Monthly Archives: May 2012

Hurried

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With my latest class starting at 8:30, and a twenty-minute shuttle ride to school, peaceful breakfasts are becoming a thing of the past. Waking up isn’t actually that hard, especially since things are still very new and exciting, but breakfast has morphed into a hurried affair, hastily assembled, and eaten standing up (but at least I’m still using a plate- I haven’t sunk to the eating-over-the-sink depths just yet) while I make lunch. Making lunch the night before might help streamline the process, but even then I doubt I’d have time to sit at a table and peruse the newspaper, especially since my lunches have been pre-made for the most part, and I just assemble the various items in the morning. What I really want, and should get this weekend, is a reusable lunch bag. Lots of my classmates have them, and they look much cooler than the plastic grocery bags I’ve been using (and reusing, I’m not just tossing them). It seems strange that classic elementary school accessories should be the height of cool in Nursing School, but there you have it. I can’t even imagine how awesome a Lisa Frank lunchbox would be, but I’m probably going to go with something more basic (I actually have a collection of metal lunch boxes at my parents’ house, but they aren’t very functional. I used to carry a Beatles lunch box, but it got all dented).

While my breakfasts are scarfed, they haven’t been undelicious. I’m officially out of bread, flat yeast, you name it, I don’t have it, but I’ve been enjoying delicious breakfast sandwiches of melted cheddar cheese and citrus tequila marmalade. The marmalade was a bit of an impulse purchase at the farmer’s market last week (there was a cute vendor, and those are my weakness), but I’m really enjoying it. It was a bit of an acquired taste, but it goes brilliantly with the salty cheese.

(This is actually from yesterday, when I still had rhubarb compote left. It’s all gone now, and I’m waiting anxiously for the market so I can make more.)

Soon it will be the weekend, and I’ll be able to eat slow, leisurely breakfasts again, but I don’t hate my current routine, and I actually kind of like it. I’ve been waking up before my alarm, and because I refuse to turn on the air conditioning in May, and then I’ve been taking icy showers, which are a great way to perk yourself up in the morning. Things will have to change when my roommates return, but for now I have a system in place, and it’s working really well. I’m busy, and hurried, and there’s always more reading that needs to be done, but I like this life.

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First Day

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Today was my first day of Nursing School, and I was so excited that I barely slept at all last night. Granted, part of my lack of sleep had to do with the horrible smothering heat, but at least 68% was school-related excitement. Despite my hot, sweaty, uncomfortable night though, I sprang from my bed this morning, ready to greet the day. I did a super quick (like ten minute) workout, more to wake up than anything else, hopped in the shower, threw together a quick breakfast and lunch, and ran to catch the shuttle. I was so pumped to get started that I actually wore my stethoscope around my neck, but when I got to school and realized that no one else was wearing theirs I felt silly and put it away. There will be time for stethoscope-accessorizing later. They also told us that we can wear our scrubs and polo shirts every day, so I’m pretty much never putting on real clothes again. Win!

Classes were very light today- I have Clinicals on Tuesdays, but we don’t know how to do anything yet, so we just met with our instructor and had a quick tour of the hospital. I’m going to be working on a long-term care ward at a local suburban hospital, and it seems like a good place to get acclimated. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot, but most of the patients aren’t actively dying, so it won’t be as emotionally wearing as some other clinical assignments (some of my classmates are on a pediatric oncology ward right out of the gate, which I think would be very difficult).

Yesterday was a kitchen-y sort of day, and I tried to prepare things that I can eat later this week when things start to get crazy, but I’m probably going to have to do some cooking anyway. I made a couple of nice things though, like vegan pesto (also known as I-don’t-want-to-buy-Parmesan-cheese-right-now pesto).

I actually kind of made up the recipe- it’s CSA greens (tat soy and some arugula), basil, and garlic, with olive oil, and salt and pepper. I also added some sugar snap peas, and I think they gave it a little something extra. It’s very garlicky- I used most of a head, but I like it that way. Cheese would have been nice, and maybe walnuts (I’m not a big pine nuts fan), but it’s a basic, fresh-tasting pesto, and I’m pleased with my results. I’ve been eating it on bread because I don’t know what else to do with it, and it makes a nice snack. I’m almost out of veggies already since I blended them all up, but I’ll make due until Friday with what I have.

