Friday, April 30, 2010

As a lover of everything food related and as a part time waitress, I found this article from the Globe and Mail interesting...I would love to see the documentary!

Here’s a tip: The waitress isn't on the Menu

If food is love, it’s no surprise guys fall for the women who serve it up. But keep your paws off those apron strings

We have the power to make you happy. We could make you miserable. We could make your day garbage,” says Ash, owner of Toronto’s George Street Diner in Dish: Women, Waitressing and the Art of Service, a documentary premiering tonight at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival.

The film, directed by Canadian Maya Gallus, follows the working lives of waitresses across a wide range of settings – everything from a truck stop to a fine French bistro to a topless greasy spoon in Montreal – and it explores, among other topics, the romantically tinged relationship between male patrons and women servers.

The doc caught my eye because, as a self-employed man who works from home, I’ve often counted on the kindness of aproned strangers. I go to the same breakfast place almost every day, alternating between eggs and muesli, both of which I could make for myself at home. Instead, I roll out of bed, walk two blocks, then chitchat with the women behind the counter as they ask me how I’m doing, what I’m working on, and what I want.

As the holidays approached last year, the owner of my favourite breakfast spot was complaining that Christmas had become too commercial. “I mean, where’s the love?” she asked. “There’s lots of it in here,” I replied, to which she promptly responded, “Well, that’s true. I tell all my girls that it’s not just food we provide.” After the exchange, as I sat down to eat, I looked around and was suddenly more aware than ever that I was sharing my meal with a crew of other men, each of them alone.

When I told this story to Donald Carveth, a sociology professor at York University and a practicing psychoanalyst, he gave me his best Freudian take on the feelings – and fantasies – that a man might have for his waitress, which he says taps into his deep-seated Oedipal longings.

“The waitress is a woman who brings food,” Dr. Carveth said. “And who brought the first food? Mother.”

Dr. Carveth compared the attraction to waitresses to another stereotypical male fantasy provider, one who also brings pillows and blankets – the stewardess. I pointed out to Dr. Carveth that women working in both these occupations tend to lean over you, almost intimately, bringing their cleavage tantalizingly near. “Exactly,” he replied, “while she attends to your oral needs.”

“It’s true, you provide nurture love,” a friend, who has spent many years as a server, agreed. “You are someone who will always smile and be welcoming.” Of course, this same friend has also been in the industry long enough to have an inside take on the games male patrons and female servers play when “nurture love” transitions to what one waitress in Dish called the “potential girlfriend role.”

My friend says she became adept at delivering “the perpetual maybe.” If a guy ever made a vague comment about seeing her outside work, she’d respond with equal vagueness: “Yeah, sure. Sometime.” On occasion, one of these big spenders – as she called them – made a counter gesture: “A classic one is when there’s a huge tab and you’ve brought the bill over to the guy and then he asks you out just as his pen is above the tip line,” she said.

Veronika Swartz, a bartender at The Press Club in Toronto, knows a thing or two about teasing – she’s also a burlesque performer and stand-up comedian. While she says her friendliness, flirtiness and sassy sense of humour is just part of her personality – one that makes her a natural at all three jobs – she admitted bartending can also be viewed as a kind of performance. “You need to be ‘on’ all the time,” she said. “You need to be something of a superstar.”

“A lot of people drink to escape,” she continued, explaining that the bar is a respite “from all their realities, from their families or their jobs, from all the things that are stressing them out. Making them feel good about themselves is part of my job.”

But Ms. Swartz said it is unfortunate when a man misinterprets the situation, decides to break the friendly flirtation – or the fantasy illusion, if that’s how he’s viewing it – and ask her out.

“Burlesque is about titillation, the art of the tease,” she said. “I am inviting you to share very intimate moments with me, but at a distance. As a server, I am flirting but it is up close and personal. I therefore become touchable to the patrons and they believe that I have invited them into my personal life. The burlesque audience doesn’t actually believe that I am willing to sleep with them, so why do the customers?”

Indeed, to indulge in the waitress or bartender fantasy, a man has to somehow block out the part of his brain that knows she has to be there, has to talk to him and be friendly. And yet, he is wise to maintain the relationship as a perpetual state of maybe as opposed to a real pick-up opportunity. Why? Well, of all of the waitresses and bartenders I spoke to while researching this piece, guess how many dates in total they have gone on with men they served? Zilch.

And, after all, just as the diner is ultimately after sustenance, the waitress is ultimately after a tip. “Although,” Dr. Carveth punned, tongue-in-cheek, “it’s not the tip that the guy might be interested in giving her.”

Now there’s a new spin on the old “Freudian slip.”

Micah Toub's memoir, Growing Up Jung: Coming of Age as the Son of Two Shrinks, will be published in the fall.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lost and Sounds

What happens to those text messages and e-mails that get sent but never received? I suppose there are an infinite number of unread messages floating around in cyber space somewhere. Text messages are like socks, they always seem to get lost. Although I must admit, it's awfully easy to shrug someone off who accuses you of not responding to their message by telling them you never got it, when in reality you just had no desire to respond. I'm beginning to think that there is no collection of lost messages floating around anywhere, just a lot of dishonest people. I'm not going to lie, I am guilty of pulling the old "oh really? You messaged me? I never got it! Hmm..that's weird...sorry"

My car is dunzo. It's beginning to sound as though there is a small child dying inside it every time I brake or coast or turn. I chauffeured the mechanic around the block so he could witness the sound and attempt to give me a diagnosis but he wasn't completely sure so I'm dropping it off at the garage tomorrow morning and then walking to class from there. I always feel like a huge bimbo walking into garages, and I'm pretty sure they can smell my lack of knowledge the moment my little blonde head steps through the door. I am always afraid that I am going to get ripped off but I wouldn't really even know if I was. I have no experience with cars, I have no idea how much they cost to fix, and I'd have no idea if I was being bamboozled. At this point all I know is that cars should not sound the way mine does, and that come Monday, it needs to get me to Summerside everyday.

