Sugar Cookie Challenge

I’ve been issued a Sugar Cookie Challenge. Let me explain…

When we were in Cozumel this year, Deb and I were talking to one of the owners of Cozumel Marine World. On his shirt was the logo for Underwater Digital Fiesta Expeditions. I asked Alex and Deb what that was. Turns out it is a yearly get together where you learn to take better underwater photos while learning about and testing out the latest and greatest in digital underwater photography equipment. WHAT!?!?!?

If there’s one thing you should know about me by now, I LOVE photography. My underwater photography skills lack quite a bit, but I’ve only been diving for 4 years. In those 4 years, I was off limits in diving for a year because of my cute little three-year-old. So I’ve been diving 3 years. Yes, I have 100 dives in under my belt… but….. They highly suggest you don’t start carrying a camera underwater with you until you’ve at least dove 50 times. Well, I didn’t totally listen to those words of advice, but I always made sure I was comfortable enough diving before I took a camera with me. It’s an added responsibility.

I immediately started talking about how I wanted to go to this photo fiesta. Hubby laughed and issued me a challenge. If I could sell 300 dozen cookies, I could go. Holy cow! That’s not 300 cookies… that’s 300 dozen cookies. That equals math I can’t easily do in my head. That is 3,600 cookies.

Challenge Accepted….

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Cupcake Diaries

Wow, it seems like here lately I’ve been obsessed with cupcakes. Especially thought with the title of this post. But… I have news for you… I might be. So what’s going on? Well… If I put this out there, 1) I’m afraid I’ll be judged. 2) I might actually have to follow through. 3) I feel like I sound stupid. I keep telling myself I shouldn’t care what other people think. What does it matter anyway. I saw a quote once that said, It’s none of your business what other people think.

Okay, I’m getting a little off track. I think I’m having to give myself a pep talk. Here we go… I’m going to tell you what my plans are. Now help me follow through and please by all means, HELP ME! My plans:

I’m going to write a cookbook.

Over the weekend I focused on a cake recipe. Not just any cake recipe… My cake recipe. We made it from scratch. Totally from scratch. Wow! I researched. And I read. Then I researched. Followed by reading some more.

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Once a Gorilla

As they say, Once a Gorilla, Always a Gorilla.

I hate to say it but I’ve taken more pride in being a gorilla these last couple of semesters than I did when I first started out on this journey. Sad, now it’s over. There were a few things I wanted to do that I didn’t, such as attending a football game (while a student). But I guess we all have regrets now and then.

I would say my biggest regret right now, not being more excited on Graduation day. Why you ask? Well I was waiting on results for comps and I was afraid that I didn’t pass which meant I didn’t technically graduate. I felt like a fraud and a phony. I also wondered in the back of my head if because I felt that way and was afraid I’d regret the feelings, if I wouldn’t actually pass comps. I did on both accounts… I also think I owe my family an apology because while they were extremely excited… my guilt took over and I kept saying, “I’m not real sure I graduated…”

That morning we got to the school early. I wanted to take a photo shoot, kind of like “senior” photos. It didn’t turn out exactly like I would have liked. Oh well… I still got some good photos. I wasn’t taking them, hubby was and I couldn’t convey what I wanted. Sad how sometimes you see it in your head but can’t get it in words.

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Results

I feel the crunch of the end of school coming. Not just the end of the semester, but the end of school. If all goes well I should graduate May 7th. That’s the thing though… right now I feel like a retard. Literature isn’t my strong suit. It never has been. I only grew fond of reading once I was out of school and had nothing better to do with my time. And then it was typically best seller type stuff. One of my professors said you read crap if you read best seller stuff. He says there is a lot better stuff out there in the form of writers like Faulkner and guys from the beat generation. By the way, the Beat generation was Modernism and about that time came the Harlem Renaissance.

But if you ask my professors, apparently I don’t know anything. In my Memoir class we learned that we put ourselves out there with our stories. And… Now I’m going to put my big girl panties on and put myself out there…

So last semester when I took comps but didn’t pass, the professor sent on the comments from the graders. It’s a pass/fail system. Here were the comments.

British Core Exam
Reader 1:
  • Passage 1 (Macbeth): Fail. A good understanding of the passage, but the writer doesn’t match the passage up to a clear theme in Macbeth. And the writer says Macbeth wants to be King of Denmark instead of King of Scotland.
  • Passage 2 (Fielding): Pass. Language a little awkward, but makes a good argument.
  • Essay (Wuthering Heights): Fail. Doesn’t define the term “gothic” well, and most of the characteristics the writer described (like a required death) aren’t necessarily part of a gothic genre.

