Everything is certainly coming up Millhouse over here! Thursdays are tough this summer because I’m in class from 8:00-5:30 without any real breaks (I get an hour lunch most days), but I actually had a really nice day today. My class got to run through a simulation in the lab with a real patient, and while I was super nervous (I put my stethoscope on backwards the first time!), the instructors said I did a great job considering it was my first time taking a patient’s vitals. I also got my first assignment back, and I passed! Woo! I know it sounds silly to celebrate not-failing, and I didn’t expect to fail, but we don’t get letter or number grades for the class, so I’m not pleased to have just scraped by. Every time I do something right I feel a little more confident that I really do belong here.
While academic success is great, I actually felt a little more excited about the social achievements that I made today. I’ve been smiling and saying hello all along, and making a sincere effort to be friendly, but I honestly just don’t make friends very easily, and I was starting to worry that I was taking too long to make bosom buddies and all the good ones would be gone before I got close with anyone (I know that’s irrational and not how friendships work, but I never claimed to be rational). Usually my friends just sort of appear- I’ll go from not really knowing someone to suddenly being their friend, and I never really register how it happened, so most of my friends picked me. It’s a passive way to do things, and I know I should take a more active role in my relationships, but it usually works really well, and I think another friend (or two!) may be in the process of falling into my lap. Most of the people at the dance last night were older, but there were a couple of young’uns, and it turns out that two of them are traditional nursing students at Hopkins! I ran into one in the hall today, and we exchanged phone numbers, and she invited me over for dinner next week before the dance. She seems very nice, and I’m already thinking about baking a pie to bring. I do love it when things work out.
The other social success of the day was largely symbolic, but made me feel really good anyway. I’m with the same group of about six other people for most of my classes, and I somehow got off on the wrong foot with one of them. I can be sort of (very) oversensitive, but on the first day of classes this girl made a joke about me going out to international waters and marrying my hedgehog that I thought was a little unkind. “Why would she think I would I marry a hedgehog?” I thought “Is she suggesting that I’m some sort of sexual deviant, or that I’m the hedgehog equivalent of a crazy cat lady?”. It was silly, but it kind of hurt my feelings, and there was a vibe, real or imagined, that she didn’t like me. Some people just decide right off the bat that I’m not their kind of person, and I figured she was one of them, and I hoped we could peacefully not like each other for the next 13 months without incident. My track record would suggest that that wouldn’t be possible, but I hoped this would be an exception. What happened instead though, was that she decided to actually talk to me today (not in a hashing things out way, just in a conversational way that allowed her to see that I’m not a jerk, or stuck-up, or whatever it is about the first impression that I give that puts people off), and now we’re cool. It was probably all in my head anyway, but I feel much more relaxed now that I’ve had a positive interaction with this girl.
I had to get some blood drawn after class, so I didn’t get home until almost 6:30, and I didn’t have anything planned for dinner. Last night’s sauce was delicious, but I took the rest for lunch, and now I’m officially out of chicken. It was great while it lasted, but I don’t really feel the need to eat that much meat, since I’ve been getting plenty of protein from hummus and lentils. Because I didn’t have a plan though, dinner was…eclectic. I started with the heel of my loaf of bread, toasted with some cheddar cheese.
(I am going to miss the heck out of that cheese once it’s gone, but I don’t think I’ll be buying more, since a block costs half my grocery budget for the week.)
While I munched on my bread I considered my next move, and decided to pull out some carrots, celery, and onions, and just sautee them while I waited for inspiration to strike. My carrots are terrible this week- I’m not buying from that vendor again. They’re flaccid, and flavorless, and just generally lousy, and I wanted to get rid of them, so into the mix they went. I’ve been having a lot of success with my celery, and celery sticks with peanut butter are climbing the Favorite Snack Charts, but it’s getting a little floppy too, so I figured I could spare a few stalks for another use. Onions are always a good choice, so that was easy, and together they make up the holy trinity of Creole cooking, so I knew I was onto something good. I tossed them into my skillet in order according to cooking time (carrots, celery, then onions), and let them cook while I washed dishes and tried to come up with an idea for a meal. For want of a better idea I tossed a cup of quinoa into the mix and let it toast for a couple of seconds before adding two cups of water (I need to make stock, that would have been nicer). In the end I wound up with a tasty mix of flavors, and I served the whole thing over a bed of raw kale (the last of my kale. I’m glad it’s almost market day), with a reheated frittata mixed in for good measure.