cookies for everyone!

So yea, that NaBloPoMo thing was a spectacular failure, as I expected it to be. I had briefly considered live-blogging part of the honeymoon but ultimately decided not to give myself tendonitis again by typing away on my phone, so I’ll have some honeymoon posts shortly!

In the meantime, I attended a Cookie Swap on Saturday. Organized by my friend Alex and hosted by Elizabeth. When Alex asked a while back if I was interested, I couldn’t respond fast enough. I had never participated in a cookie swap before but I was alllll over it. The most difficult part was deciding what kind of cookies to make! I usually end up making cupcakes for parties because they are adorable and a crowd pleaser but in a battle of cookie vs cake, I’d probably be on the cookie side. One thing though, I am a cookie snob. I am really a baked good snob, if we’re being completely honest here. Some grocery store cookies are passable and grocery store sheet cakes are a necessary evil, but to me there is nothing worse than those hard chocolate chip cookies people try to pass off as dessert at events. I’d rather eat the napkins they are served with.

Whoops, that got a little real. But! Cookie Swap! With people making real cookies! I was so excited! At first I decided to make double chocolate cookies and before I left for Hawaii, I made a test batch and took them to work. They were received well enough…but I could tell they didn’t wow anyone. And that wouldn’t stand with me, so last minute, I decided to just go with the tried and true m&m cookies from The Crepes of Wrath. I am not a huge fan of m&ms…expect the peanut butter ones, but regular m&ms are meh. Something about putting them in a cookie, though. That’s where they really shine. I have made these countless times and they might be my all-time favorite cookie recipe. The resulting cookies are colorful and chewy and the sea salt on the top knocks them out of the park. I highly recommend buying a bar of chocolate and chopping it up so that you get all different chocolate sizes plus the chocolate shavings which just really take them over the top, in my opinion. Also, they use melted butter! No chance to forget to take butter out and let it soften. I actually pulled butter from the freezer for these and it took no more time than usual.

So. Anyways. The Swap was in Mt. Washington…and while I am not as bad as I used to be…driving new places still gives me a little anxiety. I left super early and of course got a little lost on the way. The place where 28S splits to go to 579/279/376 and then again where 279? splits to the Ft. Pitt Bridge is the bane of my existence. I have never gotten it right. And I didn’t this time either. I took a nice little downtown detour on the way there and back. But I arrived, unscathed and had a wonderful time! The only person I had actually met before was Alex, so it was great to meet a bunch of people that I have only interacted with online. It was a diverse group of people with a diverse group of snacks and most importantly, cookies! I had so much fun, I am already eagerly awaiting the next one.

And all of the cookies were sooooo good. We smartly decided to cut the quantities in half, usually you bring 1 dozen cookies for each participant, but with 10 participants, we cut it to 1/2 dozen per person, which was still cookie overload! In the best way! I ate one of each, froze 1-2 of each and sent the rest to work with Keith. I thought I had take a picture of my portion of cookies laid out on a tray, but apparently not, so I only have this picture of the packaged cookies from the party.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.19.28 PM

In other news, I mentioned over and over again how horrible my Remote Sensing class this semester was. I’m not sure that I publicly announced that I failed my midterm? Yep. A big ol’ F. But then he bumped everyone up 10 points, so I officially got a D. There were 3 assignments, the midterm and the final. I got a B on the 1st assignment, a D on the midterm, then went on my honeymoon so never got back the 2nd and 3rd assignments, came back from the honeymoon and had 3 days to prepare for the final. My hopes were not high. I have never been so completely lost in a class. I went to every lecture (minus one while we were away) and I just couldn’t grasp anything. I felt like the final went better than the midterm, but since I had no idea how I did on the rest of the assignments…my grade was very much up in the air. One of the essay questions on the final said something about “After getting an A in your Remote Sensing class, you were put in charge of a team of paleontologists to survey this land in Africa…blah blah blah.” I was able to answer about 60% of the question, but couldn’t grasp some of the concepts, so I finished my essay with “Based on my remote sensing knowledge, I would likely be demoted to field cook.” Oh, Katrina. Always with the jokes.

