Five Things I have Learned Since Starting Simmons

Soo….guess who has been asked to become a blogger for her graduate program’s admission office? Yes it’s true, it appears that my summer of blogging has given me the necessary skills to blog at the semi-professional/academic level. Yay me!!! Any who, to celebrate my first two full weeks of class, I’ve written up a list of things, in particular order mind you, that I have learned since classes started up, two weeks ago.

But first, some context.

Before I packed up the family car with dad to drive up to Boston for school, my mom decided to impart some advice for me to mull over during the course of my four and half hour long car ride. She said “Keep your mind open, everyday you are going to be learning something new, in and out of school.” I’ve got to give my mom a hand, she doesn’t normally offer such thought provoking advice. However, since I was unable to go back home to Long Island for the Jewish high holidays. I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot lately, especially what she said to me two weeks ago. Thus the birth of the list presented below. It’s pretty remarkable what things a person can think of in between rushing off to class and nannying to young kids. Oh yea, I’m a nanny now. FYI.

  1. Moodle is your best friend: Although this seems like an obvious one, Moodle is a resource that should not be taken for granted. Not only is this the website where we have to upload our assignments, but course readings, syllabi, power point presentations, and other resources and be found there as well.  Basically, everything you need to succeed at school can be found, to a degree, on Moodle. Also, the name is just adorable.
  2. Love the library; they are there for you. Seriously: There is this wonderful librarian at Simmons who sat with my last week and I think she perfectly encapsulates all the amazing things a library can do when administered by a dedicated staff. While I am sure all students who are part of GSLIS (Graduate School of Library and Information Science) already respect and appreciate the library as an institution of knowledge, I’m sure there are people out there who have yet to walk inside. Well, they should and the should do it soon. Those over at Simmons library are not just there to check out our books.
  3. Bring a sweater if you have class in the Palace Road Building.  You are going to need it: While it had was very nice to sit in a cool room during last week’s obnoxiously hot days, I’m going to be honest here, those rooms are COLD. So what life lessons have I learned from having classes in this building? Be smart, bring a sweater with you to class. Having that sweater really makes a difference.

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    It might looks nice but inside is a frozen tundra waiting for its next victims

  4. Your GSLIS classmates are the friendliest classmates you probably have ever had: Perhaps this is just a GSLIS thing, but every student in the program is super friendly. Be it in the classroom or on Moodle, there always seems to be an interesting conversation going on, and everyone is invited to join in. Coming from a school were being mega sociable wasn’t exactly a super big thing, this is somewhat jarring. Seriously, everyday I have to clean out my inbox because all the emails I get are notices from Moodle, telling me that so and so has responded to what’s her face. Now don’t get me wrong here; I LIKE how sociable my classmates are, I really do. But how about we take the talking off the web and into the classroom? Please, my email needs a break.
  5. The professors are fantastic. N’uff said: Just like the staff members over at Beatley Library, the faculty members in GSLIS are not just here to lecture for three hours; they are here for the students. Personally, having an approachable professor is one of those things that is an absolute must for me. How am I supposed to succeed if the professor won’t take time to listen and answer my questions? From what I have experienced so far, I can honestly say that that won’t be a problem here. Trust me, you can never go wrong when an enthusiastic professor can manage to keep your attention for three hours despite it being 9am.
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Proof that I’m not in NY anymore *cries*

Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge: Apples and Cinnamon + a Little Honey

Shana Tova everyone! Or in English, Happy New Year. Now I know what you are thinking ‘she’s lost her mind’ but trust me, I haven’t. You see, last week was the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashannah, or the Jewish new year. However we aren’t just wishing our peers a happy new year, we are wishing for a sweet new year. Why sweet? Well why not? Ok, I’ll admit, I don’t entirely know why we wish specifically for a sweet new year but hey, why spoil a good thing? And you want to know what’s a good thing? Dipping freshly cut apples into gooey, warm honey. Sure Jews don’t get to have the twelve days of Christmas but who needs that when you have apples and honey. Shana Tova indeed!

