May 7, 2007

one day left, ahhh

i have one more paper I am quickly finishing so I can actually be 'done' with school work. Besides a masters project, it's over. One possibility for a masters project is with Team COOL, conducting a descriptive analysis on the baseline data from specifically nutrition-related questions from the surveys the high school students were given last fall. I think that sounds just right. I also have a possible lead on a job, who hoo.
Other things that are looking peachy:
I'm taking the train this week to visit my sister in Montana, when she will have a small marriage ceremony before her & her bf will move to Australia. I hope I can make it work out with my work schedule. Then I will have a car and I can drive to races and do my thing. I did run a 10k a week or two ago, and ran one second faster than my time last year. But, I think I am overall faster considering that this year is was about 20 degrees warmer than last year, which makes loads of a difference. I also had lots of fun with my friend Lisa, who came into town this past week for a conference. We went to a twins game- they lost, but our seat were pretty good and it was also good fun.
Also, I am planning on doing my first duathlon may 20- the gear west duathlon in orono, mn. so nervous already. I really need to get my aero bars before that and some bike shorts (ouch!)

April 27, 2007

April 27

The semester is a week or two from ending. I'm very ready to be done with school and hopefully working soon. Sad to say, I did not get accepted to the internship in Washington, and no longer have an internship spot for me here at the U, so I will just move on and really hit this job searching thing hard. The only problem is that pretty much any nutrition job requires a decade of experience or an RD license, so I will have to stick with non-nutrition focused jobs at first.
Really, though, the way I look at it is that I'm ready to start working a REAL, FULL TIME job and get some of these educational loans off my back, and kind of start fresh with something new.

Besides THAT mess, everything is going well. Things with Team COOL are going nicely. I'm getting some experience in the field and also still working at NCC doing dietary interviews. I have a paper and some more small stuff to finish before the school year ends, so I've also been working on that stuff.

Also, I'm taking the Amtrak again to Montana next weekend to pick up my sister's car & drive it back here, since mine is destined for the junk yard. I'm thinking maybe I will stop by the Mt Rushmore on my way back if I feel inspired. I also think that next weekend, we may go to way SE MN to go biking and camping for the weekend. After all this internship mess, I don't really feel like going to comencement anymore, so I'd rather do something outdoors and fun that I like to do.

Another thing to look forward to is my friend Lisa is going to be visiting again next week. She came here last fall while the beer festival was happening. This time it's for business, but we have some good stuff planned, like a twins baseball game and a fancy schmancy banquet at Brit's downtown Minneapolis her work is invited to & ME :)

April 4, 2007

National Public Health Week

This week is national public health week, and to celebrate, the School of Public Health is hosting a film festival. I haven't been yet, but I am helping out Thursday evening, when the topic is Immigrant Health. Sounds good to me. Also, this Friday the film topic is something along the lines of sexual health, and afterwards some students incluidng myself from the SPH are going out to some local bars for 'Lei for Life' to sell leis to raise money for our Relay for Life team.

Also, I just got accepted for a 10 hour/week position working with the Team COOL project at the University. I volunteered last fall with the project when we took heights and weights from students at alternative high schools in the area, as well as distributing surveys and activity monitors to them. The project aims to increase physical activity and healthy eating behaviors and monitoring the progress by taking pre and post measurements through the above measures. I think having a paid position will allow me to be more involved with the project, more than just recording heights and weights, and know more of what goes into organizing and implementing a project like this. Lots of hard work I'm sure.

I'm also looking forward to this Sunday, which is Easter. A group of friends is going over to another friend's house to celebrate with some great food. I hope the weather holds up, I kinda want to bike there- to the 'burbs.

March 30, 2007

April Showers Bring...Gloomy Skies

This week went by in a blur. Monday and Wednesday, I took notes a focus groups in 2 St. Paul middle schools. It was actually pretty fun & interesting to hear what the kids thought about healthy eating, physical activity, and also about dancing. There are all of these new dance moves I've never heard of that are very popular with kids. 'Walk it out', 'Texas something' 'Pop & lock'.... no clue. So, these focus groups are a part of the intervention that will be implemented next fall for 6th graders, called PALA + Peers. One aspect of the program involves these kids dancing and doing spoken word on DVDs that other kids can follow along to, to increase healthy behavior. I've also been selling the Malpractice Ball tickets for this Saturday's dance, which has been a lot more work that I expected or wanted. Hopefully everyone who wanted tickets got them/won't be too upset if they can't go.