So imagine my surprise when I logged in today.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.06.21 PM

Ha! I would not have been surprised (though very disappointed) had I gotten a D and here I pulled off a C+! Curious as to how far away from a B I was, but not curious enough to ask. Just glad to be done with that class forever and glad to move on to my final! two! classes! in January. The end is near my friends.

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first (and last) day of class

Yesterday was the first day of classes for me. (Since I rebellio If my life were a sitcom, which I often used to think it was, this would be the episode that had people fleeing to the internet saying, “That episode sucked, at least try to make it a little believable. All of those things couldn’t have gone wrong!” But oh, they did.

It began a few days ago. The Archeometry professor sent out an email stating that the class on Wednesday would be in “the wood lab.” Since I had absolutely no idea what or where “the wood lab” was, I sent him an email saying that I had just joined the class so could he tell me where this classroom was?

No response from him, but early yesterday, he sent out a reminder that class would be in “the wood lab” – 2100 Posvar hall. Okay, cool. I know Posvar, no problem.

I run out of work 5 minutes early since I didn’t know exactly where 2100 was, giving me 35 minutes to drive to Oakland, park and walk to class. No problem, totally doable. Until I get to Posvar, go to the 2nd floor and the very first room I come to is 2400. So I walk down a little, but the numbers keep going up. Go back to 2400 but there are no rooms beyond that. I walk back down to the elevator bank to the little floor schematic…and there is no 2100. Nowhere. It just simply does not exist.

I pull up the email to double check it was 2100, not 1200 or something and yep: 2100 Posvar. At this point I was very frustrated and near tears. I kept digging my nails into the palm of my hand to stop myself from crying. I considered skipping class and just going to find my next class, but I had already missed two and I would need to find the stupid class next week, so I started looking again.

Povar is connected to David Lawrence, so I went into DL to see if maybe there was another schematic there that might show me and miracle upon miracles, there was! Except there was the rectangle from Posvar that didn’t include 2100, and a square floating in the top corner of the map that had a few other rooms, including 2100! Except there was NO explanation on how to get there. It was a detached square. Which makes absolutely no sense. There were about 4 minutes until class started now and I HATE BEING LATE. I had one more option, which was to run to the Anthro department and hope there was someone in there to direct me. Luckily, the office was still open so I approached the secretary.

“I’m sorry but I can’t find room 2100?”

“This is the 3rd floor?”

“I know, but my Anthropology class is in there and I can’t find it.”

“Ohhh, our lab…[gives directions]”

I ran out of there and followed her directions which included:

1. Walking OUT of Posvar, into David Lawrence

2. Taking an elevator from 3rd Floor David Lawrence to what is miraculously 2nd floor Posvar

3. Following someone into an unmarked door and nearly walking into the professor.

You can’t get to 2100 Posvar FROM Posvar. WOULD HAVE BEEN REALLY NICE TO KNOW IF YOU HAD ANSWERED MY EMAIL, PROF.

So then I sat down right next to the professor, since I was the last one there and proceeded to not understand a word anyone was saying for 75 minutes. But, that happens, I’d do better next class.

End of class comes and goes and he keeps talking for ~5 minutes, which is fine ordinarily, but not when I have 15 minutes to get to my next class. Then, he holds me back to talk about what I missed and the three assignments I need to make up, and I run out of there near tears. Again.

Got helplessly lost leaving the classroom, ended up walking through part of a construction zone and came out of the building on the total wrong side starting my trek to my next class.

This next part is completely my fault, but for some reason I had conviced myself that my 6pm class was in Crawford. I had parked by Crawford so my car would be close when it was time to leave and I began walking. It wasn’t until I got to Crawford, literally walked into the building that I realized my class was in Thaw. Which are not even remotely close to one another. I figure I’m going to be 15 minutes late by this point, but okay, whatever.

Walk into Thaw…there is a kid directly behind me, I held three doors in a row for him, so once we get to the end of the hall, he says “Calc 2?”

“Oh god no.” I respond.

“Well that is the only class down here…”

I just stopped dead in my tracks and whined (to myself) “I don’t know where the hell to go…”

“What are you looking for?

“102?”

“Oh, it’s upstairs. Go up those stairs back there and go to the right.”

Because that makes COMPLETE SENSE that classrooms beginning with 1 would be on the 2nd floor. But I thanked him and ran upstairs. (Thaw and SRCC are connected. I later went from the “first” floor of Thaw into the “fourth” floor of SRCC by opening a door. Stupid Pitt.)

