Tuesday, August 01, 2017

leaving this here

This is so I have the link to the recipe, but I thought also I'd share it because some of you all might like it:

no-bake, gluten-free, vegan, PEANUT BUTTER FREE* cookies

(*I have a slight suspicion I've become sensitive to peanuts and am not brave enough to try a "challenge test" with peanut butter, so I have given it up and use pea butter or almond butter instead)

These cookies call for coconut oil (making them vegan) but I suspect if you didn't care about them being vegan butter would probably work also. And they take almond butter....though I'm sure other nut butters would work.

They call for maple syrup and I will probably use that for the first go, but they might also be good (if they even set up) with golden syrup. (The recipe author said not to use honey because they come out sticky, and golden syrup is more similar to honey than it is to maple syrup....also given where I live maple syrup, the real kind, is more easily obtainable and perhaps even cheaper than golden syrup...but I still think of flapjack and how that calls for golden syrup).

I don't know that I'll put raisins in. So many raisins are really hard and unpleasant these days. (I suppose I could soak them in a bit of apple juice first). Or I think other dried fruit would be nice - I bet cut up dried apricots could be good, or cranberries.

I will probably try them first pretty much as written (will have to buy a little container of coconut oil shortening....I don't keep it on hand) but might later try doing them subbing in butter (which I do keep on hand) and/or golden syrup. (I wonder if a very LIGHT bake, like for a couple minutes at 350, would help them set up if they were too sticky...)

I also bet my new fave, pea butter, would be good in these, but given how expensive the pea butter is....maybe not. (It costs more than almond butter does, per pound. I'm sure that's because just one company makes it; yellow peas are cheaper than almonds as a foodstuff)


the rest of this is kinda "random maunderings" and me being me, so I'll put it under a break. Click at your own risk, it's my concerns about how my profession is viewed.

Other than that, kind of tired and feeling...not exactly SAD, but maybe a little melancholic today. Summer is winding down. Classes here are over so no one but me and the secretary are in today. I'm also reading with some dismay the fallout of the USC medical-school story - where a dean LITERALLY went the "hookers and blow" route on his job.

And, I don't know.

It makes me sad that people who think that kind of thing is OK are the kind of people who also get promoted to such public (and high-responsibility) posts. I know I'd feel utterly embarrassed if my school got in the news for that - and I'm just a peon professor nobody knows. (We've had our share of bad news stories, one of them regarding a failure-to-grant-tenure that very likely might have been because of WHO the person was rather than how she taught and did her scholarship. And yeah, that caused me undue stress even though I had absolutely zero to do with the situation, it being something that took place in another department and involved a couple of administrators who have since left)

And the USC story also makes me wonder what kind of money was wasted there that could have gone to medical instruction or some other good purpose. I don't know for sure. It's painful to see the spin the university is spitting out. As I said on Twitter, talking about "evolving statements" in re: some situation is NEVER a good thing.

And it makes me both sad and angry because this kind of thing just gives more ammunition to the anti-higher-ed types: the people who say (alternatively) that profs are overpaid and should essentially work for poverty wages and the joy of helping the next generation, or those who say it's an expensive boondoggle that only leaves kids brainwashed and in debt, or on and on.

And I admit, I've raged at times (not directly AT anyone, even though I have a few near-and-dears who kind of give into that kind of thinking in my hearing, which is almost in my mind akin to someone snarking about "welfare queens" in front of a single struggling mom who happens to be getting government aid....in other words, you're entitled to your opinion but voicing particular ones in front of certain people is a wee bit of a jerk move). And my rage takes the form of: "Ok, then. Let's close down ALL the universities. Let's unleash thousands of professors on the unemployment lines and force them to find a new way of feeding themselves. And then, good luck in 20 years finding a doctor, nurse, dentist, lawyer, engineer, agronomist, or really, anyone with much of certain kinds of specialized knowledge!!!"

Oh, I get that people don't MEAN it as a blanket statement, or so they say. Or like a someone I know said to me, literally, after he got done trashing and saying rude nasty things about "fat" people - "Oh, but you're one of the "good" ones." Good one how? Because I worry about my weight? Because I try to exercise? Because you happen to KNOW me and so I'm not some faceless fat person that you can un-person because it's convenient for you to and it makes you feel more virtuous?

