Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Amanda

Sometimes, something so weird happens at work that I just have to shake my head and move on. And then start thinking about it again. And shake my head.

Take the other night, for instance. I’m out in the cafe, restocking the RTD&E (cold case) with sandwiches and juices from our delivery. BIG crates of food. Anyway, I’m sitting on the floor arranging the food so that it 1) looks pretty and 2) doesn’t restrict air flow. Not as easy as it might sound.

While I’m doing this, a young couple walks in and goes to straight to the comfy chairs to stake them out. I look up to say hi, but they are deep in chit-chat and I don’t want to interrupt them. I continue to stock the case. A few minutes pass, and they come up to the counter to order. As they walk by, the guy looks down at me and says “Hi, Amanda!”

Um, what?

I suppose that must be what the look on my face said, because the guy stopped and did a double take.

“You are Amanda, right?”

“Um, no. I’m not. Sorry.”

“Oh my gosh! You look just like her.” He turns to the girl with him. “Doesn’t she look like Amanda?”

At this point, the girl now starts examining me closely (remember, I’m still sitting on the floor. Can anyone say awk-ward?) “She totally does!”

So, I laugh it off. Weird. I have doppleganger. Cool. I knew that I had one named Lauren a few years back, and when I first started working for Starbucks there was a super popular girl at a local highschool who looked like me too. I think her name was Brittney or something like that. Anyway, for a few months I rehearsed saying “No, I didn’t go to _____ High School, sorry.”

But, that’s not the end of this story. I continue with my restocking and cleaning, but at this point I’m behind the bar. Guy and girl continue to stand in between the register and the handoff plane, staring at me and whispering and waiting for their drinks.

It’s just your imagination. I tell myself. There’s no way that they are still talking about me looking like this Amanda chick.

Boy, was I wrong. Another girl walks into Starbucks, and heads right towards the future hosts of Look-A-Like. As soon as the effusive, requisite Hollywood hugs and air kisses were complete, they start whispering. All of a sudden, I hear across the bar “Oh my gosh, she does totally look like Amanda! Are you guys SURE that it isn’t her?”

Apparently, new girl agreed with her friends’ discovery, and I swear never have customer drinks been made so slowly. The last thing I heard as they finally meandered away was “That is just so crazy! They look so much alike!”

So, Amanda, though we’ve never met, I feel like I already know you.

Although, I sort of hope we don’t ever meet.

That would be too weird.

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My *Hopefully* Last Spring Semester

It dawned on me today that unless my university totally messes up the class schedule for next Fall (and that is not beyond the realm of possibility), this will be my last Spring semester, the last time I’ll take sessions C and D. Trust me, this is totally sweet with no bitter-ness anywhere in sight.

I’m ready to be done with college. For reals.

With that end in mind, I’m tackling 5 classes this semester, something I’ve only tried once before. Due to a professor who apparently didn’t understand the difference between a 100 level and a 400 level class, it didn’t go too well – I ended up dropping a class. For those of you who don’t understand why this is even a big deal (because, let’s face it, most traditional students take 5 classes a semester), allow me to explain. My university is nontradional. Because we started as a graduate school, undergrad classes were an afterthought mostly just so people a few credits short of a Bachelor’s could finish up and move on with life.

Undergrad classes, then, only lasted 8 weeks.

Before you go all “how cool is that” on me, let’s make sure we are on the same page. Imagine all the class work you do for an entire semester. Essays, papers, research, projects, tests, midterms, finals, the works. Now, instead of having 4 months to complete those assignments, you only have 8 weeks. To top it off, you either don’t get a class on campus, or you only get a two hour class every week. To make up for that, you write mini-essays every week and then reply to your classmate’s essays. This is ON TOP of everything else.

Recently, the undergrad program underwent some changes, and we are starting to transition to more traditional schedules. New classes are 16 weeks and on campus, meeting twice a week for an hour and some minutes. To be honest, after 4 years of rapidly cramming information into my head in a two week period, it can be hard to adjust to the pace of a slower class. The temptation is to put the assignments on a back burner because they feel less “urgent.” Or maybe that’s just me.

This semester, I have one 16 week class. We’re studying the Psalms, and the class is amazing! It’s taught by one of my favourite teachers, and taking it means that I’m almost finished with the Biblical Studies minor part of my degree. For the next four months, we are taking apart the book of Psalms, looking at structure, form, meaning, cultural relevance, and spiritual application. If you are interested in a non-scholarly approach to the book, I can’t recommend C. S. Lewis’ Reflections on the Psalms enough. It’s simply brilliant.

“Finally, as will soon be apparent to any reader, this is not what is called an ‘apologetic’ work. I am nowhere trying to convince unbelievers that Christianity is true. I address those who already believe it, or those who are ready, while reading, to ‘suspend their disbelief’. A man can’t be always defending the truth; there must be a time to feed on it.”