Get to 102, walk in and:

photo

Walk back out…pull up the syllabus…102. Pull up the weird alternate website the professor is using…102. Pull up the Studen centert…104. Okay, 104…let’s try that.

Walk over to 104, notice a whole bunch of people inside. Okay, this is good. There are people in there. This is also bad because there is a room full of people and I’m 22 minutes late and everyone’s going to look at me. I spot a seat on the end, so I slip in and sit down.

Hear the tail end of what the professor is saying…look at the board…I am in the wrong class.

Considered just sitting there for 2 hours pretending I knew what was going on to prevent further embarrassment.

Turn to the kid next to me: “Really stupid question…what class is this?” He immediately breaks into a smile, “Circuits.”

“[Expletive deleted]!” Jump up and leave.

There was a bathroom across from the auditorium so I just went straight in and cried. Couldn’t hold off any longer. I didn’t know what to do. The class was either invisible or cancelled or moved to some other room or maybe there was ANOTHER Room 102 somewhere.

The class had a lab at 7pm, and I knew where that was for certain, so I walked outside the building, sat down and cried some more.

Nothing like crying in public! Katrina is back!

By this time I had 20 minutes until the lab started and I thought about just giving up, going home and trying again next week. I also was one button away from dropping both classes on my phone. I can’t take this stress.

I decided I would wait it out. Go to the lab, follow someone back to the lecture hall and see how it went before I made a decision. Got up, went inside, a line was forming outside of the classroom, people were talking geology*, I was in the right place. Get into the lab, had a little worksheet we had to work through…and it wasn’t until 20 minutes into this that I realize there WAS NO LECTURE. There were only labs. I was really confused because there are multiple labs…so I thought that lecture was split and broke for labs, but it makes much more sense that there were only labs…not some weird split double lecture. I don’t know why that didn’t cross my mind, I am an idiot.

Got out of the lab, came home, cried to Keith.

This morning I dropped the 4:30 class. Back to taking one class, back to maybe not graduating in the spring, back to having to pay for this semester out of pocket. But I can’t do it. I was so very tempted to drop both classes and try again next semester, but that would push me back two semesters and I can’t do that. This also helps with the fact that I would have missed 3 more classes when we went on the honeymoon, so that’s another plus.

I felt an immediate sense of relief. It was very naive of me to think I could take 2 classes back to back like that with NO down time after work. I would have been miserable. I sent the professor an email telling him I was dropping/explaining my reasons and I got a nice email back saying they would miss my contributions. (Ordinarily I wouldn’t have said anything, but my luck I’ll have him in the spring, so I figured it was a good idea.)

Is the semester over yet?

 

*Overheard a kid say, “You should have seen the cleavage!” before going into some long drawn out rock description, it was kind of hilarious.

 

life update: penultimate semester

Just a quick life update for anyone who cares…

Last Wednesday, we returned from a short jaunt to the Outer Banks with Keith’s parents. Keith noted on the way down that this little getaway fell on our 3 month wedding anniversary while our actual honeymoon is going to fall on our 6 month anniversary. After dubbing our OBX trip #mcminimoon, I inquired as to where he was taking me for the 9 month anniversary. Nothing like setting a precedent, Mr. McB!

Speaking of McB, I still don’t feel like one. I have gotten everything changed over into my new name, except for my passport, but since there is no impending out of the country travel, I figured I could wait a bit on that one. I am excited for that though, my passport picture is horrendous. Maybe I’ll show ya later. But I keep stumbling when I have to give my name, definitely can’t sign it…and it just feels weird. I guess this feeling will fade in time but it’s kind of odd to feel like two different people.

Classes have started, and being the rebel I am, I missed the first week due to #mcminimoon. My academic world was turned upside-down a few days before classes began when I met with my sort-of-advisor just to make sure I was still on track and to get his signature for something.

I decided to pursue the GIS Certificate after all. I was only going to take one class in the fall, then two in the spring and one in the summer – pushing back graduation, but my advisor found another class I could take for the fall that would work and hopefully take place of the summer one, meaning I could still graduate in the spring.

