“Vaguebooking”-Beachmail style.

So I just got this email in my inbox. While it’s kinda cool, I have to question what it is really for. Is just to acknowledge my 4.0 GPA? It seems so vague. Even the title cracks me up. Did Dr. Hill forget my name. “Hey there….buddy, pal, you…. nope. Outstanding Kinesiology major it is. LOL.
 
Hi outstanding graduating Kinesiology major,
 
The purpose of this note is to inform you that you will be formally recognized and honored at the Department of Kinesiology Graduate Colloquium at the Point (in the Pyramid) on Thursday, May 2nd.  There will be an social hour with food and beverages from 6-7 PM with the awards program starting at 7PM. 
 
I sincerely hope you will be able to attend to receive your award.  Your award will be presented from a faculty member in your option area.
 
Please contact me if you have any questions.
 
Dr. Hill
 
 
 
Grant Hill, Ph.D.
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Kinesiology
California State University, Long Beach 

Randoms in my world

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So a few days Scott and I went to P.F Changs and this is what my cookies had to say. I am hoping this is a good sign because I am really struggling with the whole Thesis thing…..I need motivation and inspiration….

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Which I am getting neither of in my Physical and Motor Assessment class.  UGH. The material itself is and CAN BE really interesting, but sadly my initial excitement for this class was washed away and replaced with overwhelming boredom. Just gotta put my head down and plug through my professors boring and uninspiring lectures.

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Inspiration was indeed found by my little study buddy one night. He loved picking out the letters and sounding out words. So incredibly cute, and wow, what a smarty pants.

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So this week has been HOT AS HELL. We had 109 degrees here in parts of San Diego. And it’s mid-September!!!  I was getting in my car from school the other day and saw this crow sitting under a bush. I thought to myself “Don’t blame you buddy! Its too hot to fly”

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S0 to prove a point, my class is so exciting to its students that they watch live TV (tennis matches) during lectures. I tried really hard to not burst out laughing!

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If you have read earlier posts, I find beauty in strange places…. I just thought the structure looked cool with light and dark squares with the shadows dancing across it.

Fall Semester 2011 in Review!

Its been nearly a months since I last blogged, and believe me, there were many days where I looked at WordPress longingly, wanting to escape the stresses of projects, PowerPoints and presentations. This past month was jam-packed and I am reeling from the craziness of it all. If I wasn’t working, I was reading, writing, creating, editing and studying.  Between Thanksgiving, and then Finals. Whew!

So now that school is over, and I have 5 weeks of freedom, I wanted to write about the last month, and the semester in general.

In keeping with tradition, here we go:

The Good

  • I made it! The last four months were a journey into an unknown world of murky understanding and cloudy expectations.  I’m happy to say that looking back,  some of my experiences lived up to my expectations,while  some went down in a cloud of disillusioned smoke. I started my orientation in this room, and this is how it looked on my last day after we finished our presentations. Kinda fitting.imageimageimage
  • My grades. While official grades havent been posted, I am pretty sure I am in the 4.0 club. *happy dance*
  • My support system. I could not have been as successful as I was if it weren’t for the amazing support, understanding, patience and humor of my husband, family & friends.  Even my little study buddy! It truly takes a village…image
  • My car. Oh, my beloved car. You didn’t break down.  I will forgive the two flats in three weeks, and chalk it up to bad luck encountering nails.
  • The realization that I CAN do this. I’m sure you have all dealt with moments in your life where you look at your reflection in the mirror and worry about the couldv’e, should’ve, what if’s, and the holy-shit -can-I-really-do-this moments. I finished my last final paper, and just breathed. (Shoop-Shoop). It was such a cool moment of “YES, I CAN”.
  • My work. I came into graduate school very determined to carry out some specific goals, and so far, I am really proud of the work that I accomplished. It’s all about baby steps, and I think my foray into research, data collection, writing formal research papers and scientific presentation were steps in a great directions. This is a poster and 12 page paper about a nationwide survey I conducted. Really happy with the results.image
  • The ice skating rink the Student Wellness and Recreation Center built in front of the gym. Albeit small, nonetheless really cool!image
  • My love of the Nugget Grills’ Salmon burger and their sweet potato fries. More please!
  • Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson filming a Gatorade commercial in campus last week. So bummed I couldn’t get his autograph, but his security detail was nothing to laugh at.
  • Being ‘unique” in my program: I’m  the only student in the program with an Motor Learning & Aquatics emphasis. Neat-o!image
  • The hope that once this is all said and done, I can get a decent paying job.
  • The free coffee at the Starbuck in the library!image
  • Thanksgiving break!  We had our 4th annual “Buddies Thanksgiving”. This year, 8 guys, 2 girls, and a lot of kitchen mayhem!image