Unrelated but unfortunate non-school news is that a girl who was jogging through Boom Island Park over here in NE Minneapolis got attacked and raped the other evening at dusk. What is scary for me, is that sometimes I run there 5 nights a week. Not anymore, no. When the weather gets warmer like this, crime goes up, so I either stay home & ride my bike on my fancy trainer or go somewhere that is more heavily populated.

On another note, Steph's bday party is tonight. I'm very ready to wear my prom dress cerca 1985. This weekend I am also going to hang out with Namarig, who I haven't seen in over a month, since my car broke & we transitioned to the second "Phase" of the program. I hope the weather holds up b/c I am riding my bike out to the 'burbs, where she lives. One more positive thing??? ok. I find out if I get into the internship in Seattle I believe this Sunday. This is pivotal, if nothing else.

March 26, 2007

Lots of Stuff

This week was an exceptionally productive one. I worked at the NCC this week and logged some respectable hours. It was a very temperate week as well, so I got to spend some quality time with the outdoors. On Friday we went for a bike ride around St. Paul and the lakes in Uptown, and rode around for a while. Then we headed downtown Minneapolis to Brit’s Pub to take advantage of some sun and happy hour. There’s always such an exciting buzz downtown Minneapolis on Friday afternoons, especially when the weather’s nice. It’s like a sea of young professionals who are working for the weekend… and it’s finally there. Another exciting thing about this weekend is that we found a new restaurant in the Cities. Al’s Breakfast is on 14th and 4th in Dinkytown, and supposedly is #1 place for breakfast in the Cities. I’m not sure about that, but it is definitely one-of-a-kind. Here’s the scene: We walk up to the whole-in-the-wall on Sunday at 10am and there’s already a line out the door, which reaches to the back wall of the restaurant. The only seating is to the right of the single-file line, which is booth seating at a bar. The place was stuffy hot, and packed to the rim, but worth the wait. I got blueberry pancakes with eggs and toast, and Adam got Jose eggs w/ sausage and toast. Jose eggs are poached with cheese over hashbrowns and salsa. Good, good.

This week I’m booked with assisting with the focus groups at two middle schools in St. Paul, working at NCC, school, and biking/running around the world, AND selling Malpractice Ball tickets b/c the dance is this Saturday. Also, this Friday is a friend of mine’s bday, which has a 80’s prom theme, so I am totally looking forward to this weekend. I have the most typical 80s prom dress- very peach, puffy shoulders, and lace mock turtle neck do-dad.

March 23, 2007

Thursday

This Monday I had a phone interview with the Sea Mar dietetic internship in Seattle. I think it went pretty well. As far as interviews it was pretty standard: 9 questions, including 3 senarios that I may encounter working in a clinic, and a test of my spanish-speaking ability. I was most nervous about the Spanish, but I actually think I did adequately well enough for what they wanted. What was suprising is that I didn't even think that I had to do an interview until about 2 weeks ago. I thought I would just hear a yes or no to my acceptance to the internship. So, I'm glad that's over, and it's out of my control now.
One additional positive thing is that my sister and her fiance are probably moving from Montana to New Zealand or Australia (where he's from), and she offered to drive her car and her furniture to Seattle into a storage space for me when/if I move there in the fall. How convenient!!

Today was fun...
This morning I went to a training session to get the details for some focus groups I will be taking notes at next week. The main reason I am volunteering is because I have pretty much no focus group experience, and I'd like to know what exactly goes into conducting a focus group, for any possible future work I may do.

Also, today in the Global Health Seminar class me & another classmate gave a presentation on non-governmental agencies & nutrition. We basically covered the whole situation and factors surrounding NGOs that provide food/water to populations during emergency situations such as war, natural disasters, or a long-term food shortages.

I also went to the 2nd lecture of the Sub & Substance series. The topic was about Costa Rica and its current situation concerning poverty as well as child and family wellness. The highlighted organization was SOS Casas, which has extension cites in many countries. What I took away from the lecture was that impoverished families, often single head of households, are in a poverty cycle, and unable to escape. SOS Casas intervienes by providing child care for families so the head of households can learn a trade and earn a living. They also possibly assist in the trade training of the head of households.

Today was also great weather, so I got outside for a bit and went for a bike ride around the lakes in Uptown. I think tomorrow & this weekend are also supposed to be nice, which makes it easier to live here.

