The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 16

….or, the Scamp Glamps with other Scamps

That’s right, I went Glamping!


  1. a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.
    “glamping is likely to satisfy any city slicker seeking a little refuge in nature—without foregoing any of life’s luxuries”

This trip came about because two of the other Flamingos went glamping and it was awful. While on that trip they booked a spot for us at Ecocamp Glenshee. For those of you not familiar with Scotland beyond the city (which is really just me saying I had to do some research to figure out where exactly we were), here is what Wikipedia has to say about Glenshee:

Glen Shee (Scottish Gaelic: Gleann Sith) is a glen in eastern Perthshire, Scotland.[1][2] Shee Water flows through the glen. The head of the glen, where Gleann Taitneach and Glen Lochsie meet, is approximately 2 km north-west of the Spittal of Glenshee; it then runs south-east to Bridge of Cally where it merges with Strathardle to form Glen Ericht. Once known as the glen of the fairies it takes its name from the Gaelic “sith” meaning fairy and the old meeting place at the standing stone behind the present day church is called Dun Shith or Hill of the Fairies.

It is known to the locals for the chair lifts and sky centre, as well as the Devil’s Elbow, a crazy scary road full of twists and turns. It has been featured in adverts, on Top Gear, and has claimed the lives of many a driver who was not careful. It is also home to some of the best views in Scotland.

It was cold, and snowed a tiny bit while we were at the top of the chair lift, but it didn’t rain, and we had a nice wood burning stove in our Wagon to keep us warm. We all needed a bit of a break from the city. We needed to be away from laptops, cellphones, and people. Ecocamp Glenshee was the perfect place to be because it was less than two hours from home, and was easily located using GPS.

The camp is stunning.


*photo courtesy of Ecocamp Glenshee

The four Flamingos stayed in the wagon that overlooked the llamas. It was a very cozy car with nice beds and a stove to keep us warm.


The owners of the farm and the keepers of the Llamas were incredible. They were very welcoming, made sure that we had everything that we needed, and gave us a tour of the grounds. We met chickens, goats, the Llamas and the donkeys. We named the goat Gary, the Llamas Harry, Larry, Barry and Carry, and one of the chickens Cecil.

*Llama photo courtesy of Ecocamp Glenshee

We had snacks and food for a BBQ, a bothy ( a small hut or cottage usually for farm workers that is open and free of charge to use) where we could charge our phones and do dishes, and enough booze to keep us well happy for the weekend. Everything at the camp was recycled or reused, even table scraps were used to feed Gary the goat and the chickens. Sustainable and organic towels, soaps, and teas, and very little electricity.  We spent a lot of time chatting about life, playing Zombie Dice, and playing the best game of Cards Against Humanity ever. I have the American edition, and I am the only American, so I was about pissing myself with laughter when they were asking me who Rush Limbaugh was, or what the 3/5 compromise meant. I also got to explain a rather graphic sex act, which also had me laughing. Being that they did not understand the humour in some of my answers, I got my butt kicked big time.

I would not have changed a thing.

We were surrounded by the smell of campfire, bundled into bunkbeds and discovered the joys of walking to a toilet at 3:30 in the morning.  We saw stars, a tiny bit of the Northern Lights, and all came home in a good mood. Scotland is also small enough that I ran into one of the programme leaders who helped me with my research last year!

The couple of days away was exactly what I needed to recharge a little before a busy couple of weeks. On a happy note, I finally got the green light to submit my feedback paper for publication! Almost two years of work and 14 drafts later, I am ready to see if I can get something published.

Hopefully, fingers crossed, the academic world will like what I have to say.

For anyone who would like to visit Ecocamp Glenshee, you can find all the info you need here:

Peace, love and llamas


The Scamp and the Writing Project: Week 15

The challenge for this week is all about making lists. It is written that I can be as serious or as funny as I want about the subject of said list, but I had to make a list.

I was going to list the reasons why I like naps, but then I spent Tuesday waiting for FedEx and binge watching 13 Reasons Why, and decided that maybe my list should be a little more meaningful.

