Tuesday, March 06, 2012
I have a super-busy schedule at the language school for the next 4 weeks, working 6 days. My work is part-time but some of the days are quite long. On Wednesdays, I leave the house at 6AM and get home at 10PM. I'm not teaching all the time, but there's not time to come home in between lessons, and the train ticket is pricey. I've been known to stretch out on the floor of an empty classroom and take a nap! Some of the students also have special requirements that mean more preparation for me outside the class time. For example, I just read Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" over the weekend so that I can tutor a 16-year old Mexican girl preparing for her English classes at the local international school.
I'm working on my final master's project but need to get some things settled so that I can move ahead on certain parts of the task. I also need to make plans to visit the States sometime soon - but when? Decisions to make! Finances to raise! Meetings to schedule! Notes and Journal entries to type up! Newsletter to send! Lions and tigers and bears...!
I feel fat! I've been eating too much in the evenings again, and not being very faithful about tracking. I'm exercising but not at a very high intensity. I feel so good when I get out and run but my energy levels have been low and it seems to take me longer to recover from my workouts. Might be spring fever...the weather keeps yoyoing up and down and the old body needs more time to adjust.
On the USA home front, I'm feeling the need to check in with my dad who had a mild TIA a couple of weeks ago. Also, my 94-year-old grandmother took a fall last week and, although she's doing well in rehab, I'm concerned. I haven't been able to reach her by phone - apparently it's in a hard-to-reach place so my aunt is taking her our email get-well messages when she visits.
I was contemplating hanging out the "On a Spark Break" sign till the Spring 5% Challenge starts on March 18, but I'll try to hang in there at least for the rest of this week! If God be for me, who can be against me?! Grateful for his sustaining power, wisdom and guidance in ALL these things!
By the way, if you're looking for a good way to kindle or rekindle your Spark, join that 5% Challenge. It's a personal challenge to lose 5% of your weight within the 8-week challenge period, but also a team competition to earn "air miles" (exercise minutes) that count toward reaching exotic destinations. The team I'm on, the Firecrackers, is a SUPER group and there may still be some spots free: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
Gold stars to everyone who just read that LONG blog post!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Yesterday I was looking for a suitable photo to share on my blog. I did a google search for "scream" and there were a bazillion choices, dominated, of course, by Edvard Munch's famous painting (waving at Claudia!).
I thought this was more appropriate, though, for a Spark scream. And, even better, because of my personal photo shoot, I was inspired to get in an extra portion of fresh veggies today.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I'm off to go Nordic walking (may be in the rain?!) and then to the grocery store on the way home, so this will be short.
I've recommitted for the XXXXth time to tracking food and to staying under 1600 calories. Started yesterday. Hold me accountable! My tracker is public!
Monday I'll be weighing in for the first time in a couple of weeks, so don't be alarmed if you hear loud screaming from my direction. ;)
(OK, so it was a ten-minute blog because I got side-tracked in an unsuccessful search for a suitable illustration.)
Happy Weekend, all!
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Progress on my final integrative project! I now know that, if all goes as planned, I will be going to Albania this fall to teach a compact course in a Bible school there. I was able to touch base with the young pastor who oversees the program and, although the dates aren't set and there are many open questions, they want me to come in September-October.
My preparation for the course will be my final project for my degree in International Theological Education. Earlier this week, I was able to recruit a "mentor" to give input and feedback along the way. This is one of the requirements, and his evaluation also will figure in the final grade. Yesterday, I spoke to the prof who has to approve my proposal and give the final evaluation. I was able to run some ideas by him and get his tentative OK. My mini-goal now is to get that proposal written and turned in - there is no set deadline, but I'm aiming for Monday, Feb. 20.
In other "degrees" news - we've been in the minuses for a couple of weeks now. One one day, the Fahrenheit difference between here and Naples, FL was 70 degrees!
So, it's REALLY cold here, but I'm loving it. It's crisp and dry, not the bleak, slushy winter weather that we often have here in January and February. A light dusting of snow makes everything much lighter and covers up the gray. There's not enough snow to really interfere with driving, though, and that's another good thing. And, when we went Nordic walking last Saturday, we were able to hike across fields that are usually too muddy to navigate.
I hope we'll also be able to try another similar route today. I want to try to catch a photo of the sheep we see in those fields. Some of them are "heavy with child" and I'd like to get a "before" shot.
Edited to add this lovely lady and her entourage:
Have a good weekend, all!
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Frosty February, Finding my Focus, Fabulous, Fresh, Fruitful, Forward-looking: I was going to title this post "The F Words" but I thought better of it. :-D
Now that the two challenges I was participating in are over, it's time for a new focus.
I've been slacking off on my tracking, and eating things that I almost never eat. Not sure what that's about! I'm dealing with a rather high level of uncertainty in other areas of life, and that sometimes causes snack attacks! But it's not a trend, just fits and spurts. This too will pass.
Exercise has been a little spotty, too. I'm exercising daily but I need to pick up the intensity a little. With the cold weather, I'd be happy to just hibernate, but I want to start getting in a few early morning workouts as time permits. I feel so good when I do a short AM indoor cardio session or outdoor run!
My studies are still in the forefront, but it now looks like my exams will be taking place in May and June instead of February-March. To make a long story short, I mistakenly thought that I could do my final practical project parallel to the exams. It turns out that the project has to be graded before I begin exams. No problem - I can still graduate in October, but this requires a shift in perspective and time frames. I think it's going to turn out for the best because I'll have more time to do a really practice-oriented project to include one or more actual teaching units, possibly at different locations. More on that later!
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