Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Activity Night

Every other Wednesday I meet with twelve young girls all between the ages of 8to 11 years old. My co-chair and I plan various activities to keep them entertained for a little over an hour. Some of the activities are really engaging and keep the VERY energetic girls occupied, while others seem to send them into this wild frenzy. This evening we had a guest come in to teach the girls a dance routine, (very basic) to the theme song for "Tarzan". Ellie, the dance instructor, was very patient when a few of the girls decided to display their skills performing "The Worm". The older girls did really well and seemed to be really into learning the dance while the younger ones entertained themselves by doing the splits, hitting each other and running aimlessly around the room.

Sue, my co-chair and I have been discussing the unruliness of our group and after repeatedly asking the girls to pay attention to our guest, she'd had enough. The girls were asked to come sit on the carpet where, with our prompting, they came up with a list of rules that they should follow while at activity night.
Most of the rules they came up with were pretty common, ie: Be respectful of others, raise your hand when you want to say something, and think before you speak. Some of the not so helpful suggestions: Don't do the splits, only one person can go potty at a time(don't ask) and don't lay on the floor.

After our chat the girls really seemed to be adhering to the rules. We will see how things go at our next get together. For our part, we are going to attempt to be a little more strict. Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Preparing for grad school

As you all know, I have recently applied to grad school at a local University. I submitted the application and transcripts a little over a month ago. I have been waiting ever so patiently for the school to call and schedule a time for me to meet with the senior faculty,(The final step before being considered for a place in my program). One week after another went by without a phone call so I finally broke down and contacted my would be advisor. When Nicole answered the phone, I asked her why I had not heard from the school yet. She kindly asked me to hold on the line while she pulled my portfolio to see what the problem was. I waited anxiously to hear what she had to say. (I was convinced that it was their fault and that they were slacking) When Nicole returned to the phone she informed me that they were still waiting to receive the rest of my portfolio. Oops! In my defense, I was under the impression that I was supposed to bring the "missing" paperwork to the meeting with the advisers. I explained my confusion to Nicole and promised to have it all in her office within the week. I hung the phone and thought,WOW! Way to show how organized and on top of it you are! :)
I had to go babysit my nephews shortly after the phone call ended so I packed up my laptop and headed out. Lets just say that babysitting two young boys and trying to write three essays about how I will be an asset to the University, do not mix. I was able to write all of the essays but they were in desperate need of some tweaking. Jeff was nice enough to read through my papers and edit them for me,( I must admit that I was a little embarrassed by all of the grammatical errors that I had made). Again, I had written them all in the span of three hours, while helping with homework, baths and video games. I know this sounds like a lame excuse and realistically, I probably am just really rusty. After I finished rewriting the essays, I printed out my edited papers.
With my finished portfolio in hand I ran down to the school on my lunch break to turn it in. I was surprised to find myself feeling very anxious. All of a sudden my future was/is sitting in the hands of an advisor who is going to judge my essays and applications and determine my fate. What if I am not accepted? What if I do get in? Holy Crap! If I do get into school, classes begin in two weeks...that is A LOT to do in a really short amount of time. Oh, the joy...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A new law in Seattle

About a month or two ago the city passed a law that requires any establishment that sells food to provide a list of the calories in each item. The theory behind this is that if people know how much fat and calories they are consuming they will make better choices. While there are some that are poo pooing this idea, I am finding this to be working for me. I love Starbuck's hot chocolate and just learned that a grande without whip is 300 calories. I have since switched to non-fat, tall, no whip hot chocolate which is something like 240 cal.

A little over a month ago Jeff and I went to dinner at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). I went directly to the rest room while Jeff got our table for us. By the time I got to the table Jeff had a sad look on his face. When I asked what was wrong he said that he could never eat there again. (This is one of his favorite places to eat, so this was indeed a sad day for him) I found in his hand a pamphlet that listed all of the calories in the menu. The salad that he usually gets was something like 800 calories. This was shocking! We then went through the menu to find something that would not instantly attach itself to our arteries and found, (after a lot of rationalizing over all of the calories we had burned exercising earlier in the day) that some of their pizzas were relatively low in fat and calories. We made are choices based on that and felt relatively good about them.

There are some who have said that if they are going to a fast food restaurant they aren't worried about the calories and knowing how fattening they are will not dissuade them from eating fries and a burger. I imagine this is probably true for some but I am finding that I am choosing differently because of this new found information. I will admit there are times that I don't care how fattening something is (I bet you can't guess when those times are:))but those are few and far between. For the most part knowing how many calories are in the food I am about to purchase definitely makes me pause and look for another option that would be just as satisfying.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


For those of you who are still living in the dark ages and have never heard of facebook it is a website (similar to myspace) where you can connect with friends. I have been apart of facebook for about 6 months now and have really enjoyed it. When I first joined (because of Jeff) I was not that enthralled with it. I am not a huge internet person, I don't like to spend hours at a time on line surfing the net. Never have been, probably never will. It's not that I don't find it entertaining, I just can't think of that many sites to visit. (call me boring)

Facebook has been a great way to re-connect with friends from high school, even some from elementary school. I love that my brothers and cousins are now on there. It is fun to read about what they are doing in their daily lives and to interact with them more frequently than I would otherwise.

The only downside to Facebook is just that, you don't really need to interact with anybody face to face. You can see what they've written and choose to comment or not and they can, in turn, respond to you. As our technology grows our abiliy to interact on a one on one basis decreases. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, I am on it just as much as the next person, but I think that after a while it gets easier to "communicate" on line as opposed to in person or on the phone.
I guess I got a bad taste in my mouth when I had a roommate who would spend hours on end on the internet. She formed friendships with strangers and lived her life through websites and chat rooms. She gradually stopped doing things with other friends and lived to be on line. I know that this is an extreme case, but it was enough to keep me from even coming close to doing the same thing.

I must admit that the Internet is really entertaining and I do see the value in it. As they say...all things in moderation.