put 'em all together and a-whaddya get?

The first week of classes was moderately uneventful but still full of random blessings.

One such fortuitous event occurred on Tuesday, the very first day of classes, when I missed my bus. Now, taking the bus means that my time getting to school is quantized, meaning that instead of being able to be as many minutes late as I leave the house, I can be ten minutes early, five minutes late, or twenty minutes late, all depending on the bus. Having missed the bus that would get me to campus on time, I resigned myself to taking the next bus and being embarrassed by being late to my first class. As I stood outside waiting for the next bus to come, my friend Cory drove by, saw me, and gave me a ride. It was fantastic, I didn't have to set such a bad precedent for the semester (because my plan is to go to ALL my classes instead of skipping practically every morning class, as I did last semester).

There are a few extra things I'm trying to do regularly or to cut out this semester. A recent one, and a behavior I really hope to keep up beyond the "one-month wonder" range is spending time at the gym. My friends and I set up a schedule where we go to the pool twice a week, the gym twice a week, and have a day where we decide which one we want to do. So far, it's been doable, and actually quite nice - the gym facilities here at UI are well kept, and free for students to use.

Another thing I'm up to that I think is very important is making myself take a day off from physics (that day being Saturday). As such, it's my Sabbath: I realized that school has been an idol in my life for years, and taking a day off allows me to reassert that there is something much more important ruling my life, namely God. Taking a sabbath doesn't mean sitting around on the couch all day. I went to the gym in the morning, I did some reading, I went out with my friends, and I made cookies.

On Friday, when I did my grocery shopping, I was perusing through my book trying to decide what cookies to bake, when I realized that I've been making very chocolate-y things in the past couple weeks, and decided it would be good to take a break from that. So when I saw the recipe for Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (30), I decided they were just the variety I wanted.

Looking over the recipe, I realized that I'm starting to pick up on the basic ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, as compared to other cookies. I find that chocolate chip cookies have equal parts white and brown sugar, and lots of butter. But the brown sugar, I think, is the thing that gives them a lot of their characteristic taste, and it's in these cookies, too. The recipe I used yesterday was actually very interesting because it called for 3 cups of oats and only 1/3 cups of flour (and whole wheat flour, at that). I thought perhaps this was an error, but with the low viscosity of the natural peanut butter and the absorbency of the oats, the cookies weren't goopy at all. You'll notice I mentioned natural peanut butter: this basically means it doesn't have salt, sugar, and other random stuff added, which gives it a different taste and makes it a lot less solid. There's also salted peanuts in the cookies, which puts the salt right back in.

I thought I might not like these too much: I usually don't like cookies with peanuts in them, I'm wary about peanut butter, and I always worry about too many flavors and textures going into a recipe, but I think these cookies are delicious. They're a different take on the whole chocolate chip thing, but they're just as easy to make (with about equal yield), and the oatmeal and peanuts go together to make these cookies delightfully crunchy. This recipe is definitely getting a comment written in for quality.

That's about it for now. I've got a problem set to knock out and a lesson plan to prepare, so that hopefully I can do what I want on my birthday instead of losing the day to the demands of grad school.

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