11 February 2011

Baby/ Marking

On Wednesday, we had our 20 week scan of the baby to see if everything was checking out okay, which it seems to be. I was impressed, again, by the technology. The technician listened and examined the heart of the baby carefully for like three minutes, watching the blood go in and out of the chambers, first in real time, then zoomed in, then slowed down. The girls got a kick out of seeing the baby, as per usual. There are not evident problems and for all the talk of the high risk of Down's, I think it's likely to come to nothing.

It is another girl, whom we will likely name 'Mia'. The girls names are much easier to get to work across cultures. Short and easy to pronounce.

Although I really had no strong desire one way or the other, I am slightly more happy with a girl than a boy, I think. Not that it really makes a difference. I feel like having all girls will give me more space, in some ways. I was loathing the thought of Saturday morning boys football. Girls football? No problem. Boys? No thank you. I'm full of stereotypes.

Part of me, however, wondered a bit about the epic struggle of father and son, fueled by my reading of War and Peace. Andrei, we could have named him. I would have put all my expectations on him. Mia, like Mei and Naomi, will get only my love and support. Be what your heart desires.

To say that I did a lot of marking in the last week would be the understatement of the year. I did a lot of marking. This is good for me to get done now before the pressures of having the new baby will be upon us and I have streamlined the process since this time last year, cutting the time it takes me to do one essay in half... but still. Monday night I especially felt the pressure. Oddly though, as these things are, the closer I get to the end, the stronger I feel. This happens in my life about every two months when I have a lot to do (usually coinciding with a batch of essays to mark). At the beginning, I think that I just need to take it day-by-day and survive to the end. When I get done, I feel like I have taken over the world. And I have increased both my financial capital and my personal strength capital.

I also had good meeting with my supervisors yesterday: my second supervisor commented that I might be onto something big, bigger than one might think if I describe my work in rather rough terms. I am also more and more cautiously optimistic about finding gainful employment after graduation since realising that the visa will not immediately be an issue. There is temporary work popping up here and there right now and I think I will be well positioned in a year to start applying. My applications now, though not a waste of time, are very, very long shots. Best to focus on other things. 

The weather is changing in Milton Keynes as well, just on the cusp of when it goes from being an okay place to live with not a lot to do to a wonderland in which the car becomes meaningless and we can cycle everywhere. This year will be different, I imagine: there will be mostly me and the older girls riding. Still. I am looking forward to it and to the warmth.

I am leaving for the States on Monday: this will be the culmination of six weeks of running. The plane takes off at 14:15 and I am looking forward to it quite a bit. Still, many things need to be done before then. Packing, shopping, quality time with the family. I still have to finish cleaning up my marking, doing some work on my data, teach today... But I successfully navigated another wave without it crashing down on me and that is, for now, something I am quite proud of.