Category Archives: Studying

Lazy Weekend + Random Items

Happy Monday friends! I saw Super 8 with Caron on Friday – it was great! Definitely a scary modern day twist on E.T. and… The Sandlot? It was scarier than I thought it would be though. The child actors were pretty phenomenal, so they will be on my watch list for the next 5-10 years.

Leo picked me up early Saturday morning and we ventured to Connecticut to watch a college golf tournament. It was really fun, despite the dreary weather. We found some future PGA stars to follow as well. When we returned to the city we proceeded to stay inside my apartment from about 3pm Saturday to 5:40pm Sunday. HAHA! Clarissa is a lazypants. I’m pretty sure we ordered three meals in a row too. For anyone who doesn’t live in a major metropolitan area, you don’t know the wonder that is SeamlessWeb.com. You get to order food to be delivered without ever having to pick up the phone. Leo and I are big fans. I think we could have used a bit more exercise but we watched a lot of sports and movies, slept well and played with Crazy and The Dark One. After months and months of studying it was nice for us both to have almost a whole weekend of doing absolutely nothing and loving it.

Crazy was happy to be lazy with us

Sunday afternoon officially ended my study-free week and I had a call with a consultant about how to prepare for my exam retake. For anyone who is new I took a graduate school entrance exam last week and did really well, but I am taking it a second time to see if I can get a smidge higher because I’m just so close it would be silly not to. Most people take the test at least twice anyway.

Finally at 5:40pm it was time for us to leave Casa de Clarissa. I had an appointment with my Sunday my ASL (“Awesome Sponsor Lady”) in Central Park to read Chapter 2 of the Big Book. Leo begrudgingly left with me since it meant he would miss the last 20 minutes of the golf on TV. It felt great to finally be outside again! ASL and I sat for about an hour in the park reading Chapter 2. We had to move spots after the first few pages in order to avoid two teenage disasters using language that’s probably illegal in 12 states.  You kiss your mother with that mouth? Yeesh! We also determined that I am not consistently performing my sponsee responsibilities on weekends. Did you know being in recovery is a 7-day a week job? Apparently my brain thinks it starts on Monday and ends on Friday, oops! Time to put more reminders on my phone!

After our time together, I went to Whole Foods to pick up some more raw treats. I’ve been bad about eating 80% raw lately with my headaches continuing despite my diet, but I know it’s better for my digestion to eat this way so I picked up some treats to get myself re-excited about eating raw. Emmy’s Chai Macaroons are my favorite! I also got a new kind of Raw Ice Cream: Mint Chip and some Blueberry Granola by Two Moms in the Raw. I had a bowl of the mint chip during Game of Thrones last night:

Tonight is the business meeting for my AA clubhouse and I am the new Treasurer. That means that I get to count all the seventh tradition money we bring in and deposit in at the bank, pay the rent and other various expenses. I’ve never counted so many one dollar bills before in my life. I think the lady at the bank might have thought I was a stripper or a drug dealer…but standing there in my business suit today I proudly explained that I am a treasurer for a club. Riiiight. I felt a sense of accomplishment when the fancy money-counting machine reported that I had counted all the bills correctly!

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Filed under Food, Fun, Kitties, Recovery, Service, Studying

How Do You Measure Yourself?

Well folks, it’s the day before my big exam. I think I am relatively confident but still a bit nervous. I think healthy fear is good fear. This test will not determine the rest of my life, or even my chances of getting into graduate school. It won’t make me worth more or less as a person. Even through college I always felt like my self worth was wrapped up in the grades that I earned. If I got a B instead of an A I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t smart. It’s always been black or white for me.

Today, as an adult, I am still guilty of judging myself on a scale. My self worth can be so wrapped up in what company I work for, what schools I went to and  how much money I make. The problem is, I just don’t have the energy to be so worked up over these things that I don’t have 100% control over. And I know the truth. The truth is I am not worthless if I don’t make enough money or work for a company with no prestige. I am worth something because of WHO I am, not WHAT I do. And so are you.

