How my guidance counselor changed my life.

Be inspiring!
Be inspiring!
Today

I’m going to write about a situation that happened when I was 16.

I was just your average girl going to school trying to make my way through. I excelled, or at least I like to try to think I did.

Nah, who am I kidding. I got by. My aim was always an A grade for excellent, but I think I sometimes went too fast on some of my math quizzes.

My dear teacher caught onto this and would look me in the eye and smile while correcting me. Id get frustrated with myself and try to apologize to him. He would tell me not to worry and tried to make sure my mistakes didnt make me want to stop learning.

   I’m still so thankful to him.

But Ive already written a post about him because he was my favorite teacher.

Regardless this little ditty has to do with how information on a casual day at school changed my life.

Figure it out. Figure it out. If you can’t figure it out, well then I suggest you find a way to figure it out.

Point A to Point B, Julie. Get there. Im trying! Stick with me!

So here is the story is how my guidance counselor changed my life:

Every day FLOWERS!
Every day flowers.

I’m a high school junior on the swim team. I am the class president and in advanced math classes.

I’m working my summers at the theme park at the main gate.

I spend my free time hanging out with friends on the quad lunch area during our 10:15a break.

Im the scorekeeper at basketball games.

One day, Im sitting in math class and I get called by someone who says I had an appointment with Dr. C who is our school guidance counselor.

My first thought was that I was in trouble for something I had done wrong.

Instead, I walk into a small office with a scattered desk and the nicest smiling person you could ask for.

He asks me, “So, Julie, have you thought about where you are going to go to university?”

Um, no, I mutter.

Well you know, he tells me, junior year is when you take your SAT tests and next year you are going to have to get your applications in.

Have you got your applications?

I’m like, What?

He says, Well, have you thought about private or public university?

I knew my parents weren’t going to pay for my university so that left if anything, public or state funded.

Then Dr. C hands me two packets that were California State University applications. He explained that there were two state systems: the California State University group and the University of California group. Each  group had about 20 campuses in different cities.

He gave me the examples. And a map. And a packet.

What changed my life about that conversation is that I was now empowered with information — information that was life changing.

I read the packet front to back.

I went back to class and asked my friend if he knew that it was time to take SAT tests and apply to university. Of course he knew.

Didn't everyone?

I sat for my SATS. Get it? That’s a pun 😉

The exams were difficult. I should have studied harder for them. That’s okay.

Then came summertime. I decided to go visit some universities on my own.

I chose four. I got in my car and off I went — alone of all things.

I visited Humbolt, Berkeley, San Louis Obispo, and San Francisco State. On another trip I visited San Diego State University, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara State University.

I chose San Jose State University mostly because I liked the feel and I loved the old Ivy Bell Tower. Also, there was a well known journalism and marketing program — the only specialization in marketing at that time.

Northern California is cool too. Shout out to my no cal friends.

So that’s my story today. Not too big of one, just a little one. I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I’m just saying that today I’m grateful that I was called into a meeting with a counselor who gave me information that later handed me a future.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for stopping in. You know I appreciate it.

Also I would like you to know I paid my way through University working part time jobs.  I am proud of that because I met a lot of students whose parents were paying.

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My love affair with Apple, Mac and highest regards for Steve Jobs. ♥ ❒ Check ✔

♥ Why is it called Apple? Mouse over this picture to see.
It just works.

It started when I was working in the 80s at ComputerLand. I was hired by my mom’s friend the year after I had graduated high school. She hired me to be her assistant.

We sold IBM PCs to banks. There were no hard drives or memory on computers in those days. We saved our data on something called a 5 1/4 inch floppy disc.

One beautiful day a cute square box with an apple on it arrived that changed our lives. I got to open it. That was truly an exciting memory.

This is the first Mac that came out around 1984 I believe.
My very first computer purchase ~ the Mac Classic. I walked out of the SJSU Spartan Student Store with this in a box in 1986. It seems like yesterday.

It was the 1984 Macintosh also called the Mac Classic. We opened it up and I saw my first mouse. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream come true, someone, thank you Steve Jobs, had revolutionized the computer.

We had three programs to play with: a version of Word called MacWrite, a graphics program called MacPaint and solitaire.

Do any of you guys remember Wordstar? It was pre-word and used on IBM computers. Basically, you had to type a command-U before underlining and a command-U after the words to stop underlining. If you forgot the second command, your entire page would be underscored.

Bwah Ha ha ha.
That’s nerd humor for you.

