Thursday, August 24, 2006

How do I get them to care?

I've just about finished my syllabus. My class starts this coming Tuesday, 8/29. I'm excited and definitely a little nervous. I think my biggest challenge will be with the students who just don't care. It's a major course...so I should have people who have somewhat chosen to be there. I'm planning a lot of interaction, presentations, group projects, guest speakers. Is there anything that your professors did in college that made an impact on you? Things that stand out in your mind?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Highly Recommend

Utterly fantastic. We've been wanting to watch RENT for a while and hadn't gotten around to it. We saw it Friday night and were thoroughly impressed. The music was incredible. We are both suckers for musicals...but seriously, this one gets an A+. Didn't know it was so themed around the AIDS epidemic and I'll admit I occasionally flashed back to my 5th grade "reproductive health" lessons. The film deals with some gritty realities - it surprisingly does so with optimism, yet without sugar-coating. A carpe diem message. It works.

One of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever...it won a Pulitzer Prize in drama, multiple Tonys and the list goes on.

And the songs get stuck in your head. For days.

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes..."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

High School Reunion

Because one of my (Ron's) classmates, who happens to live in Copenhagen (the Danish capital, not the chew), was in town for the summer, we decided to hold the traditional 8 year class reunion.

Probably about half my class was there (which is only about 12 people!). Maybe a few less. There were spouses, significant others, and kids.

I didn't really want to go. I figured I usually see the people I want to see, and that would be good. But as I thought about individuals, I figured I'd probably actually enjoy it. I did like most of them at the end of high school. Plus Trina made me.

It turned about to be incredibly worth it. Getting truly comfortable in my own skin happened after (much to my chagrin) high school, and I figured that the way social interaction would work, we'd settle into old roles. I didn't mind my high school roles, as I got to be the boss a lot, but I still thought it would 'smell' like days when insecurity was a real part of life.

And, as many of you know, I've had frustration with some cultural aspects of my evangelical roots, and I wondered how that would play out in coversation.

It didn't smell like insecurity, and the conversations were great.

I'm glad I went.

Thanks Emily for planning it. And thanks Trina for making me go.

The Boston Marathon

Someday I (Ron) hope to post that I have qualified for the Boston Marathon. For now I just have to tell you what a pain the training is. And that if I were 40, or a woman, I'd already have qualified.

My first marathon was run in 4 hours and 20 minutes. My second in 3 hours, 28 minutes and 55 seconds (but who's counting?). So you would think that the 3 hours, 10 minutes and 59 seconds or less that I need would be in reach.

Unfortunately, the effort required for speed increases at this point appears to be exponential.

So, I've been doing speed (training!). It's helpful, but there seems to be a threshold for me around 7.5 minute miles (my last time was right under 8 minute miles).

I guess I want you to feel sorry for me, knowing I am beating my knees into submission, running twenty miles at a time, only to continue to be slow.

At this point, I am trying to qualify. But I've decided that if I am going to fall short, that shouldn't keep me from running a particular marathon I want to run--and it should keep me from trying to qualify when I can't (and inducing pain and injury). So on I go.

I am a winner.

Chicago Title

I don't know if I've ever talked about my job on here. So, here goes.

I've been at Chicago Title for just under 11 months. It's been tremendous fun, and I've immersed myself wholly in talking loan officers into sending us their business.

In that time, I've learned I'm good at something new. Apparently I can talk people into things. And eat. I'm good at persuading, and eating.

Now, those of you who know me will cleverly interject--"you've always been a good eater--look at most pictures of your adolescence." And the like. Feel free not to comment at this point.

What I've learned is that I can take these skills, and make some money. Kind of a lot of money. And I enjoy it. Not a bad combination.

So, just to brag a bit, I'm pulling in record sales in a market on a preciptous downturn, getting paid well to do it, and enjoying it. How cool is that?

I am blessed. And they said majoring in history and philosophy meant I wasn't employable.

Trina the scholar

Trina has been taking a class in microbiology, just because. On top of her full time job.

