I’ve been busy with life, but that is for another post…….. JJ and I decided that we were going to try and cook as much as possible out of my grandmother’s recipe book during the week of spring break. We started tonight off with one of our favorite dishes. We always ask Grammy for her pepper steak when we make the trip to Kentucky, and although we didn’t have time to make her cornbread, we both thought that it turned out great.
I hate waiting until the last minute to do my planning. Saying that, I am a very successful procrastinator, but I still like to plan my semester well in advance. I create deadlines for myself and although I often change these around, I sleep better knowing that I have a set of soft deadlines to meet. This semester will be a little bit different.
My degree does not require a thesis; the final requirement is a successful defensive of a professional portfolio. I have already started previewing the text that provides guidelines for the portfolio, and I have also already collected and organized many of the artifacts that I will use. The portfolio is due on May 1st, and I am not terribly worried about getting it completed since I only have one class this semester.
That class currently has me in the holding pattern. The class is classified as a “Practicum” and there are three different sections. There is one sectionof the class for those students who are currently teaching language classes. The second section is for those students who are currently teacher’s assistants, and the final section is for the students who are not currently teaching or assisting. I know that I will not be in the second section since teacher’s assistants are only used for Spanish and French classes. I do not know if I will be teaching in January. It really depends on the number of international students that register for English classes. I felt that the director of the institute was happy with my performance, and most of my students seemed eager to have me as their teacher again. I will visit the institute this week or next to remind the director that I am still interested in teaching, but really think that it will be dependent on the number of students that are enrolled. If I am not teaching this semester, I will have to take version 3 of the class, and I will need to observe a large number of other teacher’s classes so that I can complete my practicum. Obviously, I would rather get paid, have my own class, and complete the practicum at the same time, but I just have to wait and see if I am needed. At this point, I would be happy knowing which section I was going to have to take so that I could start planning my semester.
JJ’s biometrics appointment was scheduled for 1:00 pm at the Department of Homeland Security Office in New Orleans. We arrived about 15 minutes early and expected to wait for at least an hour. We were in and out in less than 15 minutes. Biometric appointments were handled by a dedicated team, and unlike some our previous dealings with immigration officials, they were quick and pleasant to deal with.
We left the office and headed to the French Quarter where we had lunch at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. I had the the ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ and thought it was great. We also enjoyed a couple of margaritas that were delicious. The quick meal was good, but overpriced.
Slightly over-priced, but delicious
We left Jimmy Buffett’s and headed to Jackson Square to hear the street musicians, but on the way we noticed that ESPN had set up their Game Day studio in the far corner of the square. They were filming, and we stopped to take in a couple of minutes of the action. Can anyone explain the screen that is behind the analysts in the below photograph? I am curious as to how it appears clear when shot from the front, but clearly mesh-like from behind, lighting maybe?
We left the ESPN sets and moved over to the cathedral where the street musicians are always playing. During my undergraduate years, I would come down to the Quarter and sit around for hours listening to these guys play. I am sure that these are not the same musicians that I listened to ten years ago, but they were just as good.
This guy got big tips.
We checked into our free hotel room (Thank you, Marriott Points), and rested up for a big night on the town which I will write about in a second post.
Zach got a hold of bag of oysters and brought them up to Hattiesburg, We ate them raw with homemade cocktail sauce.
This semester will be my busiest yet. I am still working with Athletics for at least 20 hours a week, and I am also teaching one class each day for the English Language Institute. On top of that, I am also working on my practicum and final portfolio. My work with Athletics will be interesting this term since I have almost doubled the number of athletes that I am mentoring. The guys that I am working with seem to be buying what I am selling, but the semester has just started. It will be interesting to see if they stay motivated once spring practice begins.
My ELI students are awesome and are always demanding more work. I am getting to test out many of the methods and activities that I have learned through my classes/research, and these students are making my life much easier since they are so willing to try anything to improve their English.
Since I graduate in May, I have also been getting ready for the job search, and I have been keeping up with ESL job openings. I have retooled my resume, and I have started compiling a list of institutes that I will contact. We will see how it goes. I have applied for a couple of positions, and now the wait begins. I will probably have a few more sleepless nights before I have secured a position.
