December 7-13

What's worse than actually taking finals? Preparing for finals! DUN...Dun...dun...You see, actually taking finals is easy: you either know it or you don't. By the time you're in the test there's nothing more you can do so why stress or freak out then? But preparing for finals: now that my friend is where you will find true pain! All types of pain in fact--mental, emotional, physical. Lots and lots of pain! That painfully unsettled feeling in your gut of: oh no...I really should be studying. Or oh no...will this information be on the test? Or oh no...why didn't I study EVERY second of EVERY day this ENTIRE semester?! Or...shoot I forgot to eat an actual meal today...and yesterday...make brownies...NOW! Then there's always that hour of: that's it...I GIVE UP! Followed by hours of--Blast, why did I waste that ENTIRE hour?! It's a stressful time. Give me finals...just skip the whole preparing part.



Also...Tutoring. So I've decided that the best way to do well in school is to take time to think about someone else. I don't know if I've discussed this in a previous post. If I have, just realize I mean this! You see, I find I always do the worst during the semesters when I'm not involved in some sort of service. And I think I know why. During those semesters when I'm not serving all I think about is me, my grades, and my future. Always thinking about my homework and my life can get stressful. In fact when I'm only thinking about myself I find my stress unnecessarily escalating at appalling rates. When I take the time to serve, however, I realize that my stresses are not as big of a deal and I am able to keep the life in perspective. Service really allows me to remember what truly is important in life. So my advice for anyone who is stressed: SERVE!

Now...tutoring. Remember my cute 9-year-old girl? Well due to the fact that she goes straight from school to an after school program where they do homework, then directly to tutoring believe it or not she does not love homework. Therefore, we have come up with a plan: homework for the first 40 minutes of tutoring, then a game/activity for the last 20 minutes. This week I brought Chess (she requested it the week before). So 7:40 I bust out Chess. I set up my pieces, and she sets up hers. I was quite impressed that she could set her pieces up all by herself at the age of 9. Oh I am SUCH a fool! We start playing--I'm thinkin 9-years-old, I'll go easy. After setting it up so she could take a number of my pieces she says, "Um...don't go so easy on me". So then I decided--fine, I won't go so easy on you. So I up my game to my best level of playing...only she keeps taking just as many pieces. A few minutes later she says, "Um...I thought I said don't go so easy on me!" Problem was...I was no longer going easy on her. Aka...she rocked me. Checkmate over and over again! The pain! The humiliation! Ok it was actually mostly hysterical--she ran around telling everyone how horrible I was and how she beat a 23-year-old! In my defense turns out she has attended Chess Camp for the last few summers. Anywho, due to the fact that it was my last time to tutor before Christmas Break I informed her not to worry: I will practice Chess over the break and come back and beat her!
Sorry note: I will NEVER beat her as a 9-year-old: she turned 10 the very next day! Darn kids these days! They're gettin smarter and smarter! Somebody has got to stop this!

Wednesday: It should be against the laws of the universe to rain in December! So Wednesday morning it was raining. No. I take that back.. Not raining. It was downpouring the most frigidly ice cold rain I have ever experienced! Not only that, but I was not in any condition to be tolerant of such weather as I had pulled an all nighter studying for my Foundations of Social Work final which was at 9am. I decided to head to campus early in order to study some more; so at 8am I exited the safety of my warm apartment: Rain! Wind! Ice! Misery! Oh the pain! Though I live a measly 13 blocks from campus I even opted to take a taxi...FAIL! Everyone and their dog...and probably their cat too were using taxis! I stood in misery looking for a taxi; finally after waiting for the amount of time it would have taken to get to campus I started walking to campus. Soaked, frozen, and laughing hysterically (both due to how comical the situation was and how horrible it was) I entered my final. 9am final starts. 25 minutes later I was done--my score? I have no idea. I feel it went well...but that means nothing. I swear the story of finals goes: if you think you did great you failed; if you think you failed you did awesome. Moments like this make me miss the BYU testing center. Well...kinda. It's always nice just to know that you did incredible on a test. I say kinda because it's also always the worst to come out of the BYU testing center, look up at the automatic scoring feedback screen to find your ID number next to a despicably low score. You look again and again...hoping you looked wrong. Yeah--that'll ruin your day/week/month/semester/life. K maybe it won't ruin everything.'s the worst of feelings. Anyway...we'll see.

Thursday: Meaghan's and my FINAL DATE! You dear friend, Meaghan, came to study in NYC for just one semester. Aka: when I return to NYC in January Megs will be gone! Sadness. But in honor of her departure we had one final hurrah day. Itinerary: Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and Canal St (aka China Town), a brief break during which I attended my HBSE class, and then Max Brener...Chocolate by the Bald Man!

