Photo by me (LaNita C)
The picture above is my weekly meal prep time. It may look like too much food but its an easy way to save money and time for anyone and everyone, whether you are a graduate student or not. Clockwise from top left I have tilapia, pork chops, chicken and potatoes, ground beef and salsa, and steak burgers. Cooking in bulk will save you time because you cook one time for the whole week.
Just a few pointers/tips so you can experiment with meal prepping:
#1- CROCKPOTS I have 2 and I will put meats/veggies in them and let them cook on low or high for hours. EXAMPLE: chicken breasts or drumsticks with some garlic, salt, pepper, and cajun spice and chicken broth on low for 6 hours. Then you can just broil them for a few minutes to get the skin crispy.
#2- EGGS I hard boil about 10-12 eggs for easy breakfast or snacks. I don’t have time to scramble eggs everyday.
#3- FISH So you cant make a ton of fish and expect it to stay fresh- but it will last a day or two. I love tilapia for breakfast. I buy a ton of frozen tilapia fillets. Thaw them and put some cajun or chipotle seasoning on it. Heat a bit of olive oil in non-stick pan and sear it. Adding green chile sauce to it while its in the pan. Easy, fast, lean protein.
#4- LOTS OF TUPPERWARE Yep you need a lot to save in fridge or freezer and to take with you everywhere.
#5- MRS DASH SEASONING (no salt) Great and easy seasoning. I have a cabinet full. Most spices and marinades are full of sodium.
These are just a few suggestions to make life easier when schedules are chaotic!
One of my closest friends and mentors once shared a short book with me called 212° the extra degree. He is a highly successful businessman who is an IU alumnus, former Hoosier football player, and whose dad was also a Hoosier football player who went on to play for the 1972 Miami Dolphins team that went undefeated and won the Super Bowl. My teammates and I owe him for his continued guidance as we grow from teenagers into adults, and we are all grateful to have him in our lives.
212° the extra degree by S.I. Parker. Photo by Ren-Jay S.
The premise of 212° the extra degree, is that “at 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train.” Now this might sound like a gimmick, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate the meaning of this book and how applying its principles can help you advance in your studies, career, and life.
The book discusses how a difference of just 1 degree distinguishes hot water and steam, and goes on to give many examples of how the smallest of differences can have a large impact. One of my favorite examples is the average margin of victory in the Indianapolis 500 (we are at Indiana University after all) between 1997-2006 is 2.80 seconds, but the first place prize is $1,497,639 whereas the second place price is $587,321. That 2.80 second difference over 500 miles of racing makes a huge difference in the outcome for the drivers in terms of prestige and prize money. The book goes on to give examples of where and how you can teach the 212 philosophy and how small changes in your daily life can amount to big returns, such as eliminating 30 minutes of television every day to get 182.5 extra hours (or four and a half weeks of work) each year that you can devote to something else.
I would highly recommend this book, you can read it in about 15 minutes, but the message is powerful and can motivate you to take that tiny bit of extra time and effort to differentiate and distinguish yourself amongst your peers. So ask yourself, “what have I done today to get that extra degree?”
The start of the 22nd Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has, and will, force me to better manage my time for the next couple of weeks. It is such a great time to invite people over to my apartment; I usually describe myself as someone more reserved with social outings, but it’s nice to cheer on teams and people in sports that we have never, or rarely, play with others. You can look on the 2014 Olympics as a political, sports, and social event – basically something for everyone.
Photo from http://www.dcc.edu/resources/flu
That’s right, its flu season. In addition to bundling up to brave freezing cold temperatures, occasional snow showers, and thick patches of ice on your way to class and work, now you’ve got to worry about the dreaded flu. Not to fret, the IU Health Center wants students to be proactive and prepare for the flu season (which, by the way can last until April!) by getting a flu shot.
Flu season or not, the IU Health Center is a great resource for graduate students, especially Student Academic Appointees utilizing the mandatory health insurance plan. There are registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, phlebotomists, and even massage therapists on staff to provide a range of services to students. There is also a pharmacy right inside. Also, remember that more than likely at any institution you attend for graduate studies, the student fees you pay are helping to fund health centers.
…stay safe and stay smart! A strong and healthy immune system is the only way those chapters will get written, presentations get finished, and papers get graded.
