Thursday, August 27, 2009

The key to my existence

So I wordled my blog and this is what came up:

I'm pretty predictable, lol.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cooking Fun!

Ok, so, I also decided, that this may be in part a food blog, as I discover and start to make, more interesting foods.

Tonight's recipes were:
1. Black Bean and Corn Salad
2. Chicken Stew

First up is the Black Bean and Corn Salad:
I got the idea after having some black bean and corn salad at a little buffet lunch I had with Jess Deng about a week ago. I also realized that this is not a bad way to get a good healthy amount of fiber, and to eat beans, which I usually don't like to do. I searched online for some recipes and ended up combining a couple of ideas, and then improvising with whatever materials that I had.
1 Can of Black Beans
about 3/4 a bag of frozen sweet corn
1 tomato (I had an extra half of a plum tomato and then half a hothouse tomato, but I feel like 1 tomato on a vine or one hothouse tomato will be good. tho I think plum tomatoes are the sweetest)
1 avocado
A couple handfuls of cilantro
a pinch of ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice
a splash of olive oil

The cool thing is, is that you don't have to do anything with the frozen corn. just pour it into the mixture with all the ingredients, and let it slowly defrost, and it cools the whole salad really quickly. (picked this up from Rachael Ray's recipe)

Second up is the Chicken Stew:

This one I basically pulled from this Food Network recipe. I recently have had a craving for soups and realized I've never really experimented in making my own soups. So this is the first one that I thought I could try. I basically followed everything in the recipe, except I used just plain chicken breasts (no bone), added about a cup and a half of fresh spinach at the end, and used dry basil leaves and dry thyme. I also used a whole 32 oz box of chicken broth to make things a little more soupy and to account for the extra vegetables that I was chopping into it. I also used a large sweet onion as opposed to a small one, and I feel like the carrot and onion really make the whole soup very very sweet, but the basil and the thyme add a nice herb-y taste and smell. I definitely wanted a more vegetable, natural taste, so i only did small pinches of salt and pepper, and extra vegetables.

Conclusions: SO GOOD!!!
I think next time I'm going to crush the cilantro for the black bean salad more (rip it into smaller pieces) and use a little less of it, just because getting a big bite of a cilantro leaf is a little more bitter than I would like. Adding the avocado was a great idea and definitely puts a more Southwestern feel to the whole thing. I think also, usually this kind of salad has chopped red onion in it, but i'm not a big fan, so I skipped that.

The recipe for the stew calls for serving with crusty bread, but I'm going to add some rainbow rotini instead for lunch tomorrow.

Yay! So I don't "just" ponder society and health and such. Haha.

Ok now back to more prelim reading...oh boy...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What is the "crisis" mean in the phrase "Healthcare Crisis"?

So I recently read a fascinating article in The New Yorker about a specific node of the "healthcare crisis". It's a little old, but apparently its been "required" reading at the White House. If you haven't read it, I really recommend giving it a quick look, because to me, it highlighted a number of the nuances of this "crisis" that we are in without indulging in the blame game that many articles enjoy playing while writing about this problem (feel free to disagree!). I enjoyed that it coupled not only statistical evidence regarding healthcare expenditures, but had clear scenarios and interviews to elucidate the mechanisms through which healthcare expenditures have been rising. To me, it is one of the most fair perspectives on the whole issue that I've read so far.

It made me think: what exactly is in "crisis" with the healthcare system? How we choose to define the problem allows us to prioritize what kinds of changes to need to happen in the future. The first thing that people think about when they think healthcare crisis is "healthcare costs". Obama has stated that this is the single most important threat to the fiscal safety of America: skyrocketing healthcare costs. Even though I claim to study healthcare, there were still many details about healthcare economics and the current state of our healthcare system with which I am unfamiliar. So I decided to do a little mini research project and find out what this healthcare crisis really means.

First, the number often quoted is exactly how much we Americans spend on "healthcare" ($2.2 Trillion, which is about $7,421 per person or 16.2 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, as of 2007. Statistics here.) These numbers are always stated with a tone of extravagance--that clearly the United States is spending "too much" on healthcare. Stating that costs are skyrocketing, and we are spending too much, implies that we have in mind some ideal spending amount, with some ideal distribution. What is that amount? What is too much, and what should we be getting for our dollars?

