Tag Archives: CSS

Flatbread Crackers & Cheese

DSC00988One time last semester, life was falling in pieces, or at least I thought it was.  I really can’t remember why I was upset.  I just know that I was in my spot on the Dennison steps, legs dangling a few feet above the heads of students walking below.   Judy came along behind me, and speaking the universal code that is I wish I could help but really can’t, she gave me food.  Flatbread crackers, tomato sauce, and shredded cheese has been my thing ever since.

I work on deadlines.  I always have.  Pretty sure the over-achiever, ambitious timelines I set fall in rhythm with my own heartbeat.  Supposing this connection were true, it would explain why not meeting deadlines of any kind, include my own, sets my pulse racing.

Watching an idea larger than I can properly explain come together has been the achievement of my academic life.  Admittedly, there are things far more important.  Likewise, a few dozen mostly coherent pages doesn’t really count for anything truly “academic.”  While its stolen my life, interests, time, relationships, sleep, and is about to get away with my sanity, a thesis is an exercise, not book.  If I’m a lucky, a dozen people will actually read it, and half of them will be either paid to do so or share my bloodline.

And yet, it’s all I want tonight, because it still matters.  The sophomoric (literally, cause I was a sophomore) Thursday night stomachache of fear and tension and not actually being fully convinced of my ability to make my deadline is setting on with prodigious force.

I spent most of the day camping out in the CSS library, a location with the unique advantage of being unoccupied, large enough to pace, and far enough away from anything that matters to yell at my computer without disturbing anyone.  The introduction I wanted to complete on Thursday is finally written and the rewrite of Part I is at last underweight, but the gaps, unwritten conclusion, edits, and eight days I have until I need a complete draft rise on my shallow breaths.

I’ve never run a marathon before, but I’m pretty sure this is the intellectual equivalent, and I’m doing it on flatbread crackers and cheese.


Down for the Count

I’m the bottommost snail in the middle.

The only saving grace in this week’s essay is knowing that it the last Friday CSS tutorial paper ever, which actually makes me quite sad.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t make understanding it any better.  Took 40 minutes just to understand what the question was asking.

(P.S. Despite what it may look like right now, this blog is not dying.  It’s just preparing to hit finals week.)

Double Double-Shot Night (Espresso + Cream)

Working love & celebration

I’m hard-pressed to think of anything that I would rather not be doing any more than my CSS essay right now.

An astute, observer might point out that if I didn’t want to be writing a paper on Easter, then I should have done it earlier.

And that that I would reply, that there was simply no way.

The last two weeks have been akin to life as a stowaway on the caboose of a speeding bullet train.  The whirl’s left my hair in a bit of a mess and explains the back pain and exhaustion, but leaves little space for looking forward…like to Monday paper.

Friday papers are in my routine, but I’ve fallen out of the Monday practice.

I want to rest and celebrate Easter, and while my work doesn’t change the fact that it indeed remains Resurrection Sunday, I wish I could just stop and enjoy it.

Twenty or so of us went to the 9am service today, instead of the 11am, which kinda threw off everybody’s game (At service, I was in the last row of students, where a friend and I got a clear count of all the nodding heads).  Again, to the outside observer 9am  service might not seem like a big deal and a sad excuse for having a hard time paying attention– until you realize how late college students work into the night and what goes on all around us at all hours of the night.

I live on Fountain Ave, and it is warm outside.  I will summarize what this means with a single observation– after stepping over the junk and trash in my yard, I found the trunk of my car glittering red with spilt mixed drinks and lemon in the morning sunlight.

I got over the morning hiccups, convinced not to succumb to unfruitful wallowing on the best day of the year and wore my best summer dress to church.  It was still hard though.  The little kids presented a small program that reminded me of all my little girls at Dunfee and their bright new Easter dresses, like the ones my mom made for me when I was a little girl.

It felt so weird, because not a single Wes student said a word about Easter– going to church, there, or coming back.  It was just like any other Sunday.  I know they were celebrating the day, but I think they do it differently in their cultures.  I was really hurt by the lack of celebration.

I thought, in the very least, I would make the most of our Sunday brunch together, but just as we were pulling into campus, I got a phone call.