The Bad

  • Realization that attempts to make friends at a “commuter school” is MUCH harder than initially thought. Add the complication of commutes, kids, jobs, family obligations and conflicting schedules, and it becomes nearly impossible to get together with any classmates on a social level.
  • The “Wills” & “Wonts”. I have always been a person that will do my best to help a fellow student who may be struggling in a class. This semester proved an interesting insight in those students who are willing to help others, and those who have the ” you are on your own” mindset. Since many of us take similar classes, it is nice to know early on those student who are willing to offer that Excel formula tip or Statistics problem help. That leads me into my next one:
  • Teaching styles. I recognize that we all deal with people who may not gel with our own personality, but it is magnified when the teachers teaching style is sooo vague and unclear that it leave the entire class grasping at straws and desperately emailing each other for advice and guidance.  If your ENTIRE class is confused, shouldn’t that give you a clue that you as a teacher aren’t providing the clearest of directions?
  • Tuition! So once again, our CSU system is hiking tuition fees. This is getting beyond ridiculous! 23% increase in less than a year. Thus,we get to spend more money on classes, which are becoming harder to enroll in, because the teachers are so fed up with it all that they are retiring early and leaving the departments, which then leaves the departments short-staffed and ill-equipped to give the students the quality education they are paying a lot of money for and well, expecting.
  • The tragic elevator accident that happened on campus last week. My heart breaks for her family and coworkers, especially so close to the holidays.
  • The death of Long Beach Post’s Shaun Lumachi.

The Ugly

  • Squid in a bag. Gross. See my earlier blog post “Goodies & Grub“. Still haven’t gotten over that.
  •  The Christmas Sweater. I almost put this under “The Good” only because I’ve gone to some great parties celebrating these, but still- who thinks these are not to be mocked?image
  • Its Merry Christmas! Its Happy Hanukkah!  Dont get your panties in a wad over the “Happy Holidays’… and yes, I just decorated my Holiday Tree. 
  • Black Friday insanity. This is how my husband and I spent our Black Friday!
  • The psycho Elf on the Shelf mom’s out there. I had a few in my classes. When do you woman SLEEP?! This woman wrote the funniest blog about the TRUTH!
  • The craziness that is the holidays. Just remember to breathe.
  • The time change. I HATE that it gets dark at 4:30 pm now. GRRR! Bring back summer nights and sunlight until 8pm!

 So that’s been the last months of the semester in review. From the end of summer to now the end of 2011, it has been a journey getting here. In fact, as I look back, this journey began at the beginning of the year with the application process, letters of recommendation, and the oh-so-fun GRE’s.  What a wonderful and challenging year it has been! Cannot wait to see how my blogs will develop as I travel through 2012.

Happy Holidays!

Change Starts with You

I love the power of social media. The fun facts, news, random posts and just plain weird stuff that people disclose.  But with all that good stuff comes the bad, and boy, is there a lot of it!  Have you ever given a second thought about it? Look away,hit delete, block it. As long as it doesn’t directly affect you, why bother caring about it, right?

Have you ever asked yourself  “Who does it affect?”  Ever took action?

