Jul. 31st, 2011

katernater: (actor • (fame))
I'm in such a good mood today. I feel like I made good progress on my NaNo project last night and I woke up this morning (at 11:15, which is really late for me) feeling really good. I spent some time by the pool this afternoon, watched an episode of Luther and then went out to pick up a couple of pies for my boss's birthday. While I was out I also got some Chinese food from this little place everyone at work's been recommending. For $8 I got, like, ten pounds of food. That's insane. And it was good, too. I don't eat out very often these days and when I do I'm pretty much looking for economy: how much is it, and how much of it can I keep for lunch tomorrow? I ate until I was stuffed and put the rest in the fridge. I didn't even touch the hot and sour soup I ordered. Maybe I'll go back for a snack later on.

I'm going to hang around here until it gets a little cooler outside, then I'll go out for a walk. I usually run in the mornings on Saturdays and Sundays, but I missed my window this morning because I slept in. I don't feel much like running with a stomach full of sesame chicken, either, so the walk will be nice. Tomorrow we're having a half-day workshop at the office, which should be interesting. It's mostly for the new teachers (we've hired on two new ones who are set to start this next term) and, since I still consider myself something of a newbie, it'll be good for me, too. After the workshop I'll run back to the apartment to pick up my stuff so I can go back to Fort Wayne for a few days. Wednesday is the Muse concert, so I'll drive down to Indianapolis sometime that afternoon, rendezvous with my brother and his girlfriend, and get my symphonic rock on. The new Preston-Child book comes out on Tuesday, too! Gah. This week is going to be amazing.

On Friday night, I was invited to a dinner and reception for the Rose-Hulman students. This last Thursday was my last day with them. Overall, the experience was very positive. There were a few things that I would have changed -- the lines of communication definitely needed to be clearer, and I would have liked more time to spend with them each week -- but I am very satisfied with the project. I hope that I will be able to revisit Rose-Hulman next year, with a new batch of students. Anyway, on Friday all of the Korean students got together at the coordinating professor's house and made an authentic Korean meal for everyone. I have never seen so much food, my god. The dining room table was jammed with plates, bowls and piles of steamed white rice. I had kim chi that just about took the roof of my mouth off. But it was so good. And it just kept coming: as soon as one dish was depleted, some mindful student swooped in with a fresh helping. And they really took care of me: they saw that I was being a bit indecisive about what to put on my plate and took it upon themselves to intervene, piling my plate with a bit of everything on the table. The professor whose house we were occupying is originally from Manchester, England, and he told us about growing up overseas (especially his time in Uganda, where he constantly had to look over his shoulder to avoid Idi Amin and his men) and the things he's learned in his travels. It was really neat to listen to him. I soak that kind of thing up like a sponge. A little while later the Koreans were doing shots of red wine around the dining room table. They would fill their red plastic cups, clink them together while saying something in Korean, and neck them back like champions. Everyone was feeling pretty loose at this point and the house was full of that rare kind of camaraderie that makes you feel good about being a part of something much bigger than yourself. A couple of Koreans slung their arms around my shoulder and guided me to the tableside, putting a red cup in my hand. Another student sloshed an inch and a half of wine into my cup and we all raised our drinks. "This drink is for Ms. Katherine. We love you, Ms. Katherine!" they said, while I blushed like a maniac. It turned out to be a terrific evening. I left feeling very happy. I am grateful that I am in a place -- and in a time in my life -- where I can experience nights like that. Taking this job has changed my life in so many good ways. I could not imagine being anywhere else right now.

All right. Time for that walk. Then I'm coming back, putting in some Castle and sitting down with a little light reading.


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