For those of you who have not seen the Netflix show, mini spoiler alert, it is about a girl who records the 13 reasons why she committed suicide. It is really well done, but very very very hard to watch. I don’t want to give too many spoilers, but one of the things that I really related to in Hannah’s struggle was the victim blaming. When all of that crazy stuff happened at CSUF, I was the one who ended up looking like the bad guy. I was the one that felt like I had done something wrong, and was the one forced to apologise to the people who hurt me. I was forced to listen to people label me a problem and accuse me of having no integrity. These people  told me I had created the situation, and I should apologise for the way things turned out. One of my really good friends told me that I had no right to feel attacked or discriminated against because of the colour of my skin, and that considering everything, it was best to just move on from the experience. People who were my friends froze me out, took sides, and eventually rendered me obsolete. Only one of them ever checked on me, and even then, I sometimes wonder if it was just for the gossip. I spent almost a year thinking the whole thing was my fault, and thinking that not only was my entire career over, but that I was going to become a racist because of it. That was the worst part, thinking that I was going to become the hateful monster that they all thought I was.

So in honour of the way that TV show triggered me, I thought I would make a list of 13 reasons why I am learning to be happy and love myself.

I had an amazing therapist who believed me. Not having insurance, I had to turn to other methods to get help. When I had run out of sessions at the uni, I went to the Brea Family Resource Center. For $10 a week, I could see a licenced therapist to help me work through my depression. I was really dark and twisty while I was at CSUF. I used to cry to class and on the way home from class. When it all ended, I spent most of my time in bed, didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t go out, and barely got dressed to go to work. My mother used to pretend she needed me to do things for her so I would have to put clothes on and leave the house. The BFRC saved my life. I’m not sure if they realise it, but that Thursday appointment was sometimes the only reason I made it through the week. Laurie, the therapist I saw, never made me feel crazy about what I described in the programme, never told me I was wrong when I cried about how depressed I was, and reminded me time and again that as long as I worked hard to make sense of, and heal from what happened, I would not bare any permanent scars, or become a racist. She worked really hard to help me separate the people who hurt me from what I knew to be true of most people. She got me through some really really dark days, and she was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I got the position in Edinburgh.

My family. They hugged me every time I came home crying, teased me to lighten the mood, and never questioned my telling of events. They took phone calls, called the evil women bitches, and sat in meetings with me so I didn’t have to face anything alone. They offered support, love, and a chance to feel normal…or as normal as you can when you are majorly depressed and feel like a giant failure.

Sour gummy worms. This needs no explanation. They make everything better.

My cat. He gave unconditional love. He didn’t care what I did or didn’t do as long as he got plenty of snuggles and got to sleep on my bed every night.

The beach. I used to go sit at the beach a lot to watch the waves and calm down. There is nothing better than sitting with your toes in the sand and a sea breeze tickling your face.

My friends. I have some really good friends from California that stuck by me, and friends that I made while living in Scotland who used to send care packages and have Skype dates with me to remind me that I’m not alone. I still have group chats, constant texts and the occasional care package to remind me that they love me. I can’t wait for more of them to be able to have the chance to come visit.

My passport. While I was trying to heal, I used my passport to see the world and  feed my wanderlulst.

Edinburgh. This city saved my life. I fell in love with it the first time I moved here, and being given the chance to move back at just the right time has made all the difference. I know that everyday isn’t perfect here, but I feel at home here, so dealing with the bad days is easier.

My Edinburgh friends. The people I already knew when I moved, and the people I made friends with since the PhD started have made a huge difference in my life. I have made more friends in the last couple of months than I had in years. It is nice to have people to share a meal with, to play music with, have a drink and a laugh with, and to talk to when I am feeling insecure, sad, or angry. I love them a lot, and while I don’t always talk to them about the dark and twisty, they seem to like me and are willing to support me just the way I am…..even when I am being unreasonable.

My current therapist. She is expensive, but worth it. She has really helped me build my self-confidence and find ways to not only manage my anxiety and work through my depression, but she is helping me break my habit of the dark and twisty and slowly getting me to become more of a glass half full kinda girl

Yoga. Enough said.

My blog. I can get the crazy thoughts out of my head and onto the page. It is nice to get the words out of my brain, but it is also nice to feel like I am sharing a bit of me with the world. I don’t normally do that face-to-face with people, but it is pretty easy for me to do from behind my computer screen. I have met some lovely people through my blog, and it is nice to know that there are people out there that share my love for writing and travel, who struggle with depression and anxiety, and are generally interested in what I have to say.

Last, but not least, the knowledge that no matter what happens, I will be okay. I’ve managed to make it this far, so I think my chances of being successful are pretty damn good.