March 16, 2007

RIP Bleu

Half way into spring break, and I’d say it’s been good so far!! I really didn’t have any solid plans for spring break this year- some working, securing another job before it’s over, spending time outside, and maybe getting a jump start on some class projects that are due later in the semester.

Let’s see how everything’s shaping up as of now:
I have worked a bit. I plan to go in Friday, Saturday, Sunday to get some last minute hours in before classes begin again. It’s a bit difficult to get as many hours in as I’d like sometimes since the bulk of work to do is during the evenings between 3-8pm. For example, if I have night class or evening plans, that eliminates one day of work.

That’s where finding another job comes into the mix. I applied for two jobs online last week: one as a phlebotomist and another as a foodservice worker at the University of Minnesota Fairview Hospital. I figure, if I get into the Dietetic Internship in Seattle, I will need some foodservice experience under my belt. Turns out hospitals hire dietitians to manage the kitchens, who knew?? Until I hear back from the “real? jobs that I would actually list on a resume, I am going to apply at nearby NE Minneapolis restaurants/bars. One limitation to this job search is the permanent debilitation of my car. I’ve tried to jump it twice, and it just won’t hold a charge. This is also bad news as far as mentoring with the Bolder Options organization goes…

Let’s see, what else. I’ve spent some good quality time in the great outdoors. On Monday, another SPHer and Environmental Health student, Adam and I took a day trip to the good ol’ town of Stillwater, USA. After a lot of wrangling with a bike rack and fishing some glass out of my tire (I KNOW!!) we went on a very enjoyable, first-bike-ride-of-the-season bike ride. We biked out maybe about 12 miles to William O’Brien state park and back, then grabbed some beer & nachos at the Mad Capper bar/restaurant in the heart of Stillwater. It was by far the best day of the whole week as far as weather is concerned. I also went biking on Tuesday around the lakes in Uptown and back, A+. Just a note: spring break is a bit too early in the season here for any camping, considering it was almost 60 on Monday, and it snowed today.

Lastly, I am doing some research for a presentation I am giving with another classmate in the Global Health Seminar next Thursday. We are giving a presentation on NGOs and nutrition. Not really sure where to start or end, but I’m sure it will be done by next week.

What else? Well, gonna hit up some St. Paul hot spots for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday this Saturday with some buds from the SPH. That’s pretty much my spring break in an edited-for-you-the-reader nutshell. No Panama City, no death-defying stunts- just some old fashioned spring break fun the way I like it ☺

March 5, 2007

last week till spring break

This is the last week before spring break, and of the classes that I am taking, I have papers due in two. In the International Health Systems class, I have a 15-20pp final paper I've been writing so far this semester about the health system in Mexico due Tuesday. The class is a ½ semester class, so it will be done after this week. Also, in the Global Nutrition class I have a 3-page report due about an NGO that works with nutrition issues internationally. I chose to write the report about an organization called Plenty International. They were established in the 1980s in Tennessee, and began their work by donating surplus crops to those in rural/poor areas who were in need. They expanded by establishing programs in Mexico and Belize, among 15 countries that they also work. Their main objectives are to reduce undernutrition in indigenous populations by introducing sustainable crop growing within the community, mainly with soy. They educate the community about farming techniques, ways to transfer the soy bean into other soy products such as milk, and how to incorporate soy into the local diet.

Other things that I have been doing have been many! I cross country skied for the first time after the first big snow storm we had. It’s lots of fun, and I’d like to do it more but I don’t actually own any equipment. I say I like it much better than snowboarding. Also, a few weeks ago I attended the first “sub and substance? lecture of this semester. The ‘sub’ is the lunch that is provided and the ‘substance’ is a lecture given by international students in the SPH. I read that the lecture series is a way for international students to display some of the work they have completed in their native countries. Kelvin presented the lecture on the health status of elderly adults in Hong Kong. The project enlisted 65+ adults to participate in a study to reduce falls in the home by adapting their home environments among other factors.

February 15, 2007

Public Healthy People

We’re about a month into the semester already and it’s going pretty smoothly-Just trying to balance school, work, volunteering, and having fun. Earlier this week, I mailed my application materials for the one dietetic internship I am applying for. The internship is community-based, which will really complement my public health nutrition degree. I have been thinking about applying to this internship for a few years now, so I have been able to tailor my course work here at the U to reflect the populations I will be working with. Overall, the course work here has a basic structure, though I feel we are given a lot of freedom to focus on whatever interests each of us may have through project and paper selections. For example, I am taking an International Health Systems class this semester and we each have to choose a country and write a paper about its health system- I chose Mexico. Last semester in my Maternal and Infant Nutrition class, we each had to submit a report or project about anything related to maternal or infant nutrition- I chose to write a paper on breastfeeding beliefs and practices of Mexican women. Also, last semester in my International Management class, of many projects we could choose from, I chose to be a part of the Somali Community Food Assessment Project. I suppose if I was interested in another topic or career path, I would have chosen projects or papers accordingly. These projects I have completed give me a better sense of the Mexican culture, which will hopefully assist in serving the Mexican (immigrant) population during my internship or future career, whatever that may be.