Some numbers may aid in our decision:

The National Heath Expenditure Accounts estimate (with same data as above) that 31% of this expenditure is in hospital stays, 21% are in physicial/clinical services, 10% in prescription drugs, and 25% other. The other category includes dentist services, other professional services, home health, durable medical products, over-the-counter medicines and sundries, public health, other personal health care, research and structures and equipment. On a closer examination, less than 2% of this expenditure is spent on research for prevention programes and less than 3% of this expenditure is on government public health programes, which include epidemiological services, vaccination and innoculation services, and disease prevention programes. 20% of the healthcare expenditures are in Medicare, 16% in Medicaid, and 54% in private insurance. 94% of expenditures are spent on health services and health supplies purchased through various insurance/reimbursement means, by people. It is also interesting to note that "skyrocketing" costs may be a little bit decieving: change in percentage growth of healthcare expenditures has actually decreased--at 10.5% in the 60s to 6.1% in 2007. Interestingly, a large deceleration in healthcare costs comes from prescription drugs, with a percent change dropping from 8.6 in 2006 to 4.9 in 2007. NHEA states that this is due to an increase in generic drugs and slower growth in prescription drug prices. However, on the other hand, visits to hospitals, physicians, as well as a large increase in use of home health care and nursing homes increased.

Moreover, after disaggregating for age, since as we all know, medical expenses are going to vary by age, because disease varies by age, an average of $14,797 was spent on persons 65 yrs or older in 2004, while $2,650 was spent on children, and $4,511 were spent on those working aged. No doubt, this amount varies by region, socioeconomic status, neighborhood composition, etc. This is also interesting given that the proportion older than 65 is expected to more than double in the next 50 years according to census projections.

So where is the crux of the "cost" crisis? Are we spending "too much" per person, or are we facing an increase of people who just need more care? (By no means am I blaming the elderly for this, but rather trying to say that of course we will face a natural rise in the need for healthcare as the population ages, and we have to prepare for it.) Does the answer to that problem come from cutting back services or reorganizing services? What is too much to spend per person? And what are the right things to be spending on? Is it possible to see a decrease in health dollars spent on hospital and clinic care if we invested more money in preventive care and healthcare education?

The second thing that people think about when they think healthcare crisis is this number: 47 million Americans are uninsured, which is 15.8% of Americans (Census info here). Meanwhile, the number of people possessing any kind of health insurance has stayed the same, while the percentage having employment based insurance has actually decreased. Research then suggests that the reason that we have an increase in the uninsured is due to a drop in employment based insurance. (Urban Institute Findings). Obama has also aimed to address this issue by cutting costs now in order to facilitate some sort of state sponsored insurance plan that will get insurance coverage for everyone. (see fact sheet here).

Therefore, not only is there a crisis in spending too much by the people who already have insurance and can access healthcare supplies and facilities, but there is also a crisis in people not getting the care in the first place. Then, when we do provide insurance to those who lack it, what are the guarantees that this insurance necessarily equals access to the appropriate care? And once we do provide insurance, what's to stop the costs of care from skyrocketing again? As the article in the New Yorker suggests, healthcare costs don't relate to quality care, and sometimes, higher healthcare expenditures can occur in lower income neighborhoods to communities that are more likely to lack health insurance. (An interesting sociology article by Karen Lutfey and Jeremy Freese shows an interesting link: that physicians in low income neighborhoods tend to prescribe aggressive treatments because they are less likely to trust their patients to take care of themselves outside of the clinic, and therefore try to do what is medically necessary while they have the patients in front of them. See article here).

How do we solve these two "crises"? Are they separate problems or part of the same overarching problem?

The reality is, when people refer to the "crisis" in healthcare, we are not talking about absolute dollars spent, we are talking about fundamentally different perspectives on HOW dollars should be spent, and WHO should be benefiting from these dollars. Furthermore, we are also in disagreement as to who can judge who gets the care, and how they should get the care. (Should the AMA be the final decision maker, or Congress? What about patient/consumer rights organizations?) Not only that, but we have to add in a dimension of time--who benefits now, and who gets to benefit in the future. Can we sacrifice dollars spent on "curative" care now, to invest in "preventive" care now, in order to benefit those in the future? If we add insurance coverage (covered by private insurers, the government, some hybrid mix, it doesn't matter) where do people then go for access to care, and what guarantees that quality of care?

