Monday, October 13, 2008

I Survived!

It's true...I survived the UMaine English M.A. Comprehensive Exam. I won't know if I passed the exam for another three weeks, but at least I finished the thing. :)

So, I owe you guys some updates!

First - of course - a new cupcake. Mom got me a pumpkin muffin/cupcake recipe early last week, and I made the cupcakes on Tuesday for our Thursday reading event.
Here is the recipe Mom suggested. A simple mixture of spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin.

And here this is the point at which I distrusted the recipe and decided to add eggs, oil, and water. Adding these ingredients made a fluffier cake, and one of the things that people continually comment on is the lightness of my cupcakes. I'm not sure how my cupcakes are any lighter than anyone else's, but I didn't want to present a dense pumpkin cake this time.

It worked! My even distribution of batter still needs work. But...the cake was wonderful. Very flavorful and moist.

And here they are iced with cream cheese icing. The coloring was supposed to resemble fall foliage...not sure that it really did.

The cupcakes were a hit. Definitely a recipe I will use again. :) I guess I should write it down...

Anyway! Cupcakes down...Comprehensive Exam soon to follow.

For those of you who don't know, the UMaine M.A. in English literature program has a comprehensive exam that every candidate for the M.A. has to pass. We get a list of 30 texts when we enter the program and then we can take the test in any of the four semesters we are taking courses at the university. Most people take the exam in the fall of their second year. So...that's what I did. To make a long story short, on Saturday at 9am, we get emailed a list of 11 questions. We choose 4 and answer each of the four with a 5-7 page essay. Big weekend! The essays have to be emailed by 9am on Monday morning.

Friday afternoon, in preparation for the Saturday exam, I did a craft! I knew that speed reading another text wouldn't help either my anxiety level or my ability to tackle the exam. So...I decided to engage my mind in a more calming way. The necklace pictured below is what I came up with.

Please forgive the refrigerator hanging, I am not ready for pictures today. :) I made this necklace out of buttons and hemp. Totally fun and quite relaxing.

Saturday morning I got the exam, tackled three questions before going to bed at 11pm, and I did the last essay and revisions yesterday. I emailed that stuff away by 4:30pm, and it's been smooth sailing ever since. order to really ground myself and reach normalcy...this is what I'm doing right now:

You'll notice that this cupcake is completely boxed. I'm not trying anything fancy this time, and honestly, I had forgotten how easy cupcakes could be!

I have a tub of ready-made chocolate icing too. Ah...the simple life. :)


Anita said...

Congrats Manda!! Isn't it wonderful when you finish something you've been dreading?! Once again, I WANT A CUPCAKE!! Hey, we missed you tons Friday night. The bonnetts (is that how you spell it?) AND the prom dresses came out!

Anita said...

I'm sure there will be pictures to follow the Friday night festivities!

trresa said...

Manda, the cupcakes look sooo good! All of them! I'm so happy you're done with the test. I saw the moon tonight, I wanted to call you :) Enjoy your break!!!

jess said...

great post. i'm glad your horrible test is done! we definitely missed you this weekend and i'll post pictures hopefully tomorrow night or wednesday :-D