My hometown Indianapolis, IN (also known as Naptown or Indy) is relatively one hour north of Bloomington, Indiana (also known as B-Town). There are just a few similarities between Indianapolis and Bloomington that made the move to Bloomington a lot easier. Continue reading
I have two favorite places located at the Indiana University Herman B. Wells main library. Both of my favorites are located in the basement in the East Tower of the library. The first of my favorites is the Black Film Center/Archive (BFC/A). I discovered this hidden treasure during the fall of 2012 and I began working as a part time graduate assistant in the summer of 2013. Continue reading
Photo from www.indianapublicmedia.org
I know lawyers and doctors (MD and PhDs) and public officials all from my time here at IU, but none are possibly as interesting as the vocalists I have met that are pursuing advanced degrees. Not only do you have the chance to attend Jacobs School of Music operas at The Musical Arts Center for discounted student pricing, but you get to see fellow graduate students showcase their hard work and talent on stage (as well as the musicians in the orchestra pit).
Operas are dynamic, fun, and exciting. It’s also a far more complex world than I originally thought. Imagine singing for 3+ hours! Imagine learning songs in French, German, or Italian! There are altos, tenors, baritones, counter tenors, sopranos and mezzo sopranos, contraltos, and bass baritones to name a few! I am no opera aficionado, but I absolutely love them and take advantage of every opportunity to attend a performance and learn more.
Just like attending your first IU basketball game, going to the Lil 500 race, playing cornhole (I never heard of this in Los Angeles), and experiencing the Taste of Bloomington– I think attending an opera (at least once) should be on everyone’s list. Who knows, you just might become a season ticket holder! After all, Jacobs School of Music is one of the most renowned in the nation.
Photo from etsy.com
Challenge yourself to try something new. The pressures of graduate school and perhaps living in a new area will force you to try new activities, utilize different study techniques, and step outside your comfort zone. I picked the IU Mini, a half marathon, to challenge myself during the first year of my doctoral program.
I am thankful for graduate student groups like the Black Graduate Student Association, because that is exactly the medium I used to
peer pressure contact and interest fellow graduate students to train and run the race with me. My listserv message was met with lots of interest from ladies in different programs and schools that were ready to tackle this challenge.
Some of these ladies are currently writing dissertations, while the others have graduated and moved away from Bloomington, but training through a snowy and icy winter for a spring half marathon has bonded us forever. Nothing like wearing ear warmers, running gloves, 2 pairs of warm tights, base layer shirts, fleece jacket, and warm socks to brave the 25°-30° weather for weekly long runs.
Here I am almost 3 years later and deep in the world of powerlifting and weighlifting, but something is telling me to try it again, perhaps train harder this time and improve my time. Truthfully speaking, I just want to run it so I can have a
cuter better picture at the finish line, because I actually hate dislike running (still waiting for that “runner’s high”), but I love working out with friends. Obviously I have time to decide, but it’s always in the back of my mind. The race is right here in town with plenty of undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, and community members running right next to you. Perhaps it’s time for another listserv message??
Photo from hoosierhalf.com
- A view of Oliver Winery’s backyard pond, which is a great picnic spot! Photo courtesy of www.tripadvisor.com
Yes. You read that right. Indiana has a wine trail. Indiana produces Continue reading
Let’s get real: Graduate school can get VERY stressful! In order to relax your brain (and keep your sanity) sometimes you have to take a break! Even one step further than that, schedule a break for yourself just like you would for a meeting with you advisor!
Here is a list of things that I schedule for myself throughout the semester, and sometimes once a week!
1.) A day where I don’t do any work after 12:30 p.m. : My “day to myself” is what I call “Thursday Funday” and I take night to hang with my classmates at a bar and eat lunch with friends
2.) A day for an hour long massage: This is a good way to release some tension!
3.) A couple of hours wine tasting: Here in Bloomigton, IN Oliver Winery does $5 wine tastings on Saturdays!
4.) Buy something just for fun: Somedays I just go buy something for myself without necessity. Splurge a little!
5.) Deep clean your house: In order to have clarity, you must clean. A cluttered house means a cluttered mind!
If you remember to schedule times for a breather, you too will survive grad school!