How the West (or poker game…) Was Won

Once upon a time, I learned how to play Texas Holdem. And by once upon a time I mean like three days ago. My dad’s brothers and their families have been in town this week and we’ve been playing cards every night. Last night we played for money. I wish this story would end with me winning the money and riding off into the sunset on my noble steed to go buy white high tops because that’s one of the few pairs of Converse I don’t own. You can never have enough Converse. I would know because I may or may not have 14 pairs.

Unfortunately that’s not quite how the story goes. Everyone was out of the game and it was just down to my mom and yours truly. Thank goodness neither of us are very competitive. Hahahahahahahaha. Right. I think she was on the verge of disinheriting me a few times and might have threatened to kick me out of the house. I smiled politely/sinisterly and proceeded to win.

pokerThe game dragged on until almost 1am, but I finally won. I held the money in my hands for a glorious seven seconds until my mom snatched it from me and reminded me that I owed her 100 bucks. Fifty for the money I got when I sold my biology textbook back and fifty that I was charged by my school because I didn’t have my room ready for a new roommate to move in because my original roommate left me months ago. But that’s another story.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Also known as I’m too lazy to write today.


My current view from the library.


A pipe burst this afternoon in the main lounge of my dorm. I was sitting right there for a good six hours yesterday. I could have been doused in water and melted like the wicked witch of the west. Talk about a bad day.


For our final for the nursing class we had to write a paragraph describing a nurse. That’s it. Everyone in the class has an A and the professor also gave us cookies. The guy holding that has diabetes and it worries me whenever he eats food because when he took his blood sugar today it was 212. Hey, I was just curious and he’s right there. I had to look. He’s also one of three guys in the class, which I think is really cool.


People are very excited about the snow here. I took this on my way to church Sunday. It’s still pretty snowy here and the snow isn’t too muddy and disgusting yet.


A few nights ago I obviously was at the library too late because I was one of maybe 5 people left there. I’m trying to show you as many pictures as possible from the library to make it seem like I study a lot. Is it working?


This is one of my best guys friends here. I was going to the cafe and he wanted to come too wearing that. Before we left he said hold on, I need to change. His idea of changing is putting on that jacket. I swear he’s usually much cooler than this… sort of?


“Mostly sunny” reminds me of “mostly dead” which is how most of us feel all the time. This is from a few days ago and it didn’t even get up to 36 today. The wind chill last night was 0.


There are so many Amish people here. I don’t even know why.

College vs. Home

I came back home to St. Louis about a week ago and I leave tomorrow. This is the longest I’ve been home since I started college back in August. Honestly, it’s weird being back. I’ve had a set schedule these last three months that I’ve been thrown off of since getting here. So after much deliberation (sort of…), here are the biggest differences between college and home.

1. Naps. I have set times when I take my power naps that I haven’t been able to take since I got home. For example, every Wednesday I have a psychology quiz at 8:30am. That means that in order to get ready, grab breakfast with some friends at 7:45, and study a little beforehand, I need to be awake at 6:30. After psychology I have a chemistry lab at 11:30. Since I was probably up late studying for the quiz, I need my nap from 9:30-10. That’s all I let myself sleep since I’ve got places to go and people to see. Sorta. Since coming home, though, I don’t have a psychology quiz at 8:30. That means… I can sleep as much as I want. Long story short is I’m completely caught up on sleep and I’m pretty sure my mom thinks I have narcolepsy or something.

2. Food.  I absolutely love where I go to school and I’m really, really happy there. The only thing I truly hate dislike about it is the food. Some days it’s so bad that I actually want to start a hunger strike or something. Fortunately on the days that it’s unpalatable they manage to offer nachos or chicken nuggets, which is almost redeeming. And then there are days when half the dining hall is eating cereal for dinner and looking depressed. Some of the awards that the company that caters to my school has won include “Best Companies for Hourly Workers,” “Diversified Outsourcing Services,” “Caterer to an Environmentally Responsible College,” and “#1 on the Top Companies for Diversity List.” Hey, spoiler alert. None of those awards actually have anything to do with the quality of the food I’m paying thousands for each year. Diversity doesn’t prevent me from getting scurvy, which I’m pretty sure I have since I’ve hardly seen fruit since the last time I was home. The company also serves food at prisons and offers a program that brings together inmates in discussion groups to make them realize the consequences of their crimes. THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE MY FOOD MOONLIGHT AS THERAPISTS. Please focus on either making decent food or running group therapy sessions, because I don’t think you can do both well simultaneously. If you were wondering, I’d love Walmart or Amazon gift cards for Christmas. Walmart because I can get nourishment there and Amazon for everything else. But I’ve been eating non-stop since getting home. My mom’s and grandma’s cooking makes me happy and not contract food poisoning.

