Thursday, January 29, 2009

I had an interesting thing happen to me. About a month ago (maybe even a month an a half) I was contacted by this woman named Corrine who had apparently seen my blog. She said she wasn't spam, and she worked for Turner Publishing Company. She said they were putting out a book on the history of Sonoma County, and would I be interested in having one and reviewing it for her on my humble little site? I thought this sounded like an amazing opportunity, so I agreed, sceptically wondering to myself if it was legit.

Well...I surely did receive a book in the mail. How about that, I thought, as I slipped off the business card she'd attached confirming that it was from Turner Publishing Company. Historic Photos of Sonoma County. It's a big, beautiful coffee table book, with amazing old black and white photos of our lovely county and how it grew into what it is today. I combed through it several times hoping I'd see a relative, as my family has quite a history in this area. Although I didn't recognize anyone, I certainly saw very familiar names and sites. It was wonderful to see what downtown Santa Rosa used to look like. I remember listening to my Aunt Ada talk about going to Rosenberg's to shop for clothing and yarn to make make her trademark slippers. Man, did those slippers hurt your feet...but that is beside the point.

The book doesn't just center on Santa Rosa. Every area of our fair county is touched upon. The text is written by Less Torliatt, a former teacher at Santa Rosa and Piner High Schools. He was also an editor and writer for not only The Press Democrat, and the Petaluma Argus-Courier, but also The San Francisco Chronicle. Torliatt discusses the span of time beginning with the 1850's, taking us through the devastation of the 1906 earthquake, the prohibition years, the prosperous times Sonoma County enjoyed after the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge, and ends with a discussion of how the county was affected by the war years.

I loved the photos! There's a great photo of Luther Burbank in there, with none other than Helen Kellor! Seems like we've welcomed many famous faces over the years. I thought the book was very interesting, and did a great job showing the true spirit of Sonoma County. I highly recommend it, and it is now out in book stores, so go check it out! With distressing news everywhere we turn, it was nice to be transported to a simpler time. It was also encouraging to see that although Sonoma County has weathered hard times before, we do press on in a way that shows our local pride and a hope for the future!

Thank you for thinking of me Corrine!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Scoop......

Once poor blog goes neglected! I've been busy. I'm full-time school now with a lot more homework. Sometimes it makes me feel really overwhelmed...and frankly, kind of old. Why, oh why didn't I do this when I was younger? I frustrate myself! I doubt I would have taken it so seriously back then. Most kids appear to feel like they don't have much to lose. Well...this time around, I know the gravity of my situation. I think that is a large part of why it overwhelms me. It's up to me. I have no wing man. No...that's incorrect. Okay...God is my wing man! Better?

Somehow, I've wound up with 7 classes this semester. I was hoping to get into Communications 66, but the teacher didn't have enough room to add me. Her class appeared to be filled with the football team. This sent me scrambling to get three extra units so I would keep my full-time status for the sake of scholarships. I replaced Comm 66 with a couple small online courses......and yeast bread. Yes....bread making. It is obviously not a nursing prerequisite, and probably something I personally should avoid, but it was an easy unit. The class only meets two times....both on Sundays. Chris is excited that I'm going to learn how to make good pizza dough. Teenage boys often think with their stomachs! So my schedule has me on campus two days a week. The rest is online. I feel like I'm burning a lot of gas going back and forth though, not to mention the constant circling for a parking spot! Don't get me started on JC parking! Aaarrgg!! I have two classes each of those two days. Algebra at noon, and History 17.2 (after the Civil War) at 7pm on Mondays, and Algebra again at noon, and Humanities 5 (world cultures) at 7pm on Wednesdays. Besides the algebra teacher, I clearly am the oldest in the math class. That is a bit weird. I thought to myself at first, well...maybe they'll see me as some sort of wise mentor or something. Um....Wrong!! They're right out of high school, and don't need the help of rusty old me! Oh well! I've only had the history class once, because of Martin Luther King Day. I hope it gets better. My teacher is going to wear a hole in the carpet with his pacing back and forth. He may eventually poke someones eye out with all the hand flailing. Better sit a couple rows back. I felt exhausted after watching him for a couple hours. He took an immediate liking to one of the men in the class, and they proceeded to have a long discussion about politics. The rest of us could have left the classroom and gone home. I don't think he would have noticed. Fun times ahead for me! Somewhere in here I should probably put in a paragraph, so I'm going to do so right now....
Although the subject matter is quite interesting, my humanities teacher is, shall we say--unusual? She's quite granola (as are many instructors at the JC I'm finding), complete with homemade clothing and an all roads lead to God mentality. Can't you just smell the patchouli? She had us move the desks in a circle so that no one is elevated above another, herself included. Although she said she hates the idea of grading, she sure has assigned a butt load (please excuse my crudeness!) of stuff for us to do! When you speak to her, her face changes, eyes to the heavens, like she's processing your words in some internal computer and formulating the correct response. Quite a stoic gal! I guess the deal at the jc is that you must meet some weirdness quotient in order to teach there. She assigned us four different books for the semester--one she wrote (it cost $60 bucks!), one is called "Persepolis," about a girl growing up in Iran during the reign of the Shaw (did I mention it's in comic book style?), one is about what people eat in other countries, complete with a recipe for boiled goat head soup (Yum!), and one is called "We are Everywhere, the irresistible rise of global anti capitalism." Now, doesn't that sound like a page turner?! Two of my classmates got into a rather heated debate regarding how Americans should feel about how we repressed other cultures in our quest for world domination. I thought one of them was going to pop a blood vessel! My teacher just sat there looking nonplussed and rather scared! Going to be quite a semester! Here's another paragraph......
The other three classes are punctuation online (for me, easy peasy---yes, I am that ana..uh...retentive!), how to take an online course (I already know how to do that, but like the bread class--easy unit!), and information literacy, which helps the student develop better researching habits. I also have the task of making sure I've applied to every scholarship I qualify for, because I'm hoping to be a full-time student instead of a worker bee. This way, I will get to the nursing program before my son is done with college. Pray for me! I'm going to need miracles this semester!
So...what's new with you?