Archive | November, 2012

Braggy Post

30 Nov

Deal–I’m super-ecstatic and it’s a little too braggy (and long) for my Facebook wall.


Got my last Anatomy Exam (the dysphagia/swallowing one I mentioned yesterday) grade back:  100%.  Despite the out-clevering myself on that one question, she might have given me partial credit for my half-right answer.  Or the extra point might have come from the bonus question at the end of the test.  At any rate–full points!

Even if I got a 0 on this last paper/presentation/power-point (last 50 points for the course) I would have an A in the class.

And if I got an F on the last paper I would still have an A+ in the class!!!!

Anatomy is now in my top favorite grades EVER.  Along with my 100% final with A+ in Math 124, saundersMy A in Physics II, my A in Biochemistry, my A in Quantitative Chemistry, and my B+ in Organic Chemistry.

These are the best grades I’ve ever received, because I had to work so hard to get them (all of them), they exceeded my expectations (all of them), or they were part of a nemesis course series (math, chem, and physics).

Now let’s just hope I can keep my A in my other class.  Good luck to me on finishing my last 2 papers, the presentation, and study for that last language development quiz turned exam.

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I Out-Clevered Myself

29 Nov

Again.  And yes, I just invented the new word clevered.  As in the act of being clever.  Or in my case, not so much.  So here is an entertaining story, though there is a lot of swallowing anatomy you need to brush up on (probably) to fully appreciate it.

So I’m taking my (LAST-YAY!) Anatomy exam, reading carefully per the usual, and I come upon this question:  “In what stage of swallowing does saliva mix with the bolus?”  Or something to that effect–I obviously don’t have a photographic memory.

Anyhow, it was a word bank consisting of each of the 4 stages:

A]  Oral Prepatory (stage 1 where food is manipulated and maticated until a swallow-able bolus is formed),

B]  Oral (posterior propulsion of bolus toward pharynx),

C]  Pharyngeal (bolus travels through the pharynx),

and D]  Esophogeal (bolus moves from Upper Esophogeal Sphinctor to the Lower Esophogeal Sphinctor.

But here was my logic when I was considering the question.  There are 3 major salivary glands (that we learned about) in/near the oral cavity:

1.  The sublingual under the tongue that produces a protein-rich mucous fluid that is a ropey quality to encapsulate material and form the bolus.

2.  The submandibular that produces both serous and mucous fluid to lubricate the bolus.

3.  The parotid, located between the anterior and posterior faucial piller (this fact will come into play later!) that produces serous fluid that helps propel the bolus into and through the pharynx rapidly.

Got all that?

SO, there had to be 2 correct answers.  Because the sublingual collects residue in the oral-prep phase AND the parotid helps initiate a fast and effiecient pharyngeal swallow.  I made my case to the prof, who exasperated at my over-thinking, asked which was MORE important.

I couldn’t decide.  If residue wasn’t collected and a bolus wasn’t formed at all a person could starve, or at least lose weight.  BUT if the pharyngeal swallow is delayed or inefficient, a person could choke or aspirate and die.  So Both.  Pretty.  Important.

I explained this, and wanting to be rid of me and my crazy-meticulous questions, reading into HER questions, she told me to put both.  So I walked back to my desk, satisfied my answer was correct and complete and marked A and C.  Oral-Prep and Pharyngeal.  Then, as always, when I was going back through my test to make sure I hadn’t skipped anything or made any stupid mistakes and saw that A and C.  Oops!  I accidently put C when I meant B, I thought to myself hastily changing the answer, and thanking my lucky stars I had double checked.

I turned in the test, left the room, and started on my between class walk on the trail, thinking about the exam.  And do you know what I thought?  The pharyngeal phase is initiated when any part of the bolus moves past the anterior faucial piller.  And?  The parotid salivary gland is behind that-DOH!  I had changed my second answer to B-oral phase, when it WAS in fact C, pharyngeal.  Damn, after making a huge deal about that question I STILL got it wrong.

