Monthly Archives: September 2011

Update:

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AND just after posting, I got an email from my adviser who said that of course he would write me a recommendation. Power of positive thinking, people! It’s a real thing!

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Worries

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Where did September go? I thought this year would drag on forever, but it’s flying by, and deadlines are starting to loom. My first deadline is October 15, and it used to feel a million miles away, but it’s actually just around the corner. Applications don’t take that long, but my adviser won’t respond to my (increasingly worried-sounding) email requests for a letter of recommendation. Why didn’t I get to know more professors? Oh, because I almost never took more than one class with anyone because everything sounded so interesting that I refused to specialize. Right. Sigh. I took some awesome stuff, and I don’t regret exploring, but it’s coming home to roost now, and I’m worried. I know I’ve covered all this before, but it’s a real problem. I may have to start emailing professors and just praying they remember me, but in all likelihood, reminding them who I am, and asking them to do me a big, giant favor. If someone randomly called you up for a recommendation, would you give it to them? It’s their job, but that doesn’t mean they would necessarily be able to write anything that dazzling, which is what I need.

Ok, I need to say something not-pathetic. My best friend is in town! She’s home for the New Year, and even though it’s just a short visit, we are going to (hopefully) get together for our traditional Jim’s Steakout chicken finger sub dinner tomorrow. And then I’m going contra dancing. And on Sunday I’m going to go to work on a service project of some sort with the Buff State volunteer org. And I just ate enough choclate covered espresso beans to keep me alert until Tuesday night. In the greater scheme of things, I know that everything is going to be fine. Honestly, I think it all comes down to attitude, and my worrywart habits aside, I’m an optimist. An optimist who is about to email all of her old professors and ask for a recommendation.

I said I would ruin the curve…

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Today’s Anatomy class was…interesting. The professor posted our grades online before class, but I didn’t know that, and so when he announced that the average grade for the class was 11/50, and the highest grade anyone got was 26, I was pretty stunned. He wasn’t angry- he isn’t the kind of professor who cares if everyone sucks, and he wasn’t apologetic, and didn’t acknowledge his part in the terrible grades, but he literally spent the entire class period telling us to stop being consumers and start acting like students. It was pretty bad. I’ve done badly on tests before, but I didn’t think this one had been that bad. The mood in the class was pretty ugly- people were furious, and the professor essentially calling us stupid wasn’t helping. We didn’t get anything done, and he let us out early, so a bunch of students went to his office hours to look at our test papers. The ones who went weren’t the ones who were angry though, and it was a weirdly jolly crowd. We set up in an empty classroom, and the professor handed back our papers. I did better than average, but nowhere near as well as I had thought, and so we went through the whole test, question by question. As we went through though, we noticed that a lot of the “wrong” questions were actually right, and the scantron sheet had just messed up. I actually got almost twice as many answers right, which was reassuring, although still not enough for me to be really happy about my performance. It felt so good to see that we weren’t all actually as pathetic as we had thought, but by discovering this mistake, we also accidentally screwed the curve. 11/50 was a B, but because of the mix-up, that isn’t going to be the case anymore, and people who initially did well might actually lose points. Whoops. Hopefully things will mostly work out for the best. The professor massively doesn’t care, and is the biggest grade inflator I’ve ever met, so everyone will probably get an A or B in the class anyway- he’s already talking about just dropping the first test. Even with the ambiguous good we did, it was fun to chat with my classmates. I’m feeling so social lately, it’s really nice (by the way, when you consider sitting in a classroom with a bunch of strangers, going over an Anatomy test to be a big social event, you’re officially a shut-in).

It’s stormy and gray out, so I’m going to shower (I got caught in the rain on my way home from school) and work on applications for the rest of the afternoon. It’s been a weird kind of day so far, but I’m kind of digging it. 🙂