Our identities can be so wrapped up in these labels, “I’m a lawyer, I’m a banker, I’m a waitress, I’m an actor, I’m a musician, I’m a writer.” No, that is not who you are. You may do those things to make money or you made do those things because they make you happy. YOU, my friend are a human being. Just like me.

My self worth is not dependent upon the clothes I wear or the purse I carry. It’s inside. When I was in active addiction I thought I had a bunch of self esteem and self worth. I measured myself by my athletic and academic achievements. All of that added up to one kickass person. I had friends, a boyfriend and a family who loved me. My professors respected me. It all added up on the outside. But on the inside I was dead. It took so much energy to maintain the grades, the athletic stamina, the lies I told my loved ones. I was crumbling on the inside and I used drugs and drank to either make things easier to handle or to escape the stress of it all.

And you know why I got clean? It wasn’t because I was done with the drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t because I wanted to be a different person. It was because everything was starting to crash down around me and I was not about to fail at my own life. When I used uppers to study I wouldn’t study at all. I went to practice wasted or hungover most of the time. I would go on a 4 day bender intending just to have 1 good night. I couldn’t keep up with the lies I was telling to everyone and to myself. I was trapped. And then right as I was approaching bottom, something greater than myself muttered something about wanting to get clean for good. And I listened.

Getting clean stripped me of all my illusions that I was worth something. It took away my magical power to get 10 things done at once. It revealed that in fact I had no friends, that all my family knew about me were lies. It revealed that I had to work a lot harder in life to achieve anything. Most of all, getting clean took away my weapon of self destruction. When I realized I wasn’t worth anything I had nothing to hurt myself with.Luckily there were some amazing people to love me until I could learn to love myself. My self worth started at zero and grew each day that I marked “clean” on my wall. My self worth was measured in keytags, in the meetings I went to, in the true friends I made.

Although I struggle to this day with my self esteem, my confidence and how much I am “worth.” I no longer put a huge stake in my bank account or my resume. I have real friends who really do love me and who have taught me how to love myself. I have a sponsor who is taking me through the steps and who believes that I can get better. I have a family who I can be honest with today. I have Leo, who laughs at my jokes and takes care of me when my head hurts so much I think it’s going to explode. But, even so my self worth isn’t measured by how many people care about me.

It’s measured in my actions on a simple level. Do I wake up every day with a goal and attempt to achieve it? Even if that goal is just taking a shower and brushing my teeth. If I say I will be on time to meet a friend, am I on time? Am I honest even when I could easily lie? Do I show up for my service positions in AA? Do I do my stepwork, call a newcomer, say a prayer? Doing these simple things on a daily basis helps me to learn more and more about who I am. I’m no longer a liar, a cheater, a thief. I may not be the most successful in my professional life, I may not be rich or famous. I may not be married or live in a penthouse apartment. But I am a better person than I was 4 years ago and hopefully better than yesterday.

No matter what the outcome of my exam tomorrow, I know more than I knew five months ago. I’ve learned a lot. The number on the screen won’t make me or break me, although I will surely be sad or happy for a while. And that is ok – to feel feelings, but my true character will hopefully shine through in how I re-action to whatever happens. If I do well – great. If I don’t – I will put my energy into trying again.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Head over to the Vueve Polo Tournament on Governor’s Island on Sunday afternoon if you want some free entertainment! I think Leo and I will be there for sure.

How do you measure your self worth?

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Filed under Recovery, Studying

Long Weekend and Death Cab!

Sorry for the brief haitus here at SATC. I took a four day weekend to head up to the wonderful land that is New England to study for our big exams and enjoy some sunshine. Look! Flowers!

Ok, I know they aren’t super beautiful or anything, but I wasn’t taking many pictures inside our study cave. Leo and I had fun, despite spending 80% of the time reading books and taking practice exams. We managed a fun trip to Wal-Mart where we found out that Fruity Pebbles are Gluten Free. Amazing! Now if they were only sugarfree, preservative free, and not cooked maybe I could each them too.