Yes, we do have ice hockey in Mississippi (with real ice and everything). In fact, we have two teams that compete in the SPHL, a lower-level minor hockey league. Years ago, my friends and I would attend Mississippi Sea Wolves’ games in Biloxi, MS. At that time, the Sea Wolves were coached by Bruce Boudreau, who now coaches the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. The Mississippi Sea Wolves were part of the East Coast Hockey League, but the team was dissolved in 2009. In 2010, hockey came back to the coast with the formation of the Mississippi Surge.
JJ and I went to Biloxi on Sunday and were excited that we were going to be able to see an in-state match-up. The Riverkings from north Mississippi made their way to Biloxi to do battle with the Surge. We arrived about 15 minutes before they dropped the puck and were able to score excellent seats; we were right on the glass. There were probably only 400 spectators, but the atmosphere was still exciting. I have seen a number of games, but this was JJ’s first, and she got to see an excellent game with lots of action directly in front of us. The Surge led most of the game, but the Riverkings tied it up with less than two minutes to play. The overtime period was a special treat. The overtime period in SPHL games lasts for only 5 minutes, but each team plays with only three skaters and a goalie. Even though the Surge lost in the last minute of overtime, the game was great, and we both really enjoyed the fast pace of the three on three hockey.
Our tickets were each, but we could have had decent seats off the glass for around . It was not NHL caliber hockey, but the players really battled to the end. I was hoping that JJ would get to see a fight, but there were only a few skirmishes. I think this is the first game that I attended that did not have at least one fight. JJ did enjoy the game, and I just need to figure out how I can convince her that we need to travel to Nashville, Dallas, or St. Louis to see an NHL game. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will be able to see any of those teams play for a ticket.
For more information about schedules and tickets, check out the Surge’s homepage here.
My family and I have been cheering for the Saints for many years now. I don’t really remember the ‘Aints” era, but I do know that it is saying a lot when Saint’s fans are disappointed by a close loss in the second round of the playoffs versus disappointed with an entire season. I hate that they did not win today, but it really was a great game, and should a team really win when they have 5 turnovers? I think that my heart rate has finally returned to normal; I really thought thought that they had pulled it off with that touchdown by Jimmy Graham in the last two minutes, but Alex Smith and the 49er offensive was just too strong. I hope that during the off-season they can pick up a number of players to improve the defense. Here’s to next year, and at least that loss was from the 49ers and not the Falcons.
Just for the record, B.B. and I share the same hometown. He still makes it back to Indianola, MS once a year for a summer concert.
Riding a crest of enormous praise, this debut novel by an American man about a North Korean citizen is a worthy achievement, and one I couldn’t put down for two days straight. Despite twists of plot that in fiction often seem too coincidental, the reader’s sympathy and alignment to the protagonist is so rich and deeply felt that these happenstances feel believable, and are forgivable. The book Korean American Books, Korean American Readings, Korean American authors
Our schedules are very different this semester, but we have made the promise that we are going to try have home-cooked dinners together as much as possible. We started this week by cooking steak on our portable grill. I broke out some leftover soju, and we had a nice impromptu Korean meal.
Our favorite restaurant in Korea serves a side dish that consists of raw onions with a dark sauce poured over them. I would go to that particular restaurant just to eat the onions, and hate that I didn’t ask them how to make the sauce. We have been struggling to replicate this sauce ever since we got back to America. The main ingredient has to be soy sauce, but it also contains wasabi and other spices/oils. You can see our attempt in the photograph in the bottom left corner above, and although our attempt was not terrible, there was something missing, but I just don’t know what it was. Thankfully, everything else turned out great.
I visited the Lil’ Butcher Shop in Hattiesburg to see if they could cut some pork for us so that we could make samgyupsal. We usually buy our meat at the Asian market in town, but the samgyupsal that they stock is frozen and extremely thin. JJ and I both prefer a thicker cut, so I went to see the butcher to see if he could help. I really didn’t give him a good explanation of the thickness that I needed, and he gave us slices of pork belly that were too thick to cook Korean style. With a little cutting and trimming at home, we had the perfect pieces of pork to cook on our grill. The outer skin of the pork was left on and although it was chewy, it was quite tasty. I bought 4 pounds and paid less than half of what the Asian market charges. We will be going back to the Lil’ Butcher Shop, and I will be sure to check the cut a little bit better before leaving.