Survival

September 8, 2010

Right now I am sitting on my screened-in porch listening to the light drops of rain .   It is Wednesday morning (9/1) and it feels like I have been locked in a box for the past week and a half.  To just sit here and enjoy the sounds of nature (minus the traffic on the other side of the fence) feels like a dream.  School started Monday, August 23rd.  By that Wednesday, the 25th, I was sure I was in my second week of classes.  The days are never-ending when it comes to waiting to relax, but they are too short for the amount of schoolwork I need to do.

To give you an idea of what my semester is going to be like (or my year, rather), I am President of ACDA – American Choral Director’s Association.  I love this opportunity and am very excited to get more people involved in something that will further their excitement about their career and hopefully change how active students are in their schools.  I was never active in school growing up, besides school plays and musicals.  I never took an interest in it.  As I’ve grown, I am realizing the importance of what you do and who you meet.  Growing up as an introverted and socially-awkward individual, taking part in this organization is a big change and leap for me.  But being President of ACDA is only a sliver of what other things I am taking on this semester.  It is my “first” senior year.  The Music Education program at UMKC is a 5-year program, so essentially you have two senior years.  This year I will be starting my “observation.”  I will be stepping foot in the classroom(s) and watching how the teacher works with her students.  Just because it is titled “observation” does not mean that is all I will be doing.  It is preferred that we get as involved as early as we can, but only as we become more comfortable.  It is the second week of classes and I should have received my “placement” (which school(s) I will be observing) by now, but they are running a little behind on placing us.  As I am very excited to get into the classroom, I’m a little relieved because I’m still trying to catch up in my other classes.  As I continue about my schedule, keep in mind that I will need to put 30 hours in at a school this semester.  Observation (or Field Experience) is only 2 of my 17 credit hours.  I am also enrolled in Choir, Early Music History, Choral and Vocal Techniques, Introduction to the Foundations of Music Education(this ties in with my observation), Educational Psychology, Voice Lessons, and Piano Lessons.  I am also interning with the Kansas City Children’s Chorale (which is not for credit) and I work a few hours a week as a Psychiatric clinic.  This doesn’t necessarily look like too much to handle on my schedule, but when you factor in all the hours I need/want to spend studying, you start adding invisible days.

All of the classes I am taking this semester are very important to my career and they interest me a great deal.  But I am finding myself uninterested at times only because of exhaustion.  I feel like I’ve been using my brain to it’s fullest capacity and I am not giving myself any resting time. (Hence why I had not been posting)

…to just sit here and feel the cool air, hear the crickets chirp, smell the rain in the air.  This is what I need and I am glad that I made this time for myself today.

On the topic of cooking and baking, I have done a little.  I have held tight to my “smoothie Wednesdays” and even tried a new smoothie place which I will post about later.  I had the chance last weekend to bake a couple of my favorite and easiest desserts.  I was baking for our beginning of the school year BBQ, hosted by CMENC – Collegiate Music Educators National Conference.  In the end I did not end up going because I found myself feverish and exhausted, but here are the delicious desserts I made! (Both from AlmostVeganBlog.com)

NO-BAKE ALMOND BUTTER BALLS

(http://almostveganblog.com/2010/04/13/no-bake-almond-butter-balls/)

1 cup of dry soymilk powder

1/2 cup of creamy almond butter

1/3 cup of honey

2 tbsp ground flaxseed

dash of vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp of carob powder (if you do not have this, cocoa powder work well, also)

First, prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it.  Then, in a medium sized bowl, combine the soymilk powder, almond butter, honey, flaxseed, vanilla and sea salt.

Next, cover your hands in cooking spray and dig in!  Mix it all together with your hands until it becomes firm and will hold together.  Then roll into balls and place on the cookie sheet.

Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes.  When you take them out, roll them around in the carob (or cocoa) powder and place back on the cookie sheet.

Place them back in the refrigerator for a few minutes and Ta-Da!  You have a delicious treat!  They will keep for about 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator if they last that long!

DEEP CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

(http://almostveganblog.com/2009/08/06/deep-chocolate-brownies/)

1/2 cup of canola oil

1/2 cup of maple syrup

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of vanilla soymilk

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla

1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

1/2 cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup of semi-sweet (or milk chocolate) chips

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.  In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, sugar, soymilk  and vanilla.  (I sometimes like to use Maple-flavored Agave)  In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Then fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture.  Mix until just combined, then stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts (if desired).  I have found that instead of semi-sweet chocolate chips, mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cup chips are great!  Pour into your 8×8 baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool before cutting (if you can wait that long!).

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One Response to “Survival”

  1. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said

    It’s good you got a minute to sit back and relax.

    LOVE those A.B. balls, it’s been too long since I made them.

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