Back in the Springfield Groove

January 26, 2011

That doesn’t have quite the same ring as New York Groove, but it’s all I’ve got.

I’ve been back for a week now and things are already starting to pick up with my own classes. Work is still rather slow; I don’t have my first appointments until next week.

Last semester was all about writing; this one looks to be all about reading. I still have a fair amount of writing to accomplish by the end of the semester, but the amount of weekly reading could be quite overwhelming if I thought about it too much. Instead, I just take it one book at a time, one day at a time. Focusing on the day-to-day keeps me from freaking out about the big picture. This week I had 622 pages to read for my Wednesday class. I wondered how I’d finish it on time, but instead I finished Monday evening, giving me all day today to read for another class. Somehow, it all gets done.

It would be easy for me to say that I got it all read so quickly because I did nothing else, but that would not be true either. In the past five days I’ve gone to the gym four times, baked pizza crust and cinnamon rolls, gone shopping, and stayed current with my tv shows. Oh, and let’s not forget I’ve also kept up with washing dishes, which is where I usually fall behind first.

All in all, a good start to the semester.

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Lemon Tea Cookies

December 19, 2010

This is one of the best cookie recipes I’ve discovered in a long time. The cookies come out, and stay, very soft–almost cake-like.

I adapted the recipe from the one at vegweb.com. I skipped the lemon rind because I didn’t have any and added lots more lemon juice. (I wanted to be sure to have a strong lemon flavor.) Everything else I left the same.

I highly, highly recommend this recipe. If you like lemon-flavored baked goods, you will not be disappointed.

I have been doing a lot of baking lately, and I have even more recipes to try. I will try to remember to take pictures so that I can share my favorites with you!


Finally A New Outfit Post!

December 11, 2010

I haven’t done an outfit post in months, but I was happy with this one I put together this afternoon, so I thought I should share.

I am so. close. to being done with this semester. I have four papers due this coming week. Two are completely finished, printed out, and ready to be turned in. The third I revised today and I’m waiting for others eyes to look over it before I print it out.

That leaves the final paper, which I’ve been trying to work on tonight. It’s supposed to be 15 pages. I know what I’m writing about. I’ve read all of my sources. I just made my outline. But I am still a little concerned over whether or not I can get 15 pages out of it. As soon as I finish with this post I am going to write the introduction and hopefully come up with a thesis. If I can get that done tonight, I will feel a lot better about the whole thing.

I’ve had Bones on tonight while working on my paper. It usually doesn’t distract me too much since I know it so well. However, tonight I probably shouldn’t have chosen “The Woman in Limbo.” It is distracting me. Love that episode!

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking lately, and I have some pictures and recipes to share with you soon. 


Thankful

December 3, 2010

I don’t feel like going into too much detail, but I was feeling a bit frustrated over the past couple of weeks about things that were really out of my control. Those things are still not resolved, and maybe never will be, but over the past couple of days, experiences with other people have made me realize I should focus on and appreciate the positives.

So even though Thanksgiving was over a week ago . . .

I am thankful for

–My family, who are always there for me no matter what. My mom and I spend hours on the phone together and never run out of things to say. I am very thankful to have such a wonderful relationship with her. My dad has always done his best to make sure I have everything I need, and my sisters know how to have fun. I am thankful that, despite our wide age-range, we are all very close.

–My friends, especially those I made at Hillsdale College. It’s been a year and  half now since we graduated. We’re spread all over the country and, in some cases, over the world. Yet, despite the fact that we now see each other rarely, we stay in touch. And when we do catch up, either in person, over the phone, or on the internet, it’s never awkward. We can pick up right where we left off. It’s very easy to get nostalgic about those days when we saw each other everyday and shared meals and classes, when you knew the tiniest details about each other’s lives. But I am coming to an appreciation of this new stage in my friendships with these people. No, it’s not the same, but it’s still good. I like knowing that I share a certain bond with these people, and that we will always share a connection with each other, even if other people play a more prominent role at various stages of our lives. So if any of my Hdale friends are reading this, thank you. Our friendship is very important to me. I don’t care if we don’t talk all the time. As long as we make the effort to stay in touch, that’s what counts. This applies to non-Hillsdale friends too, of course. I know life gets in the way sometimes, maybe a lot of times. But making the effort to connect now and again means a lot to me. I am thankful for those of you who do that.

–My education. My basic beliefs would probably be similar to what they are now without having attended Hillsdale, but they are certainly stronger for it. Yes, I miss my college classes. No, I am not a nerd. Just a Hillsdale alum. Hillsdale also gave me a strong foundation in reading and writing, which most obviously is helping me to succeed in grad school.

There are other things I am grateful for as well, but it’s getting late, and those things are not directly related to the original motivation for this post. I will conclude by saying I am thankful I now only have one paper left to write this semester.


So Close to the End

December 1, 2010

I have 5 papers and 1 presentation until the end of the semester. The presentation is tonight and 3 of the papers are finished except for minor revisions and proofing.

Almost there! Two weeks from today it will all be done.


Cross It Off The List

November 18, 2010

So that book review I mentioned in my post last night? Yep, just finished it!

Maybe I’m regaining momentum for the final stretch.


What Happened to My Motivation?

November 18, 2010

Since finishing that big paper last week, I haven’t been able to recapture my sense of urgency. Granted, I did turn in three things this week, and, as I’ve shown on this blog, I was productive last weekend. But during the week I keep accomplishing very little. It’s because I don’t have weekly reading anymore. That’s making me lazy.

Here’s what I still have to do this semester. Hopefully I haven’t forgotten anything. In no particular order:

  • 15 minute presentation on my historiographical essay
  • The final version of that essay (fortunately the revisions are not too extensive)
  • Museum budget assignment
  • Essay #3 for the museum class
  • Book review of an indeterminate length (I just now wrote the introduction and thesis for this, so maybe . . . I can finish it before I go home for Thanksgiving. Wishful thinking?)
  • 15 page essay on some museum problem of my choosing (I’ve picked my topic and found some of my sources. I’m actually pretty excited about this one. Wish it was only 10 pages though.)
  • 3-5 page essay covering a theme from my course on the US from 1890-1945. (I was not expecting this assignment to be so short.)

The good news is I’m not particularly worried about any of these things. Perhaps that’s also the bad news–and the reason why I can’t get up the motivation to work on any of it. Out of all of those, the one I am most concerned about is the presentation. Not because I have to speak–this semester I’ve gotten used to speaking to my own students, so presenting will be no problem. No, what I’m worried about is dragging my presentation out to 15 minutes. I tend to be pretty concise and to-the-point. I know it’s a good thing to be concise, but I find that means I sometimes have trouble filling time. We’ll see how it goes!