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Eye of the Optimist -winter break

Our winter break is almost over. This is the break from teaching between the end of classes in January and the start of a new school year in March, A few years ago, I used to get the blues during this time of year. Because I adopted positive thinking, set goals and took action, however, my winter breaks experience is more productive and gratifying now. This one is going well.

During this winter break, leaving 2015 and going into 2016, I have made advances in my writing. I completed 10 draft chapters of my latest novel. I resolved the plot, forged through the book's climax and made it to the deroulement phase. Four more chapters to construct. Too, I found a way to complete the online formatting of  my existing published work, so that all of it is properly and fully formatted for any kind of e-book purchasing and reading. Moreover, I started a writing course. I ended up changing my goal of boning up for a Korean language test in favour of enrolling in an online editing certificate program instead. It is a short non-credit course without exams and grades. Perfect!

I still made an effort to get away from the computer and relax. Good friends took care of my birds so that I could take a week-long holiday to Penang, Malaysia, which went well. Though it was extremely hot and my chosen lodgings kind of primitive, I felt comfortable socially and culturally speaking. Also, it was entertaining and interesting. I explored the area and met travelers and local people who generally spoke English well. Before and after that trip, I have been taking time out to exercise and visit the natural springs baths a few times. In short, I have had vacation time during my winter break.

While social contact has been sparse during this break, I have had some great conversations with true friends. I had lengthy long distance calls, a couple of visitors, and some exceptional online correspondence. The online course instructor is an interesting fellow who likes to talk properly with students, for example, so I am enjoying getting to know him and have some in-depth intellectual exchange. 

Anyway, the colleagues and friends will be flocking back to their Busan roosts over the next few days. I have had the advantage of time here to get a head start with the teaching preparations, so I can afford to approach the first week of classes at a leisurely stride while my colleagues will no doubt be hurrying and scurrying about. I've even been thinking far enough ahead to stock up my office with refreshments and desk supplies this week. 

Yes, my winter breaks are generally productive. I opt to restrain traveling for financial reasons, but my time is well spent regardless. I find diversion amid bouts of industry to keep healthy and positive while staying on track to meet my work and other goals. I may sometimes find my life gets too quiet, but that does not amount to sadness.

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