21Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 12: Get Shit Done! #yogagirlchallenge

IMG_4589.JPG

This is an easy day for me as getting shit done is my nature. I do a great job of it on a regular basis. So today’s list wasn’t all that long thankfully (getting back to Aruba is on my list!). This is a picture of my son’s new shoes and lunchbox. School starts tomorrow, and my two kids are ready. My oldest, a senior in college, is also ready!

I am so good at getting shit done that over the years I’ve learned to chill out and be ok with it, not feeling guilty that I should be doing something or calling myself names if I feel like being lazy for a change. It’s one thing to be able to multi-task and be productive, but it’s also valuable to learn to relax and just be without judgement or guilt. I enjoy both ends of the spectrum and strive to find the balance in between.

I’ve been through a lot of changes this year and feel proud of all the shit I’ve gotten done. Besides going through a divorce, I managed to get an A in Trigonometry, tutor math privately, sell and move out of my house, move into a rental, and continue being a happy healthy mom to my kids. Not to mention I’ve gotten about 180 handstands done for the #handstand365 challenge. When I put my mind to something I do it!

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

IMG_4332.JPG

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 13: Be Fearless #yogagirlchallenge

Today I started a calculus class at the age of 46 because I want to take it!

IMG_4609.JPG

Calculus is typically a college freshman class, but nobody ever made me take it in college. These days many kids take it as high school seniors since they have the opportunity to excel one or two years in math.

Click here to read about my love affair with math.

I didn’t want to pursue a math related field when I was in college so I didn’t really care about it back then. When I became a teacher in 1998 I fell in love with math and realized I was good at it. Ever since then, I’ve specialized in math and have been tutoring math privately since 2001. I am certified to teach all subjects 4-8 and math 8-12, but once kids finish Algebra 2, I usually have to refer them out.

I quit my teaching job in 2004 to be a stay home mom and have wanted to take calculus since about 2007. When I decided to do it, I found out that first I had to take college algebra, trigonometry, and precalculus. So I took college algebra in 2007 and just finished trigonometry this spring 2014. There was a long break I’m between due to personal stuff. Since I got an a in Trigonometry and my algebra is so strong, my professor let me skip precalculus.

So here I am, being fearless and taking a class out of desire that most people would rather have a root canal than complete. I’m not scared. I am going to do my best. If it’s super hard I will work super hard. I’m not scared. It can only help not hurt.

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 8: Manifesting Dreams #yogagirlchallenge

Now that we’ve practiced having an attitude of gratitude, today’s challenge was to share something about our dreams.

IMG_4722.JPG

IMG_4721.JPG

I’m working on these three yoga poses: grasshopper, scorpion, and royal pidgeon. Rachel taught us how to access the arm and forearm balances so now I can incorporate them into my practice. One day, I will be able to do them.

I am working hard on my core and hope to have six pack abs one day. Not just because they look good, but also because core strength is such an important component of overall fitness, posture, and ability to advance athletic performance.

Thinking about my next tattoo and loving the idea of a lotus flower. Not necessarily this one, but this one is cool especially with the om symbol (the symbol of universal vibrations). The lotus flower grows in the muddy water and blooms when it reaches the light.

I’m keeping Aruba and the lessons I learned there in my heart and dreaming my way back there. Definitely plan to return as soon as possible.

I’m focusing my energies on gratitude, love, and being myself. The law of attraction says that we attract what we think about. So, I’m thinking positive. I’m thinking that life and love are pretty darn awesome.

Following my passion for math and taking calculus this fall after years of wanting and wishing. Never took it in college, took college algebra (pre-requisite) in 2007 and trigonometry (pre-requisite) spring 2014. Finally making it happen at 46 years old!