This week produced a series of events that led up to me answering that question.  Last week I was reading CSULB’s Daily 49er online, and the author had reported about a blogger at CSULB who takes photos of young woman in tight clothes,and then adds the most inappropriate comments to it. Naturally curious, I followed the digital breadcrumbs from his blog to his Twitter feed and was blown away by the disgusting and completely offensive material in front of me. I was so enraged that this guy had followers, lapping up his disgusting comments about woman, their body parts, and what he’d like to do to them. I honestly felt like his behavior was showing signs, that if not corrected, would lead down the path of a sexual predator. The fact that other people followed him sickened me even more. Why wasn’t anyone telling this guy off?

I blasted his Twitter feed with my thoughts of his disgusting comments, and flagged the feed and blog as inappropriate, in hopes that site administrators would take it down. After that, I honestly forgot all about it.

Fast forward to yesterday. I was in one of my Leadership Academy workshops, and the topic was Ethics. We looked at Ethics from all angles, but primarily from a business perspective. What are ethic business practices, what are the gray areas, etc. The topic then turned to cheating, and the question was posed;  “When it doesn’t affect you, then why bother interfering”. I thought about that sick bastard online.

I told the group that while it may have been easy for me to simply not return to his website anymore, or hit delete, I felt a stronger obligation towards the other woman he’d photographed. Would you take action if you saw a picture of your roommate, girlfriend, classmate? Furthermore, if nobody says or does anything, then doesn’t our inaction give him, and others like him, permission to continue the behavior? When the behavior is continued, my belief is that is that guys like him may progress further into predatory behaviors. So while his stupid little blog really has no affect on my life, I felt a strong ethical drive to be the voice for those girls that had no voice,and to take a stand against a little shithead who thought he could get away with material like that.

So later than evening,I checked both the blog and Twitter accounts, and was elated to find that his accounts had been deactivated. I’m positive that it was the combined actions of people who refused to just ‘look away” that created such a positive change, albeit small.

So next time you come across something unethical, think not about its affect in your life, but think about what actions you can do to change it.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

Four Week Recap: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

It’s funny how you go through chapters in your life. They open, they close, they end with a  “to be continued”….

 My marriage was the beginning of a HUGE chapter. When I got my Bachelors degree, that closed a chapter that I had fought long and VERY hard for. Closing that chapter was so bittersweet and long overdue.  Now, four weeks into a chapter that I never thought would even be written in the novel of my life, I can say that I haven’t been happier, prouder and more at peace with my life.   

That being said, DAMN, I’m getting fat from the endless cycle of sitting, studying and snacking, my brain is exploding, I have no social life, my wardrobe is dwindling to work out clothes, because they are the most comfortable thing to wear when you sit and study for 8 straight hours, and it’s been tough connecting to students and creating new social opportunities. It has been a busy, crazy and blissful 4 weeks, and here is the summary of it all.

The Good:

  • Starting!!! The first day of school was so amazing. The feeling of walking on campus for the first time can never be duplicated.
  • The Campus. It’s beautiful, spacious and full of bricks, art and trees.
  • Meeting the students in my program and hearing what interests them, their motivations and why they are at CSULB.
  • The anticipation of meeting the professors for the first time.
  • The gym. Glass, brick and full of attractive people.
  • The food. Great variety, tasty and reasonably priced.
  • The variety of ways to get textbooks. They are expensive and heavy. Thank goodness for ebooks, book rentals, Amazon and half.com.
  • There are chalkboards in bathroom stalls. So weird and so cool!
  • Learning new, fun, exciting concepts and ideas. Being challenged.

