GRADUATION!! (Grad School)

Thursday, December 23

Tough Decisions....

So the giddiness still hasn't subsided as I opened my first Christmas gift....
from my boss. Now I am trying to decide between Gelaskins. So help me:



Wednesday, December 22

thank heavens for dictionaries!

Have you ever seen the 1993 Melanie Griffeths movie Born Yesterday? The character Billie Dawn tries to read a difficult book and has to carry a dictionary around with her to understand all the words. In one scene she is in a library and has to go to the big dictionary on a pedestal to look up words every couple of sentences. (I tried to find a video of this scene but it doesn't seem to be online anywhere)
Anyway, my life seems to be playing a very similar track as I try to read the Harry Potter series in French. I can't believe how frustrated I get as I am looking up words or verb tenses every single sentence. *sigh* I am determined though. I will make it through.

P.S. Grades came out.... While not my greatest semester I am told that a 3.5 is not a bad GPA for a semester and that the B- I got is sassy. Now all I have to do is turn my I in french into a real grade and I will be good to go. :)

Tuesday, December 21

The Door is always Open....

It is that time again..... "It's Christmas in Killarney with a the folks at home!"

Wednesday, December 15

A Garrison Keeler selection.....

Kate sent me this a couple of months ago and I just now got a chance to read it and wanted to share:

Clara: In the Post Office
by Linda Hasselstrom

I keep telling you, I'm not a feminist.
I grew up an only child on a ranch,
so I drove tractors, learned to ride.
When the truck wouldn't start, I went to town
for parts. The man behind the counter
told me I couldn't rebuild a carburetor.
I could: every carburetor on the place. That's
necessity, not feminism.
I learned to do the books
after my husband left me and the debts
and the children. I shoveled snow and pitched hay
when the hired man didn't come to work.
I learned how to pull a calf
when the vet was too busy. As I thought,
the cow did most of it herself; they've been
birthing alone for ten thousand years. Does
that make them feminists?
It's not
that I don't like men; I love them - when I can.
But I've stopped counting on them
to change my flats or open my doors.
That's not feminism; that's just good sense.

"Clara: In the Post Office" by Linda Hasselstrom from, Roadkill. © Spoon River Publishing, 1987.

Tuesday, November 16


I am a 31 yr old woman with a woobie (how do you spell that word anyway?) and a teddy bear. I have had a cold for 4 days now and have given in. I wanted my woobie so I pulled it out of the box as the rest of my things were headed into the storage unit tonight.

Now mine isn't one of those tiny baby blanket things that other kids have. My woobie is a king size quilt that I made when I was 18.... with the help of my mother, Sandra Martell, Meg Thorne and maybe even Leslie Taylor.....I can't remember who all helped. It has a blue flannel back and Sesame Street characters on the front. It is tied with bold colored variegated yarn.

I have better and more adult blankets in my collection....but when I don't feel good this is the one I want on my bed. Lol!
So here it is and now I am going to go to sleep and hope I sound better in the morning.... *sigh*

Friday, November 12


It sets in every once in a while. I think this is the reason I have become an over achiever. I need to be too busy to get this way.

Tuesday, October 26


Reading poetry makes my brain ache. It is filled with the constant nagging feeling that I am missing something. That there is more to the poem, more to the meaning of the poem, than I am able to understand. I don't think I am a fan of poetry.

Sunday, October 24

Made in Dagenham....

I am often called a feminist, which isn't offensive, though it is sometimes shocking to me. I am excited to see this movie. If I was still living in DC, Kate and I would be seeing this in that little grungy theater where we saw Kinky Boots. But out here in Utah..... who will go with me?

Today I called in sick to life.....

As always today I woke up tired. This is nothing new. And wasn't even as bad as it has been in the past. Usually I get up anyway. I have responsibilities to attend to. I have school, homework, work work, teaching Sunday School, and what feels like a million other things. I don't have the luxury of lounging around in bed all day. Even on the mornings when I don't have get up early there are 5 - 6 history books and a lit book all on my bedside table so I can wake up and do homework. (I used to love to wake up grab the nearest book and read for 30 min or so before getting up... Now that I feel like have to, it isn't as much fun...)

