Paris and Beyond

Our Personal Tour de France & Other Exciting Adventures!

Archive for the month “October, 2020”

Adventures on the Home Front

University of Oregon Education Building

Well, I guess it’s about time for an update. Last you heard, I was a Duck which is no longer the case. For eight months, I had the pleasure and privilege of assisting a professor and her team with some important research work related to bilingual education. I spent a lot of time organizing files and data-filled spreadsheets — definitely my forte but not so much fun. Later, I spent hours designing an elaborate presentation which I used to teach data collectors how to administer two different assessments — so much fun! I was very nervous about teaching a room full of graduate students. However, as I discovered years ago when I moved up from teaching elementary to middle school students, they’re just big kids eager to learn. They were amazingly receptive and the two days I spent with them were such a blast! I had forgotten how much I loved the classroom.

While I was able to do most of my work from home, I was unexpectedly assigned an office shared with one other very amicable project coordinator. A teacher’s office is her classroom which is rarely private, quiet, or completely organized except on staff days. I had always wanted a real office so I took full advantage of this opportunity by completely decorating it with all my favorite office supplies in green and gold UO-style including a custom-designed quilted pillow…

Alas, it was to be a short-lived experience. At the beginning of February, we sent the data collectors off to test students in their homes and schools. By the second week of March, they were about three-quarters of the way through their lists. Then COVID-19 arrived and, of course, we had to halt all activity. By the end of May, I had done all the work I could do to contribute to the culmination of our research project. Sadly, it was time to say good-bye to the UO. 

This blog is now eight years old, originally conceived as we embarked on our first exploratory trip to France. Those were the days when we dreamed of a retirement life in France. It was not just a dream. If you’ve followed this blog, you know we worked hard to make it a reality even though we had to eventually resort to Plan B. We have been in Eugene for three years now — completing our fourth summer and we find we are very happy here. Living just on the edge of the city bordered by small farms and in close proximity to the Willamette River, our environment is very similar to the southern French countryside we longed to inhabit. So when we are out biking around this area, we often come away for a moment with a sense that we could actually be in France. Considering the current circumstances, it’s difficult to say whether we would have been better off here or there. No matter. We are fortunate to have a comfortable home with plenty of space to enjoy all the things we love to do best. This is it for us… for now. 

Riding my electric bike along the Willamette

The intent of this blog has always been to share our travels so I have been reluctant to post on other topics. Given the situation we are all in, traveling afar isn’t happening anytime soon. We hope to be off adventuring again perhaps in another year or two. Many aspirations – who knows if they will ever come to fruition, but it’s always good to keep dreaming! Meanwhile, we strive to create interesting and challenging at-home “adventures” in cooking, gardening, sewing, knitting, photography, music, and art among others. Plus, good food and good drinks along with some festive, seasonal decorations and we can always have a party at home. You can see the fruits of some of our efforts in this slideshow…

Looking forward to a small adventure a short distance from home in November. Actually, it will be a BIG adventure leaving Eugene for the first time in nine months!

As always… stay tuned!

Stay safe & stay well! And… if you’re a US citizen, don’t forget to VOTE!!

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