Grad School vs. Kindergarten

And, just like that, I’m in grad school. I’m making moves, I’m taking Philly and UPenn by storm, and my higher education is top priority.  Yesterday was my very first day of classes and, though I was PAINFULLY excited, I was also silly-nervous. Was the teacher gonna be hard? Would there be mean girls  a la Elle Woods’ first day in law school? Would anyone sit next to me? What was the difference between nominal and interval-ratio, again?

Luckily, my intro to Biostats class was the ideal first class to have. My professor was friendly, adorable, and “loved” that I was named Jordan (boy’s name for a girl! HOW NOVEL!!)  As I listened to the lecture (for which I was incredibly prepared for, as I’d been “that girl” who did all the reading before the first day), I found my mind drifting a bit. Primarily to the fact that, despite almost all the students being 25+ (with a few “young’ns” clocking in at 21-22), this wasn’t so different from another first day I had, years and years ago.  Maybe like… 20 years ago.  Like Kindergarten.

And, though I’m not the first person to make this comparison, my personal experience revealed both major similarities, and stark differences.

Like Kindergarten, I pored over my first day of class outfit. And, also like Kindergarten, I chose a pink dress.


Like Kindergarten, I took the bus to school (at least, like most Kindergarteners, I was spoiled and got driven).

Unlike Kindergarten, it looked like this:

Where’s my yellow schoolbus?

Like Kindergarten, I had a nutritious lunch to fuel my big day.

Unlike Kindergarten, I cooked it in an oven, and served it with avocado and salsa. I don’t think I even knew what an avocado WAS back in the day.

Trader Joe’s Pizza al Polla Asado – $1.99 at TJ’s, SO tasty!

Like Kindergarten, we all introduced ourselves and said what animal we wish we could be.  (Mine was a Jellyfish. No surprise there.)

Unlike Kindergarten, we followed up with what school/program we were from… This was different unless you had PhD candidates for Bioengineering in your Kindergarten classes. I’m 98% sure we did not (though who knows about that one geeky kid with the swanky Lunchables container he designed himself…)

Like Kindergarten, we had snack time in the middle of class.

Unlike Kindergarten, snack time consisted of Rainier cherries, goat cheese, manchego, cracked pepper water crackers, and Pirouettes.

Thanks, Professor!!

Like Kindergarten, we were all eager to learn and meet each other.

Unlike Kindergarten, the plans we made for the future were not for playdates and sandbox trysts, but for happy hours and Restaurant Week.

And, as I got home after class and sat down to a dinner of crock-pot pulled pork and a bit of reading for my next class, I realized that, even though the (used) textbook I’m reading is titled Health Behavior and Health Education and doesn’t have ANY pictures, just like Kindergarten, it’s filled with illegible handwriting that might as well have come from a 5-year old.

Solid chicken scratch, bro.

Ah, it’s good to know some things will never change.

What was your favorite thing about the first day(s) of school?


The Eleven Things I Hate About You (or Me)

As per usual, I was late to the party.  The tagging party, that is.

Emily over at Eating Chalk tagged me in one of those 11 things memes that’s circulating the internet/blog world. But since I’m late, and it’s not likely that anyone’s even interested in this anymore (and tagging someone this late would probably be a faux pas), I’m going to disobey all the rules.


My next move will be to not tag anyone else.  Chances are, by this time, you’ve already been tagged. But if you want me to tag you, you just say the word, and I’ll edit this post SO FAST no one will be the wiser.

The only focus of this post will be 11 things about myself that I don’t like.  Don’t worry, most of it is in jest.  But some will be things I’d like to change about myself.  No reason for a pity party, right?  Let’s get constructive with this criticism.

1. I struggle with self-control, mostly around good foods/drinks.

Uh oh. My kryptonite.

You know how “splurges” are supposed to be brief? And not an all-day/all-night thing?

Because I haven’t really recognized that concept yet.

2. I have a tendency to fall down a lot, and I bruise like a peach.

Just my two cuts I got the NIGHT before my mom's graduation party event.

I ooze class from every pore.

3. Due to an overly competitive side (and lousy hand-eye coordination), I tend to hate “fun” things like bowling, mini-golf, Jenga, or board games. I’m the worst party guest of all.

4. I live hundreds of miles from the people I love most. I hate that a lot.

Never enough time with ANY of them.

5. I make people (namely, Ryan) take pictures of all the ridiculous things I do.  Case in point: wisdom teeth removal

*Cue eyeroll*

6. I cry over EVERYTHING.

You name it, I’ve cried at it. Flash mobs. Hearing James Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind”. Seeing dogs get extremely happy when their owners come back. Little kids holding hands. This commercial:

7. I’m an ugly crier.

I just watched that commercial.  And then I photographed my reaction.  It’s not gonna be pretty (avert your eyes if you’re sensitive).

I warned you.

(This is ACTUAL me ACTUALLY crying. Yeesh.)