Anyway, today I decided to heed the desire to curl up and ignore life. I woke up early..... and then went back to sleep. I didn't work on my lesson and did not go to church. This afternoon I have watched an episode of Sanctuary and played a little on facebook. As soon as I am done here I will shower and read the last 50 pages of Remains of the Day (okay that is homework but at least it is a book I am sort of enjoying). The only thing missing is my homemade popcorn, but I have neither olive oil nor kernals and there is no way I am going out to get it. Lol!
Tonight, I'll have dinner with the Thornes and the Zerkles and maybe curl up with a few more text books...... I might even start on the transcription of my biographical interview.... though probably not.

Because today..... I am taking a mental health day.

Tomorrow I will go back to real life with classes from 8 - Noon, work from Noon - 6, and homework from 7- whenever I can't keep my eyes open and have to go to bed.

Tuesday, October 19

Parlez-vous Francais?

I know that I am extremely OCD about my grades. To me, even though I know better, a B feels like I am failing. I also recognize that at the beginning of every semester I have a minor freak out and say dumb things like: I am gonna fail my classes.... I am not learning enough.... blah blah blah....

Having acknowledged these things about myself, I tried not to freak out to much as this semester started. But I am realizing that I might be in over my head. It is not uncommon for me to take a 16-credit hour class load while working full time. Unfortunately, I have moved beyond the basic courses and am now taking all upper division classes. As a Public History major with minors in English Literature and French my classes are full of copious amounts of reading and writing assignments. You wouldn't think I would be struggling, I live to read and love to research. Yet, with the courses I am taking I don't have enough time to complete the assignments. books go unfinished, paper deadlines are missed and some homework gets skipped entirely.

I have been thinking about this alot and I think I have decided to drop my French minor.
*gasp* *shock* *deep breath*

Okay, I have talked to many of you about this already today and have gathered the following advice:

  1. My life as a student should have no regrets
  2. It isn't bad to do something just because I want to
  3. Life should be guided by a couple of things: the Holy Ghost, logic, dreams, and finances
  4. A 'W' on a transcript is okay....just don't go overboard
  5. Dropping the French Minor would be okay.... even though my OCD is saying FAIL FAIL FAIL
  6. Completing only 1 minor with higher grades is better then multiple minors with low grades
  7. I am still gonna read Harry Potter in French.... I even got the books online. ;)

Monday, October 18

Random Familial Interactions

Tonight I had a discussion with my brother Wog, who will be leaving in December for a 2 year LDS mission to Stockholm Sweden. Our conversation turned to languages and it was decided that in an effort to retain his French skills he will have to write to me every week in French. From this spawned the following scenario:

First to keep up his french skills in Sweden he would obviously have to find a person their to speak to regularly in French... meaning who would have to find a french-speaking investigator.

If said french-speaking investigator was over 30, single, intelligent, and moderately attractive Wog would then send him my way.

Let me spare you the random course of our conversation and just say we ended up with the conclusion that in a few years Wog could be spending Christmas' in Sweden with me rather in UT with the rest of the family.....

And people say I don't have an imagination.....

Sunday, October 17

'tis eventide....

Tonight was the first of the no stress, casual Hinkson/Gifford family gatherings for all those that are here locally.

While not a home run on the first try, there was still lots of food and lots of laughter. As a matter of fact, as I was leaving the families were sitting in Mom's living room listening to old Bill Cosby Records.

Good times.

Thanks to all those that could make it. I can't wait to see you Hinksons and Giffords next month.


P.S. I would like it noted that apparently every semester I think I am in over my head and every semester turns out fine. But yet again...... I feel like I'm falling behind!

Never fear.... I am working on not stressing about it. :)

Saturday, October 16

Writer's Block...

The slowly passing hours are filled with pages which have been written, re-written, and then erased. I have read and re-read the books and primary documents. Finally succumbing to the t.v. and facebook. The papers are due Monday...*sigh*

Anyone have any thoughts on the drastic change in Roman military strategy, which was employed during the Third Punic War and the destruction of Carthage?

what's that?

*crickets chirping*

How about the significant differences between Hitler's invasion of Poland and the invasion of France......


yeah, that's what I thought....


Thursday, October 14

if I am 31 does that mean I get 3 marshmallows?

My Friend Sarah passed this along to me. I couldn't help but realize that I am still not a very patient person. Maybe someday I will learn.

Tuesday, October 5

Fan girl moment.....

Everyone knows I am a fan of a variety of authors. It is also no shock that I am a huge fan of romance novels, as I have been out of that closet for quite a few years now. But with all my love of reading, I have never desired to be a writer. I thought about editing....but I know how much work, effort, blood, sweat, and tears can be required to put out a book of any kind and that is not a trail I want to take.

