Office Hours

Well, I just arrived at UDM to begin office hours. Since there's a test tomorrow, I expect that at least a few students will stop by to seem me for help; I also have an appointment at 1:00 with a student, so I'm glad that I'll have some social interaction during this period. It gets lonely in this office!

A major SHOUT-OUT to Mother Nancy Loren, SMMSJ [no, not a religious order...at least not yet! SMMSJ = Society of Mothers of Members of the Society of Jesus] for sending us some very delicious cakes this week. We've pretty well worked our way through the Pineapple Not-Upside Down Cake. Most delightful - so moist and, well, DELICIOUS. One caveat, though: I love pineapple and must confess to making a pretty mean pineapple upside down cake of my own, but Nancy's recipe has encouraged me to learn a new recipe to share with others.

Speaking of recipes: I know, I keep threatening to update the recipe site. Well, I really will just as soon as I make something worthy of posting. This Friday I'll be making:

Fried Gorgonzola Cheese Balls for an Arrugala Salad
Tomato and Prosciutto Soup
Crusty Italian Bread
Lemon Muffins

These are all recipes found on foodtv.com and have as their source Giada DeLaurentis, who I think is the best and most accessible chef on that show. Easy on the eyes and tantalizing to the tongue (her food! her food!) I find it easy to follow her recipes and enjoy the variety of dishes she prepares.

On a non-food note: I did manage to create a math test for my algebra students. It's so strange to be on the other side of test-creation for a math exam...I guess I thought math teachers had crystal balls that they consulted to find the most difficult and obscure problems to put on a test; I have come to realize, however, that they just consult vast test-banks for problems to slap on the exam.

Never, in one-hundred years, would I have dreamed that I'd be a math teacher. It's still hard to believe, but I'm being honest when I say that it is both HORRIBLY DIFFICULT and TERRIBLY REWARDING. Math is an area many people struggle with and, if I can help students to acknowledge and work through their fear, then I guess I've done my job. My fear is going to be grading these exams, though....

So that's where things are at. I absolutely LOVE my course on the "History of Christian Spirituality" and I can say for Dr Patricia Cooney-Hathaway something that I can say of very few professors I've had: when I leave her class, I want to pray. She facilitates an encounter with the material in a way that is profound and life-giving...it's a great grace to study under her. Health Care Ethics is going well, too; I sort of wish it were exclusively for graduate students (the discussion might be elevated) but I do feel that I'm gaining a grasp of the material.

Oh! I was interviewed for a piece being prepared by John Carroll University's magazine (So was fellow novice Chris Staab, who is also an alum of JCU). This is in addition to the story being printed in a local Irish newspaper in Kansas City. When I have more details on that, I'll post them - but they just sent a request for "action shots" of my playing the accordion. This article contains the story of how the Rock Star Life of an Irish accordion player led him to the Society of Jesus.
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