I don't know. But I do know whenever a prof makes some ridiculous statement, or when students on a campus call for speech restrictions (instead of, you know, calling out individual people for being jerks to them - I think it's perfectly okay to tell someone expressing an opinion you find abhorrent that they are a jerk, or tell them they're wrong (especially if you have evidence how), or for that matter just walk away and never interact with them again) or when administrators are found embezzling funds, or whatever - a part of me dies inside, because I grew up believing teaching was sort of an honorable profession, and it causes a lot of cognitive dissonance to realize that maybe I'm one peg above Congress right now in how people think of me.

And I know: I am not my job.

Except, I kind of am: I don't have children or a spouse or even a pet. This work is what consumes the majority of my waking hours; this is a big way I define myself. Yes, I'm also a quilter and a knitter and a Pony-head and all those things, but somehow I've been trained to think those things matter LESS because they don't earn me my bread and don't gain me recognition in the way having an article published does (even as I kind of grudgingly admit the research I do is pretty useless in a practical sense). And that they're less SERIOUS and GROWN-UP than going to work and teaching about, I don't know, CERCLA or predator-prey dynamics or t-tests.

I don't know. I think one thing I'm learning - maybe this is my own weird little midlife crisis - is that I really struggle with the idea of my having worth independent of what I do.

There. I said it. I think that's one of the driving factors of a lot of the craziness in my life: my tendency to take on thankless tasks I should probably refuse, my drive to go the extra mile to the point where I complain about "never having fun" because I'm sitting there trying to make whatever manuscript I'm writing just that little bit better, the shame I feel when a paper gets rejected from a journal*

(*One of my colleagues made the comment this spring of "Just you wrote a bad paper, doesn't mean you're a bad person" and while the intellectual side of my brain kind of nodded and said "True, true," the emotional side was much more like


And....I don't quite know how to break out of that. Not sure I even want to, really - my student and I were talking about anxiety the other day and I mentioned how once anti-anxiety medication had been recommended to me (well, more one person has recommended that, but just once by an actual MD). And how I didn't want to really consider it, because I was afraid it would change me, it would make me stop caring about doing stuff well, that maybe my sort-of low-level anxiety about things like that is the only thing that allows me to achieve - and that I'd learn I really was kind of a stupid slacker without the anxiety, and I didn't want to learn that about myself.

And yeah, again, the logical part of my brain goes "That's bananas, you would still work hard on stuff" the emotional part of my brain clamps down and goes 'Don't wanna risk it' and so I take a beta-blocker to keep my adrenal system and parasympathetic nervous system from going haywire, instead of xanax or something. (And anyway: my blood pressure is under good control with the beta blocker, so maybe it really is some kind of more "organic" than psychological problem)

But yeah. I have never been good at divorcing myself as a person from what I do, which is why I loathe failing at something so much - and why I have taken perhaps fewer risks than I might take in my life. (Then again: that's probably also what has kept me on the "good path" for my life - that I am so afraid of doing something that causes me shame, because I see what I do as being so central to who I am, that I have avoided most forms of bad behavior)

And that's also why when someone decides to malign my profession, I sort of curl up in on myself like a sea anemone that's been poked with a stick. It's one specific place in which I'm kind of soft and I recognize that. I mean, the whole "kind of fat" thing I've made my peace (more or less) with, the whole "slob" thing I've kind of given up on feeling bad about. But the idea that I'm in a "loser" profession - that hurts. And I do think it's because I identify so hard with my role as a teacher.

(And I know: there's probably some medical study out there that's gonna pinpoint me as one of those people who drops dead three weeks after retiring because of having that attitude. I don't know. I've already heard enough studies telling me how I'm doomed to a short life because I live alone, or don't get much hugging/touching, or don't eat nuts any more, or don't follow a strict Mediterranean diet, or, or, or....)

1 comment:

purlewe said...

I am sure a veggie shortening, like crisco, or even a margarine would do it. Butter might become rancid faster in heat than shelf stable shortenings. These look really tasty tho.