Tuesday, August 30, 2011
What is Student AffairsLive | View Comments | permalink
The first week of being a #SAgrad is over, readings and all. I'm finally sighing in relief and realizing how tightly wound I've been. I forgot how intense I can be, worried about getting every reading done and comprehensively researching the things I don't understand. This will be a familiar process of learning to let go of the things I cannot accomplish and to stop freaking out.
Maybe I'm not the only one with this problem? If so... good luck to all you other new #SAgrads out there!
In one of my inaugural classes last week we were sent out of the classroom with an assignment. (Thank goodness we were in groups because I still don't know the University of Florida campus at all!) We were told to take 4 pictures in response to the question What is Student Affairs?
Here is what my group came up with.
"Student Affairs is fostering Civic Engagement and Leadership."
A student organization put this beautiful display on to represent that every 15 seconds a human is trafficked.
"Student Affairs is helping students to create personal connections and try new things."
These are students who decided to tie their hands together to complete a work of art.
This is a University of Florida residence hall.
"Student Affairs is encouraging students to be creative and open minded."
Graffiti, or "wall art" in a tunnel covered in such works. There are so many spaces in Gainesville like this, that encourage expression.
We all came back to the classroom and shared our photos and beliefs. It was enlightening.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
DoctorLive | View Comments | permalink
Here's what I learned during the very first class of my Masters of Education program...
That it should be the primary job of my professors, whom all hold doctorates in their field, to "Teach me a LOVE of Learning". Contrary to the popularly held belief that it is a professor's job to impart knowledge on me which only those who have done a cajillion years of schooling know.
Makes sense, right? Especially in this information age - where much knowledge is literally at our fingertips. It's an interesting thought and one that I'd like to talk to faculty members about. Is our job as educators to impart wisdom or to teach students to find accurate information, synthesize that information, and question that information?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Bridal TimeLive | View Comments | permalink
I'm at the point in my life, whether I like it or not, that many of my beautiful and amazing lady friends are pairing off and getting married. It's a beautiful wondrous thing because there is nothing that I want more than to see these women ridiculously happy.
On the other hand, I'm saddened that it marks the end of certain type of relationship that young women have with each other. From here on out it'll be couples vacations and babysitters and grown up things. Or at least, that's what is going on in my head.
It also makes me sad that I'm physically separated from so many of the women that I care so much about - and it's hard for me to be a part of their celebrations. Luckily, I live close enough that I was able to attend my friend JoAnne's bridal shower - my first bridal shower ever actually.
She doesn't like these pictures but I LOVE them. She doesn't realize how beautiful she is and it was so much fun looking back at the pictures and all of her funny faces!
Her family is amazing in that they have a number of traditions already put into place for this type of thing. And her sister is a party planner extraordinaire. Everything was so lovely!
And I'm blessed to know such wonderful women. I'm only two hours away. Why does it seem like it's so hard to get over there to spend time with them? That seems really ridiculous!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Stuffed EggplantCreate | View Comments | permalink
The other day Jessa and I picked up some great eggplants from the farmers market. They were just the right size to make stuffed eggplant. I didn't really follow a recipe, but I will give you the break down of what I did. Let me warn you. I don't really measure and I don't use recipes, I just kind of do it. Taste, taste, taste. Use your eyes and your mouth to determine if something is coming together right. This might explain why I am awful at baking ...
First lets cover what you will need to make these delicious eggplants.
- For the Eggplant
- Eggplants. I had 4.
- Carrots, chopped
- Celery, chopped
- Garlic and onion, diced, how ever much you prefer.
- Olive oil
- For the Sauce
- 2 tomatoes
- Garlic and onion, diced
- Olive oil
- Thyme, oregano, and parsley flakes
- Carrots, minced
Making the Eggplant
To make the eggplants start by hollowing out the eggplants. Place the eggplant in a pot, fill with enough water to cover the eggplant, salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes (or until the eggplant is soft). While the eggplant is cooking take a skillet and heat some olive oil. Add garlic and onion, when the onion is translucent, add carrot and celery, cook until soft.
Now in a bowl combine the eggplant and carrots and celery. Add breadcrumbs and mix. You want enough breadcrumbs so that you can form a ball with your hands, like a meatball. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Now use that mixture to stuff your eggplant halves. It will be more volume than you removed, so it should have a mound shape to it.
Place the eggplant in a baking dish and bake them at 350 degrees for 20-35 minutes, long enough to warm the eggplant itself and crisp the top. I will usually add a second dish with some water in it to the oven, because that helps keep the stuffing nice and moist while it cooks.
Making the Sauce
Peel the tomatoes (i know right!), cut them in half. In a sauce pan pour some olive oil and put on the heat. Add carrots and cook. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent (don't burn the garlic, it will taste gross). Add your herbs and cook for 30 seconds or so. Now toss in the tomatoes and let them take to the oil a little bit. Now take this mixture to a food processor or use an emersion blender to smash all this up. You want a texture, but not large chunks. Taste. Salt and pepper as needed. Use the honey, if desired, to cut the acidity down more (if the carrots didn't do good enough).
I paired this eggplant with a simple mash with butter. Spoon the red sauce on the plate and give it the old spoon push, plate the eggplants fat end in the fat end of the sauce, now spoon over the top some more sauce. Serve hot.
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
It's Raining, It's PouringLive | View Comments | permalink
Do you know that feeling? When there is an enormous clap of thunder that engulfs you and your home? It drowns out all of your thoughts and emotions by overwhelming all of your senses at the same time.
Your body tenses...
Your mind goes blank...
The tiny hairs on your arm stand straight up...
Your scalp prickles...
Adrenaline courses through your veins and you, in one moment, become pure instinct. Fight or flight.
It's easiest to be alive in moments like this.
We all do it. We let momentum and monotony schedule our lives for us. We become alternately overwhelmed by tasks and underwhelmed by satisfaction in those tasks. ("I know that you can be overwhelmed, and I know that you can be underwhelmed... but can you ever just be....... whelmed?" "I think you can in Europe")
It's easy to say that we are happy - and that we are living - when, in all actuality we are losing ourselves in the mundane. Or burying our actual thoughts in a pile of those that are fed to us by constant video game usage & movie watching & Facebook. We cry out and we complain that we are overworked - but half of the time we are creating these circumstances for ourselves. We are making choices that just don't jive with our values and priorities on a fundamental level.
I find myself doing this in cycles. One month I will buy into it all. I will take on new responsibilities at work that I am oftentimes less passionate about, solely for the "experience" or to assist a colleague. Then, one month I'll become more realistic, and I'll realize whose promises to help and to share responsibilities are empty and which projects make me happy. Those months are the months where I find myself taking real joy in eating things that I am familiar with, in learning and reading, in long conversations with students about life and love and goals, in gardening. In sitting on my bed writing nonsensicals while I listen to the gorgeous thunderstorm out of an open window.
I'm writing this so that I can try to recognize this habit in myself more often. So that I can put an end to overwhelming MYSELF with silly tasks, little by little. Maybe you can too? It's something that I hear Student Affairs professionals talk about all the time. Not overworking yourself and making sure that you have work/life balance... how about making choices that are good for our students AND for us?