The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 51

Day four and my love affair with Budapest continues. Today is the very first Christmas that I have spent on my own. For the last few days I have had very very limited contact with other people, and tonight I sat in an Irish pub and had a burger and some stew with a large glass of wine and watched tennis. The world around me swirled and twirled and danced with lights and mulled wine, but I sat in a balcony in a pub watching tennis.

I hate tennis. I have no idea how the flippin sport is scored, and there was no sound, so it was really just an odd series of interpretive dance.

The day wasn’t all bad. I spent most of it walking around the Christmas markets with a hot chocolate and a muffin. When the rain got to be a little too much, I wandered back to the hotel and watched bad Christmas movies. I went back out at sundown so I could see the menorah at the Great Synagogue lit. I wandered down to the Danube so I could see the castle lit up. I couldn’t figure out what was being served in the market (and I don’t eat pork) so that is how I ended up in a trusty Irish pub with my red wine and tennis.

My beacon in the night. Plus, they had a menorah outside. My friends and family text me through the meal, so I wasn’t exactly alone either.

The writing challenge for the week is to write about something that I’ve created. I’ve had almost a year to think on this….and create something.

I’ve come up blank. I think in the last year I have created a lot of good memories. I’ve been to weddings, birthings, new countries and new cities. I’ve met some amazing people, let go of some not so amazing people, and have tried to work on creating a better me. I guess for right now that is the best I can do.

So, my lovely readers, family and friends, have a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, and happy almost end to 2016 and that however and whatever you celebrate, you do it surrounded by love and happiness.

The Scamp at 400

It has been exactly one year and four months since 300. I’m quite impressed with myself that I have made it this far in the process. I’m not very good at sticking to projects, but I have stuck to this one for the last 5 years. I do the weekly challenges to keep me writing, but truth be told, this blog has been a good form of therapy for me.

I’ve been sitting on this post for a few days because my 300th post was so full of hope and so upbeat. I wrote that post on my last day in the US. I was ready for my fresh start, ready for my life in Scotland to help me forget about the horrible two years I had in California. I was under the delusion that leaving my problems in California meant that I would be free of them.

Boy was I wrong. If I have learned anything in the last year and some change, it is that you can’t run from your problems if you really want them to be resolved. I avoided therapy for awhile, and my depression got the better of me. I’m working on getting better, but it is a slow road for sure.

So while I have been sitting here at a loss for what to write about for the big 400, I started thinking about loss. It seems like loss has been on my mind a lot lately. When I read my 300th post again, I was sad to realize that I had lost the exuberance and go-get-em attitude that I had about starting my life here. I’ve spent a lot of time complaining about how I feel, and giving into my depression. It has wrecked my productivity, my ability to socialize, and even kept me in a relationship that should have ended awhile ago.

I’ve lost that naivete that being in my favourite city means that all my problems would disappear. I realize know that while I may have worked through some of my issues, there is a lot I still need to work though, and just like the meds I take to keep me going, I can’t stop going to therapy when I feel better.

I feel like I have lost a lot of time.

That wasn’t the only loss I have been thinking about though. We are fast approaching the one year anniversary of my step-brother’s death. While his death was actually a release from his alcoholism, and something that the family had been expecting for a few years, it was still a shift in the family dynamics. My dad is the only person who was still in contact with him, I gave up on him five or six years ago, and it broke him. I think my mom still feels some guilt that she was in Edinburgh with me when it happened, but because my dad doesn’t talk about it much, it is hard to really say how he is doing. When I think about Eric, there is not one memory I have of him that did not involve him being drunk or strung out on drugs. I remember him ruining toasts at a wedding with his drunken shouting, being carried out of another wedding because he kept falling and knocking things over. I was always embarrassed by him. Always. I chose not to mourn his loss, even though it destroyed my dad.

family 1

This is the last picture that we have all together, and we are still missing our oldest brother. Eric is behind me on the right. This photo was taken seven years ago. He was drunk. This year my mom and I will be taking my dad to Paris so that he doesn’t have to spend Thanksgiving alone thinking about the death of his middle born son.

I can only hope that it works.

When I think about not mourning the loss of my brother, I think about a loss that I mourn everyday. 20 years ago my grandma died in a car crash. I can’t remember the sound of her voice, but I can remember that I had gone out to get the mail and by the time I got back my mother had heard the message from my grandpa that she was gone.

