On Education After School

It’s never too late to educate yourself. No matter where you went to school or what kind of grades you got, you can always learn more. Never took Chemistry in high school? Want to learn another language? Don’t know anything about the French Revolution? Pick up a book at your local library, watch YouTube videos or a Netflix documentary, or enroll in a class at your local community college.

The best thing about being out of school is that you can learn about anything you want! LITERALLY ANYTHING. There’s no one telling you to take general ed or to follow a course of study. There’s nothing stopping you from picking up a book or watching an online lecture. You can audit classes and listen to the lectures without worrying about getting a good grade. You can read textbooks without the pressure of memorizing information for a test.

Today I picked up two books from the library: Easy Spanish Reader (2nd ed.), by William T. Tardy, and The Wild Out Your Window, a collection of nature essays by Sy Montgomery. I also own Saxon Algebra 1 (4th ed.), which is where I placed because I’ve forgotten a great deal of the math I learned in high school and college. I’m planning on completing it and all Saxon’s math programs all the way up to Calculus.

Am I consistent with my self-education? Hell no. I have nothing motivating me except my own interests, which wax and wane quicker than the moon, and a desire to educate my children, who currently don’t exist. TV and the internet are distracting, and I have ADD, anxiety, and depression. However, I still think it’s important to try.

So get out there and learn something! Anything! Whatever you want!

The Search for Frog Pond

Going for a Monday hike has become my weekly nature ritual. Today I decided to take a trail I’ve been meaning to take for a while, one that leads to a quaint pond filled with frogs. It’s called Frog Pond, for obvious reasons.

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The trail I attempted. Look at me; so cute and full of hope. 5 miles feels a lot longer when it’s raining.
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Homemade trail mix! Just raw almonds and Ghiradelli chocolate chips. I ate it all.
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Some sort of newt. So cute! There were so many on the trail that I almost stepped on.

I started off so innocently, stepping over newts and enjoying my trail mix. I hiked in a drizzle that kept my hood up for the most part, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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A glimpse of the fog across the way. Back when it was still a drizzle and I could take my hood down for a little bit.

Soon, I encountered the trail signs below, which I misinterpreted, and went off the trail for about a quarter of a mile. That said, I did follow a deer trail until it ended in the underbrush, so it was easy enough for me to follow it back to the actual trail.

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Confusing (at the time) trail signs. The reason I got lost (for real).

After that, I encountered an actual fork in the trail and decided to go right, thinking I hadn’t yet hit the fork I was anticipating from the map. This trail led to a small pond, where I scared a couple of ducks, but seemed to end there. So I went back and took the left trail.

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Not Frog Pond.

After that, the trail went up a hill absolutely covered with scotch broom, and the drizzle became heavier and combined with water from the underbrush to totally drench my rain jacket. So I put on my emergency poncho to keep from getting even wetter. At some point, I turned a corner and realized I was thick in some fog and couldn’t see much more than the trail directly in front and behind me.

Let me pause here to explain that I hate the fog. The first time I walked out into the fog when we lived in Santa Rosa, I nearly had a panic attack. It freaks me out. I don’t like not being able to see, and I feel very vulnerable in it.

So it was at this point I decided I had hiked too far and somehow missed Frog Pond. I turned around and headed back the way I had come. On my way back, I looked at the map on my phone again and realized I was SO CLOSE to Frog Pond. If I had just gone a little further, I would have found it.

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The look on my face when I got done.

Oh well! I was still fun, and I got a good three hours of hiking in. Will I try to actually find Frog Pond next week? I don’t know! I might try a different trail next week! We’ll see. Until then!

NaNoWriMo and the Hike

You guys, of you are ever feeling stuck or uninspired in your writing, take a hike. Literally. I took a hike today, and I had two big epiphanies. Go alone or take a quiet friend. There’s something about being out in the quiet, listening to the birds and your own steady footsteps, that rattles loose some ideas and attracts whole new ones.

Now I’m off to write 2,014 words (at least!) of new ideas. 😊💜✍🏻💻