A very good friend of mine just asked me how me and my family are doing, and here is a slightly edited version of my response. Please note this is only for those very interested in me and my family, and will be a waste of time for the casual reader:
Great to hear from you J. I'm busy this semester teaching with 4 preps for the first time in my life. I hate it. It's too much. I love teaching, love my students, but 4 preps is more than I can handle. I think I might apply for a sabbatical next year. But I work less hard at publishing these days, and spend more time with the family when I can. I used to work on Saturdays and Sundays, about 20 hours. Now I find myself just working for about 4 hours over the weekend. At one time I thought I could "publish my way out" of my university, but it never happened. I had always thought of myself as working at a division I research institution. I do like living in New Orleans overall, and overall I would say that me and my school are a very good fit. I have great colleagues in my department and elsewhere, and I love that our university's mission involves social justice. I guess that has become my new focus, trying to make the world a better place. But it is hard and perhaps foolish at times. Living in New Orleans is too far from my family in Nebraska though. Kalypso is a teenager. She's 14. It's good and bad. I'm just trying my best to keep her safe as she tries to distance herself from me, or get independent. She is interested and very gifted at piano and violin. Her ability to speak French is amazing. She went to an all French program grades K-4. You should see this video
we made in Paris. Gil is great and at such a fun age. I'm his soccer coach, and I'm finding it challenging to communicate to 8 year old boys. He is very much into skateboarding and handstands. I wish that both of my children had more focus, but I'm very proud of them. Therese, as a school teacher, is overworked and doesn't have as much time for me and the kids as I would like, but she is doing very noble work in my opinion. Marriage isn't easy, we have to work at it, but I love her very much. Our dogs are getting older. I see them walking slower up the steps, much like me. We have a parrot who only mimics Therese's yelling at the kids. So as far as animals, we have two dogs, a sugar glider, a guinea pig, and I think that is it for now, but I'm never sure. I still think of my dad every day, even though he passed away 2 1/2 years ago. I wish my dad could see my children grow up. My mom is doing well, but I know it would be a much better world if she could see her grandkids more. We're going back for Christmas, but as usual, we spend about 5 days there is all. My mom unfortunately doesn't like to travel much, so she rarely comes to see us, which would be easier and cheaper. I don't see my brother and sister very often, but with email I keep in touch with them. This blog also keeps them up to date with our activities. I think you know I met my birth parents and my birth brother. I'm very thankful for that. I keep in very regular contact with my birth mother via email. I'm hoping to take Gilgamesh on an archaeological excavation next summer, just like I've done with Kalypso three times. Then after this summer I think I might want to take some time off from excavating and spend summers with the family. This summer I'll be digging a Midianite structure, Iron I, in Edom. I'm VERY much looking forward to that. I believe that this year is the Saints' year. I can feel it. I bought season tickets the day they signed Drew Brees. Now it's several years later. Reggie Bush has not lived up to potential, but we have such an amazing offense. It's quite a bit of fun, and a great distraction. The flood/levee failure, or as others call it, Hurricane Katrina, sadly still dominates my life. But not as much as it used to. And in many ways, it's for a positive return. I know my neighbors much better now, having all struggled to rebuild. My house is much nicer, but the mortgage and insurance are much higher. I feel older, much older than I did four years ago. I'm tired, but can't think of living anywhere else.