Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sixteen Days

I have sixteen days left this quarter. At this point I’m starting to freak out a little bit. I feel like I have so much to do and so little time. I just keep telling myself that no matter what, I will get through the next two weeks and then I will have six weeks off.


Here is my to-do list for the next sixteen days:


Endless amounts of reading (as usual).


A strategic public relations campaign for the Community of Sudanese and American Women/Men.


A 20-page research paper about how the media perpetuates Islamophobia.


Three essay finals, none of which I’ve been given the topics yet.


I keep trying to remind myself to breathe, stay calm, and be productive. In sixteen days, it'll all be over!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Time

Geeze it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything real on here. In my defense, I have been pretty busy with school, and I have two classes that require us to write or comment on a class blog every week, so I’ve just let this one slide. I assume this will continue to happen off and on for the next year and a half.


I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. Last week was midterms. For those of you who don’t know, DU is on a quarter system which means that each quarter is only 10 weeks long. I feel like the first half of the quarter is spent getting into the groove of the new classes, and then all of a sudden it’s time to start preparing for final projects and papers.


It’s amazing how each day and even week can feel like they are slowly dragging by when months and years seem to fly by. I get discouraged by the thought that I still have a year and a half left in school, when really, after this quarter, only five months of that time will be regular, full-time school. The rest will be filled with Spanish lessons, summer trips (Peru!), and an internship (I’m thinking maybe Cambodia).


Part of me wants time to speed up so I can finally be done with the schooling part of my life, but another part of me wants it all to slow down so I can enjoy summer breaks and not having to work 9-5.


I suppose the trick to it all is to just try and enjoy it day by day (although that’s sometimes difficult on days like today with an 11-hour day of classes and two midterm assignments due :)) as well as year by year.


How quickly does time seem to pass for you? Is it true that it goes faster and faster the older we get, or is it based on what we are doing in life?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Initiated Ordinance 300

I thought it was pretty funny when I saw the following on the City and County of Denver Ballot Questions.

Initiated Ordinance 300

Shall the voters for the city and county of Denver adopt an initiated ordinance to require the creation of an extraterrestrial affairs commission to help ensure the health, safety, and cultural awareness of Denver residents and visitors in relation to potential encounters or interactions with extraterrestrial intelligent beings or their vehicles, and fund such commission from grants, gifts, and donations.


I feel so much safer in Denver knowing that they will protect me from extraterrestrial intelligent beings and their vehicles. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

What the Next Year and a Half of My Life Will Look Like...

...and what my past 6 months has been.


Spring 2010

Culture, Gender and Global Communication

Autumn 2010

Intro to Human Rights

Autumn 2010

Communication Campaigns

Autumn 2010

International Communication

Winter 2011

International & Intercultural PR

Winter 2011

Humanitarian Aid in Complex Emergencies

Winter 2011

Foundations in Intl. & Intercultural Comm.

Spring 2011

Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts

Autumn 2011

Statistical Methods 1

Autumn 2011

Human Rights and the Intl. Refugee System

Autumn 2011

Genocide

Winter 2012

INTERNSHIP


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Meet ____________

Meet my new dog. He is a three-year-old Siberian Husky. He came from the Denver Animal Shelter (pretty much the pound) which is a sad, sad place. As of yet, he seems pretty mellow and well-behaved.

He came with the name Red, but Nic and I think he needs a new one. Any ideas?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mexico City Pics

Since I had such a hard time getting my Flickr photo album on my blog, I posted pictures from Mexico City to facebook instead. You can access it here. I have a ton of photos, so I just picked a few to post.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Breakfast Bread Pudding

I'm having a horrible time trying to get my pictures (with descriptions) from Mexico City up on my blog for some reason, so for now, I'll share a recipe. I got it from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook Eat Well, Lose Weight.

Breakfast Bread Pudding

5 to 6 slices whole wheat cinnamon-swirl bread or cinnamon-raisin bread
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
3 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 5 1/2 oz can apricot nectar or peach nectar (2/3 cup)
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat oven to 325. Cut enough of the bread into cubes to make 4 cups. Place bread cubes in a shallow baking pan. Bake about 10 minutes or until bread is dry, stirring once. Cool on a wire rack.

2. Lightly coat six 6-ounce souffle dishes or custard cups with nonstick cooking spray. Divide bread crumbs among the prepared dishes. In a medium bowl combine milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg; beat with a rotary beater or wire whisk. Pour milk mixture evenly over bread cubes. Press lightly with the back of a spoon to thoroughly moisten bread.

3. Place souffle dishes in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Place baking pan on oven rack. Carefully pour hot tap water into the baking pan around dishes to a depth of 1 inch.

4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted near centers comes out clean. Transfer dishes to a wire rack. Let stand for 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan gradually stir apricot nectar into cornstarch until combined. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.

6. If desired, remove puddings from souffle dishes. Spoon sauce over warm puddings. Makes 6 servings.

Make Ahead Directions: Prepare as above though step 2. Place souffle dishes in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill overnight in the refrigerator. Uncover, add hot tap water to pan. Continue with steps 4 through 6.

