Getting Ready for Scotland!--and....Headaches. Still. Again.


     I had a difficult fall semester. I was hit by a car in August, and the attendant concussion made it difficult for me to read, write, think, and speak. Since I make my living by reading, writing, thinking, and speaking, this was a challenging and disturbing time for me, and I spent a few months not feeling at all like myself. My doctor prescribed preventive headache medication, and that, along with time, and rest, helped. By the end of December/early January, I was feeling more like myself again, and by the time the spring semester began again in early February, I was about 80% back to normal. I could speak well during classes. I could read on paper and on screens. I was even able to write a bit again, especially nonfiction/travel stories. And my headaches were just about gone.
     On March 20th, I got a severe headache that has ebbed and flowed but has not yet left me completely, as of today, May 4th. I have seen my doctor, and am seeing a chiropractor, getting regular cranial massages, and staying away from the computer for long periods of time, all of which is helping, but is not "curing" my headache.
     This is painful, and also, annoying. For a couple of years ago I was delighted to learn that my application to teach in the "Experience Scotland" program for University of Wisconsin-system students had been approved, and I would be teaching "Wish You Were Here: The Art & Craft of Travel Writing" and "Landscape as Inspiration: British Ghost Stories" outside Edinburgh this summer. I leave in about 10 days. I am getting so excited I can hardly sleep! But I am also worried that my headache will accompany me to Scotland.
     I am hoping the fresh air will do me good. I have other hopes as well: I am hoping that I am able to share my passion for literature, for travel, for Scotland, and for writing with my students. I am hoping that I'll be able to write some travel stories myself. I am hoping that my students return home transformed, that their world is bigger than it was. I am hoping (knock on wood) that all of us are healthy, that we overcome whatever difficulties we face, and that we learn a lot and have a blast.
     Whether or not you travel this summer (and will you? where to?), I wish the same for you!--that you learn a lot and have a blast. Isn't that what summer--and life--are all about?

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