Week 8 and the Candy Fiasco

Monday – I wasn’t at school until the afternoon and can’t remember what I ate

Tuesday – apple and yogurt

Wednesday – veggie chicken wrap

Thursday – pumpkin cookie, pineapple, scrambled egg wrap

I actually ate pretty decently this week, with some veggies and fruits showing up in my diet (I was sorely disappointed when I ran out of apples; apples and homemade yogurt are my new favorite snack). Thursday I kind of dropped the ball – I was running late and didn’t get breakfast, so what’s listed ended up being mostly my breakfast, and I ate crap for lunch and dinner. Interestingly, after only a few days without processed food, sodas, etc, eating bad food on Thursday made me feel horrible. More incentive for me to eat and drink better, at least.

For our meal tonight, I’ve been planning on trying out some homemade candy bars. There were several recipes I found, but one of the easiest was a homemade almond joy. After the fact, I’ll say that I am now perfectly content with buying my candy bars, as this is one thing that I neither enjoy making at home nor am very good at.

Funny thing about coconut; even if it’s packed together really well, there are lots of tiny pieces that can latch onto something, in this case being chocolate that is just barely completely melted. I got one kind of-sort of decent bar, and the rest all just fell apart and made a mess. Well, I say “the rest” but I only did about three or four.

Then I did the only thing I knew how – improvised. The result was a mixture of chocolate and coconut with almonds thrown on top. I heard no complaints and it was mostly gone by the end of the night, so I’ll say it was pretty good. The ingredients may have to “happen” to jump into my shopping cart again soon…

Annnd back to school

Alas, the last few hours of my Spring Break have slipped away and it is now currently…a school day. Dun dun DUNNN!

Okay, fine, it’s really not that bad. My first class is furloughed, so I only have to be on campus for a couple of hours this afternoon.

So what did I wile away my time with this week? I tried to roughly incorporate similar rhythms and routines into my life as what we’ll be starting after Easter, getting used to moving in and out of them as I had other obligations such as work. Probably the weirdest experience was the first day because time seemed to have slowed down so much; it got to the point that while I was out grocery shopping I thought vaguely about picking up my paycheck, but figured I’d be back for work in a couple hours and it wasn’t worth it. I then looked at the clock and realized that work wasn’t even open yet and I had 7 hours before I needed to be clocked in.

I’d like to say I did tons of homework and I’m all caught up. Well, I did some homework, but mostly I just enjoyed myself this week. I put in about three times my normal amount of time at the library, and spent time in the kitchen stocking up on some baked goods (and, surprisingly, having a whole slew of tasty things in my fridge seems to actually make me eat them less, I guess with the reasoning being “meh, they’ll be there for awhile, no need to gobble them all down now”). I cleaned and organized bit by bit, so while there’s still plenty to be done – somehow a sink full of dishes has crept up on me – it’s still significantly better (i.e. there’s no funny smell in the fridge anymore).

I tried out making homemade yogurt, with somewhat runny albeit tasty results, and am prepping to try out homemade candy bars this week. So I guess what I’m saying here is that, yes, I could’ve done a lot more, task-wise. But I feel rejuvenated and renewed, and I don’t completely hate college right now, so I think that’s a good trade off. Everything in balance, right?

I’m also currently deciding what to do with my tax refund. I already know for sure that there are several baking books I’d like to buy (is it a bad sign when a bread book makes you feel all giddy?), and I think I may want to pick up a cheap point-and-shoot so that I can have at least some photo-taking abilities back. Though eventually I’d like a digital SLR, this is definitely more in my price range right now.

I’m debating getting an ipod touch, but there are rumors out on the interwebs about a next gen coming out in the fall or earlier that includes a camera, and I’m all for multi-functioning devices (if it wasn’t for my attempt to minimize recurring bills, I’d be all over the iphone; phone, mini-laptop, games, music, and camera all in one). I guess for now my decision is indecision, I’ll wait around and see how things are looking; the only thing to lose is my patience.

I have no lunch recap for you this week, but I would like to share that I actually ate some fruits and vegetables this week. I swear! I have witnesses!

Finally, in complete shamelessness, I’d like to point out that my knitting class is starting up in a few weeks…

Credit to Summer Price for the flier.

Week 7 and Spring Break!