I also made kale chips, but I’m honestly not getting enough kale from my CSA, and I might need to start buying extra. I have a reputation as a kale chow hound, and a single stalk a week is not cutting it.

Lastly, I made a grapefruit yogurt pound cake. I had two grapefruits that were getting kind of old, and as luck would have it, I was invited to a Memorial Day barbeque, so the stars were in alignment for me to make this cake again. It was a little different than the last time I made it because I don’t have white sugar or vegetable oil, so I had to substitute brown sugar and olive oil, but it was a hit anyway.

The party itself was wonderful- a couple of girls from my program posted an open invitation on Facebook, and about eight people showed up for a potluck dinner. There was grilled chicken, and pasta salad, and nice local IPAs, and we had a very pleasant time of it. The hosts seem like they really love entertaining, and they might make it a monthly thing, which would be amazing.

Now it’s pouring rain, and I’m sitting on the floor next to my fire escape enjoying the cool, wet breeze. I had a nice salad for dinner, and a Heath Klondike bar for dessert (to celebrate my first day of school, and because I really wanted some ice cream), and things are good. Tomorrow promises to be a longer day, with real classes, and taking notes and everything, but I’m going to try to do a little cooking in the evening if I can. I’m almost out of my disappointing lentil mess, and I’m ready to get back on the horse, possibly with baked lentils with cheese (Lillian, your recipe would be appreciated). The heat is breaking, and I’m very glad to be where I am.

Aw yiss

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How awesome is food? Check out some of the tasty things I’ve been eating!

This was just a plate of deliciousness. Seriously. Bread and butter pickles are the jam. I’m thinking once I finish the jar I’ll slice up some cucumbers and try to reuse the juice, but if that doesn’t work it’s good for bread-dipping.

Breakfast! Strawberries on homemade (unstrained, so slightly too liquid) yogurt, and bread and butter. Have I mentioned lately that I’m thrilled to have a working oven? Don’t get me wrong, I loved my flat breads (and I still have some in the freezer), but yeast bread is just incredible.

I didn’t get a lunch break today because I forgot a spoon and I brought more of that lentil glop, so I was starving by dinner time, and instead of eating when I got home I had to rush and shower (I have an almost super-human ability to get very very dirty. Dirtier than anyone else doing the same tasks. It’s a gift and a curse really) so I could get to mass. I actually ate a (homemade) popsicle in the shower because I was so thirsty and hot, but it did next to nothing as far as tiding me over. I was starving by the end of service, and I got kind of cranky when a seminary student got up and gave a mini-speech asking for donations. Fortunately I live across the street from my church, so I bolted out and ran right home to make dinner. While I was cooking I ate a jelly (or two…), and some grapes, but I need to buy some orange juice for a quick blood sugar boost. I was practically falling asleep in my pew I was so wiped out and hungry, and a glass of juice before church would have been life-saving.

Dinner was quick and tasty- salad, and grilled cheese with tat soy. I’ll be so sad when I run out of my Costco cheddar, it makes everything so nice.

Last, but certainly not least, the inspiration for this post title…rhubarb yogurt.

It’s every bit as good as it sounds.

I actually efficiented myself out of a job tomorrow, so I don’t have to go plant more flowers! Yay! I was assigned to an adopted plot today, and the woman who was supposed to be doing the planting had a very specific vision for how she wanted it to look (it involved measuring the distance between every flower, and after about an hour I was seriously considering murder-by-trowel), but instead of doing it herself she thought it best to have other people do it while she watched and drank wine. I can see why that would be a more pleasant alternative to manual labor, but it didn’t endear her to me at all. I could have used the money from another day, but I would have been exhausted for my first week of classes, and this way I can use tomorrow to get 100% organized and ready. I’m also proud to say that I was responsible with sunscreen, and didn’t get even a tiny bit sunburned. I’m horribly bug bitten, it looks like I have chicken pox, but I’m trying to be mind-over-matter-y and not scratch and just will them to go away. We’ll see how that works out.

