First Few Weeks at Sam Houston

This is my post about the first few weeks at Sam Houston State University. It is a little daunting to finally be at a university. So far I am enjoying it. Although, I am not a doe-eyed 18 year old. I’m a 36 year old adult. This means that it is difficult for life to surprise me. A new place is just a new place. I’ve been nomadic for most of my adult life. I still have a lot to learn. Here are a few things that helps me settle in a new place. It takes time and patience to get accustomed to a new locale. You have to actively search and discover your new location. Find a system that works for your and constantly improve it, be it for work or school.

Adjusting to a new school in a new city will take time. I still live in Spring, Texas so I don’t have too much to acclimate too. There is also a campus in The Woodlands. I try to have most of my classes in The Woodlands. I have two classes at the Huntsville Campus, which is approximately a 45 minute drive from my apartment. I have 2.5 years left at Sam Houston. I have time. What does that mean? 2.5 years is a long time but when comparing it to the length of a 80 year old life, it really isn’t that long. I enjoy the Huntsville Campus. It is a beautiful green campus. I already have spent a lot of time in the library. I should draw on campus, so I will have memories and practice my drawing skill.

I think people neglect the part of knowing where you live or work. It is easy though because people only seem to drive to work, home and grocery store. I’m guilty of this as well. The search for secrets, sub cultures, or cool dive bars is my favorite part of about discovering a new place. I’ve live in Texas for 3 years and I have not really seen the state. It takes effort to search out and discover something new, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. I suppose you just have to keep your eyes open and be willing to experience things that could be interesting. Stay Curious.

I need a system for handling school and home life. Every semester is different. Now life is somewhat going back to normal, going to class in-person feels new and awkward. I have to organize my school work, my job, and the other things I enjoy. The main thing is time management(or Priority management as my former professor J would say). I have to make time to make sure I dedicate time to accomplish everything that will be due and the needs immediate attention. I write my weekly goals on butcher paper.

To summarize this post. I started school. I need time to adjust. I want to get to to know Huntsville, as well as Texas better. I have a process of time management which is a large paper taped to the wall.

Traveling for Winter

 

Let’s do 500 words.

I know I haven’t blogged very much. I can make excuses, but I won’t. I just choose do other things than blog.

My goals for this Europe trip. First, Improve my Spanish and receive a baseline for my level. If don’t receive this I’m going to get during 2020 somewhere. Secondly, I taking an online course for school, Federal Government. Thirdly, improve my French, I learned the basics in the last 6 months. The last few things is visit a few friends in Paris and draw and water color more.

I choose to go to Europe because I find being in the United States quite boring. I love my family but I saw them on Thanksgiving already. I also feel Christmas is overhyped holiday in the United States. We, as a society or just Americans, are too materialistic. I want to get away from that next year. I’ve never visited Europe in the Winter. It has always been the summer when I visited. Which is always the best time to visit a country, but I like to change it up and experience something different.

I’m in Valencia, Spain right now. I’m taking a Spanish course. Hopefully it can jump start my learning to a new level. I’m here for a week. I hope to take an exam to finally get a baseline on my level. Then I can better evaluate where I am. “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” – Peter Drucker.

During all this traveling I’m going to do a college course online. One might think why are you taking a class while you’re traveling in Europe? I say them Why not? I am school again. I can say honestly I’m not in love with living in Texas. I might as well just keep going to school and enjoy myself in the location of my choosing. We are lucky to live in a time where we can go to school online.

I held off visiting France for over ten years. My first experience was very off-putting. I made an unconscious decision to not visit France ever again. Then over the years I’ve met many cool French people. Those experienced change my opinion on French people. They can’t all be bad I thought. So I decided back in September to visit again during winter. My experience from the first time will not be repeated. A key to the story was that I was monolingual, immature and young. I learned a little bit everyday for 6 months. So hopefully I will have a better experience.

Afterwards I will go to Belgium. I’m going to visit a few cities during the Chrismas Holiday week and New Years. I’m going to visit Brussels, Antwerp, and Bruges. Finally Paris, France. I will end in Madrid to fly back.

I have two transfers on my flight back, which I will not enjoy. MAD- AMS. AMS- ATL. ATL-IAH. I use airport code because it is just easier to write especially if you’re a traveler. There is probably a better way to write it.

I got an Idea with my language learning. I listen to podcasts on Spotify. There is speed option on the application. To increase my comprehension. I will listen to the podcasts three times. (thrice) Once at 0.8x, the second time at 1x(normal time), and the third time 1.2x. I can also do this on Youtube.

