Previous month:
March 2018

Less than 7 weeks to go (44 days or thereabouts)

We got our Chinese Visas this morning! Pretty exciting! Plus, I've been receiving more email from the department at Wenzhou-Kean. More momentously, though, I've been working hard at clearing out this yellow room where I've been working for a year and a half. I'm not a hoarder, but I do tend to keep things more than I should, and I have more than enough books for one person. I wish I could just digitize everything and email it over there! I will just keep at it. Meanwhile, I've charted a course of research that I would like to pursue, even though my job description doesn't really require research. I intend to stay on the forefront of research and knowledge about intellectual property in composition studies, particularly the work on plagiarism, copyright, and related ideas. I was excited to locate my IP books in the garage; I had mislaid the box of them since we left Boston, and then everything just went into the moving truck and into our garage, all mixed in with everything we had been storing for the past 6-7 years in Slippery Rock. 

Every day or two I have been looking at the news in or from Wenzhou, and Dan works hard on reviewing his Chinese. I have picked up a few phrases already, and recognize a bit more, and I was delighted/tickled to find out how to pronounce my name in Chinese:

In simplified characters:    温迪  沃伦  奥斯汀

In traditional characters:   
溫迪 沃倫 奧斯汀
In pinyin:                             Wēn dí wò lún àosītīng
It sounds a little like  "WUN-dee   WO-lun   AU-us-uh-TING!" Sort of close .....LOL!

My Sister's Visit and Idyllic Summer Days in Erie

     My dear sister Deede and her husband Les have just departed from our house after a wonderful visit of 4 and a half days with us, and, as I always tend to feel after a visit with my family members, I'm a bit melancholy, nostalgic, and a bit disjointed-feeling, but supremely grateful for the time we've shared. They arrived on Thursday afternoon, and Deede and I went to Urbaniak's to get ingredients for the lasagna I was making that day and picked up at Top's the new Erie Reader that had just come out that day. I'm always delighted to see what Nick has on the front page that issue and glad to be in the same town where it's published. Emily and Zander joined us for dinner, and Zander's sweet question,"Is my Campa here?" delighted us, as he ran joyfully into Dan's arms as soon as he spotted him. Apparently, he likes my lasagna, so that's a good thing. The next day we drove around Presque Isle, stopped at the lighthouse, and took the scenic route along Route 5 to spot the random beach locations along the way into New York, along with acres and acres of vineyards. After we returned, Nick came over to join us in singing "Happy Birthday" to Deede and making her blow out the candles on her surprise birthday cake. On Saturday we went to see a play, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" put on by Dramashop, which was terrific! Then for Sunday we had Spaghetti Bolognese (made with venison and panchetta) and sauteed spinach from our garden. Later that night, we all watched a couple of movies on TCM (Turner Classic Movies), No Down Payment  and All That Heaven Allows and then several episodes of Good Behavior from Amazon. Octagonal-barn-concord-grape-vineyards-north-east-lake-erie-erie-county-AN0MNP (1)

11 weeks and counting

    Life sure does take some funny turns. I have a book that I keep starting to read (and RE-starting) called How to Survive Change . . . You Didn't Ask For: Bounce Back, Find Calm in Chaos, and Reinvent Yourself, by M.J. Ryan that seems to capture--at least in its title--what I keep trying to do in the last six years. Since I stopped teaching at Edinboro at the end of Dec. 2011 (officially, as of Oct. 2012), I HAVE been trying to reinvent myself, without completely starting from scratch. I realize some people will end up doing that, but I don't really want to. I don't think I have to, either, to be honest. I just need to reconsider what angle of my talents I am working on at the present moment. 

    At this time, I have accepted an offer to teach full time (for 10 months) at Wenzhou-Kean University in Wenzhou, China at the Lecturer level. I would have preferred being at the Assistant Professor level at least, especially considering that I had earned my way up the ranks to Associate Professor at Edinboro University, but since I am not in line for a tenure-track position there, just an option to be renewable, I am temporarily content with that.  I am also very glad to be able to teach again at the same university as my husband! When we got married, I fully expected to be working at the same school as  my spouse, but I accepted that I was marrying a person who could conceivably take me away from a job I loved. (Of course, not without my consent. But in my scheme of what's important in life, I rate my choice of spouse and subsequent commitment to him higher than I rate my commitment to a job.) And that eventually happened, as Dan started working at Northeastern. Those of us who know the situation understand how we ended up back here in Erie, but I have to say that, lately, or at least for the last two or three years, our lives have seemed to be directed by divine forces. Just when it seemed like we would have to make some drastic changes again, we have had opportunities come our way that fit well into the calendars of our lives. If I am seeming a little cryptic, it's only because what I am writing can be seen by anybody, but those who know us will understand better what I am leaving unstated. 

    I think this space will be a good one for those who want to keep up with what's going on in our lives from afar, although we'll be using WeChat and Skype to catch up with loved ones on a more frequent basis. Meanwhile, I'll keep posting on this blog more frequently now, at least once a week, preferably on Friday mornings until we leave, and then on Wednesdays, which will be my day not teaching.Sahin-yesilyaprak-546710-unsplash