Unsung heroes of my year

This post really is more of a check in since it’s been awhile. School is moving along, exams and classes are done and now begins the dreaded dissertation. I’ve been excited about this part of the year since before I was even in grad school. Writing a thesis/dissertation, honing in on my ‘craft’ and really focusing on my particular interest in international education. Only, I was expecting to have a clear focus and right now I don’t. I have a topic, but I keep flipping back and forth between two, let’s be honest, three ideas. So who knows.

Sigh.

So, instead of enlightening you all to the depths of my current existential crisis, I thought I’d do a post about the unsung heroes of my year. More specifically, the products I could not have lived without.

#1: My laundry bag from Bed, Bath & Beyond

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This bag has lived through rain, snow, sun, treks up a (small) hill, and two flights of stairs every week since September. It holds a huge amount, has comfy straps, and has (yet) to break on me. All of this wonder in under 10 bucks. I wish I had found this thing sooner, like when I lived on Balboa and had to walk up and down a more menacing hill to get to the laundromat.

#2: Document boxes from WHSmith

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When I bought these, they were 2 for 8 pounds. Now they are 2 for 5. Lame. However what is NOT lame is their function. These two boxes helped me reorganize what had become an overflow of shit, and by shit I mean papers (because I can never throw any away). This organized my clusterfuck of articles, receipts, invoices, and general stuff I have yet to be able to part with. In fact I may have to pick up another set to get me through this summer…

#3: Magazine holders and binder from Wilkinson’s:

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Okay so initially I bought these because they were pretty. But the magazine holders became unexpectedly crucial in the decluttering of my life (i.e my desk). They hold my binders, and a couple of books I bought (not library ones, I’d never remember to return them if I housed them in these). The binder went from being for a single class (it’s 1 inch, I don’t know why I thought it was an appropriate size for an entire semester’s worth of notes, seminar readings, and weekly required article reading) to being my catchall for my dissertation. Since I intend to have a complete separate organization system for the literature I’ll use for it, this is perfect for outlines, notes on articles, meeting notes with my dissertation supervisor, and miscellaneous post its I write on with random dissertation ideas.

#4: Wall calendar from Paper Source:

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I got this as a Christmas gift and I love, love, love it. It’s bigger than a regular calendar, but not overwhelmingly so. It’s brightly colored and helps me remember what day of the week it is, which is helpful when days blend together (most).

and because I can’t have a Top 4 list, here is a bonus #5…

#5. Millie’s cookies & Nando’s

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I know they aren’t items that never leave my room, but I have given so much money to these two establishments that they deserve the spot equally as much. Millie’s cookies is the best cookie you will ever have in your life, and that’s not hyperbole. It’s like what Mrs. Field’s aspires to be but doesn’t come close to. These are change your life cookies, and Nando’s is change your life chicken.

I’m not even lying. I have taken 2 out of 3 of my visitors from the states here, and I hold the sentiment that if you don’t like Nando’s I have to reevaulate our relationship. Some might say I have an unhealthy allegiance to this chicken chain, however I prefer to consider it more of a social therapy hot spot. You see, last semester there was a class that was… boring. It was much more than that in fact, it was so awful me and one of my closest friends had to supply each other with caffeine (in the form of soda) and aspirin. Literally. We’d take the aspirin when we got to class to avoid the migraine that came with hearing one particularly sexist lecturer for 2 hours. Afterwards we’d go to Nando’s; sometimes with a group, sometimes just us. It was Nando’s Tuesday and we committed to it.

This semester we didn’t go as much. In fact I don’t think we went at all until mid-late February. After that we picked it up a bit, going every 2-3 weeks including my birthday and her going away party. It’s amazing. They have a couple in the DC metro area; I recommend moving there just for this restaurant.

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