We also took few trips to his parents country club golf course and made lots of homemades fresh fruit smoothies! Such a cheaper way to go than buying them at the carts here in NYC…but…I am lazy when I live here. That means Clarissa doesn’t make her own smoothies. Yet.

Getting back to work a day late was incredibly stressful for me, but luckily I made it out in time to see Death Cab for Cutie at Bowery Ballroom with Leo!! I bought our tickets months and months ago and have been counting down the days until the concert arrived! Last night we both left work and met at Bowery. Ticketmaster did not send out tickets for this event so that they could not be sold on the secondary market (i.e.  Stubhub, Craigslist, etc.). While I found this odd, I realized it was really nice to be at a concert with 100% true fans!

We got to the concert in time to catch the opening band: The Lonely Forest. They were really good! I downloaded a few of their tunes this morning before work and am currently jamming on my ipod.

Finally, around 10pm Death Cab came on!! My pictures are all blurry because the bouncer was insisting no flash…and he was really friggin big so I did not argue. Here’s a blurry one of Ben Gibbard and the rest of the band:

Leo and I were about half way back in the crowd on the first floor. Bowery is so small that we were SO close to the stage! The accoustics were amazing and we walked out without any residual hearing loss. Unfortunately we didn’t stay until the end of the concert because it was getting late and both of us have important exams on Saturday, but we will see them again on Leo’s birthday in August when they come to play in Brooklyn!

I had a ton of fun being sober at the concert last night. There was a wafting of marijuana when DCFC came on and apparently it was coming from a few guys standing nearby us. YUCK! Luckily I was enjoying the music so much I stopped noticing it. Ben Gibbard (the lead singer) is sober himself, so I felt very connected during the whole show! He’s not in AA, but hey – he knows how to have fun sober, so he’s a perfect example for SATC! It was a really nice break from stress and studying to just listen to amazing music and enjoy myself last night. It was definitely necessary!

What’s the last concert you went to?

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My Recovery Kitties

Happy Friday everyone!! I am itching to get out of the office early today. Leo and I are driving up to New England tonight to spend the the loooong weekend with his parents. I can’t wait! We’re going to my most favorite state ever…I guess it should remain anonymous but…Live Free or Die, friends. Unfortunately for us we will be studying all weekend since our big exams are ONE week from tomorrow. But he’ll get to play a few rounds of golf while we’re up there and I am hoping and praying we get to go to the beach for a few hours. We’re also taking Tuesday off from work so we don’t waste our Monday sitting in horrific traffic on our drive back to the city. I hope nobody else has the same idea…

Part of what happens when I go away is that I need someone to watch Crazy and The Dark One. For weeklong trips I have friends do a “stay-cation” in my apartment. I’ve had two of my besties in the program do it for me! And for a lot of weekends, an AA friend in my apartment building feeds them. But for holidays (like this one), I ask Kathy, my cat-sitter to come. My friends shouldn’t have to work on holidays! Look how lady-like The Dark One was last night?

She always crosses her legs when she sits like that. It’s hilarious. And adorable. 

Crazy only looks adorable when she’s a sleepypants. Otherwise she is fierce, loud and whiny.

I miss them whenever I leave though. It’s always nice to come home to love and affection even if it means The Dark One bites/nips at my arm when she wants to be petted. They are my recovery kitties. They’ve never seen me wasted or high. They’ve seen me cry. They’ve seen me laugh. They’ve seen me alone. They’ve enjoyed the company of Leo, their “Daddy.”

In their short lives (almost 4 years) they have been lived in 4 apartments and 2 houses, 2 states. They have slept on many beds and couchs. They love me unconditionally. They usually love me more when I have treats to give them, at least Crazy does. Crazy once faked an injury so that I would give her more treats. Once she ate them she had no trouble jumping and walking again. Leo and I have given them a bath once…that was a huge mistake. Never bathe a cat. It doesn’t end well.

I might end up an old cat lady some day, but for some reason I am ok with that. I love them and they love me. They helped me stay clean in those first few months of my sobriety. I knew I couldn’t just leave them at home alone for more than a few hours at a time in their young fragile state. They depended on me to be responsible. I couldn’t let them down. They have helped me get through a lot of really hard times in my recovery and I am eternally grateful.

