Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yummy Pumpkin Pi

Pictured here are a pumpkin pi I made in the math education club I belong to and an elaborate Cheez-it holding bag Mom made; these have been the extent of our seasonal decorations. It's been a robust autumn in the Showkim household. Joo has not merely "entered" her first full-time quarter of culinary arts at Hocking . . . she has SPRINTED into it full speed. I thought I was a reasonably dedicated student, but she has attended additional sections of many classes and spent countless hours in the lab perfecting precise French-named cuts. Meanwhile, I have jumped into the wrestling ring with my next three years a bit earlier than anticipated - I was intending to spend Winter break deliberating over whether to seek a job or apply for a PhD program, but a critical funding deadline is coming up in late November. In the (very extensive) process of applying for that funding, I had to spend a lot of time working on potential research material and decided I really did enjoy it for the most part.

Despite our busy loads, we have gotten out on a few walks now and then to savor the rich colors of our forested surroundings.

We are definitely both gungho on the Athens area after living here for almost a year and a half now. Joo has really started to plant roots socially with an increased involvement in the local Korean church. On Sunday afternoons, she teaches the 4-yr-old kids Korean writing, speaking, reading, and listening (the kids are ethnically Korean but English is their first language and so she's trying to help them preserve their culture). I've gone on a couple occasions because it's nice to have someone about on my speaking level of Korean :)

I've had a couple conferences this Fall to present the research I was working on over the summer. Writing academic articles, delivering academic presentations... I've done so much speaking and writing over the years but it was quite different. Probably due to a higher level of expected professionalism. In any case, I've had to make some adjustments to the style I've developed over the years, but it's starting to come a little more easily now. I just hope it doesn't make my blogs more boring to read! On one of the conferences, we stayed at Cammy Strickler's house - it was a shame we missed her, but we still had a lovely night's sleep in Columbus...

We also had a chance to meet up with Dave Whitsett- a close companion, but one whom I've only seen once or twice in the past five years. Dave took us down some picturesque Columbus streets that I had never known existed as we tried to catch falling leaves using only our left hand (try it; it's harder than you might think). Dave is potentially gearing up for teaching English over in Korea which gave us plenty of fodder for discussion (as if we didn't have enough built up from five years of not seeing each other).

Since we haven't done a lot of exciting activity this fall, I figured it would be best to capture a bit of my daily scenery here in the blog so I snapped some pictures one afternoon on my 25-minute walk home from school. It's taken me some trial-and-error, but I've finally found a route that's almost entirely aesthetically pleasing and thought-inspiring :)

And then, waiting for me at home (well actually I have to wait at home a bit now that Joo gets home later than me) is whatever fabulous stuff Joo's been cooking up that day. The foods are getting increasingly extravagant, starting with simple whole wheat bread in her first week to whatever this is called (some French name)...

And check out this soup- isn't this cool?

Joo's chefs at Hocking have been great. The one pictured below is married to a woman who is half-Korean and so he loves making kim-chi and other cultural jokes with Joo.

Sorry for the short, blunt descriptions this time around; I just hadn't uploaded for awhile and at least wanted to get some pictures up! More once break rolls around in a couple weeks...