Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cooking and cleaning

I just had a lovely evening with two of my friends. They both took the Specialty Exam. It's part of our MA program, so I will get to take it in a year. Basically, it's a really stressful-yet-worthwhile milestone. So we planned to eat dinner together. It gave us all something to look forward together.
On my mission, I was blessed with many wonderful companions. One of them was an excellent cook and she taught me how to cook a few things. I haven't had a chance to cook much due to time constraints, so I'd forgotten a lot of the recipes. However, I had the good fortune to chat with this friend via Facebook earlier this week, and she gave me the recipe for tallarines saltados so I could make it. Basically it's a stir-fry with noodles. So yesterday I made a much-needed shopping trip (you can only eat ramen noodles for so many nights...) and picked up some vegetables and other supplies. Yum.
Tonight, I got home and started to get out the ingredients when my friends came over. They helped me get all the ingredients chopped up. All in all, it probably took half an hour to cook, and we had a lovely meal together. I guess I wanted to write this down because it was just nice to be with friends, to do something I enjoy and haven't done for a while, and to just take a needed break. After we finished, I felt good. And I had enough energy to organize my room, which also needed to be done.
Cooking good food and organizing my space help me feel good. I feel more in charge of my life. It makes me feel like I can be more productive. I think there's something to the saying that cleanliness is next to godliness. (Mom was right!)
Well, the other thing I need to feel good is sleep. So I'm going to finish getting ready for bed now. Good night and good luck.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Teachers have feelings, too!: thoughts on Student Reviews

I just signed in to look at my student reviews. It was a less-than-rewarding experience. Only about half the class responded (I don't know which ones; that's kept confidential), and several rated my performance as a teacher as "poor" or "very poor". Really, the most frustrating thing about this is that I have NO IDEA why. Nothing. No comments. Just apparently angry or frustrated students who I will probably never interact with again. And I thought last semester went quite well. Because no one ever said anything to me about whatever it was they obviously DIDN'T like during the semester.
As a student and as a teacher, I welcome feedback. I like to learn and when I have clear feedback that helps me improve. Even negative feedback can be helpful. It's easier to take if it's delivered in a thoughtful way, of course. But this isn't feedback. It's a vague, negative reaction that gives me no direction at all. Since I don't know what they didn't like, I can't decide whether I should make changes.