My new writing project

I’ve been away from this site for months – so it’s time for an update.

I’d been busy with teaching and writing, and therefore hadn’t had time to post anything here.

The project I’ve been working on is a book on the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s a book about the Dodgers’ last World Championship team – and of course I’m rooting against them this year! So, my book will be more meaningful since it will still be the last ever Dodgers team to win a World Series.

Through the help of former Dodger general manager Fred Claire, I’ve been able to talk to 15 ex-players and coaches for this book. It’s been a terrific experience interviewing them to get their memories about that 1988 team.

Finding a publisher has proven to be tricky. Triumph Books showed interest but ultimately said no – they’d published a book on that team some time ago and it was too soon for a repeat. Another publisher looked at my submission and we had discussions, but they decided against taking on this project.

So, we’ll see what happens as I get in contact with others about this book.

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Tales from the classroom #005

So, last week I was at this school substituting for Teacher X, who was away for two days. I substituted for this Teacher X on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Teacher X returned on Thursday. Then, on Friday, I was called in to substitute for Teacher Y.

Anyway, at lunchtime on Friday, Teacher X and I were sitting next to each other in the teachers’ room. We were having a small conversation. Then, a student from Teacher X’s class came into the room and asked me a question that he didn’t understand from the textbook – even though his teacher, Teacher X, was sitting right there with me!!!

I thought it was awkward, but I answered the question and the student was satisfied because he understood my explanation. But after the student left, I kept apologizing to Teacher X because it was so awkward! The student should have asked his teacher, not the substitute who just happened to be there that day!

Tales from the ballpark & classroom

So, minor-league baseball season is over. For the last 11 weeks, I’ve been juggling my time at the ballpark and in the classroom.

Amazingly, for each of the last 11 weeks, I’ve been asked to go in to substitute for various teachers at the same school. 11 straight weeks! During those times, I’ve subbed for A. #1, A. #2, C., D., M., R. #1, S., and R. #2. …. So, basically, I’ve subbed for all levels of ESL as well as Advanced, SSP, UCPP, TESOL, TYCP, and IELTS… pretty much everything. Sometimes during those 11 consecutive weeks, I went in for three straight days or just once a week, but the streak has lasted 11 weeks so far.

And, 10 times, I was in the classroom at 9 a.m. and then had to be at the ballpark by 12:10 p.m. for that night’s baseball game, often not getting home until 11:30 p.m. Those 10 days, in particular, were long days. But baseball is finally over.

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I’m proud of myself for remaining calm and positive at all times. There were multiple times when I was yelled at, but I remained positive and did my work. During those situations I always kept a smile on my face and had a positive attitude. It’s hard to do that. But I’m proud of being able to do it during those especially tough times. I strongly believe it’s important to always remain calm and positive, and work to solve problems instead of creating them. Sure, there were frustrating moments here and there… but I’m very proud of the work that I was able to achieve despite those unpleasant times.

We’ll see what next week brings.

UPDATE: Sept. 10, 2016 – As it turned out, in the 11 weeks of baseball, I was called in at least once in each of those 11 weeks to be a substitute. Naturally, the streak ended at 11 weeks as I was not called in for a 12th consecutive week. So, the streak ended at 11 weeks – when I had no more baseball obligation. Also, as it turned out, I will not be brought back to the school as a regular teacher. 

Dec 2014: Motivational Speech to Engineering Students @ University of Datyon

From Dec. 2014: I was asked to make a motivational speech to inspire international students in third-year Engineering at the University of Dayton (OH).

Unfortunately, they didn’t film this and I recorded it myself but the recorder didn’t have enough space at the end so the recording is incomplete.

The purpose was to help the class, most of which consisted of international students, feel inspired and realize it’s possible for them to get adjusted to North American life. Their professor had reached out to me to fly down there to motivate and inspire them – and I accepted.

Food Review: Anda Miro Korean Bistro (Kingsway/Vancouver)

Note: This was originally posted on my food blog, Let’s Eat Out Once A Week.

I had not been to Anda Miro Korean Bistro for months until this particular visit in August. In fact, prior to this visit, I had not even eaten out (ie. in a sit-down restaurant) for weeks.

Anda Miro Korean Bistro (Kingsway and Slocan in Vancouver), as usual, was busy on this particular evening. It’s always busy with large groups (families and friends, etc.), but for me I was solo.

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I ordered the #21 Seol Leong Tang which was slow simmered beef and bone marrow broth with noodles and beef. I also had the small Chicken Wings (7 pieces).

As usual, they brought out some side dishes and a bowl of rice. (I really hate it in Chinese restaurants where you have to pay extra for rice.)

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The chicken wings weren’t THAT great. I mean, I’d had better ones than these. They were decent – not great.

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As for the Seol Leong Tang, meanwhile, the soup was very sweet and delicious. The beef pieces were tender, and I felt that there was enough meat in there. I’m generally not a fan of the noodles but overall the soup was wonderful.

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Anda Miro, I think, is a great neighbourhood restaurant that provides wonderful dishes. I would definitely return again at some point in the future.