Pleasing Myself

One of the wisest and most inspiring women I know, Kathy Caprino, just wrote a post that came screaming off the page at me. It is titled, “Let’s Take the ‘I’m Pleasing Myself’ 30-day challenge”. This incredible woman knows a thing or two about writing and inspiring women. She is strong and insightful. I would never have thought she would fall victim to the pleasing trap. I thought that was my dirty little secret alone. Well, wake up people. We are not going to do it anymore!

I spend close to 100% of my time worry about whether or not I am doing enough for others or thinking about what I can do to increase what I am doing for others or feeling guilty about not doing enough for others. There is a whole article on the psychology of this that I don’t have time to research nor write. So what I am going to do is take on Kathy’s 30-day challenge and follow her steps:

  • Focus on yourself exclusively for 10 minutes at the start of the day– Each morning, before you race off pleasing others, ask yourself “What do I need to do to really please myself today?” Sit with that for 10 minutes, and don’t let you mind skirt off to “what do I have to do for my family or my boss?”
  • Take control of your obligations and rein them in – Ask yourself, “What deadlines have I self-imposed, that aren’t necessary or important to reach?” For each of these, add some more time and push the deadline out so you don’t kill yourself getting something done for no good reason.
  • Reach out and ask for help – Think about the help you need today, and go out and ask for it. Make that call, write that email, call that friend. Do it.
  • Take at least THREE 15-minute breaks (besides meals) – Give yourself more time (three breaks at least) to push away from the computer, get up and stretch, relax, talk to your friend, drink a cup of tea, go outside. Let your body relax. Play with your pet. Take the tension off your neck and shoulders and breathe.
  • Be with what you’re eating – Don’t wolf your food down in 3 minutes while standing up (boy is that a familiar activity). Sit down, get some water, and “be” with your food as you slowly chew it. My grandmother (“Yaya”) would say – “Horses eat standing up – sit down!” Don’t eat like a horse.
  • Say YES to what you love – Wherever you can today, say “NO” to the projects, tasks and activities you hate doing, and “YES!” to more of the work you love. Just say no.

Read the whole post HERE

So who is with me?

The Storm



This seems like as good a time as any to resurrect this long neglected blog. This has been an incredibly busy year and I had to be very mindful of where I focused my time and energy. Unfortunately that meant that I had to stop doing some things that I enjoyed doing and one of those things was writing this blog. I can’t guarantee the frequencies of posting from this point on, but for what it is worth here is the first post in many months.

Last week Nikolai and Margaret went to Science Quest Day camp all week. This is run by our fabulous friend and neighbour, Caity. Niko was in Main Frame computer programming camp and Margaret was in Storm Chaser camp. Little did we know that within 2 hours of coming home we were going to see a real storm in action!

On Friday evening a summer storm came up very quickly. As I drove home there were a few drops of rain and within 15 minutes the rain was horizontal and the wind was blowing up to 119km per hour.

I tried to go out on the front porch to take some pictures, but it was so windy and rainy that i had to retreat inside. Within the first 5 minutes a large tree branch fell on our car.


The passenger side is dented


and the back window is broken. Luckily it missed our friend’s van and the car we purchased the day before!

IMG_1259An entire tree fell at the end of our street and blocked traffic; actually it is still blocked.


There was a branch hanging from the power line running into our home so I called 911. The first time I called it rang 20 times and still no one answered. At that point I figured there must be more serious emergencies than mine. When I phoned back later it still rang a bunch of times, but then I talked to this lovely young (sounding) police communicator who transferred me over to an equally lovely (and young sounding) fire communicator. You would never know by either of their tones that they had been run off their ears for the last 45 minutes. The kids were beyond excited when a fire truck drove up lights flashing and sirens blaring.


This fabulous fire fighter used this hook to push the tree limb off of the wire. We were all disappointed that they didn’t have to break out the ladders. This crew was awesome. They smiled and waved at the kids and didn’t treat our dangling tree branch like it was an imposition. Well done WFD!