It is a crisis that is not reducible to the dollar amounts that we spend in healthcare. Indeed the trends in spending, as well as the trends in insurance coverage, are signs to what is wrong with our healthcare system. But these are just specific manifestations of a much larger crisis: what is the role of healthcare in our modern lives? Is healthcare merely a commodity that we consume? Therefore, the physicians in McAllen are just taking advantage of the market nature of this turn of events. On one side, the free-market paradigm of healthcare seems to promote patient choice in care, but on the flip side, it also means that patients then offer up their bodies and the price of their well-being to be determined by the mechanical (if you believe in the invisible hand so to speak) forces of market dynamics. Guwande's example hits it straight on the head with this conversation:

We tried to imagine the scenario. A cardiologist tells an elderly woman that she needs bypass surgery and has Dr. Dyke see her. They discuss the blockages in her heart, the operation, the risks. And now they’re supposed to haggle over the price as if he were selling a rug in a souk? “I’ll do three vessels for thirty thousand, but if you take four I’ll throw in an extra night in the I.C.U.”—that sort of thing? Dyke shook his head. “Who comes up with this stuff?” he asked. “Any plan that relies on the sheep to negotiate with the wolves is doomed to failure.”

It is pretty ridiculous to imagine that a patient and a physician can negotiate and bargain over goods and prices. Sometimes it just seems a little silly to take compromises when it comes to health, no?

On the other hand is healthcare a consulting service? Are the consequences of this service to be judged by healthcare economists, actuaries, the state, medical opinions about the quality of life and mortality statistics, insurance companies, or patient advocates? It seems in this article, that some of the best models out there were actually physician-self run community groups that held a common goal of patients first in their group. (This is interesting because many believe that once physicians get together and control the healthcare giving system, it will only result in market domination, physician control of prices, and skyrocketing healthcare expenditures. such were the arguments agains the Fee for Service system. Interesting that this is not necessarily true). But the extreme end of this argument also largely promotes a medical hegemony, where whatever medical advice is offered should be taken as truth.

Therefore, what is in crisis are the fundamental views regarding healthcare in America. WHO gets to get healthcare? WHAT kinds of healthcare should they receive? WHO gets to decide what is "enough" healthcare and "enough" spending? And HOW should the balance between spending and quality be justified and delivered?

How would you answer those questions?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

a weird moment

have you ever been busy doing something, and then, mid thought, have a complete out of mind experience, and wonder, how in the world did i get here? for some reason, sometimes when i am walking around at night, usually down church street to my apartment, I have these sudden random moments of, "huh"? its almost as if i fell asleep sophomore year in AP US history, and woke up here. its a weird mixture of amazement and disbelief. sometimes it feels like i'm living someone else's life--like this isnt' the real me, i'm just exploring one possible pathway? something like that. sometimes its like--wow--who would have thought that i would have ended up here? It's both a positive and negative feeling, where the negative is a more panicked--wtf am i doing here, and the positive is--how the hell did i get here and why is it so cool. I remember my best friend Steph and I talked about how we would walk down this one corridor in our High School, each year, till graduation, and say, "remember the time, that we would remember the time, that we would remember the time..." remembering all the other times that we were also remembering the times. (ha). I wonder if either of us pictured us to be where we are now. kinda weird eh.

anyways, on a completely different note, i taught the 2xs company class today. it was really fun, and i really need to get my choreography butt in gear and start getting creative and moving my body again. it feels weird going from 7 hr intensive rehearsals till now....where i dance, maybe...1-2 times a week? need to get going again! so anyways, here's the youtube....its kinda a little just a little vibe i needed to get out of me. i just wanted to try and do "hip hop" to something completely not hip hop, but something that still moved my body and moved me. i think the product is kinda interesting. anyways, i did have fun teaching it, i hope ppl liked it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

and summer begins! .... sort of...

So I did have all these ideas for intellectual, introspective posts, but I think I've been getting kind of bored by them. (Plus I'll get some nifty idea I think is pretty cool in my head, and then after 15 minutes of pondering it, I either a) get bored b) find I'm contradicting myself or c) solve my initial worry with some not-quite-as-nifty conclusion. So I'll hold off on that stuff for now.)

I figure I can talk a little bit about my "actual" life. You know, the events, and daily doings, that make up a so-called life or lifestyle that I lead. Since, you know, this blog thing was originally supposed to let me keep in touch with people I rarely talk to. (Although all the people that comment end up being people I talk with on a regular basis. So.....Speak up!, all you people that I rarely talk to. :) )

Anyways, I've finished my first year as a PhD in Sociology at Michigan. For some reason this winter, although having gone through four years of a midwest winter before in Chicago/Evanston, seemed more rough than usual, and waaaaay longer. Maybe its because my winter wasn't divided up as nicely as it was in the quarter system. Michigan's "spring break" actually happened in the middle of February. So in the middle of February, I took a break from the semester, to go to a still-cold-Chicago, and then return to a still-cold-Michigan. Not quite similar to the experience in undergrad, when returning from spring break, there was a somewhat noticeable difference in temperature.

