Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My problem, and dinner!

After yesterday's post and, specifically, Missa's repsonse to it, I've been thinking. I realize that I made it sound like, after picking up and moving two states away and leaving Gator in Missouri to come here and become what I finally decided I want to be when I grow up, that actually doing school stuff is not how I want to spend my time. But that isn't it at all.

Going back to school after working is hard. I've done it twice now and it's hard for reasons you don't really anticipate right off the bat. It's not about the information you forgot, it's not about how to write a paper or read a paper or take an exam. It's not about interacting with professors or students or meeting expectations. It's about deciding what time is your own.

When you work (at many jobs, but not all, I realize), you go to work, you do your job, and you come home. You make dinner, you pay bills, you clean what absolutely must be cleaned. Then, you do what you want. If you blow off cleaning the bathroom, no one really gets hurt. And if, like me, you don't have kids, any of the above can usually be blown off anytime you want (bill paying notwithstanding). All after work time is your own to schedule as you see fit. If you want to spend all of it crocheting then, as a Big Girl, you can do that without guilt.

When you go back to school, you have this great big new priority whose boundaries are not so easily defined. I only spend about six hours a week actually in class. I could spend every second of time out of class doing something school related and really never run out of things to do (especially read). And, yes, this program is what I want to do and I love learning about these things. But, in all honesty, I don't want to read ten journal articles in a row. About anything. Ever. I may have to, but I'll never want to. And if I can "streamline" the process, I will. And, really, I probably should. But I'll always feel bad about it. And, until I'm established in a lab and have passed my qualifiers, I'll find plenty of things to complain about. 'Cause that's when the fun's gonna begin. ;)

In the meantime, I'm going to have to go through this adjustment period. I don't know how to quantify work and personal time -- it's going to just have to come to me. This method has worked before, I can only assume it will again.

Okay, so enough of my non-witty introspective bullshizz. On to the completely irrelevant thing that I looked forward to all day!!

Tuna and noodle cassarole!!!

Yes, that fabulous 50's comfort food has made its way into my humble abode! I realized several weeks ago that I had not had tuna and noodle cassarole since the last time my mom made it for me. Probably twelve years ago. After my initial shock and horror that I'd somehow managed to survive so long without something that was such a staple in my childhood, I became fervent in my dedication to making it (which I also couldn't believe I'd never done). Luckily, I knew that Mother used the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (the best cookbook ever!!) so I had the recipe and I knew what changes to make (fried onions on top!).

Here's my little beauty, after I ate a big, heapin' helpin'. It was heavenly! (The onions aren't really nearly as burnt as they look in this picture. I swear. Although next time I will wait and add them closer to the end...)

The only downside is that, after eating this for every meal until it's gone, I won't want it for another twelve years. Oh well. Next month I may do swiss steak.


Melissa said...

I had NO IDEA about your history with tuna noodle cassarole when I talked to you. If I'd known, I would have been way more enthusiastic about it! Lee buys "Tuna Helper" all the time, and I get sick of things like that....but I haven't had a real-honest-to-godness tuna noodle casserole since I left home, I imagine. It looks like a beaut!!!!

Anonymous said...

To stay with the therapist theme of my last comment- Erica and I spent our entire last session on the subject of comfort food. Particularly how rare it is these days to find people who actually a) know how to make tuna noodle casserole and 2) will invest the time and energy into cooking it. We agreed that those people who do so are friggin' heroes.

Go you!