The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 21

This is all about summer.

There are a lot of things about summer that I am grateful for. Summer is usually when I have the most time off. The time when I can lay by the pool everyday, wear shorts and sandals, and enjoy the fact that my mom has three months off without school.

Summer=time to recharge

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This year summer means Scotland. Summer means traveling, adventure, and then going home after two very stressful years. I’m still worried about what will happen when I get to Scotland. I’m worried that my apartment will fall through and I will have to look again for a place to live. I’m worried about sending my stuff on to Scotland, and having clothes and shoes that are professional enough for work, but fun enough for vacation. I’m worried about finding a job when I get there, and being able to afford all of the upfront costs of the visa, my rent, food, and phone and internet.

I am looking forward to summer though. Summer in Scotland is something that I have yet to really experience. I’m excited for the festival, excited to sit in the park and read a book, excited to watch the military tattoo. I’m excited to hike up Arthur’s Seat and not get caught in the rain (or a snow flurry). I’m looking forward to sunny days to explore new neighborhoods, reaclamating to Scotland.

I have 11 days left in the US. Tomorrow I will start packing and get ready for the move, and for the trip to Spain. I’mm not looking forward to this part of the process. There will be tears…lots of tears, for all of the shoes that I am going to have to leave behind.

The Scamp and the Circus

Not much shows up when you google “circus yoga”. When my study buddy/friend suggested that we meet at the beach and do some circus yoga, I was not sure what to expect. The qualifying exam is tomorrow, and I knew I needed something to relax my brain and break away from study mode. As test approaches, I have been getting more and more anxious, and doubting myself more and more. The idea of trying something new, and hanging out with my study buddy outside of a school setting seemed like the best way to spend a Wednesday night.

Circus yoga did not disappoint. The instructor was this hippie surf chick with long blond hair and a warm warm welcome. She was amazing. Her name is Soyela (you can find her here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Soyela-Yoga/512636495491305). The way her class works is you do a mini yoga routine to stretch and limber up, and then you do acroyoga, hula hoop yoga, and yoga on a slack line (that last one is just as hard as it sounds). There were three of us from study group there, plus the sister and a friend of the girl that invited us. There were three other people who are regulars there, and everyone was super nice.

I felt great. It was nice to be out laughing on the beach hitting myself in the face with a hula hoop and learning to fly. What follows capture the night better than I can do in words.

 

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Sisters learning to trust each other

 

 

 

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Soyela teaches me to fly.

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She teaches Lorena how to trust

 

 

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We look good from any angle

 

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Study buddy and I learn to trust the process

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Not a bad way to end the day

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3 fierce warriors take on Warrior III

 

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I think circus yoga bonding night was a success!

 

The qualifying exam is tomorrow. The reference sheet is printed, the relaxation is happening, and I am about as ready as I can be. I have no choice but to pass because I do not want to have to take this test again.

Tomorrow, I will be a free woman.

The Scamp and the Travel Bug

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This summer there is an alumni event for the University of Edinburgh in Toronto. I am not Canadian, and the three days of Canadian alumni themed lectures and activities. There is no reason for me to go. I’d have to take two days off of work, miss one of the summer school classes, and would lose a day or two of studying for the qualifying exam.

There is also the small detail of paying for a plane ticket.

So why I am thinking about going? Seriously, seriously considering it. One of my good friends lives in Toronto and would be down for a visit, I’ve never been to Canada, and I am feeling restless here. This weekend will mark my one year anniversary of being back in the States, and I have yet to really readjust to the life I have here.

So while I should be studying for my last final of the semester, I am looking up flights to Toronto and trying to figure out if I can really afford the trip both monetarily and in terms of time.

 

A Scamp Gets Ready for Summer

In the last 24 hours I have spent more time on campus then I have at home. I spent the day reviewing statistics and writing a paper that will hopefully change the lives of three hundred people.

I rewarded myself with an hour by the pool today. My first tan of the summer. Armed with a trashy romance novel, a hat, and sunscreen for the ink, I set out to unwind after a really really really long and emotional few days.

The trashy romance novel was bad (is bad), but there was a part of it that really stuck with me.

I used to believe that time was linear, that one event followed another. One action; one consequence. However, now, I sometimes have the sense that everything, all that I know, believe and experience happens in a great swoop of chaotic activity like the tumbling of dice in a cup.

This pretty much sums up my life right now….that great swoop of chaotic activity.

This pretty much sums up my life for the last year. I have been a swirl of work, school, homework, and a bad relationship. In 15 days I will celebrate one year of being back in the States. I say celebrate, but it is not really a celebration. I have been here for almost 365 days, but I have yet to really come home.

While I wish the tan and trashy romance novels were really how I was getting ready for summer, in truth, the way I am getting ready for summer has more to do with Excel spreadsheets, educational history, philosophies, and leadership frameworks. I will find time to feed my tanning addiction, but it will be with color coded flashcards, Paulo Freire, and Frederick Irving Herzberg. I have three classes and a qualifying exam this summer, so it will be a little more work and a little less fun. It is very reminiscent of the place I was in last year when I was writing my thesis…..well, ok, I wasn’t in class two days a week for 6 hours at a time, there was no need to learn about budget and finance, and there was no grueling (and somewhat pointless) test to take, but the feeling of a summer of discontent is pretty close to the same. I am not worried about passing the exam. I don’t want to take it, but I know that if I spend the summer properly preparing, I will have no trouble writing two very well thought out essays. 

…as long as I can fund the motivation to do what I know needs to get done.

I have to keep reminding myself that I chose this. I signed up to get the degree, and that means doing all of the ridiculous things that come with it. The good thing is, if I survive the summer then I will be that much closer to being able to do my own research. I am very much looking forward to that day.

I’m 33% done with the program.

That is 33% closer to being called Dr. Scamp and moving on to my next adventure.

The Scamp Orientates

I should have known I was in for a long day when the orientation retreat email did not have an end time listed for the day. The retreat started at 9, which to me was reasonable, and I assumed it would be a lot like summer school and I’d be back home by half three.

I made it home by 5, and that was only because I evaded the meet and greet dessert reception with other cohorts. The day-o-fun was not scheduled to end before half 7.  It was quite a day. It started with get to know you games complete with scattagories, Disney Princess jigsaw puzzles and beer pong (well, there was no beer in the cups, after all it was only 10 am). I hate get to know you games, but I was seated at the kid’s table (or so I am calling us…we are all the same age and a bit younger than most of the people in the room) and they were willing to make jokes, laugh through the games, and generally keep me from wanting to crawl under the table and play Candy Crush on my phone.  We had to try and define culture and suss out what is valued in education, and what is not. I was so uninterested in the day, that during a brainstorm session on professional ethics, I joked that it was okay to date your professor as long as you were both single

…..that one didn’t go over so well.

I also learned that I start school on Tuesday……as in 3 days from now. I thought I started first week in September, so needless to say, I have no books yet, just got my parking permit, and haven’t figured out whet room my classes are in. Thank sweet baby Jesus for the retreat today. I would have missed my first day of school.

The one good thing that came out of today was getting to spend some more time with the people I will spend a lot of time with for the next three years. I like all of them. 2 of them work with my mom, three of them are my age, and all of them have great senses of humor. I don’t know if any group can top the EdLang girls in terms of amazing cohorts, but this will be pretty darn close.

Because I don’t know how to read a calendar, I am spending my last free Saturday night being tortured by the sounds of Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza….I think my ears are bleeding.

Tomorrow I am going to lay by the pool, finish reading the philosophy 101 book for Tuesday night, and try to get some nice solid tan lines. Life as I know it ends on Tuesday.