Blog Swap Day

'Photo from a 2 weeks summer school in Lipari' photo (c) 2000, Paolo Massa - license:, my name is Kellen. I live in Ohio, and I’m Noel’s partner for the Blog Swap. You can read my other posts at

It’s an interesting feeling knowing that I had something very specific to do smack dab in the middle of my summer this year. Usually that time is saved for a vacation where I get to get away and relax. For years we went to the beach in July. The same time last year it was my honeymoon up in Boston. This summer, it was my first summer of classes.

For those of you who don’t know this, I’m a commuter in grad school. I stay on campus in the middle of the week and cram everything into a few days. Then I head back home two hours away.

Last week I finished my final paper for class, and a couple of weeks ago I packed up my room to come home. It was an odd feeling. I’ve always had my summers to do other things besides school, and now I find myself busy writing a paper and reading books. I was originally signed up for two classes, but decided to drop my second one when I felt that I wouldn’t learn anything from it. And after hearing the discussions from the rest of the week from a student still in the class, I’m pretty sure my feeling was right.

This summer was also weird because my wife Rachael came down to campus to visit me on weekends. This made me seriously feel like I wasn’t married and still living on campus full-time instead of commuting to school like I had grown used to.

This class threw off a few of my plans, such as holding down a full-time job, and being around home for the summer. But mostly, it threw off my plans for a summer I’m used to. And in retrospect, I’m fine with that. I had fun in the class, and got to spend a couple of weeks with some friends I don’t always get to spend a lot of time with. In some ways, it was a working vacation. And while I would have rather not had to go to class this summer, overall, it’s been a good experience, and one that will let me graduate in December. But now I’m on my real vacation of the summer, back home to visit family. It might not be the beach, but it’s still a chance to relax, and really, that’s what a vacation is all about.


A Re-cap of the Beach Week

the three books I finished

At this point it may seem a little cruel to dwell on the fact that I spent last week on vacation. But I did want to give you guys a little update on some of the progress made. Plus, I’m sure you’ve all experienced that refreshing feeling you get from a week of doing pretty much nothing.

I finished three of the eight books I took with me (including Anna Karenina;well I took her with me, but I didn’t finish her). In order it was One Day, The Joy Luck Club, and The Book Thief. So, you’ll have those reviews to look forward to in the coming weeks.

I also got on a blogging frenzy and wrote posts halfway into next week. Which isn’t much further ahead than I normally am, but if you remember a couple weeks ago I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything interesting worth saying, and that little burst proved me wrong.

I also spent a lot of time interweb lurking. Thanks to my friend Catie I found Books of Adam. She said he’s her favourite blogger (which gives me something to work toward). I did however read his entire blog in one evening. There were a few other blogs I spent some time on. As well as making sure my Goodreads profile was up to date. And then there was that pesky beach I just had to spend some time on in effort to even out my ridiculous tan-lines.

The thing I’m perhaps the most stoked about was getting into Pottermore. People keep asking me what it is and I’m finding it difficult to describe. It’s best if you just watch J.K. explain it herself. Anyway, I will be a beta tester for the site and am anxiously awaiting the cyber equivalent of my Hogwarts Acceptance letter. (Sidenote: Lauren Gilmore, everytime I think about your plan with Chad to train an owl I bust up laughing).

Finally, Tuesday night last week we went to a show at my church called Jam Fest featuring my younger sister, her boyfriend’s band All I Am, and a friend of our’s band named I Surrender. It was a great little show. The kids all seemed to have a blast. And I felt like I was walking around like I was 16 again.

It was a good week. And now I’m glad to be home feeling refreshed and ready to go. The next couple of weeks will be exciting for me. I’m also participating (for the first time) in the twentysomethingbloggers Blog Swap. So that will be very cool.

Now, I’m gonna watch Wilfred and then head to work. Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain today…