My notes: I had a really hard time finding wheat cinnamon bread, so I just got Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl. I also used bigger souffle dishes that I use for chicken pot pies since that's what I had (the recipe ended up making 2 of them), and I had to cook them for around an hour. I guess you could also try to up the temperature if you are using bigger dishes.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letter to Summer (Break)

Dear Summer,


I have such fond memories of you when I was growing up. Three months free to do whatever I wanted before school started up again. So many days were spent swimming at the pool or Burraston ponds, hiking around the mountains in my backyard, or just hanging out with friends.


Oh, how I’ve missed you these last six years! Working 40+ hours a week and spending all my time indoors, not even being able to enjoy you! Well, Summer, since this is the first time in a long time that I get to be with you, I intend to make the best of it. I’m planning to fill the time with trips (Mexico City, Canada, Utah), lots of hikes, lots of house guests, photography classes, and private Spanish lessons.


Summer, I realize my time with you is short. I also realize what is waiting for me on the other end of you (Intro to Human Rights, International Communications, and Strategic Management - Communication Campaigns along with more Spanish lessons), but I know that I will most likely only get to enjoy you twice before I return to work, so I promise not to take you for granted.


I am so close to joining you, Summer. I only have a short Spanish interview and a take-home final left to finish up. And then...it’s just you and me for the next 15 weeks!


Love Always,

Cassi

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Meet Ellie



This is Ellie. She is coming to visit in July. I am excited to meet her and have a feeling that I might have to talk her into staying here to live with me. She is seriously the cutest dog I have ever seen.

Ellie, I can't wait for you to visit!

(Oh yeah, and it will be nice to see Danette again, too :))

Monday, April 26, 2010

Homework...

I am currently writing two papers. One on the dominant patriarchal paradigm and one on feminism.

Nic is afraid I am going to hate men by the time I finish this Culture, Gender, and Global Communications class. LOL

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Trip to Estes Park

We decided to take a short road trip up to Estes Park yesterday to get out of the house.

Estes Park is a beautiful little town up in the mountains. It's sort of like a smaller Park City.


It is also home of the Stanley Hotel (which was Stephen King's inspiration for The Shining). They have ghost tours and play The Shining 24/7 on TV. I am determined to stay here sometime before I move away!


We drove through the national park which was beautiful!


We saw lots of local wildlife.


We took a longer way home through Glen Haven, Drake, and Loveland. We loved driving through the small towns and the beautiful canyons. One of the best finds on our trip was the Colorado Cherry Company. They had all sorts of jams, honeys, salsas, etc.

Overall it was a great day, and we can't wait to go back to Estes Park!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Wild Animal Sanctuary


While Ben was here we decided to visit the Wild Animal Sanctuary. It is the largest and oldest sanctuary in the US that is dedicated to carnivores. In other words, they rescue carnivores that are being kept illegally (in homes, for backyard circuses, etc.) and bring them here to live out their lives. They told us that there are more tigers in captivity in Texas than there are tigers in the wild.


We saw some big cats in Africa, but these tigers are HUGE!!!


video
This is a video of the tiger cages. They put them in one of these by themselves when they first arrive. After awhile, if they've learned to play nice, they can move in with another tiger, and when they are ready, they place them in a large environment.


video
Whoever said cats don't like water didn't know this tiger!


Sleepy Lion

They have lions, tigers, bears, wolves, cougars, leopards, servals, and a camel. As Nic pointed out, camels aren't carnivores, but she was going to be euthanized, so they saved her anyway.


Nic and Ben loved these masks!

This sanctuary is a really cool place and we can't wait to go back again!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Death by Chocolate

Nic's little brother Ben has been in town this weekend, and we were all feeling like dessert. I told Ben to look through my 500 Cookies book (thanks Courtney!) and pick something.
This is what he picked. The recipe calls it "layered birthday cookie", but we call it "death by chocolate." Our goal was to put some pounds on Ben while he was visiting, and I think we succeeded. Here's the recipe:

Layered Birthday Cookie

For the Cookie:
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter
2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda

For the Topping:
1/2 cup (1 stick) sweet butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup (9 oz) cream cheese (we only used 8 oz since that's a package size)
1 cup (8 oz) melted bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup (3 oz) M&Ms
1/2 cup (3 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350. Line two 11-in springform pans with parchment (we used two 9 inch cake pans and just used Pam instead of parchment).

Beat the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, Dutch process cocoa powder and baking soda and stir into the batter. Divide the dough in two, and press into the prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then transfer to a wire rack.

To prepare the topping, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar together, then beat in the cream cheese and melted chocolate. Spread the topping over the cooled cookies, place one on top of the other, decorate, and top with chocolate chips and M&Ms.

Another option is to omit the cocoa powder, use whipped cream (2 cups heavy cream whipped with 2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbs confectioners' sugar) instead of topping, and decorate with fresh fruit.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Reporter

Last night Nic and I attended a documentary called The Reporter. It was about New York Times op-ed columnist, Nicholas Kristof (winner of two Pulitzer Prizes). He is known for bringing human rights abuses in Asia and Africa, such as human trafficking and the Darfur conflict to light. He writes about all the things the rest of the media should be covering, but doesn't. If you get the chance, I would highly recommend watching the film. In the meantime, check out his blog.

