Oh man! It’s been another n months. I’m just not very good with updating anymore (not that I ever was). Yesterday (two days after Thanksgiving, which we spent at a friend’s house), my housemates and I made our own turkey dinner. Since we weren’t free until after three, we didn’t start preparing until then. Preparation took quite a bit of time, and by the time the turkey was in the oven, it was 6 PM. We were overly optimistic (or naive) to think that the 22-lb. bird would be ready to eat by 9 PM. We decided to go out to Jack in the Box at 8:30 when we realized that a turkey typically takes about 6 hours to bake. I ended up staying up late, taking the turkey out at one in the morning. Carving it took another hour.

The turkey did not look as good as I had hoped. I read from many sources that basting the turkey was unnecessary, so I did not follow traditional procedure. Unfortunately, the aluminum covering opened up, which was unforeseen, and stayed like that for quite a few hours. When I took it out, the skin was hard and rubbery but the insides were juicy. There was a lot of turkey stock juice overall, and we had trouble fitting all our food in the fridge. It was quite ironic that we had to put the bird in the fridge so soon after taking it out of the oven, after waiting 7 whole hours for it to be ready. By the end, I was so tired that I left the kitchen to be cleaned up later, which we accomplished today in about an hour and a half—quite a feat.

We took our homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, and turkey to Sovereign Mercy Church this evening. The meat and the stuffing were not up to my expectations, but I stuffed myself anyway. So that was that. The whole cooking business was a good learning experience (I now comprehend how much effort goes into holding a Thanksgiving party). Some reminders for myself:

  • Start about 6 hours earlier!
  • Apple pieces in stuffing need to be larger (it was mushy and sour)
  • Plan ahead (we made four trips to the neighborhood grocery store)
  • Get a larger and sturdier baking pan (ours deformed and we dripped turkey juice all over the oven and the floor)
  • Get a smaller turkey (so we wouldn’t have such difficulty taking it out of the oven and end up getting turkey juice all over)
  • Get a better thermometer (ours stopped working after we took it out)
  • Make a better covering for the turkey
  • The dishwasher can get rid of grease!

Thanksgiving break aside, my quarter has had its ups and downs. I had not been doing very well early in the quarter, and worried to the extent that I could not dedicate as much time to God as I had last year, but by God’s grace, I got into the groove again, trusting Him for my academic performance. I’m taking three classes this quarter: Introduction to Modern Optics, Introduction to Photonics (a laser lab), and Medical Electronics. I really enjoy laser lab, since it’s a lot of precision work, and my persistent personality seems to be a good fit for it.

Aside from classes, I am also applying for graduate fellowships for funding. For the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, I spent pretty much the entire week before the deadline writing my essays. Reading online advice only depressed me, as I saw how much more some of my peers have done, but I tried the best that I could. With the help of my friend, I revised my personal statement and my “Previous Research” essay, and hashed out a two-page proposal on a research topic, papers about which I read and the specifics of which I was still working out the night before it was due. It was God’s mercy that kept giving me inspiration about the topic, excitement about it, and insight into it. And it was God’s mercy as well that my friend spent so much time with me in the days and hours leading up to the deadline. Praise the Lord. Needless to say, I felt an enormous burden lifted after I submitted the application.

Final bit of news: I wrote an article titled “Truth,” posted on the Thoughts site.