The only problem was that it was a bit earlier than the classes I usually take and I wasn’t sure I could get there in time from work. But I asked my boss and after a few days got approved to leave work earlier and can now take it. While emailing with the GIS Certificate advisor, he asked me to call him and we actually had a pretty nice chat on what the certificate entails and how I am essentially halfway there.

So now I am taking Introduction to Remote Sensing and Archeometry. Don’t ask me what either one is because I truly have no idea. Hopefully I will be able to tell you in December. So now I’m a week behind and don’t have any idea what the classes are teaching me…so it’s going to be a fun few days trying to play catch-up. In the spring I will take whichever Anthropology writing class is offered at night and an Independent Study related to an as-of-yet still undetermined GIS project! Fun! And then I’ll graduate! And never go to school again! You can’t make me!

 

life stuff

school work + snack. #vscocam

Sooo…life.

I am nearing the tail end of my 6 week summer course – GIS, GPS and Computer Methods and while I am iffy on the class, I seriously love this 6 week format. We have class twice a week and it is supposed to be for 3 hours, but my professor somehow never got that memo, so we’ve been getting out after 2 hours. It’s 6:00-9:15 but the latest I have ever stayed was 8:45 last week. He even cancelled our last class because he realized he didn’t need to go over one lecture. So I basically have two more classes and then I’m done. Awesome. That also means I have less than a week to finish this final project…but whatever.

My partner and I are doing some mapping of Pittsburgh bridges. It’s kind of neat, but nowhere near as cool as my project idea. I wanted to map out the Ludacris song “Area Codes.” It would be brilliant. We could map the area codes in relation to the places he has gone on tour in the time since the song came out and it would be hilarious. I ran the idea by my partner and just got a blank look in return. Turns out she had never heard the song. Never! What!

So we came up with something else and then the next week she told me she had gone home and downloaded the song, haha.

 

My friend Chelsey had a good point in that she (my partner) probably wasn’t alive when the song came out. Too true.

I was taking this GIS course in hopes that maybe I would love it and I could go for the GIS certificate. I hear it’s a pretty in-demand field right now and sounded pretty cool. But the class is….kind of a bore. I think I blame the prof more than anything. We spend an hour being lectured to and then he just sets us loose to do something in the program. Which he never showed us how to do….so we sit there and fumble around until he guides us through in like 5 minutes and I feel like I have learned nothing, because I haven’t. Also he goes entirely too fast so he has to repeat every step 4 times when he could just SLOW DOWN and solve that problem.

So I think I might not want to go through with the certificate. I also couldn’t finish it in the time I want to have left at Pitt…and it would involve an internship which does not jive well with having a full-time job, so….blah.

But! That frees up the classes I have left to take. After this summer class ends, I need 3 more classes. One of them has to be an Anthropology class, but it is not offered at a time I can take in the fall, so I have to hope that it will be offered in the spring when I can. If not, my advisor is going to have to actually advise me for once and figure that out. That frees up two fall classes for me. I was going to take Cultural Resource Management but that feels like a waste if I’m not trying to go in that direction. Again, not enough time left at Pitt.

So I think I’m just going to take two blow-off classes, if I can find them. Ideally, they will both be online which will solve my issue of missing 2.5 weeks of class when we go to Hawaii. Right now I’m on a waiting list for Russian Fairy Tales and some Intro to Sociology class….but if I can find something that sounds like more fun, that could change.

Pitt Alums…easiest/best class you took? I probably won’t be able to fit it into my schedule, but maybe! Any suggestions are welcome!

quarter life crisis part two: the resolution

continued from quarter life crisis part one. 

 

So I was having doubts for my career path for the first time in my life. What else could I possibly do with my life? I don’t want to be in my current job forever. While the pay is okay, comparatively it’s pretty terrible. I get lots of days off per year which is a huge perk and I’m not exactly miserable there but I am not mentally stimulated…at all. There is also no real way for me to be promoted and there surely isn’t any sort of merit-based raise. I absolutely could not continue on there for the next 30 years. My department is also slowly shrinking and probably won’t even exist in 30 years.

