Friday, December 14, 2012

End of Year Stress Out

According to the American Christmas song...


It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer"
It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
It's the hap -happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It's the hap - happiest season of all..

For me, it is generally the most stressful time of the year, this one being no exception. Our university decided that November was the best time to change over our registration system from one program to another. Of course, this created a shambles for students, but for instructors, it took weeks to solve sign-in problems. Once that was resolved, there was no place to submit semester grades. When I questioned it, I was told it may be implemented by the middle to late December. Yikes! We are leaving December 16th. Although I could enter the grades remotely, I cannot print them out and sign them from South America. Fortunately, I like to putter with technology and found the pathway to grade entry on my own. I informed the IT guru who then immediately sent the information out to the entire faculty. One stress issue resolved. 

Grades are in, grade books are signed. I will not see the halls of the university again until January 16th, the day after we return home. Then it will only be for half a day for thesis defense exams, but then I am off again until the first week of February. 

University instructors pace life by semesters. Fall semester is over, there is a long Christmas break. Spring semester is completed; it is time for a long summer vacation. 

I generally buy an annual transportation pass, but it has in years past only gone on sale from the end of December until the first week of January. One of my former students has been my pass purchaser, but he will be out of the country as well. With just a bag of hope, Ron went to the transportation office to check again. Surprise! They were willing to sell it to him. Stress factor number 2 zapped.

The last of the list is the packing. According to reports, in many parts of Ecuador, you can experience all four seasons in one day. The temps can go from the high 90s to lower than 40. Layering is the key to our packing clothes. I am a list person, so I have an extensive packing list that runs the gamut from my new diabetic meds  and Accu-Chek, which premiered on this list to the rechargeable batteries for my camera as well as a reading light. I always worry about forgetting something essential like the verifications that we have had a Yellow Fever vaccine which is required for some parts of Ecuador. 

The greatest stressor of all was that our Internet kept going out for hours at a time for the last week plus. Finally, I called the company who arranged for a technician to come tomorrow, Saturday. We went to have a coffee with another friend and on the way home, the company called to say the technical problems have been resolved. When I got home, they had been. 

Last night, we went to Govinda's vegetarian restaurant with one friend for a holiday cheer good-bye. I had the most amazing creamed pumpkin and broccoli with paprika dish with Bulgar. I have to find a recipe. My blood level was under 6.0 both last night and this morning. Gotta love that dish!

So I don't know if I will get a chance to write again before we leave Sunday morning on a 6:30 am flight. We fly from here to Amsterdam and then Amsterdam direct to Quito. I will as usual blog the entire time away, but the posting will depend on Internet access. All of our hotels claim to have WiFi, but we will see what the reality is once we are on the ground. 

Happy holidays to who celebrate Hanukka. I know I am late as it started on the 8th. For others happy holidays as a preliminary greeting, but I hope to say it again closer to the day and from South America.  
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