After the storm all of the neighbours poured out of their homes to check on each other and help remove tree branches and assess damage. The power, internet and phone were all knocked out by the storm. Our friends were visiting from North Carolina and we all enjoyed an evening of candle light activities. We did find it a bit ridiculous that the children were living in fear–not of a return of 100+ km/hour winds, but of the batteries in their ipods running out!


We had dinner by candle light and were very grateful for the barbecue that we had purchased last week. Then we took a walk around the neighbourhood to survey the damage.IMG_1279 IMG_1272 IMG_1274 IMG_1277 IMG_1278

As we were getting ready to head back inside we saw these Hydro workers. One of these fellows had walked into his house at 5:00 pm after a long day shift. He wished his five year old girl a happy birthday and then walked back out to spend the rest of the night repairing damaged power lines. He was not at all complaining and was very cheerful with his crew. These people worked non stop for the next 24 hours. Thank you!!!

The storm blew away all of the hot, humid air of the last week and the morning brought a cool, refreshing breeze. There are gigantic piles of tree branches lined up in front of many of the houses in the neighbourhood. Tomorrow may be filled with the sound of wood chippers.



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For those of you who have ever taken a spin/cycle class this word is probably met with a groan. This is the part of class that we love to hate; we know it will feel really good as soon as it is over! For those of you who have never experience hovering let me try to explain. To hover means that you are up out of the saddle (seat) of the bike and pedalling and your butt is “hovering” just over the saddle. It is different–and a lot harder–than pedalling while standing up  and you really feel it in your thighs and glutes. The picture below is a good example: her hair hides the grimace on her face and tears streaming down as she begs for it to be over! [click on the pic for a bunch more info and hovering and spin class terminology]


So I am likening my life at the moment to hovering; It is really hard and I don’t like it. Now I should probably clarify that my whole life isn’t really hard and there are some parts (and people) that I do enjoy. However, this whole go-back-to-full-time-university-at-42-get-straight-As-work-and-be-a-mom-and-wife-thing is a lot like hovering. When you watch people in a spin class it doesn’t looks so hard, but when you are the one with sweat pouring into your eyes and quads, hamstrings, glutes and lungs SCREAMING at you to make it stop, it is a different picture all together. I guess this is the same with many things; you don’t know what you are in for until you are in it!

Aren’t some of the best things in life hard-won? Please tell me this is so! I believe it is. In fact, there is all sorts of research on motivation to support this; people are the most satisfied when the succeed at moderately hard, but do-able tasks. We don’t seem to get the same satisfaction out of succeeding at easy tasks. The trick is to be able to know yourself well enough to determine if something is challenging, yet attainable as opposed to so hard that failure is likely.

The thing is, sometime you just need to sit back down in the saddle for a couple of seconds and regroup. Sometimes the screaming pain is not because it is hard, but because there is an injury and unless you pause for a second to assess it you won’t figure it out until it is too late. (Like me tearing my plantar fascia last summer when I jumped over a snake  and running on it for another 5 km)

I think many of us don’t put these pauses into our lives (guilty). The people who need these pauses the most are the ones who don’t have time for them. The danger is that if we don’t make the time our bodies and our mind have a way of making us make the time: physical illness, mental illness such as depression or anxiety, injury, all of these things are the body’s way of saying, “Slow Down and need a minute to regroup!!!”

Recently, I have come across a 10 minute mindfulness meditation that I really enjoy. The fellow who leads it, Andy Puddicombe (of course he is English with a name like that!) has such a calm and lovely voice. I have had a hard time finding 10 minutes out of the 1440 available to me each day, but when I do, I feel like I have added at least another 60 minutes for the ten I gave up. This mindfulness exercise makes my mind feel fresh and I am able to focus much better, plus I don’t feel as anxious about things and this too allows me to work more effectively. If you are feeling rushed and overwhelmed or like you are just not sure what direction you should take–find 10 minutes and give yourself the gift of mindfulness. It is one of those can’t lose propositions. You will feel stronger, more focused and motivate–just like hovering in a spin class without all the screaming!

