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I love that song. Shit has been pretty serious these last few posts about all the changes I’ve made. But I am so not a serious person so I’m going to try to lighten up this “what’s next” post.

How I See School Panning Out

I’m taking Chem I and Psychology 101 now. I hate them. But that’s ok. Chemistry I think I could actually like, but the professor is terrible. Also, it’s a 16-week course in 8-weeks which is really overwhelming. I’m glad I didn’t know how intense it would be going in. I don’t care what anyone else says Psychology is the world’s most boring subject. I actually took psychology as an undergrad and failed. And it is not easy to fail a class at Mt. Holyoke, it’s a tough school, but they love padding people’s grades (see: my GPA). So I’m stuck taking it again. Online. Which is marginally better. Because I can just look everything up on the quizzes. But it’s still boring as boring can be.

Once classes end this summer (July 18th, aka 25 days from now, but who’s counting?) I will start studying for the GRE. I will take the GRE in September or October. I need to research that.

This fall I’m registered for Chem II and Anatomy and Physiology. It’s like really crazy how difficult it’s been for me to register for classes. Brooklyn College, once I figured out how to navigate their ridiculous bureaucracy was fine. The community college where I’m taking classes now? Getting permission to register for a class is like trying to get the nuclear codes or something. I HAVE A BACHELOR’S DEGREE! From a very good college. I shouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail to take Anatomy and Physiology.

Also this fall? I WILL APPLY TO GRAD SCHOOL. Crazytown! I have some ideas of where I want to go and we’ll see how that all pans out as we get closer.

Winter semester: Possibly take Biochemistry, we’ll see.

Spring 2014: Take Organic Chemistry and Microbiology. I’m nervous about Orgo, there’s only 2 sections of Organic Chemistry I in the spring where I’m taking classes. I am filled with a crazy amount of anxiety about whether I will get into one of them. And what happens if I don’t get into one. I’m making myself sick typing this. I am trying not to think about.

Summer 2014: If I don’t take Biochemistry during the winter semester class I have to take it during the summer. If I don’t get into Orgo in the spring I have to take two summer classes. Please god do not let me have to take two summer classes again.

How I See My Life Panning Out

Just kidding! (Not really.)

I see myself being happy. That’s what I want. But, in the less abstract, I see myself going somewhere outside of the northeast for grad school. I grew up on Long Island, I went to college in Massachusetts, I lived in Brooklyn after college; I want something different.

I think I would like to be a dietitian in a hospital. I’ve always been interested by hospitals (you get a lab coat with your name on it! you get to wear comfortable shoes!), but my Human Nutrition professor was a pediatric RD and I found all her stories and cases so fascinating. I’d like to not move back to the NY area.

I would love to meet a nice man while at grad school. Once I finish and pass the RD exam we can get married. Possibly have children.

But what is that saying? You make plans and god shits on them? Is that not a saying? So we’ll see where things actually go from here.

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The How

So I’ve outlined the basic changes that have happened in my life over the last year or so. But how did I get here?

The short answer? I got here by being proactive and going after what I wanted. On the macro level it’s really that simple.

On the micro level it’s a hell of a lot more complicated. Because nothing ever goes along like it should. Let’s break it down:

May 2012: I made the decision to do this. I had zero idea what I was doing.

June 2012: I requested my undergraduate transcript (in my mind this was a big road block). I had a big heart-to-heart with my very good friend Amy about how exactly I was going to make this happen. The more research I do the more it seems I’m going to have to take at least some of the classes during the day which makes me think I might not be able to keep working full-time while doing the prereqs. Start seriously considering quitting my job in the spring of 2013 and moving back home with my parents.

August 2012: I apply to Brooklyn College. I am accepted. After lots of red tape I figure out how to register. I have a serious panic attack at work while registering. I wanted to take Chem I, but it’s full. Instead I decide to take Bio I. I visit Brooklyn College the Sunday before classes start with my roommate/friend Grace and figure out where I’m going. Things like getting an ID card and going to the bookstore prove very difficult when you work full-time. Classes start! I was enrolled in Bio I Tuesday and Thursday nights with a lab on Thursday nights. It sucked being at school until 10:45 Thursday nights. The second night of class shit with my brother hit the fan. From the end of August until around Thanksgiving he was in and out of the hospital and the stress and anxiety I felt about him, combined with the stress and anxiety I felt about school, I was pretty damn overwhelming.

