Saturday, October 9, 2010

An Enjoyable Career... for Everyone!

Delicious!!!! May I make a recommendation to anyone whose spouse is searching for a new career and isn't quite sure which direction to go? Encourage them to explore culinary arts! Pictured above, we see Joo arriving home from her first day of cooking labs. Daniel is not pictured because, aside from holding the camera, he is stuffing his face full of yummy food!

Not to say it's been easy for Joo by any means. The program is quite rigorous and she's taking a full load. Aside from steadily and methodically improving her English for translation work, she really hasn't studied for about 10 years since she got her electronics degree. However, organized as always, she already has made a full set of printed out study cards and an efficient note-taking system.
Add that to her recent increase in involvement with the local Korean church and Joo has become quite a busy little girl...
Things have been busy for me also (although not quite as stressful as last year since I'm more comfortable with the dynamics of the master's program). To keep my options open, I've been taking a math-teaching methods course this quarter which means I go into a local high school and observe the teacher. The one I've been paired with, Stephen, is perfect for me because of his meticulous organization when writing on the board, proceeding through concepts, and setting up student folders. I tried so hard to emulate his style when I was teaching his classes that I may have went a bit overboard... the students spent a full five minutes discussing my "pretty" handwriting. When I had finally got them to settle down and taught the first part of my lesson, I asked if there were any questions. One boy raised his hand and asked, "Mr. Showalter, could you write the letter 'q' on the board? Because you didn't write any q's in your goal statements and I want to see what your q looks like."

So we've had a full schedule, but we've still managed to get out now and then like to the Farmer's market which is overflowing with fun stuff during harvest season... here's a picture of the "Stone Soup" where everyone brings their own produce and contributes to a collective pot of soup.

Now that the women at Joo's church know all about her culinary talents, she's been designated the official kim-chi chef and so she brings her kim-chi to all the meetings. In fact, they've even convinced her to do some of the more traditional cuisine now and then. Below is a dish full of cow tails (the little circles in the middle are the bones).

Metaphysically, my autumn ponderings have been placed on hold as I gear up for deeper explorations into the research world (presenting at a couple conferences on the rural place-based math research I did over the summer, starting on my thesis, and even attempting to pull together some ideas for a potential PhD dissertation to take a stab at landing a grant). This is fine with me since research encourages those mental struggles and so I'll have plenty of time to wallow through confusion and doubt in the future :)