Sunday, July 10, 2011
I just finished course #2. Yes, I decided to take it and it was definitely the right decision. Thank you for the prayer support. I know God is always speaking to us - but we need help with the hearing sometimes!
It was a course on the Principles of Teaching but it was far more than just a foundations course. The class was small, the instructor not just an expert and experienced, but amazingly transparent and accessible. I learned so much about teaching and learning. I know it will really impact my work and ministry - still so much to process after a week of intensive study. And I still have to write my final projects for BOTH courses, so I'm going to leave up the books background on my Spark page for awhile.
The other "coincidence" took place on my birthday on the 5th. I knew I wouldn't be able to do much celebrating. (The BIG celebration will take place when I finally get my diploma - if all goes well, in December!) But the staff at the school where I'm studying had already planned a little ice cream party for that day. After the full day of classes, we all built our own sundaies, then gathered in the garden for fellowship and a short devotion from the school director. He announced that it was my birthday, too, so I got lots of well wishes. Isn't it cool how God plans these "coincidences" to let us know he's thinking of us?
We're the apples of his eye!
Sunday, July 03, 2011
Finished the classes for one of my summer courses on Tuesday. It was one of the best classes I've taken so far - lots of interesting information about learning theories, teaching methods, planning courses. Now I have to work on the portfolio project that has to be turned in at the end of the month.
In looking over the syllabus for the class that starts tomorrow, I realized that we'll be covering a lot of the same material (but in English with an American professor) and that the final project for this second course is similar to what I have to do for the first course. So I have to decide if I'm going to audit this course or take it for credit. I won't go into all the pros and cons. Just have to make a decision by tomorrow. Prayers appreciated that I make the best possible decision!
I had a good talk with my advisor for my practical project and we had a good brainstorming session about what kind of project it should be. I was really encouraged by the support he gave me.
Yesterday, I ran the 7K Frauenlauf in a very slow 54:43. I was OK with that, although it was a little slower than my last attempt at the distance a couple of years ago. The only irritating thing was the sound of the Nordic walking sticks clicking behind me threatening to overtake me, the "runner"! A couple of them did. Of course, they were about 20 years my junior and extremely well-trained. No prize socks this time because there were three other runners in my age group, two of whom were MUCH faster than I was. That's OK, too, even though the competitive Michelle was a little irked.
More importantly, the race brought me to the conclusion that I've been overtraining. I need to run longer and slower in training if I want to build endurance and then the speed will come. I definitely need to be more specific in my training before I try another race. I think I have a faster time in me. I have to confess that I've been more concerned with the short-term goals: just getting out there and getting in some cardio minutes. Again, consistency hasn't been the best.
Anybody want to be my personal trainer? There's a 10 K coming up in September that's supposed to be a good, well-organized race with a nice course.
Kinda homesick for the USA this weekend - Happy Fourth of July!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I had a so-so week. I didn't track my food on two days and I know I went over with some evening snacking going on. I exercised every day, got in my ST three times, did pretty well on sleep, but a lot of my cardio was just walking to and from the train station. It still counts as exercise, but I didn't get the intensity I need for training for this Saturday's race.
Today has been another one of those on-again, off-again days. SO, I'm about to get out there and get in a good run and then I WILL finish tracking for today. It won't be pretty and neither will tomorrow's weigh-in, but it could have been worse.
Two more days of intensive class #1, then I'll have a little bit of a breather before the next class starts on Monday, July 4. It has been a great week as far as that goes - good teacher, good material, good class discussions and team work. I have a presentation to do on Tuesday, last day of class, with a partner. A bit nervous about that - always more so in German than when I speak in English. But it's only 15 minutes and my partner is great, SO I know it will be OK.
Encouraged by RAYLINSTEPHENS blog post, and feeling like I need a little summer boost to get to goal range by the end of August. SO, I joined a challenge group, the Summer 5% challenge. Hoping to be a part of the Firecracker team. SO, if you're interested, sign up!
Looking forward to a good, possibly even great week!
Sunday, June 19, 2011
It's time to put on my thinking cap again and I've modified my Spark page decor accordingly.
Tomorrow I go back to school for the first of two summer intensive courses, almost back to back. The first one is in Teaching for the Church Context (in German with a Swiss prof) and the second is Principles of Teaching (with a visiting prof from the US - yay!) So if you don't see me around much, that's why! I will be buried in books. Here I am channeling John Lennon in my new reading glasses that I got for 2€ at the German equivalent of a dollar store:
By the time I finish, it will have taken me almost 10 years to finish this degree, a Master's in Educational Ministries. I really wanted to finish this year! And fortunately the Akademie is going to let me pay the rest of my tuition in installments. Otherwise, raising the finances would have delayed my finish even more. I'll have my coursework finished with these two classes, then will need to do a "integrative project," that takes the place of a thesis in this program. Not sure where or what that will be yet. Finally, exams in October.
I turn 60 in a couple of weeks and will get to celebrate with my classmates (all of them a bit younger, I expect) during the coffee break during one of the courses.
My other birthday celebration will be a 7K "Frauenlauf" women's run on July 2. My last race in this age group! Old friends will remember that I won a pair of socks in this run a couple of years ago when I finished 3rd in my group (out of 3!) Aren't they bootiful?!
I'm up to running an hour at a time now, with walking breaks about every 5 minutes á la Galloway. I need to keep training hard this week (great way to beat the study stress!) and will ease off the week before the race to conserve energy for the run. I'm hoping that a couple of my Nordic walking buddies will join me on the 2nd.
Doing well on my June goals of tracking consistently and looking forward to doing the happy dance tomorrow after my weigh-in. Stay tuned to your status feeds!
Thursday, June 02, 2011
I'm waiting for my trophies, please! It's June 2!
A month ago, I posted that I hoped to be Ms. Consistency for the month of May. I set up some streaks on my page but SP hasn't gotten around to notifying us of our progress yet. If you're like me, you kinda look forward to those little icons and awards that they send. Some people never grow up, do we!?
So, I'm patting myself on the back for tracking food and exercise daily in May. That doesn't mean I stayed within my ranges every day but I tracked probably 95% of what I ate, striving for progress not perfection. Managed to lose 3.3 pounds. I also walked A LOT in addition to my more intense runs and Nordic walking workouts, including a 10K benefit walk. I've been doing without the car as much as possible, even went 10 days without using it at all. And another factor that has contributed to the progress has been ditching the TV except for two events - the royal wedding and a German national team soccer match.
On June 9, I celebrate one year of daily exercise. Not my longest streak, but approaching it.
My goals for June - more of the same, and I've also got an eye on running a 7K race on July 2 which means I'm in training!
I'm also going to prayerfully add another goal. I've been cocooning and need to start reaching out and (re-)building some of the IRL relationships that have gone unattended over the past months. That means a daily phone call, card, visit, or email to a friend or family member.
Thanks to Mr. Consistency - Great is HIS faithfulness! - for helping me to develop my consistency over the past month in the areas of eating and exercise. Wanting to access that for other areas, too, in the months ahead.
Edit: Thanks, SP, you didn't let me down!
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