What in your life make you feel like you are hovering?
Please go take ten minutes and listen to the meditation then come back here and post how you feel. (that next blog you were going to read will still be there when you are done!!!)

Today Must Be Thursday


I could never get the hang of Thursdays…Arthur Dent (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)


Arthur Dent I am with you! If fact, I am very aware that this post is coming out on a Friday when I intended it to come out on Thursday–and that my posts have been VERY scarce of late.

I have had every intention of posting something for *ahem* several weeks. It has been on my to-do list every single day, but l keep running out of time! This is different from the procrastinate that I wrote about HERE. I really am working very hard, but just underestimate how much time everything takes to get done!

This is called “Planning Fallacy“. Yes, really.

Planning Fallacy is a tendency for people (or businesses or organizations) to under-estimate how long it will take to complete a task. I am riddled with planning fallacy issues! I have a list of things to do from yesterday (including this blog post) that I intended to have done. There are still a few bits that are uncompleted at the end of today. This is not because I watched too much TV or was avoiding doing the work; I have been working almost non stop on my tasks. I have simply under-estimated how much time it takes to get things done.

Why does this happen? Well, we don’t really know. Researchers (including one of my professors) are trying to figure it out, but so far the reasons are not clear. What we do know is that people are bad judges of how much time it will take them to get things done…they are overly optimistic about how much they can get done.

Now what I should have done was ask my husband or a good friend how much they though it would take me to get my to-do list done. They would have a much more accurate estimate of the time it would take me. It seems other people do not hold the naive optimism that we hold about ourselves when considering how long it will take to complete a task and those who know us well can provide a much more accurate estimate of how long it will take us to complete things!

So I guess tomorrow I will start once again to chip away at my to-do list. I have a huge list to get done tomorrow. things-to-do-listMaybe I will show it to my husband and ask him what he thinks I can do in one day! That won’t change how much I have to do, but maybe it will allow me to realize how much I can do.

I’ll get back to you ASAP and let you know how it goes. Er, well maybe not exactly ASAP, but as soon as possible.

I am confident that will be later tomorrow. Or Sunday. Or perhaps maybe Monday….

Do  you ever underestimate how much time it will take you to complete a task?

17, 18 and 19 of 42

Yes, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, just buried under a huge pile of textbooks. This post is going to be a bit random, as my 8-yr-old would say, but I am going with the something is better than nothing approach at the moment. It seems to be a theme developing in my life at the moment.

I just did something I have never ever done in my entire life. At this point it may be wise for all non-geek, non-overachevers, rational types to just stop reading or you may be tempted to throw something through your computer at me. I don’t want to be responsible for a smashed computer screens!

Here is it. The thing I just did that I have never, ever done before:

I just wrote a quiz that I did not study for; I really did. Just now (#19). Didn’t study and preparation-be-damned, I logged onto “my learning space” and answered 24 question on groups, altruism and aggression.

I have reached the point in the semester where all things are on overload and it is actually not physically possible for me to do all of the work that is required of me. This is evidence by the fact that I have not managed a blog post for two weeks and my gym attendance has been slipping. I have a new-found empathy for all students. I will admit that I used to think, “Seriously, how hard can it be? All you have to do is read and go to class. Why are you so stressed out?”. I get it now and it really is quite overwhelming. Sorry.

As some of you may know my goal is to be a clinical counsellor and so I have been taking advantage of the free counselling services at WLU to get some tips on how to not go crazy while returning to school full-time and also as professional research for my future career. Last week my counsellor told me that most students don’t actually do all of the assigned reading. I almost fell out of my chair when she said this and I actually thought she was kidding–she wasn’t. I had never heard of such a thing! Then today I was faced with studying for my midterm tomorrow or trying to squeeze in some review for the quiz. Well, there are 300 pages of material to cover for the quiz and it is only worth 7%. My midterm is worth 25% and in my hardest subject. Now, math is not my strong suit, but I figured I was better off focusing on the midterm, so I said a prayer, crossed myself and logged on and wrote the quiz. I was relieved to find that a lot of the material was previously covered in my Sports Psych class. Phew. I don’t know what my score is, but I am practicing letting go of my perfectionist ways. Not working really well, but is a start (in fact, I am going to call that #18).