Have been keeping up with previous days of the challenge as much as I can. In addition to focusing on manifesting dreams today, I started my day with hot lemon water, did a long yoga class with meditation, spent some time outdoors being grateful for the lovely weather, was on time for yoga class, and walked my dogs.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

IMG_0541.JPG

IMG_4499.JPG

IMG_4495.JPG

Reverse Bucket List

Here’s a list of 40 things I did by age 40 (a reverse bucket list):

1. Played Suzuki violin at Wolf Trap, VA and the Kennedy center in DC.
2. Met President Carter.
3. Met Jewel.
4. Got my masters degree (4.0 GPA).
5. Had three babies.
6. Married twice. (Divorced once).
7. completed a 95 day semester on the Rockies.
8. Assisted a midwife at approximately thirty home-births.
9. Got arrested for hanging off the Triboro bridge in NYC to protest ocean dumping for Greenpeace.
10. Edited and self-published my dad’s book for him after he died.
11. Travelled to Europe (Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam).
12. Travelled to Hawaii (Kauai, Maui, Hawaii).
13. Got licensed to teach all subjects 4-8 and math 8-12.
14. Started my own math tutoring business.
15. Worked as a classroom teacher for eight years.
16. Went rock climbing all over (VA, WV, WY, CO, AZ).
17. Had sixteen surgeries.
18. Spent two winters studying and teaching in Yellowstone National Park.
19. Kayaked around Isla Espiritu Santo in Baja. (Spent a month there).
20. Played college soccer freshman and sophomore years.
21. Spent a month above tree line in Colorado learning about alpine ecology.
22. Saw the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band many times.
23. Spent a month living on a hippie commune in Northern California.
24. Started writing a blog.
25. Studied French for six years.
26. Learned to play the guitar.
27. Wrote my first guitar solo.
28. Learned how to do yoga.
29. Lived outdoors in Colorado for a year and half.
30. Was featured in a newspaper for a school project.
31. Wrote nineteen episodes of fiction.
32. Survived a fall/slide all the way down a frozen ski run on Mt Rose, NV.
33. Did gymnastics for eight years.
34. Went on a first date to Paris, France.
35. Drove across the country a few times.
36. Saw over sixty live concerts.
37. Hung a banner from a building for Greenpeace in Louisiana (and didn’t get arrested).
38. Grew up without a father.
39. Completed a sprint distance triathlon.
40. Went to Disneyland and Disneyworld.

What does your reverse bucket list look like?

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

20131207-174547.jpg

25 Things About Me

I’m flashing back today, looking back over some of the old notes I wrote on Facebook before I started blogging.  Found this list of 25 things about me and got a kick out of re-reading it and thought I would share with updates where necessary.

1.  Like my friend Eve who tagged me in this note, I have a genius IQ, but I knew it when I was a kid and resented the pressure to be an overachiever.
2.  I like beans….and I make a yummy bean salad.  Whatever I cook if I can throw in some beans I will. (Update-I no longer eat beans!  I’ve been following a mostly paleo diet since August (no grains, no dairy, no beans/legumes, no refined salt, sugars, or oils). 
3. I like to cook, and I am obsessed with eating healthy food like lean meats, lots of fruits and veggies, and whole grains. (Update-no more whole grains!  Was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity (click here to read the entry I wrote about it) in May and have been off most grains (except a little rice since August).
4.  I always wanted to be a wife and mother and never really knew what career to pursue when I was growing up.  Click here to read why.
5.  Because of #4, I went to three colleges, took two years off (one to work for GP and do a NOLS semester (click here to read about it) and the other to work as a cook and live in Telluride, CO), and changed my major twice (#1 French #2 Philosphy/Religion #3 Environmental Studies)….didn’t graduate until I was 25.

Telluride, CO from a gondola.

Telluride, CO from a gondola. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6.  My first ‘career’ was an environmental activist for Greenpeace in Washington DC.

Washington DC

Washington DC (Photo credit: eGuide Travel)

7.  I got my master’s degree in Education and became a teacher after my GP job got moved to Amsterdam;  I was a single mom so I didn’t want to go.
8.  When I was a teacher, I discovered a passion for math, and now that I am a stay home mom I love tutoring math because I can help students learn to love math.  Click here to read about my love affair with math.

Dansk: Dedikeret til matematik

Dansk: Dedikeret til matematik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

9.  I love to sleep and will sleep until noon if nobody wakes me up.  I also love being pampered like getting massages.
10.  I met my husband, Joe, at the gym when he was working there and going to school and I was his 12:30 appointment for personal training.  We started running together and the rest is history.  Even though he is a lawyer now, we still go to the gym every weekend and love exercising together.