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Now normally I spend Rosh Hashannah at home or with friends but since I just moved to Boston, heading home wasn’t exactly an opinion for me. However I decided that even if I couldn’t enjoy the holiday with my friends or family, that didn’t mean I had to miss out on all the fun. So, I did what I do best. I baked. Combing the best of both worlds, I made a deliciously festive apple honey cake. But wait, it get’s better! Just as I was prepping for the baking process, Sheryl from Behind the Curtain Baking Challenge posted the flavor theme for the month of September. Apples and Cinnamon. How perfect was that? So behold dear readers, my apple cinnamon + honey cake. I also want to point out that this is the first thing I have baked in my new apartment.

Two sides notes:

1). I didn’t make the icing due to not having the ingredients/ not having it in my budget to pay for powder sugar. Now that I have a job (yay) I hopefully can buy powder sugar soon

2). Please pardon the pictures; without a window and limited lighting, the images have come out a bit dark.

 

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Apple Cinnamon + Honey Cake

Adapted from a recipe found here

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose baking flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (could also be 1 1/2 tsp depending on taste preference)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • 3 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored, and shredded

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they are frothy. Whisk in the honey, white sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla. In a separate medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and spices. Incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid, stir to blend. Fold in the shredded apples.

Spray your 9 inch Bundt pan with cooking spray, making sure to evenly coat the entire inner surface. Pour your batter into the pan. Bundt pan depths vary, so make sure the batter fills the pan ¾ full or less. Do not fill beyond ¾ or your cake might overflow during baking. Use a spatula to gently push the batter to the outside of the pan, pushing slightly up the walls. This will help to get rid of any air pockets that might interfere with the pretty details of the pan. Smooth the batter on the top so it is flat and even all the way around the pan.

Bake cake in preheated oven for 75-90 minutes. When the edges darken and pull fully away from the sides of the pan, and the cake browns all the way across the surface, insert a toothpick deep into the thickest part of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. It’s a very moist cake, so it’s easy to undercook it– err on the side of caution and let it bake a little longer if you’re unsure (but don’t bake it too long or it will dry out!).

Let the cake cool for exactly 10 minutes, then invert it onto a flat plate. Tap the Bundt pan gently to release the cake. If your cake sticks, use a plastic knife to carefully loosen the cake around the center tube and sides. Allow cake to cool completely. Serves about 10

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Greetings From Boston!

This post has taken longer to write than I would have liked but here it is, my first post from BOSTON!!

Its been almost a week since I moved here and I hate to say that its taken just as long to get settled. Waiting for my furniture to arrive definitely didn’t help. One can only sleep on an air mattress for so long before the novelties of a bed become necessary. But hey, the bed is here now, ditto for the dresser. As for my apartment itself, it has so far been pretty awesome. Four bedrooms, two baths, a balcony, and a kitchen without any windows. Yep, talk about home sweet home. Windowless-ness aside, the Brighton/Brookline area of Boston has a blast to explore. There is just so much going on here. Oh, have I mentioned that I now have a Trader Joe’s just ten minutes away from my apartment? This is big news for me since the Trader Joe’s near my house on Long Island was at least thirty minutes away. Truly, it is such a wonderful thing to just be able to hop on the T for five minutes and then BAM, hello TJ’s! And then there is the food. Oh god I am in heaven here. On my first night in Boston, my new roommates took me to this massive Asian-food themed food-court near Packard’s Corner. There was just so much variety there; my mind could barely handle it. I will definitely be going back soon and then I promise to give the place a proper review.

Hmm, I feel like I am missing something….oh yeah, I am officially a graduate student now! Hooray!!!! With my first day of classes this past Thursday and am now taking my first steps towards becoming a librarian while at the same time, slightly hating myself for deciding to go back to school. Over the course of my five month long summer break, I kind of forgot what it is like to be a student. Well, I remember now and have to say, I didn’t miss taking notes and having homework assignments.

I’m going to cut things off here since despite having just moved to a new city to a new apartment, there hasn’t been that much that has actually happened to me yet. But don’t worry, I’ll be posting a new recipe here very soon.

Till then!