No Blaise: Spring Break

March 25th, 2015

This week is my first Spring Break from graduate school, and I’m considering it my first “Adult Spring Break”. While some of my fellow grad students are traveling or spending extra time with their significant other, since I am in the 3% of people in my class who is single, I am going to work during the day and coming home at night to sit on the couch and either do something productive, unproductive, or just zone out. Usually it is a combination of the three.

One of these riveting nights was spent creating an Instagram for my dog. This means a half hour brainstorming on what her handle should be, another 15 minutes choosing a profile picture for her. This is then followed by a discussion on what her “bio” should be, and then of course we have to decide on what her first posted photo is. Cute? Funny? Sleepy? Mad? We settle on a cute one and keep the caption simple since we’ve already spent time in our lives that we can’t get back creating this Instagram.

Since the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, I will admit that I’ve posted a photo or video to her account every day since we created it. I also have spent an unforgivable amount of time looking for new dog accounts to follow.

I’ve already said too much.

Not to worry, therapists who are now critically analyzing this and previous blog posts, I have also managed to do some other things that’re less worrisome for a seemingly social 26 year old.

Well, now that I think about it I’ve made dinner one night, did some knitting on the scarf I may never finish, watched the Bulls, binge watched Netflix, and argued with Anika about the lighting for a “dog photo shoot”.  These things may not be worse than putting all energy otherwise asserted towards learning about Early Childhood Education into creating a successful dog instagram, but they sure as hell aren’t better.

Where do I go from here?

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No Blaise: FinalzZzZz

March 18th, 2015

When I applied to DePaul about a year ago, they let me know the program would take me two years if I followed their laid out academic plan. What they do not mention is that in those two years you will have a heart attack each finals week because they happen every ten weeks. Ten weeks might sound like a mellow amount of time to get a course done. But I would like to assure everyone that ten weeks is not a suitable amount of time to survive two classes and one 75 internship. It is much more similar to walking through a wind tunnel, except the wind is text books.

From my rant you may have gathered that this week is indeed finals week. I told everyone I couldn’t do anything last weekend so that I would be able to get started studying and writing a 15 page research paper. This meant that I spent Friday drinking at home, Saturday I ran every errand I could think of, did a little work and then went to bed at 10pm. I got up early Sunday, got coffee, walked the dog, and ate some food in order to get fully energized and ready to work all day. So of course I needed a nap by 10am.

I woke up and ate again in the hopes of re-fueling. Finally, I was able to start on my research paper. This means I had to continue reading through 15 research articles and “critically analyzing” them. I was plowing through them, all jazzed up about being a graduate student and learning fancy educational research things. This all changed once I got into my 5th or 6th article. That’s when my brain melted into goo and I went blind.

You know what this means, time for another nap.

I woke up for third time Sunday at about 3:30 and then hazily started reading again. At about 6pm a classmate informed me that the paper was due at 11pm on Monday night, not Sunday night. Uh, I have another whole day?

Procrastination mode: engaged.

I got a bit more done and then went to bed at my usual senior citizen time.

This of course blew up in my face Monday when I was student teaching and had absolutely no time to work on the paper until I got home at 6pm, and again, the paper is due at 11pm.

Hey guess what else? I realized during my 15 minute break that I had somehow managed to make duplicates of two articles and therefore would need to come up with two more articles, analyze them, and add them to the list of things I already needed to type up by 11pm.

Let me re-reference the textbook wind tunnel in this moment.

Fast forward to 10:55 Monday night. I have 12 of the 15 analysis’ written and was now convincing myself that I could write at least one more analysis in 3 minutes. I’d allowed myself to forget that every other analysis I’d written took me at least 15 minutes each. Thankfully at 10:57 I cam to my senses and just submitted the damn thing 3 analysis’ short.

Here’s hoping procrastination and just sheer exhaustion didn’t cost me.

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No Blaise: Sprintertime

March 11th, 2015

Now that it’s a temperature outside that doesn’t make me hate myself, it’s officially Sprintertime. The in-between season that is almost lovely, but also sort of makes everything outside look and smell like a toilet.

This Sprintertime has been quite the season for me already. This quarter of grad school ends next week, so most of it has spent with my face glued to a notebook and computer, or glued to a beer. Neither of which really helped my brain be all that productive, and ultimately one was continuously counteracting the other.

In an effort to make me feel crazier, DePaul has started sending me emails saying things like, “Come visit our campus!” and “Hey, interested in DePaul? Apply now!”

