Final Crunch Time

The way our school calendar works out we get back from break and the next week finals start. It’s stressful, chaotic and usually not a problem for me. This year, with two five-page papers due Monday and 10 photography prints due next Friday I’m feeling a little pressured. It doesn’t help that my time when I am usually most productive was spent sitting by the pool getting tan.

I will not be short on work that has to get done. I still have no clue what I am writing in both of those papers or which photos I am going to print. For what has been a moderately easy semester of work, everything seems to be piling up now. I know in these next two days I need to be exceptionally productive, but that is much easier said than done. As finals get closer, the appeal of sites like Buzzfeed and Facebook get much bigger. I planned to write two papers, at least in some solid form on the plane ride back to Boston, but once again, nothing got done. I stared at my course pack for sociology, opened my final paper topics sheet for my education class and narrowed it down to three possibilities, but then I turned on Facebook. Related: in-flight Wi-Fi is a major saboteur for getting work done.

I am usually the one who has everything figured out weeks in advance, or at least some idea of what I will write about. That did not happen to me this time and it’s a little frustrating.  I know I am going to have to work through some serious Jetlag from the time difference between Arizona and Boston but hopefully it works out in my favor. Hopefully, in those extra hours I’m awake I will write something for a paper. I know I am going to have to make myself keep those internet sites off, I might even resort to using SelfControl for the first time in a while. Finals make people do crazy things.

Time Flies

Brandeis released classes for the Fall 2014 semester. This will be my last semester before I begin Student Teaching and the first semester of my senior year. I have no clue where college went, but last I remember I was panicking over which classes I would be taking first semester my freshman year.

It blows my mind how fast it has gone. I realize how many classes I’ve taken and how many I wanted to but haven’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my education and English classes but there are so many different options Brandeis offers that I haven’t taken yet and won’t have a chance to.  Overall though, not withstanding the lack of subject diversity, I feel pretty blessed. I’ve had a chance to take some really amazing classes, meet some great friends and have learned some really valuable lessons.

With this semester coming to a close, my calendar is finally getting a little less hectic and the end is in sight. On the 28th I will be finished with the majority of my finals and can enjoy the summer, after I attempt to conquer the general curriculum MTEL and math, again. I have my schedule lined up for next semester all ready, I have my placement for Student Teaching, and am excited for my new adventures I will have.

I worry slightly I might be overextending myself for next semester. I applied to join another committee, will be on board for Liquid Latex and a campus collaborator for Her Campus. One of the graduating education seniors said to me a few weeks ago that the way to stay present on campus while you are student teaching is to get more involved. I guess that makes sense, and maybe it’s a bit crazy on my part, but I know I can handle it. Besides, I kind of want to leave college with a bang.

Time for Rest and Relaxation

It’s finally Spring Break! With an early departure from campus, I played hooky and went to Arizona for an extra weekend before Passover started. I am so excited to be able to sit in the sun for a straight week, enjoy the company of my family, and catch up on sleep. I have been so sleep deprived recently, this break could not have come at a better time.

I’m ignoring the fact that once we get back we will have less than a week of classes and then finals start. A good chunk of this break will consist of me writing papers and finishing up any last homework assignments. At least I get to do it in a warm desert. On a positive note, if I finish them, my last weekend will be much more relaxing.  All I’ll have to do is edit them. It should have been done before last Sunday, but of course it didn’t. Now I have to balance work with spending time with the mass amount of family members here.

My cousins from New Jersey, cousins from California and my sisters and their families are all here. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but those groups alone add up to 17 plus people. Add in my sister’s mother in-law, it’s a large group. I’m excited, but it’s been a little overwhelming. Finding “me” time has been hard, but it has kept me from losing my mind. The only saving grace was having gone gluten free.

During Passover, we are not supposed to eat any wheat products and we eat matza, unleavened bread, as a substitute.  Fortunately, I don’t particularly enjoy it, so I won’t have to miss it too much. I stopped craving bread products.  Usually, the hardest part is missing pasta and pizza but that hasn’t been a problem in weeks. I also know I will be able to maintain what has been a pretty healthy diet so far. Going back home and cooking for myself will probably be the biggest challenge.

I am excited to have a week away. I can actually pamper myself a bit. I might get a facial, maybe a massage, get my nails done and get my hair straightened. I definitely need a massage, between the hours I’ve been working out and the hours I’ve spent sitting in front of a computer, everything is so bent out of shape. This vacation is so necessary and so far, it has been everything I have needed, if not more. The best part: I get to come back nice and tan.

Grocery Shopping Gluten Free: No Longer A Struggle

I’ve started thinking about grocery shopping as a new adventure: what can I find and how can I make into a meal? From when I was a child, I thought food shopping was the most mundane activity. Now that I am gluten free and am forced to go grocery shopping almost twice a week, on a good week, I am learning to like it.

There is something about going to Whole Foods that I have learned to enjoy. The vegetable and fruit aisle is the one aisle that I can usually find a new ingredient or a new thing to add to my diet. I have vowed to buy different foods and then experiment how I cook them.

I really enjoy making shopping lists before I leave the house and then seeing the satisfaction of having everything crossed off my list. I’m not sure if that comes from my obsession for lists or from the orderliness I get when I shop with one. The times that I forget to make a list, the shopping takes at least 15 minutes longer because I have to come up with the list in my mind. A lot of what I eat is consistently the same, but with no list, I will come home with extra chocolate I didn’t need or some new cool gluten free snack.

Going gluten free has given me an attitude adjustment about a lot of things: it’s allowed me to try new foods, actually end up liking them and it has made me tolerate, almost like going grocery shopping.

Closure or Obsession?

Sometimes I think about what caused my various relationships to spiral down. This past summer I started writing letters when I needed to work through issues with one of those fateful relationships. Now keep in mind, I’m using the term relationship for friends and my old significant others.

Now, months later that relationship has gone into the toilet, sending us into a very awkward living situation and I still think about why. I keep on imagining a more confident and self-assured me sending letters to those various people asking that question: what happened and when?

I don’t think this is unrealistic. In fact, every girl needs closure. I just don’t know how normal it is to still be thinking this almost two years later in some cases. I keep thinking about what these letters would look like. I quickly figured that out: very awkward.

For the sake of humor and my own sanity so they stop running through my already preoccupied mind, I’m going to write short versions, names not included for my own sense of security, pride and your inability to find them on the web.

To the boy from freshman year:

I honestly wish you had been clearer with me about what went wrong.  Yes, months later you sort of told me, but you never clearly did. I still want to know what I did wrong that sent you running so early on. There are things I wish I had done differently, or known going into our relationship but I didn’t. I was young and so were you.  Why didn’t you stick it out and see where it went? What was the real reason?

To the boy from freshman year II:

I think your excuse for ending it was in short, lame. I also think there was a whole other situation going on that you didn’t want to tell me or wanted to hide from me. Fine, but don’t give me some ridiculous excuse like we are too different. Clearly we weren’t if we worked for the month and half.

To the so-called friend:

You have to be the most confusing and hardest person to work out. I thought we had figured out all of our issues and could finally start to rework the great friendship we had going. Clearly, you have some issues with me that you don’t want to tell me, because now, we never talk, you get angry at me for absolutely no reason and I have a slow burning hatred for you inside of me. I am restraining all of these emotions until you are out of my life but I honestly want to know what I did that sent you on a totally different path than we started on.

I don’t know if these are weird obsessions or realistic questions, but at least now they will stop taking up valuable headspace and maybe let me focus on the work I need to get done for my classes. I’m hoping these letters are never seen, and if they are, maybe I’ll get a good reaction, but best case, they don’t and if they do they ignore them.