Friday, October 28, 2011

Up To Speed

Grad school is exhausting.

Hello, blog! Sorry for the disappearance, but it seems I've fallen into the black hole of graduate school and am only now emerging from that deep, dark place. On the bright side, I've established a rhythm of sorts: Sunday is crazy prep time for the week ahead, mostly taken up by reading the massive amount of pages I have due each week while lying on the couch with my feet tucked under a dog. (I said my life was busy now, not hard: big difference!) Monday and Tuesday are when I have the bulk of my classes and I'm on campus, darting from room to room for most of the day. Wednesdays I have off and spend most of the day writing, grading and preparing my lesson plan for Thursday's teaching stint. And then it's Friday and I can breathe again. It's busy and a little stressful, but I'm happy to report that I'm still loving every minute of it.

A recipe for beer.

Even with the breakneck speed of graduate school, I am finding time to relax and have fun. Last weekend, when we got back from our mini-camping trip, we drove to a local beer and wine brewer and bought some supplies to make a batch of beer. We haven't brewed since we moved to North Carolina and I'm looking forward to filling the house with the smell of hops.


I also had the pleasure of attending a potluck and a board game night, which are my two favorite ways to socialize. Better than the bar, for sure, but probably not better than a nice restaurant (though much cheaper!). For the potluck I made vegan pigs in a blanket, or, as I like to call them, tofu pups in a snuggie, which were the usual hit. They look exactly like their non-vegan counterparts and are just as unhealthy, but are fun party food nonetheless. Just take a package of vegan hot dogs, slice them into thirds, and wrap a bit of Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough around them. (Vegan by default, but mostly because they are 75% chemicals.) Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes and arrange artfully on your Missoni plate from Target for some extra fanciness.

Vegan pigs in a blanket.

Last but not least, I have made good on my promise to keep my socializing to the weekends - with the exception of a trip to the bar Tuesday night for a friend's birthday. I was going to have two beers and then head home, as I had a lot of things to do on Wednesday, but while we were there about half the MFA program showed up and I ended up having four beers and staying up way too late. Needless to say, my Wednesday productivity was shot. On the bright side, I did manage to clean my whole house in lieu of actually writing. Still: lesson learned. Again. And probably not for the last time.

Java stout at Satellite.

I think that brings y'all up to speed. Tonight I am headed to a halloween party and literary reading (we read first and then we party - should be fun!) and tomorrow is another friend's birthday. Somewhere in there I will read a novel for class, brew five gallons of beer, run a bunch of miles (knee willing), and bake something Halloween themed. How about you?


  1. Sounds like you're busy, busy, busy! My Halloween will be spent shelving books and then reading Spanish books to children. Dressed up, of course. :) Have a good one!

  2. That first photo is so cute!  And your tofu pups in a snuggie made me smile :-)

    My plans for this weekend?  Two words: San Antonio.  I can't wait!  Just have to get all this pesky work done first...

  3. Ahhh, grad school days. Reading your posts brings me back to those days and reminds me how hard but also how fun and wonderful it all was. It sounds like you're doing a great job in aiming for a balance between work and socializing and the social aspect of it is important too. I've made some of my best friends in grad school and my best work-exchange/writing parter/running buddy came out of those late nights at a bar on a week night when I should have been at home reading.

    Enjoy it all!


  4. Vegan pigs n' a blanket are the best!  And perfect for a potluck.  You seem to be rockin' life and, though it might have killed your next day's productivity, that stout looks super yummy :)

  5. That sounds like fun - well, the reading to children while dressed up part. What are you being this year?

  6. Yay! I can't wait to hear about your trip. I have a soft spot for San Antonio - it's where Nathan went to high school. :)

  7. Thanks, S! I'm definitely meeting some people that I think will be lifelong friends. I've been very lucky in that regard. And I like the way you phrased the importance of a social life while in school - it makes me feel better about the nights I skip work in favor of beer. :)

  8. Thanks lady! They are so fun to bring to parties. A bunch of people thought they were real hot dogs and ten minutes after I said they were vegan, they were gone. Vegan win!