Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Teaching in the IEP

This afternoon is my first day back in the Intensive English Program after taking a break for one session while Eric was teaching his Intro to Linguistics course. This session, I'll be teaching three courses: basic level grammar, basic level communication, and level three communication. Each session is seven weeks and there are six sessions throughout the year: two in the spring semester, two in the summer, and two in the fall, and we're just beginning Summer II. The IEP somewhat follows the general schedule of IU's collegiate calendar, but with these divisions in the middle of semesters. So it looks like my life from now on will be measured by seven-week sessions! Pretty much every session will be different, especially for me since I'm a "newbie" in the department and get the classes that the more experienced teachers don't want. So my schedule will most likely change from session to session, which is kind of nice for me because it will provide me with a wide range of experiences and levels. Hooray for boosting the resume'!

At any rate, I'm excited about the upcoming session, as well as the next year or so as I get my feet wet in institutional teaching. I'll be phasing out my tutoring students, which basically means that as some of them leave at the end of the summer to return to their native countries, I won't be replacing them with new students like I usually do. Eventually, my main focus will be my teaching in the IEP, which will provide me with more time to spend at home (which means less time for Ian at the babysitter's!).

It's amazing how God has worked this all out. The way things have fallen into place with my career is certainly not because of my brilliant planning. Sure, I've worked hard, but God surely deserves the credit for working things out so beautifully and in just the manner that our family needed. Thanks, Lord!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Today, the world lost a great man...but heaven gained one. Indiana's head football coach, Terry Hoeppner, passed away this morning due to complications from a brain tumor that was discovered a year and a half ago. While we don't know Hep very well personally (we only met him once, briefly), we feel the loss. He was an energetic, tough-nosed, yet compassionate man who led IU football for a mere two seasons. He had the ability to breathe hope and fire into a lifeless program, creating excitement that had not been felt in some time. As far as we know, he was also a follower of Christ, and that conviction showed through in his actions. It is encouraging to know that he is no longer feeling pain. However, his family, friends, and players, as well as the IU community, are experiencing hurt due to his passing. Our prayers go out to them, especially to his wife Jane, who will surely miss him. The two of them were a great team and their unity was obvious. We are thankful to have "brushed elbows" with this man while he was alive, and hope that the legacy he started here at IU will continue in the future.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday night musings

Not much has been going on lately. I'm rounding the last lap as far as teaching is's hard to believe that Summer Session I is almost over. Once school is done I'm taking a much needed break for a week or two. Since returning to work about a month after Ian was born, I haven't really taken any kind of break. Even when I've been traveling or seeing other people, work/school has occupied much of my time and thoughts. Come June 14th, I'm putting an "Out to lunch" message on my e-mail, and I'm not turning on my computer for a week (of course, I may turn on my wife's computer...hard to go "cold turkey" on the internet).

Looking to the future it is hard to believe that I'm getting ready to start the final leg of my formal education. Come July, I am going to start building the last of the infrastructure that I will need in order to write my dissertation. If all goes well, I should have all of my data collected by the end of December, and I can spend January - April primarily writing up the final portions of my thesis. I'm aiming to defend my dissertation late next Spring, and walk for graduation in May. Being the sentimental sap that I am, I have begun to allow myself to start reflecting on the winding academic journey that has led me to where I am today. The further I have progressed in my education, the more I have come to realize that my acheivements are not mine alone. Who I am today, both personally and academically, is a direct consequence of dozens of people who have poured some aspect of their lives into mine. Most anything that we accomplish is not really due to ourselves; the real doers are those who make us into the kinds of persons who can accomplish things. So, as I enter this "year of fruition", I recognize that it is not about me.