Somebody needed to get a friend to the Hartford bus station, and the driver who was suppose to do it wasn’t answering her phone.  As much as I wanted to sit and enjoy an Easter meal with my friends and wish a happy Easter to my friends who work in campus food service and couldn’t go to service this morning, I had to say yes.

How could I deny help to a friend, because I wanted to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection?

So I took cold sandwich from the cafe and went.

And here I am…back, with Mr. Hayek’s company and 1,000 words before me.

I am still conscientiously choosing my attitude and am celebrating the day.  I just wish I could do it without MS Word.

An Avalanche

On the water. Valencia, Spain.

Midterms aren’t suppose to hit CSS students.  I do papers every week in place of the chaos of exams and huge papers, essentially trading the stress of the middle/end semester projects for a weekly snowball to the face.  And I like it that way.

Except, this time, the snowballs culminated to a massive showdown, blizzard of ’78 style.

Four papers in five days, plus sudden pangs of exhaustion that are hitting my body like a gust a wind on the open seas.  As I sit and work, my mind jumps, and I can’t remember what I just did anymore.  Despite my genuine excitement for what I’m writing about, all I can think of is the tired radiating from my brain to my every muscle.

I’ve tried sleeping.  It doesn’t go away, neither does my aching throat and stomach pains.  Clearly, I’m sick with something, but today I tested negative for strep and mono.  Complaining feels pointless and selfish, because everybody else is stressed right now too.

Friday feels like a world away, which at this point is a good thing, because I have far too much work to do before then.

-Here’s to hanging on.

I am my mother

Minus the clear complexion and cooking capabilities.

Inspired by the infamous CSS paper-return let down (that ugly moment when you realize you didn’t quite pull it off last week), I baked a cake.  Or rather, I went to Wesshop for the 3rd time today, because I was craving chocolate and decided to bake a cake.

Now, you know this project was destined to fail when I bought the mix thinking to myself “I’ve never seen a cake baked in a pan like the one I have, but if you can cook an egg in the microwave, this has gotta work.”

Rest assured,  the young adult demographic is still out there to prove that, just maybe, we could learn something from Heloise’s hints.  (sorry, inside joke for my mother.)

Imagine my excitement when I came home to find that I actually do have cake pans.  This was a significant realization.  I have a couple casserole-like dishes, a spatula, a cooking spoon, and dishes for three.  Notice missing kitchen basics (pots, skillets, etc).

I had all the ingredients too.  I thought I was home free.

But, of course, the moment I put it in the oven, failure started creeping my way again.  I didn’t set the timer again, so, it burned (just a little).  I peeled off the black parts and figured it would be okay.

I felt like such a homemaker when I set the loaves on the edge of my counter by the open window, where the chocolate scent wifted by the students walking home in the street.

Let’s call that the height of my triumph.

After letting it sit for some time (geez at least 20 minutes), I got bored with 20th century family dynamics in Vietnam and put my reading down.  Given that the cake was sitting under a cold window, it had to be ready by now.

The edge of the plates were cold to the touch, but it was still radiating substantial heat in the middle under the plates.  Again, I thought to myself…”It’s cool enough that the frosting won’t melt.  Why else would you actually need to wait until to frost it?”

So, with Heloise scoffing at me in the background, I frosted it (with bad prepackaged frosting no less), and I learned why you wait.

The poor thing crumbles apart if it’s not cool.


So, in summary, what did I learn?

1) Mom baking when she’s angry is a good habit to mimic.

2) Mom’s patience when she’s baking is also a good habit to mimic.

3) Making chocolate-something, instead of just eating chocolate-something will give me time to cool off, which consequentely leads to a drastically lower calorie intake.  That’s a good thing too 😉

Unpromising Start

The assignment, “Respond to the quotation.”

First four hours of work.


I love the College of Social Studies, but social theory gets me every time.  Analysis of history (is eternally) > Analysis of thought, which is what this is.

Just when you think you got it

you don’t.

Commence the early Thursday CSS panic.  I’m behind on my reading, I’ve got too much on my mind to think about what I’m reading, and it indeed feels as though the whole world is about to collapse on itself.

But hey, that’s what Thursday mornings/afternoons are for, right?

my fridge