Here kitty kitty kitty.  That's me talking again to my cat. : )
Here kitty kitty kitty. Click here to see my S.J. picks.

I hung out with the technicians. We got to open backs of computers and change mother boards and printer adapters. Fun stuff yet thoroughly educational and enjoyable. One day my friend Keary programmed a tiny musical symphony.

Why I love Apple and Mac Computers.

In 1986, after working at IBM, I bought my first Mac Classic at the student store at San Jose State University. The price was US$999. It was a bit of a novelty among my friends but me and my roommate got all of our reports done and WE COULD EDIT THEM.

Does anyone remember using white out on paper on a typewriter?

After university, I got my first job at big company in Los Angeles. There again, it was Mac all the way. To date, I have had and worked on

For my younger readers: This is what a computer screen looked like before there was a MOUSE!
For my younger readers: This is what a computer screen looked like before there was a MOUSE! See the Alt? Hold that with the U to start underlining! bwah ha ha ha, nerd humor again!

Macintosh ~ 1984
Apple IIgs ~ 1986
Macintosh LC 1990
Power Macintosh ~ 1994
Powerbook ~ 1996
iMac ~ 1998
Macbook ~ 2007
iphone – 2010

Talk about brand loyalty. The most difficult time in my life is when I moved to Europe in 1995 and couldn’t get support for my Powerbook to get my email going. I survived through it though. Europe has only embraced Apple in the last few years.

What I love about Macs?

Design. Intelligence. Font choice. The smile when you boot. User friendliness. The cool factor. That I have another mac or Apple and plan on getting more.

Thank you Steve Jobs and God bless.

How about you? Just how much do you love your Apple products? Are you loyal to any ONE brand?

Plug this into your cockpit.
ipad will replace books, in my humble opinion.

Also, I’ve never agreed with people who say Mac is just used for designers. I think ANYONE would love a mac product. Also I JUST had a long conversation how the ipad will revolutionize reading. I believe it will. I see kids with backpacks weighing 20 pounds and I get it big time.

Thank you for reading and commenting. please feel free to visit our gift store by clicking here.

#6 My Amazing Friends also known as MAFSS guest M. Risser

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Running side by side friend.

Run the Hill by guest blogger Michele Risser

Run the hill is a phrase I use when things get hard. Run the hill is focus. Run the hill is determination. Run the hill is tenacity, strength and endurance. Running the hill is the thing you have to do to become a better runner.

On a long stretch of highway you can see the hill, ahead in the distance waiting for your arrival. There are certain things you must do as you approach it. You must unclench your fists and relax your shoulders. You must straighten your back and expand your chest. You must raise your head. Most importantly, you must turn up your music.

Stay focused.

As you begin the ascent, you must find a point just ahead of you to become your mini goal. It may be a crack in the road, a sign or a post, a tree or a flower. All you aim for is that next little goal. It is very important not to look, glance at, or focus on the top of the hill, it is overwhelming.

You must stay focused on your mini goal until you pass it and then hone in on the next crack, tree, post or flower until again you must select a new one.

As your music keeps your pace, as your eyes look forward, as your chest expands to receive oxygen and your head is held up to supply that oxygen, you begin to realize you are running the hill. Little by little, breath by breath, one leg and then the other stepping up, up, up. You are running the hill.

Jumping over obstacles.

Those things in life which are the hardest to do are the things we must do. They make us stronger, more patient, compassionate, they improve us.

They give us the experiences in life which require focus, determination, tenacity and perseverance.

Doing hard things helps us to grow. At times those hard things may seem overwhelming and so you set a mini-goal.

Perhaps solving one problem at a time, improving a fault little by little, mending a relationship, gaining knowledge, overcoming pain, hurt, anger, depression or addiction. One hour at a time, one day at a time, one lesson at a time, one achievement at a time.

Triumph

When you reach the crest of a hill and you know within a minute you are will be at the top, you must push with that one last burst of energy that is hidden deep inside of you, but is always there.

For a brief second, just an instant, you are able to see the view from the top of the hill. The view is glorious, spectacular, breath taking and not because of what you may see, but because of what you feel ~ your moment of triumph.

You will feel your strength, your determination, tenacity and endurance, all of the those characteristics that helped get you to the top of the hill.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Then, you begin to run, down, down. No longer is a mini goal needed. Your breath begins to relax, no need to concentrate on the song to keep pace.

For a moment you have a repose, a rest from the intensity of pushing yourself, from doing something physically and mentally challenging.

