Phi Theta Kappa Honors Institute

26 Jun

The Bridge looms mountain high;
Its titan piers grip ocean floor,
Its great steel arms link shore with shore,
Its towers pierce the sky…

(From “The Mighty Task is Done” by Joseph P. Strauss, Chief Engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge)

I’m back from my fantabulous, 6-day, all-expense paid trip to San Francisco with the Sigma Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and I have so much to blog about that I will probably have to break this up over several posts.

The Golden Gate bridge was lovely shrouded in wispy layers of fog the day we arrived. Here I am with our new chapter president, Roxanne and a former chapter officer, Derek on the coldest June 16th ever in the history of San Francisco. Seriously!!! I wished I had brought my winter coat instead of that thin jacket I’m wearing. Rox and Derek walked part way across the Golden Gate bridge that day, but I was a total wimp and enjoyed views of it from the car instead. With the humidity, I just couldn’t get warm! Thank goodness the sun came out the next day and the rest of the week was probably the warmest weather in San Francisco’s history.

Rox was my roomy at San Francisco State University and we got the “Penthouse suite” in the Towers on the 15th floor. Since I lived at home when I attended the University of Colorado as a young student, the experience of living in a dorm was fun–for a week! I slept surprisingly well considering we had to sleep on what we ended up calling “crib mattresses” (probably because I was so exhausted at the end of each day!) And although the cafeteria food was pretty lame, it was rather nice not to have to plan, prepare, or clean up any meals. For six days, my life was reduced to the simplicity of taking care of “numero uno” instead of me times 7. I did a lot of walking, socializing, learning, eating, and sleeping (and I savored every moment of it!)

In the lecture hall, I got to sit in the middle of a row–a simple pleasure that only mothers of toddlers can truly appreciate. Normally quite reserved, I even learned to voice my opinion, make comments in small group settings and take part in discussions relating to our Honors Study Topic, The Paradox of Affluence: Choices, Challenges, and Consequences. I enjoyed participating in courteous debate with my peers, wrestling with personal agendas and biases and grappling with the complexity of political issues–something I rarely have the opportunity to do in my everyday “mommy” existence.

In six days, I learned that a positive attitude goes a long way, that Ghirardelli chocolate hazelnut ice cream in a chocolate-coated waffle cone is just about the closest thing to heaven on earth, and that it’s not a good idea to laugh at homeless people…(more about that in my next post!)

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2 Responses to “Phi Theta Kappa Honors Institute”

  1. sassyquilter June 27, 2008 at 12:17 pm #

    Way to put yourself out there, sis! San Fran is truly beautiful, liberal, unpredictable. I can’t wait to hear more!

  2. Tracey June 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    I am so glad that you got to get away and to be able to think clearly without interruption! Also, it is exciting to be able to be part of a discussion and hear and ponder other view points! I can’t wait to hear more of your experience.

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