So I can’t stay in my current job, I am having major doubts about my potential future job…time for some soul-searching. And soul-searching I did. For two or three weeks I drove myself crazy imagining different scenarios. Anthropology is pretty broad, maybe I could just use it as a spring board and head into Human Resources or something. I could potentially be an Archeologist if I got some experience, but I don’t think there is much work in SW PA and as I have mentioned time and again, I AM NEVER MOVING AGAIN. I believe I’ve mentioned I’m taking a Soils and Archaeology class this semester, which I fondly refer to as dirt class. Through my soul searching, I kept coming back to the class…maybe I could do something related to that…

I have two professors for the class and they are not traditional professors. One is a Soil Scientist, the other a Cultural Resource Manager and they teach this class, and only this class, once a year. Both of their jobs sound really cool. In different ways, they both consult on projects for large development companies and agencies (like PennDOT) before they put in a roadway or a bridge to make sure that when they disturb the land, they are not disturbing any archaeological finds. And if there are archeological finds, they make sure that they are protected. I might be a giant nerd, but it sounds really fascinating.

After I kept coming back to it, I decided I couldn’t make a decision without getting more information, so I emailed both of my professors and my advisor. And then I felt sick. I asked the professors if we could meet (informally) and talk a bit about their careers and I asked my advisor if he had any other contacts and if this sounded like a terrible idea. They were all very encouraging and we set up times to meet.

I met with one of my professors last week and he provided me with lots of encouraging information. My advisor put me into contact with a graduate student who had done CRM work and I met with her also. I am meeting with my other professor tonight. The graduate student was also very encouraging and gave me lots of great advice. But the best part about meeting with both of them was the fact that it was so obvious that they love what they do. It is so rare these days to see someone so passionate and excited about their work and whenever I see that, it is contagious. I want to love my job, I want to be passionate about my work. Can I be passionate about your job and your work?

My only hesitation about going into this type of field is the travel involved. I am a homebody. I love my house. I love being home with Keith and Daisy. I’m not sure I could handle being away for short or extended periods of time. The graduate student I met with did tell me about some other options I would have that would be less mobile.

The best part of this is I don’t have to change my major or anything, it is still Anthropology. I don’t have to take stupid classes that I care nothing about (Economics, Political Science) in order to get into the School of Education. I was looking at summer classes to see what I could take instead of the stupid Econ and PS I am signed up for and there is a GIS (Geographic Information Systems – think Google Maps) class that I can take this summer, and a Cultural Resource Management class I can take in the fall. I don’t really believe in signs, but I’m taking it as a sign that these classes are offered at times that work perfectly with my schedule.

I also could potentially graduate a semester early on this new path, but I’ve decided to take only one summer class and give myself a much needed break. So now instead of having summer classes from May 6-August 10, I will have class from June 23-August 2. Every time I think of this, I become almost giddy. I will have all of May, almost all of June and most of August to myself! Just work! I can finish up wedding stuff without losing my mind! I can paint the rest of my house! I can maybe plant a garden and probably have time to water the plants!

It feels a little weird having decided not to go through with the education thing. Just the other day, after having made my decision, I was thinking about something and thought how I could incorporate that into my classroom. Oh, wait. I’m not having a classroom.

But once again I am excited and energized and though I wish I had known about this career path a bit earlier so I could have taken more Archaeology/Geology classes and less Cultural Anthropology classes, but at least I figured it out before I had already graduated, and wasted time and money pursuing something else.

So that’s where I am not. Teaching’s out…some sort of Cultural Resource Management/Geomorphology/Archaeology/Playing in the dirt is in. Eeeeeek.

pluses and minuses

+/- Wedding stuff is coming together. I have been incredibly stressed out about this. I am making paper flowers for decorations and although I had a bunch, I figured I needed 2-3x what I had and I just wasn’t sure it was going to happen. So I took about an hour this weekend and made a mock tablescape (the fact that I know the word tablescape kind of makes me want to puke). I laid out an assortment of flowers, counted them, did it again, counted again and now have a number of how many flowers I need. I then decided to bag them up by table. Turn out I have enough flowers for 3 complete tables. And I have 13 tables…wompwomp. I also was able to make 5 partial bags and put little cards in there with what they need. So then I’m sort of kind of halway done! Ish! Then I was able to make a list of all I need and I only need 292 more flowers! (Kill me.) This is about 20-30 flowers a week and it might be doable. If I get close, I will just put less on each table, it’s not an exact science. Knowing this number though was a huge help and now I am working toward a goal. Only time will tell if I actually make it!

wedding stuff. helper dog. #daisygram

daisy is a great helper

+ I also decided to outsource our wedding invitations. I have been pretty set on making them myself but I just couldn’t get anything that I loved. So I found someone on etsy who will make the digital files and I can print and cut them. I already have gotten back two proofs and I’m totally in love. Grace & Guy is the shop and they have been so great to work with.

