Both of us are fully in the academic life. S spent the past year working on her tenure portfolio. In addition she has been traveling and performing recitals in Chicago and at her college in Beaver Falls and private students as well as her college students.
L is continuing his career experiment in academia. At Pitt he is now non-tenured faculty with a certain amount of fairly stable outside funding. So far, the experiment is being viewed by all concerned as progressing. He has many projects with the local VA hospital (clearly, Louis did not go too far professionally), a fun quick consulting gig with an architectural firm (Note to self: finish the paper on this). The big change is work with students. He has been shepherding along two PhD students, one at Pitt and a statistics PhD student who was visiting for a year. Both have been very productive. The Pitt student has very good results beyond anyone's expectations from when L started with him and looks to graduate soon. The other student returns to Turkey with good progress on a paper, and her home department is expecting several seminars on topics that they are not strong in. L's own PhD advisor is looking forward to his first academic grandchild, since L is his first student to graduate his own PhD student.
Social and community service
We have continued many things, such as going to PSO concerts where Louis continues to get comp tickets blogging for them on their blog page. However, they have been scaling back some things. L has finally finished his long tenure on the board of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) Pittsburgh. And, to make sure that they can still wear their fancy clothes on occasion, they still plan on enjoying events such as the PSO gala, Silk Screen gala and Red Cross Ball as part of their ongoing associations throughout the year.
L is continuing volunteering with the Southwestern PA Red Cross. In addition to the ongoing on-call for fires etc. he has had leadership roles in being the disaster assessment lead during heavy snowstorms and taking part in a volunteer review board looking at emergency services operations.
Both of us have had trips for work. In addition S and L went to New Orleans, LA; Somerset, PA and Saugatuck, MI visiting friends, relatives, and spending time just together enjoying precious times.
L continues to serve as radio communicator for various races as part of Amateur Radio Emergency Communications (ARES) in Allegheny County. And this summer, he finally completed the Rachel Carson Challenge on time. Of course, this is probably his last challenge as a participant (for the foreseeable future). In the future he may take part as a volunteer, and go back to something less challenging, like running marathons.
The big event of the year was, of course, the birth of our son T on October 30 at McGee Women's Hospital. At 8lb 11 oz T was a surprisingly big boy. We're not sure how he got so big. The pediatrician assures us he will regress to a body type like his parents within two years.
While runners have a saying that we are all experiments of one, and this applies to life in general, relationships and marriage, it seems to us that raising a child is especially a good application of this principle. Even though a few billion of these have come around, everyone is a bit different. And we've noted a lot of advice forgets this (sometimes because of poor memory, or someone who thinks all people are the same).
L's mom was here to provide much welcome help the first month. S's parents are here now and for when S goes back to work. We have had easy times, and some hard ones. And not being sentimental people by nature, it is neither as easy or as hard as sometimes we have feared or hoped. And that is probably as it should be. There are many plans and expectations that people have, but we'll let T find his path, with us looking ahead to be with him on the many expected rocky parts to come.