Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer

I don't want July 2013 to slip by without a post to the blog, so here's a little update on just how crazy the last month has been.

When I last posted on June 17th, I was days away from closing on both the sale of my current home and the purchase of my new home. Within twenty-four hours of that post, though, I was thrust into limbo: our buyers' lender indefinitely postponed the closing, throwing our planned purchase of a home into doubt (since we needed the sale to cover our down payment). Three weeks of misinformation, miscommunication, and general bureaucratic hijinks ensued. The end result was that the buyers had their loan application rejected—the sale was off.

We put our house back on the market and looked around at other real estate comparable to the house we had hoped to buy. Nothing was really a valid alternative for our needs. So we decided to take a risk: we have applied for a bridge loan on our equity to pay for the down payment on the house we wanted all along. The danger, of course, is that we will get what we want without selling our current home and thus end up paying two mortgages and two sets of utility bills. I'm confident that the house will do well as the real estate market picks up after the summer vacation, though. Fingers crossed!

The other insanity that's plagued me for a month is my fantasy-themed "Intro to Fiction" course. Not the students—the students are great, and I've enjoyed all of our discussions about the authors on the syllabus. (This class was especially amazing when it came to discussions of China Miéville's Scar.) No, the problem is that I underestimated how much work is involved in keeping up with the grading for an Advanced Composition course with a required total of approximately thirty pages of writing. In a regular semester, that's a lot of labor, but it's spread out over fifteen weeks. Condensed into eight weeks, the same amount of grading becomes a desperate race against time!

Class ends tomorrow (with a final discussion of Ursula K. Le Guin's Voices), so the end is in sight. I'll have to use the weeks between the end of summer school and the start of the fall semester to catch up on some of my own paper writing, but I should be able to resume a more regular posting schedule.


  1. And because I'm a selfish cur, the Beyond the Wall blogtest!

  2. Oh, that's definitely on the agenda, Brett.

  3. i used to be an englsh teacher. i feel your pain.

  4. Brett said it so I don't have to. :)
    When free time resumes, we will continue our 'blogtastic' adventures beyond the wall. Well, we'll resume behind the wall first.

    Sorry to hear red tape gave you so much stress regarding your house(s). Hope that resolves with the best outcome.

    It occurred to me, having been and still am a student for most of my life, that whatever work I put into assignments, the grader has to put in a proportional amount of attention and response, except times the assignments by the number of students in the class/section. Educators are a masochistic lot in some regards. ;)

    One paper at a time, almost done. That's what I tell myself.

  5. Good luck to you, Rob. Houses are a pain in the rump.

    With that out of the way, looking forward to what you've got in the works.