She sometimes forgets that she is smart, and so she worries. Before her last test, she was unsure if she was really prepared. She got a 99. Then there was extra credit. Then there was a curve. Think like 130%. Since she's had a perfect score on every quiz, and a perfect score on her presentation, and averaged about 95 on her other tests, she may actually finish this class with more than 100% as her score.

And I get to hear all about staph, ebola, flesh eating bacteria, and the like. Mmmm.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Movies.

This weekend, we watched two vastly different movies.

Saturday night we watched a feel-good, over-the-top cheesy musical. Given that this is a Disney Channel Original Movie, it was darn good. I particularly like the finale when all the "bad" characters have a change of heart and burst into "We're All In This Together" - a catchy tune that's been in my head ever since =). My co-worker recommended it to me - she has the soundtrack here at work - and I was intrigued. Given that my husband is a sucker for cheesy musicals, I thought it would go over better than the latest romatic comedy. It was definitely bubble-gum music...but all in all enjoyable.

On Sunday evening, we met up with Aaron (Ron's best friend) to eat sushi and watch An Inconvenient Truth. The sushi was good and the movie was excellent. I'll admit I was expecting some sensational, dramatic, doomsday kind of movie. But, I'd describe it with words like academic, well-informed...even verging on boring at moments. Al Gore really cares about this topic. He reminded me more of a professor than an activist. The studies and information he quoted was nearly all from hard science journals - Science, Nature, etc. That impressed me. He also didn't seem to have much to gain, other than my respect. It's a compelling case. Disgusting how much we as a country consume - especially when contrasted with the rest of the world. He addressed the economic impact of some of these topics - it isn't easy. But ignoring it doesn't seem a very viable option. I think the title is perfectly apt - it is inconvenient - requiring effort and energy for no tangible (financial) reward. But, it is also truth. Whether you agree or not, I'd highly recommend the movie. It's a good education.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Running Update

I struggled with my knee while training for and running last years' Portland Marathon. I spent some time in Physical Therapy and slowly but surely have worked myself back up. I'm proud to report...on Saturday I ran 4.5 miles on hard ground that included hills...and I am just great! Four miles was the distance at which the phys therapist said I could start building mileage again. So, I'm officially better. Probably not going to shoot for another marathon...but, it's nice to run again.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pudge up the Brownies

Ron & I made brownies last night.

Keep in mind, this time of the month I might trade my left arm for a brownie.

We used a mix we bought a while ago called No Pudge Fudge Brownies with Mint. Why we originally thought brownies without fat would be good...I do not know. When I added solely plain nonfat yogurt to the mix the smell was...less than alluring. The batter tasted like a cross between licking my steering wheel and rinsing my mouth with Scope. At this point, I was losing hope, but decided to bake them anyways, just in case the cooking process fundamentally changed something. The aroma that filled our apartment led me to believe I'd put a soccer ball in the oven. At this point, we had to laugh...it was either laugh or cry.

We dared each other to swallow a bite. Have you ever eaten plastic?

Fortunately, all was not lost. You see, necessity is the mother of invention. We found two bags of Milano cookies (Orange & Mint). We melted some of that Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate and dipped cookies. It was very good. Craving satisfied. Happy Trina = Happy Ron.

Tonight, we're making real brownies.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Did you know I bungy jumped?

Yep. In New Zealand, right after my junior year in college. It was such a rush.

Anyways, I updated our blog. Go back to June 19th (the post before Ron's first post). Happy reading!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Professor Trina

Believe it or not...I am going to be teaching a college class this fall! Dirk Barram (my former advisor) asked me to teach Marketing (BUSN 340) this fall. I'll have mostly sophomores and juniors who have declared a business major. The course is Tues/Thurs 4:40pm-6pm. It is the first marketing course they take. Right now, there are 33 students registered for the class. It starts Aug 29th. Whew!

Click here and look at Fall 2006, Undergraduate, Business Administration. The course that says "Staff" right now...yeah, that is me =).