The semester ended somewhat chaotically. I don't know if this is going to happen every year from now on, but its like I fell asleep sometime in December, and woke up in April. Basically starting in February, I was either rehearsing or out of town for a performance every weekend. And during the week I would do school or have rehearsal. It was pretty freakin intense. But amazing nonetheless. January opened up with Michigan's Best Dance Crew (which 2XS took second in whooooo!) and preparations for Cabaret, which is a talent show that the Sociology 1st years all have to put on. First week of February had 2xs chicago auditions. second week was the Cabaret performance. third week was spring break. the beginning of march was The One (with a big shout out to Hip Hop Connxion and Boogiezone for making such an amazing event happen) and Dance2XS Michigan's very own bar night (many thanks to all the dancers who came out to perform and support--CODA, Joe de La Rosa, Mina's group from Washtenaw, Anonymous, and the Filipino students dance group!). AFter that, we fell into intense rehearsals for the one and only Urbanite. Choosing a detroit theme and using only two artists was a serious challenge, and there were a hell of a lot of blood sweat and tears that poured into this performance. I would literally pass out exhausted at 3-4 am thinking about 2xs and wake up at 9 am still thinking about 2xs....damn. what an experience.

Then holy crap it was april and the end of the semester. Urbanite and Dance mix was the first weekend of april. followed by me going down to chicago to take lando wilkins awesome awesome class at NU. (check out austin's blog (Shaolin) for footage!) Then there was the Purdue Urban Showcase, where we joined our family down in Purdue for an awesome time. Seriously. Awesome. I have no words, but just love for Purdue! :)

Then, wowohmygoditstheendofthesemesterandcrapineedtodoschoolworkwow. So after that was a serious hibernation of kathy into the pits of academia wondering what the hell am i studying here. haha, no not that serious. But i had to really buckle down and do a lot of work. But I know all that work was worth it because now I have some decent projects to work on over the summer. I also got a chance to go to the Population Association of America's conference which this year was held in our very own Detroit. It was really a very eye-opening experience to what possible research projects are out there that involve the study of populations. I guess I've never really had/still don't really grasp, the whole scope of population studies, or the use of it (even though that's technically what i'm "studying"), but I am slowly learning. It was also great to see a number of my friends from school presenting posters or papers there. It may sound trite, but I felt completely empowered and at the same time so completely awed, by this conference. Because on one hand I know that someday I will be able to present research findings that contribute to some kind of research conversation, but on the other hand, howthe-F am I supposed to get there, lol. It was definitely inspiring and encouraging to see my friends up there doing their thang though. So, I know, somehow, it is all possible. :)

After a 2 week overpowering stint in academics, I fled to Chicago for a somewhat "summer"y break (although for more than half of it, the weather refused to cooperate). there i've been able to take dance classes, see performances, hang out with some friends, and best of all, see my sister! (oh yeah, and stay with austin. :-p) I mostly spent my days at Uchicago, tying up some loose ends, playing scrabble on facebook (Dan, I think it's your turn), and coming up with a prelim reading list. I have the summer to study for the first hoop that Soc PhD students have to jump through: the prelim. It's an 8 hr exam in one subfield of sociology that all students have to take and pass in order to make satisfactory progress in the program. Usually subfields are given sort of a standard reading list, with little changes between each year. Apparently Social Demography is a subfield of a different breed here at Michigan. We aren't given a list: instead we are told to come up with our own, and to basically just know "knowledge" of the field. It's all sort of confusing, and sometimes a little frustrating, but so far the act of putting together my reading list has been a good exercise in surveying the field. So maybe in the end its all going to be for the better. (stay tuned for more bitching about the prelim posts. I'm going to try and maintain a positive attitude about this whole thing, but I'm sure in my weaker moments, some whining will come through. I guess I still have to maintain that image of the cynical grad student *sometimes* haha. )

Anyhoo, that pretty much brings me up to speed with today. I just got back from Chicago to Ann Arbor last night. Today was absolutely beautiful, so I spent a good two hours out in the sun reading about the compression of morbidity/mortality. Conclusion: some knowledge of the rectangularization of survival curves is in my head, and my skin is definitely a couple shades darker. :) hopefully I can continue this practice tomorrow. I love summer. Even if I have to wait through 8 months of miserableness for it, haha.

