DXMachina (dxmachina) wrote,

That Was the Year That Was...

It was the best of times, it was the... well, not the worst of times, but there were parts of 2013 that weren't so good.

The good parts were very good. I started teaching as an adjunct in January, and got contracts for the summer, fall, and spring 2014, as well. I am enjoying myself immensely. I also started an edit/rewrite of the lab manual for the introductory chemistry course I teach. I got about halfway through it over the summer, and did a few more experiments over Christmas break. I'm now even listed as co-author, which is just neat. We publish it ourselves, and give it to the students gratis, so there's no financial remuneration, but it still looks good on the ol' resume.

I managed to make it to my first group camping trip in over a decade, despite an inauspicious start. A few weeks later my sister, Jane, came to visit with the niece and nephew, and we had a nice time. Road our bikes on Block Island, and spent a rainy day at Battleship Cove, lucking into Free Fun Friday, the Cove's annual free admission event.

Then things got interesting, financially at least, in a "may you live in interesting times" sort of way. I blew the engine on my truck on the way to school the same day that Jane and the kids headed for home. It was way too expensive a repair to contemplate for a truck that had been wearing down for awhile. I wound up buying a 2008 Subaru Forester. Nice car, but with a lot of miles on it already. Still, the air conditioner works (one of the other problems with the truck), and it get substantially better gas mileage than the truck. The biggest negative was that I no longer had the covered bed that the truck had, especially for carting my bicycle around. I reclaimed my bike rack from Tom, and used that for awhile, but loading and unloading it and the bike got inconvenient. Then it turned out that with the rear seats folded, the bike fit well enough in the back of the Forester, so that worked out.

So, now I had a car payment again. Then, the same day that I bought the car, I also had to call an electrician to see why half the circuits in my house had stopped working. It turned out to be a simple fix, but it was another outlay of cash. A couple months later I had to call a plumber to fix a leak in my heating system**.

**I had contemplated trying to do this on my own, but I was a little unsure of how exactly to do it, as the leak was right where the hot water returns to the furnace, and involved fitting. Also, I didn't have the proper tools. In the end I just watched the plumber and treated the experience as a class. I know how to do it now.

Things did finally calm down. I had a really good group of students for the fall and didn't have to fail any of them, so I was pleased there. Mostly I spent my time rewriting my powerpoints from the spring to better suit what I wanted to do. I wrote a lot over the last half of the year, but none of it ever got put up here. I want to try to do more writing here, as well as some non-teaching related stuff this year. We'll see how it goes. I just today picked up a class to teach at Central Connecticut State University, in addition to my class at MCC. It good; I need the dough, but it's a different course than I've been teaching, so it means another set of lectures needs to be written. Ah well...

Tags: automotive, finances, looking back, teaching

  • Baby, It's Cold Outside...

    So, it was -10°F outside when I got up this morning, just before sunrise. I don't recall ever seeing a colder morning. Just thought I'd mention it.

  • Four Weekends and a Funeral...

    ...or how I spent my summer. I spent a good portion of the summer teaching — the lab portion of my usual MCC assignment on Mondays,…

  • Pollenpocalypse 2014

    Boshe moi, the pollen vortex is frackin' killing me. March finally showed up on April 1st, and for the past few days April has been trying to shove…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.