Spring is Sprung!

Happy Equinox!

The weather has been really nice here for the last few days. Quite a while, if you don’t count the freezing and snow we had last week.

Good timing since I wrapped up my last two finals of winter term yesterday. As my Biology instructor put it, ” You guys hit the lottery. You get the last final time slot on the last day of finals.” Oh yay! At my school finals week always falls on the week of my birthday. Last year, I had a final on the day of my birthday, but I was all done by the next day so my Spring Break was extended by 2-3 days of free days where my son was at school and I was not. This year, I did not have a final on my birthday. But, I had two on Friday and my son was home sick on my birthday. Overall, I think I’d rather have one on the day and finish up earlier.

So, here is my winter quarter wrap up:

Drawing:

 I enjoyed this class. I was hoping to learn some more technical drawing skills and I think I did. The final grades haven’t been posted yet, but I’m expecting an A. My teacher had lots of interesting things for us to draw which I liked. I really meant to post more pictures from this class, but I’ve been having an argument with my computer or WordPress about uploading photos. So, until I sort that out….

Yoga:

This class surprised me the most as far as what I learned. I tend to forget that yoga is more of a philosophical exercise than a physical exercise when I’ve been away from it for a while. My instructor thanked me for being in her class because I taught her so much. (Mostly about how to modify the poses so my roly-polyness can do them.) In the final class, she had us each (well most of us) lead a sequence. Ack! Panic! What? I am torn between wishing that I had some time to prepare and practice what I was going to do and the knowledge that I would have worked myself into a lather that would be counterproductive to the yoganess of it all. Here was my strategy: Start the sequence and then follow the instructor who was supposedly following me. Worked out pretty well. And like most of these things, wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I expect to get an A in this class as well. Mostly you have to show up. and I did.

Human Sexuality:

This class was oddly disappointing. I’m not sure what I thought going into it, but somehow this wasn’t it. Oh well. It was still a good class. I learned some stuff I didn’t know and will be receiving an A. I guess that’s all you can really ask from a class.

Creative Writing-Nonfiction:

I really had a good time in this class. I learned to pay closer attention to my reading and that I like writing longer essays. We had to write two 8-12 page essays for this class which was challenging, but good. I’ll be getting an A- in this class.

Biology:

I’m not sure what grade I’ll be getting in this class. There are a couple of variables that won’t be made clear what effect they will have until the final grade is posted. The final is designed in sections, so that if you did better on a section of the final, then that grade will replace the grade for the exam from earlier in the quarter. So, I’m not sure how that went. Plus, I’m not sure how I did on the final overall. We’ll see. I’m confidant that the lowest I might get would be a B. I’m not worried. On the subject of grades, this instructor chooses not to give minuses or plusses because he feels that we get robbed of the A+ and so he doesn’t give any of them.  

So, it’s officially spring and I’m officially on break. Not sure what the week has in store. If  I’m good, there will be a lot of cleaning involved. If I’m bad, there will be a lot of parks and adventures. If I’m lucky, there will be both. One never knows, does one?

Update: Biology grade is B for sure. I’ll take it. Now, I’m officially done with required science  classes for my art degree!

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I’m Not Dead!

Forgive me bloggers for I have sinned. It’s been two weeks since my last posting.

Ugh. I feel really bad about it. But, I had a lot of assignments due all at once this past week (and an exam) and just had to keep plodding away at them until they were done. Now that most of them are finished, I feel like I can take a few minutes to focus here.

I’d like to just take a couple minutes to notice that I’m alive.

That’s something my yoga instructor said in class the other day. Just breathe and take a moment to notice you are alive. That maybe your back hurts or you have tension, but you are alive to feel it. Take a moment to feel the energy moving through you. Ground yourself to the Earth, feel connected to the energy from the Earth so you can draw strength from it.

So, I’d like to invite you to join me in noticing we’re alive.

Another thing we do in yoga is yogic breathing. First you just watch and notice your breath. Sometimes just paying attention to the breath can cause you to change your breathing, perhaps deepening it. Then after a few minutes you deepen the breath on purpose. You inhale, filling your belly, then chest, and then the area behind your heart.

Then pause.

Then exhale, releasing the belly, the chest and lastly the area behind the heart.

Then pause.

And feel the emptiness.

Then repeat.

We usually just do three rounds of yogic breath. You could take as much time as you want with that, though. I’ve been cautioned in other classes that I’ve taken that you might sometimes feel lightheaded from it when you first start out. I’ve also had other classes where the goal of the breathing (after you’ve done it for a while) was to do it in counts of four. Breathe in four, pause four, breathe out four, and pause four. But, those pauses can be rough. So, I think it’s nicer to just pause a moment to notice the emptiness or fullness as we do in this class.

So, this is my invitation to you this day, this week, this year….

Take a moment to notice you are alive.

and don’t forget to breathe!