Summer Again

Friday, June 24, 2011

Guess I should get used to it, huh?

American Girl

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Well she was an American girl
Raised on promises
She couldn't help thinkin'
There was a little more to life somewhere else
After all it was a great big world
With lots of places to run to
And if she had to die tryin'
She had one little promise she was gonna keep

I realized on my morning run through Riverside Park that I am living in a romantic comedy.

I just can't quite get to the end...or even the really good part in the middle.  

As I rounded the place where the path curves at 91st street, I was standing in the location where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan filmed the final scene of You've Got Mail.  The place where he'll be waiting, and she finally sees Brinkley round the very same corner.  My absolute favorite movie ending of all time.

It's possible, right?

It's a pretty spectacular way to start my morning each day.  And as I run along the Hudson River, I can't help but wonder what will have happened when the credits roll.

Because I wanted it to be you...


Saturday, June 18, 2011

I've these dreams of walking home
Home where it used to be
And everything is as it was
Frozen in front of me 
Here I stand 6 feet small romanticizing years ago
But it's a bitter sweet feeling hearing "Wrapped Around Your Finger" on the radio 
And these days I wish I was 6 again
Oh make me a red cape, I wanna be Superman 
Oh, if only my life was more like 1983 
All these things would be more like they were at the start of me
Had it made in 83 

John Mayer said it all.

Whew.  Two-thirds of the way done.

I am ridiculously exhausted.  Not by the work load, intensity, assignments, people or anything...just the actual physical amount of time required to be somewhere.  These 12 hour class days are getting a little old.  It's just hard to be intelligent for that long every day (insert laughter here).  As it turns out, week two is definitely the most intense of the three week intensive session.  I'm about to start my 1.25 day weekend (one more meeting before then) and then I have 4.5 days of class left.  When I board the plane Friday night, I will have completed three entire doctoral level courses in three weeks.  No wonder I'm tired.  I am looking forward to week three, which should be slightly less insane (but still insane).

Mostly, I'm looking forward to home.

Don't get me wrong, New York is amazing.  Last night I went to Bloomingdales, just because I could.  I love being here.  I just bought groceries at Whole Foods and am enjoying an amazing coffee shop right now.  In the last week, I've been to Magnolia Bakery and seen Spiderman on Broadway.

It. Is. Amazing.

But it's not home.  And the people aren't my people, not by a long shot.

I changed my plane ticket to go home a day early.  I have never, in my entire life, paid the fee to change a plane ticket.  But in the moment, the change fee seemed well worth an extra day at home.  Worth the extra 24 hours of my people and Mexican food and BFF's birthday celebration and all the really good things in life.

It's good, it really is.  It's just not everything, you know?  :-)

New York, New York

Why I Make a Good New Yorker:
1.  I pretty much walk everywhere now.
2.  I buy expensive workout clothes (thank you, Lululemon).
3.  I avoid Times Square at almost all costs.
4.  I would rather have the local coffee place than the corporate chain.
5.  I have learned to stay in my neighborhood for everything I need.
6.  I think taxi cabs are crazy expensive.
7.  I adore brunch.
8.  In my mind, I'm trying to justify the $300 dress I tried on last night.
9.  I carry an extra pair of shoes wherever I go (Gap City Flats are worth the cash, ladies!).
10.  Apparently I like running now...who knew?

Why I Make an Awful New Yorker:
1.  The walking doesn't stop me from the cupcakes.  I tell myself that if I can walk there, I can have one.
2.  I still like half and half in my coffee, and New York is apparently too good for that.
3.  I went to bed at 8:30 Thursday night.
4.  I went to bed at 9:30 Friday night.
5.  I have an overwhelming desire to eat Mexican food daily, and this stuff in NYC just isn't working.
6.  I really want to go to a Broadway show this weekend, just because.
7.  I spend money when I get bored (whoops, surprise trip to Bloomingdales).
8.  I would really rather wander around Whole Foods for a few hours, then go home and cook.
9.  I wake up before the neighborhood coffee shops open.  Grrrrr...
10.  I love the summer thunderstorms.

What Is This Feeling?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

One week down, 181 to go. 

Ok, so that number is an estimate.  I’m told it’s a really, really ambitious estimate.  Coursework takes two years, average dissertation is two-three years. 

But hey, I’m a rock star.

I can make it happen.

It’s the strangest thing, this program and process and new life I am apparently involved in.  I expected to come into this program as a scared, inexperienced, unprepared little kid from the south and be totally blown out of the water by older, more experienced, more important education gurus.  I was sure they would figure me out.  That’s part of why I did all the reading before I arrived.

But the thing it, it’s not like that at all  Not even a little bit. 

I know my stuff.

