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.