Monday, September 17, 2012

The Life of an Almost Married-Graduate Student-Professor-Construction Worker

It's been awhile since I've updated since life has been crazy!  While it has been crazy and busy (and honestly, a bit overwhelming at times), it's always good.  The school year has taken off and I'm happy to say that my first year of teaching college courses and my last year of graduate school are going great!  Aside from work and school, Justin and I have begun the remodel process on our new apartment and it is going great.  We've managed to get way more work done on the place in two weeks than we ever thought possible.  I had my bridal shower last weekend and it was amazing (thank you again to everyone who came)!  The wedding is just a month away and the final plans are coming together!

I am enjoying being a college professor more than I ever thought I would.  I can honestly say for the first time in my life that I love my job!  I can definitely see this being a long-term career for me and my heart was so happy today when a group of my students at the Elkhart campus told me that my class was their favorite.  It might sound silly to some, but English and writing are truly two of my greatest passions and I love being able to teach others about it!  It's been a great semester so far and my students are about to turn in their first papers of the semester (about 40 papers to grade all together from both of my classes) just as I have a paper due in one of my graduate classes.  It's a good thing I love to read and write!

Justin and I have been working like crazy on our new apartment for the past two weeks.  The apartment was in terrible shape when we first started - the carpet was damaged, the walls were covered with old wallpaper, the kitchen had 70s style green linoleum and a lime green counter top, there were countless holes in the walls (including a huge gaping hole in the ceiling), and the bathroom tile and walls were full of cracks.  In the short time we've been working, we've come a long way.  The kitchen tile/counter top is gone along with the non-functioning oven and the walls have been primed and are ready to paint.  The wallpaper has been removed, all of the holes have been patched, and the carpet has been torn up.  The carpet tackboard and staples are gone and all of the wood floors (they were hiding under the carpet) have been sanded and are ready to be varnished.  And the walls in the living room have been primed and are ready to paint!  We've made huge progress!  I'm so ready to get our stuff over there and start unpacking.  I'm ready to call it home.

My bridal shower was last weekend and was hosted by my amazing aunt, Pam.  She did an awesome job with the food, decorating, and games and truly made the day so special for Justin and I.  I can't believe after four years of dating and a 14-month engagement that our wedding day is just a month away.  I am beyond excited about everything we have to look forward to in the month to come.  God has blessed us so much!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

48 Days

So I made it through my first week of being a college professor!  It was a tough week, but I'm proud to say that I didn't cry!  (Although I did make a student cry.  We are not allowed to accept any students from the wait list and one student cried when I told her she had to find a different class that was accepting students!)

My first class was on Monday in Elkhart and I was a nervous wreck, but I managed to talk through my syllabus, have each student introduce themselves, and have them do a writing exercise.  I couldn't find my office and then couldn't get the copy machine to work.  It was a rough day and I was ready to get home as soon as my office hours were over.

Tuesday was a much better day because I already knew what to expect.  As I walked in the classroom for the first time, a girl looked at me and asked, "Are YOU the professor?"  (What does that mean!?)  I also had three different people ask me how old I was.  I wanted to say, "Hey, we are here to learn about English, not talk about my personal life!"  Did I mention no one knows how to say my last name so they just point at me and say "hey" until I acknowledge them?  Yep, this is my first semester as a teacher.

My week was filled with grading first-day writing exercises, writing up daily lesson plans, revising my assignment schedule, and preparing for my graduate classes.  My first class was poetry writing on Wednesday evening.  This is my second time taking it with the same professor (you can take the creative writing classes more than once and they count for credit toward your masters) and it was great, as usual.  I've already written two poems since class last Wednesday.  It's great to be back doing what I love.

My other graduate class is a film course on Thursday evenings.  I already know I'm going to enjoy this class because I love watching films and learning about them!  And my professor for that class is the head of the English department, so technically she is my boss.  Crazy!  I managed to talk to her after class and she is going to help me find substitutes to teach my classes for the week of October 22nd when Justin and I are on our honeymoon.

My amazing fiance took me out for a wonderful "date day" on Friday to celebrate my first week of teaching and the beginning of his last semester of college!  He took me to dinner and a movie and we talked about wedding plans and laughed together like little kids.  Did I mention that we got our marriage license?  (I wanted to get that out of the way before we start renovating our new apartment and moving so we didn't forget!)  Justin makes my heart so happy and I am truly one lucky girl.

Our wedding is 48 days away and our apartment is now vacated so we can get in there, start working on it, and begin moving stuff over.  I can't wait for October.

An old photo of Justin and I that I dug up.  This was taken while we were on a missions trip together in Panama City Beach, Florida, back in March 2010.