Mediterranean Couscous with Olives and Artichokes

Study groups are a big deal in law school.  Like, a big-Rod-Burgundy-deal.  Everyone talks about them.  Every information session about how to succeed in law school, blah-blah-blah, talks about them.  Naturally, I formed a study group only to find out a few meetings (okay, more like one meeting) later that study groups and me do not mix.  I didn’t want to leave the group, though, because I had pushed to form it in the first place and it was made up of all of my friends.  Plus, we watched a lot of fun Youtube videos.

I finally bit the bullet yesterday, though, and told them that I would be leaving the study group.  Funny enough, I felt like I was going through a break-up.  I was all uncomfortable and no-it’s-not-you-it’s-me.  I saw one of them in the hallway later that day and thought, Do I say hi?  Do I wave?  My hands, what do I do with my hands?!

It was freeing to finally admit that the study group wasn’t working for me, though.  I tried to stick with it because everyone else was in study groups, and I had this feeling that if I wasn’t in a study group then I wasn’t doing something right.  I had a chat with a friend earlier this week about the constant need to measure up to everyone else here, and it was really enlightening.  He told me that we all needed to stop comparing ourselves to others and run our own race.  Simple words, but they struck a chord.  I love it here and I love the people, but I do sometimes find myself comparing my work and progress with other people.  Sometimes it doesn’t faze me.    Sometimes it makes me reach for anti-acids.  The bottom line is that I don’t want to do it anymore.  What works for one person might not work for me.  I need to find my own way.

I need to run my own race.

One thing that I’ve learned I absolutely need here is to cook.  I love coming home after a lllooonnnggg day at the law school and parking myself in front of the stove.  It’s relaxing.  It’s comforting.  And then I get to eat afterwards.  I mean, I really can’t think of a better way to unwind.  This is a great dinner to make because it’s quick and nutritious.  Most of the ingredients were straight out of the refrigerator or pantry and it made enough for a few days.  Added bonus — the leftovers taste even better because all the flavors have a chance to meld.

Mediterranean Couscous with Olives and Artichokes

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cup Israeli couscous
1 tbsp olive oil
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sliced olives
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed
5 artichoke hearts, quartered 
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 cucumber, quartered and sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt/pepper

Directions:
Cook couscous according to directions on package.

Combine all the ingredients, up to the balsamic vinegar.  In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic and olive oil until emulsified.  Pour into the couscous mixture and toss to coat.  Serve either on its own or with a main dish.

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