Do you have pets?

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Filed under Kitties, Recovery, Studying, Uncategorized, Vacation

Mini Golf in NYC!

FunDay MonDay! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I spent most of mine studying since my exam is 2 weeks away, but I did have time for some fun along the way.

Friday night, Caron, her hubby, our friend P and I went to see Thor in 3D. The graphics were good, Natalie Portman and some of the dialogue was amusing, but I have to say the story wasn’t really as developed as I would have expected. I wouldn’t want for it to come out on Netflix though, because you would miss out on a 3D viewing. The best part about the movie was the Girl vs Guy fight that broke out a couple rows behind us because of the “kicking of a chair.” It was pretty epic. Luckily they simmered down before I had to go find management to get them to SHUT UP! They were ruining the movie, but what they were yelling at each other was pretty hilarious.

Saturday night Leo and I went out to dinner and then we decided to walk around a bit since we were both pretty full. Leo had seen a mini golf place that was being set up on one of the piers down near Battery Park months ago, so we walked down there to see if it had opened yet. It was open, score! And it was only $5 per person to play 1 round, awesome! Next to the Mini Golf Course was a skate park and beach volleyball courts. We had a pretty nice view of NJ too…

The course was 18 holes, some were short, but overall it was good fun. I even got a hole-in-one. Leo was not amused, although he beat me by 11 points!

Check out this hole on the back nine – you had to hit the ball so that it passed over that teeny tiny bridge! Leo made it since he’s a golf stud. My ball ended up in the water. Luckily it was shallow so I was able to scoop it out.

Here’s a view of Battery Park. Prettyyyy.

Another shot of the course. It was pretty small compared to the ones you see down in Florida, but for NYC it was sufficient!

At least it had a fountain!

Sunday was spent studying and hanging out at Leo’s club. I can’t wait til all this studying is overrrrrrrr. Hope you all had fantastic weekends. Tonight I’m meeting with my sponsor for Big Book Reading Take 2. I feel like I’m really taking care of myself these days, it’s a lot of work though!

Do you like to play mini golf?

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Filed under Exercise, Fun, Recovery, Studying

Normal Weekend with a Hell’s Kitchen Fair!

Hey friends, how was everybody’s weekend? Mine was pretty great – nothing out of the ordinary, just normal. I am always grateful for normal weekends because it reminds me how much life is fun even if I’m not doing anything special like going to a concert or the ballet!

Friday night Caron and I saw Bridesmaids and it was awesome. Definitely one of the best comedies we’ve seen in a while, especially because I was & will be a bridesmaid myself this year. The whole theater was super rowdy, and you always know a movie is good when that happens, lots of critics in NYC. Plus Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 91%!

Saturday morning Leo and I headed up to his club up in the suburbs. I studied while he hit balls at the driving range and then we had lunch and headed over to try out the tennis courts. I brought out my racket from when I was 15 and since you have to wear white clothes only so I bought a child’s tennis skirt at the pro shop since they didn’t have any adult smalls! It fit just fine. Leo and I are both horrendous at tennis, which we discovered in the Bahamas last year. We must work hard to get some mad skills so we don’t embarrass ourselves in the future. Luckily we were the only ones playing this weekend.

Sunday Leo and I dedicated ourselves to studying at my apartment. Leo successfully distracted my felines, Crazy and The Dark One while I took another practice test (real exam is in 3 weeks!). Score is in the range that I would like, but not quite high enough yet. I need to work on my reading comprehension skills and apparently read the algebra questions more carefully. Sigh.

We did, however, take a break in the afternoon to seek out some lunch. There was a fair going on all the way down 9th avenue (as far as I could see), so we walked around a bit before Leo got frustrated with the crowds and wanted Pita Grill for lunch.

