the plane window on this flight.

I arrived in San Diego on Thursday for the American Association of Colleges & Universities conference on Diversity, which was highly recommended to me in my new role as Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at my small college on the hill. I wasn't complaining that it was in the 80s when I arrived, though the shuttle driver was bemoaning the heat. I told him I was from Ohio and that I'd trade him anytime.

The hotel was at walking distance from the harbor, which was lovely, and I appreciated that my name was correctly spelled and my í accented, as it should be.

We got a long lunch break from the conference on Friday (good planning on the conference organizers' part!) so we took a walk to the harbor and found a great place to eat and a famous bookstore to visit.

A Starbucks near the hotel was a great plus to me, although I couldn't get anyone to spell my name right there. You always know you're not in your país when you can't get them to spell your name right!

The conference was, overall, a helpful and productive experience, giving me lots of ideas and new connections in the field. But, most of all, I loved the time I got to spend with my oldest niece, who came to visit me from L.A., where she's studying film and acting. That time spent with her was precious. In addition, now I also know that San Diego is gorgeous and a great place to visit.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Puerto Rico!

February was the month when Hell froze over (at least that's how it felt in Ohio, as in many other parts of the U.S.), and March didn't start much better.

But this week, the second one of spring break at our small college on the hill, we flew away to Puerto Rico to bask in the sunshine and the temperatures in the mid-80s.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Hell froze over in February

Simply put, February sucked the duck in Ohio this year. Temperatures were regularly way below freezing, and the snow and ice were ubiquitous. A cruelest month, February encouraged a lot of sedentary-ness and it was the longest, shortest month because it simply refused to end.

In early February, I got to travel to NYC for work meetings and my husband I got to take some time to explore the city and have dinner out at a Brazilian restaurant, all of which felt like a really nice break in a year that started busier than I could've thought possible

Still, I'm learning a lot in this new position and really enjoying what I'm learning, as well as the ability to make a difference in many different ways.

Pretty, our "inherited" cat, loves my little apartment near the small college on the hill and, despite her more than fifteen years, is still a playful kitten when she decides it's time for play.

As its parting gift, February regaled us with a luna de toros, which shone like a perfect brooch on the bosom of the velvety night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

January in a whirl

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year's end

December was a mild month, when we were able to take outside walks, both near my small college on the hill to visit the bench we dedicated to my papi's memory, and in our favorite pond park.

Christmas came and went, rather quickly, and this year I resolved to be more organized than in times past when I put away our decorations, some of which are decades old.

After Christmas, we drove to Memphis to be with my family and enjoyed a wonderful fried chicken dinner at Gus' Fried Chicken, which is one of our very favorite places to visit. Papi used to love it so we always make a point to go all together.

My sister, who always gives me the greatest gifts, gave me a set of PJs and a cake slicer in animal print. Very chic!

My dear neighbor, meanwhile, gave me these. They're quite whimsical and I actually wore them to school.

All in all, 2014 was a mixed year. It started scary and hard with so many troubling health issues, but it ended well. And all is well that ends well, I agree.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December, in a whisper

December has gone so furiously fast that it's not even funny. The month hasn't been bad, weatherwise, though they're now forecasting a wind storm for Christmas Eve, which will be a new one for us. All in all, December has been mostly gray (so this day of blue skies and crows on a tree was definitely different), and the sun has been a welcome surprise when it was deigned to show its face.

Early on, we decorated our live spruce on the back of the house with lights, and it's lovely to see them sparkle in bright colors in the early nights that fall in December (though now that the solstice is over we are looking forward to the lengthening days).

I have a tiny live tree at our house in the small city and the tiny fake tree in my home-away near my small college on the hill.

I'm trying to get all the Christmas shopping and organizing done while at the same time trying to finish the grading so I can have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to enjoy. I don't like the fact that grades aren't due until the 29th since it really does mean many of us are working through the holidays. Many colleges I know finish classes, exams, and have grades due before the holidays, which I think is much better. As it is, I often find myself (as likely will happen tomorrow) grading on Christmas, which is no fun and feels simply wrong. Here's what I say to that: Bah humbug!