Thursday, January 26, 2006

Leavings from the feast

No matter what horrid creation I contrive with the remnants of my pantry and fridge, Dave courageously adds a few drops of Tabasco and a shake or two of pepper and gobbles it down like an inmate in general population. I made one of my worst meal-time improvisations a few days ago.

Sweet potato crusted chicken breasts. Sounds harmless enough, right? But I have yet to master the art of pan frying, or frying at all, for that matter, and the idea of fluffy, lightly browned sweet potato covering a juicy, tender chicken breast kind of clouded my mind. What I actually got was a burned, greasy slab of chicken smeared with a few glops of orange, lumpy yam. Nevertheless, Dave obliged it completely, attesting that it was good, and he'd take care of the leftovers. Thank God the poached Northook limas and sauteed spinach with red onion turned out. I would have starved.


Before life decisions are made, high school seniors are told that it's best to be well-rounded, to have a good idea of what you like and what you aspire to before you head off to college, but don't get too set in your goals, because life has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Sometimes life sends you careening into a hairpin turn, and all you can see is a 40-foot wall, but just a few feet to the left is the rest of the course. Can you adapt? Can you pump the brakes and hit the accelorator at the last minute to pull your craft out of what looks like certain death and still go on to win the race? Or do you hit the Bond-like blinking red "EJECT" button, jettison yourself and the drivers seat only to have the parachute, which should have insured your safe return to solid ground, fail?

When I was a sophomore at Texas A&M University, I took a Biomedical Genetics course from a tenured professor that had recently recovered from pituitary cancer only because they removed a chunk of his cerebrum (for lay persons, your pituitary is sandwiched by your brain and controls a lot of your basic functions, like telling you that you're hungry or making sure that your salivary glands produce enough to dissolve carbohydrates).

I know, you're thinking, "Hey, they took out a piece of this prof's brain and the Aggies still let him teach?" But it's true. In that same semester I took Organic Chemistry and Chordate Anatomy with a Film Analysis class. Because I couldn't manage the three difficult science-oriented courses, I made three D's that semester. I realized I couldn't hack.

So, I started exploring my options. Can't hack it in Biomed hard enough to make it into Veterinary School at A&M, much less OSU, so I'm screwed in that department. I don't want to get a degree in some mediocre biology or micro-bio major and become a lab rat. Where's my emergency brake? Where's my "EJECT" button? Or better yet, WHO THE HELL RIPPED OFF MY SECURITY BLANKET AND LEFT MY ASS IN THE COLD?!

In Aggieland, a glut of students pursue majors in Hard Science (Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics and Engineering), Agriculture or Business. Those three majors tend to have more campus-wide facilities than other majors. Other popular choices are Political Science, RPTS (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Science) and Architecture. Almost all other majors are underfunded an obscure. Lucky for me, I was able to find one obscure enough that several Aggies that asked the ubiquitous question "What's your major?" responded to my declaration with "We actually have that major?"

Agricultural Journalism. It allowed me to transfer most of my existing science credits while not setting me back a semester. I was also able to emphasize my studies in Renewable Natural Resources. I pulled out of that hairpin turn with gusto and a skyward wave of my 10-gallon felt.

If you were wondering, I went into Aggieland majoring in Biomedical Science, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, and minoring in performance violin. Change of plans, huh?

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