Tuesday, January 16, 2007


So, I'm pretty grumpy about my school right now. The nursing program is fine - I feel like my classes are more focused on information that I can see applying during nursing practice. It's the school itself that is getting to me. And it's not just that I am offended that I'm being asked (nay, forced) to take a writing skills test (what, is this high school? Isn't this a *university*? Aren't we all adults here?).

A few years ago my school changed its name. I think I've mentioned that my school is not exactly located in the hippest town around and that, if you were to drive through it, your main impression would be: ah, another strip mall/ auto dealership/ fast food place/ rotting warehouse/ freeway on-ramp. So, the name change, ostensibly given to "reflect our [sic] growing regional role" (quote from the second sentence in the answering message on the main university phone number), was probably more about distracting people from the dismal city within which nursing school u resides. Yep. Anyways, I was running around the track at school today and the initials from the old name were being pried off of the dead-weed-ridden hillside by some workers. They were hacking at the middle part of the letters (made out of - appropriately -asphalt) and rolling the (what looked like) black rubber cinderblock outline for the letters down the hill. Fine. I understand the workers probably needed a truck to haul away the asphalt and odd cinderblocks, but I had to "pull over" to let three other trucks go by while I was running on the track. And I wasn't going to bring this up because there are a LOT of other things I could complain about (there's a great view from my campus and it is not visible from any structure but the administration building that, oddly is featured on the student i.d.. prompting my husband to ask, "Why is there a parking garage on the student i.d.?"), but the most crappy thing about my school is that there are always trucks driving around in random places on campus. There are no tranquil paths on the campus, no peaceful quads, no tree-lined picnic areas. Everything, apparently, is a road. And they are not ambling along at 5 MPH. They're jamming: maybe 20 MPH or maybe it just seems that way because the paths they are driving on are no wider than 4 nursing students across. It's...unsettling. And, yet, given the nature of the town (as previously mentioned), it is, perhaps, not surprising.

Pictured above are some stuffed cabbage rolls (prior to saucing) that I made from a modified version of this recipe.

I replaced the ground meat with a vegetarian ground "meat" substitute, added a bit more rice, used plain yogurt instead of sour cream and I used a stick blender to make the tomato sauce smoother. I reduced the cooking time to reflect the fact that I didn't need to cook raw beef. I cooked it for 1/2 an hour covered and 1/2 an hour uncovered. Next time I might reduce the total time down to 1/2 an hour and keep it uncovered.

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