Sleepy, sore, and satisfied

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I have a working oven! It isn’t the new oven that I hoped for, but after two oven-less weeks I’ll take whatever I can get. I was so excited when the handyman told me that I could use it without worrying about burning down my apartment that I immediately mixed up a batch of my favorite no-knead bread. Unfortunately, I didn’t start making the bread until around 5:00, and it had to rise for twenty hours, which meant it was supposed to go into the oven today around 1:00. Normally that wouldn’t have been an issue, since I don’t usually have plans that can’t be cancelled, but I signed up to spend this weekend planting flowers at a local park, and I couldn’t just dash home to deal with my bread because I don’t have a car and it was an hour walk (it was actually closer to a two hour walk when you do it my way. My way involves getting super lost and asking for directions from strangers only to be told that no such park exists). Sometimes being a pedestrian requires a lot of spoons (that link makes me feel a little bad actually, since I’m young, and healthy, but really everyone does have a finite number of spoons, no matter how it might seem, so I think it fits). Anyway, I had to make a decision, and I opted to let my bread rise for as long as possible, and then just bake it. Baking bread before it’s ready makes it heavy, but waiting too long, especially on a hot, humid day when it was already rising like crazy could ruin it entirely, and I’d rather have heavy bread than garbage.

Friday nights have been lovely these past couple of weeks because Scott or Judy comes by with my share of the CSA vegetables, and it’s always nice to see them. This week’s haul was great- lots of lettuce, and some kale, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, tot soy, and green apples, and to my absolute delight, Judy also invited me over for dinner. I do love having People. We spent a lovely evening eating out on their deck, just talking, and visiting, and enjoying a wonderful dinner of steak (mine was seriously huge, and I loved every bite), corn on the cob, and fresh CSA salad. They have three cats, and while they’ve been wary of me in the past they’re starting to get used to me, so I even got to have a nice cat cuddle, which pushed the evening into over-the-top pleasantness. At the end of the evening they sent me home with grapes,  strawberries, and a couple of books that I’m hoping to get to this weekend while I still have time for recreational reading, and I was so full, and sleepy, and happy I could have gone to sleep right then with a smile on my face. That wasn’t really in the cards though, because I have pretty bad timing and had to wait up to move my yogurt to the fridge, but I killed the time by watching The Pirates of Penzance on Netflix, so I can’t really complain.

This morning I woke up early and went to the market. I didn’t really need anything, but I really wanted some rhubarb, and that felt like a need. It was a beautiful morning, and I had a great time strolling around, checking out all the vendors. I found a nice bunch of rhubarb for a good price, and then bought a dozen free range eggs too. I just don’t like my store eggs- they’re all white, and the same size, and they feel artificial and sad. Now I have beautiful blue, and brown eggs, and they make me happy, so it’s worth paying a little extra (but honestly, they were almost the same price). As I left the market I ran into an adorable corgi, and I had to stop and give him some attention. I do love corgis.

When I got home I put my bread in the oven, and thirty minutes later it emerged, absolutely beautiful. Bringing my oven up to 500 degrees turned my kitchen into an inferno, but it made the apartment smell wonderful, and now there’s fresh bread! It’s totally worth the heat. I had to leave my bread untasted though, and rushed out the door so I could wander around lost for two hours before spending the rest of the day planting flowers.

It was a great day, but hot, and I’m bug bitten like no one’s business, and my back is sore from bending over all day. You cannot beat $11/hour with a stick though, especially to someone who doesn’t have any income, and does have a lot of expenses. I met several nice people, and I spent a (mostly) pleasant day outside, and now I’m wiped out. I came home and had ice cream and bread for dinner (the bread is slightly heavy, but still very nice), and now I’m relaxing until I can justify passing out for the night. What I would really like is a beer, but I refuse to waste money on a cheap and terrible beer, and I can’t justify buying nice ones when I’ve already indulged in luxury spending for the week, so I’m going without. It’s very character-building.  Instead, I think I’ll have some carrot sticks and hummus, and watch Buffy, which is the next-best thing.

Peaceful

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I signed up to plant flowers this weekend as a way to earn some extra money, but today and tomorrow are wide open, and I’m living it up before classes start on Tuesday.