Its been a very good semester; hectic, but I guess I wouldn't have it any other way, as many of you will never fail to remind me. And a great beginning to the first summer here. And that's all I will leave you with. Stay tuned for (hopefully) more frequent posts so tha tI won't have to mind dump my semester again on here. :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Public Health

So apparently everyone is talking about the swine flu. Now as a global health student, and someone who lived in S. East Asia during SARS, I feel like I have a decent grasp on the difference between paranoia and precaution. At first, when I heard about the swine flu, I thought wow, don't go to Mexico. But that's it. I didn't think much of it. I'll wash my hands, cook pork thoroughly (because you know cooking kills the virus, so you CAN'T get sick from EATING pork. newsflash). And drink OJ and other immune system-y things so that I won't get sick.

About a week later, it got bigger on the news, with cases increasing in Mexico, as well as in the US, and some cases even found in New Zealand. But apparently at the same time as case counts were going up, so were reports of self-doubt: was the US media making too big of a "splash" of swine flu? Was this the typical example of the media market exploiting public fear in order to make stories? (I have a friend working at a newspaper who says that even reporters are grappling with these questions and examining how their take on the event could affect the public's view.) Peopel are asking, what SHOULD we worry about and what SHOULDN'T we worry about? I got a sense that Americans were trying to grapple with "staying cool" but not trying to be total public health idiots.

I guess, the point of this blog isn't about whether this swine flu thing is REALLY a public health crisis or not. Because the word "crisis" is subjective. We can only do what we think is best--whether that be wearing a mask, quarantining yourself, or staying at home and washing your hands. I'm not trying to tell you whether or not you should be worried. I trust that people will be smart. However, I'm curious: what is the appropriate way, or rather, the smart way that governments should handle epidemics like this? How do you make decisions, when you are trying to corner a moving target? What is the best way to protect your people? How do you walk the fine line between precaution and paranoia?

Governments around the world have responded differently. China, South Korea, and Hong Kong have enacted some kind of quarantine. China has even gone to restrict travel from Mexico. Several other Latin American countries have also restricted travel from Mexico. Meanwhile, in the latest WHO update, they say that restricting travel will not do anything in stopping the spread of the virus, and instead will only cause global disruption. The US so far has not issued any travel regulations. These are not easy decisions to make. Suspending travel or even making some sort of regulation on travelers has political and economic connotations and consequences. (ie. I'm not sure that Mexico is particularly happy with these decisions.) What is worse? A potential "pandemic" or worsening a developing economy?

Like I said, I lived in Singapore when SARS happened. The media in Singapore and other Asian countries, praised Singapore's actions as exemplary. Temperature scans at every entrance to a hospital, in the airports. Masks everywhere. Schools shut down. They had everything in control within a week. I saw the two extremes of government response to public health crises: Hardline, and completely negligent. The question is: is there such a thing as a middle ground when it comes to questions of public health and safety?

newslink with some examples of what has been done

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Status update

Pages written: 33+17=50
Pages left: 0!!!!!
Drinks consumed: 0
Drinks to be consumed:..... :)

Yay to the end of the 1st year of grad school. more reflection on that later. for now...clean laundry, a full night's sleep, and an evening full of beer and friends. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Status update

Hours left: 18
Pages done: 16
Pages left: still 10-ish?
Status: I see the light...?
Mood: Totally satisfied in seeing the undergrads run screaming in the rain

Evaluating Progress

Hours left: 22 hrs
Pages written: 10
Pages left: 10-ish...
Status: motivated
Mood: Jealous of the undergrads walking around in sunglasses and flip flops outside...hope it rains on them.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Likes and Dislikes

Dislikes: Waking up to blaring techno at 10 am on a Saturday morning. It's not even a game day!

Likes: Taking a break from a million pages of writing to breathe in the smell of a spring thunderstorm.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Wow, so I really dropped off this habit now didn't I? Oops....

Well rest assured, my clamouring fan club, I am back, and hopefully back for good. I think this blog started out as a way for me to chronicle and waste my time alone in Ann Arbor, between the reading of grad school and the dancing, and the adjusting, I figured I would have a lot of time to reflect and get used to being in a new place and a new stage in my life (and I hate writing mass emails). HA. Yea, the reflecting happened, but the "time" really did not, and this year really hit me full force that I really stopped reflecting and chronicling that online.