3. Friends. When I’m sick of studying or just plain bored, I basically only need to open my door to find someone to talk to. I’ve become really good friends with everyone on my floor and in my class in the nursing school. I spend a lot of time with my friend Ashley who lives right across the hall. In return for making me laugh and letting me take naps on her floor, I make her a hot pocket and watch movies with her until she falls asleep after she comes back a little tipsy after parties. If that isn’t true friendship then I don’t know what is. For the record, ukuleles make people want to be your friend. I bought one a few weeks ago and spent the weekend learning how to play it. I jammed for a good two or three hours with one guy on an acoustic guitar and one guy on an electric guitar, and sometimes I’ll sit out in the hallway playing it with basically the entire hall. Also, on Halloween I made the eyeball cakeballs I usually make for my Halloween party and I made rolls with marshmallows when my floor had a Thanksgiving dinner last two Sundays ago. Both times I got compliments by everyone who had one, and my friend’s boyfriend went out into our lounge and yelled at all the guys that I would make great wife material. Moral of the story is that food and ukulele bring people together. Now that I’ve come back home I don’t have friends I can just walk across the hall to hang out with. Luckily my siblings are my bestest friends and they are all I need. But really, all of my friends in St. Louis live far away so I hardly got to see any this week. Spider Baby is learning how to walk so his drunken stumble makes me think of Ashley. Close enough.

4. Noise. Ten or fifteen people on my floor all went to high school together, and somehow they ended up living next door to each other. Saying they’re all best friends is an understatement. I love that they’re all super close, but my word they can be loud sometimes. When they’re not all in the lounge down the hall, they’re in the guy’s room next to me. Thankfully they’re all super nice or I probably wouldn’t be able to tolerate what sounds like the recording of a laugh track at 2am. Here at home it’s just as loud, which makes sense since there are seven Italiana kids who all somehow end up being in the same room together. My parents love that. How my mother is able is to homeschool my siblings is beyond me.

5. Family. First off, I come back home and everyone is wearing my clothes. I have yet to see Sister Celiac wear anything that isn’t mine. The other night I was in the living room and I see her walk downstairs wearing a sweater THAT I BROUGHT TO WEAR THIS WEEK. IT WAS IN MY SUITCASE. AND SHE TOOK IT. Luckily since she stopped eating wheat and is finally healthy she’s grown a lot. She’s 14 and already a good two or three inches taller than me. You won’t fit in my clothes for long, sistah… The closest I get to experiencing my family is through FaceTime a few times a week, and that doesn’t allow me to see that my entire family has become obsessed with Duck Dynasty, Pinterest, and Salt & Vinegar chips. Seriously, I leave for three months and the whole house falls apart. We were driving the other day and Sister Celiac and Future Chef were seeing who could stick their head out the window and sing Miley Cyrus songs the longest. Also, apparently there’s a “strike” game. To cut straight to the point, the only rules are you’re not allowed to make any gross bodily noise or else you get a strike. Three strikes and you’re out, except not really because the game keeps going and nothing ever really happens. This isn’t too different from college except the guys there don’t get strikes and they generally don’t laugh after it like my three brothers do (and my sister Brute…).

Also I forgot how annoyed Sister Celiac and I get at each other when we finish every sentence for each other. Hearing her say the same dumb jokes as me at the same time makes me wonder if people actually think I’m funny or if they’re just being polite.

So, I stole the chemistry test answer key. But don’t judge me. Only God can judge me.

I’ve been trying to blog for a while, but, ha, that obviously hasn’t happened. Here are some snippets of posts that I’ve written but haven’t published:

One of the perks of going to a somewhat competitive college is that a majority of the people here are very smart. I definitely have encountered some people who still don’t know the difference between there, their, and they’re, but all of my pre-med friends intimidate me. Because everyone’s relatively educated it’s possible to have deep conversations with most of them. Some of the most profound ones I’ve had have been at midnight or later and all involve drunk people. I don’t drink which makes it that much funnier because I remember the whole thing the next day and they generally don’t. Some topics that have been covered are whether or not euthanasia is ethical, the in-depth rules of chess (and then the drunk guy proceeded to beat the sober guy at chess multiple times) and why Batman is able to save Gotham all by himself.

Since getting to college I’ve become much more laid-back. Not that I was ever high strung before, but now I really don’t get upset easily. Actually it’s gotten so bad (good?) that five people (two yesterday) now have asked me if I wanted to smoke pot with them. I informed them that I don’t do drugs. They all seemed shocked and said that I have the calm, easygoing personality of a stoner and that I’m easy to talk to. Apparently that’s a compliment?