I kill myself.


I’m Stressed! And Behind.

27 Nov

Dysphagia Potluck:  DONE!!!

+/- make a muffin tin with mix-ins and labels and print pic

-box up add-ins to take separately?

-make more rice

-pack it in crockpot to take to school

–>I’ve begun to worry about a food-borne illness situation with all that rice, chicken, and seafood that may or may not remain at hot temperatures.  Because of this, I’ve pretty much nixed the idea of putting many varieties in a muffin tin–I don’t wanna KILL my classmates. . .

Anatomy Exam THIS Thursday):

-Study sheets

Lang Dev Exam (next Tues?!):

-Go through flashcards

-Study ppt

Lang Dev Language Sample (Monday of finals week, 12/10?):

-finish outlining textbook

-do works cited page

-address the suggested techniques

-talk about Brown’s stage and dev. level

-use exp of pragmatics

-define all jargon in paper

-print out copies of paper and transcript, as well as my Qs

-meet with tutor Thurs after 2 PM to go over Qs and edit

-make charts of info

-use syntactic structures in write-up

-read it aloud

-edit and dbl check everything!

Anatomy Paper (Thursday, 12/6):

-paraphrase info

-dbl check citations in-text

-fix reference sheet

-use one quote from every source

-read paper aloud

-edit paper

-write intro

-decide and begin handout and ppt

-work on presentation

Wants (over winter break):


+upload pics

-edit pics

-edit pics

-upload vids

-write blogs


26 Nov

My last exam didn’t go so well *tears*  My 87% dropped my overall class grade from a 99% to a 93% (NOT the A+ I want/need)!  So, now I don’t have a lot of points to spare for this last quiz and huge assignment/final project.  And I HATE being on the borderline, where I have always been in school.  It certainly adds stress to the situation, and no wiggle room for error.  Nevermind the blame–which I place mostly on the syllabus, a contract that has not been specific or upheld by the instructor.  Many factors played a part in this failure:

Lack of focus, too much similar material, confusing test questions, I let myself become intimidated so I didn’t ask questions about the exam when I should have, test on a Tuesday (my work-heavy side of the week), lack of preparedness  too much time spent working on Anatomy, a general disinterest in the material, no good foundation for the material, I could go on.  What it comes down to though is that it’s up to ME to find a way to overcome these obstacles and do better.

I need to focus on Language Development.  I am finding this very difficult to do.  Yes, I feel like the professor is setting me up to fail.  Yes, I feel like my last test grade, the syllabus, and reactions to questions are unfair and inappropriate.  Yes, this makes me feel discouraged.  I am having a hard time buckling down and working for this class, because I feel that no matter what I do, it won’t get me anywhere or be good enough.  My grade is up to the subjective observations of this professor.  How do I change my feelings in order to succeed in this class and get the A+ I need?  That’s the big question.  Maybe these suggestions from myself will work:

-Meet the prof just to talk to her.  Hopefully, this will show her I really care, and maybe it will show me she is a person, she is trying to be fair, and it will humanize her.  Also, it couldn’t hurt to make me feel less intimidated by her.  Professors are just people too, right?

-Break everything into small steps.  It’s a big project–so just do small steps.  Easy.

-Get extra help.  Meet with the TA and/or a tutor to give me guidance about expectations as will as editing and revision tips.

-Read the textbook.  College is really about teaching yourself.

-Devote time.  Just study a little every day.  Maybe a few times.

-Find a way to make this material relevant to me, and a way to think it’s interesting.  Maybe another blog with how the info is pertinent to my life and career path.  And how knowing it will ultimately help me.

-Let go.  Ultimately it doesn’t matter that this bitch is not holding up her end of the student-teacher contract.  Because I am trying not to let this matter, I will not take the time or use the energy in detailing everything she is doing wrong.  Her teaching style is hardly fair, but I can’t change it.  I need to forget about it and play by her rules.  Simple.  Who cares about dates or expectations.  It just doesn’t matter.  My grade is NOT dependent on firm dates and set information guidelines.  Play the game.  Play the game.

