~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cliffs Notes

Okay, seems like I'm having a lot of trouble blogging these days. But I promised to share a bit of my college thoughts and experiences, so here goes…the Cliffs Notes version.

As I mentioned earlier, I've never attended college so hadn't the foggiest idea about courses, credits, curriculum, process, or academic policy in any way, shape, or form. So this entire venture has been a learning experience.

Because I entered on a degree path, I found out that I am required to take certain courses in proper order. All fresh[wo]men have to take English Composition 101/102, plus, there are a certain number of Tier 1 and 2 general education courses required for a degree. In addition, for a degree in the College of Humanities, I have to pass four semesters of a foreign language.

Way, way back in high school, I had taken two years of Spanish and one year of French. I love languages! However, very little of it stuck so I decided to take Latin in college. What was I thinking?! LOL However, I am thoroughly enjoying myself even though learning Latin takes massive amounts of time for me to absorb and memorize. And I do mean scads and scads of hours studying. I find myself wondering: would Latin have been this hard if I'd gone straight from high school to college? A moot point but still one I've pondered.

What have I liked the most? Learning! One delight in attending as an older student who is actively motivated by the sheer joy of the learning process, is that I have found enjoyment in every topic and assignment. Somewhere within each one--from visual analysis in English Comp to the meaning of equity in the Anthropology course--I have found a thread to trace that resonates with my own heart. This is very cool! Nearly every experience and subject has led me to explore in unexpected ways my own growth as well as my current WIPs. Not that I had much time for my own personal writing, but I did make quick notes to jog my memory later.

What have I disliked? Being in a small classroom with teenagers who are fast in everything they do, say, and learn. The pace is rapid, the energy is high, and I feel left in the dust after the 45 minutes have passed. They are race horses and I'm a draft horse! LOL My anxiety and insecurity was a daily challenge to manage.

What was my greatest surprise? Probably a tie between the aforementioned Latin study time I require and the way classrooms are handled. In my very limited exposure thus far, the teachers struggle valiantly to stimulate the students. I guess I figured that college students would be more self-motivated, but that doesn't appear to be the case in freshman classes. The other disturbing aspect of the classroom is its focus upon group work. Ugh. As someone who is a pretty extreme introvert, this group focus is a great drain on my energy and psyche. When I was in high school, I don't recall hardly any group work, and I liked it that way, so this aspect is particularly shocking.

However, all in all, I am thoroughly enjoying UA, and I'm looking forward to next semester, which will be 102 in both English Comp and Latin, plus a Tier 1 course in GeoScience. In order to complete the full freshman credit requirements, I will need to take several courses over the summer but that's better than overloading myself during the regular semesters. However, there may be a stumbling block to attaining a degree that I hadn't foreseen. It seems that the agency my husband works for may be denied affiliation next year, and that means that I wouldn't be eligible for reduced tuition which is the only reason we can afford college right now. So, I plan on really enjoying this next semester. I'm a firm believer that everything happens as it is meant to, though, so … carpe diem!

If you have anything to share, I would love to hear of your college experiences past or present; feel free to email me privately!

P.S. If I ever get around to it, I may post a few of the assignments that I found particularly interesting.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


sometimes, no matter what we do, kids just won't share… LOL

P.S. A solstice blog is over at On The Gaia Path
Happy Holidays, Holy Days, and Winter Days, Everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Now that my first semester has finished, I will be sharing some writing soon… But, in the meantime, I give you the abundant youthful energy of nature reverence through the music and lyrics of Nahko and Medicine for the People. (I have only included portions of the lyrics). I'm sure part of what has enamored me of these pieces is that the lyrics flow in a free-style contemplative reflective resonance that those of you who have followed my writing over the years may recognize… Blessings to All during this Holiday Season in praise of Gaia's Divine Diversity. Much Love!

Lend your ears, lend your hands,
Lend your movement, anything you can.
Come to teach, come to be taught.
The more I understand about the human race,
the less I comprehend about our purpose and place
and maybe if there was a clearer line 
the curiosity would satisfy.
I cry for the creatures who get left behind
but everything will change in a blink of an eye
and if you wish to survive,

you will find the guide inside.
Aloha, Aloha, Ke Akua, Ke Akua,
Aloha, Aloha, Kuleana, Kuleana.
Aloha, Aloha, Ke Akua, Ke Akua,
Aloha, Aloha, Kuleana, Kuleana.

Each day that I wake,
I will praise, I will praise.
Each day that I wake,
I give thanks, I give thanks.
Each day that I wake,
I will praise, I will praise.
Each day that I wake,
I give thanks, I give thanks.

In the moon of the budding trees
I was gifted new eyes to see
All of the shifting shape and ways you can be
Wake the dreams into realities ...

So, tap me out and tap me into you
Heal my brain and my body too
Balance my chemistry hydrate these cells
Cuz the body talks and the meditation helps
The body talks and meditation helps
The body talks and meditation helps
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