Here is the surprise I have been keeping! I wanted to give my mother a copy for her birthday before announcing it:
I write from Samsonville. Lovely snow cover here, although it is only a couple of inches at most. The temperature has turned colder in both Castleton and here, and I'm glad. It isn't just that I like winter. (I like all the seasons.) Everyone is sick, and I think the too warm for winter temperatures have been a contributing factor.
I have several things I want to write, but I should be in bed! I have to be up, ready and in the car at ~7, because Bob's uncle died and we are going to the funeral in Long Island. This far into winter break I am deep into "owl," and 6 in the morning is more likely to be my bed time than when I awaken!
Speaking of winter break, I didn't really have one since I taught a winter session online class, which ended today. I was apprehensive, but it was a very enjoyable experience. Size had something to do with it, since it was my smallest section ever: 10 students! I've already been asked to do it again next year, and I said yes immediately.
The difficulties I have been having with accounts receivable were helpful in a way. It freed me; I thought about the opportunity costs of my time, and decided I wanted to create the little book I've linked above rather than spend more time consulting. So that's one thing I did this break besides teaching.
Another is nursing Sophie. She's been kind of sick since November, and had a really bad night New Year's Eve. She is about 13, has never been robust because of her allergies, and then had to have surgery in November '10 because she has tumors of the hair follicles and two were causing problems. Basset Hounds are not generally long-lived dogs, but she has fooled us all. We finally took her to our wonderful holistic vet, expecting bad news. It turns out she does not have a life threatening illness. She had pancreatitis, and for the past week she has been doing great!
Finally, my writings on school districts have attracted attention. They nearly always do. I think my views create alarm, because generally dissenters aren't experts in the field (or alumni). An effort is always made to co-opt me, which simply isn't possible. I am a way, way out of the box thinker on educational issues.
More later. I have to get some sleep!