Sunday, October 30, 2011

Well, I've been busy...

Remember this post from back in January? My goal for 2011 was simply to publish at least one post every month. There were a few banner months over the summer, but overall, that lowly little post of the month was the only one you got.

With the start of the 2011-2012 school year, it became real to me how much work I needed to finish and how little time I had to accomplish it all. I knew I needed to prioritize and make sure that my school work was my top priority. I've done surprisingly well and am on pretty good target for getting everything in order for me to student teach in February.

To give you a little glimpse, here is what I have accomplished since my last post.

► I read. A LOT.
  • Daughter of Han by Ida Pruitt
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck
  • Selected Stories by Lu Hsun
  • Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  • Hungry Ghosts by Jasper Becker
  • Son of the Revolution by Liang Heng
  • China Pop by Jianying Zha
  • Cement by Fedor Gladkov
With the exception of Cement, all of these books were for my Modern China Since 1500 class. Thankfully, they did get much better than the first book I read for the course, Emperor of China by Jonathan Spence. There were even a couple books that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I think reviews of those books warrant their own post. Yeah, that's how fascinating they were.

All those books were in addition to keeping up with the reading for my 20th Century Russia history course that I'm taking at St Thomas this fall and doing the other lessons for that China history course. I can proudly say that I just have two more essays to write to finish off that China class.

► I registered for my final history course (US History to 1877) and my teaching licensure exams. The exams are scheduled for the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I should be all finished with my US history course by December.

So yes, mostly I've been absorbed with schoolwork, but life needs to have some balance, right?

► I ran 61 miles and biked 75.86. Some of those running miles were with my running group, which has proven to really push my speed and endurance. Yay!

► I ran a 5K race (included in the above mileage) with my family yesterday.

► I went scuba diving a few more times for the season.

► I registered for Grandma's marathon next June. It will be my first marathon since 2003. I'm both nervous and excited.

► I watched the runners at the Twin Cities Marathon. This was my first time ever going out and spectating at a race. It was fun! I knew several people running, but I didn't end up seeing any of them. :-( There were so many runners! Watching the race really got me pumped up for Grandma's.

► I squeezed in a trip to Valleyfair (local amusement park) with my sister and her kids. So. Much. Fun!

► I attended a friend's wedding reception.

► I got my hair cut and colored. The bold colors didn't turn out quite as bold as I'd asked, but it still looked really great. Sorry, no good pictures were taken.

► We took my niece to SeaLife MN to celebrate her birthday, which was in June. It was the first opportunity that we could make it work.

► I played church volleyball. I've always enjoyed playing volleyball, though I've never been good. It's been fun playing this season and seeing improvement. It feels so good when I'm actually able to make some good plays and get congratulations from my team.

► My CSA provided me with an abundance of squash, so I experimented with squash. I even posted 8 recipes on my recipe blog.

That's about it. Like I said, I've been busy! I feel good that I've also managed to be quite productive. It's nice to be on target school-wise and also know that it hasn't really come at the expense of having fun and enjoying life.