Back to school Fall 2019

It’s back to school for myself and many of us who still attend. I will try to post once a week. For those you have been in school, know it is very difficult to have free time for yourself. I’m essentially writing this blog as a record of my life. This will be the summary of my classes and my initial thoughts of the classes.

My classes are English 302, History civilization before 1877, Introductory Algebra, Public Speaking and Introduction to Teaching. English 0302 is similar to English 2 in most colleges I suppose. I will have to write papers that analyze and interpret subjects. History is basically history of the world until 1877 as it relates to the United States. Though I always think that history is always taught with bias, no matter where how impartial one tries to be. Introductory Algebra, I had to take a remedial class because it’s been so long since I’ve taken a Math class. The highest math class I took in high school was geometry. Public Speaking is a class, teaching us how to speak well in public. Introduction to Teaching, It’s funny how a teaching class is being taught online. Overall 15 credits.

How do I feel about this semester? I feel like It will be easy I just have to put in the work and show up. I get paid to go to school. You can’t beat that. I have it better than most college students right now. I should be glad, unfortunately my mind is constantly somewhere else most days.

What keeps my hope up is the light at the end of the tunnel. It helps to have a goal. I plan on going to Europe for my winter break. I want to take a Spanish course in Valencia, Spain. Then see Belgium and France.

Until next time. I will also be participating in INKtober2019.

Planning Ahead

 

At this point of my return to school.  I am in my first semester at community college.  I plan on finishing with an associates in teaching.  I estimate that I will transfer by Spring 2021. Then on to a university, I am not 100% sure on which one yet. I have narrowed my choices down to three. University of Houston 90%. University of Texas- Austin 8%, and Sam Houston State University 2%. I realize I can elect to go anywhere in the world, I choose to stay in Texas because I just moved here, cost of living, and the veteran’s program I am using coincides with Texas.

How do I choose what college to go to? I think about what I want to do. I want to be a teacher. Great. Okay. What kind of teacher? There’s P.E, Art, Math, Early childhood development 1-6, social studies, special education, English as a second language. There are so many options! How does one choose? At this point I’ll finish with my associates in teaching. I have yet to take any classes either. I would like to volunteer at some schools in the Fall. My initial thoughts were to be a language teacher in a foreign country. I have a lot of time think about this idea and I will use the upcoming year to flush it out.

I finished my art exam test on got off of class early one day. I used that time to take a tour of University of Houston. It was an unusually cool for a June day in Houston. So a walking tour was perfect. The university was great with all the amenities and opportunities it offered. It is one the most diverse schools in the nation. It is located in the 4th largest city in the nation, behind Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. It was an easy sell for me because I just moved here and I didn’t want to move again.

The thing I don’t like about colleges. First and foremost it is a business. I didn’t really know what that meant when I was 18 years old. Higher education is a growing industry. In essence a school tour is a 90 minute sales pitch. I have visited a few schools in my time. I had a girlfriend who went to Cal( UC Berkeley), so I went there often and college avenue ran from my art school in Oakland to UC Berkeley. I visited Stanford University for the Cantor museum and Rodin sculpture garden. When it comes to colleges nothing really impresses me anymore. A normal tour consists of showing us buildings of where students and/or teachers gather, and so on. Unfortunately you can never know what a school is like until you go there. It is one of those experiences you can’t fully grasp until you jumped in. Much like the military me.

The tour illustrated an emphasis on college life. The first time I went I didn’t really enjoy that. I feel its probably better for young adults to start renting apartments and start being an adult sooner vs living in the dorms and life on campus. This is probably for economical reasons, city planning, and ease of access to campus. As an older student I will probably move closer to the campus but continue my activities in the city vs college activities. College will eventually end for all students. There’s no reason to switch off campus because you already have a community. No need to transition. In school, it is super easy to meet friends because they have similiar goals and interests. As an adult, making friends is very difficult. I believe people should be exposed to that as early as possible. These are a just a few thoughts on how broaden your college bubble.

What do you think? Did you graduate from college? Do you have children? What do you think they should do? Write your comments below.

Next blog post: Alaska.

Back to school

So I officially started school AGAIN.  It’s a little weird to go back.  The young students are probably wondering why I’m so old and going back to school.  That’s just me projecting and being insecure about being older.  Back when I was in college I used to wonder why the older students were so driven.  Now as an older student I know why.  I have had so much life experience and years of working in the world.  I’m going back to school more focused and knowledgeable on how to accomplish tasks.  I look back on my 20s,  I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I’m impressed with these kids that do know what they want to do, but really they don’t know what it’s like to work in their proposed fields.