Friday, April 02, 2010

What are YOU saving for?

AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo

A text from my friend Lucy in Kenya:

"starting frm Dec at least i've save 35 thousand (bob) am happy cauze i've bought a cow 4 my Dad..so that we will b selling the milk"

Oh, how different life is over there!

2 Weeks Down, Only 8 to Go!

Well, I made it through the first two weeks of classes. I can't believe how quickly time goes when you're on the quarter system and only have 10 weeks for each class. I ended up with only two classes, but they seem to be keeping me adequately busy, so that's good. I hope to start volunteering at the African Community Center soon to help keep me busy (plus, I want to do an internship with them next year).

After two weeks, I still don't love my Spanish class, but it's pretty much a necessary evil, so I will stick it out. :) I absolutely LOVE my Culture, Gender, and Global Communications class. According to the syllabus, it explores the ways in which culture, gender, and communication intersect and shape a variety of issues from an international and intercultural perspective. We pretty much sit around for four hours and watch videos, listen to guest speakers, and have discussions.

On a completely unrelated note, Nic and I made eggplant parmigiana last night and it was fantastic! We like to try a new recipe every week, so Danette gave me a book called 500 Casseroles, which is where this recipe came from:

Eggplant Parmigiana

2 tbs butter, melted
1/2 cup Parmesan, plus 2 tbs
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2/3 cup evaporated milk (one of the little cans)
2 medium sized eggplants, cut into 1/4 inch slices (we just used one bigger eggplant and got 6 slices out of it)
8 oz plain tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Pour melted butter into an 8-inch square casserole (we used a 9x13 casserole with 3 tbs butter). In a small bowl, combine 2 tbs grated parmesan, flour, salt, and pepper. Pour 1/3 cup evaporated milk into a shallow dish. Dip each eggplant slice in the milk, coating both sides. Then roll each cutlet in the flour mixture. Place the eggplant in a single layer in casserole and bake for 30 minutes.

In another bowl, combine remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk with 1/2 cup parmesan. Remove eggplant from oven. Pour tomato sauce around the eggplant, then spread the milk and parmesan mixture over each slice. Return to oven for another 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

You can also replace the eggplant with 4 chicken breasts if you'd rather do that. It takes awhile because it has to cook for so long, but otherwise, it's really easy and yummy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

So Much For My Last Free Weekend Before School

I ended up getting into an additional class (I think the professor, who also happens to be my advisor, took pity on the lack of open classes and let me into her class):

Culture, Gender, and Global Communications T 4-7:50

I was pretty excited to get into this class, bringing my credit total up to 13 for this quarter, but knew that it would add a lot more work onto my load. I figured I could just take the weekend to relax and gear up for classes Monday morning. That idea was short lived as I received an e-mail from the professor this afternoon with over 50 pages in PDFs to read before class.

Graduate School, my dear friend, I have a feeling we are going to have a very strong love/hate relationship for the next two years. Here's hoping there's far more love than hate!

Monday, March 15, 2010

What the Next 10 Weeks of My Life Will Look Like:

Beginning Spanish M-Th 11-11:50

Human Rights in the Global World M, W 12-1:50


Not quite the heavy load I had planned (9 credits instead of 18), but since I’m a new student, I was the last to register and almost everything else was already full. I’m hoping to use my extra time to study Spanish and skip a few classes for an earlier graduation date.


I have a lot to do before classes start next Monday (insurance, books, student id, etc), but I’m definitely ready to begin this new adventure!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Greetings From My New Home


The somewhat gloomy view from my window today
(if you squint you can see downtown Denver in the fog)

The last week has been a whirlwind of craziness. I spent last Wednesday training my replacement at work, Thursday running errands and packing, Friday loading everything into the U-Haul and spending the evening with my family, Saturday cleaning, Sunday driving 12 hours to Denver, Monday moving in, and yesterday I had some appointments at school. Today I was finally able to relax a little bit (between trips to Walmart and the grocery store).

I'm working on getting settled in my new place, but I love it so far. Where else can you get free hot chocolate, cookies, personal training, yoga classes, car washes, etc? Oh, and to top it off, this was waiting for me when I moved in:

I think I'm definitely spoiled.

I register for classes on Monday, and they start a week after that. I'm getting pretty anxious to begin school as I really have nothing to do until then (except for all of the unpacking of course :)). I won't know which classes I will be taking until I register (and see what's still available), but I'm getting really excited about the possibilities.

I still find it hard to believe I live in Denver and am not just on some sort of vacation! It's just crazy to think that a few months ago, I applied to the IIC program at DU, thinking I didn't have a chance to get in, and now here I am, about to start a program that's more perfect for me than I ever could have imagined. Here's to going after your dreams, no matter how unattainable they may seem!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

This...

...is the chaos I currently call my life. I can't wait to move to Denver, unpack, and actually have space again!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thanks Financial Aid!


I am the proud new owner of a MacBook Pro! I've wanted one for years, but decided that since I'm heading back to grad school, now was the perfect time to get one. Now I have two months to figure out how to use it before school starts!