Not only am I feeling good about it, but I’m kind of wondering if I should feel more challenged.  I scared myself into thinking I would be Elle Woods on that first day of Harvard…you know, the pretty girl without the answers.  :-)

Is that a bad thing, that it doesn’t seem harder?  I know the work load will increase (hello, dissertation), but even that isn’t an issue right now.  I read everything before, I review prior to class, I participate in class, and that’s it.  No stress, no panic. 

Except for stressing about not being stressed.  Maybe I should revisit that Italy idea?

It’s an interesting experience, to say the least.

Here’s the only other unexpected thing…

Class never ends on time.  Not once.  And I don’t mean getting out a few minutes early.  Every single class has ended at least 10 minutes late, if not more.  And no one does a thing about it.  In pretty much any school I’ve attended, worked at, or heard of, students would revolt…get up and leave the moment their iPhones told them to go.  But the students in my cohort don’t even seem to notice.  They just keep on discussing.

Seriously, if people were more like me, I would understand so much more.  But that’s a whole different issue for a whole different day (and maybe therapy, come to think of it!).

What A Beautiful Day

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Even in an Ivy League doctoral degree program, who doesn’t love a good field trip?

Now, just to put it out there, the last time I went on a class field trip, I was with 18 or so of my best friends.  Oh yeah, and Brad Pitt was there. 


So that’s hard to top, but this week’s field trip was pretty fun, too.

As part of my Life History and Adult Education class, we were assigned to travel in groups to locations in New York that represent significant learning experiences for us.  This class is unlike any class I have ever experienced.  There is a textbook and all, but the subject of the course is the students themselves…how do they learn, what were significant experiences, etc.  So for the entire class, we write life narratives, tell our life stories, and basically just talk about ourselves.  Then we talk in small groups about each other. 

It’s kind of like group counseling.

I immediately thought of so many influential, monumental New York places of significant learning in my life…Tiffany and Co., Bloomingdales, Henri Bendel, etc.  Somehow I felt like that wasn’t exactly what the professor had in mind, but I did learn a lot at those places.  Don’t judge me.

(Sidenote: I later found out that a woman from the previous cohort took her field trip group to Tiffany and Co and bought a diamond ring for her “significant learning experience.”  Dang it.  Do overs?)

So my group started in Columbus Circle, the location of one woman’s first job in Manhattan.  We stopped in for coffee, with a pretty amazing view to begin the day…

Next, we traveled to Chinatown for our second stop.  A man in our group spent a lot of time there as a child.  He took us on a walking tour of the area, pointing out all the important places along the way.  I now know the three best places to eat authentic dumplings and dim sum.  (Hint: they all three have “hop” in the name.)

Finally, it was my turn.  After much deliberation, I settled on Little Italy.  I daydream about my summer in Florence pretty much constantly…the lifestyle, food, gelato, and mid-day naps.  Little Italy was as close as I could get, but it was a pretty good substitute.  We enjoyed fresh pasta in a local trattoria and lost track of time over a good meal. 

Good times.

We went our separate ways, which of course lead me to Max Brenner for “I sort of survived the first week” celebratory Melting Chocolate Truffle Heart Surprise Cake.  That is actually what it is called…please refer to previous blog posts for a more detailed description.  

I wandered my way through a Manhattan summer day, and it was lovely.  Five miles later, I had walked from 14th and Broadway to 121st and Broadway.  That cancels out the cake, right?

All I Know

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Here is what I know so far...

1.  I earned the right to be sitting at Cafe Lalo right now.

2.  As it turns out, I actually do know a lot of stuff.

3.  I have never done school outside of Texas and still expect Baylor's campus to be outside.

4.  People think Baylor is a big deal...and it is.

5.  Ivy League professors are not Legally Blonde scary...they are actually pretty darn awesome.

6.  Seven hours of class in one day is a ridiculously long time.

7.  I think (THINK) I might be making the right decision, but check back later.

8.  I should be studying instead of blogging.

9.  My past life/school/people/experiences prepared me well.

10.  I will definitely be ordering the cheesecake tonight.


a latte and a prayer


I am alive, I promise. 

No need for panic, except for the non-functioning internet in my temporary apartment/residence hall.  The views are amazing, but the connection is awful.  Crazy few days getting settled here in New York.  Lots more on that later...

Today is the first day of class, so lots to do before then.  I had a total Elle Woods on the first day of Harvard moment yesterday.  People...these people are smart.  Cleared my head with an awesome run through Riverside Park along the Hudson River.  As it turns out, I am more motivated to run in New York City Parks than on Oklahoma City treadmills...who knew?  It didn't hurt that I ended up on the Cafe Lalo Street.  One of the things I love about New York is that you can think you've just gone a few blocks and end up four miles away.  The 83 blocks were totally worth it yesterday.

More to come later, I promise.  For now, just a few pictures of my temporary place to prove to my family that I'm ok.  There is a pretty great view of the Hudson from my window!

Happy First Day of School!!!