Thursday, August 18, 2011

back to campus

I started college on this campus twenty-two years ago this month. Keith graduated from here. The torch was then passed to Gary and now to Jane. I just love visiting this place. It's home. I love to haunt its bookstore. I love taking the kids to the Creamery. I love to meander through the art museum. I love the culture offerings, whether it's international cinema or theater in the fine arts center. I love the trees and flower bed beauty of the carefully maintained landscape. (I guess working on the grounds crew helped me notice and appreciate this.) I do like to attend the university sporting events, but I've come to accept that they are not a huge draw of mine.  (Like they are for the rest of my family.)

Through it all, I've come to the conclusion that there's just a special spirit about this place. (Keith and I have toyed around with the idea of moving to its vicinity when the kids start to leave, just to be near.)

I guess I feel a little more of this nostalgia at this time of year. Especially when I see the little patches of red on the towering mountain backdrop east of campus. When I see this view as I'm driving around the valley, my thoughts always focus to this place. We just talked about this the other night. Only a few weeks more, and we'll start to see those familiar signs of autumn. 

I'm so grateful for the continuing education programs the university provides and hosts. I've found enrichment and edification each year at the annual Women's Conference every May. This week, over 20,000 people, young and old, have been blessed to attend what's called "Education Week." This takes place on campus between the end of the regular summer semester and beginning of fall semester. A variety of classes (more than 1,000 to choose from) are offered from 8:30 am till 9:30 pm. Monday-Friday. (Just to show you what a great deal this is: tuition only $65.00 for the entire week.)

I was so glad I was able to attend all day on Wednesday. I loved every minute of it. I loved being able to be in that student mode again. I can't tell you what a thrill it is for me to learn. To be renewed and recharged. Even though it was a long, "so much to pack in" kind of day, I came away with new ideas, new zeal and zest to try new things, new approaches, new desire, new motivation.

The classes I chose were these:

  • Getting to Done: Conceiving and Achieving Your Personal History (Mining for Meaning: Choosing the Stories of Your Personal History)
  • Entitlement: How To Save Your Child From It (The Antidote of Giving Kids Ownership)
  • Seeking Spiritual Solutions for Parenting Our Children (Remembering Who Our Children Really Are)
  • What's On Today's Table (Help! I Have a Picky Eater!)
  • "Fear Not"- Overcoming Anxiety, Fear, and Self Doubt, Even In These Perilous Times ("What If...?" Recognizing and Replacing the Building Blocks of Anxiety)
  • How to Write A Life Story People Will Want to Read (Who Am I? Revealing Yourself Through Your Story)
  • The Word of Wisdom: A Revelation, a Commandment, and a Promise (our church's law of health)
  • Finding Joy in Fulfilling Your Most Important Roles as Spouse and Parent (Keeping the Spark Alive In Your Marriage)
  • Cooking With Grains (Healthy Can Taste Great)
  • Cooking With Grains (Demonstration)

And here's some good news as we're talking about this place: Jane finally got herself a part time campus job! She'll be interacting with student athletes (i.e jocks. i.e. football players) just like her mom did with her first campus job those many years ago.

 But that's a story for another day.

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