+/- I took Daisy to Petco on Saturday. She really, really needed her nails cut and I figured she could get a bath while she was there. Keith was at a basketball game, so I had to take her on my own and she broke my heart. We get into the store and there was another dog in the little grooming room so I decided to wait outside of it. Daisy was shaking so hard, you could probably see it from 10 feet away. I felt like the worst human in the world. The other dog left and I went in and said that I was there for a bath/nail trim but she’s too scared, just trim the nails. The groomer convinced me that she would be okay and I hesitantly agreed and left. And felt horrible the whole time I was grocery shopping. But I picked up a wonderfully fresh and clean Daisy and I think she has forgiven me.

so fresh, so clean, so traumatized by the trip to the groomer. #daisygram

i don’t always make this face, but when i do i break hearts worldwide.

+ The semester is almost halfway over and I am excited but already dreading summer semester. Currently there is only one class I can take and I need two to graduate on schedule. On Monday, I am off work but have class and I was able to schedule 3 meetings to determine my future. I have a meeting with Career Services, my Anthropology advisor, and an advisor for the School of Education. I guess I’ll find out for real on Monday what my options are, if I am actually on track and maybe if there is something else to take this summer. Having one summer class would be a blessing, but that would push me back a whole semester, so it’s not really an option. Ugh.

pluses and minuses.

+ We watched Lord of the Flies in my class last week and I know I am a few decades behind on this but daaaaaaaaaaang. I had never read the book or seen the movie and it really took me by surprise. Yikes!

– I have no idea what is going on in that class. I feel really, really stupid the entire time I’m in there. I’m coming to realize that I don’t do well with theoretical discussions. (Or discussions in general.) But I don’t have the capacity to think like these other kids do. They weave our readings together and come to some conclusion and I just sit there. I understand the readings and their points make sense to me, but I just can’t hang. Oh well.

+ Really into my dirt class. I sort of have no idea what is going on in there, but I feel like it will be easier to grasp it once we really get into it. I’ve also had pretty much zero homework which is always awesome.

+ Went to Maryland two weekends ago to see Pitt Vs Maryland. It was a quick trip, down Saturday and back Sunday but we got to see Elyse and Kyle before the game so that was nice. Pitt also won so that was awesome but sports, man. So nerve wracking sometime. My favorite part was the super conservatively dressed man next to me jumped up and screamed “Damnit!” at something. Totally unexpected and totally hilarious.

reunited with my little pancake! if but only for an hour!

+/- We went to a diner in College Park after the game and as we were leaving, our waiter says to me:
“I like your jacket.”
“Thanks!”
“Is it a snowboarding jacket?”
“Yea, but I don’t snowboard, I just like the color.”
“Oh yea, I know.”

Ha. I wasn’t sure if that should have offended me or not.

– I am getting old. At Sheetz a few days ago I held out my card to the teenager working. “No, you slide it,” as he points to the card thingy right in front of my face. “Oh, whoops!” I slide my card and then try to push the green button for debit. “No, it’s touch screen,” the teenager gently prods. Ughhhh. Slightly embarrassed, I told him I was getting old and then hobbled out the door with my cane.

-/+ I have a meeting today with someone from Pitt’s School of Education to discuss my future. As of right now my plans after graduation are totally up in the air. I might apply for the School of Education, I might join the circus, I might just retire because man I am burnt out.

-Both of my coworkers called off so I can’t leave for the appointment and have to reschedule, so my future will have to wait since people are afraid of snow.

yesterday, today, tomorrow

Things are slow over this way. Just work and school and homework. And repeat again and again and again. In class on Wednesday, there were about 10 minutes left and the professor had been going on about something and stopped and said, “Have I lost you all or are you just tired?” And as soon as he said the word tired, I yawned. (I also just yawned while typing that.) He happened to look right at me as it happened and said, “Oh, real nice!” I got slighly embarrassed and stammered, “Sorry! You said tired and it reminded me that I am!” He laughed it off but I wanted so badly to say, “Look, I put in a 45 minute commute and an 8 hour work day before coming to this class. Nothing personal, I am just burnt out.” #toooldforundergrad, indeed.