On a completely different subject, I have to share with you all the amazing opportunity my son N had this weekend. His choir–The Grand Philharmonic Children’s Choir— participated in a two-day song writing workshop with Jim Papoulis. You have heard his work even if you don’t recognize his name. Half the commercials on TV feature his music.

He is amazing and the kids and Jim actually wrote lyrics and music for a song. I have never witness the creation of a song before (#17) and it was a beautiful thing. The lyrics made me cry. The first night Jim asked the kids what was important to them and what kinds of things were hard. N volunteered that he didn’t like it when his parents made him do things he didn’t want to do! I had “made” N attend the song writing work shop. At the end of the second day, N agreed that it had been a good idea to make him go!

Here is a sneak peek at part of the song.

That is all I have time for at the moment. I hope to get back to more regular posts this week. The funny thing is that there is one on Planning Fallacy that I just can’t find the time to write!

What have you wung (winged??? wanged???) lately? How did it turn out?

Can you name a song written by Jim Papoulis?

The Dawn of a New Day


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Do you ever put off things you are supposed to do? Ha! You don’t really have to answer that question; we all do it. What may not be so obvious is the reasons why we don’t do the things that we know we should do. The crazy thing is a lot of the time the things that we put off doing are things that would improve our quality of life or at the very least remove a source of stress, but still we put them off–we procrastinate.

Procrastination is counterproductive, but you already know that. The question is why do we do it???? There are some complex reason why people procrastinate; I found a very good article in Psychology Today titled “Ten Things to Know”. It is well worth the read. A number of things that I have encountered lately come into play when considering procrastination.

1-Will power. Will power is like a muscle and when you use the muscle it gets tired. So if you have been working hard on something: not eating a cookie; getting a complicated task done; then you will have less will power left for any subsequent things. So if you finally finished a project at work, you may procrastinate instead of moving onto the next project. Your procrastination may simply be an indication of fatigue.

2-Fear of failure. If you start your new diet and exercise routine today then you may fall off the wagon tomorrow, but if you don’t start the new routine you can never screw it up. So procrastinating will keep you from failing. If you don’t start you never fail!

3-It is a rush. A literal and figurative rush. If you wait until absolutely the last minute to start a project your whole body will be thrown into it by way of activating the sympathetic nervous system. Way back when we needed to outrun predators our Fight or Flight response helped us avoid being eaten for lunch. Now when we wait until after lunch to start a complicated project that is due at 5, our fight or flight response kicked in and soon we are swimming in adrenalin and all pumped up. Josh and Chuck from Stuff You Should Know have a good explanation of it HERE (I love me some Josh and Chuck!). Anyway, the whole Opponent Process of Holy $%# I have to get this in by 5pm followed by the euphoria of finishing the project can be quite addicting and we may procrastinate because we then get such a rush when we complete the task. If we had simply done it in a more reasonable amount of time we would not experience the rush, but neither would we experience the detrimental stress!

4-Deer in the Headlights. Sometimes there is so much to be done that it is overwhelming. With so many choices about where to start, it becomes impossible to sift through them and pick something. I experienced this earlier today. I have 3 midterms to study for all of which require that I complete the assigned reading before I can really get to the studying, I have pressing consulting work that has a number of parts to it, I also have some contract work that needs to be done by Friday and I have a list of things that need to be done for the family. I sat at my dining room table flipping through (but not reading) the chapters of a textbook, checking Facebook updates and generally not accomplishing anything. I started to feel a bit panicky and realized that I just didn’t know where to start. This is often the time that serious procrastination will start and avoidance behaviours such as cleaning the bathroom or making a phone call will kick in. I think feeling overwhelmed is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination, but we don’t often acknowledge that this is what is actually going on.