Even though you know that there will always be another hill, you immerse yourself in the glory of running without effort. You feel light, you are floating, you are free from the burden of climbing the hill and all you can do is look in wonder and gratitude at what is around you.

You feel like you can fly.

Becoming a stronger you.

We cannot avoid running the hill, we must run it when it is there before us. We must not be discouraged if it not our best run, or our strongest, or fastest or our most successful. Running the hill will be different every time, because all hills are different. The constant lies in us and the tools we use from experience, to make the run bearable, to finish. Remember that each time you run the hill, you become a stronger you.

Run the hill, run the hill, run the hill. It is what I repeat over and over in my mind as I make the climb, both in running and in life.

If you’d like more information about Michele and running you can leave a message here below, contact her on twitter, or contact her on facebook.

 

OOH, I LOVE THIS GIRL. NEW AND SHINY!

Some people have asked if they can send me a gift — are you freakin’ kidding me? Of course you can. Gifts are always welcome and greatly appreciated. New gifts will support: 1) Kiva 2) Me getting out to see my family 3) New paintings 4) You! Because you are awesome. Choose between: She’s funny $10 She’s freakin’ hilarious $20 She’s inspired me $50 Just for fun. $100.00 USD I’ll have what she’s having $500 I’ll drink the koolaid $1,000 Thanks!

MSF

Click on card, it’s free!

Swim away from the cake — updated motivational technique.

Hi friends. Welcome.

I am putting every ounce of myself to becoming a better blogger, writer and communicator.

Swim away from the cake!

More importantly is that I am trying to make a positive change in life.

Thank for visiting if this is your first time here. Welcome back visitors, feel free to leave comments, I truly appreciate them. 

What motivates you?

My best friend kicks my bum in tennis and probably anyone elses. When we were playing at university we were great partners. We spent our time between matches actually doing cartwheels on the court.

We were paired up with a couple of strong guys who were so serious about tennis. One day our coach pulls us aside and assigns us new partners. Not those guys, Not those guys, we chanted — they’d kill us at tennis.

Sure enough, we  found fantastic new partners, the super strong guys.

I’m building bridges here.

Stay with me folks. There IS a reason I’m telling you this.

The reason is this. I like to find what is behind someone’s motivation. Is it someone who comes over, puts your hand on your shoulder, smiles, and says good job, or is the person who gets behind you and yells ‘DO IT!’?

Ti voglio TANTO bene.
Ti voglio TANTO bene.

When I was on swim team in high school, my sister was my best motivator. She’d follow me back and forth across the lanes and scream ‘Go, Go!’ Her coaching strategy was swim toward the chocolate cake and away from the shark.

Just pretend

Be a kid and pretend you are the best. Walk across the room at this moment as if you have a cape on your back, I don’t care if anyone’s watching — all the better. Our mind will literally follow suit.

When my best friend and I were back playing singles tennis, she’d say Julie  — You’re going down with such conviction, I had no other choice then to believe here. Guess what? She usually won. She still does.

The point is, get out there, do your best.

Go! Go! Just get out there and do it! Be the positive change you want to see. That’s all we can ask, isn’t it?

Have a positive mental outlook and a strong belief that you can win. If you don’t believe in yourself, well then, I do. Go!

Have a nice day and thank you for visiting.

Reach for the moon. ☆ If you don’t make it — at least you’ll be in the midst of stars.

When they say you can't, show them differently.
10 x No = YES!

Here is a story I learned when I was young.

There are a bunch of fleas put in a jar. They keep jumping super high. In fact, fleas can jump 60 times their height! The fleas are now in the jar jumping so high so high.

Then someone comes along and puts a cap on the jar. Bump bump bump. The fleas hit their heads. Ouch. They change their behavior and say in a tiny flea voice I will only jump as high as this lid. Ouch ouch ouch.

Then someone comes along and opens the jar. What do you think happens? Do the fleas jump super high or do they jump just as high as the lid?

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ღ ॐ Friedrich Nietzsche ♡

Unfortunately they only jump slightly lower than lid. You know why? They learned they couldn’t jump any higher.

The point of the story is that we are all little fleas that can jump 60 times our height.

You can jump higher.

Please don’t let ANYONE ever tell you that you can’t do something that benefits yourself, humanity, your team or someone you love.

Even better do something for an enemy. Forgive them.

More Peeps?! WT~@#?

 

Surely a vanilla green tea with honey day today.

Tell me when you want me stop talking about this but I have a good number of visitors here. I think that’s unbelievable.