Stealing this idea from Jen who stole it from someone else…before I realized my yesterday/today/tomorrow were incredibly boring.

Yesterday I went to the dentist for a cleaning and the hygienist told me my teeth were “Doggone great!” Haha, it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s also amazing how quickly the workday goes when you don’t get in until 11am. Can we make that a permanent thing? 11-4? And still pay me for 8 hours? Great.

Today Work, work, homework on my lunch break, work, work and then dropping my car off at the shop tonight because it has started groaning. My mechanic said it might be something with the power steering, so he has to look at it. Also shopping for some new socks. I have rainboots which I wear year round because I’d rather my feet be dry than warm but they are seriously cold. My toes have been taking forever to warm back up and I don’t think that’s very good, I really don’t want them to fall off. I’ve been in my office for over an hour, with my feet right in front of the space heater and they are still cold. Going to try out some Smartwool and hope those help.  And then more homework tonight because…

Tomorrow We are heading to College Park, MD to watch Pitt vs MD. I must have complained that Keith never invites me on trips anymore, because he extended this invitation and suggested that we meet up with Elyse! He’s so smart sometimes. So we’re heading out Saturday morning and will return Sunday morning. Just enough time for a Pitt Alumni happy hour, a game and some hangouts. It will be a balmy 35 degrees in College Park on Saturday and I am actually really excited for that. See what you’ve done to me, winter?

This has nothing to do with anything, but this stuff is seriously so delicious I can’t stop thinking about it.

this stuff is seriously delicious.

I also tried alo brand mango + mangosteen and it was great too. There are little chunks of aloe floating in it, you can either chew them or swallow them, so it’s a little weird but I’m kind of obsessed.

Another new obsession? Apple chips. I have a pretty vivid memory of being in Kindergarten/First grade and this boy David sharing some apple chips with me. This was the early 90’s and I’m pretty sure his mom made them and I was very unimpressed. I think they might have been too thick/soggy? Who knows. I tried some recently at Subway and really enjoyed them so I bought a variety pack of Bare Fruit Variety Pack, Gluten Free Baked Apple Chips* from amazon. I wish they were single-serving bags, two-serving bags are a huge pet peeve of mine, I don’t want to have to close up/save the bag just for one other serving. I tried the cinnamon apple last night and they were great. Really excited for the chili lime, but I’m saving the sea salt caramel for a special occasion.

Man, my treats have gotten really lame.

 

*amazon affliate link

penultimate spring semester

Here we are, second week of classes and I finally have my schedule straightened out.

I am taking Soils and Archaeology on Monday nights and Anthropology of Emotion on Wednesday nights. Monday’s class is at 6pm, which gives me that ~2 hour break between work and class that I love/hate, but Wednesday’s class is at 4:30 which means I have to fly from work to Oakland, park and walk ~6 blocks to class. In 30 minutes. Luckily my professor has a class that runs until 4:15 so class is never going to start early.

I had my first Soils class on Monday and while it is probably the geekiest class I have ever taken, I think I’m really going to like it! The professor is not a typical professor, she’s a soil scientist and has a business and just teaches this class once a year. There are only 10 other people in it, and in the middle of class we have Cookie Time. Halfway through class, someone pulls out cookies and passes them around and we chat for a few minutes. Even though I probably won’t be partaking in the cookies, this is pretty much the greatest thing ever. But yea, other than that, gonna learn a lot about rocks and dirt and I can’t wait. I think the class will probably be a bit easier work-wise but might be a bit tougher since it will be pretty technical.

My other class is Anthropology of Emotion and that professor was a breath of fresh air on Wednesday compared to the Pickle Juice Lover. I just felt very calm the entire class. Definitely made the right choice switching. It’s going to be a lot of work, but the professor seemed very laid back so I don’t fear for my grade like I did in the other one.

We did a really cool icebreaker last Wednesday after we discussed the syllabus. Icebreakers are literally my least favorite thing about life, and when he stated “After we come back from break, we are going to do collaborative improvization,” my heart seized up and I almost died. All I know about improv is from drama class and I did not want to do any “yes and”ing. Luckily, this was totally different and really neat.

