21 November 2011

Work Is A Dish Best Served Fast

Wow, Thanksgiving week got here fast!  I guess that's what happens when the first three weeks of the month are spent away from the familiar.  And while it was a long three weeks, with enjoyable diversions and manifest chances to catch up with friends and family, the time seems to have been compressed to a pinpoint now that it is all over.  But I have a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday to look forward to – my first one, after missing last year's due to a brief brush with the dengue.  Furthermore, I'll be walking with a dish that my girlfriend is preparing: a Jewish noodle casserole called Kugel.  Since somebody already offered to bring green bean casserole, and yet I was looking forward to making that myself, I volunteered to prepare it for my girlfriend's Thanksgiving get-together, in exchange for her T-giving dish.  So I'm excited to try it for myself for the first time!

Life at the NSTP continues, in spite of my absence, and new IT issues at the NSTP seem to have cropped up (quite literally) overnight: tighter "parental controls" need to be placed on a few of the desktop computers in the newly expanded computer lab, while Ms. Cuffy's office desktop seems to have become infected with a particularly hostile virus, apparently rewriting many Windows system files and rendering it essentially unusable.  I'm crossing my fingers that the Ministry of Education's IT Specialist remembers to bring a corporate copy of Windows with him, in the event we need to reformat the disk.  I have also been tasked with designing and publishing the NSTP's corporate Facebook page.  An opportunity to familiarize myself with the website controls, and especially develop some much-needed marketing experience.  So I'm right back to being busy here at National Skills.

Even as I write this, I am enjoying listening to the hospitality class start a new unit in the adjacent classroom.  They are discussing general cooking knowledge, the instructor deftly tugging at the trainees' previous experiences and wrapping them around new pillars of technique to be employed in the kitchen: how long does shrimp cook? what is christophene and when do you use it? what is salt fish, and what is the process for preparing it? what does 'au gratin' mean? what is linguine? what are three common uses of breadfruit?  Some of these I know the answer to, and some I am learning on the fly, no different from any of the 15-20 year olds sitting in the classroom right now.  It is interesting, and I sincerely hope that when I teach my two hour class on Wednesdays that I engage the students in the same way.  The most difficult part, perhaps, might be divining the individual students' previous experiences with computers, which can constitute a wide spectrum in even a small class.  But I have faith that the more time we spend in class, the more comfortable the students will be with me and the more willing they will be to share their own experiences that others can learn from.

EDIT: Ha ha, how out of touch do I have to be for posts without the funnyquote at the top to look weird?

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