A Quarter Century

Sorry for the hiatus, folks. I’ve been working on 4 final papers due today, so that I can say I’ve finally finished my first semester of graduate school! In other news, this is my 200th post. Woo Hoo!

Also, in more special news, I turned 25 yesterday! That’s just crazy talk, if you ask me. I’m happy to say that I completed several of the items on my “25 before 25” list, and I’m wrapping that up tonight with a real cooking class/birthday party!

I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot in my 25 years so far, but there are always doubts in my head that I’m not doing enough…So to look on the positive side, I wanted to think of some of my most proudest accomplishments/moments/memories and look to all the great things that lie in my future. I think it suits us all to appreciate things we’ve done well and set goals for what we hope to achieve.

1. Becoming a leader – Throughout high school, college, and many jobs, I feel like I have developed some great skills and honed my abilities as a natural leader.
2. Scholarship – Without receiving a full-tuition scholarship to Wayne State University, I don’t know if I would have been able to complete college without putting my family into debt, and I would never be able to forgive myself for that.
3. Love – I am lucky to have the love in my life from my wonderful and quirky family, and to have created and worked at the best relationship I have ever had with my husband, Eric.

Goals: I don’t plan to make a yearly list of the smaller thing I hope to accomplish, but I think it’s important to have an idea of priorities and long-term goals.

By the time I am 30 (eek!), I hope to:

1. Have a child – at least one. This will of course come when Hubs and I feel ready for that big step.
2. Pay off some debt – between medical school and grad school, we certainly won’t pay it off in the next 5 years, but we should have a regular payment plan set up and be working toward that big goal.
3. Get in touch with my Hungarian – I keep saying I want to learn more of the language, but I know that I need to commit to some kind of plan to actually retain more than the basic words I already know. I also want to absorb as many of my family’s stories as I can, because I won’t always have my grandmother and other relatives around to share those special memories.
4. Live in another city – Detroit is our hometown and where our family is. Pittsburgh is a great place to go to school and live for a few years. But we would love to experience another city, maybe westward. Denver, perhaps? ūüôā
5. Volunteer on a regular basis – I already do a lot of volunteer work, but it’s mostly sporadic. I hope to figure out a few great causes that I want to be involved in that reflect my knowledge, hobbies, and priorities in life.

Do you have any other recommended goals for me? I appreciate others’ input, but know that I can only set goals that I think I will be able to accomplish and want to do for myself.

What are some of your long-term goals?

25 Before 25 – One Month Left!

In one month, I’ll be celebrating a quarter of a century of time on this Earth. Crazy! Sometimes I still feel like a little kid – or is that just wishful thinking? – and sometimes I feel like an old lady. Regardless, grad school and life experiences have taught me that I still have so much to learn!

Let’s check in on that amibitious list of things I wanted to accomplish before turning 25. Since my last check-in in September, I sadly haven’t checked off anything else on the list ūüė¶ I think including leisurely books to read was a bad decision leading up to grad school….But I’m still very happy that I accomplished a lot! Here is what’s left:

1. Complete a 5k
2. Transition into a vegan lifestyle
3. Start some kind of further education/night classes
4. Explore the Grand Canyon
5. Plan a trip to Hawaii (well, we planned a trip to Vegas, so that counts!)
6. Meditate
7. Take a real/professional cooking class
8. Get to a healthier weight
9. Try a new form of exercise
10. Learn some sign language
11. Go on a real hike
12. Visit an art museum in Pittsburgh (the Warhol, Mattress Factory)
13. See the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt
14. Get into a regular yoga habit, at least once a week
15. Read The China Study
16. Finish The Hunger Games and/or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogies
17. Read a classic novel…Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina…something I don’t think I could bear but I should at least try!
18. Volunteer/Work on a farm
19. Watch an outdoor movie
20.  Join a non-profit committee or board
21. ‚ÄúGet away‚ÄĚ with my man for a day or weekend
22. Watch the documentary¬†Earthlings¬†–¬†(just finished this) it‚Äôs a must see, plus it‚Äôs free. Warning: not for the faint of heart.
23. See a recent Michael Moore documentary, maybe Capitalism: A Love Storyor Sicko
24. Participate in a Learnit through CommuniTeach
25. Host a giveaway on my blog (hint hint!)

Even though there are several things left on this list, I have had some great new experiences this year that school and friends have provided that I wouldn’t have even thought to include: For example, I:

– Went on my first food tour!
– Watched some thought-provoking documentaries…Polycultures, The Garden and Black Gold.
– Checked out interesting festivals/fairs and speaker lectures
– Met so many great Food Studies friends!

I’m looking forward to this month countdown to 25 and everything beyond!

25 Before 25 – September Check In

Ahhh, September. School’s back in session, the leaves are starting to turn and the air has a crisp autumn feel.