IMG_2656
11.  I am lactose intolerant (like most Asian Americans).
12.  I am an extrovert and love to get together with friends, pot-luck style, with good food, drinks and conversation.
13. When I go out, my drink of choice is gin and tonic (Bombay Sapphire) and my favorite shots are Jaegermeister and Tequila. (Update-no more gin or jaegermeister due to food allergies.  The only liquor I drink is Patron silver tequila).
14.  I drink wine (chardonnay) when I’m cooking and with dinner.
15. I am kind of a control freak and always am trying to avert danger and/or accidents, especially with my kids. Like we don’t let them play outside in the front yard without an adult and don’t even get me started on how hard it is to have a 15 yr. old who is about to date and drive etc. (Update-since I wrote this post, I wrote nineteen episodes of fiction. I realized this theme came up in my fiction writing. Click here to read my fiction episodes).
16.  I like heights and exposure, hence my affinity for climbing trees as a kid, my love for rock climbing and high mountains where the earth meets the sky.  When I stand on a cliff or overlook I get the urge to fly like a bird, but of course I don’t have wings so maybe I should take up hang gliding or something?

climbing

Split Rock, WY 1989

17.  On the flip side, I am claustrophobic and I would really hate to go scuba diving or caving or anything like that.
18.  I am a big flirt, always have been, in fact I won ‘biggest flirt’ in 8th grade with Bill Schraa who ironically was also voted ‘best couple’ with his girlfriend.
19.  When I go shopping I am all about the sales and hardly ever will pay retail price.
20.  I manage all the money in our household and am good about paying our bills on time or early.
21. I correct people when they use bad grammar (I know that is annoying, but I can’t help it).
22.  When I am going through a hard time, I make music mixes full of songs that reflect whatever it is that’s going on.  Before CD‘s I made mixed tapes.
23.  I always try to complement people and tell them what I like about them (something I learned as a teacher when conferencing with parents).  There is always something nice you can say, no matter who it is.
24.  I spend alot of time on the computer.
25.  I give my kids ‘mommy homework’ if they don’t have any from school and make them do reading, writing, and math all summer (for about an hour a day, it’s not so bad) to keep them challenged.  Click here to read about summer learning.

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day 5 Nature

Canna Lily

Canna Lily

“Mathematics is the language of nature.” ~Galileo

This is a picture of a canna lily leaf in my backyard.  They are hearty plants and are easy to grow. In fact they multiply over the years so you can dig up the bulbs, separate them, and replant them elsewhere in the garden.  This beautiful spiral caught my eye as well as the striking patterns and colors on the broad, green leaves.  Fibonacci spirals are found in many places in nature. Think seashells and the spiral shape of the galaxy.  Fibonacci spirals are formed following the Fibonacci sequence, where each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers.  Fibonacci numbers like 3, 5, 8 can be seen in flower petals, tree branches, and spirals found on pineapples, pine cones and other natural phenomena.  Have you ever noticed that before?  It’s super cool.  Math is everywhere!

Check out some of these examples:

Disk florets of yellow chamomile (Anthemis tin...

Disk florets of yellow chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) with spirals indicating the arrangement drawn in. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Aloe polyphylla

Aloe polyphylla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Fibonacci Spiral generated with the f...

English: Fibonacci Spiral generated with the free software GeoGebra (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A tiling with squares whose sides are successi...

A tiling with squares whose sides are successive Fibonacci numbers in length (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

 

 

31 Day Music Challenge: Day 25 A Song that Makes You Laugh

English: Weird Al Yankovic

English: Weird Al Yankovic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9qYF9DZPdw

White and Nerdy” by Weird Al Yankovic is a song that makes me laugh. I laugh because it’s silly but also because I’m a bit nerdy myself. I love that he wrote this parody and think it’s hilarious.  I’m thinking of writing a similar parody for the song F-ing Problems by A$AP Rocky.  It would say, “Yea I like math; I got a math problem!”  LOL  If you haven’t heard the song yet, I have to warn you the lyrics are explicit.  But it would be funny to rewrite it to be all about math.  Yup, I’m (half) white and nerdy too.

 See the whole music challenge list at DeBie Hive.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Pearls on a String: One year later.

One year ago today, I quit my teaching job. Why? I wrote about in this entry: Pearls on a String. Since then, I’ve been adding pearls to my string of wisdom and experience. I’m a numbers person, and I can’t help but remember the day that my life changed unexpectedly, March 9, 2012, the Friday before Spring Break.

