Fall 2012 First Day Details

So it came and went. My first day at CSULB for the Fall 2012 semester. Holy cow, I cannot believe how fast the first year flew, and Summer just passed in the blink of an eye.
I sat in class tonight cracking up at my professor, who I had last year. It’s another Motor Learning class, and I was excited to see that the required text bookimage

is one that I bought 2 years ago just because it looked interesting on Amazon. As predicted, he lectured for 55 minutes and let us go. Part of me is so grateful that I get home early on Tuesday nights, and the other part of me is so annoyed that I drive 80 minutes each way for such a short lecture. Would it be rude to ask if I could just Skype \Facetime the lectures? ūüėČ
I giggled as I overheard excited freshmen chatter about the SWRC, how lost they were, how many hot girls\guys went to school and blunt declarations of their professors. ( My math prof is such a “bro”, I may even friend him on Facebook!) I must admit I missed those excited, overwhelmed and nervous feelings. This time last year I was a bundle of emotion… feels kinda nice being super chill about this semester.

That being said, I cannot wait for Thursday. I’m enrolled in a class designed for individuals with disabilities and we are assessing motor function and skills. Its a requirement for students enrolled in the Physical Therapy program, and considering I already work with kids with disabilities in the water, it’s going to be a great class. I will try to post pics.

Another thing I will try to do is update my “Chalkboard Chit Chat” category more frequently. The stuff these kids write is hysterical!

One side note, the Huntington Beach Core Power Yoga off Beach Blvd is the BOMB! I’m so excited to keep up my yoga practice while in school and use my CPY membership to its fullest potential. I am so excited that I held my Crow Pose for 5 seconds this week.

Victory! The cool thing with my membership is I can use 3 locations in OC, as well as my “home base” studio is San Diego. #Winning!

….and speaking of winning, check out the recently held Alumni game at CSULB featuring gold medalist Misty-May! Go Beach!

Spring Semester Review

Holy balls, I just turned in my last final of Spring semester, and am officially DONE with my first year of grad school. I knew that time would fly when happily accepted my letter of acceptance, but here I am, a year later, and feeling both relieved and sad that this incredible journey is almost over.
In the Fall, I did recaps every four weeks. This time, its just a semester recap, so here goes.

The Good

  • My professors! My “legal issues in recreation” prof was a wonderfully down to earth, authentic and sincere lawyer-turned-teacher who’s love for purple made her twice weekly wardrobe choices quite amusing. Really, who knew so many shades of purple existed!¬† My “US Sport in Culture” professor was the most interesting, cool, challenging and intriguing teacher I’ve had so far at CSULB. Her class was awesome, and while she wasn’t the most “personally approachable”, she was still my favorite teacher so far. Also, I have to say this class was the first class that I felt was worth my money, which as anyone attending college knows, is not CHEAP!¬† Rounding out the pack was my “Conflict, Negotiation and Mediation” professor, who was really fun. Super approachable, easy to talk to, great lecturer and damn nice, I learned more from her about interpersonal conflict and how to communicate better during conflict than I did in the 8 weeks of marriage counseling my hubby and I suffered through. We got NOTHING out of that experience.
  • Getting a greater understanding of legal issues in Recreation. Thanks to my legal studies class, it sparked a greater understanding of legal issues in aquatics that I am grateful for.¬† Know that I think about it, Im grateful for all my class this semester, because I walked away with great education from all three classes that are really applicable to my life and career.
  • The Kinesiology Graduate Colloquium. It was neat to see other Kin graduate and hear about their research.
  • March Madness! I wrote an entry about it here.
  • celebrating my mothers birthday, my birthday and the opening of my company’s second location.
  • Sunsets at 730pm, not 430pm! Yeah for sunlight!
  • Going to Vegas for Spring Break. Woo hoo!!

The Bad

  • My gas bill. Ugh. I’d die for an electric car.
  • Celebrating my birthday. When do they go backwards? I hate getting older!
  • The cap on units for Fall 2013. It makes students hoping to graduate quickly that much harder.

The Ugly:

The guy “yanked” from the library! LOL

  • The passing of Junior Seau, Whitney Houston and MCA, among others. So sad.
  • Skanky girls over spring break. Be a class act, not a trashy whore
  • The disgusting anti-abortion protestors and their horrible posters of aborted babies in various stages of development. While I understand that they have the right to freedom of expression, I think it’s a little too gruesome. While one could give them a little credit for posting a warning signs, still, I don’t need to see it, and it still not going to change my perspective on things.

Well, that’s it… year one down. Keep checking in, as I may post about¬† my summer. Lots of plans!!!

Small Joys, Big Impacts

Do you ever walk around your school, workplace, neighborhood and see things you just never noticed before? It’s the¬†smallest of details, right? ¬†And you “see” them every day, but never really notice them.

Yesterday, I finished up with my Leadership Academy workshop on Communication ¬†and I needed a break from sitting. Yes, sitting. I sat in the car up to school ( that’s 90 minutes), then I¬†sat some more in the LA workshop ( another 90 minutes), so by the¬†end, I needed to move. I choose to head down south and check it out.

The “Southies,” as I call them, are the buildings and students that are separated by the Commencement Lawn,and the Student Union. For Southie students, it would be safe to say that they stay close to the South end of the campus. Down south is the Liberal Arts buildings, the¬†Theater¬†Arts building, the Liberal Studies and Education buildings.

Excited to travel on my walkabout, I headed south past the Commencement Lawn and noticed something small, yet for me, significant. “Peterson Science Building”. At San Diego State , we had the Peterson Gym, and I lived there. The¬†Disablities¬†Clinic¬†was a second home for me, and I miss taking care of my clients. I thought, ¬†“this Peterson guy sure¬†does get around!” ¬†It brought back a flood of great memories,and I must have looked silly walking with a huge smile on my face.