2014-07-16 15.56.58-12014-01-16 15.38.12

She was fashion plate. She loved everything in excess. She was a drug addict, compulsive gambler, and constantly obsessed over her weight, but to me she was just Grammy Fran. She was the one who took us to Hamburger Hamlet and had zebra print carpet in her TV room. She was the one who shared her love of Hummingbirds with us, and made sure that my mom could keep  roof over our heads when my biological father abused her and took everything but the $25 dollars she had in her wallet, and my brother, the wombmate and me. I have some of her purses and jewelry, and I cannot smell Red Door without thinking about her, but there is just so much I wish she had been around for. She would have loved coming to visit me here, would have had some very creative suggestions for how to handle the dude who cheated on me and broke my heart, and probably would have tried to set me up with the son of one of the women in her Mahjong club. Chances are he would have been a nice Jewish boy, most likely a doctor,and probably close to retirement age.

I still remember when she tried to set my mom up with a really creepy old guy that lived in the same conodo complex in Palm Springs….my poor mother. She was maybe 37 and this dude was 60 with a beer gut and hair in his ears. I’m sure she meant well though.

There is another loss that I feel quite hard all the time. That is the loss of my family. I am not around them all the time, I miss out on dinners, holidays, and moments with my little man.


I mean, I was pretty dumb for moving 5,400 miles from this face. When I was in California for the wedding at the end of September, I did not even notice my depression. Granted, I had something planned everyday, did not get as much work done as I wanted, and was on major holiday mode, but it was nice to be around everyone again. I still have lingering feelings that I will become irrelevant in their lives, and end up here alone a crazy cat lady….minus the cats.

I think what I can learn from the last year and change is that I still have a lot of work to do, and I still have time to make some real changes before I turn 30. In just five short months I get to close the door on my 20s, and I cannot wait to be able to say that I survived a very trying ten years of my life. Who knows where I will be when I get to number 500.

Hopefully I’ll be on a tropical island with a fruity drink that has an umbrella with a hot cabana boy fanning me with a giant fan.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 22

Sunshine! There is actual sunshine. I’ve seen the sun every day this week. I wore shorts on Tuesday. I brought only a light jacket with me today. I might actually get to see summer. My legs might actually get a tan.

This has been a long week of avoiding work as much as possible. I’m in the middle of interview transcription, and I hate it. I hate listening to my own voice, and it will take me about 6 hours to transcribe a 1 hour interview (okay, a lot longer than 6 hours because I am slow, I get bored, and often can only work ten minutes at a time before I get frustrated).  I am trying to keep things with the PhD progressing, and for the moment, things are a bit slow, but still moving. I’ve got a meeting set up for the end of the month to officially grant me PhD status, so now the draft of the paper I am writing needs to really be completed, and I have to write up everything that I have done for the last year, and hope that the committee feels that it has been enough to demonstrate that I am capable of completing two more years of study. In 17 days I will celebrate one year of living in Scotland, and in a little less than two months, I will have officially completed my first year of study.

I’m not sure where the time has gone.

The challenge for this week is to write about the place I currently call home.

If only I hadn’t sat down to write this with only 20 minutes before a meeting on what it is like to be an international student at Edinburgh Napier. I could write pages and pages and pages about Edinburgh, and what it means to live here. I’ve said it many times, both when I lived here three years ago, when I went back to California for a bit, and now that I am here: Edinburgh is the first place I have ever felt at home. For someone who spend a lot of time with words, I’m not really sure there are words that really cover how much I love it here. Moving here has been the most selfish thing I have ever done, and it is a choice that I would make over and over again. This city saved my life.

I think one of my favourite things about living here is the people that I get to meet. This is such an international city. I’m constantly surrounded by accents….and not just Scottish ones. It seems like this city is a magnet for people from all over the world. Everyone sounds different, and I love meeting people who have been living here for many years and have started to develop a hybrid Scottish/home accent. I hope that I live here long enough for that to happen to me. Even in the last year I notice that I have picked up vocabulary and phrases that are only said here.

