Tuesday, March 1, 2016

There are places I remember...

From left to right, top to bottom: Dialaeliacattleya ControversyGlareEast India YouthCoolWhat a clusterf*ckDam BearSunset from the ballparkDump No Waste - Drains to StreamBay leaves and peppercornsZ FormationWith my parents and mother-in-lawGood morning 24th & MissionLooking at the crowdFamilySew Big

It's been over a year since my last post. A lot has happened, much of which I will not share here and now, but I will note I accomplished one of my major life goals: I finally completed my undergraduate degree. I'm a proud and happy member of Cohort Z with the Class of 2015 from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). I will don my cap and gown this coming May but my degree was conferred in December. 

This time last year, I left one City agency to work at another, not long after the Spring semester began. I was not confident about my ability to juggle a full time job and a full course load but I managed. At work, I changed my schedule from 5 days/week with 8 hour days to 4 days/week with 10 hour days so I could attend Friday classes. At times, I felt so in control over what I was doing and at others, I felt so scattered and tired.

In the midst of all that activity and learning, I thought I would minimize my concert-going schedule. Nope. I attended 26 events (compared to 30 in 2014), mostly concerts, along with a play and a lecture. Many of the articles and books I was assigned to read were available electronically so I read almost everywhere, including at concerts, while waiting for the bands to start and in-between acts. I was reading all the time to keep up with the work and to be an active participant during class and within the online class forums.

I also seemed to be writing a lot. It was great to practice something that gives me great anxiety. My anxiety stems from receiving feedback on my writing, and not from the act of writing itself. Not to say I am always confident that what I write is consistently worth sharing and reading but I became more honest and forgiving of myself in my attempts to write. I was surrounded by classmates, graduate student interns, and instructors who helped me work through my drafts and ideas.

I met some of the best people anyone could ever meet, so caring, full of integrity, and wisdom. My instructors walk their talk, working beyond the classroom to help make the world a better place, one day at a time. During our class check-in sessions, especially towards the end, I couldn't help but remark how thankful I was to have gotten to know such good people and how my being there, with them, was serendipitous.

I hope to share more about last year but I'll stop for now. I have some new music to loop endlessly while I build my online map for an upcoming trip to London. I'm excited to be visiting again and hope that the weather isn't as butt-cold as it was when Eric and I visited three years ago.