Monthly Archives: August 2011

Flying Solo

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As I’ve mentioned before, my little sister is all grown up and off to college. My parents took her to NoHo on Tuesday, but I had to stay behind because of classes, which meant I had the house to myself. Clearly my first instinct was to throw a raging party, but the not knowing anyone in Buffalo kind of put a crimp in that, so instead I just proceeded normally. I’m apparently something of an abberation because I’ve never lived on my own before (Smithies mostly stay on campus because the housing is so nice, and the community is really important, but it seems like they also get apartments during the breaks because they have cool world-saving internships).  I’ve lived in a bunkhouse, but that isn’t really the same thing, and I’ve never lived on my own before, so this was an exciting opportunity. There was some Risky Business sliding, but I noticed a few things about this experience:

  • I do not cook for myself. At least, I didn’t most of the time. We sent Lillian off with a family pizza party, complete with peach pie, and I kind of lived off the leftovers. So not healthy, but it was fast, and easy, and didn’t take a lot of clean-up, and so I…don’t have any better excuses. I think I would cook for myself if I actually lived alone and wasn’t just pretending, because then I would have to shop for myself and wouldn’t have that stuff hanging around. And I made a nice dinner for myself tonight (quinoa with swiss chard and green beans. healthy, AND using veggie odds and ends), complete with leftovers for lunches, so that’s a step in the right direction.
  • On a related note, I eat a lot more pie when no one is around.
  • Not cooking for myself means I don’t use enough dishes to justify running the dishwasher ever. I don’t own a lot of plates, and I’ll probably run out before I have a full enough dishwasher, which probably means I don’t need one.
  • I need to bring my key EVERYWHERE. Even if I’m just getting the mail and closing the door so the cats don’t run out. Not bringing your key means being locked out, and having to call your aged grandmother and ask her to drive half an hour to let you in. This is bad. No one wants that.
  • When you live by yourself, you can listen to One Prairie Outpost as many times as you want.
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First Day of School

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I was pretty nervous about starting classes today- new school, new people, totally different environment than Smith, but I was kind of excited too. I had such first-day jitters that I showed up to campus an hour early early so I could get the lay of the land. It sounds a little excessive, and it was, but I don’t like feeling rushed, and I hate being late, so I think it was time well spent, especially because I did have to hunt around for my lecture hall. Anatomy and Physiology is going to be a lot of work, but I think I’m up to the job. We have to memorize tons of terms, but it’s interesting stuff, and I’m excited to learn about it. The people in my class seem really nice too, so hopefully there will be study group opportunities. It felt good to be back in a classroom again.

The doula meeting is tonight! I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks, I’m so excited to meet people who are as into birth as I am. I’m really hoping to hook up with a more experienced doula who might let me tag along to births and get my sea legs. That’s the best-case scenario. Honestly, I would be happy to just hear some stories and meet some people, but ideally I want to get to some births while I’m here, and I don’t feel ready to fly solo.

When I’m Up I Can’t Get Down

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I was planning on starting on a blank blogging page on Monday, but yesterday was just so darn great that I couldn’t wait, and had to blog about it. My classes start on Tuesday, so I can’t take my little sister Lillian to college, which kind of breaks my heart, especially because she’s going to my alma mater, Smith College. I wanted to go back and visit all of my favorite spots, and see my friends who are still there, and get Lillian all settled in. It isn’t in the cards though. Lillian has been at hippie camp all summer, working in the kitchen, and my mom and I drove out to the Adirondacks to get her yesterday. We hit the road pretty early, so I spent the first couple of hours in a Car Coma, but then perked up once we got off the thruway, and I took the wheel! Now, a 22-year old driving on a country road doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but I do not have my license. I never needed to drive as a teenager, so I didn’t learn until last summer, and then I didn’t have time to take my road test before going back to school. I took it this past spring, but it was a total disaster, and I failed (*shame*). Failing kind of rattled me, so I haven’t been driving that much, so taking the wheel yesterday felt like a big step. It was actually a lot of fun, and my mom was very helpful and only kibitzed a little.  

My mom driving. She wouldn’t take one of me driving because she thought it would be distracting and I’d drive off the road and into a cow pasture.

We got to the camp around noon, and picked up Lillian, complete with her new haircut. My mom had been dreading the big reveal since Lillian told her she wouldn’t be needing a haircut before leaving for school, but it looks cute. She’s going to be a big hit at Smith. 

Lillian regaled up with stories of camp on the drive home, and my mom and I had a surprise of out own- tickets to see Great Big Sea that night! Granted, it was a bigger deal for me than Lillian, since I’m the only person who is really into them, but concerts are always fun. We rushed home, dropped off Lillian’s stuff, and got to the concert in plenty of time. The first opening act was a local group called McCarthyizm, who did a good job of warming up the crowd. They weren’t terribly memorable, but they rocked along, and I’ve for sure seen worse opening acts. Like the one that came next. And crowd-warming that McCarthyizm did was undone by the terrible music stylings of Martin Sexton. It seemed to go on forever. I don’t know what made it so terrible, but it was really painful. There was a lot of yodeling involved. The crowd was clearly not engaged, but he just wouldn’t stop. Finally though, Great Big Sea took the stage. My goodness, they were great. They were just… wonderful. They played all the favorites, and a lot of stuff that I wasn’t familiar with, but that was great. It’s music to dance to. The crowd was pretty tight, but I had enough room for my crazy jumping, flailing style of dance moves, and I had a blast. It was a dance like no one is watching kind of night. 


 

What Are You Waiting For?

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My freshman year I had a friend who decided very early in that she hated college, and so it was best to just get it over with as quickly as possible because then she would be able to do something else that she would like. Now, there isn’t anything wrong with knowing yourself, and it’s your right to not like something, but I was frustrated by her refusal to try to make the best of things while she was stuck in a situation that she couldn’t really leave (you can leave college if you don’t like it, you can transfer, like I actually did, or take a gap year, or drop out, but she wasn’t interested in these options). Instead of trying to make things better, she wallowed, which tends to make things worse, and not better. I eventually wrote her a letter, because I hate confrontation, and I told her that I thought this was a bad plan, and that she was waiting for life to start, but it was happening already, and her attitude was causing her to miss it. In hind sight, it was none of my business, and I shouldn’t have stuck my oar in when she hadn’t asked for my opinion, and to no one’s surprise, this letter did not go over well, but that isn’t the point of this story. The point is, that I have not been taking my own advice. I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself for not having a clear cut plan, for living at home, and not having a job, and not knowing anyone, but I haven’t done anything to make things better. I’ve been treating this time as Purgatory, and waiting for my real life to start once I go to Nursing School, or, Africa, or the moon, or whatever the next step is going to be. I’ve wallowed. I’ve watched a lot of Law & Order: SVU, and lazed around, and slept away half the mornings, and generally been a lump. And now I’m going to stop. Classes start this week, which seems like a perfect time to start pushing myself. I’m going to get back to the gym too- I think lack of exercise had a big effect on my doldrums.There will be occasional backslides, but I am going to try to be a real person, and actually live while I’m here.