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Life is about what you would expect, with 3 weeks to go before I leave Madison, heading for CT via Canada, Chicago and (briefly) the UK. I alternate between excited, terrified, happy, sad, calm and stressed, about as often as Madison changes weather (this time last week: sleet. Today: 29 C in the shade).

Conversations which have made me happy over the last week include:

"I have to finish writing my sermon, but if I get it done in time I'd absolutely adore to go to the Alpaca Festival with you".

"I pack my bags slowly after class. It's a lifestyle choice."

"Meh. You say `Egalitarian Utopia', I say `Benevolent Dictatorship'".

Things I have seen over the last week which made me happy include: (Emily finished her sermon in time)


This time two weeks ago...

(i.e. 11pm on a Sunday evening) I came across an advert for THE PERFECT JOB, working as a lecturer at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences School Enrichment Centre. It included running distance and inhouse math courses for school teachers from all over Africa! And AIMSSEC is in Cape Town! 30 seconds from the beach! And there were sparkly rainbow unicorns, offering Lindt Extra Dark Truffles! But the deadline was November 2012, and I was sad. I sent a short email, attaching my resume and teaching statement, and asking if by any chance the position had not been filled.

It had not. I start at AIMSSEC on 17 June, and am saved from a lifetime of Doc-Doc jokes*.

I keep expecting my joy and excitement to die down to sedate, grown-up levels, but so far, not so much. My sojourn in Madison has been fantastic, and I have made wonderful friends and learned so much, but oh! to be going home to family, friends and a job I really want feels beyond awesome.

* Although, in a quirk of fate, having been registered for 3 different masters' degrees, none of which I completed, I will now be getting a masters', for which I was not registered.
It appears that this year is almost over, finally. TFSM. As a result, I will be in Cape Town 19 Dec - 7 Jan, and London 8 Jan - 13 Jan. I hope to see as many of you lovely people as possible.

Aug. 21st, 2012

Phew. 6 hour algebra exam today. Although I'm pretty sure I didn't get the 80% necessary to pass, I was pleased with what I wrote. It's an odd feeling, because of course I'm disappointed that I'll need to do it again, but at the same time I'm relieved that passing seems doable, with a bit more work. I've been very afraid that I just wouldn't be able to figure out any of it, and that isn't the case. 

Am now going to take a few days off. It's been one hell of a summer, and frankly, I'm exhausted. Also, my tummy is being weird: it demanded fried cheese curds and BBQ crisps for dinner. Neither are things I usually enjoy, especially not in double digit quantities. But now I'm so full of stodge, I'm sure I'm going to sleep for a week. Goodnight!


After a somewhat stressful day, the details of which are irrelevant, I picked up Harriet Lerner's 'The Dance of Anger', and read
"Just as physical pain tells us to take our hand off the hot stove, the pain of our anger preserves the very integrity of our self". That I can work with.

Jul. 18th, 2012

Over the weekend J and I saw a venomous shrew. No-one was injured. It's been too hot for anything other than teaching rather poorly; I never thought I'd say this, but I'm really missing British summer. Really, there's just no pleasing some people...

If you go down to the woods today...

Or, What I did on my weekend away at Shell Lake with D and J.

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Hello world.

After a fabulous holiday in Cape Town and London, and several days of unspeakable jetlag, I started teaching 'Geometry and Measurement for Elementary Teachers' two weeks ago. I've been blogging about it here, in case you're interested. I'm loving it, and finding it fascinating. When I'm not teaching or preparing to teach, I'm studying algebra. And trying to stay cool. So far, moderate success on the algebra studying, mostly fail on the staying cool: the temperature reached 40 degrees today, and my little airconditioner just laughed.

The trip to CT and London made me think a lot about what makes me happy (because I was very happy on the trip), and what I could do to make life in Madison a little easier - because it's been tough, and lonely, and often feels very foreign. One of the things I really loath is American bread - it's all sweet and fluffy and has no substance. So I bought a breadmaker, and I've been baking bread. It's awesome, and fun, and now at least I have bread that tastes like bread. It's a little thing, but it makes a world of difference being able to eat something that tastes a bit like home. I also realised that I miss making music, and would love to play in an orchestra again. So I've started violin lessons, with the aim of getting myself back in shape. The first lesson yesterday was fun, and not as bad as I expected after 5 years of not playing.

This weekend D and J (two maths dept friends) and I are heading to Shell Lake to stay at D's family's cabin, which promises to be cooler than Madison (the 40s are expected to continue). This feels like a very American thing to do - everyone always seems to be heading off to a cabin somewhere during the summer. Oh - and I watched a 4th of July fireworks show from across the lake over the weekend. It was pretty cool, but I was more intrigued by the fireflies, which are AWESOME. Bioluminescence! Who knew?

It was fantastic to see bumpycat last week, who visited while on his trip to the US. I got to do touristy things that I haven't done yet, like eat fried cheese curds, and visit The Capitol. Fun!

Not want.

It is 11pm, and 32 degrees in my lounge. England, would you please come and fetch your damn summer, it has wandered over the Atlantic and is breeding with ours.

In a nutshell

1. My dad's chemo has worked; he has been declared lymphoma-free. Super-extra-yay!
2a. I'll be in London from 22 May to 25 May. Yay!
2b. I'll be in Cape Town from 26 May to 10 June. Yay! 
3. I've passed my first year of graduate school. Yay!
4. Over the summer I'll be teaching future elementary school teachers how to teach geometry to elementary school kids. Yay! Also, aieeee!



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