Unfortunately, my school schedule has limited the amount of free-time reading, or really any free time that I have to pursue some of the things on my 25 Before 25 list. Here’s what I accomplished this month:

18. Volunteered/Worked on a farm

This is actually an ongoing project for my Growing Sustainably lab, where I’ll be learning about and working on the organic garden at Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus. So far, I feel out of my element with my lack of farming knowledge, but I’m learning!

Here’s my ongoing list of what’s to come!

1. Complete a 5k
2. Transition into a vegan lifestyle
3. Start some kind of further education/night classes
4. Explore the Grand Canyon
5. Plan a trip to Hawaii
6. Meditate
7. Take a real/professional cooking class
8. Get to a healthier weight
9. Try a new form of exercise
10. Learn some sign language
11. Go on a real hike
12. Visit an art museum in Pittsburgh (the Warhol, Mattress Factory)
13. See the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt
14. Get into a regular yoga habit, at least once a week
15. Read The China Study
16. Finish The Hunger Games and/or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogies
17. Read a classic novel…Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina…something I don’t think I could bear but I should at least try!
18. Volunteer/Work on a farm
19. Watch an outdoor movie
20.  Join a non-profit committee or board
21. ‚ÄúGet away‚ÄĚ with my man for a day or weekend
22. Watch the documentary¬†Earthlings¬†–¬†(just finished this) it‚Äôs a must see, plus it‚Äôs free. Warning: not for the faint of heart.
23. See a recent Michael Moore documentary, maybe Capitalism: A Love Storyor Sicko
24. Participate in a Learnit through CommuniTeach
25. Host a giveaway on my blog (hint hint!)

Nationality Rooms

One of my goals after moving to Pittsburgh was to visit the¬†nationality rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt. The late gothic revival cathedral is a sight to be seen, sticking out of Oakland’s skyline at 42-stories high. It’s the tallest educational building in the Western Hemisphere, and I’ve regularly heard that athletes enjoy climbing the 36 publicly accessible floors!

I’ll be honest…I wasn’t even aware of the rooms or the Cathedral (and its physical stature) before I moved to the ‘burgh, but I’m glad I quickly learned and recently visited. At first, I was expecting to walk into one large lecture hall with representations of different countries through flags, paraphernalia, etc. WRONG. These are actually regularly used classrooms encompassing the first and third floors of the Cathedral. With 27 classrooms dating back to 1938, and 8 rooms in planning, there is plenty to see and learn!

The English classroom....largest of the bunch

The lovely view outside the English classroom

After hearing that one of the earliest completed rooms featured Hungarian history and memorabilia, I knew I had to see it for myself. Being full of Magyar blood, I felt like I was home again ūüôā

my family totally owns dolls like this!

I also loved the stained glass featuring Hungarian cultural heroes.

While some of the classrooms smelled liked the last visiting students came from 1938, there were also some other highlights on my tour:

...the detailed floor and wall decorations of the Israeli Room.

...the ashram-esque beauty of the Indian Room.

...the communal feel of the African Room.

Can you believe present-day students get to experience such historical and carefully crafted rooms? It’s amazing that the University of Pittsburgh started this project over 70 years ago and that 25 of the 27 classrooms are still regularly in use!

A globe that took 5 years to complete in Krakow, Poland

Ornate ceiling in the Chinese Room.

Get your culture on!

25 Before 25 – August Check In

Today is bittersweet. It’s my last day of full-time employment for at least the next two years while I pursue graduate school. Yes, I’m happy to be embarking on this new journey, but I will miss the people I worked with and the wonderful community I was a part of for the past year. On to my next chapter in the ‘Burgh…

OK, let’s talk goals! August was just an OK month for my 25 Before 25 list. Here’s what I did:

13. Saw the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt
14. Got into a regular yoga habit, at least once a week

I’ve got a whole post brewing about those historical Nationality Rooms, so stay tuned!

As for the yoga, that was just one of the many perks of working where I did. As part of the wellness committee, we brought a once a week lunchtime yoga practice to the office, led voluntarily by one of the admin assistants and a friend of mine. Now it’s up to me to keep it going during school. It always feels great to do some mid-day deep stretching and balancing.

Here’s my ongoing list of what’s to come!

1. Complete a 5k
2. Transition into a vegan lifestyle
3. Start some kind of further education/night classes
4. Explore the Grand Canyon
5. Plan a trip to Hawaii
6. Meditate
7. Take a real/professional cooking class
8. Get to a healthier weight
9. Try a new form of exercise
10. Learn some sign language
11. Go on a real hike
12. Visit an art museum in Pittsburgh (the Warhol, Mattress Factory)
13. See the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt
14. Get into a regular yoga habit, at least once a week
15. Read The China Study
16. Finish The Hunger Games and/or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogies
17. Read a classic novel…Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina…something I don’t think I could bear but I should at least try!
18. Volunteer/Work on a farm
19. Watch an outdoor movie
20.  Join a non-profit committee or board
21. ‚ÄúGet away‚ÄĚ with my man for a day or weekend
22. Watch the documentary¬†Earthlings¬†–¬†(just finished this) it‚Äôs a must see, plus it‚Äôs free. Warning: not for the faint of heart.
23. See a recent Michael Moore documentary, maybe Capitalism: A Love Storyor Sicko
24. Participate in a Learnit through CommuniTeach
25. Host a giveaway on my blog (hint hint!)