Tattoos Perform with the Seattle Symphony

25 Nov

Brandi Carlile returned to Benaroya Hall in Seattle to play with the Symphony.  And best of all, we splurged for (good) tickets!

It was nice being at a ritzier place then we can usually afford.  We got to wait inside a mezzanine  instead of outside in the cold, they let us in to the auditorium a tad bit early, no one pushed, screamed, or seemed drunk and obnoxious, and we had actual assigned seats.  All things I love.  I wish I could always have my musical concert experience sans annoyance!

I thought more people should have dressed formally.  This was a symphony show after all.

I was surprised that wine was not allowed inside the concert hall.  “Frasier” led me to believe wine was a staple at symphonies, operas, and ballets.

Though I clearly benefited from it, I was amazed no ushers were policing use of flash photography or video taping though both were explicitly prohibited.

How could I forgot this on my first draft:  Promptness.  I love it, and it was displayed.  Right at 8 PM, when my ticket stated doors open, someone announced Brandi and she (fastening her last shirt button) and the band ran out on stage.

Like the rest of her fans, I feel like I know Brandi Carlile personally because of the way she interacts with the crowd at concerts.  It feels like talking to a friend.

The Seattle crowd was much more mannered then Spokane, though you could tell they were still enjoying themselves.

The venue was obviously acoustically superior.  When Brandi and her band went unplugged it was crystal clear.

Brandi’s songs sound spectacular with orchestral accompaniment (no surprise here).

One of the best moments, in my opinion, was the transition from the little Pike Place buddies to the twins.  And both sounded amazing–in different ways.

I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t “get” Keep Your Heart Young.  It always seems to be a crowd favorite, and is a new staple.  I guess I just feel as if the song is a story, and I’ve already heard it.  I also guess I’m the only one who feels this way.

Like everybody else, I loved Brandi’s rendition of Jolene, though I think it’s funny she’s singing about, “Please don’t take my MAN,” as a lesbian and all.

OK, so not being from Seattle, or very old during the grunge era, I don’t think I fully appreciated when the Pearl Jam dude made a special appearance.  I gather from the crowd though, that this was a seriously special moment in music history.  I have to say, I think Tim Reynolds is a better player–maybe I’m just too far out of the loop.

It’s a small annoyance, but an irk all the same–these people had a standing ovation for every song toward the end.  And if I stayed sitting, all I could see were (fat) asses in front of me.  But if I stood, all I could see were heads and shoulders of the many rows in front of me.

I loved the show and had a wonderful time!

Of note, when that auditorium packed to the gills with fans exited the auditorium through the halls, it was as quiet as a library.  A very weird feeling, indeed.  And vastly different from Spokane.

Disappointingly enough, I (again) did not take the opportunity to meet Brandi after the show.  If there was an opportunity.  Cool had been crabby and tired throughout the show, I was tired and wanting to get the six hour drive (especially over the potentially snowy, foggy pass) over with, and I did not have anything to be signed.  Again.  And like always, I’m regretful about it now.  ONE day I will meet Brandi!  It’s a good excuse to attend many more shows–not that I need one 😉

And one more thought:  Why is nobody else talking about this?!  I have tirelessly combed the internet for news, reviews, or other blogs talking about Brandi’s trio of recent Seattle Symphony concerts only to see–nothing.  Except the one abbreviated article from Friday’s show.  For shame.  Get on it, people.  It was amazing–talk it up!

Syntax of a 5 Year Old

21 Nov

OK, I spared you from seeing my work when coding and slashing for morphemes, calculating MLU, and finding percent mastry on this huge assignment.  Here is some syntax +/- pragmatics (we’ll see) for my language sample.  Then, maybe an updated to-do list.  Exciting, I know.  BUT–I’m sure my trip to Seattle over Thanksgiving will inspire an awesome post that will be interesting to you, my dear readers.