I just don’t know when I am going to get used to thinking I’m talking to more than my husband or children. Still it just floors me. I googled the question How many people visit your blog?

I keep getting referred back to one site and I found an interesting chart saying they get 20,000 visitors per week. I’m not buying it. Maybe they are. I just don’t know of any personally.

I am sure somewhere someone is. If so be brave, come forward, leave a comment. One guy said he got like I don’t know 250 per week when he wrote an iphone review. Probably.

Cough cough cough bull…bull. bologna.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On

Welcome new readers. I hope you become a regular visitor.

The bottom line is I am completely satisfied with the positive feedback I am getting and the steady increase in visitors. Thank you.

Do you like email? I don’t like it so much.

 

What do you think about the box that reads: If you are new you might want to consider adding me onto your email subscription? I wish someone would explain that to me. I personally don’t like email so much.

I do all of my communicating between my friends on facebook. What am I going to do with a HUGE list of emails? Sell them to marketers? No. Why? So they can send me junk mail that I trash?

I’m not going there. Am I wrong in thinking if someone wants to see what I am up to they can go to my site or drop me a line? People know how to bookmark, don’t they? Argh.

The first week I was blogging I added myself as a subscribe to my newsfeed by email button. I kept getting letters from myself and it was awful.

Reach for the moon. If you don’t make it at least your are somewhere amongst the stars.

Have a great day and thanks for visiting.

Julie

I’m painting pictures in the garden.

Follow your dreams. ॐ
Follow your dreams. ॐ Here I won at a local competition for this painting I entered : )

Hi friends. New visitors welcome.

I’ve been busy in my garden making more paintings. I love them. I found a program online that shows me what they will look like framed under various settings. I’m sharing only one today as I find it’s fairly time consuming.

The painting you see is the one that I entered the contest in in our local town. It was a funny day actually. The way it works is you have to stop by in the morning with a piece of paper, pay the entry fee, I think about $10, and the nice people put a stamp on the back showing it’s a new paper.

Then you have until 3.30 to turn in your finished piece.

The only problem I encountered was time. I had lunch plans that day with my family out of town. At 2p I said I had better get busy.

I flew into my garden, grabbed my paints and started painting. The blank canvas was TRULY overwhelming.

I loved what I painted however. It’s just Italy, porticoes, wine, a table, you know, a swimming pool street.

I won a prize and was honored. When I turned in my painting, it was still wet. I drove to the center of town holding my painting up to my car heater. I signed it right after I parked.

The only catch was I had to give it to the city hall. I’m happy to have done so. I hope you enjoy it.

You can see the link of the event here.


Julie

This is my idea for my flower painting give away. I’m going to make a little video when I get my hair decent, and show you four new paintings I made. Then you will just choose the one you like, leave a comment and I’ll pick a winner. That should work, right?

My favorite teacher

Mimi Weddell Blogger
Develop a love for learning. ♡

If we can all agree that we got here now today thanks to the support of friends and loved ones I think we can also agree that it is also thanks to people who have motivated us.

One of my favorite teachers whom I’m grateful to is a man named Mr. M. For some reason when I was going into high school I was told there was an experimental math class where ‘bright’ students were going to be experimented on. Like little hamsters. I still consider myself to be lucky that I was chosen to be in this class because the 24 of us had the honor of having the same students with the same teachers for the four years of high school.

Consistency, Relevancy and Going the Extra Mile.

Mr. M was a great teacher for so many reasons but mostly because he took the time to slowly explain everything from the start to the end. I always felt I could ask him at any time any question with out him getting angry. I loved the way he wrote on the blackboard because he had nice writing. He was consistent because he did things like draw squares around the answers. He also seemed to choose relevant homework.

Even though I had him for four years I remember one day when he asked who was interested in getting straight As – he was offering a Saturday workshop. Like most of my students they’d LOVE to have straight As but for various reasons their grades are all over the board. Most of them do follow what Mr. M called the Bell curve where he demonstrated that most students lie somewhere in the middle. I always wanted to be one of the students with the As. Maybe if I just did that little bit extra it would pay off.

Pay attention ~ here’s the key.

I attended his class and after doing various exercises and reading he got to the point of the argument. He said,

If

If

If

If you want to get straight As then all you have to do is develop a love for learning.

I was shocked. I was little bit disappointed because I thought he was going to give me the answers to that Friday’s test. I had to love learning?

Who loves learning? We only went to school because we had to. Love learning. That was the key. He was right. I don’t care how many times my mother could tell me about the starving children in Africa who didn’t have shoes or school it still didn’t make me want to study.