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Tuesday Brain Splat

My brain is all over the place. One such place… relief. At least last night’s comps is over and it’ll be a week before I hear results on either set, so that means a week of freedom, right? Please tell me I’m right. The stress the last few weeks kind of got to me. Ugh! I was talking to one of the professors last Thursday and said that grad school is more stressful than any job I’ve had and I’ve had some stressful jobs. She laughed and said, yeah, in grad school, you have a deadline and have to work on something until it is finished, where as long as your job is one of those you can walk away from at the end of the day, you’re done until the next work day.

I think grad school is taking a toll on me… I look old. That’s my opinion, but whatever…. Oh and gray hairs… they’re multiplying, I swear. Seriously? I’m only 32 (I think…. don’t ask me my age, ask me my birthday, I’m better at that number). And a tan, I’d like a tan… although I don’t want wrinkly skin, I have enough of that… so there is that…. anyway like I said, my brain is all over the place right now.

Today I feel like it is Thursday (don’t ask why, I don’t know) and yesterday I swore it was Tuesday (that’s because I sat at the school all day on a Monday which isn’t typical). So let’s see if I can impart some wisdom on you today… Here we go… if you have something that is bolded, italicized, or underlined and it is followed by punctuation, that punctuation carries the same bold, italics or underline. Although underlining words is a thing of the typewriter age when people couldn’t bold or italicize words for whatever the word is I’m looking for…. um…. emphasis I guess might be it.

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Today

I woke up this morning tired, stiff, and dreading the morning. Why? Maybe because it is Monday, or maybe because I’m just not a morning person, or maybe, just maybe it was because I have to take my second set of Comps tonight. This is Set 2 attempt 1. And then D) it could be all of the above.

This is the specialty set. It focuses on Professional and Technical Writing, which is actually what I’m getting my degree in. I’ve been studying all weekend. I’m not sure who’s brilliant idea it was to put this test right around Easter. Okay okay, so truth of the matter is that’s just how it fell. Fall, it is the last Thursday/Monday of October and Spring it is the Thursday/Monday after Spring Break. It just so happened Easter was early this year and it fell the week after spring break. I’m still going with that wasn’t brilliant planning.

Is it odd to admit that I’m not nearly as stressed about this set of comps as I am/was about the other set? When it comes down to English, my weakness is literature. It always has been and I’m not sure why. I like to read, although some of those authors are dark… I’m talking DARK! I’m not really crazy about that I guess. Life is too depressing, give me something upbeat. ha!

When I got home Thursday night after taking the other set, I was a mess. I’m not sure how it went as they said it’d be about a week for results, but I was a mess. I’m still not sure I passed because I didn’t completely get finished. I left the graders a note that I wasn’t finished and wanted to address this this and this…. we’ll see what happens I guess….

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Poetry might be the death of me…..

My Memoir Writing class is causing me to have to think about the past and causing me to write new ways. Sometimes you can’t teach an old dog (me) new tricks… but… I’m having to learn.

Recently I’ve been having to write poetry. I don’t care for poetry. I really don’t like looking for hidden meanings. I’d rather something be spelled out for me because I may take it one way while you take it a different way and it was intended to be a completely different way.

So this week I was challenged to write one of my essays into a free verse poem. I took that as a challenge and made a 7 page Memoir essay into a Haiku. If you don’t know what a Haiku is, it’s a Japanese poem form that has 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.

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The Under Dog

Why is it so hard as individuals to admit defeat? Have I been defeated? Well, the answer is technically no, not yet.

Growing up I’ve always had a fighting spirit. I always knew I could do better and I was always willing to strive for better. I didn’t have to be the best at everything, I always wanted to outdo myself from the previous experience.

In 1998 I joined FFA. My mom thought I’d use horses as my FFA Project but I wanted a challenge. I had shown horses my whole life, I wanted to learn something new. That’s when we decided as a family on sheep. That first year I knew absolutely NOTHING about sheep. And every time I showed, county fair, district fair and a couple local fairs, I was last. I didn’t know how to properly groom and/or show a sheep to save my life.

County Fair 1998 – First show ever.

I wanted a learning curve, boy did I ever get one. It was funny, I was bottom. I couldn’t get any worse. The only direction I could go was up. A lot of people stood behind me and saw my determination. I had a start, stumble, and fall, more often than not… but in the end, my persistence led me to win Grand Champion Dorset Market Lamb, Grand Champion Dorset Ram, Grand Champion Dorset Ewe at my last Missouri State Fair as an FFA Member.

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