Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rainy Day Reflections

This morning I had the wonderful chance to meet up with many of the girls on my floor from freshman year and catch up on everyone's lives over breakfast. It was so good to see everyone again and here little snippets of activties and events that have happened. On the other hand though, I notice that the things we talked about were unimportant things, interesting yes, but superficial. What our majors are, if we are dating etc. This makes me reflect about how we connect with people on different levels. One of my professors highlighted this for us in a class one day where we were asked to do an activity in small groups where first we asked each other the typical questions. Then we were asked to share our goals. Then we had to describe a characteristic about each person in the group that we had noticed from what they said. Each of these rounds required us to further penetrate the level of familiarity we had with one another. Most of our daily associations fit within the first category. There is nothing wrong with this, it is a way we find out what we have in common with others and can lead to eventual deeper bonds. But I think it would be excellent if we could all find at least some one who we could get to those other levels with. To be able to find a friend and really connect with them. The point is to pay attention to people besides just what they are saying on the surface; to really listen.

Bakers Bit: On a less thoughtful note, I failed at making muffins today. The recipe I used didnt have any sugar in it so the batter was like a biscuit dough that I plopped in the pans. I didnt realize the problem until too late, thinking the issue from the first batch I made was because the milk solidified the butter. The second attempt really wasnt much better. The outcome: blueberry biscuits. I thought they were horrible, knowing what the real thing is supposed to taste like, but the girls seemed to like them. I did make some excellent oatmeal raisin cookies last night however and will enjoy munching on those throughout the week. They are chewy and crispy, just how I like them, and they have just a hint of spice in them. Yum.

Do you know how much I hate legislation/government requirements. I'm talking about nit-picky documentation that makes it impossible to get anything accomplished. I suffered an experience with this on Thursday as I attempted to get a new driver's license. Of course, you need lots of papers to prove who you are and that you belong in the country. So I took copies of said important documentation only to be told that they no longer accept copies, they must have originals. Problem. All my documents are in the Netherlands. Suck. So now I have an expired drivers license and have to wait several weeks until I can get some copies. There is the slight possibility however that they will accept an old pay stub of mine and a passport. Fingers crossed. Either way, Monday is the first day I can go in to try again because naturally, they are closed on the weekends.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

That's What Makes the World Go Round

I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it!!

Probably not with what you are thinking, aka a boy.

No, I am in love with my dietitian. And with England. And peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I think if there was one food I had to eat for the rest of my life, it would be PB&J. So long as I could switch up the flavors of J every now and then.

I'm on the road to recovery with the help of my dietitian who actually listened to me today instead of just trying to diagnose me with something. Love her for it. I got another test done. As she said today, I've been put through the ringer in the last 4 months. One day I know I'll look back on this time in my life and say to myself, "Hey, Alex, remember that time you were broken? Yeah, that sucked. So glad you've been fixed!" Myself will then agree.

My Cambridge prep course met again tonight and I was again inspired by the many people in my group as they presented brief histories and factoids about a famous person who went to Cambridge. This is one of our few assignments and I think really allows us to explore all the different facets of University beginnings and how the world has been shaped by the people who have come from there. Did you know that Sascha Baron Cohen graduated from Cambridge? Neither did I, but what he has done to make people face up to their prejucides is very enlightening, if crude.

We later had some alum come speak to us in a question session and my heart got all mushy as I looked a pictures of the beautiful buildings and heard stories about the formal dinners and the late night rambles that get interrupted ever so politely by the porters, whose job it is to make sure that everything that happens is ordered and appropriate. I cannot wait to get there! I met several new people tonight and I think this experience will really sharpen my social and academic skills.

Tomorrow I have set myself up for some early morning torture as I go for a run with my old running buddy M. She and I trained for and ran a half marathon together in November, but since then, I at least got sideswiped by school and being sick and have been rather negleting the athletic side of me that loves pain. So, early in the morning it will be out into the cold for a bracing jaunt around town. I'm very excited to get to catch up with her since it has been so long since we have spoken.

I realize that I did leave out one very exciting bit of info. Referring to the first sentence, I was asked to dinner tonight by someone I will codename Sawyer. There is a reference, but I'll let you do the figuring on that...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Curiouser and Curiouser

Have you ever had someone ask what you like to do for fun? Then upon answering have you ever had the feeling that they are disappointed by the things you do, like you are not interesting enough for them? Do you later wish that you had responded with something like hot-air ballooning, parasailing, and other so-called 'extreme' activities?

This happened to me last night as a friend came over and began the awkward 'getting to know you' conversation that always happens between boys and girls the first time they meet. Unfortunately, I was wearing my pajamas, a really ravishing baggy tie-dyed T-shirt and pink shorts with cows on them. Oh and my super cute classes. What a winner. I mentioned that I like going to movies, reading for fun, cooking etc and felt like a ninny little home-maker when he said, "I like to ski, go bowling, swim, anything in the water blah blah blah blah." I am not a loser! I like all those things too, but how often do I have enough free time or the means whereby to engage in anything like that?

I realize I have been complaining a lot. I'm not usually the type of person to complain. I've got lots of great things going for me. For example:

I'm going to Cambridge for school over the summer.
I'm ace-ing all my classes- a difficult feat and one to be proud of.
I have lots of good friends.
My family lives in the amazing Netherlands and I get to travel all over the world with and to visit them.
My favorite show is on tonight. LOST.

Just to name a few. I once was told that you should pick 5 things out of every day to be grateful for. If you're in a particularly bad mood, maybe 5 every hour. It's a good practice and forces you to think outside the box if you're having a bad day. I recommend it to everyone.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day the First

I began this blog tonight as a way to rationalize spending my time NOT studying. Granted I was rather productive today and I have all day tomorrow to again be productive so no worries.

I originally began blogging because I was 'diagnosed' with Celiac's Disease about a month ago. I had been perusing the internet for various recipes and happened upon several blogs that gave me hope for the future. After three weeks of an extremely modified diet, I spoke with a dietition who said that I should probably get an upper endoscopy done to confirm that diagnosis. Three weeks later, after reverting to my old criminal habits of bread and then some, (anything with gluten in it was BLISS after almost a month of rice cakes) I submitted myself to surgery and now, five days later I get the result. Negative. I have never been more positive about that word. Pun, yes, intended.

So glorious day and halleluja I am liberated to eat whatever my little heart so desires. (just in case of a postive result, in the last three weeks I have made red velvet cake, cornbread, cinnamon rolls, baguettes, dinner rolls, pancakes, chocolate cake, three batches of cookies, pear crumble and eaten my fair share of sandwiches on whole wheat bread). A little over the top I admit, but hey, I had to stock up. And, "I'm not even sorry."

Now, however begins my heckling of the doctors who cost me over $300 in medical tests and food products for a false diagnosis. Needless to say I'm disgruntled. I won't treat them too badly I promise.