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The Fall ’10 Semester is Officially Over!

I did it! I am a straight A student. I don’t think I’ve been a straight A student since elementary or middle school. It wasn’t something I cared to achieve or saw much value in since I’ve always had good grades anyways. Now that I am trying to make myself attractive to a four year university and also trying to extrapolate what’s actually worth learning in the curriculum, I do care.

After a three year break from college, followed by a mis-directed return for one semester, and another four year break, I am quite proud of myself for finally getting it all together. Although, I shouldn’t say finally as I feel this is just the right time for me. The experiences I’ve had while not in school have allowed me to find my way to a true education, not just a degree. What I’ve learned outside of the classroom has enriched and directed my current choices of study in a way that couldn’t have existed had I followed the traditional path. I’m happy that this is the way it’s going for me. I don’t envy the usual timeline of others.

I actually took my last final exam Tuesday at 8:00am, but I felt I had to wait until all my final grades were in and I could confirm those four determined A’s were on my record. After fretting all day yesterday for my History teacher to post my final exam grade, I got my validation. Even though my A in Intermediate Algebra didn’t count towards my GPA, it did enable me to skip College Algebra and go straight into Trig. Still, my GPA is now up enough to apply to UT Austin (I’d done some damage to it 10 years ago) and that is one of my top priorities over this winter break.

On Tuesday after I finished my Algebra final, I rushed over to another campus for a meeting with the Chancellor. The invite was a benefit for joining clubs such as the Honor Society and Student Ambassadors, despite the fact that I wasn’t really active in either. I was very excited for the opportunity as I have been planning to send the Chancellor an audit or appraisal of my college over the break. I hadn’t anticipated an opportunity to personally deliver the message.

For almost two hours myself and five other students sat with the Chancellor and aired our grievances. It was a positive environment where we were well received and our thoughts and concerns were taken seriously and responded to with honesty and thoughtfulness. We were asked not just our names, but our history with the school, our majors and plans for the future. While I have some serious public speaking nerves, once I warmed up and felt comfortable I chimed in quite a lot. But then I did come with a 7 page document I rushed to hammer out the night before- including a chart of particular importance. Once I get going, I can really go. :)

The Chancellor expressed how impressed she was with us and hopes to secure seats for us to bring our concerns and ideas to the district at a meeting next month. I would love to do that! I also was invited to take over presidency for the Student Environmental Club, an offer I happily accept.

I will be making a series of videos on what I brought up at the meeting. I want to really drive home my concerns and elaborate on the ideas as I wasn’t able to do in sharing the floor with other students in a limited amount of time. Once done, I really think others could benefit from seeing it. Maybe it will encourage other students to seriously address their school administrators.

If there’s one thing from that meeting that was of particular value to me, it was affirmation that it is a students obligation to themselves and the academic community at large to play an active role in your schools operations. You do not and should not just sit back and let things happen to and around you – get involved! You a have more power than you may realize, and there are surely those in administration who want to hear from you. In other words, be a leader, not just a follower. Sometimes you’re the student, and sometimes you are the teacher as well.

While the semester may be over, I am no less busy. I have a show this Sunday to get ready for, a bright, shining UT Austin application to assemble, a house to prepare for market, some top secret activities to plan, and oh yes, algebra review and trigonometry preparation. And there’s still more where all that came from – busy, busy.

I must say that despite it being very clear to me that college is not the institution of brilliance that it would like to be seen for, it feels great to be succeeding in that environment. I have the motivation, direction and clarity that I lacked in the past and it has made all the difference. I’ve registered my classes for next semester and I’m so excited for 2011 – I hope school continues to be a success for me and you as well!

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Dogs Help Students De-Stress During Finals

I love this idea! Dogs helping students de-stress during finals – I could definitely use that! My mom’s beloved sweetie-pie Lhasa Apso, Vincent (r.i.p), was a part of the PAWS Across Texas, an animal assisted therapy program and I always thought it was such a wonderful thing.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/stressed-students-go-to-the-dogs-before-finals-23517040

Hip-Hop Holiday, Pt. 1

I am not a big rap or hip-hop fan. Pretty much the only reason I ever listen to it is because it can be great to dance to, like pop music. As far as most of the lyrics and characters who “rock the mic”… I find the things they rap about shameful and disrespectful to those who struggled against such adversity for equality. I really wish my black brothers and sisters would have more integrity than to stand there rakin’ in the benjamins for bragging about superficial bullshit and being obnoxious. (I could clearly go on.)

There are rappers and hip-hop artists who got it right though. I get excited when I discover a beat poet who actually says something worth listening to- and makes my head bob. So, I’m going to share a few of those people with you. I have no doubt I’m way out of the loop on worthwhile artists in this genre, so please share if you know someone I should be listening to! :)

First though, this is a great video that gives me hope about the rest of the sold-out mic rockers.

And now for Mr. Lif, droppin’ more knowledge on you.

A Holiday Thought

I’m so behind in my posts – end of semester, finals, registering for Spring, holidays – and you know I’m not a master blogger, yet. :) Here’s a quick one for you though, a comment I appreciated on a post from  Yahoo!Green. Normally people’s comments are half-informed, judgmental, quite ignorant, and totally obnoxious. This comment is an actual quote that I’m sure I’ve heard before, but was glad to be reminded of (even if they were maybe spamming the post).

Lot’s of new (back-logged) posts coming next week after finals & my holiday return to the burlesque stage- oh la-la!  :)

(see original article here)

Posted by Jim Wed Dec 8, 2010 7:23pm PST

A Holiday Thought… Aren’t humans amazing? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed. Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them.

This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer. So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”                                                                   ~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates

Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: veganvideo.orgtryveg.com

“Any great change must expect opposition because it shakes the very foundation of privilege.”                                                    -Lucretia Coffin Mott, 1793-1880  (minister, women’s rights leader, abolitionist, peace activist, humanitarian)

Some people can ignore it, I can't.

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