So when an opportunity came up for me to attend the Utah chapter of the RWA Writers conference, I was not really all that interested.

Until I found out that the Keynote Speaker is, none other than.......

I know, most of my readers have no idea who that is. But I do. As a matter of fact, I can honestly say, I own everything she has ever published. With all the books I own and authors I love she is the only author I can say that about. I even buy her stuff in hard back....and then sell trade those out when I have to replace them in paperback (Yes, I am anal enough to want my collections to fit nicely on my shelves. Don't Judge!)
So, what does this mean? And Why am I having such a fan girl moment.....well because I have decided to attend the conference. That is right, I am giving up one of my coveted weekends (and skipping classes) to attend an RWA Writers conference even though I have no plan to ever be a author or an editor. *sigh*
Yes, I am that big of a fan... *SQUEEEEEEEEE*
All done now... back to work. :)

Wednesday, July 21

Theme song anyone?

So I know it isn't my theme song but I have many friend that could use it as such. For me....the hip fairy did come two times and the thigh fairy three

Thursday, July 15

It caught my eye.....

SO I found this quote while updating my Goodreads page.

"By now, it is probably very late at night, and you have stayed up to read this book when you should have gone to sleep. If this is the case, then I commend you for falling into my trap. It is a writer's greatest pleasure to hear that someone was kept up until the unholy hours of the morning reading one of his books. It goes back to authors being terrible people who delight in the suffering of others. Plus, we get a kickback from the caffeine industry..."

As if the fact that it is a bout evil librarians isn't enough, even the excerpts are making me laugh. I am gonna have to buy the book and read it.

Tuesday, June 22


Wow...I now have a new understanding of the word migraine.

Not that I have ever doubted the painful reality which some people have to deal with regularly but experiencing the pain is very different that having some one explain it to you.

Tuesday, May 11

Grades are out....

I really can't complain..... with 2 A's, an A- and 2 B+'s my scores weren't that bad. Unfortunately it drops my GPA to a 3.82. I know it doesn't really matter, but my OCD seems to keep poking at me.


oh well...... back to my crit lit and Civil War homework.

Thursday, April 22

Medically Necessary

Today was full interesting information. So I thought I would share one of my many conversations:

Kristine: For some time, tryptophan has been available in health food stores as a dietary supplement. Many people found tryptophan to be a safe and reasonably effective sleep aid, probably due to its ability to increase brain levels of serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter when present in moderate levels) and/or melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone secreted by the pineal gland in response to darkness or low light levels).

Kristine: And, (also according to wikipedia) it's in chocolate

Rachel: and now I am well informed.... I am going to eat it before going to bed every night

Kristine: so chocolate does make your brain work better :)

Rachel: I have an excuse

Kristine: yay! serotonin's also the neurotransmitter that most anti-depressants target
so chocolate functions in a similar manner to anti-depressants, just on a lower level :)
ergo, chocolate is medically waranted when one is having a bad day?

Rachel: exactly or trouble sleeping or overly frustrated

Kristine: yep

Rachel: there are many many cases which warrent the medical treatment of chocolate!

Kristine: precisely :)

Monday, April 19

The stream of conscience ramblings of a tired student

I know I have no right to complain, there are others far more busy than I.

But I am tired and I miss my old life. You know, the one where I could do what ever I wanted as long as I put in my hours for the day at the office. I have vacations every year and I made enough money so i didn't have to worry about it. Yeah, that one. I know that attending school is good for me. That I need to get my degree....but man, I sure do miss my 2 weeks of vacation.
I miss my old boss, and my work friends. I even miss my hour long commute on the metro. All that prime reading and quilting time. *sigh*

Now I am going to go take care of my readings for World History and Brit Lit so I can make my 8:30 French Conversation study group ... so that some day, I will again be able to take a week off work and do nothing but lay in a hammock by the beach and read a book.

Wednesday, April 7

School Woes....

So this week I have been trying to figure out what I am going to do about classes this summer. I am so tired I am afraid I am burning myself out. I have finally decided that I am going to take only 2 classes this summer; a Crit Lit class and a history class.
I have also been trying to piece together a schedule for my classes in the fall. Unfortunately, this is not as easy. I have finally reached the upper division credits of both of my majors. While this leads to classes that I find much more interesting, most of these classes are held in the middle of the day.

