Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Taking Stock

Having a really decent week. Kind of weird to feel this way when my circumstances haven't changed. Nifty what a little focus and positive thinking can produce. Looking forward to an OT check and more OT on the way helps too.

Outside: other words, gorgeous. It's March in Florida out there.

Inside: little noisy, little boring

Wearing: hair's getting delightfully unruly. May as well enjoy it...once it gets stupid-hot, I'll wear it back or up more.

Creating: Cowl de Printemps in KnitPicks Stroll in Pumpkin, and a curriculum of study.

Reading: The Creators, Heart of Darkness, College Algebra, and Human Antiquity.

Going: nowhere for now, but SC trip coming up soon.

Don't really need this category this week. To say I'm hoping to stick with my studies or eat better or exercise, implies I'm expecting failure...and I'm all about eliminating self-fulfilling prophecies.

Last night I unwound with my usual Kindle solitaire and mah jong...but then I cracked the College Algebra, determined I need a calculator to maintain sanity while studying that, set it aside and cracked the Anthro text, reviewed the first chapter and read the second, and put myself to sleep knocking out the 2nd chapter of Boorstin. It feels fantastic to be feeding the brain this way.

Don't grownups use calculators? The Texas Instruments website was educational...I guess since most adults only need basic math functions, they just use computers (and computer calculators) now, for bills and such. The TI store is geared to the needs of high school age and under. Makes sense, I guess, since engineering and business students and the like just do everything by computer now...but it was an eye-opener about how I need to shift my thinking. I graduated college in 1993 without ever using a computer. The simple act of learning is entirely different now, different resources to work from, different ways of using technology to assist in the process.

Great example: Encyclopedia Britannica just announced that they're going out of print, that the 2012 edition of their printed encyclopedias will be their last. This made me sad and nostalgic at first. My folks had Colliers in the house, but the schools I grew up in relied on Britannica and World Book as a key reference/resource. So I asked my Lil Sis, semi-recent MA, what she'd used for an encyclopedia in college, Britannica, Encarta? Her answer: nada...she worked in primary research, first-hand interviewing with compare/contrast against other resources (online articles, periodicals, journals, etc.). And I was reminded of how very different my schooling was from hers, how we weren't allowed to question anything or accept viewpoints outside of our textbooks. The first time I skimmed Howard Zinn's History of the US, it blew my mind, because it was so far afield from what I'd been told in public school. How sad that I had to get the hell out of school to become more of a free thinker, but that's exactly what happened. But the old ways of thinking are still set in my head, so that when I dip my toes back into the academic world, in however small a way, I'm greeted with a wall to scale first. I'm really looking forward to the climb.

Image from here.

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