Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm Still Alive!

Hello again! In case you've checked my blog and noticed that it hadn't been updated since January, there's a good reason for that. As a fulltime college student, this past semester kept me pretty busy. I had 5 classes: Physics 100, Intro to Cult Anthropology, Math for Elem Teachers 2, American Lit since 1945, and a Curriculum & Instruction class. I had a ton of reading and Physics in particular was a real challenge! It was a rather stressful semester and I didn't have time for much else besides trying to keep up with my schoolwork. I finished the semester with 3 A's and 2 B's so I didn't do too bad. I was so thankful to see that B in Physics! I also was admitted to the Special Education program so am on track for my major in learning disabilities. I also was accepted in the Sigma Gamma Zetta II honor society, for nontraditional students who have at least a 3.50 GPA. My current cumulative GPA is 3.71. The semester was officially over on May 21st.

The following week I was gone on a cultural immersion trip to the Lac Court Orielles Indian Reservation (Ojibwe People) in northern Wisconsin. The trip was sponsored and paid for by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I am a student. We left Monday morning and returned Friday afternoon. The UW system is very big on cultural diversity and this trip was part of that commitment. They put us up (all 8 of us students, plus 4 staff/faculty advisors) at a really nice hotel. Each day we drove out to the reservation where we toured their various educational facilities, met with native teachers, participated in different cultural activities on the reservation, and helped out at the Headstart program 2 of the mornings. It was all very interesting and well worth the time away from home. I especially loved the morning we spent with a tribal elder named Dennis White who shared with us his beadwork and fingerweaving. I was totally inspired to learn to do both. I've already started a beadwork project. This is the bead applique or embroidery work where you fill in the design on fabric with seed beads. I haven't started the fingerweaving yet, but I have collected some instructions and resources for learning the craft. So now I have two more things I want to do to add to my list of projects to spend time on--when I have the time! Ha! Ha!

Here's a picture of the front of Dennis White's vest:

It's beaded on black velveteen. The back is also beaded. He said it took him a total of 3 years to complete the beadwork on this vest. He wears it to special functions and powwows. It is heavy, too, as I picked it up and was surprised at how much it weighed. You wouldn't think that little seed beads could weigh so much. The project I have started on is a small bag, with a square design of 3 flowers on top of a quilt block. I hope it doesn't take me 3 years to finish it!

Anyway, this month I have been trying to get work done outside in our garden and flowerbeds. It's been a slow process. My stick-to-it-iveness isn't all that it ought to be; the body complains something fierce about the unusual activity I am putting my muscles to and I have to take breaks because the exercise & heat get me sweating so I need to rehydrate. June has been a rather wet month, too, which has made it difficult to work outdoors. There are always those little obstacles like appointments and needing to go to town, etc, that come up as well to keep me from accomplishing the weeding and planting that I am STILL laboring away at. I do have 5 tomato plants, 4 pepper plants, a short row of peas, swiss chard, basil, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, and 4 ft of pole beans planted in the veggie department so far. The flowers are doing better but I still have a lot of transplants & seeds to get planted. Next week looks to be dry, at least at the beginning of the week, so I expect I'll be busy outdoors most of the time.

With the rainy days, I have managed to get some cards made and in my next post, I'll post what I've done since the last cards I posted. Til then, take care and may the grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you!

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