Adventures in procrastinating

The bag of flour blew up on my face…don’t ask.

October!  Yikes, how did mid semester get here so quick?! Amidst all the anxiety to get more dissertation writing done, I let me mind wander to good old Pinterest  and landed in some recipes.    In my defense, I will say that the intention was productive… I mean, I have to eat and feed my family, right? Right!  So I made some focaccia bread! Aside from being able to share the carb wealth with friends, the process was rather therapeutic.  My mind wandered and I event thought about quitting the whole dissertation torture and move on to a Baking and Pastry School.….now on to reality and Chapter 2 of the dissertation.


For the recipe see:  Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe via Living Thrifty










Rankings through the perspective of current IU grads


For this post I chose to interview current IU grads from different backgrounds and disciplines.

“The most important thing about rankings is to understand the methods and measures that organizations like US News and World Report use to make sure they align with your own values. They can be useful if thoughtfully analyzed.”
Doctoral Candidate
M.S 2010

Schools are ranked and individual programs are ranked. I was aware of university rankings and coming from a big ten school I knew I wanted to pursue my graduate degree at a large state school. Funding, program accreditation, and proximity to family were primary factors in my school application search. Although I did not look specifically at rankings others may benefit from applying to a range of high and medium ranked schools to increase their chance of receiving offer letters to attend. This may work with someone that is concerned about their standardized scores and academic performance. Also different programs are typically ranked by national professional organizations, so if you’re looking for a competitive program with a range of training experiences their accreditation will be a good indicator of the quality of available opportunities.
Becky, PhD 2011

“My advice to prospective graduate students; learn as much as you can about possible advisors and get to know them before applying (this will make the application process more or less stress free), talk to current students and alumni about the connectedness of the school in terms of faculty/student collaboration and job placement, and weigh the costs and benefits of attending each institution.
In my personal experience, I don’t attend a top 10 school but I also don’t think I could be in a better place. The faculty are THE leaders in their field and are well connected to other leaders. It’s very easy for me to walk into a faculty member’s office and ask for help, advice, and discuss opportunities for projects and publications. Additionally, because my field is Health Law and IU is now not only a university but also a health system, I don’t think I could find the types of resources I have at my fingertips anywhere else…especially at the relatively inexpensive rate for in-state tuition.”
J.D. candidate
MPH 2011



5 Reasons I love the BFM

After avoiding the hot and humid Saturdays outdoors these last several weeks,  I realized I was punishing myself by not going to the Farmer’s Market.  Once there I remembered why I love the farmers market.

1)   Fun, quirky music you can hear from block’s away.

2)   Yummy assortment of food, from gourmet tamales, to crepes to Italian soda!

Photo: Feast

3)   Vibrant colors, and smells….build your own bouquet of flowers or follow your nose to the smell of fresh cut lavender

4)   Charlie the parrot!  A parrot that dances to the tunes played by a man and his ukulele.

5)   And finalement, the fresh produce!    Personally, I’m always inspired to go home and cook after meeting and chatting with the people who spent time, energy, and care for the food I’m about to prepare.

Summer is over, and Saturday morning are cooler. So if you haven’t been to the BFM, check it out, eat something and savor the tastes, colors, and smells.

Summer on La Isla Del Encanto (“The Enchanted Island”), Puerto Rico

With the support of a departmental research grant and through some great networks, I landed a 6-week research experience in Puerto Rico.  The experience was eye opening, served as a language and cultural immersion, and established lifelong friendships.

During the previous spring semester, I had been chatting with a friend and faculty member about the anti-climatic feel to the passing of my qualifying exams and how unprepared I still felt.  I attributed this to my lack of experience in working with a research team or with a specified project.  After listening to me, my friend simple asked, ”Well why don’t you do something about it?” The faculty member followed in asking,  “how is your Spanish? I have a contact in Puerto Rico.”

I contacted the faculty member in P.R. and within 24 hours I had a response and the rest was my summer.

During my time there, I worked at the medical campus alongside two faculty members, and graduate students who had recently collected data on sexual health, attitudes, and personal sexual history of Puerto Ricans.  Additionally, I visited and was a part of the workshops offered at a local AIDS clinic, participated in the end of semester presentations, commencement, and the inauguration of the first transgendered safe space, Nosotr@s.



On the weekends, I visited surrounding towns, cities, and beaches.  The people of Puerto Rico were warm, extremely hospitable.  At social gatherings I encountered individuals who were eager to hear about my experiences on the island, and ready to add to my bucket list.  Needless to say, the bucket list only seemed to grow, and I eagerly look forward to next summer when I plan on returning to take on another project.

*All pictures taken by Zelideh