I finished up my three week intensive teaching and everything went very well. The students really seemed to enjoy the pace of the course almost as much as I did, and now I have a five day “vacation”, which with my normal days off gives me about a week off. I would prefer the hours, but as with any employer, an aversion to overtime pay created by the extra hours for the intensive courses means we are off this week to bring down the monthly hours. I guess this was the perfect time to catch a cold, which I did. Head, nose, cough and stomach were all miserable, but the worst has peaked and the sick feeling is fading fast.
I took a couple of interesting videos, well one interesting video and one video I found amusing because I can see a product being made that I eat back home. The amusing video is of a machine that my neighborhood Korean grocer bought which makes rice crisps. It usually draws a crowd and they seem to be selling well, although I did see bags full of unsold packages upstairs, so maybe it's more to draw in customers to buy other things. They are basically tortilla sized tostadas that are made from rice flour; crispy, light and slightly sweet.
This next video I took of a pasta chef who was working at a street shop. I took notice because it reminded me of a segment I saw on television before I left home, which, incidentally was the last time I watched television. It was either The Food Network or Anthony Bourdain, I don't remember, the point is that they made it sound like it was an art that was rare and special to see because noodle making was fast becoming mechanized. This guy, as nice as he may be and I'm sure his family and friends love him, seemed neither rare or particularly special. This was one of the many Halal shops that are Muslim Uighur owned and very friendly. The Uighurs are an ethnic group in China that is under quite a bit of pressure right now, quite similar to Tibet, although you wouldn't know by watching or reading the Chinese press.
It's been very hot, humid and often raining here so I haven't taken a lot of new pictures unfortunately. That combined with my 48 hour flu means this week was a bit uneventful.
I have been taking advantage of Coursera, it's a site that provides courses on the internet from various universities that allows people like me to watch lectures, download notes and correspond with other students if you wish, as well as take quizzes and tests. Although there is no formal credit, the classes are free after all, they are very educational and offer a variety of topics. My last two courses were Exercise Physiology and the other was Nutrition and Physical Activity for Health. My current course is Learning How to Learn, which is on how the neurology of the brain learns and methods on how to improve and maintain neuroplasticity into old age. I just started today and it is very interesting. Next week I start Understanding Research: an Overview for Health Professionals, which I hope will help me be able to pick out what is good and bad research. I'm pretty good at it already, I like to read a lot on health and nutrition, particularly long term weight loss, and I often read the original research on PubMed because the popular press often misrepresents the results of a paper to generate click bait, or else it doesn't put it in the context of what the preponderance of research says. How many times have you read a headline that loudly proclaims “A New Study Says…”, but they fail to tell you it’s a small uncontrolled study that hasn’t been replicated? All to often. (I'm talking to you Dr. Oz)
Well, that's what I've been up to. I recommend just browsing the classes Coursera offers, they are free and once you register you can sign up for as many as you want, and you can interact with other people taking the course or you can just watch the lectures and be done with it. With that, I'm done with this post.