I also feel that the course work at the U is more career-focused as opposed to the kind of education I received during my undergrad. We have plenty of guest speakers from professionals in the public health field, so we can get a better idea of what opportunities are out there and how our education can be applied. The individualized projects often collaborating with local organizations gives me an opportunity to get to know the community better and to actually make a contribution to the community while I'm still in school.

For me, it is difficult to say right now how what I have learned so far is going to apply to my future career. I see more of a direct connection between my course work in public health and the community-based dietetic internship I applied to. I also think that throughout my academic work here, the various projects, papers, and presentations I have completed give me a glimpse of possible career directions.

Sometimes it’s still difficult to answer the question, “So, what are you going to do with a degree in public health??

…. uhhh make people healthy?? :)

February 6, 2007

brrrrrrr!

It’s been so cold out this past week that on Friday my car wouldn’t start. It’s been even colder since then, so I haven’t even tried to start it. Today it was -8 without the wind chill, and I had to get to St. Paul to attend a breastfeeding coalition meeting in the hopes of securing a master’s project conducting a needs assessment for the group. The coalition is newly formed, and involves professionals who work with any aspect of pregnancy/breastfeeding along with community partners who would like to be involved. Since my car is broken, I had to take the busses there, which took about an hour each way. The cold was pretty bitter, but I didn’t mind the ride too much because I had some reading I needed to catch up on, as always.
Earlier in the day today I spent writing a section of my paper that is due tomorrow about the health care system in Mexico. It’s going along ok. I’m really starting to understand how health care is organized and financed there, which is interesting to compare to the US system.
This past weekend was pretty low-key, partially because of the cold. On Friday I had to walk 30 min to work in -30 degree wind. It was almost traumatic. I wore my jeans w/ a hole in the knee, not thinking about the cold. So as I walked to work I had to periodically stop & rub my knee back to feeling (brrr!). Friday night we went to Bulldog in NE and played shuffle board and darts. Saturday I went for a run in the morning and the air had so drastically dropped that the Mississippi River was steaming like a hot spring- very deceiving. We also tried this new-to-me restaurant for lunch on Saturday. The Longfellow Diner is on the Lake St. bridge and West River Parkway. They have a menu so delicious that if I had a restaurant, it would perfectly mimic this one. They also serve breakfast- voted best waffle in the Twin Cities!!
Then, for a bit on Sunday we went to watch the Superbowl at a dive bar in NE Minneapolis. The bar was ok, the game was good for the first quarter, and I had cheese curds for the second time in my life. I don’t really see how cheese curds are any different from mozzarella sticks except for their nugget shape.
This week I’m going to get some more hours in at work… and Pamoja is on Thursday. Should be fun, I get to be a bartender for a bit ☺

February 2, 2007

what does -20 feel like?

this week went by so fast! Yesterday was especially packed- I got up in the morning & ran, but it was so cold I had to cut it short. At one point, I had to double check that I was still wearing pants b/c my legs were completely numb! Then I went to work for a few hours at the Nutrition Coordinating Center. Since I'm busy a lot during the evenings this semester, I've been trying to find work I can do during the day which means not doing dietary recalls over the phone since we are interviewing teens who are at school all day. Then I left work to go to my global health seminar class but I had to leave 1/2 way through so I could make a meeting for the Malpractice Ball across campus. The dance is going to be downtown the last weekend of March, and it should be more successful/fun than last year's. I think it may be a mardi gras theme, oh, plus open bar and some munchies. We're also thinking about setting up groups of people to go to dinner at area restaurants before the dance to get people to interact from different majors.

So, after the malpractice ball meeting, I headed to the Bolder Options office in S Minneapolis to go to a transition meeting for all of the kids who have finished the first "phase" of the program. Each kid got awarded a bronze, silver, or gold medal according to what they have accomplished so far. Now, Namarig and I are in the second "phase" which lasts for the rest of the program. Based on how much she accomplishes in school, biking, and goal setting, she can earn "degrees" like a MA, Phd, etc. If she earns a PhD, she gets to keep the bike that was donated to the program from REI and we both get to go on a group camping trip up to the North Shore. I hope we make it!!

