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Friday, December 29, 2006

On traveling...

I am usually early because I would rather sit and wait than miss something. All of us know what happens when we are late -- traffic lights are red, slow pokes are driving at half the speed limit, etc. Since I am flying out of State Capital this morning, traffic was so not fun; still, it was OK -- we were moving at all times, albeit slowly.

Parking was an issue, as always. Hey, I got my morning exercise walking from the Timbuktu Parking Lot and pulling my luggage. The check-in process was smooth, too. Honestly, I expected longer lines at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 29. Now let's hope my luggage makes it to St. Louis. I don't check in bags unless I absolutely have to; and I had to this time since I din't plan this trip and so didn't bring any travel size toiletries to my parents' house. Oh, well -- this is a non-stop flight so the worst scenario is leaving the bag in Atlanta and picking it up on Monday, right?

Then I got to security... A chirpy security agent looked at my boarding pass and informed me that I had an S on it, meaning that I was selected for additional security. See why being early or at least on time is important? They took forever looking through my carry on. Then they called the supervisor. Knowing that there was nothing bad in my luggage, I was not nervous, just impatient. Finally, they informed me that my laptop set off an alarm, probably because their scanner had a residue and set off an alarm. Huh??? Anyway, I got an apology for waiting so long and was finally able to walk to my gate.

Picked up a chocolate bar and a bottle of water. Due to some family issues, I didn't get to bed until after 2:00 a.m. and was up at 6:00 a.m., so chocolate is a necessity, not a luxury, this morning. And what can be better than chocolate for breakfast, right? ;)

So here I am, killing time before my flight boards. Then a short flight to St. Louis and a weekend of fun. We are attending a very interesting conference and doing other fun stuff, so I really look forward to this weekend. New Year's celebration should be pretty cool, too.

I am not sure if I will have another chance to blog so Happy New Year, everybody!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hello, St. Louis!

I am going to St. Louis tomorrow -- for three days! I decided to go a couple of hours ago and got a great flight/hotel/car deal. Sorry, can't tell you why but I have my reasons, even though most people will think I need to be committed for making a decision so quickly. It should be fun, though! ;)

Happy Birthday, Sis!

My baby sister is 25 years old today! Wow, what a milestone! We are planning a big celebration for her tonight.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Shopping, walking, and working

Mom and I went shopping yesterday and today, just for a few hours. Bought several gifts for next Christmas at over 70%. Does anybody else do this? I don't buy all presents ahead of time but sometimes you can buy cool stuff at a bargain price.

Then we went walking, trying to walk off pounds that can't be avoided when family gets together and enjoys good food. We are doing pretty good, actually -- I didn't gain one single pound (um, according to Mom's bathroom scales).

Alas, holidays are almost over and I still have so much to do. Will have to drive home on Friday so I can finish everything by Jan. 3 when we have to be back at work.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Greeting

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Click here to see my greeting, created just for YOU! ;)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Turn your cameras upside down!

Hey, this is cool!

So far away...

Total Est. Time: 17 hours, 46 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 1082.86 miles

Yes, I thought of driving to New York. Foolish, huh?

End of the Year Review Meme

As seen everywhere... I created this blog in April and so my list is short but whatever... ;)

April: Having observed other bloggers for quite some time now, I decided it's time to join.

May: Landed contracts for two continuing education workshops, one for mining workers and another for the local K-12 teachers!!!

June: Tired of a small town I call home now...

July: After two eight-hour flights (Atlanta-Frankfurt and Frankfurt-Port Harcourt-Abuja) and a three-hour layover in Frankfurt, I am tired but, surprisingly, not exhausted.

August: It has been a crazy week so far -- final assignments coming in spurts, business writing seminar demanding my attention, and at least a million other things pulling me in different directions.

September: I can't believe it's already our last night here...

October: One of my business mathematics students finally decided to buy a calculator (at least I hope I convinced him this morning) -- after trying to follow complex calculations by working out every problem on paper.

November: We just finished the unit on Excel in my online course.

December: Inbox offered an email from a student who registered for my online course section, changed her mind, and now trying to get in; alas, the section is closed and there is a long waiting list.

Boooring... Maybe I will do better next year. :)

Course Syllabi

As I am working on my course syllabi for the next semester, I am wondering how strict are other schools about the adherence to certain standards. We have to include all basic information so our headings look very similar. However, we are free to change most policies as long as they are not in violation of the Board of Regents policies. For example, grading scale can't be changed, but attendance policy can be set by an individual instructor.

Also, how detailed are your syllabi? I explain each policy, provide a detailed list of assignments, and supply students with a tentative course schedule. On average, my syllabi are approximately five pages.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yikes, it's already Thursday morning!

Time is flying by so quickly! I took a mini-vacation and escaped to the nearby island. Walking for miles on the deserted beach... Sipping tea on the balcony, watching flaming sunsets, and then counting stars... I needed that quiet time so much...

Now I am back to work, busily getting ready for the next semester so I can spend holidays with my family w/out worrying about all the things that need to be done. I am only taking several books with me -- rather fascinating and full of good ideas for my current area of research.

And I might go backpacking in Europe in May or June. Remember that headless figurine? Yep, that's me! Planning to take ballroom dancing lessons, too. ;)

Sunday, December 17, 2006


My traveler is safely back home, even though flights were canceled and delayed; connections were very close due to delays; and all communicating had to be done via a cell phone. Maybe I should look for a second job (um, third? I am a TA, too) as a travel agent??? ;) Actually, I always wanted to become a flight attendant... Crazy, huh?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Let's share holiday greetings in foreign languages!

If you don't speak a foreign language, just share a Christmas story with us!

