Sunday, August 30, 2009

Asian Chicken Salad

(If you enlarge the photo, you can see I went a bit crazy with the sesame seeds. I LOVE sesame seeds.)

3-4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
3-4 cups shredded cabbage
1 can water chestnuts, julienne
1 cup carrots, julienne
6-8 green onions, finely chopped so they aren't intrusive
1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
2-3 chicken breasts marinated in teriyaki sauce or sweet Thai chili sauce, then bbq'd or stove cooked then cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds and more for garnish
1/4 slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
1 package Ramen noodles crushed and toasted (optional)
1 cup crunchy chow mien noodles (optional)

4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
(You might want to double the dressing - we did and it was a bit much, but after sitting, it was perfect).

Toss together all vegetables after prepared as stated. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Toss.

I really liked this salad. The husband thought it was missing something in the dressing. I have tried many Asian Chicken Salad recipes, and this one is light and by far my favorite. I did not add the Ramen noodles or slivered almonds this time, but they would go great in the salad, especially if you are serving this to company. Both the husband and I added the crunchy chow mien noodles and thought that was enough. Of course, with my love for all things sesame, I added more sesame seeds on the top of the salad. Oh yum!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Confession #4

There are a lot of days where I have a hard time mustering up the motivation to workout. On those days I get up, brush my teeth, change into some clean workout clothes, then crawl back into bed to try to fall back to sleep. Once I wake up again I stay in those workout clothes until I actually get off my butt to workout. Rarely do I skip a workout when I do this.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Start of the Semester

Monday marks the first day of the semester at San Jose State University. I have just about finished uploading all of the assignments, forms, chapter outlines, powerpoint slides, examples, instruction sheets and countless other things. I have a few things left to do, but as it stands right now, the students will get everything they need to start the semester. Two things I have left to do:

1). Revise my syllabus and upload it again for the millionth time.

Commentary: Every time I get my syllabus completed, I get some additional information that I need to add, change or revise. Last night I received an email letting me know that my office assignment has switched again, for the second time in a few weeks. This is exciting because I am now in a different hallway - a hallway I have named "The Big Kids Hallway". I know the department probably did not intend for it to be like this (or maybe they did, I have no idea), but on one side of the building all the folks who have PhD's have offices, and on the opposite side of the building, those who are TA's and have MA degrees (but not PhD's) are on the other side. There is some crossover, but not too much. Well, my office assignment has been moved to the "Big Kids Hallway". I'm excited to have an office with a window instead of sharing a closet (no exaggeration there - I was told my old office used to be a storage room for the department) with two or three other people. Of course this is a bit anticlimactic because I am only on campus a couple times a month. My 'office hours' are held online because of the nature of my classes, and I have phone conversations with my students A LOT!!! I also meet individually with my students when I'm on campus, but in between meetings, I have phone conversations with them....did I mention that I have A LOT of phone conversations with them? Yeah, I'm gonna need to watch those cell phone minutes this semester since I use my personal cell phone. Last semester I had conversations that lasted an hour or longer on a few occasions.

2). Write a new project.

Commentary: I have added an entirely new project to one of my classes. This is fitting because it went from a 3 unit class to a 4 unit class. I am very excited about the project, and hopefully my students will enjoy it too, as it's a semester long project that they can work on anytime they want to. At the end of the semester they will give it to 3 other classmates to grade, then I will compile the grades, add my comments and give them a final grade. It should be a good time.

I'd better get started on some of this stuff, my students should be able to access the class on Thursday or Friday of this week. Exciting!!! I can't wait to 'meet' my students this semester.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Baby Shower

Yesterday I made my way down to the Bay Area for a baby shower. One of my good friends is having a baby in Oct/Nov. this year. We gathered to honor the new baby Lee. Here are just a few pictures I took at her shower yesterday. Of course these are all posed pics we took before the shower began.

