Friday, November 13, 2015

7 Quick Takes 21: The Not-Slovenia Edition

The fact that I haven't posted on 7QT since the end of Link-toberfest has nothing to do with sour grapes at Kelly's not picking my name in her prize draw. It just happened to coincide with taking in tests and essays from my classes - that made well over a hundred assignments to grade for the past couple of weeks.

1. But, I've nearly made it through the semester, because for all intents and purposes we finish
teaching the week of Thanksgiving. Back in August/ September, I wanted to throw in the towel. The baby wouldn't take a bottle, disliked formula, wanted to be held all the time, and had reflux that made him frequently grumpy - and we couldn't squeeze forty hours out of the day to get everything done. Sometimes he didn't go to bed until eleven, or later. Next semester, I theoretically have a once-a-week night class  - I'm excited about the opportunity, and hoping that will free up our days much more. Fingers crossed for me that enough people sign up to make the class - it's an experimental offering.


2. Getting to the end of the semester made me think about my ongoing blog revival experiment. That, and a comment by a relative a couple of weeks ago that was meant to cheer me up after my review of my postpartum shenanigans. I felt bad, because I hadn't meant to sound negative. Then, of course, I got to worrying that my black humour is falling flat. I tend towards negativity/mild depression, and poking fun at my life is my way of keeping things in perspective. Depression traps you inside yourself - at least, that's how I've experienced it - and it's easy for me to become self-centered if I don't laugh at myself. Anyhow, I suppose I'm still floundering around finding my blogging voice.


3. I called this the Not-Slovenia edition in homage to the Not-Boston edition, because my husband was there this past week. However, while I'd much rather be in Slovenia than here, I wouldn't have wanted to be on his whirlwind, week-long trip. He has a very part-time position at one of the universities there, and had to go in person to vote on the university President.
Update: his luggage got home one day later than he did - and it was missing the candy he bought for our daughter, and the seal on a bottle of cherry brandy had been broken. Thank you, TSA.


4. While my husband was gone, we basically managed not to cook all week. If I was linking to Simcha Fisher's What's for Supper, it would be my culinary Walk of Shame. I had leftover lentil curry for two meals while my daughter made boxed macaroni cheese. Then it was soup from the freezer, followed by take out pizza. Saturday we made the leftover macaroni a side dish with poached eggs and veggie sausages, with baked apples to be healthy (if you ignored the butter and honey - but the honey was from our own bees so that makes it OK). Sunday, youth group fed my daughter, thank goodness, and I got all posh and creative, baking a butternut squash and mixing it with the remains of a packet of freekeh, plus some peppers and onions. But I cooked it early in the afternoon, so for dinner, I reheated it and ate it straight out of the bowl.
The baby at least got real food - freshly pureed fruit, squash with me Sunday. But he felt short changed, and had a screaming fit Friday when I wouldn't hand over my piece of pizza. A bit of crust didn't fool him for one moment - he wanted the whole, real, cheesy thing.


I'm pretty good with a piece of chalk ;)
5. Apart from being denied pizza, Alcuin got to go to class with me because I couldn't think of a
babysitter I didn't want to remain friends with (see above). Even though I'm the teacher, I was shaking with nerves - both times - on walking in with him in a sling. But he bowled everyone over with his smiles, and by the end I felt pretty proud of the fact that I could diagram and explain the Ptolemaic universe while holding a baby.




6. Since you asked, Slovenia is part of the former Yugoslavia, near northern Italy, about two hours from Venice. In fact, it used to be part of the Venetian empire. It's about one third mountains above ground
and one third caves below. It's a beautiful country, the perfect mix of modern and traditional Europe, and has a very low emigration rate because Slovenians don't see any reason to leave! We spent a whole semester in Slovenia when my husband had a Fulbright scholarship, and I'd happily live there again. The language is fiendish, though. I never did get past nouns. About all I could do now is ask for a bela kava (white coffee).


7. And totally unrelated: I began writing a review for Home Grown by Ben Hewitt. I decided to jot down short paragraphs of all my thoughts  - but it grew and grew and grew...  I guess I could talk until the cows come home about education. I had to be ruthless with my editing. Anyhow, if that's you when someone gets you on the subject of schooling, you might want to read his memoir of his family's radical unschooling of their two boys on a homestead in Vermont.

For more Quick Takes, join Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum.

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