Friday, September 25, 2009

clarity and certainty

Today was one of those rare days where suddenly I can clearly see the direction I want to be headed in. I feel like I've been spinning lately, but can now see a path out of the chaos. I'm not quite ready to expand on the details, but I wanted to document how I was feeling. Because right now I am feeling sure and certain. And excited. And tired. (Ok, that last one is only because I'm coming off a long day of teaching, so its time to say goodnight.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

orange coat

I'm all about finding bright, visible clothes to wear while riding bike that don't look like, well, neon cycling clothes. I think this orange coat would be adorable to wear while I'm biking as the weather gets cooler. And its waterproof, which would have come in really handy yesterday when I was biking home from cross country practice and got caught in a sudden rain storm!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

i heart teaching

I apologize for the sporadic posting of late. I've been so busy lately, and my brain has been so scattered, that its been a challenge to marshal my thoughts into a cohesive blog post. And I apologize if this comes off a little rambling.

One of the reason that I've been so busy lately is that I'm teaching A LOT this fall. I'm actually teaching 3 classes in the Metals + Jewelry and Interdisciplinary Object Design programs at Towson University. I'm also helping coach cross country at the local middle school/high school again. Plus, I recently completed my LCI training through the League of American Bicyclists, and I'll be attempting to teach a few bike classes this fall as well.

All of this is a long way of saying that I've come to the following conclusion - I love teaching!

I know I said a while back (I can't find the exact post) that I was done with teaching, but I was wrong. I think I've grown a lot in the past year, and I've come to understand just how important teaching is to me and my own creativity. I think I've also learned a lot about myself as a teacher - things that are helping with my stress levels so that I don't reach the burn out that led me to take last fall off.

I've frequently joked that if I could, I would be a lifetime student if only I could afford it. I've now come to realize that teaching is learning (and I get paid for it). I feel like I have freedom to learn, and play, and experiment, and hopefully get to pass that new information on to my students.

I'm also understanding how much the environment I'm teaching in has a lot to do with my happiness level. I'm lucky to teach with some truly amazing people at Towson, and I'm grateful I keep getting asked back to teach.

Something else I've realized is that I can actually be a rather competitive (and dare I say, jealous) person. When I see someone with a successful business, its hard to quash the voices in my head saying, "why her, not me?" I'm not proud of that, but its true. With my students and the kids I coach, I'm the complete opposite. I want only amazing things for them. I want them to be more successful than me. Its an amazing feeling to see the accomplishments my students make, and know that I helped them (even if it was just a little) a long the way.

I'm also starting to understand (with a little help from Seth Godin) that teaching is an incredibly effective, personal form of advocacy. Instead of screaming from the rooftops in the hope that someone hears me, I have a slightly smaller audience that is actually listening. Teaching can be a powerful tool in the pay it forward method of advocacy. If I can reach 3 people, and each of them reaches 3 people, and so on, suddenly so many people are impacted.

At this point, I still can't honestly say that I want a full time teaching job at a university. Even after all the growing, I still don't think I'm ready for the all the bureaucracy. But I am happy to continue teaching and coaching and learning along the way, because I can now honestly say, even on the hard days, that I love it.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I know, I still have plenty of catching up posts to do.  But that doesn't mean I can't post about what's going on right now, right?

The weather today was absolutely glorious.  I can't think of any other way to describe it.  I biked the long way to cross country practice this afternoon.  (I turned my normal 2.5 mile trip into a 12 miler.)  It felt so good to be out in the sunshine.

I plan on being outside biking, running, hiking, etc. as much as possible this fall, to make up for the awfulness which was last fall.  And luckily, the weather forecast for the next week seems to back up my plan.  Hopefully you'll have a chance to enjoy some sunshine this weekend too.