Getting one of those emails is most likely a mistake, but getting three in two days is just down right cruel.

Luckily in the midst of all of this, I have a job that allows me to chase toddlers around and not melt into a blob after my brain melts. Sprintertime allows me to take the boys out for walks. In my mind this sounds like a lovely stroll to a park, and that’s part of what happens. The other part is me making sure one of the boys doesn’t run into the street as the other stops to pick up garbage. And wouldn’t you know, taking two very adventurous children to a park with equipment that isn’t quite age appropriate is equally as terrifying as envisioning one of them drinking from a puddle.

In traditional Sprintertime fashion, there are a few snow piles with brown undertones at the park, and in true toddler fashion the boys each trip and face plant into one of these brown snow puddles, and so our walk home on Tuesday was quite stinky.

Whenever you’re ready Spring, whenever you’re ready.

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No Blaise: Dog Motherhood pt. 4954930

March 4th, 2015

I didn’t post last week because I was knee deep in dog mom duties. Two weeks ago Belle was lazing around and had some major stomach growling going on. She has a tendency to eat things she’s not supposed to, mostly articles of clothing, so I figured she’d just done that again. But then stopped eating, and being the over-mother-er that I am, the whole not eating thing was not something I could just sit back and watch happen. So last Monday I took her into the vet after work.

We get into the exam room, and I tell the vet all about her weird poop and stomach aches and not eating. Then, she does the vet and me a favor but starting to poop all over the room. That’s when I take a moment to reflect on the amount of small animals poop I deal with on a daily basis. I snap out of it when the vet lists the different things it could be. Maybe she ate underwear and it’s stuck in her system somewhere, maybe she got fed too much people food, maybe she has parasites.

I live such a glamorous life.

Then she launches into all the procedures she could do to figure out what exactly was wrong. She could either assume it’s a stomach problem, which is probably is, and give me some meds and have me make her chicken and rice to eat for the next two weeks which would cost me about $150. Or, she could assume it’s something more serious and she could do x-rays and some other medical jargon procedures which would cost me about $500. Now, I love my dog very much but I also love eating and sleeping with a roof over my head.

I told her just to run the cheap tests, including a test of her poop. She takes Belle back to get those tests and then comes out front to meet me with three meds. One is antibiotics, one is a probiotic, and one is dog pepto bismol. Oh, and she’s still in the back getting fluid “under the skin”, which I just smile and nod at because what does that even mean. She then asks me what food I have been feeding her, and when I tell her she says, “Well no wonder she’s not feeling well!” and proceeds to tell me how I’ve been feeding my dog the McDonalds of dog food since I got her in August.

“Oh, haha, ok, so I’m the fucking worst.”

The doctor gives me a list of foods that won’t make my dog fat and sick and tells me she’ll be right back with my dog and someone to drain my bank account.

Once I’ve got my dog back and paid my bill, the doctor lets me know that she’ll call me tomorrow with the results of her poop test.

Ah, something to look forward to.

Hey guess what she told me when she called the next day? That Belle has hookworms. Hookworms!? Mmmm k. Hookworms. Those sound horrifying.

I get to be at the vet twice in one week since I have to pick up another medicine for these godforsaken hookworms. The cherry on top is that this hookworm meds is administered is the same way you give a baby tylenol, by sucking it into a tube and shooting it into her mouth. Everyone just envision me doing this with what looks like thick milk at about 8am every morning for the past five days. As if 8am weren’t a bad enough time of day, I am now spending it pinning a dog down and forcing medicine into her mouth.

Good fucking morning.

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No Blaise: Galentines Day

February 18th, 2015

As I like to do with most things in my life, I decided to follow in Leslie Knope’s footsteps and make this Valentines Day all about girl power, and thereby celebrated Galentines Day.

For those of you reading who don’t know what Galentines Day is, it is exactly what it sounds like: a day dedicated to showing mad love to your gals. My roommates and I decided to do this by celebrating during our favorite time of day, brunch, with our favorite things, an immense amount of food and alcohol.

Specifically, this means I made enough food for a galentines day army, and we set up both a bloody mary and mimosa bar. Then some gals came over, while our gals who live in other states for galentines day cards in the mail, and we proceeded to eat and talk and drink. I would like to say the single ladies portion of this brunch didn’t consist of complaining about how disappointing most men have turned out to be, but this may have occurred during the portion of the night when I went into my bloody mary fog. My memory is mostly filled with people saying how they loved the food and eating and me trying to get people to try my “pancake muffins”, which I thought were an incredible brunch idea but turned out to be a mostly uninteresting dish. Maybe this is why Pinterest didn’t want to let me in, they knew I’d abuse my power..

