[books and papers fly everywhere…in FRENCH]

Well, the end of the summer is upon us with autumn creeping up faster than I’m sure any of us would care to admit.  But there is some good that comes with the fall season.  The air cools down and you get to walk around the neighborhood in flipflops and sweatshirts.  College football kicks off and once again I’ll be cheering on my teams (the Western Michigan University Broncos and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame). And (in my house at least) the kitchen will smell of the fresh aroma of Polish golabki simmering for hours in the crock pot.  Ah, autumn.  How I love you.  In all this time, you’ve probably wondering what your friendly neighborhood adventurist/librarian/nerd is up to these days!  Well, this summer has been a busy one, despite the fact that I decided to take it off from my grad school studies (which start up again in a short four days).  Where to start?

The biggest change is that I am the happy recipient of a new career!  After a rough couple of months that included another Crohn’s flare up, I decided it was in my best interest to walk away from my logistics position. This was not an easy decision to make, but after realizing that I wasn’t performing to my best abilities and I was sure I learned all that I could, I decided to step down. My husband was very supportive of this and after a few short weeks of searching, I was offered the position of administrative assistant at a local charter school in the Metro Detroit area. I’m still within my first week, but I feel as if I am settling in nicely and I feel fantastic to be working in academia once again. I’m gradually gathering all of my little knick knacks and setting up my desk with the hopes that I have to send as few students as possible down to detention. Even if it’s not a library position, you couldn’t get much nerdier than that (without teaching credentials of course).

The most random part of this new position? While the elementary school I attended no longer exists, this position is located in the same building I called home for nine years of my childhood!  How trippy is that?  I find random things with my old elementary logo and mascot everywhere.  Kellie (my best friend, new co-worker, and amazing lady who helped me get the job) found this the other day in her new office she’s putting together and gave it to me.  Part of me wants to put it up with my desk, but I’m not sure where it would look the best.  Any ideas?

Awesome plaque from my childhood!  Now if I could only figure out what to do with it...

Awesome plaque from my childhood! Now if I could only figure out what to do with it…

A couple weeks ago, I put my foot down and made the decision to get out of the United States and travel.  So for the last two weeks I’ve been re-teaching myself the French language with the intent to travel to London and Paris sometime before the end of 2014.  I took French for four years in high school and I barely remember a word. I was hoping to snag a free version of Rosetta Stone and see if I could sail through it, but with the price, it was out of the question. My buddy Chris Jones suggested Duolingo, a free website, program, and application that helps you learn a new language.  I love this program!  Not only is the logo a nerdy little owl, but it uses games and races to help you learn all of your vocabulary, conjugations, and pronunciations.  I also snagged a three disk set of French for Dummies from my local library and uploaded the audio to my iTunes. So the last few rides home from work have been spent practicing pronunciations on the go. I’m going to be ready to go once the trip gets here!  It’s nice to have something to plan and work towards!

Isn't he cute?  And he teaches you to speak different languages too! For free even!

Isn’t he cute? And he teaches you to speak different languages too! For free even!

As if I didn’t have enough already on my plate with working all week at a school then coming home each night to go to school, I’m also gearing up already for NaNoWriMo.  Why you ask?  Because the other day I was officially named as one of the co-ML’s for National Novel Writing Month 2013! I had been asked by my buddy Owen (who is an amazing Detroit ML in my humble opinion) if I would be interested in being his right hand lady during November.  As a yearly participant and knowing what a blast (and hard work) it was, I couldn’t turn him down.  So if you NaNo/write/procrastinate in the metro area, stay tuned for write ins, prizes, fundraising, and of course, parties!  We’re also hoping to meet up and do a seminar locally before the kick off, but I’m due to discuss it more with Owen and Kimba (our fellow ML) on Sunday.

I'm going to need a lot of caffeine this November.

I’m going to need a lot of caffeine this November.

I’m in the final stages of finishing up Lore: the Legend of River (no, seriously, I mean it this time).  Once it’s ready to hit bookshelves, Sal, owner of Off the Beaten Path Books in Farmington, MI, said she’d throw me a release party, so I will keep you all posted on that.  If it’s not done by Christmas, I’m locking myself in my room until New Years.

Love to all and all to love, I’m out until the next bit of fun crosses my path!



  1. I can’t say enough for Duolingo. The German component was sufficient to get me through Austria and Germany after about a month and a half of practice. With a full year, you can probably start buffing up your French skills to the point where a conversation won’t shock you! 🙂 Also, try looking for the French CBC channel (or Radio Canada, which has a new French title) if you want to listen to programming and see how your skills are doing. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Heather! I remember once upon a time when I was in high school we watched Aladdin in French. I didn’t pay much attention to it back then, but that was because I had seen the movie countless times before and knew exactly what they were saying anyways. That will be a great exercise for me to see how I’m doing in the future. For the moment, I’m struggling a bit with understanding the vocals, but I think that’s because the Duolingo lady speaks a bit fast for me. Thank goodness for that “slower” option. I keep yelling at my laptop, “Pronunciate!”

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