[D]=declarative statement

[N]=negation (complex syntax)


c [D] It smell/s bad.

c [D]  Ok, let me go.

c [D]  You never take a bath.

c [D]  I do!

c [D]  See this is [unconcop] my bath.

c [D]  And this is [unconcop] my table.

c [D]  I/*’m [concop] bigger then it.

c [D]  See he/’s [concop] bigger then this guy.

c [D]  But if there/’s [concop] no straw this is [unconcop] bigger.

c [D]  There is [concop] a straw. [11] 52/11 = 4.73

c [D]  One-hundred-thousand!

c [D]  More, more!

c [D]  Yeah.

c I took Bethany, Pee*

c [D]  Donut-hole!

c [D]  That/’s [concop] my new one.

c [D]  Today! [6 very short utterances] 12/6 = 2

c [D]  Mallory!

c [D]  Mallory we have a cat, we have a horse, we have a cow, we have a chicken, {phrasal coordination} but coordinating conjunction it look/3s like nothing of our/3s. 2 independent clauses = conjoined sentence

c So there/’s [con-]>

c [N]  (and and) and (we) we don’t have a dock.

c [N]  We don’t have a dock.

c [D]  No, it/’s [concop] not.

c Yeah, (and then and then) and then>

c [D]  I/’m [concop] just born.

c [D]  No, I/’m [conaux] fish/ing.

c [D]  No, that/’s [concop] my dad.

c [D]  Someone is [conaux] paint/ing, too.

c [D]  A little boy.

c [D]  That/’s [concop] Steve, and that/’s [concop] Tom, and then me, {phrasal coordination} and coordinating conjunction that/’s [concop] all. 2 independent clauses = conjoined sentence

c [D]  Give me a llama mommy, andcoordinating conjunction I/’ll ride it home.  2 independent clauses = conjoined sentence

c [D]  Let me out. [13] 91/13 =

c (Mmm hmm).

c [D]  This cat is [conaux] (this cat is um) sit/ing on the present. [1]

c [D+N]  SantaClause, but coordinating conjunction I don’t believe in him.  is a proper noun alone, an independent clause?

c [N]  No.

c [N]  That/’s [concop] not real.

c [D]  When subordinating conjunction you/’re [concop] at work, temporal, embedded phrase? you get us present/s to go home with.

c [D]  Mommy told me that.

c [D]  (And then) And then she leave/3s them, and coordinating conjunction she go/3s back to bed.  2 independent clauses = conjoined sentence.

c [D]  Yeah!

c [D]  And Mommy, she told me that,

c [D]  Mommy she told me. 

c D]  She/*’s [conaux] wear/ing a mustache.

c [D]  She/*’s [conaux] wear/ing a mustache. [11] 70

c [D]  It/’s [concop] so funny. [1]

c [D]  I/’m[conaux] sleep/ing with somebody!

c [D]  That/’s [concop] our cat.

c [D]  That/’s [concop] our cat, Mom.

c [D]  Momo.

c [D]  And he has [3irr] a pink nose.

c [I]  And (oh la I) I can find it faster then him, see?

c [D]  No I can find it faster.

c [D]  No I can. changes voice to reflect pragmatics

c [D]  No I can.  changes voice again to reflect pragmatics

c [D]  No I can.  changes voice back to original character to reflect pragmatics

c [D]  I can play basketball now!

c [D]  Yeah.

c [D + N]  (I I can) I can do nothing, and coordinating conjunction I don’t like anything.  2 independent clauses = conjoined sentence. changed voice again to reflect pragmatics


play- 0

talk- 0

pic- 3 instances of sentential coordination/conjoined sentences

book- 2 conjoined sentences, +/- 2 embedded sentences


total- 5-7 complex sentence forms in 55 utterances = 9% to 13% complex forms

–>  I’m glad I did put the sample on here, because I immediately saw an e among all the c, which trew off a bunch of my previous calculations.