I happen to work full time as a receptionist. My hours are 10-6. The office has been really good about working with my schedule, but I can only push it so far. I just don't know what to do. Anyone know a company who is willing to hire someone for $12/hr who can only work after 3 pm. Lol!

*sigh* I'll have to get this figured out.

Sunday, March 7

The Battle

It seems for year no my body and I have been waged in a war for years now. Sometimes I win sometimes I don't.

Let me explain.

Most of you who actually read this blog know that I get tired. Really tired... brain shutting down, not finishing sentences kind of tired. (It's the "saying I will meet a friend at home but forgetting half way there and stopping to get gas only to remember when she called looking for me" kind of tired) It has been this way since my mission and no one knows why it happens. All I know is that when I am sick, or in pain, overly stressed, or just plain doing to much, my body combats this by trying to sleep for long periods of time. Like 12-24 hours. I am only half joking when I say that I came home from my mission and slept. I have very little memory of what went on between August and mid-December of that year.

In the years following my mission, I learned to recognize the signs of, what I term, crashing. Sometimes, I would be good and dial things back but usually I would just try to cram everything I had to get done into the remaining time and take the weekend to sleep it off. Or if that wasn't an option I would do nothing but go to work then come home and sleep..... all week long. Which usually got me back on track for another couple of months or so. Lately, the crashes are a weekly thing. If I take Saturday easy I am usually good for church on Sunday and then I take a really long nap.

Last week I wasn't feeling well and knew my body would want me to sleep.... but I had things to do ... so I didn't. I won that battle. This week ... my body didn't listen so well..... there was too much play /school/work and too little sleep. So when Sunday rolled around I slept through the morning and now have been awake for about an hour. Enough time to eat, get a headache, and realize that I am going back to sleep.

Never fear!

My body might have won this round, but it hasn't won the war.

I have to much to do ... it will just have to wait until after my nap.

Thursday, February 25

A book to stand the test of time.....

North and South (Penguin Popular Classics) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had forgotten how much I enjoy reading the classic but Elizabeth Gaskell's portrayal England in the 19th century certainly reminded me. Not only is this a great love story (with no kissing. What can I say it is a victorian novel.) but it also delves into the mandates of English society for the time period. Focusing on the roles of women, the differences between the agricultural south and the industrial north, the breaking down of class barriers, and the effect of religion.
I am proud to say that this will have a special place on my book shelf.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, February 24

Done for the night....

Well I finished North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and the reading on FDR for American History tomorrow. I'll have to study for my film test tomorrow.... sometime before I take it. *sigh*

For now, I am going to bed. hopefully I can be asleep before the clock strikes one; if only to say that I got at least 4 hours of sleep. Lol!

Thursday, February 18

The Debutante....

Every one who knows me knows I have a slight obsession with word and I get all kinds of excited when my french and english worlds connect. So last night while doing my french homework, I learned the word 'une debutante' which translates to a begginer.
I immediately thought of the debutante balls. Which totally makes sense.... As the balls are presenting women to society for the first time.

I am totally fascinated....

But I'm not a geek. I'm just boring. :)

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, February 16

weekend quotes...

While there were quite a few quotes from this weekend, I think this one was my all time favorite.

While having breakfast with my father and younger sisters we got on to the topic of books. (Really when don't I end up on the topic of books....) The conversation ended as follows:

Me: Sorry, I can ramble on about books forever, I am just a geek.

LL: You're not a geek! You're just boring.

So am I happy that I am not a geek or sad that I am so boring?

Monday, February 15

18 hours.....

give or take an hour.

This weekend was a whirl wind of excitement. From the wedding to Sariahs obsession with Princess Boo. There was homework and cream puff Jokes, Watching the olympics with dad and Tiana straightening my hair. There wasn't a whole lot of sleep, like many of my weekend trips. Lol!

So coming home on Sunday found me curled up in my bed dead to the world for about 18 hours. I feel better today....though still really tired. If I can just get my French and Film homework done I can go to bed ontime tonight.

Cross your fingers!

P.S. Steph, we are still wondering who guess was closest.... tell me you made it at least 15 min...

Thursday, February 11

not quite done....

Well the laundry got done, along with the World History readings and the massive Brit Lit assignment.....


I didn't get my packing done OR clean my room OR the bathroom. OR study for the french exam tomorrow.

