Tag: Tallahassee

Katie and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Busy Two Weeks

The semester ended on Friday, but the last two weeks felt like they lasted an eternity! Somehow it always seems to work out that the two weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break become filled with chaos, stress, and ALL THE THINGS. This last week in particular sucked because I didn’t expect it to be that bad, since for the first time in forever I am not in any courses. I think because I let my guard down, the week’s mayhem felt like a sucker-punch to the face.

Overall, I managed to keep my stress levels down during the last two weeks by making swimming and yoga a priority.

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I actually went swimming as soon as I got back in town from North Carolina. I knew that if I took too many days off, it’d be really easy to fall out of the habit. I didn’t even let the dead car battery deter me from going. After AAA came and changed my battery I jumped into the car and went to the pool.

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I maintained my yoga and swimming routine through this past Tuesday and then my schedule literally got so full that I couldn’t get to the gym unless I wanted to forfeit eating and sleep. Also, I take it as a good sign that on the days that I couldn’t get to the gym I was actually sad that I couldn’t go. I was craving satisfying feeling of the workout and the stress relief it provides.

And now that I’m back in St. Pete I want to keep up my fitness routine. So I called around and found out some places where I can keep swimming/working out. LA Fitness said they’d give me a 2-week pass and they have a pool at their facility. The YMCA also offers 3 day passes and some short-term memberships. Between those two options I plan to continue swimming while I’m on break.

This is the workout I’m doing at the moment:

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I’m still struggling with freestyle, so I’m committing myself to doing one of each of those 75 sets as freestyle. So I’ll do 75 freestyle, 75 breast stroke. Then 75 freestyle and 75 backstroke, etc. I end up exhausted at the end. I also figured out that you can track exercise (like swimming and yoga) on the FitBit and it will increase your calories burned, which translates into more Weight Watchers activity points earned. Pretty sweet!

I will also be going to my mom’s yoga studio. They offer vinyasa and all-levels yoga, but no hot yoga.

While I need to get my healthy eating habits back on track (those took a nose dive during Thanksgiving and the end of the semester), I know if I keep working out it will help prevent me from gaining weight (or too much weight) even when I make poor food choices.

Beyond exercise, what else has been happening?

Wrapping up the semester meant saying goodbye to this semester’s students. I felt so many warm-fuzzy-feelings. It was such a joy to meet and teach all of them this semester.

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If you had told me eleven years ago that one day I’d be back at FSU TAing and teaching play analysis, I would have thought you were crazy. I am so grateful for the opportunity to TA the intro for majors course this semester because it’s been a great reminder of my own journey to the PhD. Every day I am inspired by my energetic, enthusiastic, creative, passionate, and intelligent students.

December in Tallahassee is not complete without a trip to Dorothy B. Oven park. It’s pretty much my favorite place. I love all the lights.

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I went with a friend and we sipped gourmet hot cocoa as we strolled through the park.

And if you haven’t listened to Serial yet, then you’re really missing out. I binge-listened to the first six episodes as I drove from Tallahassee to St. Pete and the drive has never felt so quick!

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Photo source: http://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/daily-cartoon/daily-cartoon-friday-december-5th?mbid=social_tumblr

The forecast for the next three weeks includes LOTS and LOTS of READING. You know you’re a grad student when you rush to the library to check out a big piles of books hours before break starts.

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And finally, before all this happened I did manage to update about my technology cleanse in North Carolina.

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Still Trying to Make Sense of it All

I started writing this post on Thursday, the day everything happened. Every time I come back to finish it, I realize that it feels like something’s missing. There’s so much I want to say, but don’t know how to articulate. I don’t think this event can be neatly wrapped up and maybe that’s why this post never feels finished to me. Regardless of what I write, it’ll never be enough. So I think I’m going to just post what I’ve written and accept that my feelings can’t be fully expressed in words and this event isn’t something that can be easily set aside.

But first, here is a fundraising page for the student who was critically injured during the shooting. He was shot three times and is still in the ICU. He’s been paralyzed from the waist down.

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I don’t know what to say. The unimaginable happened in Tallahassee the other day. I woke up to a flurry of text messages. The first one I saw was from a friend saying that the university had cancelled classes. I didn’t understand. I thought it must have been a prank. Why would the university cancel classes on a regular old Thursday? The weather outside was calm and cool, it just didn’t make any sense. The next texts I saw were FSU Alert texts. I saw them in reverse order. The ALL CLEAR text and the one before it — DANGEROUS SITUATION: Seek Shelter. I still didn’t understand. I grabbed my computer and saw Facebook flooded with posts about a shooting that happened at Strozier library. Three injured. The shooter dead. Hundreds of students at the library when it happened.

I was so disoriented, shocked, and saddened by this news. I had no words to process how this might have happened on my campus. The campus that I’ve called home. The campus where I’ve spent eight years of my adult life. The library that I visit frequently and spent many late nights when I was an undergrad.

The minimal amount of information available as first only led to more and more questions. Why? Why Florida State? Why Strozier? Why in the middle of the night? And the what ifs? What if my students were there? They had performance projects due on Thursday. They often use the library as a place to rehearse. What if they were doing last minute rehearsals? What if this had happened in a different building when I was teaching? What would I have done?

Days later and I’m still trying to make sense of it all. You think it’ll never happen to you or your campus; until it does. I feel like my home is no longer safe. I feel violated.