Not to mention it was dark, stormy and muggy outside. Also, we didn’t have cash for fun games like these:

The rest of the day we spent watching the end of The 2011 Players Championships on the Golf Channel. Congrats to KJ Choi! Also – I bought the Raw Ice Cream I spoke of last week from Whole Foods and it was so good and tasted like real ice cream! Raw Food Detox has never tasted so good

Tonight is Caron’s Five Year Anniversary Celebration  – I can’t wait!

How was your weekend?

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Friday Roundup: Fun, Raw, Sober News

Another Friday has come, HOORAY! We all know my favorite days of the week are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Because, let’s face it, the majority of the fun I have been having lately happens on the weekends.  Tonight Caron and I are going to see Bridesmaids (finally!). That’s right – we are finally seeing it. It got 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it should be hilarious. I am envisioning a female version of The Hangover. Let’s hope it holds up to our expectations.

It is extra-special of course since I was Caron’s bridesmaid a few weeks ago and I will be a bridesmaid again in September for my bestfriend from high school! I love weddings so much it’s hard to describe. And being a bridesmaid is not only an honor and a big responsibility it is incredibly fun. Luckily my 2011 bridesmaid dresses are both beautiful, check out those awful pink ones in the movie poster above!

Raw Foods Update: Things are going well. The best part about it is the fruit. Smoothies (sans juice and milk/yogurt) are so good I almost forget I can’t eat candy. Almost. I’ve been working on a raw chocolate bar for the past week or so that is a nice replacement as well. I also learned online today that there is such a thing as Raw Ice Cream!  The best part is that it’s available in NYC – I have to get to one of the stores this weekend to buy it.

I also found a fun restaurant called Pure Food and Wine to try – it’s fully raw, vegan, organic and in Union Square. Just need to get Leo to want to try it with me this weekend. If my proposal fails, they have a small version of the restaurant in Chelsea Market where his favorite Gluten Free restaurant is. I would love to buy a bag of raw macaroons!

Sober News: After almost a year of being in two fellowships I have decided to fully transition from NA to AA. My life has been in AA for a while now and I’ve found it hard to go to AA meetings and do service in AA but have an NA sponsor and do NA stepwork. I was torn for a while because I really identify more as an addict than an alcoholic but the real solution in NYC (for me) is in AA and as much as I like the NA literature better, I knew I couldn’t continue to have one foot in each fellowship. So my plan is to work all twelve steps in AA, continue to do AA service and someday have AA sponsees. I even have an new AA sponsor! I am incredibly grateful that she offered to take me through the steps! I better go buy an AA Big Book…

I will always be grateful to NA, I’ll still call my NA friends and I will still hit up NA meetings every now and then, but I know that if I want to get through my stepwork and be of service to those newcomers who show up at the meetings I go to regularly, I need to be fully in one program. It’s been a long and tough decision making process but I am excited for the journey I am embarking on.

How’s your weekend looking?

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Filed under Food, Fun, Gluten Free, healthy Living, Movies, Recovery, Studying

S’Mac and Other Things

Happy Monday friends! My weekend was pretty decent, how was yours??

Friday night I stayed late to finish up some work and then took a third practice exam and I did super well! It turns out I am not a Hopeless Harriet afterall. Then, I caught up on Private Practice and Grey’s and then headed to bed. Um, excuse me Prime Time Medical Dramas, please refrain from creating Musical Episodes. The House and Greys musical bombshells were horrendous this season. The problem is, if I don’t finish watching the episode I can’t find out what happens! Note: I do not read about television shows online or elswhere, that doesn’t seem to be the point of television for me. Ha! Just realized you’re reading about TV right now… ok, I’ll stop.

Saturday I had my last class and then our teacher took us out for a “boozey brunch” to celebrate. I love how I always sit silently smiling as the people I’m with gab on about the best clubs and bars to go to in NYC. I never have anything to add, but that’s ok – it helps me practice listening to my peers instead of interrupting – which I do frequently.

After brunch I came home and watched Away We Go with Jim from the Office. CUTE movie! Plus Alexi Murdoch dominates the soundtrack and that makes my heart sing.