Kenya application packages are due on Monday, but I've been so busy with class that mine still remains in fragments of random thoughts that I have yet to string together into a cover letter. I am excited for the interview process; I don't mind interviews at all and it will give me a chance to really expand upon my previous experience in Kenya and all the reasons why they should pick me. The hard part is conveying how badly I want to go and how passionate I am about the projects they are doing down there in a one page letter. Once the last day of class is over tomorrow, I will be free of homework and assignments for one final weekend this summer and will have lots of time to work on it. I should probably do something epic for my final weekend, but at this moment the only thing that sounds appealing is sleeping. I am hoping to make up a big pot of chilly and a big pot of soup to store in the freezer in individual sized portions to take in my lunch when I'm too lazy to actually make something in the mornings.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Internship Day 3

Although I was positive that today would be better than yesterday it just did not turn out so. But instead of boring everyone with the gruesome details I am going to make a list of my favorite foods right at this second. This list changes everyday, but the following are what I'm wanting slash loving right now (in no particular order):

1. Chicken Pot Pie - the homemade kind preferably but I have yet to meet one I'd turn down
2. Brussels Sprouts - I have some in my fridge that are calling my name but I am too lazy to cook them this late
3. Plain Yogurt - my favorite brand right now is Stoneyfeild "Just Plain Perfect"
4. Blueberries - there isn't a single way you could serve them would would prevent me from eating them
5. TJ's Cinnamon Buns - gooey and warm and covered in cream cheese icing..hard to beat!
6. Ice Cream Sandwiches - the really cheap kind
7. Sausage Stuffing - I only get it once a year but it's the best day of every year
8. Colored gold fish - yes baked and not friend goldfish, the yummy snack the smiles back until you bite their heads off. (Thanks Sam...they actually are cheering me up!)
9. Chocolate and/or yogurt covered pretzels - so sweet and so salty with just enough crunch
10. Peanut butter - the perfect accessory to honey, banana, apple or right out of the jar with a spoon.
11. Burritos - Burrito Boys in PC or Da Kine Diego's in Florida are my top picks
12. Creamed Peas on Toast - It's not the same if I make it myself, Mom's is the best kind

If only I had all of those things right now! I suppose most of them would make my NGB Boot Camp session a little pointless though. Boot Camp was fun! It was pretty much an giant outdoor group leg circuit. Very similar to a P90X workout but more fun because instead of slaving away by yourself in your living room, you are with at least 20 other girls outside in the fresh air. Today's air happened to be really fresh and took a while for my hands to thaw out when I got home. I am positive I will be super sore tomorrow though, which was the plan! So if you see someone struggling to go up the stairwell in Dalton tomorrow say hi!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Internship Begins!

The whole reason I started this blog was to write about internship in the hopes that I actually got accepted into the program. At this moment in time I am wondering if they would have been doing me a favor by not accepting me! Not actually, but at around 3 o'clock this afternoon I was seriously wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into. A hysterical email, text and phone call to the people I know will love me despite my serious issues calmed me down and I am feeling much more positive about everything now. I contacted my preceptor today and she seems really cool. She is a recent graduate from the UPEI program and I've heard nothing but good things about her which is comforting. I'm a little bit less nervous now anyways.

This week is Professional Practice week for internship so we have class from 9am to 3pm everyday on campus with the coordinator of the program. It's nice for all of the interns to be together for the week before we all disperse into our various placements for the next 8 weeks. 8 weeks sounds like an awfully long time, but given the amount of work we have to do in that time period, it seems almost impossibly short! We are going through the internship manual with the coordinator and discussing what we will be doing in our placements and what assignments and presentations we are going to have to accomplish based on the work we are doing in the placements. It will be a miracle if we make it through the summer with even one day free of school work. But I think it all just seems way worse than it will be. In one day we were presented 8 weeks worth of work to do. Needless to say, the entire room was completely overwhelmed and quite grumpy by the time 3 pm rolled around.

One of the major assignments for our clinical placement is a half hour presentation on some sort of dietary disease. The presentation itself shouldn't be that bad. It's the 40 registered dietitians and all of the UPEI faculty that will be watching and asking questions that is going to suck. 40! It will be our first presentation to a group of professionals and they are going to have the opportunity to ask us an unlimited number of questions on our topic of choice. The good news is that we get to pick our own topic, and luckily I am doing my clinical placement first so I will get it over with first. I'll be presenting sometime at the beginning on June, so at least I only have it hanging over my head for another 4 weeks. 4 weeks...I should probably get started! I am trying to think of a topic I would like to learn about for the next month. We have been advised to pick a topic that we have already covered in clinical class since we are expected to be absolute experts on the topic but there aren't any topics that jump out at me as something I want to spend hours and hours dissecting.

But as always, we will make it through alive and all the better for enduring what seems like a never ending bombardment of assignments and work and projects and presentations.

When I got home from class this afternoon, overwhelmed and grumpy and stressed out, I decided to skip my run and eat the most ginormous bowl of oatmeal ever instead. Really bad idea. It just made me feel soo gross and even more grumpy. Luckily my friend KA messaged me to go for a run with her since her running partner bailed and forced me out of my funk. With new found motivation for exercise, I walked down the street to pick up my bike from the bike shop where it was getting a tune up and new tubes and got really excited to start learning how to use it! I'm a little afraid to start biking because I have no bike pump, no bike fixing skills and it's not unusual to lose cell service on the island out in the country where I will be riding. So in the event of me being a spaz, I could quite possibly be screwed. I found a group to go out with, cycling PEI has a whole bunch of workshops and group rides for beginners and people of all levels and memberships only cost 30 bucks so I am considering joining. With internship in Summerside though, I have no idea what time I'll get back to the city and if I'll be able to make it to the group rides in time to make it worth while joining. I guess I'll find out next week after I start placement!

Tomorrow is going to be better than today. I can feel it in my bones. There is no way class can be as stressing as today's was, I am going to ride my bike, I have a free trial class of NGB Boot Camp to go to with some friends in the evening followed by a night out at Baba's to watch Chris play open mic before he leaves to join Age in BC. Where homework fits into this plan I have no idea but It'll get done eventually. NGB Boot Camp is run by one of the girls in the internship program. It's run outside (rain or shine!) in Victoria Park and they are offering a free trial class so that people can try it out before they spend the money to register for a bunch of sessions. I won't be registering for the sessions despite how fabulous tomorrow's class is so I feel a bit like a sneak even going. But it's always fun to switch up your workout routine and try something new!

The problem with telling anyone you are studying nutrition or wearing a hoodie that says UPEU Nutritional Sciences on it, is that EVERYONE asks you questions. If I had a nickle for every person who asked me what they should eat I would be able to pay my tuition. I just found myself in a lengthy conversation with two guys at Starbucks who run a strength training business. I am hoping to one day actually be able to answer all the questions everyone has, but I'm sure that will never happen. People expect dietitians (and even interns/students) to know everything about everything food related. I always feel like a bit of a failure when I can't answer questions because people expect me to know all of it. I have a feeling I should get used to this because it will probably never change. I am always more conscious of what I eat in public while wearing this sweater because I feel like people will judge me if I'm chowing down on poutine while advertising that I'm a nutrition student. What a funny profession. I feel like there are so many more expectations for us; we're expected to be fit and slim, we're expected to eat perfectly well all the time and we're expected to know everything about every food related topic at any given moment. We're only human people. No one can possibly know everything...that's what text books and google are for. Everyone is allowed to indulge in some dessert or pizza and various other crappy foods every one in a while. The nice thing about going back home to work once I graduate is I won't have to wear a trench coat, big sunglasses and a hat out every time I want to eat out to hide my identity like I would in PEI. I love small town culture but sometimes it's nice not to have everyone know who you are.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Top 8 Reasons Living Alone Rocks

Don't get me wrong...I love my roommates and am generally really happy to have them because I'm pretty sure without them I would disappear into hermithood and never be seen again. But sometimes living alone is awesome, and this is one of those times.

