I am in the process of finding a favorite layout for this blog so expect change to be constant. In the meantime, I am pushing myself to get in the habit of letting myself have fun with writing. Writing is one of my favorite things to do, yet I never let myself do it. Everything else seems more important, but as I am nearing the start of my 48th year on this water covered hunk of star orbiting rock we call Earth, I aim to change all that. So let’s see if I can make it from now until May 15th when I go on vacation without missing any days of blogging. Even if each one is only this long.
In October 2018 I took a couple of trips to Cadillac, MI. They were part of a personal field trip for my American Environmental History class at Western Michigan University. I attempted the trip the weekend of the 19th with my family but we were snowed out on the second day so I went back alone the following weekend. This post is based on the PowerPoint I submitted as my final project.
Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau. (n.d.). Old Indian Trail – Cadillac to Traverse City. Retrieved from Explore Cadillac
Michigan DNR. (2018, October 19). Displays for Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Museum. Cadillac, MI, USA.
Michigan DNR. (2018, October 27). Displays for Harrietta Fish Hatchery Self-Guided Tours. Harrietta, MI, USA.
U.S.D.A. (2018, October 27). Display for Huron-Manistee National Forest Baldwin/White Cloud District. Baldwin, Michigan, USA.
Wexford County Historical Society Museum Volunteer. (2018, October 19). Notes From My Visit. Cadillac, MI, USA.
With each new calendar year and each new school year I evaluate what’s going on in my life and what direction I want it to go. I always come back to writing. I decide I will push through whatever else is going on with my life and make my writing dreams come true; and then I get caught up in my schoolwork and taking care of my family and home and promptly forget I had decided to make my writing a priority.
This year I have a reason to do better. My husband started graduate school this month and I still have three semesters of part-time classes to get through before my bachelor’s is finished. Because my husband is a graduate student now, he no longer gets pell or other government grants and his student aid refund was much lower than we expected. Graduate students are of course encouraged NOT to hold a job while going to school so they can concentrate on their studies, so he hadn’t been looking one. (His employment as a student research assistant ended this week.) I have a part-time student job as well as my student aid, but it is not going to get us through summer. So, time to bring in some more cash if possible.
If you know anyone who needs a freelance writer. I can write on a variety of topics and my starting rate is $.10 per word. I have worked in libraries for over 15 years so I know how to research. For the last five years I have been taking classes which require a number of papers. I received an A on all of them (I would be happy to provide samples). My real world experience in libraries and restaurants required me to write employee handbooks and technical manuals so I am also comfortable with that type of writing. Creative fiction and non-fiction are favorites of mine and I will showcase samples in the near future.
Good luck getting your dreams and goals off the ground in 2019!
I was working alone today and decided to play some music on my phone while I changed filenames on our outdated Mac. I have access to a great service through my public library called Hoopla. I was browsing and saw they had Stevie Wonder’s album Songs in the Key of Life. I remember seeing this album cover at a neighbor’s house back when I was in Junior High. I was captivated with the artwork and wanted to listen to it, but could not. So I borrowed it today and started to listen. I was amazed when song eight (“Pastime Paradise”) started because I hear that music almost daily on my son’s mp3 player. It’s the music to “Amish Paradise” by “Weird Al” Yankovic, which I know is a parody of Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise.” I am still amazed that I went without hearing the song or most of the songs on this album for most of my life.
In a funny twist, I am taking a creative writing class and we are are currently studying how to do close reading of prose and poetry and one of our assignments is to change the words of someone else’s poem but keep the rhythm.
This is the kind of cool surprise I like from life.
I have a handful of goals to tackle this summer.
- Clear clutter
- Deep clean all rooms
- Learn how to use a schedule better
- Write more
- Read more
- Have fun with my family
I have never been great with goals. I have had dreams that I hoped would come true someday, but never figured out how to break those dreams down into goals. I took a Family Resource Management class last semester and learned so much more from it than I expected to. It has given me some tools to make my dreams come true. I wish I had a class like it in high school.