I’m trying to get into good sleep habits, so I woke up at the normal time (around 7-ish. I’m going to have to get up much earlier than that on Tuesday, but I can’t bring myself to wake up at 5:30 before I have to), and went for a run. I had a plan- there’s a sunken mini-park a couple of blocks from where I live, and I was going to run around it and do the stairs, but it’s sort of isolated, and there weren’t many people around, so it didn’t feel like a safe idea today. Instead I ran around the Homewood campus, and did stairs there. I have a love/hate relationship with running stairs, but today’s workout felt really good.

When I got home I jumped in the shower, and then made myself a big delicious breakfast.

It’s nothing I haven’t blogged about before, and I’m sure people are getting bored with my endless scrambled eggs and greens, but I never do. The eggs were good, but the flat bread with hummus and caramelized onions stole the show. The pad thai hummus wasn’t quite as good as the garlic, but it was still delicious. Someone should make caramelized onion candy, I would totally eat it. On second thought, I’ll make it myself! I’m picturing a sort of Twix situation, with a shortbread cookie. What do you think? I don’t think chocolate would work, but caramelized onions and caramel might.

After breakfast I spent a lazy hour or so reading Sherlock Holmes. I only brought a select handful of books with me to Baltimore, and I’m burning through them at a fast and furious rate. I’m going to have to explore the Hopkins library soon, but I don’t have a card yet, so that will have to wait just a little bit longer. Living alone does give me lots of time to read though. It’s very peaceful here, without being lonely, and while I’m excited for the other girls to come back I’m really glad I had this time to get settled on my own.

One of the nicest things about my lovely, peaceful home is that it is steps away from The Baltimore Museum of Art. I’ve been meaning to go since I moved in, so today I did just that. The museum is free, which is great, and I suspect I’ll be going there a lot. They have a really great collection, lots of Dutch and Flemish paintings of pale fleshy people, and ancient art, and Impressionists. It’s eclectic, but I really liked a lot of what I saw, with three favorites really standing out.

This is Marie Laurencin’s “Group of Artists”. Isn’t it cool? There’s just something in their faces that makes me think about their relationships, and what they’re thinking. I imagine they’re all at a party, maybe being hosted my the man in the black jacket and the woman holding the flower who I imagine is his wife or girlfriend. He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself, and she doesn’t look like she loves him anymore, but they’re still going through the motions. I also really like the daydreaming girl, and the weird dog/lamb.

I love this one. It’s Max Pechstien’s “Circus”, and it jumped out at me from across the room. Isn’t it exciting? He did several paintings of the circus, including one that I like a little more, with camels, but this is a great painting. I especially like that he put some effort into the crowd’s facial expressions- they’re actually responding to the act instead just being a blurred out mass.

(This wasn’t at the museum, I just like it.)

This last one was my favorite of all. Marc Chagall is my favorite painter, but Matisse is right up there, and I would love to step into this painting and hang out. It’s a really happy picture, and I sat on a bench and just enjoyed it for a good five minutes.

I like to take little sips when it comes to museums (the only exception is The American Museum of Natural History in New York. I would live there), so I left after about an hour, and now I’m home, prepping for classes. I have a couple of online things I need to attend to before next week, and this is the perfect opportunity to stop putting them off and knock them off my list. Have I mentioned lately that I’m super happy? Because I really, really am. 🙂

All the books

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I don’t know if I got a good or bad deal, but I just bought all my books for the semester (and some for the fall) from another accelerated student, and now they’re in a stack on my floor (I’m also, coincidentally, really kind of wishing I had a bookcase right about now). They weigh about a kajillion pounds, and getting them home was a challenge, but now they’re here, right at my fingertips, waiting to be read, and that’s what matters. It’s a huge relief.