This weekened is supposed to be soooo cold. Not weather I want to be running around town in, so I will catch up on homework and get some more hours in this weekend at NCC.

January 26, 2007

Back in the swing of things

This semester is off & rolling. A little bittersweet since it will be my last semester of class instruction (ever?), but it will be nice to be done and have a Masters degree and be ready to enter the world. I don't plan on entering the workforce too soon, though. I am finalizing my application materials for a dietetic internship at Sea Mar community health centers in Seattle, WA- due in 3 weeks. A dietetic internship I suppose is very similar to med school rotations, where an intern rotates between different departments of the clinic/hospital (ie community health, oncology, food service). If I get accepted, it will start in Sept of this year and go for 9 months. Not too bad. In the meantime I have classes to finish and a Masters project to do (eek!). This semester I have class on T & H: International Comparative Health Systems, Global Nutrition, and Global Health Seminar. These global health elective classes have a wide variety of public health disciplines, which I think is one of the most attractive aspects of these types of classes. Opposite of many of the nutrition classes I have taken at the U, with mainly just nutrition students, these elective classes are a great way to meet students outside of my discipline and to gain different perspectives of those who have extensive professional and international experience.

Outside of school, I am still working at the Nutrition Coordinating Center busy collecting 24-hour dietary recalls from teenagers. Even though it is similar to what I’ve been doing there for the past year, it’s a lot of fun to talk to teens and get an idea of what they’re eating these days. I see school lunches haven’t changed much since the ‘90’s…

I’ve also been hanging out with my mentee, Namarig. Even though her family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, she wanted to exchange Christmas presents, so before I left for Ohio during break, we had a really fun time giving each other gifts one night at this very NE Minneapolis bowling alley/restaurant, Elsie’s. I highly recommend it. This weekend Namarig and I, along with some other Bolder Options people, are going to be recruiting potential mentors for the organization at the Securian 5k in St. Paul, which kicks off the Winter Carnival this year. I must say, very Minnesota…. Events like an ice block maze, snow and ice sculpting competitions all topped off with a Winter Festival queen. Totally check it out: http://www.winter-carnival.com/
Last weekend, Namarig and I also stopped by Lake Nokomis for the Pond Hockey Championships. It's usually held at Lake Calhoun, but since it's been so warm latley, the ice wasn't thick enough :( If you’re not familiar it is the US championships where teams from all over the US come to compete. There was a warming tent to thaw out in, and on the ice there were makeshift mini hockey courts. I think the finals are during this weekend’s Winter Carnival. INTENSE!!

Also, tonight some SPH students including myself are cooking dinner at the Ronald McDonald House near campus. As I write, my apartment fills with lasagna odors from my oven!!

Other than that, other upcoming events include Pamoja, which is a very fancy schmancy event held in February at the art museum on campus for all School of Public Health students & staff. I was one of the organizers for the event last year, so this year it will be nice to just sit back and relax and enjoy it. Another fun event that is happening in late March is the Malpractice Ball, which I suppose I am the rep for the SPH. That event is more of a formal dance with nibblies and drinks – kind of a multi-college dance (think prom where everyone is of-age).

Outside of all school work, work work, and volunteer work, I am also training for this season of triathlon. I am VERY excited. I think the first duathlon is on May 20th- it'll be here before we know it!!

December 15, 2006

whooo hooo for winter break!

It's just nice to have most things settled as far as school goes. This week is finals week I suppose, but my birthday always falls during it so it's always a question what I'm going to be up to, to celebrate. When I'm at home during my birthday my family goes out to dinner at a restaurant I pick, then I get to order a HUGE piece of chocolate cake & no one expects me to share :) It seems simple, but it's lots of fun. I guess for the whole day we celebrate anyone's birthday in my family, that person can do almost anything but commit a crime and not get in trouble. It's kind of the territory that comes along with a birthday. My family's also not very large, so when we get together there's about 6 of us. This year, I'm looking forward to going back to Ohio to celebrate w/ my family...and eat my cake!!