How Bio went: It was a definite shock to my system to be back in school. The first day sitting in class I almost cried out of happiness. Also, taking notes is really painful when you barely do any writing and you had hand surgery a few months before. It was a hard secret to keep. Two friends at work knew and most of my other friends knew, but it was definitely stressful. I liked my professor a lot, I hated my lab instructor. It was strange to be around so many college-aged kids, it was strange to be in such a diverse classroom, and it was strange to see so many people taking notes on iPads (god, I’m old). I started out doing well, I ended up doing less well. I got a B overall. I was happy.

December: I wanted to take Chem I in the spring, but there weren’t any night sections. Even though I didn’t have the appropriate pre-reqs for Human Nutrition I was able to sign up (probably one of the only registration things that went in my favor throughout this whole process).

January: I started my Human Nutrition class. It was one day a week, Mondays, from 6:30-9:45. I was in love from the beginning.

How Human Nutrition went: Great! I can’t even describe how much I loved the class. It was probably the most interesting class I ever took. I got a perfect score on the first exam. I got an A in the class overall. I left with no doubt that I was making the right career change.

Throughout the process: I was saving money like a lunatic. I was staying home and studying a lot. I was ending friendships that weren’t healthy. I was preparing to wrap things up at my job. I seriously thought I might lose my mind.

April: I gave my notice at work. I was petrified, but I think they expected it. I booked movers. I registered for summer and fall classes! I finished things up at work. I cleaned out my office. I purged my belongings. I packed up my apartment. I did the NYC things that I love. I moved back in with my parents.

May: I tried to fashion a new life for myself. I set up my childhood bedroom in a way that makes me feel like a somewhat adult. I got a part-time job! At the end of the month I started classes: Chemistry I and Psychology 101.

I’ll write more about my current classes and where I go from here, but, for now, that’s how I got here.

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What’s New

Let’s take a trip back in time. To another time in my life, let’s call that time the end of 2012. We could also call it the last time I regularly blogged here.

All during 2012 I had made vague references to something big happening. I was saving money, I was going out less, I was gearing up for something. But, annoyingly, I never said what it was. I hate when bloggers do that. But I had a good reason. The fall of 2012 also emotionally kicked my butt. My brother was very sick, I never elaborated on that and I’m still not going to because frankly it’s not my business to elaborate on. But his illness, combined with the stress of laying the groundwork for a new venture, totally turned my life inside out.

And then in April of this year I made a decision that turned my life inside out. I quit my job. I moved out of my apartment in NYC. I moved back in with my parents. And I made public the decision I had been keeping private for a long time: I am going back to school to be a registered dietitian.

What?

Since at one time I would classified my blog as a “healthy living blog” I feel like I need to address the RD-fad with healthy living blogs. In that sense I feel like I’m doing something that’s been done before. That I’ve seen other bloggers do or talk about doing.

But that’s clearly not why I’m doing it. The idea had been in my head for a long time. I’ve always been interested in food and nutrition. I think it developed into something I enjoyed learning about and reading about while I was in college. But I was an American studies major in college. I took one science class (History of the Earth) and one math class (Calculus) because that’s what the college mandated I take. So going back to school, and spending the money to go back to school, for eight classes BEFORE I even started grad school seemed terrifying. And expensive.

I emailed Brooklyn College for the first time in December 2010 asking how I could take classes with the purpose of doing pre-reqs for grad school. They said be a non-degree student. Fine, I said. But I didn’t do anything. I was intimidated. By spending the money. By shaking up my life. By having to figure out how to navigate the admission and registration system. By having to figure out how to request a transcript from my undergraduate college.

So I didn’t do it. And honestly, looking back, I’m glad I didn’t do it. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready intellectually. I wasn’t ready financially. And I wasn’t ready emotionally.

In July of 2011 I got promoted at work. I can’t clearly remember if I was seriously considering going back to school at that point, but being promoted, being paid more, and having my superiors believe in me kind of made me think that that’s what I should be doing. So that’s what I kept doing.

But by the spring of 2012 I knew something had to change. I wasn’t happy at work and I wasn’t happy living in NYC and I didn’t think staying in my same field and moving somewhere else was going to fix that. I knew I had to do something more drastic.

Then I came across this quote:

Source: believe-toachieve.tumblr.com via Maggie on Pinterest

Pretty powerful, right? It’s kind of been my motto throughout this whole process. When I’ve doubted spending the money and the time and moving out of NYC and moving in with my parents and wondering if it will all be worth it I’ve tried to picture where I would be in January 2017 (when I plan on taking the RD exam) if I didn’t change the status quo. I’d still be in a dead-end job? I’d still be living in an apartment with three other people? I don’t know, but I think I definitely would have regretted not taking a chance. Not pursuing a dream.