The Bad:

  • Parking. Is there a college campus where you don’t stalk a student for their parking space?
  • Tuition. Tripled in the last 5 years. Less classes, more money, longer time to graduate. Booo!
  • Bitter professors. See above. They are battling a lot, but really, try to understand it from our perspective too.
  • My commute. Honestly, it’s about 70-90 minutes, and not THAT bad, but wouldn’t it be nice to live closer…

The Ugly:

  • Fashion choices of freshman girls! Wow, it’s either short, transparent, or….slutty.
  • Fashion choices of freshman boys! It’s either grungy, sloppy or just plain dirty!
  • The halls of the Kinesiology department. haven’t been renovated since the 60’s. Ugh.
  • The smokers who sit right by classrooms doors. gross!
  • The crazy guy who spewed his religious crap the other day.
  • The other guy masturbating in the bathroom.

It’s amazing what the first four weeks brought, and if the the next two years is going to be like this- wow, this chapter is going to be one hell of a good read!

Excessive Studying Leads To… Rocky Horror?

So on Thursday the 22nd, I have not one, but two ( 2!)  big projects due in my Stats class. Like a diligent and obedient student, I have dedicated many, many hours to achieving what I presume to be utter perfection,and expect nothing but the highest of scores on each assignment.

imageThis one little project, a research article critique, cost me over 15 hours of my life. So  much could have been accomplished in those 15 hours: Facebook status updates, bikini-clad car washes, jogging down the boardwalk in my daisy dukes….. Ha ha. I kid, I kid. The work comes at a high price. With an investment of 8 straight hours yesterday, 6 the day before, and 8 hours today,  I have begun to go a little crazy.

Two things come to mind in my delirium: Rocky Horror Picture Show, and a good Merlot.image

(Riff Raff) It’s astounding
Time is fleeting
Madness takes its toll…

(Magenta) Ahh…

(Riff Raff) But listen closely…

(Magenta) Not for very much longer…

(Riff Raff) I’ve got to keep control.
I remember doing the Time Warp.
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me.

(Riff Raff & Magenta) And the void would be calling.

(Guests) Let’s do the Time Warp again.
Let’s do the Time Warp again

Enjoy!

Week Of Wherearewe?

WOW. I have said that many times over these past 2 weeks. From the fashion choices of the ladies here, to the speed in which I travel to and from school, from the endless food choices on campus, and to the diversity of the student body at CSULB.

Thursday brought on another WOW. This time, about the Organization Fair at “Week of Welcome.”

What is W.O.W?  It’s the love child of a job fair and Rush Week. 😉

As I walked up the countless flights of stairs to the Commencement Lawn, this is what greeted me:image

Again, WOW! That is pretty cool. I have some very special people in my life that are die-hard sailors ( go SNIPE!) and I smiled fondly thinking of them. I may have gills, but it’s solely without equipment where I am at my happiest. Well, ok, give me a BC and 100 feet of viz, and I am REALLY happy. I digress. The sailboat was really cool, but I declined a request to join the sailing team. (Sorry, Aine!)

What was not cool were the 12 or so religious based organizations that, as I walked by, jumped in my face with ‘ Excuse me, are you saved?” or ” Will you go to Bible Study with me?” This one was the best: ” Would you like to know how to escape Hell?”

I’m born and raised a Southern California girl, but I truly believe in a different life I was a native New Yorker. My mouth and attitude have gotten me in trouble on more than one occasion, and it was all I could do to rein that girl in, smile politely and press on with a curt “No thank you, I’m not interested.”

Which then lead me to think; “What was I interested in?” One of my goals as I attend CSULB is to break out of my comfort zone, and look for opportunities that could spark some different interests.  So, I strolled along the sidewalk and drank in what all the CSULB clubs had to offer. WOW, the choices.image

Pagan/Wiccan club…. hmmmm… yeah, no.image

I had a good laugh at the Gamers Club, and the Anime Club. It might as well be high school all over again.

Glanced at all the clubs that were of the “helping the world’ category ( Green Peace, Invisible Children, Animal Rights, American Red Cross, etc)  Good for you!

Then came the “Cultural/ Ethic” clubs. I found them fascinating, but where was the ” I’m-just -a-white-girl” club?