While I don’t want to diminish the impact that any on-campus shooting might have on the FSU community, this event didn’t happen in some far off corner of campus where only a few people go. It happened in the heart of campus, in a building that everyone uses. Strozier library faces Landis green a beautiful green lawn that serves as a communal spot where students sunbathe, study, bring their puppies, play football or frisbee. On the other side of Landis green is Landis dorm, which is actually part of a whole row of dorms including the dorm I lived in freshman year. Right next to Strozier is the Bellamy building where many of my non-theatre grad student friends have offices. But more than that, Strozier isn’t a library, it’s everyone’s home. People go there to study, to check out books, to have meetings, to get coffee at the 24-hour Starbucks. It’s Club Stroz, a central part of the FSU campus.

I’m thankful that the situation could have been much, much worse and only three students were injured, but should I even be thankful of that? Three students injured is still three too many. There were about 400-500 students in the library when Myron May entered the library. I’m thankful that FSU responded to the event so quickly. They came minutes after the first call went through. I’m thankful that none of my friends or students were involved. I’m also thankful for how the FSU community came together in the days after to show thanks to the FSUPD, the Tallahassee Police Department, and to comfort one another.

But even today, five days later, I don’t know what to say or how I’m supposed to feel. Should I be more upset? Should I move on and go about my business? As a community how do we move past this? It feels too easy to just pretend it never happened and return to life as usual. As a friend pointed out, by Friday the media had already moved on to the next big story but I for one, was still trying to process everything.

And now I’m out of words to articulate my feelings, so I’ll just end by showing some pictures that really hit home. I think seeing the books with bullet holes, the abandoned stuff in the lobby, and the doors boarded up were what made the whole thing real to me. Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 9.39.51 AM

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Tour de Tally – A Guide to Tallahassee

Ever wondered when Tallahassee was established? What about how many colleges are actually located in Tallahassee? Or are you looking for some fun and interesting things to do in town? Well, I thought it would be fun to do a little introduction to Tallahassee in this post.

The title above is a shout out to my friends who lived in on the fourth floor Southgate in 2003! We always said we were going to make t-shirts that said “Tour de Tally” and then create our own tour of Tallahassee, but it never really happened. Here’s my own Tour de Tally.

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Tallahassee was established and became the capital of Florida in 1824. Tallahassee is located in north Florida. In reality, Tallahassee and the rest of the panhandle resemble the culture, weather, terrain, etc. of Georgia and the deep south, more so than they do the rest of Florida.

Florida map
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The culture of Tallahassee is best described as the rural south, which is obsured by all the politicans and college students.

Speaking of the government, Florida’s capitol building bears a striking resemblance to a phallus.

The Capitol of Florida
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Another embarassing fact about Florida? Our current governor happens to have a side job as the stunt double for Voldemort.

Rick Scott Totally Looks Like Lord Voldemort
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As for the college students, Tallahassee is home to three major higher education institutions and has satelite campuses for other schools, such as Saint Leo University, Thomas University, Keiser University, Barry University, and Flagler College.

Florida State University

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Florida A&M

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Tallahassee Community College

Tallahassee County Community College Seal

College students, phallic symbols, and Rick Scott aside, there’s actually a lot of beautiful aspects of Tallahassee. Since Tallahassee is really in south Georgia, it experiences a change of seasons and some cold, but not bitter, temperatures.

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There are also lots of beautiful parks, like Lake Ella…

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and the Maclay Botanical Gardens.

Brick path leading through gardens to Maclay House
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So, what are some of Tallahassee’s claims to fame?

Did you know that Tallahassee was referenced on Lost multiple times?

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Or that “On a Boat” rapper T-Pain’s “T” stands for Tallahassee?

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What about the one band that Tallahassee wishes they could disown? Well, that would probably be Creed.

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Enough of the silliness, what about places to eat, things to do, and art to see in Tallahassee?

When it comes to food, some my local favorites include:

1 Fresh Stir Fry

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Momo’s Pizza

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Gordo’s Cuban Food

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Hopkin’s Eatery

Red Elephant Pizza and Grill

Three Guys Pizza from New York

Tallahassee actually has a lot of things to do and keep people busy, you just need to know where to look:

There are lots of theatre companies.

Check out Railroad Square on First Friday (or any other time).

Take a history lesson at Mission San Luis.

Or buy some fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers at the Downtown Market.

The Antique Car Museum also has loads more odds and ends to browse besides old cars.

If you’re looking for a glimpse of nature and science, visit the Museum of History and Natural Science.

Finally, if you want to take a short drive, check out Wakulla Springs.

When it comes to active healthy lifestyles, Tallahassee has a lot to offer:

Capital City Runners is the local running store and they do weekly runs from their store.

Gulf Winds Track Club keeps a list of all the local races and they have running clinics and training groups.

Running wise, there’s a spring time marathon and Spring Time Tallahassee 1 mile, 5k, and 10k.

New Leaf Market is a co-op health food store with a hot bar, juice bar, large selection of health and beauty products, and of course food.


Now that’d I’ve shared some of my favorite parts of Tallahassee, I want to know what I’m missing!

I’m hoping to explore as many new parts of Tallahassee as I can, so what should I check out? If you’re not from Tallahassee, what is the one thing you make sure to show out-of-town visitors when they come visit you?