Get Your Own Voice PlayerManage

Send me a voice comment. It's FREE! Just call 1(641)985-7800 and enter *2542044. If you get one too, I'll reply.

It's a happy day today!

  • Just finished a paper! Um, took like two months to write a four-page paper? I am ashamed of myself but it's done, done, done, and I will try to do better in the future!!! :)
  • I am playing a travel agent via a cell phone to one of my friends whose flight is all messed up; first, seats could not be confirmed; then, just this morning, they changed flights; and this person does not have anything but a confirmation number (long story), so all trust is placed on me to take care of this traveler.
  • I am taking a one-day vacation tomorrow -- driving to an island and doing nothing but walking on the beach and enjoying God's creation for. a. whole. day!!! Way cool after a busy year of earning 28 graduate course credits while maintaining a 4.0 GPA (well, hope it doesn't go down after this semester), working a full-time job -- five courses each semester, teaching two sections as a TA, going to a number of conferences, spending a month in Africa, and doing a myriad of other things.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's Wednesday night!!!

Already! And my desk is still covered with "stuff" that needs to be done NOW! My mother keeps asking when I am coming to spend some time with them but I really don't know what to tell her. So much to do... Yes, I will make time -- family is very important to me. No matter what, I will spend Christmas with Mom and Dad.

Go have some fun!

I thought you might enjoy taking How Well Do You Know the Nativity Story? Quiz.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Almost done!

  • Took my last final this afternoon -- we had three hours for 17 questions and it did take that long. I think I did fine. If I made 90 or above, I will have an A. Keeping my fingers crossed... Kinda too late, right? ;)
  • Will spend a couple of hours tonight updating and posting final grades for two classes I am teaching as TA.
  • Have a program luncheon tomorrow -- made egg "mushrooms." Curious? Very easy but looks cute! Cut off tips of hard-boiled eggs to make mushroom caps; carefully scoop out the yolk; stuff eggs with anything you like -- I used crab salad this time; place stuffed eggs on a platter; make very strong tea; place "caps" into the mixture for 15-20 -- they will turn brown and look like real caps; place caps on stuffed eggs; decorate with any greens to make grass (I usually use parsley, dill, or curly lettuce). I will post a photo later.
  • Still a long list of other things to do but getting there, slowly...
  • Going to New York again in January! ;) Wish I could go every week but it's not very practical, is it? Have to be patient...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

On living in a small town...

Living in Tiny Town is really annoying sometimes. Like running to the store for some groceries in order to take care of unexpected guests and meeting four of your students, all wanting to ask questions and wish happy holidays? I was glad to see them but really didn't have time to socialize...

Friday, December 08, 2006

On grading...

  • Graded final projects/exams until 2:00 a.m.
  • Averaged and posted grades this morning
  • Still need to finish grades for two sections in which I am a TA
  • Still need to study for one final (stats, what else?!) and finish one final project
  • Still need to finish writing a paper -- I have set a record on pushing the deadline, I think.
  • But for now I am off to the gym, to get a nice workout I have been needing for a long time now.
  • Then I need to clean my house (it's a mess!) and do laundry.
  • Yeah, another busy day ahead...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yes, we do live in a crazy world...

Mom calls police when her son opens a Christmas gift too early; the boy is charged with petty larceny. Apparently, this child has already committed a series of crimes and his mother cannot discipline him. How sad...


I was attacked by a work monster as soon as I walked into my office this morning. Spending a weekend away is expensive in terms of work accumulated in your absence. Sighing... Would do it again in a heartbeat, though; so much fun...

Anyway, I have a million things to do, all competing for my attention at once:
  • Finish five projects (yes, five)
  • Take two finals
  • Grade finals (five classes)
  • Average grades
  • Finish a long-suffering paper -- ooooh, should have finished it a long time ago.

Oh, two more weeks of hard labor and then a brief respite... preparing for the next semester, of course.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My last day in NYC...

I will treasure this adventure as long as I live, I think. I have ran through a gamut of emotions and my head is spinning. One more day of fun -- cool museum, some shopping, and then an evening service at Times Square church.

The weather won't cooperate...

My flight to New York City was a nightmare on Friday -- originally scheduled to depart at 5:45 p.m., it did not leave Capital City until almost 9:00 p.m. because all NYC airport operations were grounded due to inclement weather. When we finally got to NYC, the wind was too strong and the pilot had to abort a landing and try again. Did I scare you yet? I can tell you that I was plenty scared and I am not afraid of flying. The pilot was awesome, though -- when he touched down the second time, it was a very, very smooth landing. Way to go, Captain!

And so what are weather forecasters saying now??? Um, 50% of snow showers tonight and early tomorrow morning. My flight is scheduled to depart at 6:00 a.m. Fortunately, the thermometer won't dip too low -- 37 F so maybe it will be OK.

How could I resist?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I do feel like Alice...

I feel like I stepped into a magic kingdom... that's why I am wide awake at 2:00 a.m. Need to get some sleep, though -- long day of wandering around NYC tomorrow... I am soooooooooooooo happy... Yes, I am crazy... :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Just random thoughts...

  • Inbox offered an email from a student who registered for my online course section, changed her mind, and now trying to get in; alas, the section is closed and there is a long waiting list. So what does she do? Um, she goes to Admissions and gets a counselor to email my dept head to get a permission. Ha ha -- waste of time; I am very fortunate -- our dept head trusts our judgement and would never override the closed section w/out a permission from a course instructor. The nerve of that student, though!!!
  • Our bookstore manager always sends emails in size, um, 20, at least!!! Bold! Usually red or neon green! Why???
  • Anyway, my flight is boarding so have a good day! :)

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