When Overwhelmed

20 Nov

Break large tasks into small, manageable pieces:

Dysphagia Potluck (due 11/27/12)

+Find out if we have to do legit citations (or just buck up and do them)

+buy ginger and some shaped, segmented aluminum serving dish

+edit rationale paragraph

+spell/grammar check entire paper

-get some bandage tape from work and label tin with each add-in vareity

-actually cook more of the congee

Anatomy Exam (11/29/12)

+finish drawing mechanoreceptors

+draw innervation of posterior tongue

-study the study sheets a little each day and in the car

+do an internet search for pathologies leading to dysphagia and make a study sheet

Anatomy ALS Paper, Power-point/hand-out, and presentation (due 12/6)

+ask again to see an example paper

-make paper flow and in my language

-decide if I want to include any more info from my sources

-decide if I want to use the movie as a source

-decide if I want to use the ALS panel as a source

-do the references if I do want to use them.

-decide if I want to include any info from my partner’s sources

-decide if I need to include outside sources

-double check the in-text citations.

+bother at partner to chose intro or conclusion

+bother at partner (again) to pick ppt or hand-out.

-start the things (intro) she doesn’t chose.

Language Sample (unknown due date)

+double check that I followed all transcription rules

-ask??  someone about my transcription Qs.

+slash and code morphemes

+calculate mastery of all morphemes

+calculate total MLU

+calculate MLU for each context

-make sure I answer all questions in my directions

+describe syntax

-put syntax in essay

-describe prosidy

-go through the rubric

-spell and grammar check

-go through notes & text and insert info in essay

-add something “extra”

-proof and edit the thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-read the age 5 text chapter and categorize Kelsey’s development

Language Development (unknown content and date)

+finish making flashcards from power-point

+/- make flashcards for toddler phases (I don’t think we’ll get to this in class)

-take power-point notes and look them over each day and in car

-finish outlining textbook?

The Trip (Wed at midnight to Sun early as possible)

+try on outfits

+pack bag with clothes

+get out toiltries & makeup

+remember tickets (check dates!)

+pack x-mas gifts in car

+buy Gatorade and some kind of beverage

-feed kitties extra

-scoop l-b right before leaving

+charge Kindle

-decide how to best pack school supplies

+pack camera, it’s charger, kindle, it’s charger, and phone.

+wash dishes

Real Week (Mon, 11/26th–)

+get out scrubs for Mon

+pull out clothes for Tues

-don’t forget to cook and pack for class dysphagia pot-luck!

+charge i-pods

Oh Jesus–was this exercise supposed to CALM me?!  It just looks like I have a boat load to do and no time to do it!!!

Crock Pot Congee/Juke

18 Nov

OK, I found a dysphagia recipe that I can cook in the crockpot–so that cinches it.  I’m going with Case 5, the Asian gal.  Less work=great!


  • When I prepared this porridge it was in a slow cooker(unconventional method) but you can purchase a Congee cooker. It takes all day but it’s well worth it.
  • I used 1-1/2 cups of a good quality rice and soaked it overnight.
  • The next morning I drained the rice and rinsed it “carefully” under cold running water.
  • I added the rice to the crock pot / slow cooker with at least 3 – 4 cups of either homemade vegetable stock and water or chicken broth and water and I always added finely chopped onions, mincedgarlic and a dash of hot sauce but that was my personal choice.
  • I do not have exact measurements for this recipe because I did it by eye.
  • I cooked this on high for the entire day, usually adding more hot liquid throughout the day.
  • The consistency is not too thick and not too thin list
  • I always placed a tea towel over the top of the crock pot / slow cooker to prevent any heat from escaping.
  • This porridge is absolutely delicious and excellent as cold weather comfort food. We usually hadbaby bok choy, chopped green onionssoy sauceand hot sauce with this. I like a dollop of butter on mine as well 😉

Which of the 3 Dysphagia Studies Should I Do?