Tomorrow is going to be a long night. Followed by an even longer yet fun filled trip to AZ.

Wish me luck and lots of caffeine. Lol!

Tuesday, February 9

That is why I read.....

Nothing is ever gonna come crawling out of my books to kill me.

Here I am at almost 11 pm lying in bed realizing that I can't go to sleep. I want to go to sleep. I even would say that I NEED to go to sleep... but every time I close my eyes I see Noah backing away from the creepy creepy little girl with the phone ringing in the back ground!

Therefore..... I am going to read a story that turns out a little happier.... and then another... and then another.... Hopefully at some point I will fall asleep with out nightmares.

P.S. Another time I am gonna have to blog about the realization that Meg, Sarah, and I are characters out of a Nora Roberts novel.... not tonight though.

Creepy Creepy little girl!

Friday, January 29

just another day in paradise.....

So after a fabulous nasal flush (which is just as enjoyable as it sounds) I am climbing in to bed with the good doctor...

here's hoping rest will make what ever this is go away!

Wednesday, January 27


I hate it when professors lead you to believe that something is going to be difficult ...
and then it isn't.

After 2 weeks of stressing because the professor said that many people find the tests difficult or abstract, I took my first exam today..... And I have decided that the professor was just being mean...

I got an A after only 4 minutes. At least I can go back to treating it like the fine arts credit I signed up for.

Monday, January 25


Apparently the song is true... Mondays will get you down. Or maybe it is just me. Either way, my self fulfilling prophecy has come true.

Mondays are my bad day. From the time they start with my beautiful alarm at 5:15 in the morning (Okay lets be serious, you all know I lay in bed until 6 when the shower is finally free) until I finally get home from my Film lab between 9 and 10 pm, Mondays just seem chock full of things to do. And I never get it all done.

And I am tired.... So good night all. I will have to write my paper tomorrow.


Thursday, January 21


It seems to be that lately I am lucky to remember my own name let alone more important things like the assignments for my classes that I printed and left sitting on my desk at the office!!!

Some days you can't win for losing.

Tuesday, January 19

For Jer and Tink....

I am sad to say I haven't really had time to watch for a while... but Kate sent this on to me and it made me giggle....

Saturday, January 16

Well rested!

Good Morning Everyone!

Apparently the week took a bit out of me. I came home from work last night and crawled into bed. After reading for about an hour I crashed and slept until about 6 this morning. I hope this isn't a sign of how this semester is going to go. I am not sure I have time for a 12 hour crash every weekend. Especially when the homework picks up.

Speaking of homework, I feel rather productive already. It is only 8 am and I have finished the novel I was working on, started my readings for wold history and started my french homework (which should be done soon). That means I should be able to get to my chores here in a bit. The bathroom has been screaming at me for over a week now.

First though..... I need to eat. I haven't had anything but water since the early afternoon yesterday and my tummy is telling me it is hungry. What do you think about taco soup for breakfast..... Mom said she made it spicy just for me last night?


Tuesday, January 12

Another Night.....

Apparently I gave the impression that I wouldn't be blogging until summer, Which was completely unintentional. While I will admit that blogging will be sporadic for the next while I do intend to continue writing.... just for you Dad. ;)

I am supposed to be studying.... but unfortunately I am distracted. So here I sit in my small room surrounded by text books, baskets of unfolded clean laundry, my unmade bed and a desk with papers piled so high I can actually see the desk top.

I am trying not to get discouraged tonight but today seems to be a day for it.
It is the first full week of my semester and I am already feeling like I am never going to keep up. The list of papers to write this semester seems never ending, though all seem to be easier then either of the major papers I had to write last semester. My French class is taught by a man at least 4 years my junior, if not more. He has already called me old in front of the whole class though the young girls in the front row were quick to jump to my defense. They kindly informed me "that 30 is the new 20." Lol!

On a good note, my world history class seems to actually cover a lot of the same information as my Brit Lit class. :) Though, the first 3 hour class period almost put me to sleep. I hope she gets more interesting. I look forward to reading Galileo's Daughter and things Fall Apart for World History and deciding on 2 Novels for Lit class.

Alright that is all the time I have for now. The study guides for my intro to film class (darn Fine Arts credits needed for G E's) have started to yell in my general direction. I have to complete them for the class at 8 am tomorrow morning (after my amer. history at 7 am).