Archive for November, 2013

Thanksgiving preparation

November 28, 2013

Because of family scheduling issues, we celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday instead of today.  It’s nice to have a couple of extra days for preparation.  E. is working on the table while I do prep cooking.  We got our turkey from the local farm as before, and I’m happy to say that many other ingredients of the meal are local as well.  Our Thanksgiving dinner is a fairly traditional one and I like it that way: turkey, potatoes, squash, stuffing, cranberry sauce etc.  This is the third year that E. and I have hosted the dinner at Heather House and I think we’re getting the hang of it.

I’m thankful for my family, both the family I was born into and the family I chose for myself, and  I’m thankful to be able have my family together at this time of year.

 

Advertisements

November dinner: silver and gray

November 27, 2013

When I first began thinking about this year’s color theme, I expected that November, with the colors silver and gray, would be the most difficult, and I was not wrong. Some previous months have been difficult, but I usually had at least one color I could fall back on. Coming up with foods that are either silver or gray was a big challenge. Given that, I think it worked out reasonably well.

Silver and gray was also a challenge for E. in decorating the table, but as always she rose to the occasion.

131127table

Some of our Christmas decorations making an early appearance

Our main course was whole rainbow trout, accompanied by mashed potatoes and grilled mushrooms. The cooking dulled the silver sheen of the fish scales, but it still came out looking nice.

131127fish

The mushrooms started out gray, but cooked up more brown

For dessert I made white chocolate pudding.

More white than gray, but at least in the right direction

More white than gray, but at least in the right direction

Since the days have gotten short and dark, we’ve moved the dinner from evening to midday for purposes of photography. Later that day I picked the remaining fish and made some yummy fishcakes.

Jack

November 11, 2013
This cheerful fellow was on our front steps to greet any ghosts or goblins back on Halloween night.  Sadly, none cared to brave the wind and rain to knock on our door.

This cheerful fellow was on our front steps to greet any ghosts or goblins back on Halloween night. Sadly, none cared to brave the wind and rain to knock on our door.

Tenure committee

November 9, 2013

As most of you now know, I was interviewed by the tenure committee earlier this week. I knew I had strong support from the department behind me and I wasn’t very worried going into the interview, but there was some unavoidable nervousness.

It turned out to be a very pleasant experience. The members of the committee were are very warm and welcoming. They asked me questions about my teaching which I was only too happy to answer. I have put a lot of thought into my approach to teaching and there was quite a lot that I could say about it. After talking with me for about twenty minutes they ushered me out of the room and talked to the department chair, then they briefly deliberated among themselves before calling me in and saying that they had voted unanimously to recommend me for tenure.

This is not quite the final word. I still have to interview with the provost and the paperwork has to go up the chain to the president and the board of trustees, but the fact that this step of the process went so well leads me to think that I don’t have much to worry about in the rest of it.

A couple of my colleagues in the department took me out for a drink afterwards, then when I got home, E. took me out for a celebratory lobster. I do feel that a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. For the past five years, I haven’t really feared that I might not get tenure, but it has been the Big Thing on my mind. I’ve worried about the possibility of not getting tenure, much like I worry about getting into a car accident or a campus shooting. There will still be some lingering what-if worrying until I get the official letter sometime in the spring, but for now it is something I can put out of my mind.