Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Can...So Can You!

This week has been great but it's also had its challenges. The first week of school has always been one of ups and downs. There are so many requirements, details, changes, etc. to take care of. I know that I can do all these things, but if feels like it's been a week of problem solving and that's putting it mildly.

So when I went to see my friends Patrick and Phillip after class, you could say that I was feeling a little down. Phillip shared some music with me that I immediately downloaded because it made me feel better just to listen to it. In fact, I downloaded the whole album and listened to it on my run this morning. I have to say that it works!

I think it's the message of the song. It's called, "I Can," by Minnutes and is a sweet and simple song that reminds me of a video I posted on my facebook a while back. I'll post the song and the video below. Hope it lifts you up as much as it did me.

I'm trying to remember all of this as James and I move forward with the plans and renovation of the building.  I'm also trying to remember this as I figure out how to start a school! I've been so lucky in that there are many people who have given advice over the past few months and it always leads me to a new discovery.  It ends up shaping what will happen in our space.

I am currently trying to make lifestyle changes like getting more exercise and eating in a more healthy way because I know that if I'm going to encourage other people to take bike rides or walk, then I better be setting the example.  It's been good for me.  I've lost 7 pounds in the last week and 1/2.  I can't believe it.  Now that could have been some of the stress of the past week, but I have really tried for the first time since boot camp to take care of myself.

I'm going to add more about how things like biking, walking, eating organic and local foods and being good to myself changes my life as I write this.I know I can do it! You can too! Want to join me???

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School Days

Today is my first day of school for my last year of college (at least that's probably what my dad hopes! Ha!) I was finally watching some TED talks this morning that a friend, Genevieve Santos, suggested I check out and thought that in honor of going to class, I would post one of the shorter videos. It really spoke to me. For the past 22 years I have either been in college or involved in education in some way. And if you think about it, we've all been students for as long as we've been alive.

One of the most important lessons in life is...wait for it, wait for it...delayed gratification. Sure I would like to have my masters degree behind me and all of the stress that this next year will bring with it, but then I would have missed all of the learning, and isn't that the point? I don't want to miss one minute of class or learning how to write my thesis. And there are other things that I would like to have in my life, but I truly believe that I already have everything I need and more. There's no reason to believe that the future will be any different. And if we can teach kids this lesson they will be so much better prepared for life. I wish I would have learned (really learned) this lesson much earlier, but you know we're all on a journey and we learn things at different times. That way we can learn from each other.

So check out this hilarious and very educational talk. It can speak to you!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Update Extrodinaire

The past two weeks have been wonderful and crazy all at the same time. Leaving my job, going to Savannah, getting as much done around the house as possible and school starts tomorrow for me! I actually can't wait! I love going to class and learning. The readings, the discussions, the images and really having the luxury of someone explaining to me what the issues are surrounding whatever art we are studying. I love it all!!!

That's why I've always wanted to start a school. That's probably why I've been taking classes at OU since 1988. It hasn't always been a full time status student kind of schedule...I've worked too! But I'm beginning to realize that I want to start this school because I never want to quit learning myself. This will be my last semester in classes at OU and then I will be writing my thesis in the spring.

So I thought that I might give a few more hints as to what we will be doing at that school. I'm not going to give everything away here because I want it to be a surprise, but I will say that the structure of the day will be as follows:

During the school day we'll have a pre-school and oh boy I'm so excited about that! I will be teaching that with a few other very qualified people. After school, we'll have programs for kids in art, music, film, cooking, drama, poetry, gardening, foreign language and whatever else we can find teachers for...maybe even dance! Then at night, we'll have classes for adults in the same areas. We'll include people of all ages, pre-K through Seniors and sometimes the different ages will work together! In a previous post, I mentioned how I feel about that. I think it's really important for people of different age demographics to work together.

And there will be some great field trips! We'll take journey's to places all over Oklahoma when we can and my plan is to connect all of these classes and to plan them around one country's culture. Then whoever can go during the summer (and whoever we can find grants for) will all travel to that country. We'll experience the things that we've studied...the language, the art, the music, the food, the dance, the architecture....all of it. That's the dream!

I believe that we all can do things to improve our lives and to focus on what really makes us happy and enriches our lives. James and I both want to help people find those things. And my suspicion is that there are many, many others that would like to do the same.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tax Credit Part Two - Check!!!!

