Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thought provoking

After just finishing my first week of graduate school, I am reflecting back on all that I have learned in the past 5 days.  Honestly if I am asked to describe my first week in one word, I would have to say... INTENSE.  Classes go from 9-4 every day and then I have been spending 4-5 hours in the evening working on papers, reading, and projects.  So far it has been a good experience... overwhelming at times... but good none the less.

A couple of things have come up this week that have been thought provoking...

Why I am going back to school?  -A few months ago, in my blog, I posted  Dreams Come True. This really has been a recurring theme in my life.  I truly enjoy travelling, working with little ones, and teaching big ones how to work with little ones.  These themes are being combined in the research that I am currently doing so this is tying in all of my passions.  One of my professional goals has always been to get my master's degree and since I am passionate about working with little ones, what a better field that getting my master's in Early Childhood Education.  God has placed this desire on my heart and I will follow him as He continues to open the doors in His plan for me.  I am not getting my master's for career advancement or a better paying job (however if it happens that is fine!).  It is what He has called me to for right now and I am enjoying every step along the way.  Ultimately He only knows the plans He has for each of us. (Jeremiah 29:11)

What do you want to be doing in the next 5 or 10 years?   This question has come up several times this week on surveys from professors and discussions with classmates.  Whereas most of my classmates have listed getting a better job or opening their own center, my answer has been short and sweet... to be a wife and mommy.  At this point, God has not opened those doors so I will continue to pursue what He has for me.  However, at the point that those things change I will willingly lay down my professional life to be a wife and stay at home mommy.  Friends through the years have commented on the fact that I am so independent and goal oriented that it shuts the door on those things.  I truly believe that His timing is perfect and that He is good.  I have been given those character qualities as a gift and only God knows how I can best use them for His glory.

So overall I am throughly enjoying this chapter in my life and being able to continue my education.   God uses all we go through for our ultimate good and His glory!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The first day of grad school

Ok... it is almost 9pm and I have been sitting here since 6pm researching information on social development.  I have finally gotten a dozen resources so I am going to take a break and fill everyone who cares in on how my first day of grad school went. 

A few answers to key questions...
Where am  I???  University of Hawaii- Manoa getting my Masters in Early Childhood Education

my single room
Where am I living???  For the first time ever I am dorming on campus.  Moved in yesterday to what will be my home for the next month.

I am having to share a bathroom/shower with the entire hall.  This has taken some getting used to as I am used to living by myself.  A very helpful piece of advice from a dear friend was to bring a robe and rubber slippahs for the shower.

where I will be spending a lot of time!
Communal kitchen-  Everyone on the floor shares a kitchen... not too bad because it is a rather large kitchen and it is summer.  I did find it funny when I went to the kitchen to make breakfast this morning, there was a girl with a bag of fresh fish and she was cleaning the fish at 7am in the kitchen sink.  To each his own, I guess! 

Went to Costco yesterday with Nicci and stocked up on the essentials... fruits, veggies, water, and beans.  Should be set for the summer.

the view from my window
Back to the day at hand....  there are 20+ people in this cohort... 19 ladies and 1 guy... at this point I am taking 2 classes... one runs from 9 til noon the other runs from 1 til 4pm every day for the next 3 weeks.  The final week is an elective ... it runs from 8-4 everyday.  This is a jam packed summer...the instructors warned us today not to plan on having a social life for the next month.  I am thrilled that I planned ahead and got all of my pre-reading done along with my discussion notes and 15+ reflection papers written. 

So with that said... I am going to finish reading the five articles for tomorrow and I am going to bed!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Trial run on going vegan

As many of you know, over the past two months my health has been having some technical difficulties.  I have sought the advice of doctors, friends, naturopaths, family, and just about anyone who thought something would help... I have listened to all and followed several suggestions. 

One of the major changes has been what I eat... my new motto is if you are what you eat... and you want to be healthy then eat that way.  Several years ago in the goal to lose weight I started making changes... first to go was red meat and processed meat (ie sausage, hot dogs, etc)... then it was real milk but I kept eating dairy products (ie cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc) because they were just too good to pass up despite the reaction to my body... then it was switching to whole grains vs. white (bread, pasta, rice,etc)...more veggies and fruits... lean meats... and the list could go on. 

Lately due to the medical issues and turning to food to comfort... I have put on a few pounds and was finding my self getting very upset when I went to get dressed in the morning.  Things were not fitting like they did 3 months ago.  Argh!  So I started looking at what I was eating... what was benefiting my body and what was sabatoging my progress.  After looking at how my body was reacting to dairy I decided that had to go (bye cheese.... bye ice cream... BOOHOO!)... soy had to go... sugar had to go (did you know that 1 tsp of sugar inhibits your immune system for 4 hours!!!!)....then coffee with no sugar and no creamer (dairy or soy) is kind of hard to swallow so (sniffle sniffle) coffee had to go...  SOOOOO.... after all that is out... I am left trying a vegan diet for a while.  So far I am on day 3 and have lost about 5 pounds... granted I do realize that some of that is water weight but time will tell.  Now that the coffee withdrawals are finished I am feeling better... more alert... handling stress a bit better... and able to get a lot more accomplished!

Now I am not saying that I will be vegan forever but at least for the next couple of months or so we are going to change my thought pattern of eating to live rather than living to eat!  The key to eating vegan is variety... try all of the fruits and veggies, beans and legumes that are in your super market (or farmers market).  It is not the cheapest but health wise just in three days I am seeing a huge difference. 

Here is a sample of what is on the menu today....
Had a greens and strawberry smoothie with almond milk for for snack... lunch was bell pepper slices, cucumber slices, steamed okra, northern beans, and cherries... at this point not sure what I will have for dinner  but whatever it is it will be yummy!