Monday, December 2, 2013

Of sunsets, kittens, euthanasia, and head colds

I went up to GA for the Thanksgiving holiday break. In some ways it was not what you’d call a happy holiday, although I’ve certainly had worse. Two of our elderly cats – Tuffy and Grey – had to be euthanized. Both of them had chronic illnesses that had plagued them for years (and for which they had been treated for years), but they had finally reached that point. Tuffy was 13, and we’d had her since she was a kitten. Grey showed up, fully grown, on my doorstep in the fall of 2009 and had been part of our lives ever since. We have a lot of animals, my mom and I, and as a result, we experience animal deaths more frequently than people who only have one or two pets. I’d like to say that it gets better with experience, but it never does. It’s been five days since we buried Grey and Tuffy, and I’m crying typing about it. They will be missed.

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Grey and Tuffy

But there’s never a shortage of homeless pets.

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This is Sunshine. My aunt (who lives in an assisted living facility not far from my mom) found her in the woods by her home, and brought her to my mom. Our home is not the best place for her, as we do have several cats with feline leukemia, but when the only other option is tossing her out on the street (don’t even get me started on the local animal control situation…) I guess it’s the best chance she’s got. She’s been vaccinated against feline leukemia already, although she’s also developed a head cold, which we’re keeping an eye on.

For Thanksgiving proper we drove down to F’s house at Dekle Beach. The weather was beautiful: chilly (for Florida), but with bright sunshine and crystal clear skies. The sunset was pretty spectacular. I promptly developed a rather nasty head cold and spent the time feeling rather wretched.

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I’m back in Orlando now for the tail-end of the semester. I have one presentation left to give and I’ll be done. I don’t even have any finals. (I know; it confuses me, too. Don’t get me wrong, I like not having to take finals, but not having finals just seems wrong somehow.) And speaking of finals, I can’t leave Orlando for a few more weeks because my students most definitely do have finals. I don’t control their official exam schedule, and the school has decreed that one of my sections will take their final on the very last day of finals… and I can’t leave until they’re done. I’m hoping that the extra free time I’ll have before going back up to GA will enable me to get a head start on my Christmas vacation project: designing the ESL curriculum for a major league baseball team’s training program in a Caribbean country. I should probably point out that I know sweet fuck all about baseball, but hey – I did order both Baseball for Dummies and the Idiot’s Guide to Baseball. I have to have this done by the beginning of January, so it’s definitely going to be my project for the break – unless I can get a good chunk of it knocked out beforehand.

I only have one semester left before I AM YOUR MASTER. Er, before I have my MA in TESOL. I’m still feeling fairly ambivalent about whether I stay in the US or go back overseas. I’ve applied for a pretty prestigious and rather competitive position which would definitely involve going back overseas (most likely to somewhere in the former Soviet Union), and if I am offered said position, I will most definitely accept. (There’s more than one ‘position,’ BTW, and chances are good – especially as they have a hard time filling their positions in the ‘stans.) Unfortunately, even though I submitted my application last month, I won’t hear from them until sometime ‘between early April and late June.’ Great. Meaning that if I don’t get it, I’ll be in a bit of a bind. June is a bit late in the year to be applying for teaching positions. However, I really do not want to be in a position where I am telling others that I cannot accept their job offer as I am waiting to hear from someone better, so I’ve simply decided to hold off on the job search until I find out one way or the other. However, I do think I will be confining said job search to the southeastern US – maybe even to FL – if ‘the position’ falls through. I guess we shall see.

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