So here I am. More details to come.

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I’ve kept this blog since July 2009. That’s almost four years of my life. I’ve done an amazing job (pats self on back) with this blog, I’ve ignored this blog (gives self dirty look), I’ve done a mediocre job at this blog (shurgs at self); but ultimately I keep coming back.

Why is that?

I honestly don’t know. I definitely find writing this blog to be a great outlet for my thoughts and feelings, it’s definitely something I do for me. I’ve never had a big readership or widely shared that I do this with friends or family. I’ve started other blogs that I never kept up with, but ultimately I keep coming back.

I don’t know why that is.

But I’m about to try again. Maybe a little bit differently than I’ve done in the past. I don’t know if I’ll stick with it forever, but I want some documentation of my life, especially at this time in my life because lots of things are changing.

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The Rest of December

Since I kind of fell of the blogging wagon I thought it would be good to at least do a little recap of the month of December (outside of Christmas).

Mount Holyoke Vespers with @mtcaucci

I finally got to attend one of my college’s NYC Vesper concerts. They’re held in NYC every other year and several of the musical groups from the college come down to perform. It was a very festive, fun Friday evening activity.

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My roommate Abby moved back to Colorado right before Christmas. We have a (hopefully) great new roommate, but before Abby left her parents kindly treated us to dinner at Pork Slope (I went there for the first time in October). We had the pulled pork and tater tots again, but we also tried the mac and cheese (meh) and the onion strings (FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC, best thing I’ve had there). Stopping by here is a must if you’re in Brooklyn. And they deliver now (dangerous).

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Our office holiday part was once again at Otto. We had it there two years ago, but I don’t think I did a post on it (it’s fun to look back at pictures from other years though). This time it was just pizza and gelato (and drinks) which was perfect. We had set up at the front of the restaurant, but the pizzas were out buffet style in back so I went back and stole a few whole pizzas. I got some strange looks walking through the entire restaurant.

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At the after party for the holiday party we went to one of the freelance designer’s bars in the East Village. Amy noticed that the Bud Light had a little something extra (“saber” if you can’t read the crappy picture).

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I took a day-long trip to NJ for work and driving over the Outer Bridge I came across a 7-car accident. We came to a complete stop and even thought I didn’t know what was ahead of me at that point I felt like we weren’t going to be moving for a while. After the emergency vehicles showed up right in front of me I realized how close I was. Ultimately I sat there for an hour and eight minutes. Insane! But luckily no one was injured.

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My friend Ashley, who I go to Cincinnati with every year, always calls me Magpie. I was having a terrible day when I got her Christmas card in the mail and I couldn’t stop smiling.

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These NYC Christmas tree sellers are one of my my favorite things about the holidays. I always forget about them, then I come back to the city after Thanksgiving and they’re all over. Many of the people selling them come down from Canada and sleep in their vans. I love it.

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Keegen DeWitt – “Reluctance” (w/ Isaaca Byrd)

Adam Hood – “The Shape of Things”

Chris Lawson Jones – “Bitter and Sweet”

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I wanted to post this yesterday, but then I realized I needed a picture of the pasta I’ve been eating for dinner, so let’s just pretend it’s Wednesday. Here’s my recap of what I’ve made this week.

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This Friday night dinner was a serious favorite. I needed to pull something together from what I had at home. I had two little chicken breasts leftover from something so I breaded those with an egg I added some hot sauce to and panko bread crumbs. Then I pan fried them (just a little Kerrygold butter) and then topped them with blue cheese and more hot sauce (leftover from the buffalo chicken chili). Like a healthier boneless wing. Plus some steamed broccoli and roasted blue potatoes.

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Next, crockpot falafel. These are before they were cooked. These were, unfortunately, not a winner. The recipe said it was fine to overlap them, but it wasn’t. Any part touching another falafel didn’t cool. And they did not get even remotely crispy. They taste fine, but the texture is so terrible I don’t think I’ll find them.

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When I felt so sick on Monday I couldn’t bring myself to eat falafel. So I went and bought these Stacy’s pita chips. I had never tried the garden veggie medley ones and they are GOOD! I’ve had way too many of those with hummus over the last few days.

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Finally, lightened up creamy cajun chicken pasta. I ended up using 8oz. of pasta rather than 6oz. so I made four servings. I thought a pound of chicken between three servings seemed like a lot. I didn’t increase the sauce at all so it wasn’t really saucy, but I still really liked it. This is definitely a winner.

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