I’ve gotten into a cooking routine, and I have to say, I really enjoy it. Soon school will start, and I’ll have to make sacrifices to fit everything in my schedule, so today I made a point of cooking, because next week will probably involve a lot of hurried meals and leftovers. I was limited by what I had in my food stores, which is frankly kind of boring staple stuff while I establish a base, but I wanted to use my lemons because they were starting to look a little desiccated, and that was a jumping off point. I still don’t have an oven (but I will soon! The new, better, non-emergency handyman said he would get me a new oven!), but the phrase “lemon rice” jumped out at me, so I decided to improvise my own version of that. I needed something to eat with the rice, so I also cooked up a giant batch of lentils (I don’t really know what I was thinking when I made all the lentils ever. Maybe that I could eat them next week? Whatever it was, I made a ton of lentils). I don’t have a ton of experience cooking lentils, so I just made them plain, and then stirred in some basil, salt, and pepper. They were ok, but they needed something, so I opened a can of crushed tomatoes and dumped most of that in. Unfortunately, the tomatoes had basil in them, so the result tasted weirdly like Spaghetti-O’s, so I compensated by adding more pepper to combat the sweetness. Did I mention I made a ton of lentils? Because now I have all my lunches and dinners for a week. I’m embracing it though, it’s hearty, simple, healthy food, and you can’t beat that.

The rice came out very nice, lemony, and refreshing. I wish I had more in the spices department, but I like how un-muddled everything tastes when you can identify every flavor. I wilted some CSA greens in the microwave, and everything was ready.

I’d like to try my hand at dal, but I might never want to see another lentil again after I finish off all of my leftovers.

They fed us again at orientation, but I learned my lesson and ate normally, and just stole a bunch of fruit (not the best plan, since I also had to carry all the books, but I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity). I know I just wrote about loving being a person who snacks on veggies, but an apple and peanut butter is good too.

The Creek

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I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures, but if I did, my love for Dawson’s Creek would qualify. It’s terrible- I had forgotten just how bad the dialogue truly is, but I love it, and I was thrilled when I saw it on instant Netflix. All of the current accelerated students have been telling us to enjoy the last of our free time before school starts, and for me that’s meant catching up with Dawson, Joey, and Pacey (I’m in a new place and I don’t know anyone yet, so sue me. I do other things too, I’m just talking about awesome 90’s teen soaps right now).

My biggest take away from indulging in this totally-not-guilty pleasure is that I want to go to the beach. Usually I don’t really like the beach, I’ve always thought sand is gross, and now after taking microbiology I know it’s actually much grosser than I had previously suspected, and I’m actually a little afraid of the ocean (I make a point of going in the water every time I go to the beach, but I get a little nervous if I go in much deeper than my sternum. The ocean is really big, ok? It’s big, and powerful, and there are lots of things living in it, and I think that’s a little scary), but I want to go anyway.

I keep thinking about my August break. There are lots of places that would be super fun destinations (Gettysburg! Williamsburg! D.C! The Eastern Shore!), but while they aren’t that far away, they would require a car, which I don’t have. I’m kind of hoping that I’ll meet cool people with cars but no plans for break and we’ll go on outings together, but I’ll have to play that by ear. I hope there are beach adventures in my future though.

Already learning

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Classes haven’t even started yet, but I’ve already learned a valuable lesson- I shouldn’t try to get a full day’s worth of calories in all at once, even if it’s free food provided by the school. I should have known it wouldn’t work out well, but it was so tempting that I had to try, and now at least I know better. Free food is great, and I’m a poor student, but I just can’t do it without feeling sick and grumpy for hours after. In my defense, I’m not the only one who tried, but “everyone is doing it” is a pretty flimsy excuse.

Day Two of orientation was painfully dull. I make a serious effort to not play on my phone while people are talking, but today’s lectures were rough, and I had to struggle to resist the siren song of Facebook. In a stunning display of math comprehension I forced myself to leave for the shuttle a solid fifteen minutes later than I did yesterday, and as a result I was only forty-five minutes early today instead of an hour. On the plus side though, I discovered that I can read on the bus without getting a headache, so I’ll be able to use that time either for studying, or a few stolen minutes of pleasure reading. It honestly wasn’t a bad day, but it dragged on, and I really just want to get started with classes. The anticipation is killing me. I finally bought my fancy nurse’s clogs, and I even took the plunge and bought all my books off a graduating student, I want to start classes already.

(Ok, I used my roommate’s mirror for my dress-up shot. I think my mirror makes me look wide, maybe it’s a little warped? The kind of funny thing though, that if I’m stationed at the Johns Hopkins Hospital for my clinicals I won’t actually wear the scrubs top- the real nurses wear the exact same uniform, and there have been issues with students being ordered to do stuff they weren’t qualified for, so now they wear their polos instead. I kind of like the all blue look though, and the shoes make me very tall.)