Hello there Spring Break (or, to be more accurate, St. Patrick’s Day Break – nothing like getting the college kids out of town for a normally rowdy holiday). Today’s been a little more unusual than normal, I had to forgo my usual praxis and head down to Chico to teach a station in a class as part of a requirement for my health class. I feel a bit like I cheated – after all the drilling into education major’s brains about all the different models of lesson plan writing (all lengthy and involved) my entire lesson was on a post it note. And it worked out just fine; not having an exact script (I’m not even kidding, some models ask for exactly what you’re going to say) I felt perfectly fine bending and tweaking my lesson depending on how each group of kids.

And with that done, I was/am officially on spring break! I have a handy dandy little checklist of homework to get done, and some ideas bouncing around about what I’d like to take care of in terms of de-cluttering, as well as some ideas of what to create. Because a lot can happen in a week =)

Pretty much the only thing I’m really set on right now is that I’d like to try out one of the regula/daily routines we’ve mentioned before. The only major adjustment to this I’d like to make is that, having woken up often at 6:30 this semester, I am reminded that my natural waking time lies somewhere close to 7, and even that half an hour can mess up my day.

Also, I’d like to significantly cut down on my time behind a digital screen of any sort – particularly my computer, since that’s where most of my screen time comes from. While I realize I need it for some of my homework, I’ve often used that rationalization and ended up having the “5 minutes” to double check what pages to read for a class turn into 2 hours on cracked.com and hulu. I’m not sure yet what those boundaries are going to be, but this seems like a good time to try some out.

Monday – Breadsticks, baked ziti, and mashed potatoes. (thank you for the ziti, Patrick!)

Tusesday – Sunchips (I had more packed, but got out early and didn’t eat the rest of it).

Wednesday – Leftover chinese food, banana.

Thursday – Tri tip, rice, and chips.

Friday – Banana. School on a Friday – the tragedy. (Supplemented by a some food from Cozy with the Prices)

The end of today starts the beginning of my hell week. I’m actually dreading this more than finals, though admittedly it’s a little bit better since I managed to wiggle around my work schedule – otherwise I wouldn’t have had a single day this week without something going on in the evenings. Several of those are Abbey meals and, don’t get me wrong, those are refreshing and valuable, but it also means I feel a little added stress to squeeze in time for making something, and trying to make sure everything is clean.

My PACT is…not due, per se, this week, but requires some significant work. I don’t feel like explaining it exactly, but I’ll put it this way: if you ever find yourself in a room filled with pre-credential or first year teachers, mention something about PACT. Just try it. The entire room will groan. The full-fledged assessment is saved for actual first year teachers, but I’m doing a “mini-PACT” (named CATS for some reason…wait…wasn’t a standardized test I took in elementary school called the CATS? STOP CHANGING YOUR ACRONYMS, CALIFORNIA!).

My feelings toward it alternate between

It's really just a glorified lesson plan.

and

HIGH STAKES ASSESSMENT!!!!

And yes, searching for those images just made me feel significantly better.

Last night while babysitting the Price’s kids (a.k.a. letting them watch a movie and then sending them off the bed. Then a few trips back and forth for water, blankets, and “RACHEL! I heard footsteps in my room!), between shuffling back and forth to their rooms I read The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Books Locally, Globally, and Online, which Joshua thoughtfully picked up for me while snagging some art kits for art workshop this week.

For the first chapter or so I was really inspired; it was about keeping your creative juices flowing, getting past art blocks, finding ways to organize your materials and your thoughts, and generally just encouraging the reader to do what we love – create things. Additionally, I was thrilled and heartily impressed to see a panel of interviewees that included the people behind Etsy, Craftster, and Ravelry (links for those of you too lazy to move your mouse a few inches to my sidebar =P).

The next few chapters were the nitty-gritty, the stuff that I didn’t really want to have to think about but that made a lot of sense – researching and declaring a business name, deciding what kind of business to be, dealing with taxes/profit/IRS/filing/etc.

And then it just all went downhill from there. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that any kind of business – cottage or not – requires a logo, branding, and advertising. A huge portion of the book is dedicated to that topic, and by the end it felt like to follow those techniques would be more about selling me than selling something I make. Yes, a little piece of me goes with everything I make, but I don’t like the idea of crafting every word I put on the internet and every article of clothing I wear to reflect some version of me that I’ve put in a box and put a price tag on. I don’t like the idea of shoving a business card in the face of anyone who mentions they like something I’ve made; I certainly wouldn’t enjoy being on the other end of that scenario.

