Monday, December 8, 2014


A few days ago, there was a rainy, dark, and bitter cold evening. Now I had been trying to run every day, for my health and for my spirits. I was in the middle of final projects for grad school, and my strained muscles itched for movement. All this aside, I knew on this evening, if I went for a run, I was going to get wet, and I was going to get cold.

They say the hardest part of a training run is getting out the door.

I did get out the door. And if you know me, you know I don't plan much. In fact, I even decide where to run sometimes, while I'm running. I took a page out of my high school cross country team's playbook and went for a "scrambled eggs" run --an improvised run without a destination. I wound up at Brookdale Park in Montclair. I preferred the muddy paths to the concrete paths, and soon I was darting around the many trees in the park, blazing my own trail. This evolved into a game. Mimicking the orbital paths of planets shown in the TV show Cosmos I love right now, I slingshot myself around the "gravity" of the trees, dodging left and right and left again. It was so fun because I was running in the moment, and I rarely ran in the same direction for long. Of course, getting whipped by tree branches I couldn't see in the dark or sliding on muddy tree roots wasn't ideal. But it was exciting. What's my game called? Well, I know what I won't call it. I won't name it after one of the boring research papers I've read for my literature review project. No, this game will not be called, "Small-scale Kinesthetic Modeling of Planetary Orbits As a Coordination Building Exercise and Dopamine-inducing Event"
Maybe it can be called, simply, "Orbits!" It reminded me how necessary PLAY is in my life. Adding variety, and curiosity, and the space for discovery to all parts of my life is to invoke my inner child's playfulness, to enjoy life more.

Happy Trails everyone,

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Quit Facebook

Hi again!

I forgot to share something. The reason I have the time now to post on my blog and CREATE (as opposed to just consume) online content, is very simple. A few days ago, I made the choice to quit Facebook. Here's the explanation. It was my last post on Facebook:

"Dear Friends,
I think I'm going to leave Facebook soon. Facebook can be a good tool for communicating with far-flung friends. And sharing pictures and memes and online article links. But it's got nothing on real face to face meetings. And posting protest images on your profile page isn't as effective as staging real protests and writing real letters to politicians and leaders. It feeds our desire for instant gratification. I can waste so much time on Facebook without realizing it. Lastly, I just don't need some group of strangers to organize my friendships.

I want to create a REAL sense of community. I think texting, social media, TV, and fast food can alienate people from each other, their surroundings, and their impact on other beings on this Earth. I think we would be so much healthier if we all lived in caring communities.

I want to stay in touch with all you friends out there, so here's how:

you can email me at And if you don't have my cell number, you can message or email me for it. Or visit my blog at And let me know your blog, email, and phone if you don't think I have it yet.

I hope to see you in the real world!"

It's only been a week since I quit Facebook, but I feel slightly different. I've been calling friends and emailing them more frequently, and that's more satisfying and intimate to me. On Facebook, I was just perusing mass-publishings of social content that wasn't meant for me alone. Replacing the wasted time on FB is a focus on my self-growth. And I don't mean growing out my hair : ) I'm creating goals and priorities for myself, which is timely, since I'm in Finals Week for Grad School now. Of course, as you know, the most exciting goal for me right now is running the Western States 100 miler in 2016. It's strange...I've never been this excited about something so far in the future.

Keep dreaming y'all,

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Grad School

So here's a sample of what I've been studying in Grad School. The assignment was to create an artistic representation of a social justice issue.

It's a comic explaining school funding inequities in the USA. Excuse the mirror image, I took a picture of it with my computer. The story starts in the middle. The man represents a U.S. state, and he's handing out equal amounts of funds to two types of schools. The school on the right resides in a low poverty (richer) neighborhood while the school on the left has high poverty. With more property tax funds, the richer school can still fund Physical Ed. classes, has ample computer access, and highly educated and experienced teachers. The poorer school, on the other hand, has inadequate temporary buildings, overcrowded class sizes, and poor student achievement. Federal education funds are being dropped from fighter jets and helicopters. The US government spends 19 times as much on the defense budget as it does on Education. Feeling the sting of injustice, the poorer school's student is asking, "How is this fair?"

Do you like it? I'm proud of this poster. My professor liked it so much, she hung it in her office.