I won!...I think
So here is how my cheesecake turned out! I was baking this damn thing until midnight last night. I won't know if I did it right until we cut into it and serve it up. I was tempted to try it before the party got here, but who serves up a cake that's already been eaten? Tacky!
The top of my cheesecake did turn more golden than the one in the recipe picture. I adjusted the oven racks when I don't think I was supposed to. Also, it was hard to tell if my springform pan was waterproof. The crust looked a bit more soggy than I'd hoped...we'll just have to wait and see. I'll keep you posted.
Sticks and stones lessons still pending.