She used “schmooze” un-ironically. Seriously. By the time it got to the section on Twitter, I was pretty checked out. I skimmed the last 50 pages, though admittedly the last 20 or so seemed to have some good information, by that time I was cranky enough that I still didn’t read it too carefully and should go back to it later.

And after all that, I had one thought that brought me some peace as I went to sleep. I may not have a defining unique style, or really all that much skill at sewing, knitting, crocheting, or painting. I don’t know if I’d even want to do any one of those everyday for a long period of time. I do, however know one thing that I would love to do every single day.

I would love to bake.

I’ll likely get a little bit of fun poked at me for that, but that doesn’t change my mind. Even when what I try doesn’t work out, when you hear me moaning and groaning about how I lost track of time and left something in too long or something didn’t rise or whatever, please know that I’m still happy. Because I truly enjoy the process of baking, even if the end result isn’t quite what I hoped.

So I fell asleep last night with visions dough and spices, and how I feel when I smell yeast in the air.  And was then woken up with some weird police encounter in the shopping center right by our property. But you get what I mean. =)

Week 6

I officially have 1 unit less than I did at this time last week. It’s not much, but I’ll take it! =)

Lunches:

Monday: Muffin, scrambled egg wrap

Tuesday: Banana, french bread

Wednesday: Banana, pizza egg wrap

Thursday: Banana, garlic bread pizza, homemade granola bars (you’ll hear about that later)

Can you tell this week was the last one before I got paid?

Also, I’m realizing that not using pictures makes it quite hard for me to remember what I brought….

Steve brought home two big jars of garlic bread seasoning for everyone to use, so almost everything has had some form of garlic seasoning added to it. As an avid garlic lover, I really can’t complain. I’m putting some on the breadsticks I’m making for tonight’s meal, and they’re rising right now – they look divine. Me and my love of carbs.

Tonight Alex and his friend Jeff and I are going down to Chico for a late showing of Alice in Wonderland. I would like to point out that it concerns me just a tad that two college aged guys are actually really excited to go see it, and if they squeal when Johnny Depp comes on screen then Alex and I maaaaay need to have a talk.

Other than that, I’m just waiting out the next week to get to spring break. And byw aiting I mean being swamped with tests and projects. But yea, pretty much the same thing, right?

Ah, but looks can be deceiving

Yesterday, I had a job interview. I got all dressed up in one of my “teacher outfits”, which made me feel like I actually look like a professional who maybe even sort of knows what she’s doing, and probably isn’t under 20. It definitely helps boost my confidence.

I had to be at school both before and after the interview, so I wore everything to school; it’s not much of a big deal to be dressed up at school, it’s assumed that you’re giving a presentation or have been assigned to go work in a classroom. Even at the Abbey it doesn’t gather much notice (we do, after all, live on church property, and a decent amount of people still like to come to church dressed nicely).

I picked up lunch while I was out, and was surprised at how I was treated completely differently than when I’m out with jeans and a sweater. As I sat in my parked car in front of Chico Junior High finishing my lunch, recapping the social interactions in my head, I wondered if the people walking by my car would smile so brightly at me if I looked different. Say, maybe a middle aged man sitting out on the street? Especially in front of a school, I have a feeling the reception wouldn’t have been nearly as friendly.

And while it feels nice when I get the good end of that situation, I wonder how it must feel for some of the people who get judged because of their tattoos, piercings, ragged clothes, or disheveled appearance. The couple we have staying with us right now just got out of jail, and both have a decent amount of tattoos, but they are by far the most pleasant guests we’ve had.

As I got home and talked with one of them, I thought about how my interview might have gone significantly differently if I’d had to check yes to any of the questions about criminal convictions.

Sometimes I forget that, even as a college kid, I still have a lot of privilege that many other people don’t. And I don’t just mean world-wide, comparing us to another country; I mean in comparison with people right here literally in our own backyard.

I’m not sure that there’s much I can do to really change that. I know it sounds cliche, but I guess the place to start is with myself and the assumptions that I allow myself to have about people. That may not help someone get a job, but being accepted is a start.