Things to Accomplish, September 2008

I’m going to try to take it easy on myself this month (actually, mostly for the rest of the year) since school has started again.  For some reason, I decided to take 3 classes this semester.  This is considered full-time.  By my calculations, working full time + school full time = 2 times my time.  This doesn’t include sleep.

I might go insane this semester!  Of course, if you ask anyone else, I’m probably insane now.

Things to Accomplish in September 2008

1. Work ahead on homework for my design class.
My professor gave us all of the notes and homework for the semester. Since it’s early in the semester and I still feel motivated, I’m going to try to work a few weeks ahead on homework. Hopefully this will give me a buffer when things start to get really busy.

2. Buy the rest of my books & submit reimbursements.
I wasn’t convince I would stick with all 3 classes, so I didn’t buy the book for one of them. I will buy the book and submit the request so I get the money this month.

3. Buy my Grandpop a birthday present.
Easy to accomplish, I just have to remember to do it on time!

4. Get my USC Student ID.
You have to take your own picture (against a light blue background) and submit it. I do not have anything that is light blue, so I’ve been putting this off. No longer!

5. Buy new jeans.
I have 1 pair of jeans that I like and that fit me well. I would like at least 1 more, since when I’m not at work I wear jeans EVERYWHERE.

6. Work out ~3 times per week.
I think I’ll be doing a lot of stress eating. I’m going to try to exercise to burn off at least some of the calories I suspect I’ll be consuming.

7. Bring donations to Goodwill/Salvation Army.
I cleaned out my closet in FEBRUARY, and the clothes I’m donating have been sitting in our hallway since then. I know I can just call SA and they’ll pick it up, but you have to give them an itemized list if you want a receipt. I took pictures of all the clothes, now I just need to write up the list!

8. Write the organics article that has been bouncing around in my head.
Whenever I see bloggers bragging about their consumption of organic food, I want to leave really long-winded messages about the lack of actual scientific proof of its benefits.  My plan is to write up a few entries on organic requirements and how the system falls short. I actually read through the USDA organic regulations code, so now comes the matter of how people don’t actually do it, how the claims don’t match the science, etc. I’ve been lazy.  Anyone know of good pro- and anti-organic sources?

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9 Responses

  1. Three classes?? wow, that is great! When will you be done with the degree? At that pace, quickly!

    Looking forward to organics article, no sources for you though.

  2. @SP: That actually was the reason I loaded up on classes this semester; this way I can finish by next summer (or fall, if I decide to stretch things out).

  3. About the organics…I am a firm believer of the motto… “every little bit helps” … although it may not be perfect, the organic movement contributes to safer working conditions for farmers (i.e…less exposure to pesticides and chemicals, many of which are carcinogens) and improved environmental health which, in turn, affects human health.

    The EPA estimates that 70% of pollution in our rivers and streams can be contributed to chemicals, erosion, and animal waste run off.

    Pesticide run-off into lakes and streams causes eutrophication which, contributes to algae blooms and decreases water quality and oxygen for fish and other aquatic life.

    I realize that organics can be quite costly, but some organics rank differently than others, so you can choose wisely. I’ve found this guide to be helpful (http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php) – although some things, like bananas, ring close to my heart as something to buy organic or forego altogether since I’ve seen their impact on the tropics firsthand.

  4. @savingcent: Having read the regulation requirements, I think that the organics movement could be a good one. However, there are so many places where it falls apart or regulations aren’t even followed. Not to mention that organic food production is actually pretty horrible for the environment – Brazilian rainforests are being destroyed to create more organic farmland. It’s also inefficient, using more gas, etc.

    Then again, you bring up some good points (can I borrow your source(s)?). Really, I’m hoping the series of articles will help me be more informed. If it turns out I’m wrong and the benefits outweigh the detractions, I’ll admit it!

  5. Ah-ha…. it takes petroleum and various other sources of energy to make the pesticides in the first place…and I’d be interested to read about the claim on Brazilian rainforests being cleared because of organics 🙂 Cattle, yes, soybeans, thats what I hear…and as someone who has spent a good deal of time in the tropics – I think thats downright tragic. The thing about rainforests is that their soils are fertile when the canopy is intact. The layer of humus is thin, so when the trees are cleared the thin humus washes away and what remains is lacking in nutrients, prone to erosion and usually requires the assistance of pesticides and fertilizers to be productive (but never as productive as it once was, beneath the canopy – ecosystem services in-tact) Anyway…I’m sort of on a tangent here, but I guess my point is….they are clearing Brazilian rainforest no matter what. If its going to be used for farming anyway – the least we can do as the consumption powerhouse that we (the US) are – is make it organic to reduce the impact on their soil, water and workers. Yikes…moving on…

    An awesome and quick read is Breakfast of Biodiversity – not that it touches on the organic movement (then again…it might? I read it awhile ago)

    I’ll try and think up some resources for you – I’ve done a fair amount of traveling and reading… 🙂

  6. And a shallow comment/question from me…what brand of jeans do you love? 🙂 My favorite, Jeanstar, is almost impossible to find in my city now.

  7. Taking your own picture against a light blue background brings back some memories from my first year of college. We held my roommate’s pillowcase against a wall, and I took pictures of a few friends to email to some guy to make a different kind of ID 😉

  8. @ Bonnie: I just bought some at Anthropologie that were Bica Cheia and I love them. My friends have had good luck with Joe’s jeans, which are pricey but beautiful.

    Normally when I buy jeans, I just get them at Gap. The thought of spending $200 makes me queasy, and my Gap jeans have held up beautifully.

    @ Broke Grad Student: I might have a blue pillowcase! That would solve all my problems!

  9. Hi there, I’ve just discovered your site and been having a look round. You have accomplished some great things, and I will continue to read along 🙂 (I’ve just noticed you have ‘what claudia wore’ in your blogroll and that makes me smile in memory of my dibbly cool Claudia Kishi inspired snake bangle! )

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