no.2 pencil skirts

I love learning.  As a kid, I wasn’t the person that always raised her hand in class, but I sat there drinking it all in.  The only subject I really disliked was Physics, but I was game for everyone else.  I took a year off between my undergraduate schooling and returning for my masters, but being around students at my job all the time, I yearned to be back almost right away.

As a kid, choosing your outfit for the first day of school is a truly daunting task.  You need to balance practicality with style.  You need to wear something your mother will let you out of the house in, but not look like she picked out your clothes for you.  You want to express your personality and individuality, but not to the point where you’re singled out by anyone.

I’m not sure even kids themselves realize how much thought they put into a decision like that, but subconsciously a lot of different factors have their say before the final outfit is chosen.  I didn’t think about the entire decision making process, I just wanted to look cool.  A particular fashion faux-pas of mine (at the time I thought it was pretty awesome, I’m sure) was dressing up a pair of black jeans with neon pink fabric paint.  The pants weren’t awful, but as a first-day-of-school outfit, it wasn’t a great choice.

This is the outfit I wore today, my first day of grad school (this year, anyway).  I’m heading into my third semester of five, and I have a really good feeling about it!  I haven’t yet escaped academia, so I still look at the year as a September-August time period, rather than by the passing calendar months.  So for me, September 1st is the perfect time to get started on new goals.  In January, New Years Resolutions quickly go by the wayside, lost in the blizzards and short days.  Not so in September!

My goals, to commence on September 1st:

  • No alcohol during the school week (Fridays, of course, are excluded).  I generally go out about once a week after work, but I’m looking to be healthier and to save money.  If I join my coworkers or friends, it will be just plain ginger ale for me.  Coworkers and friends, hold me to that!
  • Work out at least twice a week.  I used to go to the gym, then I moved so that stopped.  I signed up for a few classes, I think I can manage twice a week.

In case you want some statistics (in going with the theme of the post, Statistics was one of my favorite subjects in high school), here are some interesting tidbits about back-to-school shopping that you can dazzle your friends with:

  • The National Retail Federation estimates that the combined spending on kindergarten through high school and college will total $68.8 billion.
  • Families with children K through 12 will spend an average of $603.63 to equip their little scholars with school supplies, clothes, shoes and the like.

(Source)

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awkward and awesome monday (post-Irene edition)

When I took a poll to see if y’all would mind me branching out from fashion on occasion, the response was overwhelmingly positive.  Thanks for voting!  For those that don’t want to read these off-topic posts, they’ll be categorized as such so you can just skip them.  You’ve been warned: this post is one of those, but it’s also mostly just about Irene.

A few blogs I follow do this thing called “awkward and awesome Thursday”.  It’s pretty straight-forward: a list of the awkward and awesome things that have happened to you in the very recent past.  But since today is Monday, I’m making it A’n’A Monday instead.  I think that’s a good way to break out a little bit, so without further ado…

Actually, a slight bit of further ado: I need to express my extreme gratitude that my apartment and borough got out relatively unscathed, and I hope the areas that were hit much harder are able to recover quickly!

Tree after Irene

Downed tree in Prospect Park, taken by me post-Irene

Awkward:

    • I sat through the Hurricane Irene prep/event/aftermath by myself in my apartment.  Including sleeping on an air mattress in my living room so I wouldn’t have to schlepp my candles and flashlight into my bedroom.
    • As I sat at work on Friday I got worried about the reports that a lot of grocery stores were running out of food and water. In a moment of desperation I went to the grocery store near my job, where they only had children’s shopping carts left. I used one and went through the entire grocery store hunched over like Quasimodo.
    • Standing in line at Bierkraft to fill up my growler knowing I was going to be home by myself, while everyone else got beers with their friends.
Tree after Irene

Downed tree in Prospect Park, taken by me post-Irene

Awesome:

    • Nectarines.  I’ve been on a real nectarine kick lately, they’re really delicious.  I made sure to stock up on them at the grocery store near my apartment (yes, I went food shopping twice), because I didn’t think I could go more than a day without one.
    • My job was closed today because the subways were looking dicey. Considering that next Monday is Labor Day, I am thrilled to have two four-day work weeks in a row!
    • I completed almost an entire photo-book with shots from my cross country vacation (in 2004) this weekend (since I had already battened down the hatches and luckily still had electricity).  I could also include this in the “awkward” category because my terrible paper scrapbook from oh-so many years ago does indeed look awkward. And so did I in 2004.