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One good benefit of the time change: I can wake up much earlier this week and have extra time without feeling too tired. It's Saturday morning and I woke up at 6:30am, which is a little silly. But I can be on the internet guilt free before I go about my day. I'm meeting my parents and another relative in Manhattan at noon to go to an opera with my Mom ("Tosca" at the Met) and I will need to grade some more.

But right now, it is quiet and early and I want to talk about books.

Books of Autumn )

Next time my goal is to talk about TV shows of this season.
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This week was my first week of school. So I'm back at my regular job(s). It was still a partial week since only Local College started this week and for University there was just a teaching orientation. But still, I'm back in teacher mode, organizing and lecturing and reorienting my brain back.

I'm teaching "History of England" and "Global History to 1600" this semester at Local College. I'm really liking my classrooms - they so far are leading to a good dynamic. Space of the classroom is so important sometimes. "History of England" just has 9 students, which is sort of amazing. And the students are asking questions, which is great. And it is my favorite ever subject and my specialty and this week I was reminded why I love it so much. The first lecture was on the Norman Conquest and it was just pure joy for me. I was having so much fun with it. I showed them "William the Conqueror" song on YouTube from historyteachers set to "SexyBack" and the fun Battle of Hastings powerpoint.

I've taught a version of this class before - I'm ending in 1688 this time, so the last third of the class will be new. But right now, I'm in my time period and just look forward to it. On Wednesday, I just had such a good teaching day in general that it made me sad to think that I have to leave it behind at some point soon. But I need a much better paying job.

In my Global class, I have a student who is catching my geeky references - I alluded to "Doctor Who" in the intro class with "now we move from time to space" phrase and showed Gilgamesh segment from Star Trek: TNG on Wed, and he mentioned it. I need to add some more as I go.

On Thursday, as I was taking the train to University these two older gentlemen visiting from Brazil needed some traveling help and then where talking to me a little, practicing their England. They were very exuberant and so, so friendly to everyone. Normally no one talks to others on the commute in New York, that is just not done so this is unusual. But it was pretty fun to chat with them. This one guy, Paolo, had a bit of idealistic picture of America, especially comparing it to Brazil and the level of poverty there. He's been in US before and he loves it here.

I'm all set for the start of class next week at University - I worked on those syllabi today. Tomorrow I'm taking the train up to Bear's parents for the Labor Day weekend. His Mom is so keen on us celebrating our anniversary with going out despite all our protests that it is really unnecessary. Our wedding anniversary was Monday (1 year) and our started dating anniversary will be next week (15 years), but we already celebrated Monday our way. I came home to a colorful bouquet of flowers and a card. Then we drove to the bakery that did our cake and got a few slices of the chocolate cake we had at our wedding. And then Bear spent an hour and half almost burning down the apartment cooking me a delicious dinner of eggplant Parmesan. There were candles and "Princess Bride" (it's our movie). So really no need for more. But I think his Mom just wants to do something for us so we are just going to let her.

Other than that in the last couple of weeks the only other interesting things was spending a day with Yeva and going to Uzbek restaurant, spending some time with my parents last week in their house and going on double date with Yeva and her latest boyfriend to Banya and then sushi.

I finished "Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde - which was good although I really, really didn't like the main character. But the language was so lovely. I also read "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner. The writing in that book is terrible as writing. I didn't believe the character's emotions and there is literately one girl in the whole book. The plot was moving pretty fast and I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen but I was guessing it before the characters got there. Then when I was done, I looked up what the other two trilogy books were about and I really, really don't want to read those. But I gave it a go. Now I'm just going to have time to read for school - I have Caesar, Christopher Columbus and my English biographies to do. First up, the biography of Empress Matilda who fought for her right to be Queen in the 12th century.

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