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April 07, 2006

the cycle of life

Life (and death) go on in the United States, even while we are in China.

Terry and I made two trips to the U.S. within the past two months, both mainly because my father was dying. During the first trip, I spent a week with Dad, while Terry and two of our kids came for a weekend. The second trip was for the funeral. My father lived to be 84 and had a full and eventful life. For about 25 years, he made two trips a year (2-3 weeks per trip) to East Asia (with a few trips to Europe and South Asia) to buy fishing tackle. He was vicariously enjoying my experience living in China, showing great interest in every new photo or weblog entry.

During the first trip, Terry spent more time in the U.S. and visited our new grandson, Elliot, in Tucson. Elliot was born to son Travis and his wife Karen last October. I finally met him at the funeral. He's a cute kid, and we're looking forward to lots of hugs and outings in the future. We also got the exciting news that daughter Inga is pregnant and that our second grandchild will be born this October. (We don't know yet whether this one will be a boy or a girl.)

The final life cycle change is my career. Putting a more precise schedule to a plan that I've been working on for the past ten years, I've arranged to return to the United States at the beginning of August, at which time I plan to start a year of adjunct teaching. That experience, along with earning my Ph.d. (by the end of 2006) will give me the credentials I need to compete successfully for a regular full-time college or university teaching job.

- Norty

Posted by now at April 7, 2006 04:55 PM