James, Kyle and I got in from an awesome trip last night! (We dropped Tiffany off in Memphis to stay with her sister.) I helped take in whatever I could to James and Kyle's house and said my goodbyes. As I'm driving home, I get a call from James saying that we received approval for part two of our national tax credit application!!! I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The good news just keeps on coming.

So James and I are getting ready to celebrate with lunch! I'm thinking Cheever's, Rococo or Paseo Grill would be good, but after the way I devoured Savannah, it might ought to be Cool Greens or Saturn Grill. Wherever we go, it's going to be yummy and I'm excited to celebrate our blessings and accomplishments!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Excitement Deluxe!!!!

I should be packing and getting ready to leave for Savannah. Kyle, Tiffany and James are all waiting for me to get my stuff together before we can hit the road. But I had to stop and write about the best thing that happened today before the moment passes. James and I went to our second Historic Preservation Commission hearing today with hopes that they would accept our requests. We have continued to work on submitting tax credit applications, getting plans together, formulating ideas for the school, etc. over the past few months, but we haven't been able to do further work on the building because we needed a certificate of appropriateness from HP before we can even get a building permit. So guess what! Today we got that go ahead. I'm so proud of James!!! We were able to get some things passed that were alternative and more sustainable materials for the roof and the windows. Thank you Historic Preservation Commission!!!

When we walked in I went in with the idea that I would send nothing but positive intentions and thoughts out into that room (which can be pretty intimidating the first time you enter. It's in the OKC Municipal Building...lots of marble!) and I found out later that James did the same thing. The whole experience was thrilling. We didn't know what to expect because we had been there before and it hadn't gone exactly the way we hoped it would. However, after a little volleying back and forth between a very kind and enlightened member of the commission and one who was rightfully supporting the guidelines, things took an incredibly positive turn. I realized as I was sitting there praying, that everything was going to work out! Everything was starting to move in the direction of us getting to do what we really want to do with that building. And it is all connected to what we want to do in that building too.

It was exactly what I hoped for and a huge blessing. It's just one more thing that proves that we're doing exactly what we're supposed to. I feel like we've got a lot to learn, but we will learn it. We will do it! We already are.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Last Day at the Museum

So today is it. My last day. Of course, I have mixed emotions about it and I've written about it already, so I think that in honor of the growth I've experienced over these past three and a half years, I'll just write down this quote that I found last night. It came to me in the form of a book that someone gave me as a going away gift.

"You can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner the whole world opens up to you." - Barbara Sher

It's time to start over again! But somehow I know it is all it's not really starting over. It's just a continuation of this journey I am on and I"m so glad that it's a journey of love and passion for giving.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

This Week's Excitement!

It has been a great week. I have had a little more control of my emotions concerning leaving my job, I didn't run into anyone with my car (always a plus) and James finally came home from California! Yay!!! So that means we've been able to have meetings with people around town and get ready for our next Historic Preservation hearing that will take place on Wednesday. It makes all of the difference to have James back so that we can do these things. In fact, it helps me to be more at peace about leaving all of the wonderful people I'm working with at the Museum, because I feel connected to our project again. It would take something pretty amazing to justify voluntarily leaving the docents and the staff at the Museum because I love these people and the work that we all do together.

But I know that it will all be worth it because when everything is said and done we're going to do great things at the school that will be at 612 NW 29th Street in the Paseo. And while James was gone, my lesson to learn was that I am confident in my own ability to do what needs to be done. And I am connected to the project that is the school because that's MY passion and dream. It can just get a little scary when James is gone because we've got so many challenges ahead, but I know that we are going to have everything we need to meet and work through them all.

One of the meetings we had this week was proof of this. A man who has had quite a bit of experience doing these kinds of projects in the Paseo offered to give us advice. He was very generous with his time and suggestions and one of the things that he said we should do is to contact a woman who is on the Positively Paseo board and who has a good amount of experience with the area. As we talked about it further, I realized that this woman's mother was on the Savannah trip that I helped to lead for the Museum this past spring. She and I had talked in Savannah and she had even suggested that I meet with her daughter as well. So when I called the mom this week, she said she had already talked to her daughter about our project and that she wanted to hear more about it.

How lucky can we get? It's just proof to me that everything we need is already in place for us. We just have to keep working hard and we'll have what we need as we need it.

I love that we're learning so much because I think all of these lessons will help us to do more in the future. The goal is to give as much as we can to the people who will want to partake of what we have to offer. We want to help people as much as we can.