Wednesday, January 19, 2011

don't you forget about me

If you want to read more of my random musings in a new space, my new blog is here.

Thanks for the memories Blogger, I hope you don't take this too personally.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

paradoxically speaking

Since starting my counseling program last year, I'm beginning to see various ways in which the systems within the institution in which I work (UC Davis) are completely incongurent with some of the  philosophies I want to embrace as a career counselor. For example, the concept of career exploration is not really an option for students who want to explore the field of design. Many of the undergraduate students I advise are struggling in pre-med or engineering majors and instead want to become Design majors. Yet due to our program being severely impacted already, the only way to enter the major is by taking the gateway class, Introduction to Design and Visual Culture, which is a strictly enforced prerequisite to every other Design class. However, this class is only offered once a year and has a limited number of spots for non-majors once all the incoming Design freshman and junior transfers enroll. This year's waitlist for the class was close to 100 students.....and some of these students are trying for their 3rd year in a row to get in. It truly is a heartwrenching thing to interact with these waitlisted students, many of whom are near tears when they talk with me because they so desperately want to get in and there's not much I can do but suggest they talk to the instructor. They finally feel like they have found a career path to pursue and yet their fate of getting into the major is determined by whether or not they have a good registration time that allows them to enroll in the class before the many others who hope to do the same. It is so hard for me to reconcile the importance of allowing college students to explore different career fields so that they can gain occupational knowledge while at the same time trying to enforce university policies that are in place to try and reduce the number of students in the Design major due to a lack of funding to hire more faculty to teach more Design classes.


Monday, August 30, 2010

what you give up to get it

"clothes make the man. naked people have little or no influence on society."
~mark twain

On a particularly slow day at work, I found myself cruising the blogs of various friends to provide a distraction to my office boredom. I came across a blog entry posted by one of my sorority sisters, Bethany, that caught my interest and I couldn't stop thinking about it for the rest of the day. She had posted a link to a NY Times article about a global social experiment called '6 Items Or Less' that challenges people to choose six items of clothing and wear only those items for a month (excluding undergarments, gym wear, and accessories like shoes of jewelry). Bethany listed the six items she had chosen for her participation in this challenge and I immediately thought, I should do this too. Then almost instantaneously, I had a completely averse reaction to my own suggestion. My inner monologue went something like this:

6 pieces of clothing for a month? That's impossible. No, it's not. Having a myriad of outfit options is not a necessity, it's a privilege. But I like having that privilege, I don't want to give that up to take part in some random social experiment. Why not? Maybe you should examine why you're having such a strong reaction to this. Ugghhhh...

And so taking my own advice, I did some reflection on why wearing the same items of clothing over the course of four weeks would be such a challenge for me. One of the conclusions I came to is that I have let the clothes I wear define me in a sense. I don't want to think I'm one of those people, but sadly I am. It's not that I must wear big name expensive designers or labels (come to think of it, I don't own any designer items) but rather I like having lots of options of different styles of clothing that I mentally put in different "life scenario" categories. So there's certain outfit options for work, then I have my 'casual hanging out at home' clothes, and then there's items that fall in more specific categories like 'going out for happy hour' or 'going to a concert' and so on and so forth. Now that I write this, I sound a little neurotic when it comes to dressing myself. And for me, that's the main point of this challenge, to force myself to forgo all the different options in my closet and stick with a slim few.

So after a few days of wrestling with myself over whether to do it or not, I decided that this kind of "fasting" would do me good and perhaps teach me some important lessons about consumerism and vanity, among other things. However, I did alter the challenge so that I could choose 12 items instead of 6. I know, I know--it's like giving up before I even started. But I knew that if I only was able to wear 6 items for a month that I would most likely not make it through the first week. So I view it as accepting initial defeat of the original challenge in order to strive towards gaining victory in a modified challenge that essentially has the same goal in mind.

I am in the 10th day of the challenge and I have felt some frustration towards being limited in my apparel choices, but on the flip side it makes getting ready in the morning a whole lot faster when my options are limited!

In the big scheme of things, this challenge could be considered petty, especially when I think about how a good number of people in the world don't even own 12 items of clothing. But that is a big part of why I want to do this in the first place--- to put into perspective how I view my worldly possessions, especially clothing, which I tend to cling to more than I should. No matter what the glossy ads in magazines tell us, I don't want my identity to be  linked with the clothes I wear because what a sad existence that would be.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

i found my thrill on blueberry hill

At the beginning of July, I had an overwhelming desire to exclusively feature little blue juicy berries at the center of any summer baking recipes I would use and needless to say, blueberries have brought me and my stomach much joy in the last month. I have been fortunate in finding wonderful recipes that have been quite a hit in the Sholer kitchen, and I wanted to share them with anyone who fancies this fruit (which is not only delicious, but quite nutritious) as much as I do.

The first is an old favorite that I discovered several years ago in Rachael Ray's magazine: Rachael's Blueberry Cobbler. 

The second is a muffin recipe featured on Pioneer Woman's blog in which fresh blueberries are a MUST for the best results. When my muffins came out of the oven, I was so proud because my muffins looked exactly like the picture and I consider this a big accomplishment. Small victories, people.

The third is a recipe I used just this morning in preparing for a brunch I was hosting. I found a link to it on and honestly, I just liked the name of the recipe, "Blueberry Boy Bait" (the recipe was originally submitted in a 1950's Pillsbury bake-off contest). And yes, I think that with this cake you could bribe someone whether they were male OR female. Mmmm!

Anyone else have any good blueberry recipes?

