School Stress and Rant(ish)

Winter break is a time when most students are enjoying a small reprieve from studies. It is also a time, however, when I, a seemingly lifelong student, cannot stop thinking about how scary it is that I have an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and not too much to show for it. Looking at my “things I know” list here on my blog made me sad, and slightly anxious, that there are so few things that I believe I truly know. Of course there are things that I learned during my degree program, such as what the elements on the periodic table are, and how DNA can be replicated using PCR, but what does any of that mean in the grand scheme of things?

There is no “What to Do When You Don’t Get Into the Program You Desperately Want 101”, or “Introduction to Figuring Out What the Hell You Want to Do With Your Life”. How does anyone figure this out???

Trial and error? My anxiety-ridden brain does not like that option in the slightest. I like it when things are safe and sure, when I can completely control the outcome. I hate that even if I decide what kind of program I want to be in there are still admissions tests and interviews that make my “choice” less of a choice and more of a “hey, could I maybe, perhaps, just possibly be allowed to do this?”. These scenarios that we use to select who gets to do what in academia are judging us based on a snapshot of who we are at one brief, and incredibly stressful, moment in time. Is this really the best way to decide who is suited to become medical students, law students, business students, pharmacy students, etc.?

As realistic as tests and interviews are made to be, the truth is they are exactly the opposite. When will I need to be able to draw the chemical process of lactate dehydrogenase without looking at any notes? Or have to rhyme something off in iambic pentameter without being able to look up what the hell iambic pentameter is? And when will I be asked to give advice to a hypothetical friend with whom I have no background information on or personal relationship with?

I guess I should be learning how to impress people in thirty seconds or less rather than focusing on what is taught in university classes. Is that what I was meant to get out of my undergrad? Bloody expensive lesson if you ask me.

-Ash

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Nothing to Eat!!

My best friend is allergic to everything under the sun. In the past year she’s had to cut out gluten and soy on top of having a shellfish allergy. If this wasn’t enough, she found out yesterday that she is now also allergic to dairy. So, under doctors orders, she has started a cleanse – and being the great bestie that I am, I am doing it with her.

Now, I’m not COMPLETELY doing the cleanse. She will be taking herbal supplements as well as adopting a particular diet, whereas I will only be adopting the diet*. This “cleanse” lasts for twelve days, and involves cutting out dairy, heavy grains, alcohol, exotic fruits, and foods high in sugar.
*By diet I mean my overall eating. This is not a calorie-restricting attempt to lose weight.

So, “What will you be able to eat?”, you may ask. Lots of veggies, beans, local fruits, quinoa, potatoes, etc…

It’s not really too crazy of a diet. I will admit that some of the things we’re cutting out are foods I would consider quite healthy (i.e. pineapple, bananas, and mushrooms), but for twelve days I think it should be ok. At the end of the cleanse we’re supposed to feel “lighter, have more energy, and have given our bodies a break from some foods that are harder to digest (flours and sugars).

Whether or not we actually achieve these results is another question. One which I will let you know the answer to in twelve days.

Happy eating!
-Ash

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Small Joys

You know how sometimes the simplest things are the things that really make you smile?

Yesterday’s Canada Day celebrations brought me several of these moments.

The first was watching my friend’s three year old son as he watched the parade. Hoisted up on my boyfriend’s shoulders he smiled, pointed and waved as bands, cars, pirates and bubbles passed by. He was ecstatic, and the joy of a three year old can spread like wildfire.

The second was going for frozen yogurt with my boyfriend on our way to the fireworks downtown. It’s the type of shop where you pick your flavour and then add any toppings you like. Our choice? A mixture of lemon and mango sorbet topped with Oh-Henry chunks and gummy worms. It was surprisingly delicious and we enjoyed it while walking through the summer streets of the city.

The third moment was at the end of the evening. After deciding to go home before the fireworks (apparently at ages 24 and 22my boyfriend and I, respectively, have already become old fogeys who need to go to bed at a reasonable hour) we ended up watching “Despicable Me”. I had already seen the movie several times, and I’m really excited about the sequel, but it was my boyfriend’s first time watching it. I loved how hard he laughed at the jokes in the movie, and that I still laughed even though I had seen it before. It’s nice to see some simple humour (It’s so fluffy!!!) instead of some of the long, drawn out, try-to-hard jokes that seem to be so common.

So take some time to stop and smell the roses / to put the gummy worms on the sorbet / to interpret the sign written in Korean / to dance to Abba at work / etc…, because all of these small moments add up to that big thing called life.

-Ash

“In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?”
– Seasons of Love (Rent)

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Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! And Happy start-up-the-blog-again day! 🙂

Last year I started this blog/happiness project and it ended up getting pushed to the side after a couple of months. Why? Because life happened. That’s why. Things happened, I got busy, and my poor little blog got swept to the wayside.

So, I’ve decided to try it again.

I have no clue what I’ll be posting about, and to be honest, it doesn’t really matter if anyone reads it. I’m doing it for myself, to get my thoughts down on “paper” and to put some ideas out of my head for all the world to peruse as they wish. Who knows what I’ll end up doing?

As for right now, I’m going to watch my boyfriend play Zelda on this gloriously rainy holiday while we debate about whether or not to order Indian. First world problems…..

Have a great holiday everybody!

-Ash

“My upbringing in Canada made me the person I am. I will always be proud to be a Canadian.”
– Jim Carrey

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Cheesecake Mania

Photo Day # 12

A few weeks ago a friend took me to a cheesecakery – that’s right, they specialize in CHEESECAKE. And this isn’t just any old cheesecake. They’ve got some seriously weird flavors. When I was there with my friend I had chocolate-peanut butter cheesecake. It just may have been the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

This afternoon I took my mom (who do you think I got my addiction from?) out for cheesecake. Mom got chocolate-hazlenut cheesecake:

And I got a piece of KitKat cheesecake:

I have to say that the wafer part of the KitKat was a little mushy, but it was still scrumdiddlyumptious.

-Ash

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And This is Why iPhones Have Cameras…

A few days of missed photos, but I think this one makes up for it.

Driving down the highway……no construction going on……OF COURSE you expect to see a lone, pink porta-potty.

And yes, my friend and I are lame enough to pull over on the side of the highway to take pictures of crazy stuff like this.

-Ash

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Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile

Photo Day # 7

I can’t help but wonder if my liking these shoes is somehow influenced by my role of an orphan in my elementary school’s production of “Annie”? I think our dresses were made out of a similar material…

Who cares what they’re wearing on Main Street or Spring Garden Road? It’s what you wear from ear to ear, and not from head to toe that ma-a-a-terrrrrs. 🙂

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