It’s early August, but it seems like summer is already winding down. I need to get my boys ready for the start of the school year, in two weeks for Andrew, who is entering middle school, three weeks for Brandon who will be going into 3rd grade.  My semester will begin a few days after Brandon’s.  As a political scientist, and in particular one who follows both U.S. and European politics, the next few months will will be full of critical events.  Although I have gotten a bit burned out on following developments in Europe, I don’t have much choice but to follow, given that I will be teaching my course on Europe this semester.  The drama is still there — will Greece be able to remain in the Euro?  Will unemployment continue to climb?  Will more governments fall? I’ll be updating my Europe blog with the latest news ( It seems like Europe is still preparing for a possible Greek exit (or “grexit), and Germany’s economy seems to be slowing, so things are still very much in flux.
U.S. politics is entering the final lap, after nearly two years of campaigning (longer for some). The campaign has turned nasty already, and the conventions should be interesting (at least for political scientists) – I expect the ratings to be low. I’m mostly looking forward to the debates, and hoping that they actually have a woman moderator — Gwen Ifill would be awesome. Overall, I expect women voters to play a big role in this election.  Turnout will be critical for both sides.
This will also be a momentous Fall for me in terms of my own work.  As my first book finally appears in paperback, I’m expecting to submit my second book for review (on antidiscrimination policy in Europe), and I’m making progress on two more projects.  I’m hoping to weigh in on the immigration debate as it plays out during the campaign and into the Spring.  This country can’t continue to avoid dealing with a variety of important issues, and Congress will have plenty to deal with, but I expect that immigration will come up in the Spring, regardless of the outcome in the presidential election (although it’s looking good for Obama at this point in time).
…and then there are cats…Dolce is waiting for me to head to bed so she can come and snuggle. My kitty Gabby is sitting here helping me write this. She reminds me to relax and breathe and enjoy the evening.  The Olympics are on, my family is settled in for the night, and life is good. My goal for the rest of the year is to remember to count my blessings every day.