15 Nov

Italian-cheese & bacon frittata:

This one would be easy to cook, since I’ve made it before and have the entire recipe with amounts in my own cookbook.  Also it keeps sort of well overnight so I could cook it ahead of time.  I would have to spend some time on the case history though.  Also, it’s not all that pretty to look at, not very ethnic, not healthy or nutritious, not hypoallergenic, and not entirely creative.  So I would be unlikely to win any of the categories.

Case study-

A 65 year old from Montana, that prefers Traditional American foods reminiscent of Denny’s.  She is used to eating large breakfasts such as bacon, eggs, toast, and hash browns as well as steak, pork chops, and green beans.

She had ________ which gave her ___________.  Now she needs to be on a _________ diet.


The meal incorporates a lot of her breakfast favorites.


pg 25 in MY cookbook:


southwestern egg substitute

crumbled bacon

bacon grease

American cheese


Grease a muffin tin (only fill each half full of mixture–will rise) with butter/margarine (to add calories).  Use Southwest liquid eggs and substitute bacon grease for bacon (about 1 George Foreman catcher-full, or grease from 8 pieces).  Use 1 C whipping cream instead of milk to get the right calories and consistency.  +/- small sprinkle of cheese after baking.

nutritional content

Layered fajitas:

I think this one has potential.  Though it is probably the most difficult out of the three choices, since I have neither planned it, made it, or written about a case study using it.  So LOTS of work and practice would be involved.  BUT–it would be creative and visually appealing and one of the few main dishes offered.   Plus, when I made one of the components, it was super-tasty and even (picky-britches) Cool really liked it.

case study-

_______ is a 80 year old, cognitively aware, man with ALS.  Due to __________, there is risk of aspiration, and he needs to be on a puree/pudding-consistency diet.  He is having trouble getting enough calorie intake to realize an appropriate body mass index, and still likes very flavorful foods of all types.  He misses eating at bar and grill-type restaurants most.


I put all ingredients in a food processor to make them pudding-consistency.  The peppers are flavorful, as well as nutritious due to high vitamin content.  Adding a lot of calories, by putting in cream cheese, whipping, cream, and butter liberally.


1 pkg cream cheese

3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

green peppers

water to blend

nutritional content

Congee(Chinese chicken and rice porridge):

I have good rationale and the case history is one of the provided ones.  That’s good and bad, since the work is done, but I won’t get extra points or win for writing the best case study.  Though, Mindy provided me a complete recipe with amounts so all I would have to do is execute it.  But I’m not certain if it would meet the dysphagia guidelines or if I could cook it ahead of time.  As for the voting–it IS ethnic, since Mindy’s Asian parents make it, it could be creative if I do novel add-ins.  But it wouldn’t be all that pretty.  Maybe on the healthy, non-allergenic, or nutritious categories. . .

case study-


The patient (Mr. Y) is a native of China whose first language is Cantonese. He and his wife came to the US in 1982. He is now 58 years old and lives in the Asian section of Chicago and speaks little English. He is the owner of an Asian food company. He entered the acute care hospital with symptoms of a brainstem stroke. He has mild dysarthria and severe dysphagia. As in many cultures, mealtime is a time of togetherness and socialization, and this was no different for Mr. Y and his family. His children come for dinner at least twice a week, and he and his wife are upset about his inability to eat the way he used to. Hi swallow study revealed a severe delay in triggering the pharyngeal swallow, followed by a severely weakened pharyngeal swallow with reduced laryngeal elevation. After a lot of therapy, it was found that his swallow improved with sour liquids and a variety of postural changes and exercises that targeted a better pharyngeal swallow. Mr. Y was then advised to begin drinking and eating liquids, thick liquids, purees, and mechanical soft foods.

Create a soft food or beverage that this client would like and would be appropriate.


