June 30, 2005

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

My mantra this week, my final week of work, is “leaving gracefully”. Leaving, departing, saying my goodbyes. Gracefully, with truth, kindness, consideration and understanding. That’s been my goal.

I’ve always been uncomfortable at office parties, something about everyone milling around in the same room, having to strike-up conversations. I’m so introverted that I’d much rather hide in my office then chat in the hallway.

With gentle nudging from Claire Ann and others around the office I decided to have a less structured party. The party is today.

Last night I made 46 Cinnamon-Scented Devi’s Food Cupcakes with almond flavored cream cheese frosting.

CupcakesAll boxed up, I brought them into work this morning, set-up a table and napkins and prepared myself for guests. I sent an e-mail to everyone in the building, saying I was leaving and had brought a treat in as my good-bye.

People have been stopping in all morning, wishing me good luck, saying I’ll be missed. It’s been a nice slow stream of individuals, not nearly as overwhelming as having them all come at once.

I’ve never left a job before, not a real job. Ofcourse, I’ve never had a “real” job before this one and I’ve been here for close to eight years. I’m so happy I’m leaving, so relieved to close the doors and move on. By leaving gracefully I can honestly feel like I’ve done well here, I’ve made a difference and most importantly I’ve excelled at my job.

Change is exciting, difficult, scary and thrilling. Saying goodbye is one of the more difficult parts. I think the cupcakes are helping make the goodbyes easier.

June 21, 2005

Notes on slice

Last week in Portland I was attending the Slice of Life Workshop for Multimedia Developers, Educators, and Purveyors

As part of my new, open attitude to blogging about work, I’m posting some notes and links from the conference.

My favorite moments of the week were listening and discussing with Geoff Norman on the topic of cognitive psychology and learning theory as applied to computer based education. His talk changed my whole perspective on researching eductional effectiveness of on-line modules.

He recommended the book “e-Learning and the Science of Instruction : Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning” by Ruth Colvin Clark, Richard E. Mayer.

The other tid-bit I found particularly interesting was a presntation on applying video gaming principles to education. http://www.tinkering.net.

June 19, 2005

Home

ZoeI’m home, followed on my evening flight by the moon, shining down next to the plane. A spotlight illuminating little pieces of the earth below. Greeted at the door by my touseled, groggy eyed Zoe. Grudingly purred to before sleep took back over.

RoseI was sad to leave Portland today, happy to be returning to those I love but wishing I could take all the beauty, friendliness and clean air home.

June 18, 2005

Portland Gardens

In my room at the bed and breakfast there’s a poster about Portland Gardens. Yesterday I had some time to explore what the city has to offer.

First, I should mention that the day before I visited the Chinese Garden, which is right downtown, a block off the light rail. It felt a little silly to spend $7 to see a garden, but the fee was worth it. I was most impressed by the beautiful woodwork and furniture. They had some classic chinese chairs, with graceful lines, that you could actually sit in.

So back to yesterday. I took the light rail system west, under the nearby hills to Washington Park Station, “Washington Park Station is the only stop in the three-mile-long light rail tunnels through Portland’s West Hills. At 260 feet underground, it is the deepest transit station in North America, and the second deepest in the world. Passengers travel from the underground platform to the surface in four high-speed elevators.”

The elevators deposited me at one corner of Washington Park. I meandered through the Hoyt Arboretum, through huge old pine trees and blankets of ferns, feeling only slightly lost, until I found the Japanese Garden.

Again, an admission fee was paid and again it was worth the $7. The Japanese Garden was an improved version of the Chinese Garden. It contained wonderful ponds, waterfalls and carefully placed stone.

After a peaceful hour in the Japense Garden I headed across the road to the International Rose Test Garden. The air was filled with the smell of roses before you finished crossing the road. The garden contained so many varieties, and each one smelled different. My favorite smelling rose is still the double delight, a variety my mother grows with much pride.

When I escaped the conference yesterday the drizzle rain was just letting-up. For my Washington Park adventure the sky was blue, the sun was shining, as I boarded the bus back to the train station and back to the city proper, the clouds filled back in and the rain started. I couldn’t have had better timing.

Today I’ve rented a car to explore the historic columbia river gorge and Mt. Hood. More glorious Oregon landscape awaits.

June 17, 2005

Food highlights

Breakfast: Warm, cystalized ginger and orange scone, a tall crystal bowl of fresh fruit topped with yougurt, and two perfect pieces of sourdough french toast drizzeled with maple syrup.

Dinner: Based on a wweek review, I tried No Fish! Go Fish!. I had a fantastic cup of dal soup, lentils, garbanzos, simmered in spices with a nice tangy after taste. Their soup is served with their signature fish sandwich for dipping, and no it doesn’t contain any fish. The sandwich is a grilled cheese like item, pressed into the shape of a fish. It seemed to be made out of spicy polenta, will a small center filling of cheese. Perfection! I could have eaten those fish all night.

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