Jim from The Office

Saturday night I met Leo at S’MAC down in the East Village. It’s a restaurant that only serves Mac ‘n Cheese. I was in love. It’s a pretty hole in the wall type place and you have to do some serious table stalking to get a seat. The best part about S’MAC is that you can ask for the gluten free version of any of their dishes. This made my gluten-intolerant boy very happy. We both chose the Buffalo Chicken S’mac and it was delicious. It’s like baked Mac n’ Cheese and Buffalo Chicken Dip all in one bowl. Spiiicy.

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We then proceeded to enjoy the nice weather and walked around for a bit and then ended up at 16 Handles. It’s like Pink Berry but a million times better. You walk in and there are 16 different flavors of low-fat / non-fat soft serve ice cream / frozen yogurt. You can put whatever kinds you want in your bowl and then you get to pile on all the toppings you want yourself! I got a variety of flavors of froyo and piled on mochi, butterfinger and caramel sauce. Mmmm it was awesome. Sorry no pictures – we ate as we wandered back down to Leo’s apartment.

Sunday was filled with studying for both of us and a class at Spring St with the amazing Tanya at Physique (for me).

That brings me to Monday…I just got out of a 6 hour work meeting, so apologies for the late post! Do you want to know the only benefit of my day so far? This:

The deli right near my office sells it and it’s incredibly hard to get anywhere else in NYC! Believe me, I’ve looked. I lived on this stuff my last few years in college and the Vanilla just makes it taste like a zero calorie dessert! I bought two today.

I’m chairing a meeting tonight and am currently without a speaker, so you want to qualify tonight, let me know!!

How was your weekend?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gluten Free, Love, Movies, Physique57, Studying, TV

Cheapest Gym in NYC

I did it! I actually went to my gym.

Gyms in NYC are so expensive. I can’t justify spending $178 / month at Equinox when I’m not even convinced I would go. Case in point: I joined the gym at my old job last year (half the price of Equinox) for 6 months and I went maybe 3 times. Those are some expensive workouts! When I started going to Physique in the fall I decided that I loved it and that I should start working out more in general. Physique is great for strength and toning but it doesn’t do much in terms of cardio, especially if you are like me and only go once a week. I went online and researched all the local gym options.

I found a gem (yes, I meant to say gem). I live across the street from a hotel. It turns out that the hotel has a gym that is run as a separate business. The advertised monthly fee was pretty low. As I searched further, the website said I would get a discount because I live in the neighborhood, awesome! So one night after work in November I went over to check it out. It’s your typical hotel gym – a couple treadmills, bikes, lots of weight machines, some free weights, TVs and mirrored walls. I didn’t need anything fancy. The gym’s manager told me that if I paid for a year’s membership up front I would get 50% off the already discounted price. SCORE! A gym in midtown for $20/month? I was sold.

I joined in November…and never went back. The low sunk cost didn’t make me feel awful about not going. Oh, and I’m lazy. Plus I knew going to the gym and power-walking on the treadmill for 60 minutes wasn’t going to be nearly as fun as going to Physique for 57 minutes. Leo finds its very hard to believe that I was an NCAA athlete in college when I talk about my lack of desire to actually workout.

With all this mystery surrounding my headaches, I started to think hard about morphing my daily routine into something healthier. I read somewhere online that exercise can be good for headaches because it gets your blood and oxygen flowing which can help relieve brain pain. Is it true? Maybe not, but I was willing to try anything.

Since Maiden Voyage was cancelled (sadface), I knew I had no excuse not to go to the gym. I got home at 7pm and put on my workout clothes right away. My college coach always told us that half the battle to independent exercise was simply getting your workout clothes on and getting out the door. Great advice! Once I was dressed I headed out the door with my exam book and my iTouch and jogged across the street to the hotel. I signed in, made some joke to the manager about it being my first time in months and found the treadmill.

My right knee has always been weak (I’ll save the knee story for tomorrow), so I don’t run. Physique has been helping me with strengthening my legs though. Maybe someday I will run again!  Regardless of my unrealistic future as a marathon champion, I like to power-walk on an incline. That was my workout of choice last night!

