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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Working, working, working...

Had to be on campus, working, for the last two Saturdays. We are holding new student orientation, one on our main campus (last week) and the other on our satellite campus (today). It was somewhat fun, actually. I talked to many prospective students and their parents, promoted our new courses, and chatted with other instructors, many of whom I don't get to see often. We are not required to attend these events but they look very nice on the annual evaluation and I do like to meet my future students because, in many cases, it establishes a certain level of respect and shows that I care. Many of these students are coming back on Monday so they can register for classes so my time hasn't being wasted.

However, that means that I will have another very busy week, especially since one faculty member in our program will be gone all week, attending a conference. There are only three of us and, since the third person is fairly new, I will be in charge of registration; would rather not have that responsibility and work load but can't do anything about it.

On a bright side, it's nice and cool today, so I can work outside. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Work Hours

Why do students usually assume faculty members are available all day long? Same students, it seems, send emails at midnight and expect a quick answer. Um, yes -- many of us (well, speaking for myself at least) work whenever we have time.

Still, I have heard negative comments in the past about how great it is to have "flexible" hours. Hey, they are not always flexible and we often work long, long hours when our students don't even realize we do. I love my job but sometimes I am actually envious of people who work 8:00 to 5:00, with a scheduled lunch break, and go home w/out worrying about work left behind.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Ah, so tired...

I don't know why but I am so, so tired... Tons of stuff to do, several deadlines -- but I don't have any energy left, it seems. What is it? Pollen, maybe? Insane schedule finally catching up with me? Probably a combination of both plus several other things thrown into a mixture.

I have a diagnosis: cranks. Thanks, Dr. Seeking Solace!:)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Broccoli, Grape, & Bacon Salad

It's so hot outside today so I wanted to serve something light for lunch.

  • broccoli, 2 heads (1 bunch)
  • 1-2 cups grapes
  • 1 pkg (12 oz) precooked bacon
  • nuts, chopped (walnuts or pecans), to taste
  • Mayo or yogurt, to taste
Cut broccoli and grapes into bite-size pieces (I used electric slicer). Chop bacon slices and microwave for 30 seconds for extra crispness. Mix broccoli, grapes, nuts, and bacon. Toss with mayo or yogurt. Chill.
I served this salad with fresh croissant sandwiches (hummus, turkey breast, cheese, tomato, and lettuce).
Served leftovers the next day and this salad was still pretty good.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Something weird just happened...

I received an email with a time stamp of Friday, 3/23, 9:27 a.m. but it's only 8:50 a.m.? Does anybody have an explanation?

What a beautiful day!

It's sunny and cool outside. Azaleas are blooming all over our campus. What a glorious sight! And here I am, cooped in my office... On a brighter side, I do have a large window now so I can least enjoy the partial view of azalea bushes and, um, parking lot.

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody! :)

I don't mind phone calls but...

common sense is greatly appreciated. Have one student in my Thursday night class who regularly calls a couple hours before class to ask questions about class assignments, grades, etc. Since I don't have office hours before this class, I can't answer those questions until after class anyway and end up talking to this student in class. So what's the big deal? We are more than halfway through the course and s/he is still doing that, even though I asked this person to wait. I guess s/he just likes leaving messages? Or annoying me?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Borsch" Recipe

Mom and Dad are visiting this week and Mom is cooking. Yay! :)

I am sure most of you heard of borsch (or borscht), usually described as beet soup. Unfortunately, many people are turned off by that description. However, borsch is a very tasty vegetable soup and beets are hardly noticeable.

  • Meat (Mom usually buys turkey necks and claims they make the best broth)
  • 3-4 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 small jar of pickled beets, finely chopped
  • 5-6 potatoes
  • 1 sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small head of white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large can of tomato sauce
  • 2 small hot peppers, pickled in vinegar
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
Fill large soup pot with water. Boil meat until almost done. Add carrots and 1/2 of chopped onion, bring broth to the boil. Add beets, reduce flame, and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until beets are lighter in color. Warning -- be sure to add beets to the boiling broth; otherwise, they will turn dark (or so says Mom).
Add potatoes, cabbage, sweet pepper, and 1 tbsp of salt. Increase flame to bring broth to the boil and reduce flame again. Cook until potatoes are done.
Meanwhile, saute 1/2 remaining onion in olive oil. Add tomato sauce. Reduce flame and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add onion/tomato sauce mixture, hot peppers, and parsley to the pot. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Simmer for additional 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and crusty bread.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Class Attendance

OK, maybe I am mean but I do require regular class attendance and that classic line, did I miss anything last week," still irritates me after years of teaching. Yesterday, a student approached me before class and asked if s/he could leave early because of personal travel plans. The question? "Are we doing anything important today?" Well, yeah, of course. S/he left after the break, w/out telling me anything. Do you think that person will get full credit? Of course, not. My students are adults so I guess they are entitled to their decisions and consequences of those decisions.

Ah, sound so negative this morning. Very, very tired... So much to do...

However, we are more than halfway through semester and I look forward to the future, hoping for better things to come.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

March 15?! Yikes!

This semester, I just can't get things together. Taking only three classes, as compared to five last year. Attended only one conference so far. Courses I am taking are not that difficult, really. So why am I so far behind??? Just can't concentrate... too many things going on...

Yesterday, spent several hours trying to draft a research paper; worked as fast as I could, trying to meet the deadline. Alas, was able to write only two pages, with a lot of blank spaces. Today, though, I think I know exactly how to fix that paper... have some good ideas, I hope...

So we are halfway through this semester... I have mixed feelings about that. I do want this semester to be over, for more than one reason. Yet, there are so many things to do before it's over -- extra time would be nice.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spring Break -- nice but so short...

Had lots of fun! :) So far behind it's unreal. Who cares? ;)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ah, my feet...

are hurting after carrying me all over the city I am visiting today and tomorrow. So I am looking forward to those two activities pictured above! ;)

Monday, March 05, 2007


To celebrate the first day of spring break, I got a relaxing facial today -- just a treat to myself. To my surpise, several girls at the beauty salon wished me a "good time tonight." Um, do we get pampered just for guys? What's wrong with doing nice things for ourselves?

Don't get me wrong -- looking nice for a special person in my life is very important to me. Still, the assumption that I am getting ready for a date is rather unsettling since they have no idea who I really am, having met me only a couple of times.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Aaaah, feeling better...

For the past several weeks, I kept going like that crazy Energizer bunny, packing in both personal and professional things! This morning, I allowed myself to sleep until 8:00 a.m. and then enjoyed homemade waffles and Godiva coffee. Yum! ;) Now, back to work -- missed one deadline last night but it's not critical and I can tackle that item later today. Now, I have to get ready for a meeting. I actually look forward to this meeting -- we are switching to a new system and I am curious as to its improvements.

The worst part of this insane race is inability to schedule time for exercise. I lost about 30 lbs over the past several months and it feels so, so good. I am not quite back to my normal size (6) but getting close and there is no way I will ever go back to what I had been back in September of last year; no way! So, for now, I do my best to exercise as frequently as I can. The last trip overseas was rough -- no time and no facilities. However, I am back to my routine five-mile walk every night and my body thanks for me for this effort; my muscles feel so much more relaxed, even after a long day of running around, being both a full-time doctoral student and college instructor.

How about you? Anybody stuck to their resolution and lost some weight? ;) If so, how do you stay on track?

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