That Old Cape Magic

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One of the nice things about my current lifestyle is that I have time to read for fun (although I always read for fun as an undergrad, even though everyone around me complained that they never had the time. I probably didn’t either, but I made the time, because it was a priority, and the Smith library has some really great stuff). I could actually stand to read more and waste less time, so I’m going to try to do that while I can (and read quality stuff, not break room bodice rippers). Last night I finished That Old Cape Magic, but Richard Russo. My mom read it first, and I picked it up one day while she was still reading it, and leafed through the first couple of chapters (my family is full of book thieves- woe to whoever leaves their copy of Little Women unattended around Christmas, the whole family will pounce on it). The story follows Griffin, a writer/academic, and his relationship with his parents. His parents sound awful, crabby, vindictive, snobbish, but he loves them, even though he wants to keep them away from his wife and adult daughter as much as possible. This all made my mother very sad, which I guess I understand, as all of her children are growing up, and one of them is married and living across the country, but I don’t think she has anything to worry about. It isn’t a happy book, but it’s sort of entertaining in a Tolstoy way (all happy families are happy in the same way, but this book is filled with a sampler platter of unhappy families), and I liked reading it. I especially enjoyed how attached the characters felt to places, and how the Cape was such an important part of their lives, even though none of them lived there full time. We took a vacation on the Cape a few years ago, and it was very nice. I’m not really a beach person (sand is gross), but it was nice to go somewhere, and small amounts of beach are pleasant. My mom talks a lot about wanting to start a family tradition of going every summer, bringing spouses and children as they crop up, and so I can see why she would pick up a book about a family vacationing on the Cape, and why she would be disappointed when they all make each other miserable. That doesn’t seem to be the point of the story though, so I think we should be safe, and if anything this book made me want to pack another just like it into my beach bag and head towards the shore.

Crispy Crunchy Kale

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I first had kale chips last summer at my sister’s house. She had made them as an experiment, and even slightly burned (they burn so easily!), I was hooked! I’ve made them lots of times since, and they’re always good. I like to use lots of red pepper flakes, but tonightI wanted to branch out, and try something new (my mom doesn’t like really hot foods, and part of the appeal of kale chips is that they get my parents to eat cruciferous vegetables), so I ransacked the cupboard and came up with Da Salty Lady’s Hot and Spicy Hawaian Salt Seasoning. My sister and brother in law brought it back from their honeymoon, and it is delicious. Because I wasn’t sure what I would be using as the extra seasoning, I salted and peppered the kale before adding Da Salty Lady’s, so they’re a little too salty, but very good.

So I said I would post a picture of my amazing trash night find, but all the batteries have vanished from my house! It’s like there’s a battery eating monster on the loose! So until I can get to the store, I’m dependent on my dad’s iPhone camera, and by the time he got home it was too dark to get a good picture. It’s awesome though, believe you me.

Now we’re all hanging out, watching Season One of Mad Men. We just started it last night, and it’s absolutely living up to the hype. I especially like Pete Campbell- that actor was on Angel, and anyone Joss Whedon likes is good in my book. I keep expecting him to be evil though, and I’m not sure he’s supposed to be. The women are all so soft looking and pretty, and I do love men in suits. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing show, sort of like Pushing Daisies was- lots of bright colors.

Friends make graphs together

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(Major points to anyone who gets that reference.)

I had a bit of an epiphany the other day (a note to be born in mind while reading this post: I am almost incapable of letting things go. It’s terrible, and I’m working on it, but it’s also just a part of who I am). A couple of years ago, I had a terrible falling out with some of my very best friends. We had been a really tight group, but one of my best friends at the time and I were both really struggling with loving ourselves, and being the kind of people who people would want to be friends with, and so we called it quits. Or, I guess, I was the one to officially call it quits because I could see that things weren’t working, and when I tried to fix things she told me it wasn’t worth the effort, so I stopped being friends with her. Which was awkward, since I was the only one in our group to do so, and so I had to see her whenever I saw my other friends (I didn’t want everyone to abandon her to the wolves, but some kind of joint custody of our clique would’ve been nice). It was super uncomfortable, and then I transferred schools (although not because of my social situation), and that was kind of it for that entire group- we didn’t stay in touch, and I lost a lot of people who had been very important to me. It was incredibly awful, and is one of the things that makes me worry about being a bad person, because good people are presumably not kicked out of their cliques. It was years ago, but I still carry it around with me, and I still worry that I’m not a good friend, and that if I get close to people I’ll just lose them. So I made myself invisible. I was quiet, and unopinionated, and preferred to not make any impression on people rather than risk having it be a bad one. And as a result, I missed out on a lot of opportunities to get close to some really amazing people. The thing is though, that even though I haven’t made as many good friends (the kind you say you love all the time, and really mean it, and not “you like nine layer dip too?! I love you!” ) since then, I have made some, and I haven’t lost them. They’re still around. They live all over the  country, so I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, but they’re there. I can be trusted to have friends. I’ve always been told that I come off as kind of snooty, when in fact I’m just kind of socially anxious and introverted, but in the past few years it’s been worse because I was so freaked out from losing my friends. And I missed them, but they didn’t give any indication of missing me, so I inferred that I was such a lousy friend that they were glad I was gone, and they had probably never liked me in the first place. Which I suppose is possible, but my current friends like me, and so I must be doing something right. It really isn’t much of an epiphany when you get down to it (I haven’t been losing friends, I just haven’t been making as many because I am a big ball of self-doubt), but now that I’ve figured it out, I feel like I’ll be better at making friends, because I know that even though I mess up (a lot), there are still (non-blood relative) people who love me for who I am. And that makes me feel brave. I even talked to a bunch of people at the juice bar group interview thing last night, I was so emboldened by this revelation. It’s a little uncomfortable, announcing to the internet that I lost almost all of my friends (I always feel kind of sad when I read about people who are best friends with all of their college buddies, and who were all in each other’s weddings and whatnot), but I’m rebuilding. I’ve learned a lot since all that happened, and I think that things will be ok.