Have I mentioned the galentines day back drop I made for photos? Have I lost all craft self control?

If I have, it’s probably with all of my other self control and if you find any of it, let me know.

All in all, I was proud of myself for celebrating my good people on a day that would otherwise be spent creating voodoo dolls and committing arson. Maybe this means I’m becoming mature, but it more likely  means I’m just sick of draining my energy on negative thoughts and unimportant people. Either way, this galentines day was a step for this otherwise cynical human.

AND! Not only did I have a galentines day brunch, I also got to go to a fancy dinner with the people I’ve been in a relationship with the longest–my family. Though it was because my little sister turned 23 to which my father responded “Nora, you are approaching 30.” Happiness all around.

The downfall of this holiday was that due to my self appointed bed time of two hours before everyone else goes to sleep, I missed the photoshoot that happened in front of my overly crafty backdrop.

Maybe next year.

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No Blaise: Too Old for This Sh*t

February 11th, 2015

As you all may know from my excessive ranting that I took the ACT last Saturday. Being the mom that I am, I brought extra pencils and proceeded to pass them out to three high school students who apparently did not think you needed pencils to take the ACT.

Ah, youth.

Overall, I think I did fine on the English/Reading/Writing sections, which is good since I spent five years of college learning those things. Math was going fine, I had answered 40/60 questions answered and was feeling ok. Then the proctor tells us we have five minutes left.

Well, shit.

I figure the strategy of answering “C” for all the answers you don’t know, the one I learned 500 years ago when I first took the ACT, has probably expired so I just fill in letters at random and hope for the best. Which is sort of how the first forty questions went anyway.

After math I get to take the reading part of the test which makes me feel better about myself, but only slightly because it still took  me the entire time allotted to complete that part of the test. To make matter worse, the Science test came next, and I don’t even know how I did on that part of the test because I slept walked through the whole thing.

Last, and certainly not least, was the writing test. Thank goodness for this beautiful piece of an otherwise confidence murdering test. The cherry on the cake of this morning was the question the writing test asked. It was something about what I thought about high school students contributing to an online forum in their English class. I started into the question happily, had a set opinion and was writing clearly. Then it struck me. Here I was, a 26 year old taking the ACT in a room full of 17 year old teenagers writing about my opinion on an English class that they all were probably taking. I gave away three pencils to the answer to the writing section of my ACT test.

If this wasn’t bad enough, when I reached the end of my essay I realized I’d used the phrase “in this day and age” twice.

What have I become?

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No Blaise: Testing, testing..

February 4th, 2015

This Saturday will mark my second attempt at passing a standardized test during my graduate school career. I opted for the ACT this time around. The Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) that I took a few months ago turned out to be harder to navigate than my  love life, and possibly took longer to get over than any of my relationships.

Another reason that standardized tests are evil.

Unlike the TAP where I just took (and failed) a bunch of practice tests in preparation, I learned my lesson and bought a ginormous ACT study book.

Princeton Review’s 2015 edition…check please.

The first section in the book is English, and having my undergraduate degree in English I hoped this section wouldn’t be one that gave me nightmares the way I knew Math would. Luckily I was sort of right, except that I had to reteach myself a lot of basic grammar. Good news was that I did still know how to read.

After doing pretty well on the practice test I moved onto the next section: MATH. The dreaded, terrible, bane of my existence subject that dumped me during the TAP. Things are a little different this time around because the ACT allows you to use a calculator for the math portion, unlike the TAP that expects you to work everything out on scratch paper like cavemen. I still don’t understand the no calculator concept. I am going to be a kindergarten or preschool teacher, these math concepts will not apply to my area of teaching. And even if they did, I would use a fucking calculator.

According to the ACT prep book words like “reciprocal” and “integer” were math terms I knew at some point in high school. Thank goodness for Google and it’s ability to teach  me everything I need to know. And a lot of things I don’t need to know.

I keep telling myself that I’m going to take the math practice test, sit down to do it, and then find something on instagram that needs to be investigated. Seeing as how the test is in three days,  I’m hoping that either I gain some semblance of an attention span or instagram shuts down. Along with every other app on my phone.

Here are my goals before Saturday:

1) Learn math

2) Actually learn math

3) Find a functioning calculator

4) Go to the history museum and buy #2 pencils

5) Turn my brain on

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