For my birthday yesterday I went for a bike ride...then met my friend Emily to go to the Winter Reception at the Weisman art museum on campus. There was live music, and free food & drinks. It was kind of like a SPH reunion b/c there was a lot of people I hadn't seen for the majority of the semester. And then, I would recognize someone, and not know where I knew them from (school, senate, work) ... I think I've finally placed everyone though. I had bunches of fun at the Winter Reception :) I had my fair share of free birthday beer and xmas cookies (decorate at your own risk). I went up to one of the bartenders and asked for a Summit, and he goes to me, "YOU want a beer?" As in, "I don't know how you got into this event with all of these adults but you are obviously about 18 years old." So, I had to throw the ol' birthday card in
but acted very flattered....
There was also an amusing game of public health family feud between Environmental Health and Epi. Then we headed over to Sally's for happy hour and a FREE birthday beer. Gotta milk this birthday thing for as much as I can.
Finally, tonight we're going Mexican for my birthday dinner & I'm soooo excited for some good Mexican. Like, some quesadillas (mouth watering) w/ sour cream and guac, free nachos, and perfectly blended margaritas. I don't think I can top that, right there!

December 7, 2006

Somali food assessment presentation & project

this week we presented our service learning project presentation to our international project planning and management class. My group consisted of me & two classmates from my class. We helped out with efforts of the Somali Community Food Assessment as part of the Somali Health Care Initiative at the Minnesota Health Volunteers. It was an interesting project, and great to participate in an actual project that will eventually be used to create nutrition outreach efforts to the Somali population in Minneapolis/St. Paul and also for local food vendors. They are assessing the availability of food to the Somali population along with prices, among other factors.

Our part in this whole project was to visit 9 grocery stores in Minneapolis (co-ops & supermarkets) and fill out an assessment sheet that listed various food items both traditional to the Somali population, along with other staples in the US. Our job was to record the prices of the foods, note whether each food was available, as well as whether the prices were visible. We also had to determine, by asking store managers, if the specific store accepted WIC, food stamps, or was close to a bus line (etc.). Generally, factors that may influence access to food by the Somali population.

We learned about foods specific to the Somali population and their cultural and religious practices related to dietary intake. Additionally, going into each store thinking as if I was an immigrant who shopped at that specific store, I could identify barriers to eating healthy and making healthy choices. I feel lucky to have a Lunds within walking distance of my apartment. It's a clean store with many fresh options, organic options, as well as hot food deli options. If I had to shop at say, ALDI, even as a non-immigrant, it would be difficult for me to make healthy options. They had limited fresh food options, lots of pre-breaded frozen meats, with a majority of their food options being prepackaged and, looking at the packaging, on the verge of being out-dated.

So, tonight we presented this information to our class, and brought some foods traditional to the Somali population for all to try (Samosas, goat milk, ingera- sourdough flatbread). It went well, and now I think all I have for the rest of the semester is to write a paper with content related to our group project.
I'm excited b/c next week, instead of meeting in the classroom, we're meeting at (i think) a middle eastern restaurant near st. paul campus. i'm sure the food will be flavorful & yummy!!

Continue reading "Somali food assessment presentation & project" »

November 30, 2006

I feel as if my life is crumbling to an end

Whenever I'm having a bad day & things are getting on my last nerve, I go to my Dunn Bros & order a latte & some kind of pastry. I usually do school-related work and am pretty productive. I think when I'm having a bad day, some of it can be attributed to the amount of work i have to do, so the best thing to do is to finish a good chunk of it. Not today. The world just doesn't have enough plugs- particularly outlets for my computer. My computer has been exhausting its battery very quickly lately, so it's very hard for me to do work for lengths of time without being plugged in. Today, I am so annoyed. After missing my UPS delivery person yesterday & 2 trips to the distribution center, I finally got my winter coat i ordered. I tried it on, and it just didn't look right. I thought maybe there was no hope for the style but couldn't pinpoint what was wrong. THEN.... i discovered that it was a size too big for me, and I just look rediculous in it! This wouldn't be such a big deal except that today it is FREEZING outside. It's some weird combination of clear, super sunny skies and bitter coldness. I have already decided that this will be my last MN winter. I'm putting my Peace Corps plans on hold for a year to do a dietetic internship in Seattle, WA. Maybe I will solve my blues by shopping around for a kayak. I said if i ever moved to Seattle, my first business would be to buy a kayak, though i've never actually done it. I know i'll love it though.

In other news, a short video highlighting my life is availabe for all to see. I think it's well done & also entertaining. Great job Mark & Paul!! Here's a link...for your viewing pleasure:
http://www.sph.umn.edu/podcast/home.html