Finally, after five months of waiting, I got official word that my application for a study leave from university has been granted. I started the ball rolling on this application in June, and in between now and then, I’ve been drawing a paycheck and doing the work, so to speak.
So far I’ve passed my foriegn language qualifying exam, which is a feat considering I was only 6% fluent in Spanish, according to Duolingo. I’ve managed to generate a few thousand words of a novella that will go into the collection of fiction that will serve as my graduate thesis. And I’ve delivered presentations in two international conferences, helped organize those same conferences, and been accepted to two fiction anthologies.
Outside of work, I’ve also learned how to prepare the following Japanese dishes:
- Zaru soba
- Hot Udon
With the aid of a slow cooker, which was an early Christmas present from my girlfriend, I was finally able to make a decent, edible pot roast. And then excellent pork chops.
I’ve also read 11 of the 20 Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child. I’ve attended my first-ever comic convention, and was sorely disappointed by it. And I was one of the lucky few who got into the exclusive screening of a Captain America: Civil War teaser.
I’ve been able to keep up with TV shows, and even gotten into a new fandom about fake lesbians. I would say that this was a semester on leave well spent.