Though, that reflecting hasn't really stopped. C'mon, it's me, haha. With my first year in grad school about to end in 5 days, it could not be a better time for me to resurface and hopefully continue this little project. (Also that I have a theory paper due in 5 days, that I have 0 pages on, and a research paper due in also 5 days, of which I have 0 pages its the PERFECT time to do a new post!)

..anyways the reflecting..

This year really has been crazy. I've come to adjust to a place and a lifestyle that I never really thought I could adjust to. In reality if I think back on it, I've always had problems with change. Even though I am a "TCK" and am supposed to be fantastic at adapting myself to new places, I really think that being a TCK also gives people a strong sense of cognitive dissonance. The I-fit-in-quite-well-on-the-outsdie feel, but the I-am-so-freakin-confused feel on the inside. What percentage that is attributable to my baseline personality and what is mediated by my TCK life, who knows? It's a little hypothesis of mine...

But I have really grown to enjoy living in Ann Arbor. (stop giving me skeptical looks now). It's a really cute place, and I am definitely starting to enjoy the university, the lifestyle of a grad student, and the freedom to speculate research questions and funny theories all day. Not only just Ann Arbor, but most importantly I think I really made a realization that I have to accept my lifestyle. That my heart belongs on Chicago and but I am physically here. That I want to pursue a career in academics, and I take my work in grad school seriously, but also want to create and express myself through dance. I have learned that life is what it is, and that I am at a period in my life where I don't need answers to many questions, and should just let myself live through the experience. Ironically this realization happened when I was in Chicago for a weekend, attending a crazy slew of dance classes with Boogiezone Chicago (hells yeah). I realized that I could not have both worlds where they are now, had I not moved to Michigan. I would have not have experienced 2xs Michigan, been exposed to so many wonderful and inspirational dancers. I would not have experienced the great cohort of grad students that I entered Michigan with. I would not have had the opportunity to choreograph for 2xs's set at Urbanite this spring, as well as be allowed to pursue my own brand of quantitative sociology, demography, medical sociology, health and aging.....(hmmm still working on that one there...)

Speaking of Urbanite....I have to put this in my blog:

Blood sweat and tears, but the product and the experience of Urbanite, totally worth it. people....I cannot even imagine what my life in Ann Arbor woudl be like without it. I thought about it, and realized that I have had quite a history of making friends through dance. It's something that I started doing in 6th grade and never stopped. In high school, my closest friends were all dancers. Our friendship was reinforced by the outside classes we took together, the endless hrs of rehearsals we had, and just the large number of hours we spent in the studio and out, goofing off. I realized that that is the way I make friends. I am used to that space. So when I came to Ann Arbor, I knew it was essential that I join a dance group, since, really, I'm pretty awkward outside of that, haha.

A year of 2xs through pictures. :)
watching america's best dance crew at ericas....
Future Exec and Co-artistic Director!
Yes, we met Team Millenia, wobz was AWESOME,such an inspirational dancer...
we chilled with Justin and Joey from ASIID the two most awesome and inspirational dancers out there, not to mention so chill and friendly and funny!
Performing DanceMix / Detroit set at the power center:
Baby Mama, Mina!!! I miss you!!

So 2xs was a big part of the year, but even though my life was primarily dance, I *did* have a life outside of dance. (maybe i'm deluding myself). i could not ask for a more bomb cohort. Yes, we say cohort here. It means GROUP of people who start something at the same time (ie. grad school) and not a groupie fan group. (some ppl thought that). I have so much respect for every person in here, and am really honored really to be in part of the same group. Not to mention, we really know how to have fun. :)

some pictures:
Elyse, Dan, and I at post Cabaret drinks in Ypsi....oh Cabaret...what an experience...
Some of the cohort at Emily Bosk's birthday:

And to end the year in pictures, its been nice to know that even though I am in a new place, I always have my old networks and friends that I can turn to.
MMSS coming up for the Northwestern vs. Mich game....CRAZY weather...but awesome win. :)
Blast from the past! Patrick and Mike! HS buds, plus of course Alex and Ally. Thanks Ally for always throwing sweet NYE parties. :)
And of course, a summary of the year, can't be complete without one more final thing:

Ok done procrastinating. Papers, watch out.