Tag Archives: school

Well, the First Days Are the Hardest Days

23 Sep

I’m precisely one week into circus school. It’s as much fun (and pain) as I had expected. I’m already bendier than before, and I have sore muscles in places I didn’t know I had muscles. The first three days or so, I was so exhausted after school that all I could do when I got home was to lie on my back and read- often followed by passing out with the book on my face at some obscenely early hour. Consequently, my appetite has tripled, and I’m turning into a hobbit- second breakfast and second supper have become routine parts of my fare, all I need to do now is to grow some hair on my feet.

My classmates are an interesting and fun bunch of people. There are 7 of us. Our ages range from 18 to 29 (yes, I’m the oldest as I had expected, though not by much), and our non-circus lives vary all the way from chemistry student to nude model. It’s a good thing we get along well so far, as it looks like we’ll be knowing each other better than we’d likely care for by the end of the year. (It’s impossible not to, when we spend 20 hours a week together.)

So far, we haven’t done anything too crazy, the first week being a time of easing into things. We have classes in dance, acrobatics, aerial circus, juggling, tumbling, conditioning, stretching, theater and choreography. Quite the difference from the week full of lab sciences I’ve been accustomed to in my college days.

In the meantime, my home life has been limited to survival: eat, read, sometimes cook, eat more, read more, then eat some more. This weekend was the first time I was able to take on any domestic ventures. I tried to make crabapple jelly, with crabapples picked at the park downtown. I ended up with crabapple syrup, which is still delicious, so I can’t complain. I have 3 jars of it canned on my shelf for the winter.

My plastic avoidance has been somewhat ignored in my attempts to just stay fed and rested. However, I’ve had time to ponder a couple of questions on the subject:

1) Music. How does one listen to music without plastic? No CD’s, no cassette tapes, definitely no mp3 player. Any alternatives to just singing? (I have a feeling the answer is “no”.)

2) Ziplock bags. How did people freeze food before those darn things came about? (Yes, people froze food before plastics were invented. Granted, it was likely in a snowbank rather than a freezer chest, but still.) I tried mason jars, but defrosting food in one of those is a pain in the rear. Besides, what are mason jar lids sealed with? Please tell me it’s not a plastic derivative!

On the other hand, I do have a few minor successes. I found, completely by chance, baking powder in a can. I’m currently testing out homemade deodorant (it currently lives in a paper cup), will let you know if it works. I have also found a few non-plastic cat toys that Lemon loves, they also happen to be free (or close enough): the chain by the bathtub that’s supposed to hold the shower curtain open (Lemon discovered this herself), paper rolls used for rolling coin, and acorns. Good stuff. Of course, the fancy cat toys she was given when she left the clinic are completely ignored. Figures.

Lastly, as promised, how to make coffee without a coffee machine– for the benefit of my generation who is largely unaware that this is possible:

Put a tablespoon or two of ground coffee in a saucepan. Add a cup of water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let it sit for a minute or so, to allow for the grounds to settle to the bottom. Pour slowly into your cup, and enjoy.

Total time from beginning to end: 5 minutes (ie. same as a coffee machine or French press)

Special equipment: None whatsoever.

Taste: Just as good, if not better.

Notes: You’ll end up with a small amount of coffee grounds in your cup. They settle at the bottom, just put the cup down when you get there. Simple, really.