25 Before 25 – July Check In

July was a happening month for me, so let’s see what was accomplished on my 25 Before 25 list:

4. Explored the Grand Canyon – Hubs and I watched the sunset over Hopi Point one night, and then followed a 3-mile trail around the Canyon’s South Rim the next day.
11. Went on a real hike – My gym shoe bottoms are red to prove that we hiked through the red rocks of Sedona! (Check out pics of the Grand Canyon & Sedona if we’re FB friends!)
12. Visited an art museum in Pittsburgh (The Warhol) – went through all 7-stories of this eclectic museum when my father-in-law was in town.

I’ve also decided to change one of my goals, as I’ve eluded to before:
6. Try a short body¬†cleanse. ——> Meditate.
I’ve though about meditating and heard lots of positive things about it, so I think it’s a more important goal for me to have than a body cleanse. Hey, it’s my list and I’ll do what I want ūüôā

Here’s my (new) ongoing list of what’s to come!
1. Complete a 5k
2. Transition into a vegan lifestyle
3. Start some kind of further education/night classes
4. Explore the Grand Canyon
5. Plan a trip to Hawaii
6. Meditate
7. Take a real/professional cooking class
8. Get to a healthier weight
9. Try a new form of exercise
10. Learn some sign language
11. Go on a real hike
12. Visit an art museum in Pittsburgh (the Warhol, Mattress Factory)
13. See the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt
14. Get into a regular yoga habit, at least once a week
15. Read The China Study
16. Finish The Hunger Games and/or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogies
17. Read a classic novel…Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina…something I don’t think I could bear but I should at least try!
18. Volunteer/Work on a farm
19. Watch an outdoor movie
20.  Join a non-profit committee or board
21. ‚ÄúGet away‚ÄĚ with my man for a day or weekend
22. Watch the documentary¬†Earthlings¬†–¬†(just finished this) it‚Äôs a must see, plus it‚Äôs free. Warning: not for the faint of heart.
23. See a recent Michael Moore documentary, maybe Capitalism: A Love Story or Sicko
24. Participate in a Learnit through CommuniTeach
25. Host a giveaway on my blog (hint hint!)

And while I have yet to fulfill item #1 on my list (complete a 5k), I am well on my way! I recently started the Couch-to-5k running program, a.k.a. C25K, and am heading into week 3. Now I just need to find a good race to sign up for!

25 Before 25 – June Check In

First, let us mourn the loss of my Saturday morning spinning class. I sweated it out for the last time at the YMCA today because my membership ends this month and I won’t be renewing ūüė¶
I guess this means I should try some new forms of exercise…that reminds me of the “25 Before 25” list. (Segue!)

We’re now three months into my checklist and less than 6 months away from my birthday! This month I:

16. Finished The Hunger Games trilogy. I want more Katniss Everdeen! I guess that’s what the movie is for…
19. Watched an outdoor movie – see yesterday’s post ūüôā

Here’s my ongoing list of what’s to (hopefully) come!
1. Complete a 5k
2. Transition into a vegan lifestyle
3. Start some kind of further education/night classes
4. Explore the Grand Canyon
5. Plan a trip to Hawaii (hopefully for the end of 2011, right after my b-day)
6. Try a short body cleanse
7. Take a real/professional cooking class
8. Get to a healthier weight (I don’t want to a put a number on this, it’s more about how I feel)
9. Try a new form of exercise/sport/class…barre, anyone?
10. Learn some sign language
11. Go on a real hike
12. Visit an art museum in Pittsburgh (the Warhol, Mattress Factory)
13. See the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at Pitt
14. Get into a regular yoga habit, at least once a week
15. Read The China Study
16. Finish The Hunger Games and/or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogies
17. Read a classic novel…Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina…something I don’t think I could bear but I should at least try!
18. Volunteer/Work on a farm
19. Watch an outdoor movie
20.  Join a non-profit committee or board
21. ‚ÄúGet away‚ÄĚ with my man for a day or weekend
22. Watch the documentary¬†Earthlings¬†–¬†(just finished this) it‚Äôs a must see, plus it‚Äôs free. Warning: not for the faint of heart.
23. See a recent Michael Moore documentary, maybe Capitalism: A Love Storyor Sicko
24. Participate in a Learnit through CommuniTeach
25. Host a giveaway on my blog (hint hint!)

I really need to work on numbers 4-15! I have a feeling I’ll be able to cross off a few items next month, after our Arizona mini-road trip!

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