DC fooood!

Love DC. Need to live there. I wouldn’t gain any weight from all the good food because a DC block is roughly the equivalent of three normal blocks.  So, yeah, when someone tells you “Oh, it’s only 3 blocks away”- laugh in their faces.

Here’s the amazing food I had:

Old Ebbitt Grill: Apparently this is the hot spot for the big wigs. Presidents have eaten here. It’s kind of a big deal. The burger is really good, and the scotch selection looked nice. It was only lunch, so I didn’t indulge. Even I cannot drink scotch that early in the day.

Oyamel: So, they make a margarita with salt air. And this is like the greatest idea anybody ever had since they came up with margaritas.

Zaytinya: Turkish/Greek/Lebanese food. Best hummus ever. Best falafel ever. Best everything ever.

Baked & Wired: Cupcake place in Georgetown.  Georgetown is the greatest place.  (Sidenote: lots of superlatives in this post) These cupcakes are the bomb dot com. Get Karen’s Birthday cupcake. So good.

Filomena’s: Oh. my. god. The rapture may have actually happened because I am sure this pasta is what you eat in heaven all the time. And you never get full and you never gain weight.

Conferences! (mainly local)

This is mainly a post for me, so I won’t forget where these websites are.  This whole blog is just mainly for me too, but whatever.

Virginia TESOL

Southeast TESOL (they have a conference coming up in Richmond October 13-15. Free place to stay for me, so win.)

Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) (they have a conference in December, and it’s not too late to submit a proposal!)

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

TESOL- taking the plunge

No offense to all the TESOL people out there, but I was a little disappointed by this year’s conference, mainly because there were so many useless presentations.  I found some wonderful sessions, and I learned a lot, but then I sat through sessions that were laughable at best.  Since this is how I often see my research, I thought, well, I should go to TESOL. I’m thinking I’ll do something tech-related, and I’ve been trying to find ways to use both Google and Jing in the classroom.  I won’t be able to try any of this until I start my new job, but TESOL 2012 is several months away, so I’ll be making a guess about what I’ll do until then. Here’s hoping they like it.  And if they don’t, they’ll have to explain to me how Mr. “University reading is hard, and our students aren’t prepared, but I have no solutions” got accepted, but I didn’t.

I made cookies!

And I’m sharing the recipe, along with my tweaks:

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
Cream butter and sugars together.

2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
Add eggs and vanilla to butter/sugar mixture.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients together and then add to wet.

2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (your taste)
Add oats and chips to dough.

Scoop in heaping teaspoonsful and bake at 350F for 12 minutes.

They’re called Cowboy Cookies.  I don’t know why.  Here’s what I changed: I added a little Vietnamese cinnamon, and I cut back just slightly on the sugar.  (Maybe about 3/4 cup for each).  This makes a ton of cookies.  That is the most exact number you’re getting because I’m not going to count how many cookies I have.

Moodle, Google, and other weird words

My new ESL program, from what I’ve been told, doesn’t have Blackboard, or any similar program.  Keeping my class online is really important to me, so I’m scoping out my options.  I’ve used Moodle before for online classes, and it’s worked okay.  I’ve had my classes use various Google apps for class projects, and I love how much you can do with a simple Google account.  But is there anything else I should try?  What do you use in your classroom that works?

Richmond: foodie paradise :)

I hope Norfolk has such good food.  Here are some of the places I’ve eaten at so far…

Q Barbeque: um, yeah, it’s pretty amazing. And the sign has a pig snout that is adorable.

Kitchen 64: mmm… pancakes. And mimosa pitchers. Yes, a whole pitcher of morning alcohol.  Ashley was happy.

Frank’s West Ristorante Italiano: New York-style pizza in Virginia.  Delicious.

Norfolk, you have a lot to live up to.

Leaving Kansas

I made it to Virginia. I no longer live in Kansas. Excuse me while I do a little dance, for I am ridiculously excited to be back on the East Coast.

The last few weeks in Kansas were unfortunately not very happy.  Work craziness (to put it mildly) was worse than it has ever been.  Some of my dearest friends lost their jobs for absolutely no reason.  I found myself working for people who do not care in the least about students or teachers, yet they call themselves educators.

So, here’s what I’ve learned:

  1. As an educator, I will always, always, always put the needs of my students above everything else.  When I make plans or changes, my first thought will always be, “How will this affect my students?”
  2. I will always value the input of other teachers and administrators, even if I disagree with them.  I learned from my job the importance of thoughtfully considering others’ points of view.  I am not always right, and I will be better at my job if I realize that.
  3. I will trust that people are not stupid (or at least most people are not stupid) and that good work is noticed and ultimately rewarded.  At times, my job honestly brought me to the point of losing faith in people.  This week, I have been reminded that good, intelligent people are everywhere, even if you have to sort through a few crazies to find them.

I am looking forward to my new job.  I am looking forward to the new people I will meet, and the new experiences I will have.  Learning new things is what makes life so exciting, so here’s to the next adventure!