Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Syllabus has Been Approved, Rejoice and Enjoy

What began as a "sure, it might be great to share what I know with local students," soon became, "wait, what have I gotten myself into and how am I ever going to figure it all out in time for spring semester?" While I have been painstakingly working through foreign concepts like class calendars, grading rubrics, and a thing called Moodle (created for "education management"), I have been planning the lessons themselves and interpreting a full court and occasional conference schedule. Time for creativity has been at an all-time low. Since October, apparently, as I see the blog header still has a pumpkin barn photo.

Yesterday approval was finally granted of my opus mediocris, and my mind is free again, for two minutes, to enjoy writing, knitting, family (no, not true, they bring me joy every single day, regardless of work) and last night, a magnificent evening of breath-taking music at the symphony. It was glorious!!! This is my OFFICIAL RECOMMENDATION to go experience as many classical concerts as your remaining years, months and days allow. I even finally slept, calmed by the resounding waves of Brahms Third Symphony and the tempestuous Violin Concerto No. 1 of Shostakovich echoing through my slumber. I slept afterwards, not during, or at least, not too much during. It is fairly common to see closed eyes around one at the symphony.

My sweet girl is home for the weekend and having surpassed us all in sock-knitting after completing NINE pairs for Christmas gifts, she sat and showed me how complete a toe-up sock that I began years ago. She knows how to do a German short-row heel in her sleep! I myself had to watch the video three more times when we became separated for a bit mid-afternoon. 

It has been a rich, rich, rich year in experiences, sights and love. Our family is growing in challenging ways as we traverse trials and tribulations, but also in good ways, as we return to be together as often as we can. The fact that all of us can be in the same place at the same time for a meal is so good. And...something I did not think would feel right does; having one, two or four of them around for a trip or a weekend is also good.

This new definition of "family" as a more fluid concept is freeing and opens up more avenues to joy. I can be right here, in the moment with the ones who are present and less regretful of missing the one who may not be. This was my first Christmas ever spent away from one of my children. I missed my oldest with all my heart, but taking delight in being with family to celebrate the holiday took precedence over that bit of longing. We were in France with our French family all reunited, eating more food than required for sustenance or gluttony, and I was enveloped in a warm glow of the spirit of the season. I even went for a nice post-dinner hike with my father-in-law across the countryside, pine forest and boggy fields, tiny village and lone cottage with smoking chimney.

Interpreter Travels? Yes, indeed. As soon as I was freed to drive again post-surgery, I was back out the door and on to more courthouses and conferences. Last week was spent just in Iowa courts and I drove over 800 miles. What does this mean? This means a ton of audiobooks...and one tired interpreter at the end of certain days.

Although a typical week may have less than forty hours of actual interpreting time, a good deal of preparation goes into our work before we begin, especially for a deposition stemming from a particular industry or a conference on any topic under the sun. And then we come home and attack the invoicing.

Was this the fun end I had planned for this post? There clearly was no plan, although the photos from my birthday dinner would make a nice addition, it was a lovely day! All three of my sons were there. Never mind, the photos seem to involve me laughing uproariously with a very large sombrero on my head. If you would like photos of France and Spain (Basque Country in Spain), head over to Instagram instead. Blogger has only produced the most mediocre photographic quality from what I have uploaded lately. You can see France, the dog, kids, all of that, here instead: French Dialogues.

Bon dimanche!

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