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38 Days

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Alrighty, folks, its been quite a busy week. I started summer school on Monday. I knew a 7 hour class was going to make for a loooong day, but it really didn't hit home how long until I experienced it. Whew! The class has been fun so far. We haven't really gotten into the meat of microbiology. I'd say we've just been gnawing on the bones. Mostly we've practiced the techniques associated with making slides to view under the microsccope. That is apparently super important because everything else we do will be based off that. The difficulty has been in knowing what to be looking out for. We had to get a notebook to serve as our lab manual, but we were never told what needed to go in it. So, I took photos and made little notes in my regular lecture notebook and hoped I'd figure it out eventually. Lucky for me, an old friend from way back when just moved back after graduating college, too. He was a cellular biology major, so he sat down with me and explained what a lab notebook should entail and how to set one up. I have done so much lab in just the last 4 days, though, it is taking me for-ev-er to transfer it all over. I hope to get that done this weekend. In the future, getting my notes into my lab notebook will be a daily task. I also need to read the first three chapters of my book, reviewing what little lecture notes I have, review lecture slides, and be ready to take my first exam on Monday. Yikes!

Being in summer school also has it's upside. Being in a classroom for 7 hours, 4 days a week means I'm not bored and therefore not engaging in mindless, boredom-based snacking. And I have to pack my lunch everyday, unless I want to eat at the cafeteria everyday. Which I don't because I'm broke and I only like a few (terribly unhealthy) things on the menu. Packing my lunch is super nice because it forces me to be thoughtful about the choices I make. I've succeeded all week in ensuring the meals I pack are healthy, filling, long-lasting and delicious. Its been a total win.

Speaking of, I said I was thinking of doing some sort of food challenge while I'm in summer school, so I came up with one that I really liked.

emoticon 38 Days of [Mostly] Clean Eating

emoticon 2 out of 3 meals per day must be at least 75% clean.

emoticon 1 out of 2 or 3 snacks per day is allowed to be "unclean".

emoticon 1 beverage per day is allowed to be "unclean".

That's it. I'm keeping it simple and realistic. I don't always get to control the content of my dinner (on the nights I don't cook, which are fewer and fewer, by the way.) But, I always have control over my breakfast and lunch. Those things are up to each individual in my household, whereas dinner is a family affair. So, that will usually account for the 1 unclean meal. I say 75% of my other "clean" meals in case I'm out of options... Like if all I have for bread to make my sandwich is white bread or one that has HFCS in it. Or my lunch meat contains higher sodium than I'd like. Or I ran out of grapes, so I had yogurt covered raisins for a side instead. Same goes with snacks. And, at school, sometimes I need a little mid-afternoon pick-me-up. The coffee there is really sh!tty. I mean, its BAD! I would rather down sketchy mechanic shop coffee than drink the coffee at school. There isn't enough cream and sugar in the world to make that stuff consumable. So, my other options are either a tea (sometimes a bitter, sitting all day in the urn concoction) or a soda. Coke Zero is my usual poison of choice, but my school is a Pepsi school, so Diet Dr. Pepper does just fine on those days. Which are not very often anyway.

Not much else has gone on since school started. Things have been a little rough and unpleasant in the personal realm. My mom has done a bang-up job of hurting my feelings a few times. I took 4 days out of my summer to help clean her room and she told me I didn't help her enough in that process. "I thought you were going to do more and be more helpful than you were." Those were her words. She gave me the hardest part of her room to tackle. The part where she conducts most of her business during the day: computer, desk, makeup table, and just the general area that was filled with all the tiny little things. She tackled the big stuff with my grandmother: boxes of books, clothes, piles of junk. Also, her stuff isn't my stuff. I cannot decide what to keep and what to throw away for her. I don't know what she still uses and what is trash. So, I kept having to ask. Which, yes, did mean sitting there for a while sometimes if she was busy and I didn't want to interrupt her work flow. Also, just because I'm good at organizing, doesn't mean I wasn't totally overwhelmed with the amount of things she wanted me to organize. I'm a person, not an magical organization fairy. And everything was so dusty, my asthma is STILL not totally under control. So, yeah, her telling me that was hurtful.

Then, on Father's Day, my brother, SIL, and I cooked dinner to take to my dad. My SIL makes an awesome chocolate ganache pie that my dad absolutely loves. We cooked everything at our house and packed it up to take to his. My mom saw we were making the pie and was like, why didn't I get pie on Mother's Day? I said, because I made you fudge brownies with black cherry ice cream and chocolate fondue with strawberries. Her answer was first to do that thing where people are mouthing words to mock what you're saying, nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh. Then, she just said, well, I like Lauren's pie better. WOW. Thank you. That really made me feel great. I'm glad I could make a special dinner for you, complete with dessert, by myself as a nice surprise for you to treat you for Mother's Day to have it go so unappreciated. Yes, I am an adult and I don't need validation that what I do for anyone in my family is appreciated, but to be flat out told it was NOT appreciated was very hurtful. It has made me not want to be around my mom very much, so I'm glad to be at school all day, away from the house.

And, as I hinted at earlier, I'm not getting any help in the kitchen still. An ongoing issue, obviously. I cooked dinner 3/4 nights this week... The only reason I didn't cook all 4 was because it was Bible study week, so I wasn't home on Tuesday night. Which is partly why I'm so overwhelmingly behind on my homework already. The other part is I'm still adjusting to such long days and am totally exhausted when I come home from class. I keep falling asleep while trying to read. So, dishes are piled up in the sink and on the counter. No one cooked dinner last night because I was out studying at the library and at the mall (I know it sounds weird, but its got more room and is quieter than Starbucks sometimes). Even studying all afternoon/evening yesterday, I only got a fraction of my homework complete. Yikes.

And on that note, I'm off to get in a few hours of studying before going out to a nice lunch with my granny.

Here are a few photos for your entertainment:

Bacillus subtilis endospores (green)

Louis does not want me to go to school. He takes some drastic measures.

Kyle shares some PopChips with me.

Mangada for microbio studying!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Your food challenge sounds like a great idea!! Packing your lunch and snacks for school instead of relying on the cafeteria food is definitely going to put you on the right path.

    I'm so sorry you're mom said those hurtful things! emoticon
    2511 days ago
    P.S. Just love seeing the kitties!
    2512 days ago
    Oh, Girl! Great to hear your update, but so sorry you had hurtful situations.
    You did a great Mothers Day presentation...I think it was jealousy, plain and simple.
    You sure have your plate full, so to speak, with that class! Glad your friend could help.
    How many weeks is this class? Don't stretch yourself too far...take it easy!
    Thinking of you.
    2512 days ago
    Boy, that mangada looks awfully refreshing as well as yummy. Where is a drool emoticon when you need one ?

    Studying microbiology 4 days a week, 7 hours a day is going to be a haul. I forgot how intense summer sessions could be. So, I'm glad you're enjoying the class.

    Once your class is finished, there is a book you should read if you haven't read it already. In class, they may talk about Hela cells. I read an absolutely amazing book on those cells and the woman they came from called the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Fantastic book on the development of cell culture, medical ethics, race and how it effected one family.

    And... I do love your cats. You have wonderful cats.

    2513 days ago
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