Yeah, this is going to be a great class, and is already sparking some ideas for blog posts. You’ve been warned!

Then, this session I have two 8 week classes.

Tuesday nights are helping me finish up my cognate (mini-minor) in Speech and Communication. We are studying Rhetorical Criticism- a research method that helps you identify the purpose and effectiveness of various communication symbols. Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing papers on song lyrics, the State of the Union Address, SuperBowl commercials, and print ads. It’s going to be great fun, and I have a feeling that some of those papers will end up here too!

Last, but not least, I’m taking Milton and the 17th Century. This makes my English major’s heart very, very happy. I’ve never been a huge Milton fan, but his writings are so foundational to other English works that I know it will be a great course. Frustratingly, I can’t seem to get that textbook to come in (*mutters under breath about university bookstores not being quite forthcoming with information about shipping issues*)…but I’m hoping to have it tomorrow. I’ve taken every English literature class with this professor, and she’s awesome! It’s nice to have this class with her.

That’s the bare schedule that I have going on. There are a bunch of other things going on in the next 8 weeks too, but they’ll have to wait. I’ve got to go study!

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Testing, Testing, TRENTA!

Okay, I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. A really, really, really long time. SUCH A LONG TIME.

But, it’s here. It’s finally, finally here.

I’ve held it in my hands. I’ve seen the labels. I’ve heard the news.

Trenta has come to my Starbucks.

What????? You don’t know what Trenta is???? It’s a 31 ounce cold cup for iced teas and iced coffees. For someone who can go through 3-4 venti iced teas per work shift or study session, it’s a dream come true!

It’s not as bad as you might think. It just looks like someone stttttrrrrrreeeeeetttttcccchhhhheeeeeddddd out a venti cup  a little bit. See? Look at the whole family together!

Tall Grande Venti Trenta!

I’m pretty excited. This particular rollout starts on the 18th (NEXT WEEK!!!), so check with your local store to see if you can try out the new size yourself. Happy drinking!

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Why We Do What We Do

I am sitting in a Starbucks not my own, watching the dynamics of those around me. This is a young Starbucks…I don’t see or know of a barista working here who is over 30. They get along well with each other, and seem to have a solid customer base.

One if these regular customers is a mentally challenged young man, sitting in the cafe. He knows the baristas and a good many of the customers, and they know him. He wanders for a while, restless. Quiet, unobtrusive, but restless.

Soon, one of the young male baristas comes into the cafe. He takes off his green apron and black hat, and arranges two chairs at a big table. He sits in one, the mentally challenged young man in another. A deck of UNO cards appear, and they play.

For over an hour, they play the game, soft exclamations of UNO punctuating the alternative mix on the radio. This is not the first time I’ve watched this scene play out, and it won’t be the last. It touches my heart- the patience, love, and dedication of time that this barista is willingly making. I leave to run an errand, and come back half an hour later to take drinks to my friends. They are both still there, still playing, still chatting, still smiling.

I would go up and tell this barista how proud I am to have a fellow partner like him, but I wouldn’t interrupt this UNO game for the world.

<3

 

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WordPress Reviews My Blog Health!

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2010. That’s about 11 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 128 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 169 posts. There were 178 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 159mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 20th with 108 views. The most popular post that day was Sunday At Starbucks.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, Google Reader, mail.live.com, en.wordpress.com, and wordnerdmusings.blogspot.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for jesus cross, starbucks gift card geese, it isn’t any trouble just to smile, it isnt any trouble just to smile, and misswoodhousemusings.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Sunday At Starbucks June 2010
11 comments

2

The Smell of Starbucks In the Fall September 2010
8 comments

3

About Me… October 2009

4

Little Changes October 2010
9 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

5

It Isn’t Any Trouble Just To S-M-I-L-E January 2010

 

 

 

Thanks for all the hard work you do, WordPress! You are my favourite blogging platform. <3

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Clean Slate

A new year is upon us.

If you listen to the rumours floating around, 2011 may be the last full year that we have left before the world implodes in 2012 because the Mayans couldn’t create a self-sustaining calendar. Or something like that.

I, suffice it to say, don’t believe in silly things like this. However, I think I’m going to issue myself a challenge this year. And if I’m going to try it, I’d love for you all to join me in my quest.

Let’s live 2011 as if it truly was our last year alive.

Let’s savour every moment. Let’s mend bridges with people. Let’s wipe our grudge slates clean and give everyone a fresh start. Let’s give ourselves fresh starts. Let’s take risks. Let’s work hard, but remember to play hard as well. Let’s not let little things blow out of proportion. Let’s acknowledge when we see people acting extraordinary. Let’s purpose to BE extraordinary. Let’s love more. Let’s laugh more. Let’s exist with intention.

Are you with me?

Ready…set…go rock your world!

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