Plans A-C

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I think my test went well today. The professor said that he expects most people to get about 23/50 (personally, I think that’s insane, and he should’ve just made the test easier if he set us up to fail), so that’ll be a B with the curve. And I think I did better than 23/50 (but I don’t want to jinx anything). Our lab test is coming up soon, and that isn’t as crazy curved, so I can’t really lay off the books, but it’s all super cool, so I can’t really complain. Bodies are just awesome. I don’t care if it makes me seem weird, I am wicked pumped to dissect brains next week.

So I’ve been thinking about next year, and I need lots of back ups. I want to apply to at least…six schools, and keep my Peace Corps options open, and I’ve decided to apply to Americorps too. I want all my bases covered. I know some really cool people who’ve done Americorps, and it’s a great way to do some really great things, and help people who really need it. Perfect world, I’ll be in Nursing School in May. Different, but not necessarily less perfect world, I’ll be out and about, experiencing things and doing good.

Walking home from my interview/orientation thingy I fell in love. Deep, passionate love. Tuesday night is an exciting night on my block (Wednesday is garbage day), and tonight was no exception. I’ll post a picture tomorrow, but for tonight I’ll leave you with this-it weighed a ton, and I was sorry that I found it when I was wearing my nice (light-colored) interview clothes.

Second Music Monday

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This week should be interesting. I have my first A&P lecture test tomorrow, plus a practice lab practical. Am I ready? Umm…not so much. Will I be by tomorrow? Fingers crossed.  I’m making the actual test the priority, but I want to work on the lab stuff too so I don’t embarrass myself. I love this class, and I want to do well.

I also have an orientation/group interview tomorrow at this juice bar near my house. I put my name in ages ago, and they finally called me! I kind of doubt a juice bar pays as well as a law firm, but I bet I could do both! It sounds like so much fun, and I’d probably get to meet people! So that’s exciting. Plus, I love juice, and I love messing around in the kitchen, so if I got the job I would get to make all kinds of wacky juices (maybe). Then there’s a wasteland of boredom and drudgery until Friday, when I go to see Sean McCann (not really. I actaully like my day-to-day, but nothing unusual is happening Wednesday or Thursday)! I love concerts so much. Buffalo may not be perfect, but it gets a lot of really good music, and that totally improves my quality of life.

So. Monday has rolled around once again, and so here’s a little song.

Breakfast of Champions

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Sunday mornings are the best. Last year I would always wake up semi-early and grab the house’s copy of the Sunday Times before anyone else could get to it (this became a hit-or-miss adventure second semester when a puzzle enthusiast came back from abroad. Sometimes just the magazine section would be gone, but sometimes she’d take the whole paper and I’d never see it), and head over to the dining hall for breakfast. It would usually be pretty empty, since the dining halls serve brunch on the weekends, and that doesn’t open until 11, but they also offer (a much less exciting) breakfast for athletes and early risers. I would get a bowl of grapenuts, granola, yogurt, and whatever fruit was available, and read the paper. The Sunday Times takes about two hours to read, cover to cover, and I would usually have just enough time to read the good stuff (Front page, Week in Review, Arts, Travel, Magazine, and Style) before heading to Mass. I loved my church in Northampton- it was small, and friendly, and decently attended for a Catholic church in the most liberal town ever. Sunday mornings were so pleasant. They’re still good, but different. As much as I love cooking for myself, I sometimes miss the dining hall. Today, for example, I had leftover peach rhubarb crumble (delicious, but I still haven’t figured out the right amount of fat to use in the topping, so it’s still too dusty. Peaches are rhubarb aren’t really in season at the same time, but we got the last hold out rhubarb at the market last week, and they work well together), and a cold rabbit meatball,  skewered on the end of a fork and eaten like a lollypop. I do love cold meatballs, more than warm ones. It wasn’t a bad breakfast, and I quite enjoyed it, but it was unusual.

Sunday is a leisurely breakfast day, but it’s also a homework day, and I have my work cut out for me. I have a test on Tuesday, and I really really want to kill it. I want to wreck the curve. 🙂