Hello, loyal blog readers. (Oooh ooh! I want blog groupies!)
Dude, seriously. In a week and a half I’ll be done with my first semester of grad school. And hopefully 1/3 of my degree. That’s so crazy to me. This semester has totally flown by. And I still have a gabajillion things to do before it’s officially over. Ah, but to be over…
I’ve spent the last week (wow, has it been a week already??) grading the last part of our students’ diet projects. 225 of them. I think I have about 60 to go. I’m hoping to get them done this week. Yeah, that’s a lot. But I have so much to do next week, I feel like I don’t really have a choice. They’re not actually due for another week and a half, but I want to get them done so I can actually work on *my* stuff (you know, the stuff that actually counts). Again, we’ve had some classic statements made by students. One today involved the kid ranting about how his BMI calculation is useless and of no meaning because of our “liberal society” and his big bones. Alma said when she first saw it she laughed so hard she nearly fell off the couch. I’ve also had students tell me they were going to add “green pees” to their diet, as well as “defiantly” add vegetables to their diet. The kicker today was when a kid responded to the question about how to add variety to the diet and why variety was important by telling me about his move from one state to another, and his father’s lack of teeth. Plus instead of it being a paragraph, it was 2 1/2 pages long. That one got me riled up. It hasn’t been nearly as bad as the last part, though. It’s definitely not taking as long, although by the end of it I’ll probably have spent about 38 hours on grading. Yaaaaay. And next semester we get to do it all over again!
In other news, I’ve succeeded in using a mouse trap to feed my mouse. Peanut butter. TWICE. sigh. Mom suggested wadding up some hard cheese in the trap so it can’t get at it so easily, so I’ll be trying that next. Stupid mouse.
No, smart mouse. Stupid smart mouse.
Thanksgiving went really well. Charlie picked me up from St. Louis, we drove back to Columbia, he went to work and I went to Walmart (just as any good woman would do). It’s pretty sad that I have to plan to do my shopping in Missouri because I don’t have a way to get to Walmart in my own city. Or state. Then in the afternoon I pretty much just lazed about and slept. We drove to his parents’ house in Strafford, MO (near Springfield) on Wednesday night. I got to hear stories and see pictures of young curly-haired Charlie. My favourite story involved Charlie’s curls being ogled by an old lady in the grocery store, and him responding with, “Back off, lady! Take a break!” Ah, yes, such is my rather tactless boyfriend. Thursday we drove to Joplin to Charlie’s grandma’s house to have Thanksgiving with the Tripletts. (One of Charlie’s clients got really confused when Charlie told him he was bringing his girlfriend to Missouri for Thanksgiving to “meet the Tripletts.” “…Yeah, there are some kids she doesn’t know about yet.”) Thanksgiving dinner went well. I got to meet the entire Triplett family – all five of them. Actually, no, there are more of them than I’d expected. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, and not nearly as boring as Charlie had assured me they would be.
On Friday we drove to Springfield and went to Lambert’s for lunch. Basically…Lambert’s is a very typically American family restaurant. And therefore encompassed everything that’s wrong with America. It was Nutritionist Hell. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was a fun experience. But the white flour rolls glistening with butter, with more butter on the table, the fried okra, large portion sizes, unlimited pass arounds and the Big Gulp sodas (no, seriously, that’s just the regular serving) gave me heart palpitations. When Charlie got his Big Gulp Coke (okay, it wasn’t a full Big Gulp, but it was probably like 40 ounces), I looked at him in concern and said, “I really hope you don’t finish that.” He didn’t. After being thoroughly distressed by American eating patterns, we left and went to the Springfield Conservation Nature Center. We stuck our hands inside dead animals’ bodies (see pictures), looked at cool nature stuff, and went for a bit of a hike. It was a beautiful day. It was probably 70 degrees. Missouri. Then today they got 14 inches of snow in Columbia. Missouri! Friday night Charlie and I went to Panera for dinner (that was SO good, and had such a great atmosphere), then walked around the Southwest Missouri State University campus (aka – Missouri State University).
Saturday we drove to Joplin for church (sorry I missed you, Charles). We also drove to Oklahoma just for the fun of it. And oh, was it fun. We almost ran out of gas and then got to church late. 🙂 It was fun to hear Mr. B speak for the first time. It turns out Charlie’s impression of him is pretty accurate. After services we drove around a bit to see Charlie’s old stomping grounds, then headed over to Justin H’s house to have dinner with him, his wife and Mariah.
After that we started our long trek back to Stafford, then Columbia, and eventually St. Louis. My flight left at 7:30AM. We were pretty dead. After I finally got home (via plane, bus, train, and walking), I slept most of the afternoon away. And so I return to this week.
I leave for Virginia in two weeks! YES! Then I get to not go to school for a MONTH! Whoohoo!!! And Charlie’s coming out to Virginia, and Alison and David, and Brian and Jenn and Zachary. Yay! Then Charlie and I are going back to Missouri for the KC shindig. Who’s actually going to that?
My advisor and I have been talking about plans for my Master’s project (called a Plan B). Our plan right now is for me to do a small review and research project on supplement (vitamin, mineral, herbal, et cetera) use among eating disorder patients. The research part of it would be done through a survey at the Emily Program where she works. Depending on how big that portion is, I might also delve into complementary and alternative medicine modality use among ED patients as well. Both of them sound interesting to me, so I’m excited about it. I’m just relieved to actually have a plan, because for a long time I was wandering about, not having any idea what I was going to do or where to start. So anyway, I should be starting on my Plan B next semester (realistically, probably more like over December break when I have some time on my hands). I still haven’t been given much information on how it works, but assuming everything falls into place and I’m able to take one course over the summer, I should be graduating next December. YAY! This has been an amazing semester in terms of what I’ve learned, but there are times when I’m overwhelmed and I decide that I’m ready to be finished with school. 🙂 So…cheers to that. 🙂
In other other news, I still have a corkscrew stuck in an unopened bottle of wine. I tried chipping away at the cork (actually plastic) tonight, and got it to the point that I can actually get a hold of the corkscrew with pliers. But I’m not strong or coordinated enough to actually pull it out. ..whimper.. This is why girls need boys.
Anyway, that’s my story. Enjoy the Sabbath, kids!