I have recently learned that you really don’t need to start at the beginning of a task–you just have to start somewhere. I have also learned that how you feel about starting a task is irrelevant, but if you wait to feel like doing something, you may be waiting a long time.

My blogging has been like that. I have been so busy that I have not had time to think about what to post about. I also have had very few precious seconds with which to actually sit down and type. I have been waiting for inspiration to hit. As you can see from that dates between post–it hasn’t hit in a while. Then today a friend, I will call her “Twilight” and I had a Facebook exchange about how she was not completing something that she really needs to do. I told her that I was going to post about how she inspired my blog post; I was procrastinating by reading her Facebook post about procrastinating and it has actually inspired a blog post about procrastinating. Oh what a tangled web!

Now I should really be going to bed, but am using writing this blog post to procrastinate about that!

So tomorrow is a new day where nothing is holding you back except your willingness to accept procrastination as a valid way to operate.

I challenge you to do the following exercise:

1- identify one way that you are procrastinating

2- be aware of how your are feeling as you are thinking of this: are you tired? are you scared? are you bored? are you frozen?

3- Say, “by not doing __________ I am feeling ______________”

4- Picture yourself sitting in your favourite place. Image that your task is complete. What feeling will you have then? Relief? Happiness? Peace? Exhilaration?

5- Say “I will feel ___________when I complete_____________”

6- Go do it! You don’t have to start at the beginning you just have to start. If you want to write the last line of your report first–go for it.

You can cast off the negative feelings that accompany tasks left undone and embrace the positive feelings of a job completed. Think of how much energy you are using in worrying about the thing you need to do, but haven’t yet done. Go back up and read step one….and. just. start. It certainly won’t be worse that what you are doing now!

As for me: I finished reading the chapter I needed to read, I have written a blog post (thanks Twilight!) and now no more procrastination. I am off to bed!

‘night all.

Proverbs and Psychology


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Leap and the net will appear – John Burroughs

Be the change you want to see- Ghandi

Love they neighbour- Jesus

Fake it until you make it- anonymous

Just do it! –Nike

I am sure all of you have heard these saying before–although you may have thought the first one was from a zen master. I have always equally attracted to and depressed by each of these proverbs. Why? I love the imagery and the meaning of each, but I also feel that each is very hard if not impossible to do.

Well, that was before reading chapter four of my social psychology text book!

[A slight aside at this point. Please forgive me blogging silence: my blogging time is highly negatively correlated with my studying time. Yes, I am taking Research Methods, how did you know? I will write as my brain power allows and inspiration hits.]

It seems that if we wait for change to happen we will be waiting a long time. But if we act as if we have changed there is a good chance that we will actually be changed. More times that we would think likely, our attitudes follow our behaviour. Often we think we need to change our attitude to change our behaviour; that we must get into the right frame of mind so that we can affect change, but there is very good evidence for doing just the opposite. This makes me think of all the times I have sounded like my mother and told one of my kids to “change your attitude!”. Perhaps I should encourage them to change their behaviour instead.

There are numerous examples how changing a behaviour actually changes the way we think about the behaviour. Who is old enough to remember when there were no seatbelt laws? I have quite fond memories of jumping around with my brothers in the back of my dad’s van as we drove the 50km from Abbotsford to Vancouver. We never wore seat belts, but I never ever drive anywhere without mine on now. I have a very strong attitude about seatbelt safety now, but as I child I certainly didn’t. What changed? My mom and dad telling me that I needed to wear a seat belt (a behaviour) changed my attitude about wearing my seat belt.

Experiments have even demonstrated that acting like you like someone or doing a favour for another person increases how much you like them! Think about it; if you start to act like you like that annoying relative, you will actually start to like them more! Who wins in that situation? Both of you do–you won’t feel as irritated and there is a good probability that the relative’s behaviour will change in response to your change. Then guess what? You may BOTH have a new attitude towards each other.

Tolstoy put it this way, “We do not love people so much for the good they have done us, as for the good we have done them” It is so simple. Be kind.

