Greetings From Warm and Sunny Orlando, Florida!

Greetings From Warm and Sunny Orlando, Florida!

Wild Chickens of Oviedo, Florida

Just a year and a half ago I was writing about leaving Florida, and now I’m back down south to spend the holidays with my family. Every time I post and think back about the preceding months I am astonished by how much time has passed. Now, another year is almost finished, and I am halfway through my MFA program at Columbia! What better way to celebrate this than to go back home where my MFA dreams began?

Food Truck Brunch in Orlando!

Like most people, I spent my time at home doing holiday shopping, eating tons of delicious food, and spending time with my friends and family. I also have been living it up in this wonderful warm weather (seriously, it was 80 degrees yesterday! I wore shorts for the first time in months!), but before any of the fun could begin, even though the semester was technically over by the time we boarded the plane in Chicago, I had to complete some final tasks related to my duties as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), namely GRADING.

Back Home in the Swamp!

If you have never taught before, being a part of the GSI program will probably give you an even greater appreciation for your instructors—past and present—as you work through the days following the end of the term to grade your students’ final papers and projects and submit the final semester grades to the college. While many people may think when you leave your last class for the term you’re “done” until next semester, really this is when a lot of teachers go into overdrive to meet the deadlines to submit grades. I took my first two days in Florida to make sure everything was graded and in order before my fun began. I loved my students and I’m extremely proud of the work they did this semester, but I’m also happy to be finished as I start planning my class for next semester: Writing and Rhetoric II!

So what’s in store for the rest of my winter break? Tomorrow, my fiancé and I will say goodbye to our friends and family until March and fly back to Chicago. Besides pining for the beautiful warm weather and people we have left down south, I’ll be working hard on revising essays, reading all the books I didn’t have a chance to during the semester, and planning my next class. I hope everyone has happy holidays and bountiful new years! See you in 2015!

Christmas Eve with my Family