Surviving the Trials and Tribulations of University, Op. 3, No. 2 "A New Year, A Winter Semester"

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 at 10:59 PM

A new year! Usually that is not of much significance to me. As a student, I operate on the academic calendar; the year begins in September. However, with the beginning of this winter semester, I felt compelled to mark it. I’ve never been one to make resolutions, but I figure it’s worth giving them a try.

So here goes nothing: my resolutions for the year 2012...or at least the winter semester.

Resolution 1: listen to Beethoven every morning. Start with a movement from his symphonies, move on from there.
I really don’t have a particular affinity for mornings. I’m completely capable of waking up every morning at an appropriate time for my scheduled activities, but I will hit the “sleep” button on my alarm if I can get away with it and, if not, will look like this for a good hour after getting up:

Incidentally, I’m writing this in the morning, just after preparing ingredients for the slow cooker. Note to self: always be fully awake before cooking with oil. Ow. (pro tip: aloe vera is a great investment for less-experienced, student cooks) Anyways, I did do one smart thing this morning: start it with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, 3rd movement. I listen to Beethoven frequently, but somehow I’m always astounded at the brilliance of the music. Beethoven = bliss. Cue the next brilliant idea:


If Beethoven = bliss and always puts me in a good mood, I need to get up early and put on some Beethoven. Maybe if I start to like my mornings, I can turn myself into more of a morning-person.
Beethoven = smile ;)

Resolution 2: end every evening with Debussy.
My prof likes to say that there are only two composers with whom you could take any two-bar excerpt from any moment in any piece of their music...and it would always be absolutely beautiful: Mozart and Debussy. Yes, I know that I’m not being particularly creative with my selection of composers, but they are in the standard repertoire for a reason. As a night owl, I have a hard time winding down at night. Cue Debussy’s music—also bliss! I may, of course, dip into other composers’ repertoire every now and then.

 Resolution 3: stop wasting time with flash games. (and video games in general)
Not that I was ever *really* bad at this. My brother owned and held a monopoly over all the video games growing up, so it’s not like I was ever able to play them at will. But still, it’s astounding how those things can suck hours from your day. “It’ll just be a five minute game!” –Yeah right. I suspect that this would be harder to do if I had actually bought any of the games I have access to.

Resolution 4: student + low budget =/= bad, unappetizing diet. Make good, interesting things.
Hence my slow cooker attempt this morning. *sigh* But it’s winter now, and I’m really prone to the winter blues. Good food is guaranteed to cheer me up. Plus, there’s something therapeutic about cooking (with the added bonus of feeling competent at something useful, rather than the dubious usefulness of my theory homework...). So far, this has included several yummy recipes and a few interesting experiments.
Rice pudding, bolitas de nuez (this translates to ‘balls of nuts’, which doesn’t sound as good), spicy peanut butter pea soup, chilaquiles, French onion soup, bannock, pulled pork, Belgian chocolate gateau, pasta with spicy Thai tuna...

Resolution 5: Keep beauty in life. Always.
Life is beautiful. Sometimes I forget that. But I’m going to make a strong effort to keep its wonder present as much as possible. I’m not sure yet what this is going to encompass. So far this has included getting flowers for my desk and some Japanese incense. And smiling more often to people. I’m trying to keep stress and negativity away so that I don’t project it onto my relationships with others. I would also like to be more generous... Little things are the trick—they make a big difference. I hope.


  1. Martha Says:

    Listening (blissfully) to LVB. Thanks for the link. I'll share your thoughts with tía Car.
    Interestingly, on the weekend we watched the movie Copying Beethoven.

  2. Mariana, I totally agree with you that getting a smile in the very first part of you day is a very good medicine for the heart, and if Beethoven does the trick, adelante!! I have been enjoying your food selections very tasty. I think your resolutions will make possible that you can complete those 16 courses within a year. Animo. Marilu

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