poco a poco

There's good news and bad news.

Good: I got a raise and a promotion! My new position, as of the first of July, is Academic Support Coordinator (yes, it sounds slightly inflated). I am really excited to have more opportunity to help students succeed in college. Another benefit is that my new responsibilities are slightly more in line with my MPA degree. I also get my own office: no window, but my very own space nonetheless.

ESL students receiving awards
at the Adult Learning Center, April 2009

Bad: I don't teach English anymore. For the past two years, teaching my adult ESL students has been an indescribable experience. Many of them are so eager to learn that they attend class four nights a week so that they can expedite their language acquisition and have a better chance to provide for their families. I have been overwhelmed, at times, with the idea that I was their primary source of knowledge about the English-speaking world. In my anxiety, and perhaps because of it, teaching and interacting with my wonderful students has given me a fresh take on community, love, culture, communication, determination, and the meaning of acheivement. If you want to teach ESL, there is a place in your community to do so (generally volunteer positions - every community has a need); I highly recommend the experience.


meet your meat

I just finished listening to the audio book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. I must say, it was slightly more than I bargained for, but I have had another epiphany about making choices. Being part of a society or culture can be a means of simplifying our options and decision-making processes. As it happens, however, many of the best possible options have been removed from our collective schema (removal in this case powered by the food industry and certain farm subsidies). One of my self-proclaimed missions in life is to take back my options so that I can make well-informed choices. While not everyone need be a vegetarian, I think it's worth taking time to evaluate what we put in our bodies and where it comes from in order to understand its impact and take back our choices from the predominating food culture.

Our decision to quit eating CAFO meat has been baffling to some. Well, I guess the reasoning is based on the idea that where much is given, much is required. I have been given much. In the last two years, I have learned a ton about food cultures, nutrition, farming systems, sustainability, and the food industry. I have a garden behind my house, a farmer's market within walking distance, and some means by which to obtain local, vitamin-rich foods that are sustainably-grown. Because I have all of these assets, I feel I should use them well.

On the less philosophical side of things, I have enjoyed being forced to be creative with my cooking. I have learned to bake delicious fish, make pesto from home-grown ingredients, create my own dressings and sauces, produce two kinds of cheese, and rock my bread machine. I have never enjoyed preparing and eating food so much. Next, I will conquer yeast breads minus the machinery.
So, if your in the mood for a culinary concoction, drop on by and have a bite of fresh-tomato and arugula pasta or some warm bread with homemade strawberry jam (minus the high-fructose corn syrup, of course :-).


cupcake bonanza

Happy Memorial Day! We missed going to SLC to see family and help with the graveside cleanup, but the good news is that I'm feeling much better. On the whole, it's been a great weekend: finished homework, planted more vegetables in the garden, made and ate delicious Pad Thai, rode bikes with Clark, spent time with friends, enjoyed church, and slept-in three days in a row. I also made these crazy, delicious cupcakes. I saw the idea online and wanted to try it despite the lack of healthy ingredients. (I think whole wheat flour would have ruined the effect.) I wish some neices and nephews lived near us so they could marvel at my cute cupcakes and eat them up.


coming up

My edamame are poking their little heads through the dirt. Seed, compost, dirt, water, sunshine = healthy, delicious food. Doesn't that make you happy?! I can't wait to eat them up. I never knew it would be so much fun to grow my own food.


lone benefit of sinus infection

I really hate doing nothing, and I really, really hate being sick. So, this week has basically been a bust as far as I'm concerned. However, I did discover two fabulous movies during my tenure as a pathetic bed-ridden lump: The Visitor (which is not a thriller, though it sounds like it could be), and Arranged (as in marriage, not as in,"I'm going to re-arrange your face"). Watch them. Love them. Tell me what you think, if you want to.

If you like either of these movies, you may also like Lars and the Real Girl, which is fun in a bizarre kind of way.


robot parade

Clark is obsessed with robots. So, for his 27th birthday we watched an episode of Mystery Science Theater, danced to Robot Parade (They Might Be Giants), and ate this sweet, custom, made-from-scratch (by me) robot cake (red velvet with cream cheese frosting). What better way to commemorate entering one's late twenties?

happy birthday!
Clark: "Oh, cool; my robot is named 27."
Linds: "Actually, that number is how old you are now."


here it is

Okay, here it is. A blog . . . my blog.

I haven't seriously considered blogging before now because I don't always trust my self-editing skills (in the PR sense: content, not grammar). I really have no ability to be disingenuous; expressing what I think when I think it comes pretty naturally. This personality feature occasionally gets me into trouble, but I think is generally a blessing and not a curse. Anyway, consider yourself forewarned and know that consensus with my opinions is not a requirement for being my friend.

In the unlikely event that I run for or hold public office, please don't use anything written here against me :-)