We all went around and threw out a word, which the professor wrote on the board. There were words like “clouds”, “crying,” “cats,” “bagels,” “chain-link-fence,” (it was supposed to be one word but some of us forgot), “orca-whales,” and others. Then I threw out “online-dating.”

We then went around and voted on what we wanted to write about. It got down to “crying” vs “online-dating” but mine won! Ha.

So then we took 20 minutes and wrote a piece and titled it. There were no rules to what we wrote, it just had to somehow relate to online dating.

Once the time was up, we went around and read our titles. Some of those included “Must Love Dogs,” “BF,” “Uneeta Lyfe,” “What if she’s a dude?,” etc.

Then we just shouted out what order they should go in, and then read our stories in that order, allowing them to form a long form story. Apparently you then go through and edit them to make it flow even better, but we didn’t get that far. It was a lot of fun and gave a little peek, if not to who the person was, their writing style/sense of humor/tone. It was also a lot less nerve-wracking to spend 20 minutes planning out what I wanted to say to these strangers and not have it be about me.

For posterity, I’ve included my section of the story, since I thought it was a fun excercise and though my story had a rough start, I was proud of the last few lines.

 

Must Love Dogs

I wrote a paper on online dating last year and one of the most intersting anecdotes I pulled up was that the creator of match.com’s girlfriend left him for someone she met there. She may even have married him. The story without context seems a little sensational, but in reality when he began the site – he encouraged everyone he knew to join – even his girlfriend. The fact that she actually used the site, rather than simply creating a profile is telling, and he is probably better off without her. Is online dating the greatest thing to ever happy in the history of courting, or the worst? It probably depends which half of that couple you ask. Or really, it depends on the experience of whichever person you are asking. There are definite plusses and minuses. It is another avenue in this busy, non-stop world of ours to attempt to connect to another person. It can also be a cautionary tale of psychos, perverts and mail-order brides. Like anything, you have to be smart about it and weigh the pros and cons. Is the chance to meet the love of your life worth accidentally going on a date with your dad? Maybe.

from geek to geek

In somewhat of a mood today but I am trying to get better with posting. Trying for a MWF goal and since today is W, here we go! Just a few random points.

1. I’m done running. For some bizarre reason I want to be a runner. I see people running on the streets and just think “Man I wish I could do that!” I tried. Three different attempts at Couch to 5k, each lasting longer than the last…each giving me barely any satisfaction. Sure I liked that I ran…after I ran…but the entire time I was going, I hated it. HATED it. It was boring. Music didn’t help, podcasts didn’t help, Zombies Run didn’t help. I was still going though. Then I hurt my  foot. Still no idea what I did to my foot, my doctor ordered x-rays and they showed nothing, but I’m still having pain. Was told to stay off my foot and figured that I’m just done. I’m signed up for the Color Run on Saturday, so I’ll do that and then I quit.

2. Decided since I am officially quitting “running”, I can devote time to weight training with Keith. Day 1 was Saturday and we did squats among other things. My legs still hurt today. I could hardly walk the day after. It was a good pain though. I also don’t mind weights as much as running. Maybe because Keith is there too? I will admit I didn’t hate running as much when he ran with me, but he also hates running, so it’s just not gonna happen. So look out. Pretty soon* I’ll be able to beat people up.

*Or in like 7 years. I actually had to take all the weight off the bar for one exercise since I couldn’t lift the weight + the bar. Pretty pathetic.

3. I was just thinking the other day about how many classes I have taken since I’ve been back in school and I was pretty shocked to see that I’ve gone through 15 classes. Currently enrolled in my 16th and 17th. The Spring schedule gets posted on Friday and I can’t wait. I love picking out new classes. Pretty much hate going once they start, but it’s fun to see what the possibilities are. Also figured out that of my 15 classes, I’ve gotten 10 A’s and 5 B’s. Pretty damn good. Only 8 classes left. Then I have to figure out what I am doing with my life. Grad school? Student teaching? Running off to Nairobi to be an archaeologist/start a real Jurassic Park? My options are endless.

 

4. Daisy says “No more school, mom, you’re smart enough.”

dddais