Oatmeal & Emotional Health

Healthy Oatmeal BreakfastI hate oatmeal.

I was raised to eat oatmeal. It’s what I know. I still hate it though. So when I make an effort to eat healthy, I go right to oatmeal for breakfast and end up hating Every. Single. Minute. Of. It.

I have a very wise friend who has a Ph.D. in health and nutrition so I learn all I can from her. I soak up her knowledge (while silently envying her rock-star abs and arms). She’s been to school for nutrition; she’s dedicated to health; she exercises her muscles and practices what she preaches. Recently, she said, “You’re so mentally healthy; surely you have bad days right?” Of course I do! Just like some days she eats a big greasy hamburger and potato chips. Much like physical health, mental and emotional health is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Her “bad health” days are further apart than mine and she knows the right tools to get back on track. Conversely, my “bad emotional days” are further apart and they don’t send me into a tailspin of regret and depression any more. The difference: time, motivation, resources, practice and discipline. Continue reading


NAU@GCC Student Voices

I was quite tentative of starting a satellite program with NAU in Glendale, as I was unsure of the class sizes, staff, and the pace in which the classes would move.

I can say that a month into the program, I’m thoroughly impressed with how this has been moving!  The class sizes are small thus far, allowing for more 1 on 1 interaction between students and instructors.  The professors are fantastic; they’ve been very understanding of the fact that their students are mostly new to NAU and have been helpful with ensuring that we are all on the same page.  The classes are fast paced, but haven’t been difficult to keep up with.

I would recommend this program to anyone who’d like to complete their bachelor’s but aren’t interested in the crowds at a major university.

Chris Rowles
BS Interdisciplinary in Technology Management Continue reading

Autumnal Equinox: Kyoto

Autumnal Equinox: Kyoto – September 23, 2011

Spring has sprung, fall has fell, now it’s summer . . .

Actually, today is the Autumnal Equinox, thus summer is finally over. Happy Fall!

Typhoon 15 (aka Typhoon Roke) blew threw Kyoto Wednesday, closing schools, bringing much rain, and cooling us off. Fortunately there was little damage here, whereas rain in other parts of Japan caused mudslides. Last night, we filled our soaking tub for the first time in months and slept under heavy blankets. I put on socks this bright, cool morning. Fall arrived in Kyoto right on schedule. Continue reading

Is It a Degree or an Education That You Seek?

It’s been a long time since I was in undergrad, so maybe I’m a little out of touch with the reality of today and today’s college students. Today is a technological world and times are tough. People work hard to make ends meet, and many people return to college seeking better opportunities and a chance to get ahead. Others rush to college to update outdated technology skills to better compete with the new net generation. In a competitive job market where the college educated and tech literate are winning the jobs over the less educated and tech savvy, I understand the rush back to college. I get that. But I’m not sure if all students understand why exactly they are here. When I ask my students why they are in college, I rarely here a response like, “I want to learn about space,” or “I’m really interested in improving my writing skills.” I know. Who says that? Everyone wants “to get a good job,” “make good money,” “get enough credits to get to ASU, NAU or U of A,” and “get a degree.” That’s great! Those are all worthy goals, but there’s something missing for me. Don’t students want to learn anything? Don’t they want to be educated? Continue reading

Taiji Whale Season

Taiji Whale Season Begins & ‘Kujira no Machi ni Ikiru’ (Living in Whale Town)

September 1, 2011 was the opening day of whaling season in the town of Taiji, famous in America as the site of ‘The Cove’. The approach of Typhoon Talas, however, shut down fisheries across southern Japan. Taiji’s dolphin hunt will be postponed for at least the next few days.

The storm did not stop Earth Island Institute, a non-profit organization that focuses on conserving, preserving, and restoring the ecosystems around the world, from coming to Taiji. Their arrival was broadcast on most of the evening news channels. These programs included clips from the recent TV documentaries: Kujira to Ikiru – ‘Living with Whales’, first broadcast May 22, and its sequel: Kujira no Machi ni Ikiru – ‘Living in Whale Town’, shown July 24. Continue reading