My strolling brought me to the Fine Arts building. ¬†I will be honest and say Art is a huge mystery to me. But I think that is the point? I cannot draw a stick figure, and have never been good with “connect the dots” or even “color by number”. At least I was exposed¬†to the arts, and I was blessed to travel and see some museums¬†from time to time. ( Louvre, the Smithsonian, Getty).

So as I stood in front of the Student Art Galleries, I was frustrated and wanting to like them. I really did. Instead,¬†I felt horrible that I thought: “Wow, if you gave my 3 years olds some scraps, paint, pieces of plastic and glue, could they do something¬†similar?” I felt guilty, like I should be ooohing and ahhing over the beauty of it. But, alas, I kept saying that is the wonderful thing about Art. ¬†It’s all about evoking an emotion within the viewer.
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Struggling to find the beauty in the art, I walked out of the student art galleries and found beauty in something that many people walk by every day and probably never stopped to notice. ¬†It’s really simple. The combination of square and round. Living and concrete. Its geometry is what caught my eye. Also, I happened to LOVE¬†stag-hor¬†ferns. Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for me, while it was a small thing, it really made a statement. ¬†I thought it was really cool that someone took the time to hang them there.
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I kept walking south and walked into the Theater Arts building. I did a few acting gigs in high school, so I have at least a few words in my theater vocab,but again, I am definitely not in Kansas anymore. The thing about Theater, and acting that attracts me the most is not what is visible, but the magic that goes on behind the scenes. The set designers, lighting technicians, costume designers. They create the worlds that actors then play in, and bring to life.  Intrigued with this world,  I started walking around the building to see how magic is made.

The first thing I walked by were magicians at work. Working like a team of ants to create the perfect stage for the actors, students were getting a set up, and student in the rafters were¬†practically¬†hanging upside down to handle the lighting. It’s so cool to me that they are like Gods, in the sense that they have to the power to create worlds and destroy them, sometimes all in one night!

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My walkabout led me down hallways, classrooms and 2 more¬†theaters, and what made the walk so pleasant was their version of the “yellow brick road”. I loved it. So cheerful, so pretty, and it made such as simply,boring¬†linoleum¬†floor just come to life, much like the students do with their stage.

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Following the yellow brick road to the front of the building, I walked past this sculpture.

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Of course, the body of water¬†surrounding it was attractive to me, but it was starkly juxtaposed by this incredibly intimidating, sharp, violent sculpture. Remember what I said earlier about art. This one I just couldn’t get. I moved past the fountain and through a grove of trees that I just thought was so beautiful and peaceful. Isn’t it cool when something very small brings peace or¬†happiness¬†to your life? Don’t you wish we could all savor those moments more?

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I ended my walkabout by rounding the corner at the end of the trees, and found myself at the Library. If you’ve read my earlier post, you’ll know how I feel about them. I experienced another small, yet joyous moment when this is the first thing I saw when I walked into the¬†library. Now, I don’t know who thought it would be a good idea to put a Starbucks in the Library, but with the undeniable smell, and Trademark sign, this is one of those things that I’m sure students don’t miss when they walk by it!

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Calling all CSULB Students & Alumni

Let me hear from you!

Alien Life Forms Unite!

Week three is now in the history books, and I can officially say I feel like a grad student. I am loving the environment of school, the learning,the classroom camaraderie, the homework! 

imageAdditionally, it is was a new direction, other than just working.¬†Upon telling¬†my girlfriend (& co-worker)¬†that I was going to work less to spend more time focusing on my masters degree, she looked at me and frankly said; “I think that’s a great idea, go back to where you belong! You need to¬†be you, with other yous, in your world, who speak your¬†language.”¬†¬†She was right.¬† For the last few years, I haven’t felt quite at home in my workplace. I didn’t mind the unofficial title as the “brain”, but my passion for my field left me feeling alienated,with no one to talk to. ¬†I was always getting excited over ideas,¬†or about¬†the latest research¬†study, or the most recent finding in an academic journal that pertained to our industry. I was always talking about how to improve our teaching methodology from a motor learning perspective, or¬†look for ways to improve our curriculum from the latest studies and research. So, hence, now that I am back¬†with other “me’s”, it’s been fun spending time with them¬†and sharing ideas with other people who are just as excited about the same things I am. Yes, we do speak each other’s language. “Na-Nu, Na-Nu.”

That being said, my professor recently assigned a project that would require copious amounts of time browsing search engines such as EBSCOHost, PubMed, MedLine, ERIC, and a whole bunch of others. I laughed at the assignment, only because I do that in my spare time. Did I mention I am from another planet.  No really, for me, hyperfocusing on the latest publications from sports & recreation journals is something I truly enjoy doing.

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 So while everyone is grumbling and procrastinating, I am happily camped out in the middle of the floor, in the basement of the library. Speaking of libraries, I think everyone should spend more at  libraries. Rows and rows of books, magazines, journals, microfiche, maps. To some, it can be an alien landscape. It blows me away that there is so much information to be had, about everything, and there are these amazing people called Librarians who have the superpowers to organize allof it. My ADHD brain can barely organize my shopping list for the week!

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So, I was driving home from the end of week three when my girlfriend called to see how¬†I was doing.¬†I told ¬†her about my assignment, and¬†that I had spent the week¬†sitting in the basement of the library,¬†patiently scanning¬†and reading hundreds of journals, searching for those perfect¬†articles that will fulfill the requirements of the assignment.¬†She laughed and said “‘Yup, right up your alley! Sounds like you were right at home”.¬† I laughed, glanced in my rear-view mirror at sight of the¬†library as¬†it ¬†grew smaller and smaller, and thought; “Na-Nu, Na-Nu”.

    Go Beach!