Friday, March 5, 2010

New Beginnings

This is a hard post... because I am admitting I didn't succeed at something, and I like to succeed. As of right now I have been rejected from four out of the six graduate schools I applied to. I am waiting to hear back from Northwestern, one of my top choices, and Michigan State. I am disappointed because I don't really understand why I didn't get in. My grades were good, my recommendations good, my GRE scores good, my essays good. In short, I think I was rejected not because I wasn't qualified, but because there were other people who were older, had more research experience, more field experience etc.

The thing is, I'm ok. In truth, I mostly applied to graduate school because I felt like it was expected. I was graduating with excellent marks, good relationships to my profs, and a desire to continue learning, what else to type A overachievers do but apply to grad school? I was never really sure it was what I wanted. I enjoyed my major, and felt passionate about it at times, but never spent my spare time learning more about anthropology. I liked the idea of having a PhD much more than I liked the idea of being trapped into working at a university or as a researcher for an NGO. I knew I wanted to work with people, and I thought this was the only way for me to accomplish that seeing as I was so far gone with my degree anyway.

I should have taken better notes from my parents. My mother didn't start singing until she was nearly thirty and my father is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Both of them, however, have lived successful, rewarding, and mostly happy lives (well Dad, you can comment on this yourself).

In the last year, as I have learned more about health and nutrition I have started to think about how wonderful it would have been if I had decided to go into nutrition originally. But I figured it was too late. I was almost done, I might as well push those thoughts away and pursue anthropology. I was good at it after all, and I liked it. Because I really do enjoy anthropology. I love learning about how people think, and function, and interact, and I love that I could use it to help people. The thing is, if you think about it being a registered dietitian isn't really that different. You work with people, you try and understand how they relate to food so that you can teach them to eat properly. You work with cities and public health authorities to understand how to implement nutritional systems within given communities.

In short, I think I am going to start over. I think I am going to get a full time job and work on my pre-requisites - first and second year bio and chemistry, and a few Food and Nutritional Health specific courses, and then when I finish them I am going to apply to UBC's dietetics program, and hopefully I'll get in and write my RD exam three years later. The need for registered dietitians is growing, quickly, and over 90% of new graduates are employed, full time, within a year. This means that instead of spending the next eight years getting my PhD and then the next five getting onto a tenure track, and six years after that struggling through it before finally, maybe, just maybe, getting tenure, I'd be 28 and starting my career. I could always go back for a masters, and if I decided I wanted to go into anthropology, I could still do it. Seeing as I wanted to work to implement nutritional programs among children in third world countries, a background in nutrition would be helpful. I will be older, have more experience, and therefore more likely to be admitted.

I am somewhat terrified. The last time I tried to take university level biology and chemistry it ended badly, but that was my first year. I was in science one, I was desperately lonely and unhappy. And lets face it, I was passing science one bio and chem, as compared to math and physics which I was decidedly failing. This would just be regular sciences, not crazy amped-up science for the future Einsteins. I was really really good at bio and chemistry in high school, so I think I can do this. I really do.

More than that I want to.

It will be five years. Five more years of school, five more years of being broke, five more years of studying, but in the end I think I will have a career I am truly passionate about. I already spend all my time researching nutrition, learning about nutrition, making food, talking about food/nutrition... So why not make it my career?

In other news. Marathon training starts Monday. I am actually incredibly excited. Terrified but excited. My plan is to do strength training, including hill repeats Mondays, easy runs Tuesdays, bikram yoga Wednesdays, tempo runs/mile repeats Thursdays, climb Fridays, rest Saturdays, and do my long runs on Sundays. It's only three days of running, if you don't count the hill repeats, which are usually much shorter in terms of mileage, and more the runners version of weights, and I am excited about it. The hills are necessary because the Seattle Rock'n Roll is HILLY. Two 250 foot hills (bigger than the biggest hill I ran up in my half) and quite a few 150-200 foot hills. I need to be ready for them.

I also registered to run the Vancouver 1/2 on May 2nd. It's more of a training race, just to get one more in. I would like to finish in under 2:05, but I wont really be going for that much speed. I think it should be faster than my first half, however, seeing as with the exception of the Prospect Point hill the course is really flat.

Also, I recently discovered coconut butter, I buy Artisiana's and it is amazing. This morning I had it on a sandwich thin for breakfast. Actually I made a coconut butter and almond butter sandwich with raisins in the middle. It was the perfect fuel for my three miler, which was glorious.

I then came home and made a green monster smoothie with:

1 cup of vanilla almond milk
2 cups of spinach
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 serving of brown rice protein powder.

It was delicious.

Lunch consisted of a giant spinach salad, with two huge handfuls of spinach (I have a 1lb box to get through before the ninth), some black beans and chickpeas, crumbled up Amy's California veggie burger, half an orange bell pepper, some flax, and Amy's raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was awesome.

I also snacked on a small bowl of granola with just a touch of almond milk (I hate, hate, hate soggy cereal), and a banana.

Its interesting, I used to hate beans, and bananas and now I go through nearly a dozen bananas a week and adore beans...

1 comment:

  1. I found you through KERF, but wanted to comment because I am a career changer who is back in school to be an RD. I started back in January of 2006 taking pre-reqs, and I am still working to finish. Yes, it's tough being a part time student while working full time, but I fully believe it will be worth it in the end. Best of luck!!