Thursday, April 3, 2014

Salsa and the Quarter-Life Crisis

Research Update

For those of you who have spoken with me over the past few months, you know that I have been undergoing the process of ethics reviews before doing interviews. This has been a long and strenuous process, and one which has greatly pushed me. Next week, for better or for worse I will be submitting my ethics application for review. Hopefully the process goes smoothly, and over the next few months I will be conducting interviews on educational justice and experiences with the contemporary education system, which leads me to my next point. While my Fulbright grant will end on May 31, I will be applying to extend my worker visa through the end of August in order to complete my project and make it something I am proud of. I am incredibly thankful to the support I have received from my close friends, and in particular, my wonderful parents. This process has definitely been a journey, and one I look forward to continuing through these next few months.

Where I am at?

There comes a time in every twenty-something, postgrad girl's life where there is a moment of panic. That moment arose for me today when trying to open a jar of salsa.

Everyone who has known me through college has known that I am particularly helpless in the kitchen. From burning popcorn and grilled cheese, to setting off the smoke detector on more than one occasion, my skills in the kitchen have been limited. I have used this time in Canada to try and develop more cooking and baking skills, so I can be a self-sufficient post-graduate upon my return home.

Today, I decided to make some homemade creamy chicken soft tacos (recipe here). The recipe calls for an 8 oz jar of salsa. Okay, not a problem. Hand-lid-twist: simple right? No. After hopelessly trying to open the jar with slippery hands for a good few minutes, I decided I needed a new strategy. Using a towel to get some leverage. Nope, no success. A Knife? Still not budging at all. So close, and yet so far away. "What if I starve because I cannot open this jar?" "How am I supposed to an independent, post-grad researcher if I can't open salsa?'

People my age are out there, starting their careers, getting married, and I can't open a salsa jar. This is why I need to live with someone. "What if this salsa jar is a metaphor for my life?" Needless to say, tonight's dinner proved to be much more of an existential quarter-life crisis than originally intended.  For those who are concerned, I did, indeed, after a 10 minute struggle manage to open to jar by myself and cook myself dinner, pictured below.

What I am doing?

In addition to researching and attempting to feed myself, I have also been working to get out and be more social at Saint Mary's, my affiliate university where I am technically a graduate student. I have gone to a few events at the campus pub, including open mics, a toga party (what is college without a toga party? am I right?) and playing in a dodgeball tournament. Now, anyone who has ever competed against me in anything knows that I am insanely competitive. Our family has definitely requested that my cousins and I stop playing Pictionary because someone's feelings would get hurt. I thrive on a competitive nature and it pushes me to be better at things. Dodgeball is one of those sports that I THINK that I am good at, but in reality I am not. Actually, that probably describes me in any form of sports competition. Needless to say, the "Speak Up! Team" I was on took home eighth place, but I take that as a win for us. We definitely had some awesome spirit. And the fact that I actually managed to get a few people out and dodge quite well was also a plus.

Getting Ready for Dodgeball

Toga Party Themed Open Mic Night

Coors Light Party at the Campus Pub

Thank you to everyone who has continued to support me in my Fulbright year.