Wednesday, September 13, 2006 ______________________________________________________________________________

Why No Easy Money?! 

This disclaimer before I launch into this post: I realise that this time I've been really lucky w.r.t. my job search. Two jobs in as many weeks in places where I want to work.


Dear God, why can't I earn easy money?! Seriously. I'm currently employed as a TA with UBC for a 100 level course. Should be a piece of cake right? Wrong! Just so happens it's a 100 level course as conceived by Eric. For reference, he initially wanted to make it a 400 level course, but decided against it because by the upper levels there aren't that many people who need general credits.

It's been one day since the first assignment was posted. It's due on Friday (assignments due this close to the start of term are unheard of in a first year course, btw) and the emails from students have been POURING in. All of the emails are along the lines of "Can you help pls? I did not understand the article. P.S. How do you do the assignment?" *mutter* Jesus tit-fucking Christ *mutter* The kicker is that I agree that the assignment is rather tough and that frankly, if it were presented to me, I would not have a clear idea on how to complete it. Not that I can say that in response to the flood of emails asking for help that cannot easily be provided in written correspondence. The ideal solution to this would be to have the student attend our office hours to ask us clarification questions in person. The only problem with that is that in order to deter last-minute assignment work (which, let's face it, everyone completes their assignments as late as humanly possible) TA office hours are scheduled for early in the week (meaning there are no more office hours left this week between now and when the assignment is due). ohmygodohmygodohmygod The last thing you want now is disgruntled students yelling about how they are dropped into the deep end with no swimming instructions.

The hope is that the truly hopeless will drop the course while they are able to so we don't have to deal with them for the rest of the course.

Goddamn, why couldn't I TA something retarded like Psychology 100 (read: the only assignment is a 5 page essay through which the students' hands are held, the exams/mid-terms are all multiple-choice/fill-in-the-blank)?!

That being said, having to TA the course I am (I'm not including the name of the course here in case some kid googles it and finds my contraband opinions) is really really cool. I wouldn't attend the course otherwise, and it's one of those courses that I think everyone should have to take as part of their post-secondary education. My only complaint would be that you can't really count on it for an easy A but then again, if you think about it, that's a really, really, really lame complaint.

My other job starts tomorrow. A minimum wage excercise in customer service. The reason I applied there is that I'm hired on a contractual basis (I can bail if U of Melbourne decides that they want to fund me as a student) and that the employee discount will more than make up for the minimum-wage-iness of the job. That being said, I have no idea what the employee discount is like. I expect odd hours and weekend shifts, but I'm sure that this will not be worse than any other customer service positions. Think about it, in a bookstore there are no messes to clean up (unlike in a grocery store), there are no customers who are upset that they are patrons but are unable to remove themselves from the establishment (ala casino) and no crazies telling you why you work for the devil (ok, I'm not sure that I can avoid unpredicatable crazies...but I know that unlike my previous positions, no one can give me a lecture on why I shouldn't work for a company that (a)sells meat products or (b)relishes in promoting a serious addiction). Yes, I did get a lecture about the GROCERY STORE carrying MEAT and DAIRY. Go figure. Maybe that person was just lonely and needed someone - anyone - to talk to.

On a completely different note, I made an AMAZING soup tonight (if I may say so myself). Recipe follows.

Sweet, Sweet Soup

Pork marinated in cumin, mexican chilli powder, cinnamon, salt and maple syrup
Butternut squash - skinned and cubed
Apples - skinned and cubed
Onion - diced
Carrots - diced
Chicken stock (diluted with equal parts water)
Dried parsley

1. Saute the onions and carrots in 2tbsp oil.
2. When the onions are fragrant, add pork and all the marinade. (Note on the marinade: when prepared, the syrup should just coat the pork. The pork should not be swimming in syrup.) Cook the pork on all sides.
3. Add the squash and the apples. Pour in diluted chicken stock. Bring to boil and simmer until squash and apples are soft.
4. With a potato masher mash everything you can. It's good if it's a little chunky. Add the parsley.

Because I didn't measure anything, I can't provide quantities. Although I can say that there should be equal parts apple and squash and that there should be as much pork as there is apple and squash combined (by volume). Spices in the marinade should be used so that you can smell them after mixing, but the smell should not be strong. There should be enough stock and water to cover the ingredients in the pot.

Goddamn the soup is good. :)

posted by Joie! at 8:18 p.m.


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