And so another semester is behind us. Well, not entirely behind us, but close. I had my last day of classes last week, and I am now in the middle of the grading period. The deadline for the final papers in my undergrad class was last Friday, but enough students had submitted their assignments early that by Friday afternoon I already had over half the papers marked; I was able to finish the remainder on Monday. The deadline for final papers in my graduate seminar is the end of the day tomorrow, which means I have had a rare window of several days to work on other projects (mainly papers of my own) that desperately need working on. I hope to deal with the graduate papers over the weekend and then get all my grades entered into the system at the beginning of next week, since I have a dissertation committee meeting next Thursday and will need to read revisions of that.
Once I’m past that, though, I will officially be into summer break, during which I will be working on a number of different papers (the details of which I will not bore you with). The original plan was to maybe have a celebratory dinner next Friday, rest up over the weekend, and then dive straight into things the following Monday. There has, however, been a slight change of plans.
The cause of this change of plans is a significant amount of airline miles that we have accumulated and need to use before they expire. We had originally planned to use these miles when visiting the US this coming winter, but the airline with which we have the miles (Asiana) won’t allow us to use them on direct flights to DFW. I think the only flights we could get were some ridiculous thirty-two-hour long hauls with two connections. Turns out that Asiana aren’t great for flights to the US. What they are good for are flights to Asia—go figure. So we looked around at the available destinations and settled on Singapore, a place we’ve always wanted to visit but won’t feel bad about only spending a few days there. HJ’s been to Singapore before, but that was nearly thirty years ago, and I’ve never been, so we’re both looking forward to this. We’ll be leaving the day after the dissertation committee and returning the following Wednesday morning.
You might be thinking, “Isn’t Singapore going to be hot in July?” Yes, it will be. But so will Seoul. And we have it on good authority (a friend of HJ who has lived in Singapore for many years) that it’s not going to be that much hotter than it usually is. Personally, I’m more concerned about precipitation; current weather reports show it raining just about every day, although I’m not sure what that will look like. I remember it raining every afternoon when we visited Taiwan, but the rains didn’t last all day and actually helped to cool things down in the afternoon. That didn’t prevent us from having a great time in Taiwan, so hopefully it will be similar in Singapore. The highest chance of rain generally seems to be morning and early afternoon, and some days with a rain icon don’t have a very high chance at all. Regardless, I am well aware that we are going to be in a hot and humid environment. Don’t worry—we plan on chilling out during the hottest parts of the day and doing most of our walking around when it is cooler.
This is kind of a surprise trip for us—we booked our plane tickets on Sunday, less than two weeks before we will be leaving, and we finalized our hotel booking on Tuesday. I wasn’t expecting to be going to Singapore, but here we are. Living in Asia, it’s hard not to see and hear a lot about the place, and I already have a list of things that I want to see, do, and (perhaps most importantly) eat there. I usually have at least two or three students from Singapore in my classes every semester, and someone generally mentions the hawker stalls. I imagine this is where we will be doing most of our dining if at all possible; Singapore is a very expensive city, so being able to eat well on the cheap will ease the burden on our wallets.
Amid all of the craziness that comes with wrapping up a semester, and with this trip being decided on so late, I haven’t had too much time to for any detailed plans. And I do love planning out trips and thinking about all the things I want to see and do. But just writing this quick note here today makes me realize that I’m really looking forward to this. It will be our first trip in Asia since before the pandemic, and it will be a nice opportunity to recharge before I have to dive into what promises to be a very hectic summer. Now I just need to make sure I get everything done that needs to get done before we leave!