Yes, we’re back…

We arrived State-side before Thanksgiving and hit the ground running… the kids, recovering from their tummy troubles and me in the midst of my (first ever!) bacterial GI-disturbance.  It made for an interesting 15-hour plane ride (FYI: if you run out of Imodium somewhere over Iceland, the crew can’t help you — they only have aspirin).  But we did it.  We got back, so did our luggage.  Just as we were about to let out a big SIGH of relief…

— We enjoyed at least 5 different po’boys at the Po’Boy Preservation Fest on Oak Street roughly 36 hours after landing.

— I lectured for the entire student body (100+) a day later (who needs prep time?!)

— I presented a major section of my dissertation at the big Anthropology conference in town 3 days later, after having a total freak out when I discovered my co-panelists had prepared powerpoints (even calling Paul and asking him to watch for a text from me in case I chickened out and needed him to call with a make-up emergency).  I sucked it up, and hey, it turns out powerpoint is not a replacement for a good verbal presentation!  Who knew?

— Found one of our heaters died.  Brrrr.  And the cost to replace?  OUCH.  BUT!  AN UPSIDE!  They let Paul do some of the prep construction and wiring over Thanksgiving, which saved us some time and cash.

— Discovered I’m teaching a new course next spring, based on a proposal for 2-4 class sessions I wrote before leaving the country… one that will have 4-sections, is a requirement for all students, and needs a syllabus that not only I can teach, but so can 3 others.

— We threw a combined b-day party for Will and a friend (who was kind enough to offer to share his party with Will, realizing that we would not have had a chance to plan anything).

— Found out I’m a finalist for the tenure-track position I applied for, meaning that I’ve got to give a faculty lecture and have selection committee members sit in on my teaching early next term.

— Had family staying with us for Thanksgiving, including my Dad, who happily helped Paul saw out a 2×2 hole in the hallway ceiling in preparation for our day-after-Thanksgiving furnace work crew.

— The truck died, again, in the middle of a highway, with my Dad and Paul inside.  They were close to their intended destination (Lowe’s) and my Dad managed to push it across the highway with Dad steering.  Mid-lane, with traffic headed right toward them, the clutch engaged and Paul tore across the highway into the parking lot, burning rubber and leaving tire marks on the pavement.  When I picture this scene in my mind, it is accompanied by the sound of the horn of the General Lee, and both my Dad and Paul yelling “WOO-HOO” and throwing their dusty cowboy hats in the air.  Just in case you anyone was wondering if our world-travels have pushed us beyond the boundaries of redneck-living, the answer would be a resounding “NO.”


Now our lives are starting to settle into normal crazies, with one big difference.  That buzz in the background, the constant whirl of STUFF and THINGS TO DO is no longer there.  This is because the day before we left for India, I turned in the cotton-linen-printed copy of my dissertation.  By now, it’s bound in a leather book with my name gracing the spine in gold letters.  With any luck, it should remain as perfect and new as it is now… with no one ever opening it.  *sigh*  I’m DONE.  DONE DONE DONE.

Onward and upward.

Stay tuned for more India travels and photos!