4 years ago I got off a plane with my mom for a four day adventure that would determine the rest of my life. I applied and said yes for a position at the University of Edinburgh (but waited until I got to Scotland to tell my mom that I accepted), and scheduled a campus tour. I knew when I stepped off the plane that I was going to move here and love it. We went to the zoo, navigated the bus system, and realized that it would be very easy (and very safe for me to live here on my own. I spent the next four months preparing for the move (and starting this blog). Once I was here I made friends, learned how to walk everywhere and anywhere, and explored every inch of this city.


PRC and I had a lot of good times here, and I wrote the best piece of academic work I have produced to date from the education that I got here. Anyone who has been a long time reader knows that returning to California was the hardest thing I have ever done, and that my transition back to American living did not go well at all. A lot of times the only thing that kept me going was the thought that I was getting the EdD with the soul intention of coming back here to live and work.

This time around I’m living in a great flat near the water, I’m dating a nice guy (although cultural communication brings its own fun challenges) and have made some lovely new friends to go along with the ones I have loved so dearly for the last four years. Many of the people that stay in contact with regularly are the ones that I have met here and have moved to other parts of the world.


This is my front yard as it were. I catch the bus from here, and it drops me off at night right in front of my building. While there are some days that I miss driving, I can walk or take the bus to everything that I need or want. I’m already planning some trips that will take me around Europe, and even on my worst days here, it is still happening in Scotland. I’m hoping that in 6 years when my student visa runs out I will be able to get a work visa, or at least apply to become a permanent resident. I’m not leaving unless the government forces me to.

The Scamp and Squishy

With only one day left in 2014, I decided to try and end the year on a high note, so I made a new friend.


World, meet Squishy. Squishy is the son of one of my dear friends from the cohort. She has known my mom for years, but I got to know her while she was my study buddy last year. I was beyond excited when she announced she was pregnant, and even more thrilled when she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Thanks to my own personal hell, it has taken months for me to finally be able to meet him, but let me tell you….it was well worth the wait.

Squishy sleeps like an angel, barely fusses when he wants to be fed, and burps like a well skilled frat boy. He puked on me after I fed him, so I am choosing to see that as a sign of acceptance.


Squishy was a great distraction from graduate school applications, and the never ending hunt for funding. The good news: there are plenty of options to fund my entire study. The bad news: I may have to start over and do the full three years. At this point though, if it means I get to finish a degree and research that I am passionate about, then I am all for it.

The Scamp Graduates!

Never have I been more excited for a graduation. This wasn’t just a celebration of my accomplishment, but it was a chance for me to get to return to Scotland and recharge my batteries. 

This was by far the best graduation ceremony I have ever participated in. Everything about the check-in and seating was easy, the hall was beautiful, and the pomp and circumstance was brilliant. Luckily I was seated next to one of my best friends in the program, and the good banter and the laughs through parts of the ceremony made the hour and half go quickly.










This day almost didn’t happen. 10 months ago I convinced myself that I didn’t need to go back for graduation. I knew that I would be just about done with my first semester of my doctoral degree, and I figured I couldn’t afford to take the time off. I told my  mom I had been through enough graduations, and didn’t need to sit through another one. After I finished my dissertation, I decided that I needed to go back and fully celebrate the hard work and everything that my nine months meant there. She was on board from minute one, and was overjoyed that my graduation fell over Thanksgiving weekend and she wouldn’t have to take any time off of work. Since I only got two tickets for the ceremony, I decided that Kelly needed to go. She has been to all of my graduations, but she had yet to visit Scotland and experience the magic of one of my favorite places in the whole world. 

The week we spent there was perfect. I got to show Kelly all of my favorite places, got to see a lot of my friends, and got a much needed break from school, work, and all of the stress of the last few weeks. 

I had two fears before I left: the first was that I would get no work done (which I didn’t…unless you count the 500 words I wrote in the airport the day we left) and that I would return to the States depressed that I was no longer in Scotland. While I was extremely happy to be in Scotland, and didn’t exactly rush home, I came home feeling recharged, and ready to finish the semester strong (of course, I still have one paper to work on, and have no idea how to finish it, so we will see how long those good feelings last). The only sad thing about coming home this time is I am not sure when I will get to see my friends again. Video chats with them are great, but do not compare to being able to see them face to face. 

While this is not my last graduation, I am sure that it will be my favorite. 