I have always found this concept of behaviour before attitude true in my athletic training, but never understood the underlying psychological reasons (as I always want to know). I very often have a bad attitude at 5 am when I have to leave my nice warm bed and go out into the cool, cold, freezing morning (depending on the season) and get my training done. I have found that if I try and change my attitude about getting up and out the door I will fail miserably and while I stay in my nice warm bed for an extra hour or two,  I will regret it for the rest of the day. I have taken the counsel of the many many athlete that have gone before me: Don’t think just do. I say this to myself as I lay down at night and I say this to myself when the alarm goes off in the morning. I find that after a few morning of a new activity, I-actually-just-do. I still don’t want to do, but I do! Then after a few more morning I actually want to do  and getting out of bed isn’t so hard. I never knew why this happened before and now I do; it is putting the action in place. Nike had it right, Just do it! the rest will come. It is hard to put the behaviour in front of the wanting-to (the attitude), but it is so worth it.

Be warned the opposite is also true. There are some really ugly studies that chronicle all the ways that humans beings are capable of degrading and treating others with less and less humanity. “The more one harms and adjusts one’s attitudes, the easier harm doing becomes” (Social Psychology Perspectives pg 135)

I love being in university–well, at this moment, while blogging on my porch with a glass of wine at my side–because my studies continually explain the things I am experiencing in my everyday life! I had a quiz in my Learning and Behaviour class last week. I have been freaking out all week because this is the first measure of my performance as a full-time university. I managed to make it into this HUGE deal in my head. I have really struggled with the adjustment to five courses while working part time and training and oh yeah, mothering four children and wife-ing one fairly amazing husband. So, this quiz really took on a whole lot of significance for me and I thought I had messed up an answer. I have been agonizing over it. Seriously, agonizing over what the prof was going to think of that fact that I mixed up my examples for salience and belongingness (don’t ask). My attitude has been one of dread. Well, today we got our quizzes back. I waited till almost everyone else had gone up at the end of class to pick theirs up before I went and got mine. I was attempting all sorts of positive self talk about how the mark doesn’t make the woman and dreading the 6/10 I was expecting. I saw my quiz on the desk and the word written on it were, “10/10 Nice!” I will admit to you that I was irrationally joyful. The prof told me that I “nailed it”. I seriously started crying with relief when I got out of the lecture room. I need to get a handle on this or I will be exhausted by midterms, but what struck me was my attitude. I expected to do badly; I always expect to do badly and am always surprised when I do well. If that doesn’t make sense to you (yeah!) check out my previous post on imposter syndrome. So after being enlightened by my Social Psychology text book this evening, I am going to change my behaviour. I am going to go about my days as if  I am an accomplished, intelligent student–one who does well on exams and essays and quizzes. I figure that this must be a lot less exhausting than the behaviour I am manifesting at the moment: that of a mature student-who-can’t-cut-it-and-who-really should-not-have-ever-considered-reducing-gainful-(if unfulfilling)-employment-to pursue-a-dream.

Be the change you want to see.

You know what? You will actually BE what you want to see.

Turns out Jesus was right. He said, “love thy neighbour as thy self” There is a great deal to unpack with this verse that I simply don’t have the time or theological training to do, but if you think about it through a social psychology lens: act as if you love your neighbour and you will love your neighbour and as an added bonus., you will also love (be kind to) yourself.

Now I must be off to practice my “Don’t think, just do” mantra. I have stayed up way past my bedtime blogging and have enjoyed every minute I have spent with you, but I have a date with my master’s swim group at 5:30


Be well every one!


Comment on one thing that you are going to do this week that is a change in your behaviour…especially something that you don’t feel like doing, but really want to…

15 &16 of 42: Master’s Swim and other Embarrassments


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Just wanted to let you all know that I am still alive, just completely overwhelmed by the demands of being a wife, mother, student, consultant, sunday school teacher and wanna-be triathlete. It is only the second week of my return to full-time university and so I am still finding my way, but at the moment I feel a bit like this fellow.

