Going Back to School ~

Okay Girls, we’re going back to school for a semester, what are you signing up for?

TracyTracy signs up for~

I have been spending time with my friend Kelsey who has completed her 3rd year in Human Kinetics.  Kels puts every ounce of her being into her studies, which is reflected in her marks.  Each time we talk I hear the wealth of knowledge she has acquired.  She is a young woman who has found what interests her, and can do anything she wants to.  There is no doubt that Kelsey will be the BEST at what she does when she completes her studies.  I wish I had been as focused as Kelsey when I was her age.

Kelsey has inspired me to think about what I would take if I was to re-enter school.  I know when it comes to school the opportunity is always there, it’s just how badly you want it.  I would take a real mixture of classes, some that would lend themselves to what I am doing right now, others that I just find interesting.

Creative Writing~ I am passionate when it comes to writing.  My Dad, Robert Westerholm, is a writer.  I really love how visual and descriptive his writing style is.  I can appreciate his passion for words when reading what he puts to paper.  Check out his website Caterwauls to get a taste of his style.  I have a love for words in general.  There are so many different writing courses that interest me, but I think I would like to try my hand at  romance.  My Dad has written one of the most  psychological  love stories I’ve read Acts of Empathy.  Inspiration is everywhere!

Silver-smithing~ I would love to learn how to work with silver to create unique treasures.  I used to make jewelry and love the creative process.

Spanish~ Si Aún me siento un vacío cuando se trata de aprender esta lengua y considera necesario seguir adelante con él, así que un día cuando me conecto los puntos veo por qué soy tan apasionado sobre el aprendizaje de ella.

(Yes I am still feeling a void when it comes to learning this language and feel it necessary to keep going with it, so that one day when I connect the dots I see why I am so passionate about learning it.)

Introduction to Theology~ Theology describes the study, writing, research, or speaking on the nature of gods, especially in relation to human experience.  Typically the concept includes the premise that such study is done in a rational, philosophical manner and can also refer to specific schools of thought – for example, progressive theology, feminist theology or liberation theology.  I love the conversations that lead to what we believe in and why.

So goddesses what would you sign up for if you could pick anything at all !!

jacquieJacquie~

I went back to school to work on a degree when I was 25 and at that time I thought I was old!  The most inspiring person to me was a new art history professor who, at age 61, had just completed her studies and was teaching for the first time in her life.  She was slightly awkward and uncomfortable but you could tell she loved the subject and that she knew what she was talking about.  I remember thinking how cool it was that she wasn’t letting age get in her way and, at a time when most people are thinking about retiring, she was just starting out.  Every time I begin to think I’m too old to start something new I think of her and push forward.

I recently read a very interesting article in the New York Times about the increase in enrollment at community colleges in America and how people eager to upgrade skills, or change to more financially rewarding careers, are willing to take night classes at unprecedented hours.  To accommodate all the new students, colleges have started offering courses starting at 6 am or night school classes that begin at 11:45 and don’t end until 2:30 in the morning!  I can’t imagine putting in a full day at work and then heading off to school until the wee hours of the night, but I applaud those who are doing it and wish them much success and fulfillment.  I always threatened my kids that when they were ready to go off to college I’d register for classes myself and be able to hang with them at the cafeteria and out in the Quadrangle.  I did take a few more art classes when Emilie started university and thoroughly loved it.  I’m looking forward to being a senior citizen as I believe we can then audit classes for free.  I’m going to go confirm that and report back as I’d hate to give false information.   OK, found it.  Check out Yahoo! Answers for the scoop.   If you’re willing to take classes without getting credit for them them you can do the audit thing.  I’d just want the learnin’ part so I’ll do it when I’m 65, for sure.

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie studies~

When I think about the idea of  “going back to school” I know deep down that I just like to fantasize about the learning.  I don’t really want to go to a college/university and sit in a class or lecture hall with a bunch of students half my age…but I do love the idea of learning new things constantly.   Sometimes I wish that all classes were open to everyone and anyone and I could just drop in on some classes and learn something new and interesting, but then leave if it started to bore me.  Without being in trouble or needing a note.  Yes, I admit, I’d like to flit from subject to subject, learning all the while but not being tied down to any one topic.  I’m sure this speaks volumes about who I am.  Perhaps if I’d studied psychology I’d be able to tell you.  I get bored and distracted quite easily.  Learn, learn, learn, NEXT!  And then there are the tests that come with going to school.  I hate tests.  I panic during tests and when I panic my mind shuts down, my memory disappears and I don’t see clearly.  Not a good attribute for a student.

My son is working on his business and entrepreneurial degree.  I’m very proud at how hard he works toward his goal.  I love hearing about the courses he is taking and I’ve often thought I’d love to take some of those classes too.  I doubt these courses would have interested me when I was younger but now that I’m *cough* older I realize the value in the business knowledge he’s acquiring and I’d love to be able to use it myself in business.   I think he gets flashes of that truth now and again too, but for the most part he’s just trying to get through it.  Right now he still has the stress of getting good grades, working to afford it all, and maintaining a busy social life as well.  If I were to go back to school now at this stage of my life it would only be for the joy of learning.  The grades wouldn’t matter, I wouldn’t have to worry about affording it, and as for a social life…let’s just say going to bed early every night would not be a problem for me.

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What makes you sweat, laugh and dance? Zumba!

My friend and neighbour, let’s call her “Lozz” (cause I do) talked me into going to the same ladies gym that she goes to.   In fact I also go to the same personal trainer and the same hair dresser.  I hope she doesn’t think I’m stalking her.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery right?  Anyway, our gym offers a class called “Zumba”.  I had no idea what it was all about but I liked the look of the posters.  Hip and fit looking girls and guys dancing and having fun.  I was curious but not enough to actually go to a class and check it out.  Lozz and I both said at different times that we wanted to go and see what it was all about, but sometimes I need a push.

A few weeks ago I went to see my massage therapist, Pam.   It turns out that she is one of the Zumba instructors at my gym! Kismet! I had to go now!  So I called up Lozz and asked her if she was willing to try out the class that night with me.  She was, so off we went.

The class is basically an hour of dancing to Latin or Latin- influenced music.  There was some Gypsy Kings, Shakira and even Ricky Martin as well as many I’d never heard before but all with great pulsating rhythms.  We  lined up in front our instructor who faced us on a raised platform.  There is no vocal instruction.   You watch the moves of your instructor and follow along…as well as you are able.  At first I was nervous because I thought I’d be all left feet, trip up and look foolish.  And I was in the beginning, but it didn’t matter because everyone feels like that when they start and no one has time to look at what anyone else is doing anyway.  It’s an hour of one great song after another.  All you have to do is dance.    It involves incorporating some traditional Latin dance moves like the Salsa, Samba and Merengues as well as modern Hip Hop and at times even a little Bhangra and Egyptian like moves thrown in.

As I’m imitating some of the moves of our instructors I’m aware that my 40 something body isn’t looking exactly like her sexy 20 something body and I have to giggle.  I catch myself thinking “If my husband could see me now” and then “If my son could see me now he’d be horrified!” and that makes me laugh out loud.  It all adds up to so much fun and one of the best workouts ever!  I’ve never sweat so much at the gym and at the same time enjoyed every second of the work out.  Is this really a work out?  Their tag line is “Ditch the work out, join the party!” It honestly does feel more like a party!

I highly recommend seeking out a Zumba class in your area.  The word ‘Zumba’  is  Spanish slang meaning  “to move fast and have fun”.   I’ll say!

Bonnie

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