It was a Tuesday Night…

I’ve always enjoyed watching Chopped (Food Network shows are the bomb), but for some reason, tonight’s episodes have been really hitting me hard, on a deep, personal level.  And, it wasn’t just because I had just filled an entire plate with those delicious pizza rolls and yelled “BAM” Emeril-style (Luckily my friends have accepted my behavior and don’t hide when they see me).  Back to my original point. I was surprised to find myself relating to the contestants in their experience on the show.

As the contestants opened their baskets, full of interesting ingredients like watermelon, canned sardines, zucchini, and pepper jack cheese (for you Food Network noobs, all of the ingredients in the basket must be used in the dish they are creating), I found myself relating this to me getting a paper assignment at Transy.  You know you have to do it, and you know you are going to go through several stages of what I like to call the “The Process by Which One Becomes Productive.”  I shall list them:

1. Ignorance (“I really don’t have to do this, it is just a funny joke by Dr. (Insert name).“)
2. Enlightenment (“Sweet Merciful God, I DO have to do this.“)
3. Hope (“Well maybe this isn’t quite as bad as I first thought.”)
4. Bubble Burst (“Yup. It really is as bad as I first thought.“)
5. Procrastination (“Maybe in like a week I’ll have a Jimmy Neutron brain blast or something.”)
6. Plan B  (“I still haven’t come up with anything yet, maybe I should like, brainstorm or draw some pictures, or like…read the textbook….“)
7. Reading the texts (no real thoughts, just reading and being blown away by the helpfulness of academic scholarship)
8. Lightbulb (“I may have a thesis! {celebratory smoothie from the 80}”)
9. Rendezvous with the Professor (“Captain, we have lift-off!“)
10. Productivity (“Who knew the invention of the microwave  influenced me attending Transylvania University along with my social class, gender, and race….turns out sociology is pretty cool after all!“)
11. Spell Check (“My paper looks like a rainbow with all those colorful underlines!“)
12. Completion (“I just dominated that paper.  Maybe I should consider switching and becoming a writing major. It is really easy to write.“)

So, as I witnessed those poor souls pull out that ox tail, chocolate milk, asparagus and sour gummies, I laughed as I watched the play of emotions across their faces, which seemed to reflect stages 1-4 quite nicely. Seeing these chefs tighten their aprons and pull out those ridiculously sharp knives was  much like me pulling out my laptop and putting on my fuzzy, aloe-infused socks.

However, I have something that those chefs don’t. I have step number 9, a Rendezvous with a Professor.  It may actually be one of my favorite parts about going to Transy.

Sure, the first time I went to talk with a professor, I was nervous.  I thought I was going to die, or worse, have completely failed and looked like a complete idiot.  My meeting lasted 40 minutes, not because I was writing something completely off topic, but because I was just casually talking to my professor about stuff unrelated to my paper.  My professor wanted to know all about me; where I was from, why I came to Transy, how I was enjoying school and college so far, if I needed help with anything, and even what I thought about the class so far.  It was pretty awesome.  Transy really has 2 different worlds, separated by 1 road.  So when I cross over everyday into the academic side of campus and know that I am welcomed on both sides, by my peers and my professors, it adds a nice little skip in my step (maybe not so much an actual skip, but definitely more confidence than I had ever imagined I could feel as a college student).

After I have taken off my fuzzy socks and put my HP into hibernation, I can sit back and pretend to enjoy the taste of the dishes prepared by the chefs on Chopped, knowing that I, too, can handle the mystery ingredients of my Transy basket.