Top 8 Reasons Living Alone Rocks
(In no Particular Order)

8. No one cares if you don't quite make it home at night and you can come and go as you please without anyone wondering or worrying where you are

7. No one will judge your really bad taste in movies, and no one will judge you when you spend an entire weekend on the couch watching them without bathing or doing anything productive whatsoever.

6. You can hog the hot water by taking ridiculously long showers while blasting music so horrible you're not even sure why you listen to it, but it still somehow makes you happy.

5. Everything is exactly where you left it. Specially when where you left it is not where it belongs. You know exactly where that sock is that you left under the couch last week, and it's still there when you look for it.

4. You don't feel guilty for procrastinating on washing your dishes or cleaning up because no one will clean it up for you while you're slacking.

3. You don't always have to be 100% dressed.

2. You never have to share counter space in the kitchen while cooking or baking or making lunches in the morning.

1. You never have to worry about keeping someone else awake or being woken up by someone else which means you can do ridiculous things at ridiculous hours. That 2am desire to bake or use your blender? Go for it!

Breakfast With Tiffany's

Weekends are fabulous. I'm fairly certain I say this every weekend. Weekends in the summer are the best kind though. It's sunny and warm and I have absolutely nothing that needs to get done. The first week after school was over was incredibly boring but this past week has been unreal. The perfect balance between working with both the SNAP project and at the pizza place, and leisure time was achieved. It's a little bitter sweet because I am finally getting into the hang of summer and feeling at home in Charlottetown, but I start classes for internship tomorrow. Summer is technically over already! I feel like I should be doing something extra exciting on my last day but my only plans are to have none.

Yesterday was the perfect Saturday. I woke up early and walked up to the farmers market then downtown for some java and some reading and then went grocery shopping followed by a run along the ocean. It was the second shorts and t-shirt run of the year! Compared to Monday when I was out in long spandex, a lifa and a coat it was a major improvement. Jess came over in the afternoon and we watched Breakfast at Tiffany's and polished off a bottle of wine. Neither of us had seen the movie and it's a classic that I feel like everyone has to see at least once. We both loved it, and I will probably watch it again a few more times before returning it. n fact, I'm watching it again right now while chowing down on some breakfast. After the movie we headed to Zen downtown for some sushi and sashimi. I had been there once before but it wasn't the best experience, but this time we actually got a table and didn't have to wait over an hour for food. Lexy finished her honors thesis on Thursday so last night was her night out to celebrate being done her undergraduate degree. Congrats Lexy!! Peakes, a Charlottetown bar that's open only in the summer, opened on Wednesday for the season so we headed there and it was packed! I have only been once before on my 19th birthday but I didn't remember it being so big! It was fun though and I'm sure I'll be going back a few times between now and when I leave PEI for the summer.

Adrienne left for BC yesterday where she's going to be spending her summer. It's a little bit sad she wont be around for the summer but she will be back. But until then I'll have to watch the Sound of Music alone from now on.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Super Freak

I went to get my measurements done for the bridesmaid dresses yesterday. It took literally two seconds and the ladies at The Wedding Place here in PEI were fabulous. I called the shop in Ottawa, where the dresses are being ordered, to give them my measurements and I was surprised by their reaction. I told the lady I was 5 feet and 7 inches tall without heels, which is maybe a bit above the average but by no means is it really all that tall. After I told her this, she hmmmmed and huhed and ummed and ahhhhed and then asked me to hold. She came back a few minutes later with a new list of things to get measured to ensure that the dress would be long enough. Really? Apparently in the bridesmaid dress world, being 5'7" makes me freakishly tall. I have a whole new appreciation for all those girls taller than me who I was (and still kinda am) jealous of for their height.

Although I love UPEI, being away from home definitely has it's downsides. The cost of traveling home makes it impossible to spend holidays such as Thanksgiving (my all time favorite holiday!), Easter and any other holiday other than Christmas at home. Between paddling and school I haven't spent a Thanksgiving with my family in probably about 6 years, and my track record for Easter isn't much better. It really sucks, but luckily I have some pretty stellar friends that have made me an honorary member of their families for various holidays over the years, although it's never the same as being with your own family. Not only have I missed holidays, but portions of vacations (for a week in Australia I was training while the fam jam did cool things) and my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party that was apparently super fun just to say the least. The older I get the more I wish I could be home for those holidays and events and the more I realize how fabulous my family is. I can't say that I would ever regret missing out on so much because I truly have been extremely fortunate to be able to experience the things I have, despite having sacrificed time with my family to do so. I suppose the longer I'm away the more I appreciate the time I get at home; so this is my reminder to all of you to take time to enjoy your family and friends regardless of how annoying their little quirks are or how frustrating they can be at times.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

In honor of Earth Day 2010, I am going to pick up 15 pieces of garbage while I walk to work.
I am challenging everyone to do the same. If you can't walk to work then perhaps walk to the grocery store or school or anywhere that you would normally drive. It's good for you

It shouldn't take Earth Day for us to be nice to the planet, but sometimes we all need a little reminder to reduce, reuse, recycle a little more or drive a little less.

Corndog Love

This week has been seemingly busy but I haven't actually done anything. On Tuesday we had an information meeting about the potential trip to Kenya that's being offered conditional upon funding and it made me even more excited. The problem is I have a tendency to get excited for things way prematurely. Half the time they don't even end up happening, and the other half of the time I get so amped up that nothing could possibly live up to the expectations I have formed in my head. It's kind of like when you have a picture of something you want in your head and so while shopping for it you just can't find what your looking for because it probably doesn't even exist. So in terms of the trip, they are going to go through with the application process and pick two students and cross their fingers the funding will work out. If we do get the funding, than the chosen two students will be packing their bags and booking flights. Applications aren't due until next week so I have until then to figure out and write a letter stating why they should choose me and how I would be an asset to the team while I'm in Kenya etc etc. The typical application letter. I like to think I have a good chance at getting to go (theres only 8 or 9 people who are applying) but I can't think of anyone who is applying that I would automatically rule out as unqualified to go or who I don't think would do the job awesomely once there.

