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One of the wonderful things about working at Middlebury College is that every three Januarys, I have a month off from teaching. Don’t get me wrong. I love teaching, and my students bring me great joy, but a bit of time away from the classroom means time for longer projects, time to indulge in a sustained thought.  This January, I’m working on two projects: revision for an article about how I use writing workshops in my Writing to Heal course and preparation for a JASNA-VT talk on Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Certainly, immersing myself in the Peninsular War and the Convention of Cintra have helped me weather the snow, ice, and cold that has descended on northern New England this year.

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