MOMA: best part about NY school IDs: free museum access! We viewed the Tim Burton exhibit--talk about a combination of pure brilliance and creepiness. Loved it! That man has some of the most twisted yet genius ideas all combined into these phenomenal masterpieces! One of my favorite aspects of the exhibit was that it literally is created from some of his sketch books--as in you could see on the sides of the pages that they had literally been ripped out of an art book! To me seeing his sketch book work made it feel as if we were able to see deep into his artistic mind. Other MOMA highlights: Van Gogh's Starry Night and a number of Monet's lily pad masterpieces. Loved it!

Canal St...specifically China Town: the point of this adventure was to find Meaghan a "Coach" purse. What I love about China Town is how it really is two worlds in one--there's the innocent "buy my purse" world. Then there's the underground, "come with me to my sketchy, hidden back room, around this corner, down the block, up 4 flights of stairs, into this back room, to buy my wannabe Prada, Coach, etc bags....oh....but only if there are no cops in sight" world. The latter was the China Town we were seeking. Did we succeed? Dun dun dun...

HBSE: aren't you so proud of me for going from China Town all the way back up to Columbia for one class only to head right back down to Max Breners? This is when you should be thinking: how responsible! Ha.

Max Brener Chocolate by the Bald Man=BEST discovery of my life! A restaurant inspired by Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory--need I say more?! They have regular entrees of course...but along with that they have to die for chocolate at every turn and on every menu page! Hot chocolate with no milk: aka melted chocolate with straight creme...or should I say heaven?! Oh! And I should probably add that this fabulous heaven in a mug doesn't come in just any kind of mug...but a Hug Mug! A mug perfect for sipping from while holding it closely in the palm of both hands! They have fondue, s'mores--they even bring you a little fire to roast your mallows over--milkshakes, heaven and more heaven! Have I mentioned that I consider chocolate a food group? Well--in case you're wondering it is THE most important food group!

Friday: I spent the evening with my friend, Joey, at the Julliard Dance recital to support some of our talented friends. Each of the 4 classes performed a number. Phenomenal! I loved it because it was a combination of modern dance and ballet. Sure some of them were more...oddly modern than I'm used to--but I loved the combination of it all! Moern dance is so great because you really get to try to make something of the dance--and it can be whatever you want it to be. So really every modern dance you see can be something personal--whether deep, fun, emotional--it can be anything. After the performance we asked some of our friends what the meanings were to their dances and each of them responded independently of eachother: it's what you want it to be. Side note: dancers are SO buff--male and female. It's kind of intimidating really. In fact, I never thought I'd say this, but I'd be terrified to run into a legit dancer in an ally.

Saturday: In order to take a longer Christmas break (you'll understand come next Tuesday) I had to go into my internship all day. Not going to lie, it was odd being in on a Saturday; still, the other intern, Tim, was there too so it wasn't half bad. We are going to be holding a group on stress management next semester for residents of the shetler so we mostly put together information for that.

In the evening I attended our ward Christmas Party--aka dinner. You know, I've realized any ward function titled a "party" in my ward really means dinner. Hey--I'm not complaining--just statin the facts. During the party we also wrapped presents for a sub-for-Santa. It was really nice. After I went home and study, study, STUDIED! Oh right...and then my roommate, Melissa, and I had a slumber party in the living room to check out the hide-a-bed (spelling?).

Sunday: "Christmas!" At least in our lil apartment it was. So we made Mickey Mouse waffles and had an adorable little gift exchange. I received the most wonderfully classic old school The Santa Clause from my amazing roommate, Hayley. She gave me that and my two staples--dove chocolates (milk and dark chocolate) AND popcorn--a woman who knows me! It was so much fun! I think the best part about our gift exchange was sharing our favorite Christmas traditions with each other. I shared that mine is gingerbread house making. Every year my fam makes the most amazing gingerbread houses. Well--really we decorate them after our mom has made them. Anyway, these aren't just any gingerbread houses. No no...we're talking legit gingerbread. So hardcore that they even have "stained glass windows" aka melted lollipop! They are simply amazing--cutest little village when complete!

Sunday evening my roommate, Erin, held an amazing soup and sandwiches dinner--um talk about gourmet chef! Erin is SUCH a fabulous cook! She makes the most divine meals! We had cauliflower soup and this amazing onion soup! Divine really! By the way, soup IS the absolute best winter meal. End of story. I guess my week title of H. E. Double Hockey Sticks was a bit melodramatic...even with the stress of preparing for finals there was enough fun and happiness sprinkled in there that it could even be deemed a good week--fancy that!

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