I still felt bloated and nasty from my attempt to front load my day’s eating when dinnertime rolled around, but I enjoy cooking in the evenings, so I chopped up and caramelized more onions (flat breads and caramelized onion- I’m turning into a real one trick pony). They take forever to cook, and I used that time to read, and pull my mood up by the bootstraps. When they were done I decided to have a quick workout, which finally did the trick, and made me feel better again (push-ups are a marvelous thing). I even wanted dinner, so I threw together a nice salad with CSA greens, carrots, garlic hummus, and the onions.

It was great. I actually never used to like carrots, but I’ve been eating tons of them lately, and they make a really good snack. It started out because I wanted a vessel for all my hummus (even though I’ve just eaten it by the spoonful too), and then I felt pressured to eat them so they wouldn’t go to waste, but now I actually choose them over other snacks. It’s weird, but I like it- I like being the kind of person who would snack of raw veggies.

Disorientation

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I had a simple dinner tonight, just some pre-prepared lentils, on top of greens, with a toasted flat bread. Have I mentioned that the breads inflate when you toast them? It’s a little thing, but I’m completely charmed by it. I added a spoonful of yogurt because it makes it nice, but I’m almost out, so the rest of the batch needs to be saved until I can use it to make more. I’m moving away from the packaged lentils too, I want to save the last few packages for when I’m swamped with school and really need a quick meal.

I barely slept last night, I was so full of first day of school jitters, but I leaped out of bed this morning, did ten push-ups, and proceeded to try on a million outfits in an attempt to find the perfect combination of comfortable and presentable that would allow me to make a good first impression on my classmates and adviser. They were providing us with breakfast at school, but I woke up so early that I had a snack anyway- a lychee jelly, and a piece of toast that I ate on the way to the bus stop. It was my first time riding on the JHU shuttle, and it went really well. I wasn’t quite up on the etiquette, the bus can only hold so many people, so the other people waiting were lining up in order of when they arrived, and I kind of jumped the que, but everyone was able to ride, and I know for tomorrow. It’s a quick ride, maybe twenty-five minutes, and I got to school a solid hour ahead of schedule. The neighborhood around the medical campus is sketchy though, so rather than wander or go get a cup of coffee I went right into the nursing school, and the security guard (who seemed used to the compulsively early student antics, I guess it’s a thing at Hopkins the way it was a thing at Smith) led me to a table where another girl was already waiting. We chatted a bit, and gradually the room started to fill up until we decided we had waited sufficiently long and dug into the nice breakfast buffet they had laid out. There were bagels, and various spreads, and pastries, but I was excited about the fruit salad, and took a bunch of kiwi (among other things of course, but the kiwi just struck the right chord with me today. It was very ripe, and I probably took more than was polite, but I don’t really like melon, and fruit salad always has too much. It’s the lettuce of fruit salad).

The brass tacks of orientation were fine, but most of it had been covered at Accepted Students Day, so there wasn’t anything too earth-shaking. We did a quick scavenger hunt, designed to help us get acquainted with the building, but my group decided to ignore the purpose of the exercise, and broke the list up so that everyone found one item and reported back (we were led by the brassy girl from ASD, who was in rare brassy form). It felt a little inconsiderate of the current students who had organized the hunt, but it worked, and we were the first group back and won gift certificates for free lunches at the cafe in the lobby.

Lunch was also provided (I made a point of making the most of these meals since they were free, but I probably had too much sugar, and now I’m craving more. It was hard to resist though, since my oven is still broken and my only options for sweets at home are peanut butter, which leaves me kind of cold these days, and my rapidly dwindling supply of assorted jellies. Yogurt doesn’t count, since it’s unsweetened, and I’m almost out, with no way of making more), and we sat with our new advisers so that they could share words of wisdom. My adviser seems nice enough, and I’m sure I’m going to be hanging on her bell for the next thirteen months, but because our program is so short we don’t really have much (or any) flexibility as far as classes.