I don’t actually remember doing homework although I do remember it was assigned. I’m pretty certain I did it either during another class or before the class started. I’ll have to check with my classmates on that one.

I do agree that the key to learning is to develop a love for learning. I since have gone on to become a teacher. I found something even more important and that is the love of teaching. I truly love being in front of the kids and seeing them smile. I feel like it is an enormous privilege and honor to have this responsibility. I try to do my best with it.

One day I’m going to retire from teaching and just be an person with her family and garden. God willing. In the mean time, I’m going to love learning.

Reporting Live — Rested from our Seaside Vacation

Hi guys, welcome back. New visitors, welcome.

✩ ♥ ❀ be a better person ✩

I just now am relaxing down to write about my latest vacation days at the beach with my family, old and new friends. We spent twelve total days at the coast.

Also, we had four visitors come by to keep me and da boyz company that included two great friends and my husband and mother in law when they weren’t working.

How do you feel about camping? Do you like to have your vacation in a five star hotel, at the lake waterskiing, or do you prefer camping? I think camping for kids is a great experience. As adults, I think we get used to our comforts.

Since I walked into my home only three hours ago, I have what I call fresh eyes on the entire vacation. Even though we had a fantastic time, this is one of those vacations when you kiss the floor when you walk into your house.

all work and no play makes jb a dull boy ✿ ♫

I joked a couple of weeks ago because I said I won’t be too sad about not going to California this summer because I’m consoling myself going to the Italian Riviera. I got a couple of laughs out of that. Now I’m going to give you the entire story, the good, the bad, the heat.

The good.

I finished two books. Yay! I love to read. I finished The Power of Now by Eckhart Toole and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Both were excellent. I came home to some great news.

For one my friend has dedicated an article to me and that is so sweet. Another friend of mine, Liz, bless her heart, sent me the film Julie & Julia because she knows I don’t get to see films here for months after they come out. Another sweet heart sent me a video.

Next time, when I go on vacation, hopefully I won’t have to be without internet for five days. I didn’t bring my camera, because quite frankly I had enough on my mind caring for two rather small kids.

Okay. The trip.

We went to the beach is found straight east of here. You can drive it in about an hour. We stayed at my mother in law’s camp ground that is private. BUT there is NO running water in the camper, or better yet, no drainage. Well, there is running water, but I didn’t use it because I didn’t want to empty the containers by hauling waste. Yikes!

The GREAT parts.

I like to think of six impossible things before breakfast. ✿ ♫
I like to think of six impossible things before breakfast. ✿ ♫

We were walking distance to the beach that took no more than five minutes. We reserved umbrella set up with two chaise lounges available for the summer season.

Who is coming to keep me company?

The nonna is working so she has left the camp site to our complete disposition. That is so overwhelmingly nice of her.

Here, the kids have entertainment in the evenings. The way it works is that you can leave your kids with counselors at the camp ground park 10a to noon and four to six. I never did though, except yesterday when my kids did some coloring.

In the evening around 9p there is music and dancing. The kids love this because they are free to roam around the camp ground. Literally, I think there were about fifty kids running around playing hide and seek. They found some cats. They exchanged t shirts. They made friends. They played endlessly.

The WORST part.

There was no running water. Or, as I said, I didn’t use the running water in the camper. That meant to brush our teeth we had to walk about three minutes down the gravel path to a common bathroom. Sure, it was super clean and organized but I just hated having people look at me while I brushed my teeth. I ended up brushing in the camper. Ugh.

It wasn’t so easy to get my kids to brush either.

Great

The Adriatic sea water was clean, salty ~ the air good for you. The kids got a little inflatable boat and spent hours upon hours playing in the light waves while I read.

Bad

There was too much sun and I don’t like being tan. I seriously don’t like being out in the sun too long. I stayed in the shade as much as possible worrying about my kids getting too much sun.

Great

Watching my boys being brothers. I cannot stress how happy that makes my mother’s heart. My little guys were playing billiards together, helping each other. Every time I look, they are together. We all spent HOURS on bikes. That was super cool because there was a shady bike path.

Overall

A nice vacation on the coast? Well, why not. I liked it. I just have certain things I cannot live without, like internet, like my washer dryer, like running water, like a cool place to hang my hat.

Next time

Time share of course. We still have two or three more weeks of vacation coming up and love my honey, we get four and five star treatment from here on in. Yay. We plan on going to the mountains to cool off and to the country that is just striking.