Saturday, July 23, 2016

different kinds of freedom

Summer Fave #4: summer hours
I hate to admit that there are some perks of grad school because I like to adamantly maintain that it and shifty science and thesis writing is the worst form of human existence. And I'm only getting a Master's. Ask any fellow grad, and they'll say the same. But as I muscle through the last of chapter edits, I'm also realizing I just might miss this special brand of freedom.
Don't be confused.. I've definitely felt like a slave to soy and milk proteins for two years. And it's a little terrifying to think my emotions and mental stability have been governed by foams and emulsions for that time. Healthy human relationships? What's that? Don't judge me but my precious glass foam apparatus quickly became my most valuable possession (that isn't even really mine). The amount of times I had to lovingly soak and soap and rinse and dry that thing. And then the number times I wanted to smash it against the wall when data was misbehaving again...
Sorry, anyways, "freedom."

It's hard to acknowledge because I used to get heart palpitations when I left Madison for the weekend. Planning any sort of trip involved a lot of serious deliberation about whether it was worth missing two quiet and focused weekend days of lab work and then frantic planning around those days and then crying the night away in my dark office when plans went awry as they do and then yelling "fuck it!" as I tear out of the 'Cock because "I'll deal with this after."
But in reality, no one's hovering over your shoulder or even checking in on your office to make sure you're around. No one gives a shit as long as you're producing results and making tangible progress. The real internal struggle for me is if I don't have any evidence of progress to present and my boss has been acutely aware that I'm not in lab from 8am-8pm, then I'm fucked. But otherwise, I don't have to submit time cards or formally request PTO or use sick/vacation days. I can come in at noon if I so please, and then I can leave two hours later if I get hungry again. If the boss is out of town, you can usually bet the students will be, too. Really, you work as much or as little as you need to each day to finish your degree within the confines of your funding and committee's satisfaction.
And things get pretty lax come summer. When no one in the department has a regular schedule, and Abbey and I can go suffer through Kayla Itsines at any hour, and my main motivation for being in the office is to be in AC'd spaces.

So this in honor of the times I dip out at 2pm to leisurely make dinner for myself. Or spend an extra hour or four to make lunch for myself before heading to work.
I had one last pack of pork chops from where it began. And between that time I got a dancing pancake at Tavernakaya and Jules' leftovers donations, I decided to bread and fry them in panko like last time.
Lets talk about the more professional pancake first ^. Oh man, it was everything I wanted except 10x too small, but I won't dwell on that.
The bonito flakes danced for me atop the pancake even as I slowly carved away at it. Everything blended together so seamlessly, nicely bound together in one cohesive pancake.
Well, I don't have the knife skills of a mandolin, so my pancakes (sans kale) turned out a bit more loose and freeform and.. cabbage-y. Good thing I love cabbage. And you know, the sauce just about made up for everything.
"Treat yo'self."
I can't really... unless it's summer hours.

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