I have just discovered the beautiful underwater art of Jason de Caires Taylor. His underwater sculptures are quite amazing. Either click on the picture or on his highlighted name to view his website. It is worth a look. The images are stunning,

I only hope I get my gait before I end up like this:

I would like to write some insightful observations or a witty anecdotes, but I have just finished trying to wrap my head around correlation coefficients (now taking applications for tutors) so I don’t really have much brain power left and an alarming large amount of homework still to do!

But for a quick update that will satisfy a couple of my 42 new things this year:

I have joined the Laurier Master’s Swim Club. The people are really nice and it is really hard! There are some SERIOUS swimmers in this group and they speak in swim-drill-code. I am learning the language and figuring out which lane I belong in (I am happy to report that it is not the slowest, BUT I did get passed by a pregnant chick) and I am committed to showing up every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 am. My hope is that this will translate into such a fast swim time next season that I will be so far ahead of everyone else out of the water that nobody can catch me on the run! I have all winter to work on it. I hope my twice weekly weigh lifting sessions and cycling will help increase my speed too. No, I am not allowed to run yet. The snake really did a number on my foot and it is still pretty sore.

I am really committed to keeping up my fitness because, quite honestly, I need to make sure I retain my mental health until the end of this semester. Here are just a few snippets of my Monday university experience:

  • In my first class, when referencing the trend of positive reinforcement behaviour modification so prevalent in the 1970s, the instructor made mention about how there was only one other person in the room who was alive at that time (wonder who that could be?) Later in the lecture she asked if anybody was an aunt or an uncle and knew about babies. She shocked the class by telling them the babies have different personalities right from birth–who knew?
  • I was late for my next class because there was a huge line up for the bathroom (at least that is universal). Almost all the seats were taken and I had to make my way along a narrow row to get to a middle seat. I lost my balance (because I am the geek carrying text books around in her back pack) and fell forward (think boobs first) into some poor young unsuspecting lad already sitting down. THEN I had to sit next to him. I really don’t recall what the prof was talking about for the most of that lecture *cringe* I am going to call this 16 of 42-Boob assault!
  • My last prof was referencing a study from 1970 and he stated that he hadn’t been alive when it was conducted. I hope to God he was kidding, but I am probably older than him!

Tomorrow I am at it again. The saving grace is that the subject matter is absolutely fascinating and I hope to share some of what I am learning with you soon. Just let me get caught up on my reading first.

Can you spot the Dave Matthews Band reference in this post?

Have you ever unintentionally assaulted someone with a body part?

14 of 42 My First Day of School


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Well this was it–the first day of classes at Wilfred Laurier University. It is my first day as a full-time university student in 23 years!









This is Wilf enjoying the sunshine and pondering.  This is my “first day of school” shot!

It went pretty well. I didn’t get stuffed into any lockers (most likely because I don’t think there are any lockers except in the gym!). I found all of my classrooms and two people even spoke to me! My professors seem very capable and one is even funny!

After a rigorous day of academics I found my bike with a flat. It seems that my bike likes to get flat tires. A lot. I think the universe is telling me that I need to get better at fixing flat tires, and I am considering investing in some tube stocks.

On this return to school I was struck by all sorts of random and divergent thoughts. So I am simply going to list them here and you can take them as you will.

  • This is the first, first day of school I can ever remember where I didn’t feel self-conscious about my weight.
  • I didn’t get the memo about wearing shorts
  • I need to ad “legit” and “sick” into my vocabulary
  • Professors are not as old as they used to be
  • By the number of grande-frappacino-green-tea blah-blah-blahs I saw students drinking, they all either have a hell of a lot more money than I do or are going to be phoning home by mid October to refill the food cards!
  • Work-life-school balance will be interesting. I was madly trying to finish a work report 10 minutes before my first lecture began
  • Laurier Student Union Rocks! They are one of the first universities in Canada to offer and EAP (employee assistance program) for every single student. This means that we can all access counselling and other service free of charge!
  • No one cares that I am as old as the professors!

Have you embarked on anything new this fall?

What are your main memory of your first day of school: elementary, high school or university?