Friday, June 04, 2010

shaking off the dust

My blogging has been neglected for some time. There are many variables I could blame (the grad school/working full-time combo at the top of the list) but I must admit that instead of blaming outside forces, it's been more of an internal thing. The desire to capture my sometimes thoughtful, sometimes random musings has been there but the last several months, I just haven't had the inner motivation to actually go from thinking about it to actually doing it. And while I don't fool myself into believing that there are lots of people on the other end of this screen who are eagerly awaiting my blog updates, I do want to be better about blogging if only for the sole reason of slowing down and actually reflecting on the small and big aspects of my life. Having the tendency to get so caught up in the never-ending details of life, it is good mental medicine for me to pause and write so that I can fully absorb what I'm thinking.

Needless to say, a lot has happened since I last posted. Ideally, I'd like to write separate posts on a lot of these things but honestly, I just don't have the energy. And also, it's not quite the same to write in-depth about something that happened 2 months just feels a little stagnant to me. So instead, here's a summary from the last few months and here's to hoping I can better maintain this little virtual space of mine on a more regular basis!

First year of graduate school- check
It was a year that tested my resolve and that caused me to evaluate why I truly want to enter the field of career counseling. I quickly realized how my program was not going to teach me how to help someone improve their resume or interviewing techniques, but rather empower people to improve their overall lives....which was a somewhat surprising yet exciting discovery. It was a year of getting to know the most diverse group of people I've ever been a part of. This led to hearing and learning and considering different perspectives and angles about the world that I had never thought about before. It was a year where I was challenged, was frustrated, was emotionally fulfilled, was transformed....and this is just the beginning of a lifelong process of becoming a counselor. I'm glad I get the summer to rejuvenate and hopefully come back refreshed for another whirlwind of an academic year!

End of a television era
May was a historic month in pop culture for me. "LOST" and "24", two television shows that contributed so much to the realm of entertainment in my life over the last 6-8 years, aired their last episode within a day of one another. For different reasons, I knew that both shows needed to end. Yet it was still bittersweet to watch the final minutes of each show knowing there would never be another original episode of two innovative television series that can never be replaced. I'm not trying to be melodramatic, but especially those who shared a heartfelt love for "LOST" with me can understand this feeling of losing something special. Take, for example, my LOSTie friend Brea's poignant post about what the show meant to her. Similar to Brea, both of these shows have not only merely entertained, but I can honestly say they have contributed fond memories to my friendships and even my marriage. David and I both started watching these shows together when we were dating, and they became part of our lives through our engagement, through our first years of marriage. Looking back, I will cherish the memories of being glued to the TV waiting in suspense to find out what Locke would find in the hatch or what corrupt conspiracy Jack Bauer would foil this time. I look forward to buying these DVD box sets and someday watching them with our kids (who we might have to initially bribe into watching an "old" show from 2004) and exposing them to a unique piece of television history.

NYC/DC Vacay
This trip rocked my socks. We spent time in two amazing cities with awesome company enjoying delicious food and tasty drinks....what more could you ask for from a vacation? In New York, me, David, and Jeff (David's bro) stayed at Katie (David's cousin and my honorary cousin)'s fabulous apartment on the Upper East Side and let's just say I can't wait to stay with her again! This is now my fourth time going to NYC and as always, the city cast it's spell on me--from our Trader Joe's sponsored picnic in Central Park, seeing a new part of Brooklyn, having the most delicious crepe of my life at a cozy restaurant in the East Village, fitting in a little shopping in SoHo, and finding a new favorite cupcake at Two Little Red Hens, this visit to NYC did not disappoint.

We then hopped on a BOLT bus and headed to DC to visit our friends Diana and Cody for a few days. When we went to DC back in 2007, we tried to cram as much in as possible so it was nice to go at a more relaxed pace this time. To get into the true spirit of Memorial Day, it only felt right to visit Arlington National Cemetery and while we were at it we visited good ole' Abe lounging in his chair at his memorial as well. We also experienced culinary greatness in many forms--specifically at Amsterdam Falafelshop and our DC fave, Pizzeria Paradiso (their pizza is quite literally a little slice of heaven). Another highlight was being able to see the Museum of American History (since it was under renovation when we were there a few years ago)--- I got goosebumps looking at historical icons like THE star-spangled banner and Lincoln's top hat. I'm a wannabe history nerd, what can I say? We had such a fun time and are so blessed to know people who are willing to host us on the East Coast because we'll definitely be back again!

Book club
I love to read. I love to socialize. So with the help of my friend and fellow bookworm, Jenny, we started a summer book club and it's been just splendid. Somehow we hit the jackpot and compiled a group of rad women and I haven't had such fun discussing books since I was in my 10th grade English class (no I'm not being sarcastic, I loved most of my high school English classes). I love our book club so much I created a separate blog for it:

Ok, ok my fingers hurt. More blogging to come!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Can't wait to be here in 39 days:

And here in 43 days:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My musical sanity

There's a mix on my iPOD that I listen to specifically on my commute back from my night classes at Sac State, which can be pretty intense. I need music to "debrief" to while I ponder what I just experienced, learned, etc. and I've found that these albums help me to slow down and find some sanity amidst the frantic pace of life I tend to have right now.

The Outsiders- Needtobreathe (appropriate band name for how I sometimes feel)

The Glass Passenger- Jack's Mannequin (my love for Andrew McMahon's musical talent was revived when I saw him in concert last month....his music and lyrics resonate with me)

Better Days- Robbie Seay Band (a calming album that puts things in perspective)

Everybody- Ingrid Michaelson (many songs on this album are uplifting after a long day)

Time Without Consequence- Alexi Murdoch (perfect night driving soundtrack)

Nothing is Sound- Switchfoot (haven't listened to this album in several years but have rediscovered that many of the songs speak directly to the issues discussed in my counseling classes)