 Man, I need some serious flava.

At the very least, I could join the German club, but there was none. Disappointed with lack of representation there, I continued on.

Something shiny and pink caught my eye.  I walked over to, and was taken aback, by the sights, smells and sounds of what I will call the “Greek Isle”.  One long pathway filled with Beta’s, Gamma’s, Zeta’s, Tri-Delts, Lambdas and Sigmas. Attractive girls and guys “tabeling” & recruiting for their respective sorority/fraternity. Again, my inner New Yorker wanted to punch the teeny-bopper 19 year old who bounced, yes, bounced, up to me and said “Like, do you wanna join a great sorority? We do philanthropic work, throw fun parties and do lots of great stuff?”

Oh, to be 19 again.   🙂

I simply smiled, gave her the buddy-tap on the shoulder,and walked on, thinking: Honey, I’m in my 30’s, married, thinking of starting a family, and you think I would be a good candidate for your sorority? I snickered and kept walking.  The image of me, pregnant, going through the hazing process ( dry recruitment, my ass) had me smirking for hours.

I  passed through the throngs of perfectly manicured nails,coifed hair, fake tanner and coconut smelling sunblock to find myself among what could be generally labeled as Career & Professional Development clubs.  These are the groups that are Engineers, Health Science people, math club, political clubs, etc.  The feminist in me was really excited to see a “Woman Engineers club” on campus…go girls!  Overall, I was really impressed with the solid representation of the diverse interest groups that came out to ‘holla’ at us newbies.  I picked up info from some Marketing Club kids, and the Beachmasters, which is CSULB’s chapter of the famous Toastmasters Club. I do, on occasion, stand in front of a few hundred people and banter on about Motor Learning theories and skill acquisition in aquatic environments, so I know this is good for me.

I rounded my tour of the Organization Fair to find…MY PEOPLE… well, sort of. I hit up the the CSULB Triathalon club,  said hello to the CSULB Breakers( Jabawokkeez, anyone?)  the Hip- Hop club, the Archery club, the Shotokan Karate club and the Salsa club, which I was so excited about, until I found out they meet during a time I am in class. Sorry, Dr. C, I can’t make it to class today, cuz I need to shake my booty at Salsa Club….. yeah,no dice.

I said hello to the President of the CSULB Recreation Society. This is the one group I am interested in, considering I am directly involved in parks and recreation in San Diego already. Got some good info, shook a few hands, kissed a few babies, and moved on.

Suddenly, I realized I had missed the most important group, so I did a few laps around the course again, only to confirm that they were not there. Nothing. Not one club.

You see, the Kinesiology department on CSULB is one of the largest departments on campus, with a large student body, and a rather stellar reputation for producing great research and a qualified work force. So, that there was not ONE club that represented the Kinesiology department really surprised me. Where were we?

At San Diego State, we had the Future Physical Therapy Society and the Future Athletic Trainers Society. I thought that CSULB would have something similar. At CSULB, there are 9 sub-disciplines within the department, and it was a hard pill to swallow that for all the sub-disciplines, not one had united to form a club on campus.

On expressing my frustration to the Graduate Coordinator, he simply dismissed it that CSULB was a commuter school, and people in our program were simply too busy to organize a group. Sorry, I’m gonna call bullsh*t on that. There are plenty of Graduate students spearheading and successfully running clubs on campus.  In my opinion, it has nothing to do with busy lives, schedules, research, etc. It has everything to do with putting forth the effort of organizing a group of people that have similar interests , with the intention of creating  friendships, leadership opportunities,community service, and scholarships.  WOW, now I sound like a sorority girl!

So I think I have found a little niche, a little project, and a great big idea for a club. One that I have been very passionate about in San Diego, and one that I think may work up here at CSULB. One that will positively represent the Kinesiology department at CSULB, and represent a factor of the student body that I don’t think anyone has seen before.

A club that will finally shout out to the other clubs on campus ” Here we ARE!”