My Asian roomie, Mindy shared a traditional family recipe that she consumes when she is ill.  Her parents often made it when she was a child and she was sick with the flu or it was just a gray and rainy day and the family wanted comfort food.  Depending how much water you use, you can adjust the thickness of it.  The wonderful thing about this dish, is there are limitless modifications that can change it slightly to avoid boredom.  It can be made plain (with some salt) or with stuff in it (ground beef, shredded chicken, fish, meats, ma po tofu, etc… it can get really elaborate).


yield: Serves 4

active time: 40 min

total time: 5 1/2 hr

Also known as jook, congee turns up in Chinese households morning, noon, and night. This thick rendition is made heartier with the addition of chicken.


  • 3 1/2 to 4-lb chicken, cut into serving pieces, including back and giblets (exclude liver)
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or medium-dry sherry
  • 3 (1/4-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, halved crosswise and smashed with flat side of a heavy knife
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • Accompaniment: fine julliene of fresh ginger, thinly sliced scallions, and Asian sesame oil


Bring chicken and water to a boil in a 5-quart heavy pot, skimming froth. Add wine, ginger, scallions, and salt and cook at a bare simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes, or until breast meat is just cooked through. Transfer 1 breast half with tongs to a bowl and continue to cook stock at a bare simmer, skimming froth as neccessary, 2 hours and 40 minutes. Meanwhile, cool chicken breast long enough to remove skin and bones, returning skin and bones to stock.

Cool breast meat completely and tear into shreds. Chill shreds, covered, and bring to room temperature before serving.

Pour stock through a large seive into a large bowl and discard solids. (you should have about 8 cups: if less, add water; if more, cook longer after adding rice.) Return stock to cleaned pot and add rice. Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered until consistency of oatmeal, about 1 3/4 hours, stirring frequently during last 1/2 hour of cooking. (Congee will continue to thicken as it stands. thin with water if necessary.)

Season congee with salt. Serve topped with chicken and accompaniments.

Cooks’ note: • Stock can be made 1 day ahead. Cool. uncovered, before chilling, covered. Discard solidified fat.

nutritional content-


blend performance and competition

15 Nov

Often weather condition/s were [unconcop] not contractible negative optimal independent clause for coordinating conjuction be/ing outside in lycra and sequence. dependent clause = embedded sentence

Using my peripheral vision, I scanned right and left, to make sure I was lined up in perfect formation with my teammates. Despite the downward angle of my head, I could tell the lights were bright.  Staring at my own, freshly polished white leather performance shoes, I could only hear the chatter and rustling of the audience that had amassed in the large auditorium earlier in the day.  I tried to remain calm and collected, but I could hear my own tense breathing as I anticipated the first notes of “Twilight Zone,” which would cue the beginning of the dance.  Hoping the music would be loud enough, cued to the right spot, and playing at the correct speed, I worried more that the stage would be slick under my taps.  Experience and the knowledge that the sticky Pepsi they had poured over the stage was sure to do its job and provide traction helped assuage my  nerves.  At least we are not dancing outside in the middle of a gravelly street in wind and rain or blazing sunshine, like we had to do for performance routines, I told myself.  I adjusted my arm just slightly, feeling the sequence of my fuchsia and turquoise lycra costume brush my shoulder as I did.  The grinding synthesizer echoed throughout the room and without thought, I stood straight, smile pasted on my garishly made-up face, and threw my arms into a left arrow to begin the dance.

Sometimes nerves would cause team members to wander off track and you would have to steer them back in the right direction. Pretending you were having fun and there was no problem or deviation from the routine was ingrained in all of us, as we had practiced showmanship along with the steps until it was second nature.  Luckily, during this performance everyone was in their proper place and remembering their cues and steps.  We did not have to employ any flexibility or perform damage control.

As I did the buck joey I knew there were only a few steps left in the song, one more line formation, and then we would do our final toss.  Then, we would have exactly three minutes to line up on the wings of the stage for our entrance to “When Doves Cry.” This meant running off stage, hastily throwing off our pink satin shorts and peeling off our pink and turquoise leotards and slipping into our purple leotards with the sheer purple split-leg pants.  Remember the headband, I reminded myself as I  completed the last vine of the song, making sure my right toe was pointed and that I elevated my knee as high as possible on the forward crossover.