“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” — William Faulkner

Happy Fourth of July!

Okay, it appears that my last update was about  my move to New Orleans. Wow, I’ve been pretty absent. So to start, I’ll share with all of you what I’ve been up to since I moved into town.

Eating clean: clean eating has been an adventure. Grocery shopping takes far more time when you hunt for items with five items (or less) on the ingredients list. I think that I found my grocery store home: Rouses. It’s one of the most beloved grocery stores in NOLA, and it’s not particularly hard to see why. My staples are now: brown rice, chicken breast, vegetables (no zucchini please), fruit, whole wheat pasta, granola, whole wheat pita, whole wheat flatbread, GMO-free soy milk, and mango chutney.

Cooking: I haven’t cooked — I’m being serious — since last summer. I have been enjoying my culinary adventures. Once I get back home from class, eat dinner which I had previously prepared and then prepare my lunch and dinner for the next day. The first meal that I made was a green bell pepper stuffed with brown rice, chicken, and onions (lime, garlic, and citrus flavor profile).

bell peppers


I have a slow cooker which I have been experimenting with recently. I used it once to make pasta (alfredo, whole wheat fettucine, and ground turkey) which turned out well; after all, pasta is quite easy to master. I used it again a few days ago to make apple smoked barbecue pork stew with carrots, peas, corn, and potatoes.

I often prepare oven-roasted potatoes, asparagus (with a garlic glaze), and brown rice vegetable stir-fry. Most recently, I made a chicken curry stew (I used soy milk rather than coconut milk — still amazing, I recommend) which turned out quite well: definitely going on the rotation. Another favorite of mine is lettuce wraps. These are not difficult to make (or time consuming) and are perfect for me to talk to the School of Public Health for lunch.

Classes: So the last time I wrote, I had a two exams swiftly approaching. I am more than happy to say that one of my core MPH classes has been conquered: Survey on Environmental Health (GEHS 6030).

environmental health

And with that, this textbook is no longer relevant to my life. Now, I have classes that are at the School of Public Health. One class is Comparative Health Systems (GHSD 6010) which is an elective. It’s really interesting and the professor conducts the class (maybe seminar is a better term) in such a fascinating way. We have case studies — our first one was assigned for this weekend and I’m really excited to dig deep into the material and learn something interesting. We have a group project for this class that I am unbelievably excited for — am I am geek? Did I just reveal that I am a geek?

The other class that I am in is Epidemiology which is more fun than I expected it to be.

Driving: Parallel parking is still a struggle. Yesterday, I practiced parallel parking alone. The last time that I had to parallel park, Brittani (shoutout!) talked me through it but, I need to learn how to do this alone. Slowly but surely, it’s getting a bit better. Having to pay for parking is not fun. That’s definitely a downside to living in a city.

Furniture: I have my blackboard for my wall, a desk, a bed, and an elliptical all ready to go for my room. However, I’m not really Ms. Fix-It and so…all these materials are in the box. I know, I know. Once everything is set, my room is going to be absolutely gorgeous. I’m really excited to share all of that with you guys.

Clothes: I ordered scrubs for anatomy. I can’t believe that I am going to have scrubs! It’s so exciting. Besides that, I’m on the hunt for the perfect dress for the White Coat Ceremony. The pressure is on.

Panicking: New Orleans has many reputations. It’s the Big Easy. It’s the murder capital of the United States (yikes!). It’s known for nightlife, Mardi Gras, debauchery, and much more. My unease comes and goes. Some days I travel completely without fear and other days I am entirely nervous. I know that I am not alone in this. The transition from Princeton to an actual city is crazy. One of my friends who moved to Philadelphia called me on her way home from work because she was nervous (which I can understand) — that feeling of insecurity (in the sense of physical danger) is so new. My friend who moved to New Haven had a conversation with me about mace. Where to get it / whether to get it. These conversations are so new; sort of frightening, but important.

People Skills: Meeting people is hard. Especially when you’re in online classes. Not that I have classes on campus, I’ve been un-rustifying my people skills. Prior to the start of class, I had about one week of minimal social interaction. That was rough; I was definitely going a bit stir-crazy. I definitely enjoy having classes at the School of Public Health and getting to meet MPH and other MD/MPH candidates. Everyone has such interesting perspectives and many of the MPH students are much older than me. It’s sort of intimidating when they provide their real-world experience and when I realized that I can’t offer much in the way of that. Yet, it’s phenomenal. These classes and these people are so interesting. I cannot wait to see where this adventure goes.

With that, I need to find some sort of red, white, and blue ensemble. Tomorrow, I’ll share some photos from the NOLA fireworks display. As always, thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on ““We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” — William Faulkner

  1. Pingback: “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” ― Hunter S. Thompson | Stilettos + Stethoscopes

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