A Scamp and the Blind Poet

Seems legit

Seems legit




My favorite pub in San Diego is called Blind Lady, so it makes perfect sense to me that my favorite pub in Scotland would be called the Blind Poet. The pub is near main campus, and besides being a literary themed pub, it has one of the best Thursday night karaoke madness in the city. We have gotten in the habit the last few weeks of meeting there on Thursday nights to hang out, have a few drinks and enjoy the regulars who grace the stage and sing everything from Evanescence to heavy metal. Some of the people are really good, some are really bad, and some are just really entertaining. I spent my birthday there, met the lads there for drinks after David turned out to be a liar, and both the Texan and I thought it would be a fitting place for a sendoff. I have to say it was one of my favorite traditions in Scotland. I loved any time I got to spend with my friends, but making fun of singers, singing along with the songs we knew, and just being able to hang out in one place all together was a lot of fun.  Thursday nights will never be the same.

Here are a few of the photos from my sendoff:





They sang "I Wish They All Could Be California Girls" just for me

They sang “I Wish They All Could Be California Girls” just for me





A Scamp and the Breakfast club

Today I got to introduce one of my favorite people here to the movie The Breakfast Club. She had never seen it, and the movie was referenced in another movie that we watched not too long ago, so I felt that it was my duty to introduce her the magic that is a Brat Pack film. She of course loved the movie, and we laughed at how American it is in terms of representations of high school students. One of the reasons that I love this movie is the famous dance scene. That scene has been recreated many times, including a fan challenge for a band I really enjoy. Here are two of my favorite versions:


I always have the urge to make my own version…at least until I remember that I suffer from Jewish White Girl Rhythm and no one wants to see me dance.

The movie made me think of my breakfast club. Last semester my breakfast club was me and Adam Carolla. That was on days that I managed to wake up on time for breakfast. I’d eat alone most times because my friends here ate early so they could get to class and to keep the strict study/research schedule. This semester it started out the same way, but once classes were over and people no longer had classes to get to, they started eating breakfast later. I have not eaten breakfast alone in weeks, and as much as I love Adam Carolla, it is a lot nicer to wake up and get going in the morning with my little breakfast club. We couldn’t be more different, no two of us are from the same country, and as of right now, I am the only person whose native language is English. I enjoy it. I get to tease one about his love/addiction to coffee, the amount of sugar that one consumes in the course of a breakfast (6 packets of sugar in his milk every morning, 3 in his coffee, and sometimes 3 with his butter and toast…you know who you are….try eating some fruit once in awhile instead of all of that sugar), and one about trying to eat healthy even though the only option is tasteless oatmeal.

There is a scene in the movie when one of the characters asks what will happen when they go back to school on Monday. He wants to know if they will continue to be friends outside of the library. I sometimes wonder that about my little breakfast club.  Will we still be friends when we all split up? I know that I will still talk and be friends with my favorite French girl, but we have been friends since the first day we moved into Lee House, but we didn’t really start hanging out with the rest of the 4th floor until a few weeks ago. Sometimes we would hang out with them after dinner and watch them play ping pong, but now we all have breakfast and dinner together and hang out and play ping pong (okay, I just sit and trash talk, but I watch everyone else play). I like it. The conversations are never dull, and hanging out with them is way better than sitting in my room watching bad talk shows (someone put every episode of Dr. Phil on Youtube….). I hope that once I return home I will still be able to keep in contact with them, and maybe even see them again at some point in time. I wouldn’t mind visiting Mexico, or Canada, France or India.

Luckily in the age of Facebook and Skype keeping in contact will be easy, but I also know it will take a little bit of work on my part. Good thing I am an excellent pen pal.

A Scamp and the Perfect Wednesday Night

The recipe for success?

The Princess Bride


Junk Food


Some of my favorite people


Perfect Wednesday night.

I am now going to swallow a whole bunch of Tums to help settle my stomach after ingesting so much popcorn, Skittles, Oreos, chips and chocolate. My inner fat kid loved all of the junk food (although my digestive system might not love it in a few days). The rest of me loved a relaxing evening watching a movie I love with people I love.

I finally met with the director of my program and got the paperwork in, and tomorrow I have the first meeting with my supervisor. I no longer feel stressed about the meeting. The director was super nice to me. He let me invade his office for a chat, talked to me about my project, and gave me some good suggestions on research to do. He also assured me that he would always be available and I could email him with questions, concerns, and any updates on life. I’m sure the meeting tomorrow promises to be interesting, but I at least feel a lot better about the fact that my first meeting is only 9 days before I leave.