One Down, Bunch More to Go

Finished my last final Thursday morning, and have since been very grateful to have all that done. Finals were surprisingly doable. As of the Saturday before finals, I had barely began one of two projects, and not truly began studying for either of my two finals. It’s awfully difficult to begin to tackle a big assignment. I’m fairly proud of myself, as that afternoon, I took everything and broke them into several smaller assignments and wrote up a day-by-day schedule for work on my whiteboard.

And it worked. I came out somewhat slow on studying for Chinese, but otherwise, I kept myself steadily working and was well-prepared for everything. Amazing, considering the rest of the quarter. Neither of my humanities papers were finished more than a hour before the deadline (the 2nd was turned in at 11:59:57 for a 12:00 deadline). Finals week, however, was fairly relaxing, though I think it helps that I took neither a math nor hard science class.

My conducting paper, however, was perhaps the easiest paper I’ve ever written. Titled “Conductors and Communication: Working with the Top Brass,” I analyzed the relationship between conductors and the brass section, with a particular focus on that of Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra brass. I was expecting the 6-9 page requirement to be something of a marathon, but after cranking out a page and a half in the first half-hour, I knew it would be easy. The topic seemed naturally plentiful, and it was almost difficult to develop points because I wanted to get to the rest of them. It can be difficult to write ideas and think critically, but it’s easy to write on experience.

During finals week, I finally made an In-N-Out Burger run with several of my dormmates. In-N-Out has some truly famous burgers, with admirers including Chef Gordon Ramsey from Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a west coast thing, as all meat is shipped daily from a plant somewhere in California, so expansion so far has been limited by transportation. It has a sort of “secret menu” like Jamba Juice, as customers can order items off-menu, including burgers of any size (can you stuff 10 patties in your mouth at once? How about 50?) and “animal style” burgers and fries.

To say it has been talked-up is an understatement. From everything I heard, I half-expected malaria to be eradicated when I took my first bite. It’s just some legendary fast-food.

I was ready when I arrived. Between Wikipedia and consulting my dormmates, I reeled off “Can I get a double-double, ‘animal-style’ fries, and a strawberry shake?” as though I was a native Californian. After watching a most-impressive show of making my food, I sat down with the best-looking meal I had seen in weeks.

It was good. Each part of the burger, from the onions to lettuce to meat, tasted fresh and like it should, instead a big mash. The fries were amazing. I’m not absolutely sure what’s in the “animal-style” mix, but I know that almost-carbonized onions tasted amazing.

My life hasn’t been changed, though I certainly won’t refuse any offer for In-N-Out. And neither should you, if you get the opportunity. It might not change your life, but it’ll certainly help you appreciate it.

Here’s a link to “Overtoasted” Part 2. There’s a gag in there that I used before. Sorry I lamed out there.

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