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That Time of Year, Again

Yup, it’s the time of year for a couple of things. First, Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends in the States and to all Americans wherever you happen to be. For me, it’s just another day, a regular working day, no less. I won’t be cooking up anything special; I’m having pork cutlets, mashed potatoes and some baked beans (cooked on the stove). I don’t have an oven, so roasting a turkey or chicken is out of the question; I content myself with memories of past Thanksgivings. I can smell the turkey roasting in the kitchen right now, and I remember the smell of the pumpkin pie being baked the evening before. Mmmmm, are you all enjoying the aromas, too? Getting ready to sit down to a nice feast, and watch a football game afterward? Maybe later playing some board games with the kids? Whatever you do, have a great day!

Let’s see, what am I thankful for? I guess I’m thankful for making it through another year. By that I mean my ??th birthday, coincidentally, falls on Thanksgiving this year (or vice-versa), as it does every 7 years or so. Whoopee! Party time! Break out the good Scotch and light the cake! Well, I was gonna light the candles, but I’m afraid of starting another out-of-control conflagration. (See here and here.) I had to quit adding candles about here and was afraid to light them up.

birthday cake candles

Also, taking all of the candles back out so that I could eat a thousand or so calories of goo just wasn’t worth it, so I threw the whole mess out. Happy Birthday, MontanaRon and Happy Thanksgiving to all. More later.

A Mini-vacation

Well, it’s that time of year when Korea celebrates its three-day Thanksgiving holiday, Chuseok. The date of the event is tied to the lunar calendar, so the specific date changes every year. This year it begins on Wednesday and runs through Friday. So, with the weekend immediately following, we’re lucky enough to get a break of five days. Unfortunately, we have to make up all the classes at a later date.

The weather forecast is predicting very nice weather for the rest of the week, so I’m looking forward to getting out and about without having to suffer the very high humidity we’ve endured since July. Looks like a good time for bicycle riding and/or hiking. More later.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family and friends in the USA and elsewhere. Wish I could be there. Don’t eat too much. 😉

No problem about that here–it’s just another ordinary school day. No turkey and stuffing, no pumpkin pie and no football games, but, no shells falling from the North either. I’m certainly thankful for that. More later.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family in and from the U.S. Unfortunately, I won’t be among you this year, but I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday.

It’s not so enjoyable for people living in various locations around the world. I’m sitting here watching CNN International’s non-stop coverage of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. There are some spectacular shots of the fire at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel, and the scene looks quite catastrophic.

I’m also keeping a close eye on the current unrest in Bangkok, Thailand, where protesters have shut down Suvarnabhumi Airport. I plan on taking a short vacation in December to that part of the world, but it looks like not everyone is happy in the Land of Smiles.

In other depressing news, the Korean won resumed its precipitous decline, breaking through the 1500 won/dollar psychological barrier a few days back. It has since strengthened a bit to 1470, but that is still a backbreaking rate. If it stays like this far into next year, I’ll be leaving the “Land of the Morning Calm” and heading for greener pastures. I’m already looking into positions in the Middle East, where the currency seems to be more stable.

I’ve just posted a bunch of Yeosu photos to the Photo Gallery, some of which I have posted on the blog and some of which are new. You can take a gander here.

Gotta go take my morning jog, but more later.

Griz

I forgot to mention that the Griz, despite their loss to the Bobcats, still made it into the 1-AA football playoffs and will host Cal Poly State this Saturday at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in Missoula. The Griz beat Cal-Poly earlier in the season, so they should have a decent chance to advance to the second round. My good friends at UM Catering will spend another in a long string of Thanksgiving Saturdays working the football game at the stadium Sky Boxes. Have fun, Jennifer and company!

Teaching, Conference, Holiday Season

More info on the CPR and my teaching duties. The official start date is Monday, the 28th, and I’ll be teaching, for the time being, 6 hours per week, the same 3 classes, since it was decided to have only one group of students, which now numbers 49. So, that seems like an easy schedule, but lesson planning, especially for such a large class, will take a lot of time. I’ll also be working on extracurricular activities, perhaps a drama or culture club. Mohammed and I had an introductory meeting with the students today–they are a very sharp, bright group of young men and women, between the ages of 20 and 28 (most about 24 or 25), many of whom are university graduates with degrees in linguistics. I’m very confident that they’ll keep me on my toes; chances are I will learn as much as they. I also got my office today. It’s definitely bare bones right now, so I’ll have to spruce it up.
It overlooks the basketball and tennis courts, so maybe I’ll buy a racket.

There is a very good chance that I’ll get an opportunity to go to Cairo in January for a week for a conference. Due to a goof up on my part, I missed out on going when the information was first given to me by the RELO (John Scacco). At the time, the only way to go with all expenses paid was to deliver a presentation at the conference. I failed to get a proposal in, so I thought I was out of luck. Now, I find out that the School for International Training (SIT) might fund a trip there for me because, in addition to the conference being held by the American University of Cairo (AUC), there will also be an English Language Fellowship (ELF) mid-year conference. Thus, Yours Truly (YT) might be scrambling among the Pyramids soon. First, though, I have to check this out further with John. More as this develops.

My cold has left, for the time being, so I’m out jogging again. Sheesh, my favorite spot is overrun with kids at the time I usually go huffing and puffing along. It’s a plaza of sorts, off the main roads, so during Ramadan it was pretty quiet. But, there are a few schools, middle and high school, nearby, so a lot of kids hang out there after classes now, rather than going home to break fast, walking, sitting and talking, playing music. It’s rather interesting and they don’t bother me, but I have this vision of stumbling over my own two feet and crashing to the ground in front of them.

I was rather startled while grocery shopping the other day at La Bel Vie. While browsing for something more high-tech in the way of roach traps (I think I’m getting them under control–hah!), the piped-in music started playing “O Come All Ye Faithful (Adestes Fideles).” Wow, here I am in a Muslim country and someone is playing Christmas music. Sure, there are more than a few expats in Meknes, but still . . . However, the next few songs that came over the speakers were modern pop, so it was just an album that happened to have the one religious song on it. It sounded like Mariah Carey or . . . I don’t really know, since I don’t listen to that type of music at all. Still, it was interesting. And it made me a little homesick, especially with Thanksgiving, my favorite American holiday, coming up this Thursday. Maybe I’ll cook a duck. (Haven’t seen any turkeys.) Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. And for my Canadian friends, Tyra, Megan, Allison and Steve, John, David, et. al., sorry I’m a little late, since your Thanksgiving was on Oct. 10. More later.