By being older I’m more focused and dedicated to my craft.  I know what I’m capable of and how the world works.  I’ve failed at many things in life. I learned resilience from getting back up.  For example, I’ve dropped out of art school, I failed out of Navy Dive school and I’ve had two knee surgeries.  These low points are necessary for the high points.  If I didn’t drop out of college, I wouldn’t have join the Navy and seen the world. If I didn’t attempt to try for special operations I would have always regretted not trying.  I’m a better person for failing at something.  My recovery from my knee surgeries gave me the opportunity to learn Spanish, something I always wanted to do.  Now I’m learning Korean and improving my conversational Spanish towards a near native level.  The experiences I’ve had from the time I’ve left college initially couldn’t have been learned by following a common archetype.  Even now I plan on finishing towards a Bachelors degree.  My future job will be an unconventional location in relation to forty years ago. My age is an incredible asset when it comes to returning to school.

I have to address that many students choose nursing as career of choice.  Nursing is an up and coming industry that will need workers.  It is a stable career.  I’m Filipino, it is ingrained in our culture, well, my upbringing.  My mothers a nurse, both my sisters are nurses, several members of my extended family are nurses.  I know very well about this occupation.  I worked as Navy Hospital Corpsman for 7 years.  I know what it is like to work in the healthcare industry, among doctors, nurses, and other specialists.  To sum up my experience, it isn’t for everyone.  I didn’t enjoy seeing people put in hospice care.  I didn’t enjoy the bedside care.  I didn’t enjoy people dying.  I think the last reason was why I couldn’t deal with it.  That aspect is a small part, it takes a toll on a persons mental health.  As a result most of the ICU staff I worked with had black humor, as most do that work with death so closely.  Its an interesting coping mechanism among first-responders.  I won’t mention the bureaucracy among the United States healthcare system or the how we heavily medicate with drugs and pharmaceuticals.  I won’t forget my time as a corpsman.  I admire any one willing to aspire to be a healthcare professionals.  I just hope they do it for the right reasons and not the money.

Some other News

I finished my Spanish intermediate online class.  I received an A.  There’s something wrong with the foreign language education system in the United States.  Is it the teaching method? The policy? America’s general attitude towards languages of foreign countries? That’s another blog post.  I have to keep studying.  There is so much to learn.  I learned many different nuances and subtleties in the class.  I still do italki.com classes with a community tutor.

I got a new/ old job.  I draw caricatures at the Downtown Aquarium here in Houston.  I drew for Kaman’s Art Shoppes from 2004- 2008 at Great America in Santa Clara, Ca.  I miss being around other artists.  It is very hot humid here in Houston.  It is something I just have to get used to.  So far my boss is cool and my co workers are warming up to me.

I started teaching Jiu Jitsu to kids again. Well, I’m the uke. (Uke: a japanese term for someone receiving the technique.)   The purple belt uke.  More to come on that.

I will try to post more.  College is about writing papers.  I have to practice writing.

Move forward

I’m in this cross roads in life.  I should either get a job or go back to school.  An unalterable fact is that I’m going through physical therapy for my ACL surgery recovery for the next 6 months.  I had to decide fairly quickly so earlier this week I went to my local community college and applied.  It is fairly daunting to go back to school, especially being 34, but if you put all the anxiety behind you everything will work out.  I took a pretest for my basic college skills.  Basic math and pre-alegebra, English reading and English composition.  I did horrible at math and English composition.  I understand that I suck at math, I hated it in school.  But English!? It’s my mother tongue.  I also write constantly in my journal, text, letters, and postcards, but rarely on this blog.  It’s honestly something I avoid trying to be good at, or even average at, because I didn’t need to write well in any of my jobs that I’ve had. (Navy Eval writing doesn’t count.) Regardless of my skills I need to improve on these subjects if I want a better life.  Not just to be good in school or avoid remedial classes.  If that is the result I will accept it.

I bought a cliff notes my review book and I’m going to read some English writing books I had on my book shelf.  My test is in 11 days. I’ll be using this blog to be an experiment of sort for my writing improvement.  I thank everyone and anyone who actually reads my writing, I know I should proofread and organize my thoughts better.  I don’t do it well because I never really was taught how to write a blog.  I usually type in a stream of consciousness way.  The way I usually write letters, postcards, or journal entries. 

I have this feeling that school gives me a new excitement for life.  A new chapter.