Yesterday I got to go to my first school visit with the SNAP project. SNAP is the Student Nutrition and Activity Project and is a research initiative being conducted by one of my profs. Every three years they go into the schools and record the heights and weights of all the grade 5 and 6 students island wide, and conduct dietary recall questionnaires to determine if the new school nutrition policy is effective, and to keep tabs on the health of PEI's students. Yesterday 6 of us went into a school in Souris and conducted the research on 6 different classes. Kids are hilarious and I am already excited to go into another school on Friday. I was surprised how well behaved the classes were - I definitely don't remember my grade 5 and 6 classes being nearly as calm and quiet. Unfortunately, because of internship, this week is the only week I've been available for data collection, so I'll only get to go into the schools twice (yesterday and tomorrow). Souris PEI is awesome. It's really pretty and is apparently home to one of the nicest beaches on the Island so I'm thinking of a road trip out this weekend at some point. I'm not working at all this weekend and both my roommates will be gone so I'll likely be really really bored. It's also technically the last weekend of my summer holidays so I want to take advantage of it. I start classes next week for internship and then actual internship the week after so I've gotta cram as many fun things into the next two days as possible.

Last night was the last night that both Sam and Age are here on the island until September. Sam is going home for a week and Adrienne leaves to go home to BC for the summer while Sam is gone. We went out to Baba's Lounge for open mic to hear Age's boyfriend Chris play (who is supposedly amazing, but I have yet to witness his awesomeness) but he has caught the plague that is going around our house and didn't end up playing. That was kind of a bummer, but we decided we would go back next week better prepared to hear him play to make up for not hearing him this week. We're thinking foam fingers and bedazzled posters that scream We Love CHRIS in ridiculous amounts of glitter. Lesson of the day: You can never have too much glitter. Regardless of missing out on Chris's super stardom, a few pitchers of Sweet O later and we all had a great time. Jess and Sarah joined us at Baba's and I learned that Sarah, who will be moving into Age's room in May, is actually from Brampton. How crazy is that? I only found this out because I mentioned Tiny Tom donuts and she was the only one who knew what they were, which led to a discussion about how fabulous the CNE is, which in turn led to us drooling over the thought of foot-long corn dogs lovingly deep fried by the carnies in the Midway.

The bridesmaid dresses for TJ and Lauren's wedding have been all picked out so my mission for the day is to track down a tailor in Charlottetown and to get all measured up (eek!) at some point before work today. Alex and Big Al flew home last night to visit and I am incredibly jealous. Except not so much jealous of Big Al who has to sleep on the slab on concrete my brother likes to call a bed that I somehow inherited last summer. If I went home all I would do is be eating; thai food, burritos, roti, dairy cream, sushi etc. Yummm...home is awesome. It's weird to think that there is a possibility I won't be there again until Christmas depending on how the Kenya thing works out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

There was an information session today about the potential internship in Kenya this summer and the more I hear about it the more excited I get. But that being said, I have a habit of getting really excited for things before they actually happen. At this point there is a good chance that a) I won't be one of the two students chosen to go, or b) they won't secure the funding and no one will get to go. The project sounds unreal and something I think I would love doing. It also sounds a lot different than my previous trip to Kenya which is awesome. I love d my last trip and the work I was doing withe GVI in 2006, but I am really excited to get a chance to do work that is directly related to my degree. It sounds as though the work currently being done by Farmers Helping Farmers is already making an important difference in the community and I really hope I can be part of that this summer!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dilemmas and Myths

The past few days have been extremely uneventful, consisting of me at Starbucks with a book in one hand and an americano in the other. I realize I could just make myself some java and read at home, but the weather has been too crappy to actually get outside to do anything and I can't stand sitting in the house all day doing nothing. But apparently sitting around doing nothing somewhere other than home is completely acceptable. I always run into a couple of people I know while I'm at Starbucks so it makes me feel at least a tiny bit more productive than if I had just stayed home.

I have recently finished reading Micheal Pollen's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and am about a third of the way through "The Vegetarian Myth." I have been on a huge non-fiction kick and been reading nothing but books about food for about a year now. I think I keep reading these books with the hope that somewhere in their pages I will come across a statement or an idea that will provide me with an "AHA!" moment and then suddenly the clouds will clear and I will know exactly what to eat. The problem is, I don't think any one knows what to eat. Try as I might to alter my dietary consumption to suit my morals and be environmentally friendly and more nutritious, I am learning quickly that it's essentially impossible. Every food has some kind of moral implication that could be argued, every food involves death of some kind and every body is different. There are no answers, and instead of an AHA! moment, all I am finding is more contradictions to previous beliefs and more confusion. I love food. I became a quasi vegetarian in September and restricted my animal protein intake to grass fed beef and actual free range chicken (versus the chicken labeled as free range in the grocery stores which basically means they have about a square foot of dirt they can walk on between hundreds of chickens) and fish. I was determined to only eat meat if I could figure out where it came from and how it was raised. This had nothing to do with animal welfare; it was an entirely selfish choice based solely on the fact that I did not want to be consuming the hormones and steroids that they feed the animals to help them grow twice as big in half the time it would naturally take. Cows weren't meant to eat grains, cows eat grass. But, being a student, this was not economically feasible, so I opted to not consume meat (except fish that were not farmed) and with the exception of a week at Christmas when I was home, have not really consumed any since September. But the more I read, the more I realize that there is no escape from industrial agriculture and industrial farming. Unless I want to move to a farm out in the country and grow and raise everything that goes into my mouth, it's simply impossible. Part of me wants to just screw it all and just rely once again on the supermarket shelves to fill my belly but I don't think I'm quite ready to give up yet. In the meantime I suppose I'll keep reading and keep formulating my own philosophies drawing upon bits and pieces of everything I've learned and hopefully, eventually sculpt my personal AHA! moment.

Today was my very first trip to Summerside into the Prince County Hospital as a dietetic intern. A fellow intern and I drove out super early this morning to take a computer training course. Not exactly my ideal way to spend the day but it had to be done. All of the charting for the patients is now done on computers, and we had to learn how the charting program worked in order to complete our daily tasks as interns once we start our placements. It was pretty straight forward, and instead of taking the 4 hours that our internship coordinator warned us of, it only took one hour. The nurse who was giving us the tutorial on the computers was anxious to finish up because her daughter was running in the Boston Marathon today and it was being broadcast on tv in the afternoon and she didn't want to miss it. I ended up being home by 10:30am and found myself wondering how to spend the rest of the day. One of my favorite things in the whole world to do is to watch sports on tv and nap on the couch. I don't really like watching the typical hockey or basketball on tv, but I love watching the more obscure sports like bobsled or skiing or track etc. The sports that CBC will play only for about an hour on Sunday mornings. Luckily, today that niche was filled with the NBC coverage of the Boston Marathon. So I spent a fabulous afternoon watching the marathon and napping for 4 hours. It doesn't get much better on a rainy day!

I met up with a friend and went for a nice leisurely 10km run after she got off work. I was majorly humbled every time I glanced down at my Garmin to see my pace time after watching the Ethiopians run faster per mile than I was per kilometre. Way faster per mile than I was per kilometre. But either way it was nice to have someone to run with for a change. I've just started training for the half marathon (it's still 10 weeks away) but already I'm learning that running and training for something by yourself kind of sucks. Being able to get out and run at least once a week with someone else has been extremly helpful and motivating. Sometimes the old ipod just isn't company enough!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Talk about a typo! I feel sorry for the editor who edited the cookbook called The Pasta Bible. Over 7,000 copies are now dunzo after it's recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto was supposed to call for freshly ground black pepper, but instead called for "salt and freshly ground black people."

