05 March 2011

SAMB: Lent, again.

Lent is sneaky.  

I wasn't expecting it again so soon, but there it is.  I had not even reflected on what I did last year, I had to go back and read about it refresh my memory.  Perk to blogging, reading about things I would have normally forgotten. Perk to reader comments, responding with what item I had actually given up.

This year, I am more intentional that last year. I'm thinking about Lent a whole 4 days in advance, that is planning right there.  I'm already sugar-free and thought about continuing that.  I also thought about bread again but that didn't really get me excited either.  Talking to the hubs this AM, he asked "what about adding something?" Brilliant.  Sometimes I'm so focused that the simplest thoughts do not even occur to me. So for this lent, I'm going to add something. And that gets me excited. The addition will be a practice of some sort.  An activity that will draw my attention to the state of my being. 

There are a lot of mindfulness practices like yoga, mediation, prayer, relaxation, devotion, silence & solitude, breathing, and according to the Mindfulness Practice Center at the University of Missouri sometimes bells are involved. Bells seem like too much for me and might lead me to punch someone in the face, which would be opposite of mindful.

I guess I'll just wait and see what the universe choses for me by Wednesday and go with that. 

02 March 2011

You can't make this stuff up

On Saturday I write a mini-manifesto about my profession while sitting on my couch drinking coffee. 

On Monday I get an email from the National Academic Advising Association inviting me as part of a underrepresented (AKA not old white guys) population of academic advisors, to consider applying for the Emerging Leaders Program.  

The ELP partners current members with various NACADA leaders in a mentor/mentee relationship for 2 years of intentional professional development with the express goal to groom aspiring NACADA leaders.

I thought about it for all of a minute and knew I had to apply. 

I'm totally okay with being groomed. One step closer to world domination.

Here's a sneak peak at what I'm thinking about for the intro to my statement of intent:

"In the fall of 2006, I attended my first National Academic Advisor Association annual conference in Indianapolis, Indiana with a colleague from my office. I had recently taken on the role of professional academic advisor and thought attending the annual conference of the national association would be a great way to learn more about the standards of the profession.  Five years and four national conferences later, I grow even more passionate about advising and have found my place in a life-long profession."

It's kind of mushy. I kind of like that.

It's kind of wordy. I do not like that.

At least I have some initial thoughts down and time to think about this some more.

26 February 2011

SAMB: Saturday AM Blog

I didn't know a lot about college life growing up. Neither of my parents went to college, nor did my grandparents, aunts, uncles or the majority of my cousins as far as I know, except one.  Fortunately, the one cousin who did go to college, went to a really good one and after that, worked at really good ones and raised me with the assumption that I was headed to college after high school. I wanted to go far away, to the same college as one of my best friends in high school but my family couldn't afford it, so I stayed close which really was one of the best things thats happened to me. (Its great how in telling a story retrospectively you can summarize months teen angst, fighting, and drama down to "so I stayed close.")

College campuses are amazing places. I admit I'm spoiled because my alma mater and current place of employment is a recognized botanical garden but its not just historical structures and landscape design, its what happens in the environment. Although many parents consider sending their child(ren) off to college a gut wrenching loss, one which they may or may not survive, the best part of my year is fall semester when a new freshman class sends their parents back home and happily begin college life. The majority of the time, everyone adjusts. Students find their place in the community and parents adjust, well some parents can tend to have a harder time letting go than their student, but thats different story.

I have always enjoyed school because the structure, order, and rules make sense to me. It feels safe in that environment because I trust that someone is thinking about what is best for me as a student.  This particular Saturday morning I woke up thinking about what it could look like for me to complete a PhD program in something. I hope for the remainder of my professional career, I'm involved with higher education in some way. I want to make sure future generations of students know that someone is looking out for their best interests when it comes to learning. So when I'm feeling dreamy I get out the Google machine and look at programs in Higher Education Administration, Education Policy, Communication, Public Policy, English, Student Affairs, Sociology and whatever looks good that day.

Its a fun project, until I think about taking classes called "Research Methods" AKA Statistics and writing a dissertation but not really writing it, just starting it and ending up with the letters ABD (All But Dissertation) instead of PhD and then I panic and stop but it really is fun up until that point.

19 February 2011

Ode to Saturdays

I don't know how to write an ode (please don't tel Mrs. Nolan my AP English teacher) but I really like Saturdays, particularly Saturday mornings and just seemed like it was time to do something to let Saturday know that.

My body's natural alarm clock is set for 6:30am. Its been that way for as long as I can remember. I'm a morning person. I can go to bed at midnight and wake up one my own at 6:30am. I've gone to bed at 3:00am and woke up on my own a t 6:30am. Even though it's annoying at times that I can't have a lie in, over the years, I've really appreciated my Saturday mornings. As I fell asleep last night I was thinking about some of favorite things about Saturday.

Breakfast, first and foremost is one of the events I look forward to the most. During the week breakfast is determined by whats easy and portable and I head off to work. On Saturdays, the chances of me getting bacon increase greatly. Breakfast has always been my favorite meal. I learned how to make pancakes from scratch in grade school and that was the first recipe I ever learned by heart.

Quiet time. The advantage to being up when no one else is a pretty consistent time to be alone with my thoughts. Being the strategic, maximizer, arranger type that I am, I like to have a plan, and a back up plan for that plan and a workable alternative to both of those plans. Saturday mornings give me time to configure. Or stare into space. The choice is mine.

Today I've already enjoyed several hours of quiet time and once the hubs is up there is an Ernie's #3 breakfast in my future.

10 February 2011

Sugar free: Agave Nectar

Anyone who knows me can back me up when I say, I am not a spontaneous person. Nor am I lazy. But for reasons I still cannot understand, I keep doing things with little to no thought and no research.

First it was going sugar free. Then it was grabbing a bottle of agave nectar without know exactly what it was or how it would work.  I won't say I was desperate to find something to sweeten my coffee but I will say that after 1 day of drinking my morning coffee straight up, I was open to any and almost all options. 

The weekly trip to my local grocer, Hy-Vee, definitely took longer because I had to read labels of things I would normally just buy, like bread from the bakery. But I was thrilled to find multiple sugar free bread options provided by a local business, Uprise Bakery. I might have gotten carried away and bought a ciabtta and a sourdough loaf. I rationalize my choice because I did plan to use the ciabatta for the Mushroom and Herb Strata and so clearly two different breads were a necessity. 

And all that brings me to the agave nectar because that is where I landed after cherishing my moments with the bread. I had heard of it, once, last weekend,  and I figured I'd buy it because I figured it couldn't make things taste worse. Thankfully, that gamble paid off and I have found a lifelong friend which derives from the same plant as Tequila and boasts a lower glycemic index than honey. Now, if I only knew exactly what "glycemic index" meant.

07 February 2011

I'm a suger free lemming

As of today I've given up eating sugar (in the additive, not the fuirt form) for 30 days. I didn't give it a lot of thought. Someone suggested it. I figured can't be that hard and said okay, lets do this. Up until this morning when I tried to eat a organic whole grain waffle that someone decided to produce with honey as an ingredient, I thought it was a pretty good idea. Now, I wonder if this will fall into the category of "it seemed like good idea at the time."