Friday, August 22, 2008

Finally, the summer session concluded with an outstanding presentation of student research. A couple of the presentations were on par with a couple of the lesser lights of my graduate class; one was actually far superior. And to think, all of this in an urban community college, research one class. I loved that moment. Not that I am such an outstanding teacher, okay, I am "a damn good professor" as my mentor, the late Delbert Earismann, once told me. It wasn't that so much; I was exhausted; it was the collective energies generated in the class. No, we didn't practice Qi Gong (that is for full semesters) but we did meditate, focus and often I would start the class with meditation music or something mellow such as Secret Garden music or Steven Halpern. It worked. Also, I call students on their less than full participation or commitment. That is me; it is difficult to stay in a class of mine with a half hearted attitude.

Then, finally, freedom from the classroom, if only for a couple of weeks. At the close of week one, I am decidedly more calm, more rested, and able to confront the inevitable syllabi that await me. New books, new preps; a course I have not taught in years--Intro to Women's Studies. It will rock if enrollment gets to that precious 10; four more to go. If not I am decidedly screwed, in colloquial vernacular.

Although I am really at a low income base, I did splurge and see two films, which I recommend to anyone who might read this blog--Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Elegy. Elegy gets a B+ with an A+ for performances from Sir Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz. It is based on Philip Roth's The Dying Animal, and although in need of an edit here and there, it fulfills. Naturally, Kingsley plays an English professor in his seventh decade who realizes that he has never committed to love, is growing older, and perhaps might try to grow up. Cruz is a beautiful graduate student, 30+ years younger, and they become lovers and eventually more.

Yeah, I was entranced until the film broke in the midst of a poignant realization. After an interlude, all was well and the film resumed to finalize in a disappointing rather mawkish conclusion. I will not spoil it. Kingsley was so good; Del Earismann-like at times, and Cruz was pretty brilliant. Best, I earned free popcorn with my Clearview Cinema card and since the film broke, everyone got a free film pass for another time.

I gave an A to Woody Allen's surprisingly sexual Vicky Cristina Barcelona with one standout performance by Javier Bardeem who made me hot. He is stunning; far from a pretty boy type. Even if he were not wondrous, he is a great actor--The Sea Inside and the horrid No Country for Old Men, are proof. Scarlett Johannsen is weak in her part, Rachel Hall, okay; but again, Penelope Cruz was excellent. Sort of a menage a trois and more....Allen is the omniscient narrator so he is there without being cast in a role or a cameo.

Outside of that, I dined in a couple of favorite spots and look forward to a good Saturday night with friends. Went to my spot, Van Vleck Gardens. Had a great week; onward to week two! Week two brings syllabi and fulfillment of a new commitment to be a resource person at the upcoming New York Chapter of the Colon Cancer Alliance 's seminar, Sept. 6. Top docs, survivors, caregivers, and me...holistic person. I have to prepare a resource sheet. So, I am faced with work, even during vacation which is never vacation since I will not give up my Thursday holistic post at Green Hill Retirement Center.

Well, I would let a week or so pass at Green Hill ; if I had somewhere to go and could afford to go somewhere other than local....last week we discussed how to balance energies, practiced Qi Ball (assisted living) and upstairs in the transitional unit we talked about life, wherever the residents' world took them. It is a learning time for me, a giving time, and very much collective wisdom time.

Yes, I am mellow; however, don't worry. Passion may mellow but it never leaves....

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Summer continues unrelentingly punishing the centuries of human carelessness with continued malevolent climactic conditions. If I were an ecofeminist, I would blame our militaristic, heavy-handed, profit-oriented history of robbing the environment of the tools it needs to survive.

Hmmm......could I do that? Well, yes, in a way. Bears are appearing on golf courses, deer are everywhere looking for a place to live and groundhogs sprout up even around apartment buildings.

And we go on, shopping(well, some of us) and environmentally looting; what is next?I hear people complaining about the weather, the humidity, the absolute torpor of it all. I whine, too; less than in prior life. However, I know I must take some of the blame. Two legged animals can be most cruel.

While meditating and just relaxing in Van Vleck Gardens, I noticed PSE&G (area utility company) digging up mounds of grass in a large area. I was concerned for the animal and bird population. What could I do? I meditated and let the thought leave.

Now, in an unbearably humid day I am defrosting the ancient mini fridge (or excuse for one) that is provided in the too-high-rent studio apartment where I reside in an area that a lot of people want. I would give up the apartment in a moment if I could find an alternative that suits me and that I could more afford. Not yet.

As for the job that will open my life financially, it has not manifested. It is time to create this job; however, it is difficult. Next step, calling holistic centers and making interest meetings or phone calls if it is in another state or area. Then my cell phone bill will rise. And the circle continues.

How to break that circle? Walk in another direction. And I will. In the meantime, back to the refrigerator, grading research papers, and doing what I need to keep self motivation at a peak.

About Me

New Jersey, United States
Wellness encompasses mind-body-spirit. We cannot feel well if all three elements are not in harmony. Achieving wellness can be exhilarating and can open your life. I can assist you on your wellness quest. I offer the combination of graduate training in holistic healing, practical experience and commitment to an integrative approach—using conventional and complementary healing tools, caring, and compassion. Training includes a Masters degree in Holistic Health Studies from Georgian Court University, Cancer Guiding training with the Center for Mind-Body Medicine and continuing Reiki and Medicinal Qi Gong study.