I can't say I'm a fan of running on the treadmill; I find it so boring that I often cut my runs short just so I can get off and not want to punch myself in the face. But, the Nordic Track X7i is making me rethink my hatred. It uses a Wi-Fi connection in combination with and google maps to give you satellite, terrain and street level views of an infinite number of routes. You just punch in the route your want to run and the 7-inch touch screen will show you the passing scenery as you run. Not to mention the fact that it automatically adjusts to the incline or decline of the actual route based on the info gathered from google. It would be awesome to be able to run routes from back home here in PEI, or perhaps run the route of my upcoming half marathon in Montague from the comfort of my own home before race day.

Friday, April 16, 2010

People are Like Tea Bags....

People are like tea bags; you never know how strong they are until you drunk them in hot water.

Everyone has a few of those moments in their lives. You get thrown into a situation where you must be successful in something you have never tried or have never succeeded in before. The pressure's on, and everyone reacts differently to pressure. Pressure is a funny thing, it causes some people to break, but others to break records. Although we all react differently to pressure and experience different outcomes in it's presence, we all experience the same physiological response to it. If our bodies are all reacting in the same way to pressure, then the only difference is mental. I like to think that this mental barrier that lets the pressure get the best of us can be broken down, and we can be taught how to use pressure to make us better.

Today I had a under pressure have to succeed moment. I spent the entire day, from 11am-6pm at work. During the day time, the only staff working is a waitress and the cook. Today that waitress was me and the cook was the owner of the restaurant. After running around like a chicken with it's head cut off for about two hours straight during an insanely huge lunch rush, the boss man decided to take 25 minutes while it was quiet-ish to run out to pick up his car from the garage where it was being fixed. As he walked out the door, he asked "you'll be ok makin' pizzas while I'm gone right?" I'm not sure how he didn't notice the blood drain from my face and my eyes get giant as I nodded yes despite not actually being convinced of that fact. But he seemed content with my little feeble nod and headed out the door and took off out of the parking lot. Meanwhile I am trying to cheerily tell myself that the phone won't ring while he's gone anyways so it doesn't even matter.

Of course the phone rings. Of course it rings more than once. Of course I have to make 4 pizzas.

I have never made a pizza by myself before. I had been shown how once, and I have helped make them before, but never had I completed the entire process on my own. I know it's not a big deal, but when you have a phone ringing, and tables to wait on in the dining room, trying to figure out how to make a pizza can definitely bring on the fight or flight response. The first order was a large pizza and a large garlic fingers. The trickiest of them all because it involves the most dough twirling and spinning and stretching. I took my time and actually started getting the hang of it and made a somewhat normal looking pizza crust. The crust was a little uneven-thicker in some spots than others but overall I was pretty excited about my first attempt. Topping the pizza was no biggie, I had done that lots before. I finished the first large pizza. It took me about twice as long as normal because the crust part was tricky, but I took a second to admire my handy work as I lifted the pizza pan into the oven. Apparently I was admiring it a little too much because I didn't manage to lift it all the way into the oven; instead of placing it onto the conveyor belt, I caught the lip of it rather forcefully and all the toppings except the pepperoni, which were glued in place by the pizza sauce, exploded everywhere. I stood with the pizza pan in my hand staring at all the toppings all over the floor.


My first instinct was to look around to make sure no one from the Smitty's kitchen saw me. By this time I had felt like I had been working on this stupid pizza for about 20 minutes. I could imagine the boss man walking in to a crustless pizza on the floor and me covered in flour attempting to successfully construct a large pizza. I quickly re-topped the pizza, carefully put it actually on the conveyor belt of the oven and then hurriedly whipped up the garlic fingers (which aren't nearly as complicated) and then swept up my mess as quickly as possible so that no one would find out.

Phew! While those were in the oven, I took an order for two more small pizzas and made those without any major incidents. It did take me a while to stretch the dough enough and make adequate crusts though. But practice makes perfect right? Luckily I was almost done the two small pizzas when the boss man came back...just in time to admire my superior pizza making skills! I'm not sure he was too impressed, he looked a little skeptically at my lame, wonky, unevenly crusted pizzas I was topping but he didn't say anything or try to fix them. I assume this means he considered them good enough to serve, although it's also possible they were simply beyond fixing and he was just pretending not to notice.

When the pizzas came out of the oven, they looked, for the most part, normal. There is no way they would have ever won any "prettiest pizza of the world" awards, but I felt really proud of myself anyways. I kind of wanted to show my pizza to everyone in the restaurant and be like "see this pizza? I made this all by myself!" Unfortunately it got shoved into a box instead before anyone but me could acknowledge my impressive skills.

Despite my pizza's slightly wonky and spastic appearance, and despite the almost entire pizza that fell on the floor, I learned today that I make a pretty bad-ass pizza. It made me think about all the things that people just assume they can't do without even trying. Or the many times I've tried something once or twice and then given up in frustration. I wonder if there is a way to trick your brain into thinking that you are in a similar situation, one in which you have no other choice but to succeed. Instead of trying to train your brain to perform despite of pressure, could you somehow harness the will power, the courage and the strength that sometimes accompanies the fight or flight response that enables us to do things beyond our own capacities? You hear stories about people who have miraculously been able to lift thousand pound boulders off themselves in order to save their lives or lives of others etc. There must be some part of the brain that makes that possible. The question is, how do we access it in order to use it to our benefit?

This is completely off topic but related to work. My boss man calls me Kayleen. In fact, he called me that about 20 times today. I am tempted to start bringing in a mug with my name on it to work to drink out of. Maybe a Kaylynne key chain that I can leave lying around on the counter. If I had a cubicle I would fill it with things that said my name on it just because that's what they do on tv. But my name is actually written in like a million places in the restaurant; on the schedule, on the sign in/out sheet every shift I work etc. I think he is actually just saying my name wrong. Maybe I should start spelling it phonetically from now on. But isn't it already?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