The above is a blurry blackberry picture I took during the cool-down. I walked for 30 minutes at 4.0mph at an incline of 7.0. Technically it said I burned 331 calories, but…I doubt it. After my treadmill fun I found the 5 lbs free weights and did the Physique bicep/tricep warmup. I would love for my arms to be defined so I can look strong in a tank top instead of just skinny and weak.

My workout wasn’t extreme but I was proud of myself for just stepping in the door! I also got 30 minutes of study time in on the treadmill. I can read and walk at the same time, I am SO coordinated! I even sweated. It counts. After my workout, instead of ordering Thai food as usual, I walked to Walgreens to get some Lean Cuisines. Sweet and Sour Chicken, my favorite:

I know it’s not the most nutritious dinner and definitely far from homemade, but its a healthy option for us lazy folks. It’s only 300 calories, so I had some hummus and wheat thins to subsedize after I licked the bowl clean. After dinner I chugged a bottle of water and settled in to catch up on the first episodes of this seasons’ Nurse Jackie and U.S. of Tara. I heart SHO.

Thanks to all the healthy fitness bloggers who motivate me to be a healthier version of myself!

Note: If you want information about my awesomely cheap gym, email me. I decided not to publicize the gym’s name to stay safe.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

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Filed under Exercise, Food, Fun, Gym, Headache, Studying

Story Time

Wow, I can’t believe it’s Friday again. Story time!

I took a second practice exam on Wednesday night. It was terrifying.

I sat down at my new desk (without eating dinner first – not smart). My laptop was all plugged in and ready to go. I started to shake. I logged in to the test site online. My heart was racing. I clicked start on the 75-minute 37-question Math section. FREAKING OUT. In the first problem it took me 3 minutes to remember how to add the numbers 3 and 5. It felt as if at that exact moment my brain decided to melt into a pool of dumb.

Not to mention that Crazy and The Dark One were relentless in their attempts to hijack my laptop for the 75 whole minutes.

Every time a new math question came up my I was so scared and/or stupid my brain just went blank. Why God, why? Oh, wait. I sometimes forget that I was a humanities major in college and I am half way to idiot-ville when it comes to numbers. I pray every day that my boss doesn’t find out the truth about my lack of math skills. Thank goodness for Microsoft Excel and financial calculators.

Somehow I completed all 37 questions with time to spare.

I was going to do the Verbal part of the exam Thursday night but decided I wanted to know my score really badly and therefore had to finish both parts. I took a break to eat dinner between the sections because it’s so much easier to think clearly with a full tummy. Pizza Rolls!

Source

I know, super healthy. When it came time to start the verbal I was much more calm and ready. I took my time on each question and before I knew it the test was over. Hooray! Then it was time for the moment of truth…

Exam 2 Results: Verbal: 85% ; Math: 48%

Yay for verbal! I was up 18 percentage points from Exam 1. But with math I was only up 3 percentage points. I couldn’t believe it. After 6-7 weeks of class and homework I’m still basically at square one on the math front. I will have to consult my teacher about what to do. Luckily I know it’s not the concepts I don’t understand. I just felt terrified when I was actually taking the exam. It was as if someone was holding a gun to my head the whole time. A math teacher I had in high school once told me to take a few Tylenol before my tests because it might help calm me down. What kind of ridiculous advice is that?? I do need to find some way of controlling my anxiety though – preferably sans drugs.

My total score was up 60 points from Exam 1 and I am aiming to increase it another 70-80 points before I take the official exam. Let’s just hope it’s not a nightmare when I attempt a practice test again in two weeks.

For those of you who don’t care about my trials with standardized testing…

I AM CURRENTLY FIRST IN MY OFFICE MARCH MADNESS POOL! And you know how I did it? I made picks solely based on ranking. I am awesome. Some of my colleagues are less than pleased with my success.

And for those of you who don’t care about standardized tests OR college basketball… Happy Friday!

Do you have any secrets for taking exams?

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Filed under Anxiety, Kitties, March Madness, Studying