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chocolate chip umbilical cord

the trees are excited about springyou can tell when something fancy is about to happen on campus because these banners go up everywhereMel’s foot is particularly cute while she’s sleepingmy bathtub watches me while I bathe, it’s intimidatingthis is the view of the Lewis & Clark webpage from my desktoptea is always gluten-free!my newly-discovered favourite wall downtownour ingredients are happy to be part of a forthcoming pizzafaces, faces everywhere!our magnificent pizza, pre-ovenmy new basil plant, unnamed as of yetour gluten-free cookie baby and its umbilical cordI usually hold babies on pans this wayfirst family portrait? Maybe.Mel admiring our suddenly chubby baby just after its time in the ovenIt was a learning week. I learned to check both sides of midterm exams before getting too invested in a particular question; I learned the scientific basis of Haitian zombification; I learned how not to make a gluten-free pizza; and I learned that sometimes the best remedy for campus craziness is to get off the hill for a few hours.

I had a midterm exam in Women in Religious History, and after an evening study session with half my classmates (there are only ten of us in the course) in front of an electric fire, I felt pretty prepared to nail it. On the day of the exam, just as the clock struck class is over o’clock, I dropped the last period onto the end of the last sentence of the last essay. And then I turned the exam over. There was a whole ‘nother essay question, worth almost half the exam. Most of my classmates stayed extra long to finish the last essay – it was a lot of content to fit into an hour and a half – but I had a meeting with my Comm professor to get to, so I couldn’t stay. I emailed my professor later explaining the situation and hoping for mercy, and after some deliberation she agreed to let me do the last exam question as a take-home, two- to three-page formal essay. In my experience, professors are pretty good about cutting you some slack if you ask for it with legitimate reason. Most of my professors seem to care about the whole me, not just the classroom me; they all know that the impending Gender Studies Symposium is partially inducing my erratic behaviour.

The Symposium starts on Wednesday! We’re featured on the Lewis & Clark homepage even. Last weekend, Mel and I walked half of Portland to hang our fancy Symposium posters all over the city. We kicked off with a visit to a gluten-free bakery called Coffee Plant, where I got a gluten-free blueberry scone for free because it was a couple of days old – score! In the process of hanging posters, we met a variety of independent coffee shops, friendly gay bars like Embers, and places with surprise gluten-free options, like Pizzicato. By the third hour of taping posters, we were significantly less enthusiastic about the task than we had been in the first hour, so we called it quits and rewarded ourselves with pad thai from a food cart. It was really refreshing to get off campus for a few hours and appreciate Portland, but it was nice to come “home” to my dorm room afterward too.

When Mel and I returned to campus, we baked a Maisha-friendly pizza! No wheat, cow dairy, or tomatoes. We haphazardly combined several different pizza crust recipes, replacing demands for flour with rice flour and tapioca flour. It looked and smelled delicious once we loaded it up with olive oil, basil, spinach, mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, Kalamata olives, and goat cheese, but the crust was actually really awful. We ended up eating off the toppings and throwing the crust out. Lesson learned: next time, we’ll actually follow a gluten-free crust recipe.

Our next gluten-free adventure was far more successful. On Wednesday night, Mel and I made a cookie baby to celebrate our nine-month-iversary. We used a legit recipe that called for oat flour. I gave it a smile and Mel gave it a chocolate chip umbilical cord. Our baby was really yummy!

LCHaiti hosted a Haiti Film Fest this week. Each night was a different film accompanied by an overabundance of baked goods available for donation. At the end of the week, we had raised $116! Predictably, the film with the best attendance was Thursday night’s The Unexplained: Zombies. Mel got a $10 bucket of day-old doughnuts from Voodoo for the occasion, and after the film, we hawked the remaining sweets around the residence halls. I liked that the Film Fest combined education, entertainment, fund-raising, and food baked by students and Portland-specific bakeries. I’m all for a little cross-pollination.

I almost forgot! Ten minutes after David stuffed the RA notification letters into mailboxes on Monday, I was down at the mailroom retrieving mine. I got hired to Forest staff! I’ve been lobbying for Forest all year, so I was eight years beyond excited to get my letter. I bolted straight down to Campus Living, rushed through the paperwork, and turned everything in to a startled Natasha. I’m pretty sure I was the first person to hand in all the “Yes I accept this job!” forms, given that it was less than half an hour since they had been distributed. The word I most often use to describe myself is: enthusiastic. Case in point.

Questions, comments, concerns, and quasi-alliteration: maisha@lclark.edu.

6 March 2010