8. I let the scale determine my mood.

That’s a tough one to admit, but, alas, it’s true. Yes, I’ve lost about 40 lbs. Yes, I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. But when I step on that scale and it’s not the number I want to see, I get down on myself.  It can potentially be a day- or week-ruiner.

That happened earlier today. I’m trying really hard to not let it ruin my upbeat mood.

9. I have developed quite the sweet tooth.

Note the unadulterated joy as I prepare to blow out a candle...

I blame graduation from college. And maybe a little living with my boyfriend, who fully supported my candy-addiction.  It’s the kind of characteristic you hate to love about him….  Mmmm. Candy. I try to replicate the feeling with fruits.  Sometimes it works.  Others…. not so much.

10. My feet are HUGE!

Is that a ski on your leg? Oh, no, wait, that's your foot.

Size 13 in female shoes, when they make them that big. This is really only an issue when attempting to buy fancy shoes, most of the time I can make due with men’s sneakers and flip flops.  Do they have a store for cross-dressing men that’s also semi-casual? And mostly flats?

11. I can live in a certain amount of squalor.  

And that’s really my current problem. Time to clean house, folks.

(BONUS 12. I only thought of Miley Cyrus when I wrote this title.)

Don’t hate me.

The Lighter Side of Zumba

Hey there y’all!! Long time, no blog.

This weekend was jam-packed, and I even blogged a pinch about it in this week’s Six Pack Sunday: My Cousin’s Wedding. That being said, considering it was the longest time I’ve spent home in a looooong time. Monday, since I had off, I took advantage of the bonus day and staved off my flight until Tuesday morning. The cost? One exhausted Jordan.

Payoff? Phenomenal Sister Date!

See the resemblance? (I'm the taller one, ps.)

On the agenda?

Pancakes (banana chocolate chip… with sprinkles), Baking (Namely, Courtney’s Crackled Sugar Cookies), Zumba, Lunch at Moe’s, and FroYo. All before 4pm (game time for her volleyball game!)  It was daunting, especially after drinking all the beers during the weekend, but, with little Kiley by my side, I was ready for anything.

She's also a whiz with a whisk.

Up first? The cookies.

Toss those bad boys into the oven, now what?

Since they take about 12 minutes to cook, but we were already dressed for zumba, clearly we only had one option.

Girl's got ups.

Not much of a yogi-bear

Beautiful tree pose

This is the most flexible I've ever looked. Don't believe everything you see.

16 takes of each pose later, they were ready!!

Just in time for zumba!

All iced and ready for the team!

Fast forward to a trip to the YMCA. The 1pm Zumba class on a Monday is not something my schedule normally allows, so I jumped at the chance.  When we got there, we realized that wasn’t my standard Zumba class.  It was, in fact, a whole different ballgame.

The two of us probably brought the average age of the fitness room down about 26 years. While I’m used to the  college students from UNC and Duke, or the young professionals from the Research Triangle who dress in Lululemon, Nike, and Under Armour, the fashion in this class was outfitted in jeans (no joke), plaid shorts, and stirrup pants. We stuck out like two sore thumbs. Two sore thumbs that were about 6″ taller than most of the other women in the class. We’re tall, we’re gangly, and we have zero rhythm.

Clearly, we were meant to be in this class.

Well, we were given weird looks as we were flailing around, taking steps way longer than needed, and jumping up and down.  In fact, at one point, a woman leaned over to us and said “Man, whatever you’ve got going on in your shoes, I think I need it!”

Sweet moves, Ki!

Both of us are tall, lanky, and athletic. Surprisingly, that doesn’t actually translate to being a good dancer whatsoever. It mostly translated to us looking like we were illustrating plyometric drills instead of salsa and merengue steps.  But we got some laughs, we felt like spastic jellyfish, and we broke one heck of a sweat.


And, even though I may not have any sexy Latin moves, I can, at times, drop it like it’s hot.

Drop it low

It was great to take a group fitness class and feel like a goof, instead of focusing solely on knocking out serious cardio. I even followed my own group fitness etiquette and made sure that, since I wasn’t sure of the moves this woman used, I hung out in the back.

Do you ever take classes just “for fun”?

I can’t say I regularly do, but it’s such a welcome to take a class with a friend (or, in this case, a friend sister HYBRID!) and be silly. I still felt like it was a killer workout, but that might’ve been all the laughter (good for the abs, I heard.)

Stay tuned for a wedding post in the near future!!

Really, Fiber One?

As I poured some almond milk into my cereal today, I had a moment to look at the back of the box. Here’s a question.

Far out, man...

Has your breakfast experience EVER at ANY POINT IN YOUR LIFE resembled the back of this Fiber One Honey Clusters box?

If not, we’re in the same boat. If so, did that breakfast contain a few blueberries, some fresh strawberries, and a hit of acid or two?

If the answer to the SECOND question is no….

What are you eating?

seriously. I feel like they should hand these boxes out at Bonnaroo.

Are your breakfasts a hazy wavy daze?