Sunday, January 23, 2011

No room in the parking garage

With the upper level closed to do snow and ice, this is how you find a place to park in the parking garage: troll the lot nearest to the stairwell, watch for an unsuspecting student to emerge from said stairwell, stalk follow the student until they reach their parking spot, hover until they have started their car and pulled away, then immediately whip your car into the vacant spot. If someone else tries to steal your student and take the spot you have so carefully cultivated, there is always TAWANDA.

Seriously, this is the only way to find a parking spot! Every time we get a little snow the upper level of the garage is closed. I'm not sure why the snow up there is considered more dangerous than the snow covering all of the outside parking lots, but there you have it. The upper lot has been closed during three of my four days of classes this semester and it was taking me almost half an hour to find a place to park before I figured out how to troll for a student. My work actually closed down on Thursday due to snow, but my school was one of only two in the area that chose to remain open. Students and professors alike were befuddled. I was just disappointed that my snow day was interrupted by school. The roads were not at all clear during the drive to campus, but were mostly just wet for my return home. We only received about three inches; it was the timing of the snow, during morning rush hour, that was the problem.

Here's hoping for a foot of snow and a snow day from work and school!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Renaissance: rebirth

And so the second week of school has begun. I have two Ozarks studies classes and a history class about the Renaissance. Thus far, I have not figured out exactly when the Renaissance took place; is it part of the Middle Ages or the Dark Ages or the Medieval Times or all of the above? There has been a lot of talk about the bubonic plague and the Hundred Years' War and various French and English kings and their progeny, but not much about the Renaissance. That is, unless I have missed that part of the lectures, which is quite possible as this particular professor is aptly known for speaking softly and mumbling. Now, having been in numerous Spanish classes I have considerable experience surviving classes where I don't understand what is being said and don't know what is going on. Hopefully that experience will prove beneficial this semester.
It is a good idea to learn to survive in, and adapt to, many different types of situations. Changes we make in our lives may lead us into unknown territory. The more skills and experiences we have available to us, the better equipped we will be to succeed. On a cold Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I took a basic survival class. We learned to start a fire, filter water, and to build a shelter. We were quite proud of our little shelter and are looking forward to next month's intermediate survival training. Who knows when my survival could depend on my ability to start a fire or construct adequate shelter against the elements? I just know that I enjoy the adventure and novelty of learning new skills; whether or not I ever need them is beside the point. But just in case, I want to be ready!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Theme for 2011: Freedom

Freedom from addictions:

  • Farmville - I have enjoyed playing the game and have made some new online friends, but it is time to give it up. It takes up far too much time that could be better spent in more fruitful endeavors. I shut it down yesterday and today I am feeling only slight FV withdrawals. So far it has not been as difficult to stop playing as I thought it would be.

  • Overeating - I'm an emotional eater so I can always find an excuse to eat. I'm also taking medication that makes me want to eat constantly, so I have a double whammy here. I'd like to find a way to redirect the impulse to be eating continuously and to change the types of foods that I eat. I will have to find a way to prepare healthier recipes when I have very little time to cook.

  • Salt - I've been a saltaholic my entire life. My doctor warned me of the dangers of high blood pressure, to which I responded that my reading is always low and I have been over-using salt for years. He glibly responded that I would not be young forever. Right. So I'm going to attempt to be free of my need for everything to taste of salt. I wonder what food will taste like?

Freedom from negative thought patterns:

  • Negativity - This will be the most difficult. I feel that my workplace is somewhat toxic and most certainly dysfunctional. Negativity prevails on a daily basis. Some of the negativity is mine and I despair of changing anything, but I have to try.

  • Positive choices - This one ties in with the need to conquer negativity, only on a more personal level. I need to free myself to make choices that are in my best interest and try to leave the guilt behind. I seem to be a carrier of guilt and I'm not sure why. I want to believe in myself and my decisions even if no one else does.

  • Freedom from fear - Well, not really. Fear is not always a bad thing and I don't expect to ever be free of it. However, there comes a point when fear ceases to protect us and instead simply becomes paralyzing. Self-doubt frequently prevails. I don't want this to be the norm for my life.

I've realized that the only way to change my life is to change myself. Wish me luck!