Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Times of my Life

I've been on many adventures in my lifetime. Considering my sheltered upbringing, I'm quite amazed and extremely blessed when I think of all I've had the opportunity to see and experience. I've visited San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Virginia, Newark, Albany, the five Burroughs of NY, Atlanta, Savannah, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Juarez Mexico, Baltimore, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Denver, Colorado Springs, Vancouver (Washington), Seattle, Portland, Vancouver British Columbia and the country of Ecuador. I've lived in Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, and of course, Phoenix.

While in my early years of college, I climbed (okay, was driven) up to the top of Pikes Peak mountain located west of Colorado Springs, at which time I practically had to get on oxygen due to the elevation of over 14,000 feet. Then a tour of the Cave of the Winds followed by a tram ride over the Royal Gorge. I've taken a ferry ride in northern Washington to Orcas Island for the opportunity to ride a moped around the island and take in Orca whales jumping in and out of the water. And I've visited Vancouver, B.C. a couple of times. Many adventures.

Then there was a Smithsonian Institute visit while in our country's capital of Washington, D.C. And a stop at Arlington Cemetery and a walking tour of Georgetown. Of course, I'll never forget my first visit to New York City at which time my friend and tour guide dragged me (at times, literally) to take in the Empire State Building, two Broadway shows, the Guggenheim museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and finally, a trip up to the observation deck of the one of tallest buildings in our country at the time (with pictures to prove it), the World Trade Center, the year before the towers fell. I've also been to the southern most point of our country found in Key West, Florida for some shallow water snorkeling. Many adventures.

I have camped at the base of Mount Rainier, near Seattle, and gotten stuck in a dry water flume that I had to climb my way out of with the hilarious, non-stop laughter of my camping buddies cheering me on. I've kayaked on Lake Union in Seattle and taken a helicopter ride over Mt. Saint Helen's (post volcanic explosion). I've walked portions of Central Park during each different seasons on different visits and saw Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden. I've attempted snow boarding in Lake Tahoe and I've seen the Grand Canyon several times. So many adventures. 

Most recently, I've visited the country of Ecuador to meet family and had the opportunity to stand on the equator, zero longitude and latitude. Many, many adventures. 

Yet, none of them equate to the adventure I've been experiencing for the past seven months. The fun part is beginning during this final trimester of my pregnancy and, in a few weeks, the birth of my son. This is the time of my life, as I bring a new life into this crazy, adventurous world. I'm beyond grateful and blessed. So many adventures. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Standardized Testing breeds unethical, pathetic teachers...

Although I'm not a proponent or fan of standardized testing (I hate them, actually), I do find it appalling that teachers, who are entrusted with the education of our children, choose to try and cheat the system by changing test scores themselves (see article by clicking on link below). This unethical behavior contributes to the breeding of a society below the standards expected (based off of tampered, unreliable test scores which make us look smarter than we are) and is done for purely selfish reasons. Increasing a paycheck, in this instance, does nothing for our children who eventually become adults. Adults who have been cheated out of a thorough and well-balanced education and who quite possibly end up in the lower-socioeconomic brackets of our society and end up living off of government assistance. Teachers who lie and cheat with regards to this not only are an embarrassment to my field, but a detriment to it as well.

The Search for a New Way to Test Schoolkids (USA Today)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Last Year vs. Today

Last year about this time I was...
  • Introspectively analyzing my life choices, actions and consequences;
  • In the midst of wading through one of the toughest personal challenges of my life;
  • Beginning a new aspect of my career in higher ed;
  • Unsure of what the future held.
Today I am...
  • Continuously analyzing my life choices, actions and consequences;
  • Appreciating the strength and support I had to get through one of the toughest personal challenges of my life;
  • Celebrating nearly a year of teaching college full-time, a wonderful new aspect of my career in higher ed;
  • Excited for the future and the new life I'll be bringing into the world.