We were released around 2:00, and I went over to the bookstore to pick up my scrubs. Of course it was a mob scene, so my plan of picking out my shoes didn’t happen, but I was lucky enough to pass a classmate I met at the bar last week on my way to the shuttle stop, and she took pity on my carrying-a-large-box-in-the-rain state and offered me a ride home. People have been so helpful about shuttling me around, but I can’t help but wish I had a car anyway. It would simplify things (it would complicate things too, but it’s just a fantasy, since I’m not going to get a car, so why let reality get in the way of my idealized car-owning image of life?).

I had tons of errands to do, and ran around getting things done and being productive, and now I’m semi-comatose. My life is about to be insanely busy, which makes me slightly nervous, since I’m wiped out from a day of just talking about how busy I’ll be. Not even talking, just listening. I need to work on my stamina, but it’ll probably improve as I go. I had a sort of nice time at orientation, but I find that kind of event, with lots of strange people I’m supposed to be forming lifelong friendships with, exhausting. I do much better in small groups, which will happen eventually, but I can’t help feeling pressured to make connections right away, even though it’s stressful and not how I function.

For now I’m home, contemplating an early bedtime, and a later wake-up tomorrow, or at least a later shuttle. There are still various odds and ends chores that I can do tonight, like order textbooks, and I want to squeeze in all the pleasure reading that I can before classes start. The last episode of Sherlock is up too, but I can’t bring myself to watch it just yet. There won’t be more until 2013, and that’s so far away. Maybe I’ll save it until I really really need a carrot on a string to get through something.

Everyone was emphasizing how short the program is, and how the summer term will go by in the blink of an eye, and then we have most of August off (speaking of, what should I do with my break? Lots of people are going away, which does sound tempting, but I have rent, and CSA veggies, and I don’t know where I would go. Buffalo maybe? I might do a day trip out to D.C., just because I’ve never been there, and I think there’s a pretty cheap bus. I’m not sure- it’ll require further deliberation later in the summer). It’s just ten weeks of insanity, and then we get to come up for air. You can do anything for ten weeks- I’m thinking of it like a 2k test. People keep trying to convince me that I need to just focus on school, and that there will be time for other things later, but I’m actually very comfortable with the idea of marrying myself to my work (though I do feel sort of sorry for the people in my program who are actually married to people. Their spouses are probably in for some neglect). I’m so excited to start, and actually move closer to being a nurse that I can hardly stand it.

What. A. Day.

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Last night I opened my home to a classmate in need- her apartment won’t be ready until Thursday, and she needed a place to crash, so I happily offered her my floor (I don’t have a couch, so I could only offer the floor or the bathtub, and she chose the floor). I was a little unsure of my role as host, but I helped her make a comfortable little nest on the floor, and made her breakfast this morning, and we had a nice time.

After breakfast we strolled around Charles Village, and then hopped in her car to pick up another classmate and go to Target. That classmate just so happened to live in the same building as the girl who is sharing the CSA share with me, so I shot her a text, and we gained another passenger. I didn’t really need anything from the store, but I’m doing my best to say yes to things, so I was happy to go along for the ride, and I’m glad I did. In a very If-You-Give-A-Mouse-A-Cookie train of thought, my classmates realized once we got to Target that what they really wanted was to go to Costco, and so that was our next stop. Costco is a little overstimulating, but I really enjoyed the free samples (they were giving out Chex Mix, and cheese, and bites of all different kinds of cheesecake, among other things), and I found something very special and VERY exciting.

The car was packed to the gills after the Costco run, so we stopped off at my apartment and I put my purchase away, and gave Jill her CSA stuff, and then went over to her apartment building to unload the rest of the purchases. It’s a lovely building, though it’s a little impersonal, and absurdly expensive (I might just be bitter because they have gorgeous kitchens with big lovely stoves that actually work. They don’t have any hot water though, so I’m not that jealous). We then hopped on a bus to the waterfront, and walked around, taking in the sights and the nice weather. As I’m blogging it, I’m realizing that we didn’t actually do that much, but it felt like a full day because the company was so pleasant, and that just makes everything more exciting. All of my classmates that I’ve met so far have been delightful. I’m really looking forward to getting to know everyone better, and meeting the rest of my class.

Social ties aside though, check it out!

Isn’t it beautiful? You wouldn’t believe how inexpensive it was, and I’m going to use it to make so many things! I’m super jazzed.