I consider today professional development, and an opportunity to once again realize that many things in our field are absolutely universal. Steve arranged a few meetings for me during the day so I went to campus with they guys.
I first helped them get things set up for their session, and it was typical technology debacles. Kelvin was using the Mac but neglected to bring the right connector with him so Steve went down to borrow one and came back with the older one that doesn’t fit the newer MacBook Pro (thanks Apple). So back to swap it for the newer one; that worked so the image was displaying on the projector. Next hurdle was connectivity. They use Cisco here but the wireless requires the VPN. For some reason Kelvin’s SCU network credentials didn’t want to work so we fought that for a while even including trying all six Ethernet ports in the room. I finally wrangled the VPN, had someone else login, and the world was right again only about three minutes late.
Leaving them starting the session I went down and met a few of the FLDS staff in the secret garden. We talked there a while and I met one of the faculty members in the College of Indigenous Australian Peoples. We made our way to the FLDS office space and I sipped hot tea while we talked around their conference table. They wanted to know about our use of Moodle, WordPress and how our organization is structured. We talked about motivating faculty and helping them negotiate the technology decisions they face teaching in such a rapidly changing environment. And we talked about the future of lecture capture, the iPad in education and the difficulty of teaching Camtasia. It’s nice to know I can always find my geeky people wherever I go.
After excellent seafood chowder and great conversation with Steve, Di, Keith and Kelvin we returned to campus for a full afternoon. I was able to tag along in a meeting with Janet, the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre and Di, the project officer for blended and converged delivery.
We finished the day by walking to the tavern close to the house. They were renovating the kitchen so the menu was limited; bee and I didn’t mind being forced into eating a hamburger with beet, pineapple, lettuce, tomato and a yummy balsamic sauce with a nice salad on the side.
Preheat oven to 375ºF and coat a 12-hole muffin tin with cooking spray or muffin liners.
Core and chop pears into tiny cubes; place in a large bowl. Add cinnamon, granulated sugar and lemon juice to pears; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and milk; set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Make a well with a spoon in center of flour mixture and pour in sour cream mixture and fruit mixture, alternating in small batches; mix until barely blended. Do not over beat. (NOTE: Batter will be very thick.)
Drop batter by heaping tablespoons into muffin holes until about 2/3 to 3/4 full; bake until top is golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in muffin tin; remove from tins to racks and cool completely. (Or leave slightly warm to dip into glaze for easier preparation.)
While muffins are cooling, make glaze: Mix powdered sugar, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla and warm water together in a small bowl (add another teaspoon of water if glaze is too thick) . Spread a thin layer of glaze over each muffin. Yields 1 muffin per serving.
As is his usual MO, kelvin had a fun weekend planned for us to celebrate our anniversary this weekend. We left Saturday morning and stopped to leave Braut with our friends E&A before getting on the road. I had no idea where we were headed so when we got on 78 headed east I thought maybe NYC or maybe upstate NY somewhere. But then we turned off and headed south in New Jersey. The weather was beautiful and we ended up at the Seaview Resort just outside Atlantic City.
That evening we had a great dinner at Bobby Flay Steak inside the Borgata. We enjoyed some Prosecco, Le Colture ‘Brut Spumante’, Valdobbiadene n.v. that I hope to find at a wine shop somewhere. We started with a lobster crab cake and the romaine salad. Then moved on to our NY Strips. I splurged for the Philladelphia style sitting on a provolone cheese reduction with three little mounds of carmalized onions. We really didn’t even need the wild mushroom mashed potatoes with truffle oil or the butterscotch and chocolate layer cake with raspberry sauce we shared for dessert. The pastry chef added a Happy Anniversary plaque and a candle.
Though the dinner was amazing, we weren’t finished yet. Kelvin had tickets for us to see Kenny Rogers at the Taj Mahal. We certainly were outliers for the demographic, but the show was great. He came out and many of his big hits or medley’s of them. Then while the band played a holiday tune, he changed and came back out to do a Christmas show. It was so fun to see him, and the fact that Kelvin admitted to having a good time was great.
We finished up the weekend yesterday with a trip to the hotel fitness center and the amazing Sunday Champagne Brunch at the SeaView– mimosas, lobster claws, oysters, shrimp, and I splurged on a yummy biscuit.
The weather was beautiful for our drive home, and we stopped at one of the big malls to finish up some shopping. Just spending time together always reminds me how lucky I am.