20 down, 80 to go

I'd like to start out by saying a GIANT HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to Sambo. Today is her 21st birthday so we're hosting a jamboree here tonight. The balloons have been blown up, streamers are streaming and cupcakes are decorated (rather adorably!) all thanks to Adrienne who is apparently the party goddess. Unfortunately, Sam is sick today, on her birthday, which is bad news bears, but hopefully she'll feel better soon!
Speaking of birthdays, on my list of things to do before I die is celebrate my 100th birthday. If I don't make it to 100, I want my funeral to be a giant 100th birthday party with party hats, noisemakers, a giant fabulous birthday cake and with a singing of happy birthday. I'm not sure what gave me this idea, or what possessed me to want to live that long, but I think it might have been a 20/20 episode on centenarians and how so many of them are even still driving and playing shuffle board and bocce. People have been searching for immortality forever, assuming that there must be some secret recipe to living well into the hundreds. Even Oprah has hosted writers and travelers who claim they have discovered the secret to a long life in the mountains in some far off country by watching a specific civilization that tend to live longer than the average North American. I am not convinced there is a secret formula to surviving old age. But I won't lie, I do take note of the suggested tips when I come across these articles.
As we age, our resting metabolic rate slows down, and consequently we need fewer calories. This is the reason that many people gradually gain weight as they age despite not changing any dietary habits or decreasing the amount of physical activity they do. Muscle burns more calories at rest then fat does, so the decrease in fat free mass that accompanies aging also contributes to aging weight gain. We spend so much of our time consumed by what we are consuming and trying to look like the movie stars and be fit and lean. But eventually, when we become senior citizens, having a little bit of extra weight on us is actually beneficial. Obviously staying healthy; eating well and getting regular exercise and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake is important in order to reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases which can shorten your life span, but at what age is ok to screw it all and eat what you want and stop forcing yourself to go to the gym and go for those early morning or rainy day runs? I plan to live to be at the very least 100 years old, and I don't want to die at 100 after having spent the last few years of my life sickly and frail. That's another 80 years from now. 80 years to this day I hope to be having a celebratory birthday drink with Sam. Unlikely I know, but my fingers are crossed.
To live to be 100 means that I can't throw in the towel on the trying to be healthy and exercising everyday too early. I have no idea how long it would take my body to deteriorate once I stop, but I assume that the older I get, the faster it'll happen. I don't mean throw in the towel completely, I mean not caring as much about eating healthy and actually eating what I like all the time, even if that means cupcakes and Mississippi Mud or apple pie at every meal. Sounds quite fabulous actually, to be old enough not to care if I gain 20 lbs because I'll be able to justify it by telling myself it's actually good more me to gain weight.

I have decided that the best way to accomplish this goal (even though it is very possible I will have no control over whether or not I am successful in reaching 100) is to eat healthy and exercise daily now, but more importantly to be active within the community and to continue to do so into my 100s. Who knows, maybe I'll still be serving breakfast to middle school kids on my 90th birthday. Being involved in the community, having friends and being happy are, in my opinion, the keys to surviving old age. No matter how healthy you are, you can't live for 100 years + by yourself. What good would living that long be if you had no one to share it with? I think being active in the community just gives you stuff to do on a daily basis; a reason to leave the house and socialize and get out there and walk and get your blood moving, not to mention use your noggin and keep your brain nice and fresh.

Oh man, can you imagine how many memories you'll have stored up in there after 100 years on earth. It makes me wonder what I will actually remember then that I remember now. I assume that at some point your brain will start selectively replacing the least important memories with the newer more important ones. The memories and knowledge I perceive as important now could be completely irrelevant in 100 years and may disappear from my knowledge bank forever. I'm sure that technology will replace some mundane, daily task we are accustomed to doing ourselves and there will come a day when I realize that I don't even know how to complete that task anymore. I'm trying to think of an example...folding laundry perhaps? I don't think I would mind no longer knowing how to fold laundry. Wow, this living to be 100 thing just keeps looking better!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bitter Sweet

My long awaited freedom from the endless to do lists that lovingly accompany university has not exactly played out like I had anticipated. I'm three days into my summer holidays and I am already bored. Day one consisted of watching 3 movies and way more tv than I have all semester combined. Day two consisted of getting my hair cut, grocery shopping and going to work. I must admit. I love getting my hair cut and I love grocery shopping, so day two was nice despite being a little boring in the afternoon. If grocery shopping was a profession, it would definitely be my job of choice. Picking out produce and imagining the hundreds of things you could make with each vegetable, finding out that your favorite yogurt that you never buy because it's expensive is on sale, picking out a new vegetable you've never cooked with just to add excitement to your life, reading the nutrition facts label on everything and carefully going up and down every aisle even though you know you probably won't buy anything in aisles 6-9 but you go up them anyways just in case something jumps out and provides some unexpected inspiration. What's not to love? I actually have to restrain myself from going into the grocery store because it is impossible for me to go in without coming out with, at the very least, a basket full of stuff. It's probably the only thing that is guaranteed to calm me down when I'm grumpy or mad, and cheer me up when I'm down. I am aware that this quite possibly makes me a freak of nature, and I'm ok with that. ( I can just console myself by going grocery shopping!)

Today was day three, another uneventful day. I seem to be spending a lot of time at Starbucks, either with my book that I am finally finding time to read and will hopefully finish in the near future (I've been reading the same book since Christmas, it's about time I get er done and move on to the other 4 brand new books I have waiting for me on my bookshelf) or various friends that I sucker into keeping me company. I am addicted to grande americanos, both hot and cold in nature. Although I learned that iced americanos are cheaper than hot ones, by a whopping 12 cents per grande. I guess you actually do learn something new everyday!

Going into this break, I had marvelously grand ideas about what I would accomplish and what hobbies I would take up and all the super productive things that I would do to replace the time I normally spend in class or doing school work. So far none of the above have actually materialized. Having the time to relax is bitter sweet. The more time you have, the more you waste, and boredom breeds boredom. The more bored I am, the less motivated I am to actually get off my butt and do one of the many things on my list. I have a list for absolutely everything. In fact, I have a whole notebook dedicated to nothing but my various lists. I have a giant white board that Alex made me in grade 12 wood shop hanging on my wall in my bedroom that is also cluttered with several different lists. It's the only way I can keep everything straight and remember everything. I go a little bit crazy unless it's written down in a list with a title. The title is key.

I am hoping that tomorrow will be the end of boredom. I'll be up early to volunteer in the morning so my fingers are crossed that being up and at em by 6:30am will encourage me to be more productive throughout the rest of the day. I think for most people it would motivated them to do nothing else but nap all afternoon, but I seem to operate on an all or nothing principle. Go big or go home I suppose. I will either get a million things done or nothing. I'm aiming for option number one.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Now What?

Insert giant sigh of relief here -->

I wrote my very last exam yesterday, bringing my third year of university to a close. Since the majority of the Nutrition students were all finished yesterday, with the exception a few who happened to take random electives, we all went out to celebrate. We ended up at the Dublin which was awesome because there were about 3 different parties that merged there so I got to see everyone in one place! I've only been to the Dublin a couple times, but I kinda love it. There's always a random band that includes fiddles of some sort. Last night there was just a random cover band but they played stuff that was fun to dance to and had the whole bar ripping up the dance floor. I always run into a million people I know that I either wasn't expecting to see or haven't seen in forever which makes the night that much more exciting.