I took a chemistry test a few weeks ago. The professor is probably the most insane man I’ve ever encountered and we watched a baseball game on the projector during one class. He also has a bit of a temper. He went over some people’s test with them in lab and mine was the last he went over before class ended. He handed me my test (or what I thought was my test) and I left. We had a chem lecture later that day and he flipped out at the beginning telling us that someone stole the answer key and they needed to return it right away so he could finish grading the tests. Why someone would want to steal the answer key to a chem 100 class is beyond me, but he was in a bad mood for the rest of lecture. A few days later he sent out a long, threatening email about how whoever stole it needs to give it back immediately. We got the same speech again in the chemistry lab later that week. Halfway through his rant I had this strong inclination to look in my lab folder. Guess who had accidentally taken the answer key instead of their test? Yeah, that would be me. Interrupting his speech and handing over the answer key in front of 30-40 people who all applauded me was probably the most awkward moment I’ve had since getting here.

This week has been pretty stressful, but fun. I had a biology test yesterday and gave a 15 minute presentation in nursing that multiple people said they really enjoyed. And some girl the other day said, “I don’t know how to say this without sounding awkward, but you’re really awesome.” Hey, I’ll take that. In life milestone news, I got in my first real fist fight last night! I was debating with my friend RJ about who knows what and he randomly went “DO YOU WANT TO FIGHT?” I’ve never actually fought with a 19 year old guy who works out multiple times a week and only drinks protein shakes. I don’t know why I thought that I would win… In biology lab today we got to spit into cuvettes to sample our cheek cells and somehow got ten extra credit points for it. So yeah, that’s pretty much what’s been going on. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m currently lying on my friend’s floor about to watch She’s the Man and possibly fall asleep. I party hard. But for real, the amount of sleep that every gets here is laughable. We have competitions to see who can sleep the most at night and there is definitely a moment of silence in respect for you if you say that you got more than 9 hours.

Midterm reflections. That sounded so poetic…

I’m back home for midterm break and I realize that you really miss a lot when you’re away at college. For example, apparently my mom has become obsessed with Duck Dynasty. How/when this happened I’ll never know. Spider Baby is learning how to walk, my brothers Future Chef and Evil Scientist are now taking piano lessons in addition to cello lessons (My parents stick us girls on violin and the boys on cello when we’re 4 or 5.  Too young for us to realize that cellos are cooler than violins…), and Corrupted Brother’s new joke is “What did the dog say to the tree?” BARK.” I’ve heard it at least three times a day since I got back on Wednesday night. At least he’s trying. It’s actually weird seeing how much Spider Baby has grown up the last two months. He was walking along the couch earlier today and I had a slight revelation that he is in fact a human being, just stuck in a tiny body.

Life so far has been good. I enjoy my classes for the most part and there hasn’t been too much friend drama. I’ve become much less sensitive since coming to college and my attitude when people don’t like me has changed from WHAT DID I DO WRONG?! to eh, that’s not my fault. I haven’t shown you people how well I can cook, so don’t come crawling back to me when I whip up some mad rum cake once I find someone who has a secret stash of rum in their closet. Joking. Well, joking about making the rum cake. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have to look far to find some hidden alcohol. I apologize to any homeschoolers I may be scandalizing right now. Oh, and by the way, the homeschool jokes never go away and I still get them on an almost daily basis.

I think I’ve finally found some stable groups of friends. Now that I’m not homeschooled and am in a place with thousands of people, it’s interesting to see what groups I gravitate towards. I’m friends with most of the guys and girls in my nursing class, some swimmers and tennis players who live on my floor, 6 different guys who skateboard to class (and there aren’t that many people who do skateboard. I think I’ve managed to befriend every single one of them), a guy who makes his own clothes and is the most hipster person I’ve ever met, and a bunch of random people who sit in the back of my chemistry lecture with me so we can pass notes. No texting, because passing notes is much more fun. Also that class is so boring it makes me sad that I’m paying tuition for it.

My only complaint so far is the food. You have no idea how tempted I am to go get arrested just so I can go to jail because I’m sure the food there is better. The food every morning for breakfast is exactly the same: dry biscuits, grey gravy with bits of sausage, scrambled eggs (sometimes they’re warm!), bacon or sausage, and squishy hash browns. Sometimes I look down at my plate and wish that I were colorblind, because then at least I could pretend that the amount of grey I see on my plate could be medically explained. But no. No fruit other than two sad bowls filled with apples and oranges that usually are under/over ripe. Lunch and dinner are occasionally good, but the only consistently decent food in the dining halls are the cereal, salad bar, and soft serve ice cream machine. A few weeks ago someone decided it would be a brilliant idea to replace the vanilla ice cream with banana. And we wonder why I have trust issues.

I know some people have voiced concern to some of my various family members that they’re not sure if I’m doing okay, and rest assured that I’m doing wonderfully. My grades are good, I get along with almost everyone I know, and I think I’m on my insane psychology teacher’s good side. Don’t even get me started.