Fall 2017: time for another introduction!

You know how they say time feels like it goes faster as you get older...? Seriously, it's true. When you're a little kid, the summer feels like it lasts forever. And when I was in college, summer seemed wonderfully long then too. But now: poof! I blink, and it's gone. But I got so much done and had a lot of fun this summer, so that's what I'm going to write about here:

Visiting Oklahoma. I actually live in North Carolina (this is where my husband grew up, and we're here because of his elderly dad), but this summer I came to Oklahoma for a fantastic conference that Adam Croom and the team from the OU Center for Teaching Excellence put on: Domains 2017. This was a conference for schools that have a "Domain of One's Own" project, like the OU Create project that we have at OU. I am a huge fan of that project of the people like Adam who are the project administrators, so it was really fun to come to this conference and meet people from so many different schools, including some people I have been friends with online for many years whom I had not met in person before. The conference was held up in the Museum Motel in OKC which is extremely cool; the first floor is an art museum, so we got to have take pictures with our favorite works of art. Here's me and a tree made of beautiful bits of fabric:

Visiting Austin. My dad is also quite elderly and on his own since my mother died two years ago, so I made a couple of trips to Austin to see him. I was just there last week, in fact, and since he loves to go to the movies, we decided to go see The Big Sick. Very fun movie, and very thoughtful too. Here's the preview:

And I was mesmerized by Dunkirk; I am a huge fan of Hans Zimmer and my favorite part of that movie really was the sound: wow! Here's an article about the soundtrack and why the sound is so amazing, and here's the video that goes with the article: Dunkirk Sound Illusion.

TV. Yeah, I watched a lot of TV this summer, and despite all the binge-watching, there was still so much I did not get to. But we watched all of Justified (I love the dialogue-writing for that show!), Longmire, The Good Wife, and Outlander. I was really impressed by the way they adapted Outlander for TV. Plus, I watched all of Babylon-5 (an old favorite), which was bittersweet because one of the cast died this summer: rest in peace, Stephen Furst. And for your listening pleasure, here's the theme song from Outlander:

. I love having time to read during the summer, and I read so many good books. It's hard to say which book was my favorite... I guess it would be a toss-up between Kanishk Tharoor's Swimmer Among the Stars and Ramez Naam's Nexus Trilogy.

Aesop. For about two months this summer I worked on a big website of Aesop's fables in English. It was so much fun to do that! I've worked on Aesop's fables in Latin for many years (I published a book of 1001 Aesop's fables in Latin a few years ago), but this was the first time I systematically worked through some collections of Aesop's fables in English, focusing on illustrated versions. The reason I worked on Aesop this summer was that another online friend, Father Greg Carlson at Creighton University (in Omaha), is going to be teaching a class there this Fall so that he and his students can plan an Aesop exhibit that will be at the Jocelyn Museum (also in Omaha), and he asked me to help with that. Since they use Canvas at Creighton, that will be easy: I will be able to share my Aesop materials with his students using Canvas, and I'll probably make a quick trip up to Omaha also (which is great, since my husband's children and adorable grandchildren live there). Here's a random fable from the books I included in the website this summer:

I would have gladly spent more months working on Aesop and just enjoying the summer (drinks on the porch, playing with cats, music, naps) ... but I'm also excited for school to be starting up again. Happy New Semester!