While number 6 might seem silly, it is necessary for me to make this a goal because I can get so wrapped up in the day-to-day cleaning necessary to run a household that I forget to stop working and have fun. If I don’t force myself to stop and take breaks I will work sunup to sundown on my days off and not do anything fun. That’s no way to spend any part of the year.
Let’s all remember to make room for fun this summer.
Spring semester is winding down. Even though we are still getting snow in this part of the country; summer vacation starts in two weeks. It’s surreal to be sitting under the heat vent and planning for summer.
It is also surreal to be planning for life after school. I am going to try to finish next year before I reach the maximum amount I can borrow from the Department of Education. It is going to be a hard semester, but I have my husband in my corner and will seek out help caring for my son as needed. I have never been good at asking for help, always wanting to be a superwoman instead, but I am going to try growing up and asking for help before I get in over my head and start panicking.
I also am going to make reading and writing for pleasure, and listening to music each day habits. If they are habits I will be more likely to de-stress with them even when my final year of school gets crazy and I feel like I don’t have the time to do anything fun.
I just read an article about the importance of play in helping kids find tomorrow’s jobs. Kids that play more often are better prepared for employment. Helping my son get a good job someday was not one of the reasons I decided to home school him, but play was. Schools are different than they were when I was a child. I had at least 3 recess periods in elementary school, my son had one. One 25 minute recess after his 25 minute lunch. The rest of the day filled with preparing for tests. He was lucky enough to have art and music at that school. I had hoped to continue with those classes, but the school and our family have had a lot of issues since we took him out of his homeroom during Christmas break. We have not made contact with one another about continuing the classes, but I may fix that next week. I often give people too much time to return my inquiries.
Home schooling has not been totally free and easy, but we are getting into the groove of it a little more each week. I am lucky enough to be able to do this right now because my husband and I went back to school and have student aid and student jobs that allow us to make our own hours. When we are done with school I don’t know if we will be able to keep home schooling our child, but I want to.
Today I feel like the world’s worst parent. I know I’m not, but I feel like it. I signed my son up for an art class and I knew today was the first day, but I didn’t get myself out of bed to take him. I had a reminder on my phone, but since I turned the sound off I never heard it. I have been feeling under the weather for a couple weeks, convinced I am just a step away from getting a full-on illness, but it never quite comes. I have been sleeping an insane amount.
I think the answer is to get into a new rhythm of getting up at the same time every day, but with working in the afternoons this semester and not having to get up to get my son to public schools on time it’s hard. It’s like after decades of sleep deprivation my body has said, “Yes, this is what you were supposed to do a lifetime ago! Sleep, sleep!” When will it be enough? How much recovery time do I need?
Life throws twists and turns often. Mine haven’t been that drastic and most of them I have implemented. I was getting ready to change majors and commit myself to going two years longer to finish a bachelors in a subject I am interested in and thought would have a higher income. I have been taking classes this semester that are required to get Bs or better in before the major can be declared. Currently I have a B in one and an A in the other. Lots of homework, 2 tests, and 2 exams left before next week shows the final grade.
I thought my son was better adjusted at his new school and it would be no problem to take traditional vs. online classes because I would still be able to pick him up from school each day. I didn’t count on a note from his teacher telling me that he was having trouble focusing on his own work instead of trying to help other kids with theirs. I know he’s like that at home but I assumed he was better at school. Then he started getting more notes sent home for various other things. His school is big and it’s packed with kids. He gets one recess a day and it’s at his lunchtime. When I was his age I had 3 recesses. School is different than it used to be and for the last two years I have seriously been thinking about homeschooling. I am ready to do it now. I am ready to take this chance to know who my son is and help him focus on the important things in life. I am lucky that this town has free museums, great libraries, and a teacher’s college that often has low-cost programs for kids. It’s going to be bumpy at first but we will figure it out.
Now I need to get back to studying.