Today, my oldest daughter (19) is on spring break from college and enjoying her first vacation (Destin, FL) without her family and just with her friends. My two school aged kids (12 and 8) started their spring break yesterday too. My stepson (20) is an infantryman in the U.S. Army stationed in New York.

English: Beach in Destin, FL

English: Beach in Destin, FL (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last month, I renewed my Texas teaching license (Generalist 4-8), and last week, I passed the licensure test for Math 8-12. I tutor privately at home and on Skype and am a full-time mother.

Math Dances

Math Dances (Photo credit: Dylan231)

 

A year ago, my daughter (12) was coming home alone after school until about 6:30 when I picked up my son (8) from after-school care. There was no after-school care for her; sixth grade is the fist year of middle school here in Texas. Now, I am available for both of them after school, and I’m able to provide transportation for her to take dance classes sixteen hours a week. She’s grown tremendously in all aspects over the past year. She’s keeping up her grades at school, and she’s grown by leaps and bounds in her dance skills (pun intended). My son is also thriving at school and in his sports: taekwondo and baseball. My stepson (20) was able to visit us last March, and we saw him at Christmas. I was able to visit my oldest daughter (19) for ZTA mom’s weekend last month.

I’m able to set my tutoring schedule around our family schedule and am able to spend time pursuing other interests like guitar lessons and blogging. My husband made partner at his law firm in the past year. At first, I was devastated, but I can honestly say I am truly grateful for the opportunity that fell in my lap. I miss the kids, but I still get to work with wonderful students. And most importantly, I’m able to put my family first.

20130309-130909.jpg

Daily Prompt: Musical – What role does music play in your life?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's compositions charact...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s compositions characterized music of the classical era. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Music plays a huge role in my liferuns started playing violin when I was three years old and Also played a little guitar, piano, and clarinet when I was growing up. My mom got her master’s degree in piano and organ, anthese frequently played classical music at home. I am very familiar with many of the classical composers and downloaded some of my favorites like Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi on my iPhone.

I grew up in a DC suburb and started going to live shows at a young age (with a fake ID). I was into all kinds of music in the new-wave, post-punk era. When I was around nineteen years old, I saw the Grateful Dead for the first time. I was never a true “deadhead” who travelled the band around on tour, but I did see many of their shows as well as Jerry Garcia Band shows. I was a REM head from the beginning. Saw them many times. Followed the Meat Puppets on tour from Virginia to Colorado one summer.

Taken in New Haven, CT. Jerry Garcia WPLR Show

Taken in New Haven, CT. Jerry Garcia WPLR Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote a separate post listing all the shows I’ve seen, and that list grows all the time. Lots of awesome bands and solo artists come through Dallas, so we get out to concerts quite often. One of my favorite artists to see live is Jewel. Her talent amazes me. She is one of those rare artists who can entertain you with just their voices and a guitar.

English: Jewel 2008-06-05

I typically listen to music every single day. I hit shuffle on my iPhone and see what songs come up. It’s always interesting whenthe mix of songs matches something that’s on my mind or that’s going on in my life. Music makes me feel emotional and reflective. It can also bring out high energy and help to release anger. I like to make playlists for different purposes, and before digital music, I loved making mixed tapes and CDs as a cathartic experience when going through certain changes. I also sing all the time, either with or without music. Even though I irritate people, it’s my way of being joyful. And that is my right, damn it!

One of my dreams is to write a song one day. I still take guitar lessons and love to play all kinds of music, from rock to reggae, from folk to pop, from rap to bluegrass. Music is my life. When words fail, music speaks. It’s poetry put to rhythm and melody. It’s a sublime way of communicating. It’s math and science.

Thanks for reading this entry! Peace out.

Daily Prompt: Kick It

What is the eleventh item on my bucket list?

1. Go to Seoul South Korea and meet any of my relatives.
2. Speak Spanish.
3. Learn to solo on the electric guitar.
4. Write a song.
5. Be a grandmother.
6. Take Calculus.
7. Turn 100.
8. Visit my dad’s grave in NY.
9. Be a great grandmother.
10. Visit the Hawaiian islands and Tuscany, Italy again.
11. Meet Jewel.