Now that the semester is over, I am not exactly sure what to do with myself. I woke up this morning at 7am out of habit and for the first time in a very long time, I didn't have an infinitely long to do list on my mind or a detailed and jam packed schedule for the day. So, as a result I am currently sitting in my living room, eating yogurt, strawberries and mango, blogging while watching tv and hanging out with Earl. Wait what? I can't even fathom the last time I had time to do this. I sometimes get a chance to watch the news while I eat my breakfast before class in the mornings, but only if I've been particularly productive the night before and have had time to make my lunch before hand. I must admit, it is marvelous! I do actually have quite the to do list to get through today, but it's all little things that can easily be procrastinated on. I think today may be the first time ever that I've been secretly happy with the No Sunday Shopping in PEI. It gives me an excuse to lounge around in sweats watching Project Runway reruns (with some bulging brides and HGTV on commercials). It also gives me an excuse to put off all the errands I have to run until tomorrow. I am looking forward to the next two weeks of no school. I start classes again for internship on the 26th, but until then it'll be working and volunteering as much as possible and getting some much needed R&R.

An exciting opportunity for UPEI nutrition students has quite possibly been made available in the past week or so. Every year, the school sends nursing students to Kenya for 3 months to work with Farmers Helping Farmers, and this summer, they are hoping to make the trip available to nutrition students as well. It would even count as a 6 week community level internship placement for those interns interested in going. It's completely funded and sounds amazing - I would be doing food records and collecting dietary intake data and then working closely with womens groups and children in a particular community doing nutrition education, creating resources for the community and working with a school to enhance a community garden project. The internship will help the community understand the nutritional needs of their community, knowledge which will impact crop production and will build capacity throughout the community by providing the knowledge, skills, and resources to better feed their children. The funding is currently proposed at about 10 grand, which would cover all my costs of travel, immunizations, room and board etc and then some. The nursing students normally get a chance to go on safari and stuff while they are there too. I came to UPEI with the idea that I was going to one day save the world from world hunger and malnutrition, with the hope that I would get to go back to Africa to work for a chunk of time in the process. This project is EXACTLY what I had envisioned myself doing upon embarking on my degree. The problem is they are only taking 2-3 students, and haven't decided if they will for sure be nutrition students or if they'll simply continue to take nursing students. There is an info session on the 20th, so I will know more then. Until then my fingers are crossed. I want to go sooo bad! I get giddy just thinking about going back, but there are a lot of students who want to go, and there may not even be spots for nutrition students yet, so I'm trying not to get too excited. But on the bright side, at least now I know that my ideal job exists!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Applauding Brains Everywhere

I would like to take a minute away from studying to give a big round of applause (or if you prefer, a round of a hand) to brains everywhere for taking such beating day in and day out. They have a pretty thankless job, and take all the heat for our every mistake, and slip up. Well I suppose it is their fault, but we need to give em some slack every once in a while. Think of how much crazy random and cool stuff is being kept safe in our memories up there! Well for most people; after failing to learn Community Nutrition for the last few hours, I imagine the inside of my head as a dark and dreary place with some cobwebs in the back and maybe a tumbleweed rolling on by every once in a while. But that's ok, we're still friends. I actually even feel smarter now than I did last week, which is proof that I must have absorbed at least something in the last few days of cramming.

In celebration of the brain, today's post is brought to you by the number 18 because it's the age at which your brain stops growing, and the letter Q..for pancake! (sorry, really long story from about 5 years ago at an canoe club pancake brekkie...I am quite possibly the only person to ever remember the incident (thanks to my brain of course!))

For your brain's pleasure, here are some fun brain facts!
  • your brain is capable of having more ideas than the number of atoms in the known universe!
  • if you could harness the power used by your brain, you could power as a 10-watt light bulb
  • the brain itself is incapable of feeling pain
  • Your brain uses 20% of your body's energy, but it makes up only 2% of your body's weight.
  • Your cerebral cortex is about as thick as a tongue depressor. It grows thicker as you learn and use it.
  • Information in your brain travels at about 268 miles per hour, unless of course you are drunk, then things really slow down.
  • Albert Einsteins brain weighed 1,230 grams (2.71 lbs), significantly less then the human average of 1,300g to 1,400g (3 lbs).
Ok so I won't lie..some of these fun facts may not have come from reliable sources and may be a little sketch.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Keeners Beware

Here is a reenactment of my microbiology exam that I just wrote:

I flip over my exam, write my student number on each page, take a deep breath. I give myself a little pep talk because I did actually study for this exam, and I really did think I knew the material. I read the first question....aaaand cue the crickets chirping in my head. The usual biology related thoughts going a million miles a minute that normally accompany the beginning of a bio final are mysteriously absent. In fact, any thoughts at all seem to be absent. And they don't seem to reappear in the entire time I sat in my chair in the gym; looking blankly as each consecutive question failed to spark any knowledge recollection what-so-ever. I suppose that's a bit of an exaggeration. At one point during the exam, the knowledge of the pile of dirty laundry sitting in a heap in my room was recollected and so I scribbled a note on my hand reminding me to wash it when I got home. Eventually, after an hour or so of grasping at straws and hating my life, I came to the conclusion that there was just nothing else going on up in my brain and that was not going to change by sitting here surrounded by stressed out students scribbling furiously everything they ever learned about anything even related to each question. I did however notice that the guy across the aisle from me had really awesome shoes on.

As much as I would love to say that this has never happened to me before, I can't. In fact, I feel like most exams go somewhat like the above, but normally (thankfully!) to a lesser extent.

I normally get decent marks, not because I'm actually smart, but because I try really hard. In the end, I'm coming to realize that it's this process of trying hard that is actually my downfall when it comes to finals. I normally rock assignments and midterms but then bomb finals. It's actually quite frustrating. By the time finals roll around, I am so exhausted and burnt out from a semester (or full year) of trying so hard all the time that my brain capacity to absorb anything new is zero, and my ability to focus is comparable to that of a goldfish. If this semester has taught me anything (which according to my exam results, it has not) it's that being a keener can bite you in the bum. In the pre-internship application haste of my first 2 and a half years, I was running around like a crazy person volunteering several times a week, working, stressing over every single mark and basically being a lunatic so that I would have done everything I possibly could to get the internship. Now that I have the internship, I'm so used to doing everything all the time that I haven't really given myself a chance to slow down. And as a result of accumulated stress, fatigue and excessive thinking, my brain is shutting down and refusing to absorb even the slightest morsel of anything. I can't say I really blame it, I've been really demanding these last few years!