I can't get past my love for black and white and sepia colored pictures, so that's what I've posted here. I cropped them and adjusted the brightness a bit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another glimps into Alaska

The day we were at Hubbard Glacier, it was the coldest cold I have ever felt.....and I've been caught in freezing sleet/snow, while wet, without a jacket. I bundled myself under small wool blankets that were available on the deck. The only catch was, while taking pictures of the glacier, you couldn't bundle up. I had on many layers of clothes as well, but it didn't help.

Here's me bundled up on deck:
And here's a pic of the glacier. It's a very small part of the glacier, but I love the lines you can see in the ice:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bargain Shopping

Today I went to Office Max because I had a coupon. Well, this is what I came out with.....

All for $.42 cents. Gotta love bargain shopping!!!

I'll admit that I rarely use college ruled filler paper, but sometimes I do, and for $.10 cents, you can't go wrong. Plus, if I don't use it I can just give it away! The folders were $.01 each, and with a coupon, so were the sharpie markers.

I love finding good deals.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Today I went to my favorite grocery store, Trader Joe's. After the clerk rang up my order and my total came up on the register, she rang the bell a number of times. Apparently when your total rings up to a dollar amount with no cents, you get to play Plinko for free reusable grocery bags. So I played Plinko. I won a grocery bag. Then, they bring you over to another area to shoot a hoop. If you get the mini basketball in the hoop you get a second bag.

The Plinko guy, as I have so affectionately named him, asked me if I would be able to make the shot. I looked at it and said, "I have no idea". Well, I threw the basketball, and swish! A perfect basket.

Side Note: I should probably put this into the "Confessions" folder, but I have an uncanny ability to catch and throw things with a decent amount of accuracy. I have perfect aim most of the time and can catch things without really even looking at them. I would have been a whiz at basketball in high school.

So my shopping trip ended up with some much needed Quinoa, some veggies, two new reusable bags for free, and a display of the only superpower I will ever know - the ability to throw and catch things with amazing accuracy.

Figuring it out

For the past few weeks I have been throwing around ideas for one of my classes. At one of the places I teach classes, the class I had been teaching as moved from a 3 unit class to a 4 unit class. This means that I have to assign an additional 3 or so hours of work per week for the students to make up for the additional unit.

In my attempt to make sure my classes fulfill and exceed the requirements of the University, I have had an interesting time trying to come up with additional work that would be useful to the students. You see, I do not have PhD, therefore feel that I have less wiggle room to work with - meaning, my creative license is partially revoked on a consistent basis. Of course this may be my perception of things, but I'd rather stay in the kiddie pool where it's safe rather than venture out for fear of sinking.

I like things safe, especially when it comes to my job. This means that I ask lots of questions, run things by tenured track professors, etc....

Back to my point - I think I have finally figured out what to do for the additional unit. It's going to take a bit of time, and the students will be greatly involved in each other, even to the point of grading each other's work. They will have to venture out of their safe zone and get out into society to have 'real world' experiences, all while applying the concepts they are learning about.

I am excited about the new project, or the 'additional unit' if you will. But I am always a little apprehensive when it comes to new projects. There are always bugs to workout, possibly giving the students the idea that I have no idea what I'm doing, even if I DID in fact try to think through these types of situations.

The coming semester should be fun - busy, but fun.

I'm still thankful that I have a job, which may not be the case as of Jan. 2010. (Both college's have mentioned more budget cuts). *sigh*

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Confession #3

I did not go to my prom. I hated high school, H - A - T - E - D high school. Even now I think high school should contain your first two years of college, and is mostly a waste of time for those that 'get it'.

By the time my senior year had come around I was working two jobs, maybe three, I can't remember, and I was only in school 4 hours a day. I had mentally checked out from everything high school related.

I haven't looked back since. I would not repeat high school if someone paid me.....lots of money. No way! The last couple of years were truly a waste of time.

Because I hated high school so much, I chose not to attend my prom.

Enough said.