This semester, and the plummeting of my grades that has accompanied it, has made me realize (to my dismay) that I am not invincible. I am only one person and there are only 24 hours in a day. Being a keener may seem like a good idea at first, but keeners beware: being too keen is detrimental to your health, social life and brain. That being said, being a keener is kind of like an addiction, one which I will find hard to break. I really am going to try to wean myself off...starting on Saturday. Until then, I have to gently coax my brain into learning just a few more things for my final 3 exams of the semester. Maybe if I talk really nice to it it might reluctantly comply.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A short break from learning all about the fascinating world of Microbiology to show you this extremely awesome ipod / iphone cozy. If anyone happens to have some free time and knitting skills I wouldn't mind a surprise shark cozy in the mail!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dinosaur Bones

This big huge gigantic world that very few of us ever even see a portion of is shockingly small. I decided that I needed to escape from my bedroom where I had been holed up all day studying (or at least trying to amid the distractions of text messaging, facebook, internet..anything other then my textbooks really) so I ventured out to Starbucks to get my first iced coffee of the season and to experience a change of scenery. Although I'm not sure it really counts as a change of scenery since no matter where my butt was plunked I was still looking at the exact same pages of notes. Anyways, turns out they don't even have iced coffees yet (iiii know right?) so I settled for an iced americano and while I was waiting for it to be made, I noticed this guy who looked really familiar. He was talking to the barista guy about his band and how he's never been to Charlottetown but was playing at Baba's tonight. Just as he was about to grab his drink and leave it hit me. He was my grade 2 reading buddy! Whoa! I chickened out and didn't say anything to him though, although he was probably wondering why I was starring at him with a perplexed look on my face for so long. To confirm that it was him, I looked up the band playing tonight and they're from Toronto with a member named Joel in it so it's gotta be him. (ya I know, I'm a creep) It's such a freakishly small world sometimes. His band is called Dinosaur Bones and I would have gone to see them play in order to get a second chance at saying hi but I have a 9am exam tomorrow morning. It's probably a good thing actually...I can see the awkward confrontation playing out in my head now...

Me: Hey! Joel?
Joel: Uh hi?
Me: Just throwing this out there, you were my grade 2 reading buddy at Whiteoaks, small world eh?
Joel: riiiiight (slowly starts walking away backwards)
Me: Remember that time you bought me that Christmas present but your sister told me on the portable steps about it before you gave it to me so you were mad it wasn't a surprise?
Joel: Just throwing this out there, I don't actually know you.

I imagine it would go something like the above, primarily with me ending up looking like a huge creepy wierdo. I had the biggest crush on him back in the day bahaha. Oh man, good old grade two romances. He probably thought I was a creepy wierdo back then too.

Study breaks seem to be a common theme for me these past two days. Yesterday was epically hot and sunny out, and consequently I am sporting my first sunburn of the year. I have the bow of my swim suit burnt nicely into my back. As Age and I were laying out on our lawn learning, I decided we should take advantage of the heat and the fact that we live minutes from several beaches. We ended up driving out to Brackley Beach and jumping right into the ocean. The ocean, it turns out, is quite frigid this time of year. By jumping right in, I really mean we stood in the sand wondering why we thought this was a good idea. Finally I took the plunge first, waded out a bit, and when a wave came strategically flopped into it. Age went after me but I must admit, she stayed in longer than I did. I am sure there will be many more ocean flopping opportunities this summer for which I can not wait!

Tomorrow morning at 9am is the commencement of 5 exams in 4 days. It's going to be a crazy blitz of studying resulting in pen marks all over my clothes and hands, coffee rings on all my papers (and likely dribbles down my shirt), my hair in a permanent knot on the top of my head (if i haven't ripped it all out) and perhaps the disappearance of my sanity. I don't really get stressed out over exams. I have faith I am going to pass all my courses and I know that even if I don't, the world is not going to stop turning, my life won't end and it doesn't mean I'm a failure of life. It just means I need to shell out another 500 bucks to retake the course again next year. Either way, 4 days is not very long, which means that not very long from now it will officially be summer vacation!

Here's to flip flops, tan lines, and BBQs!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mac and Harvey

The last few days have been a blur of papers, macaroni and cheese, and the athletic banquet. I am officially dunzo with my third year of classes. The last week of classes always means that there are a million papers due and about 6 presentations to complete. Luckily, I got to work on some pretty fun projects this year. In what other program would you spend an entire semester focusing on almost nothing other than macaroni and cheese? Our mac and cheese presentation was awesome, we even all got matching shirts that had a macaroni noodle and a block of cheese on it, that says BFFs (Best Friends Forever) on it.

Assuming I don't fail any exams, (fingers crossed) this time next week I will essentially be three quarters of the way through university. Basically the only thing getting me through this last week is thinking about how exciting this time next year will be. I really hate exams. I typically do not do very well on them and my marks always drop after writing them. By the end of the semester I am normally too burnt out or just don't care enough anymore to be able to focus as much as I need to on studying. This year appears to be no different. I tried to buckle down and study today but I didn't get nearly as much as I wanted accomplished and really don't feel like I have any more knowledge in my head now than I did when I woke up this morning. While I acknowledge the fact the I need to learn how to focus and study better for exams, I am currently sitting in my room writing this blog, and contemplating between studying for the rest of the night, or watching either The Fantastic Mr Fox or Couples Retreat. I'm not going to lie, there is about an 99% chance I'll end up watching a movie versus studying. Exams will mean one of three things: I will blog way more often in procrastination, I won't hardly blog at all because I'll be studying, or I won't blog because I'll be locked in my room attempting to learn but not really learning and therefor have nothing to write about.
Wednesday night was the UPEI Athletic Banquet. All of the varsity sports teams got all dolled up and attended an awards ceremony that recognized each team and various athletes across campus. Surprisingly, I ended up winning some random award I didn't know existed. One person from each team was awarded the Mickey's Place award for student leadership and community/school involvement (I think?). The best part was it came with some mad cheddar. Aka some cash money. After the awards ceremony, we all went back to Steph's place for some team bonding over card games and to celebrate the season. Half the team I had never seen in anything other than a swim suit or a UPEI track suit so it was so exciting to see everyone in dresses, heels and suits. We all headed to the Wave after Steph's to meet up with the rest of the teams and to do some dancing. Fun was had by all...even those who can't remember for themselves.

Today is Good Friday, the kick-off to Easter Weekend. For the first year ever, I don't have any plans. In my first year I went home with Lexy to Miramichi, last year I went to Amherst to visit Alex and my grandparents. Because of exams, I couldn't really justify getting NO studying done the weekend before so I opted to stay on the island. It's a little bit strange. I LOVE holidays, and get really excited for all of them. But since I have no plans it doesn't even feel like a holiday at all. If it weren't for the mini eggs and creme eggs strategically placed at every check out line on the island, I would have probably missed the holiday all together. I think in honor of Easter I should take the time out of my busy busy studying schedule to watch an Easter themed movie. I'm thinking Harvey; no better way to celebrate Easter than with a 6 foot imaginary rabbit and some popcorn. Throw some fresh baked cranberry-almond-white chocolate biscotti in there and you've got a pretty stellar holiday weekend!