Monday, June 18, 2012

Roberta Hartung Bryan - A.A.S. Gerontology Graduate

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end" ~ Seneca.
It's official! Last Friday, June 15, 2012 I walked across the stage at the Memorial Coliseum and received my degree. I am very proud of myself and I knew from the beginning that I would indeed walk across that stage.

I even had postage stamps made of moi to mail out my announcements (thank you Janice for this wonderful idea)!

It all began a couple of years ago when I had signed up for a community education class called "Your Brain + Neuroplasticity" being taught by Cat Zimmerman. It was a class about keeping your brain nimble and quick as you age. She also talked about her own path and returning to school in her 50's.

About six months later I was up at the college getting Mandii signed in and asked what it would take to get enrolled into their Gerontology program. I would soon find the comfort of Jan Abushakrah's office with she and Tina inside.

I decided to get my Math out of the way first off (the only B I ever got-phft!) along with starting an art a day board dedicated to only school adventures.
Then it was on to the interesting classes and internships (10 internships had to be completed). I loved the Gerontology, Psychology, Sociology, Geography classes along with "most" of the internships. My favorite internship was at The Neighborhood House (Senior Center and Aging Services) and I chose to stay on as a volunteer there after my internship ended ~ it's where I met Eddie Lim and Stanley Kiesel, and it's where I came across my new scooter!

I would graduate Phi Theta Kappa and my Mother Mabel presented me with my honor cords to wear graduation night.

As graduation neared I heard from other students about the Stole Of Gratitude. It is a stole you present to a special person in your life that has provided invaluable emotional, moral or financial support. I had many cheerleaders throughout this adventure. The person I chose to receive the Stole Of Gratitude from me was Stan. Many nights he would watch The Blazers on mute so that I could read and study. He would proofread my papers and re-proofread my papers. There was never a day that we was not cheering me on.

So with my Wonder Woman converse tennies on, I proudly walked across that stage, the one I had written about years before on one of my very first art pieces.

Graduation night was spent celebrating with family and friends as well as the following day.

I will forever feel blessed that I took that first community education class that would unknowingly lead me down the gerontology path. And that path would bring me so many new things and ideas to learn about, new friends to meet and places to be. Thank you Cat for being the catalyst and remember you fill out your Advance Directive!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh What Secrets The Ice Glaciers Keep

For months and years my favorite Uncle Leon would tell me about his favorite place on this earth....Alaska. He could never specifically tell what his favorite part about it is, but that it is somewhere I need to consider going at least once in my life. So "thinking" I was done with school, I booked a cruise up there (only to find out that I was short one more class to graduate, so I would be schooling and cruising at the same time).

I booked our trip on his favorite ship The Norwegian Pearl and set sail. Our ports would include Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC and back to our starting port in Seattle.

If you happen to see a few gambling pictures (I'm not bragging too much) but it seemed everything I touched turned lucky....from Deal Or No Deal, BINGO, Slots and Blackjack.....they ended up paying for the trip!

We leave Seattle, get settled and go down to have a glass of wine and peruse the art collection...many in the 10's of thousands; we did go to one of their auctions.

Each night back I decided to look at the pictures I had taken that day and try to copy my favorite one with the water colors that Dayna had given me for a past birthday present (I found that I love water colors and really want to take classes in it).


Our first port stop in Juneau,our off shore excursions included see Mendenhall Glacier and Mr. Roberts Tramway. Mendenhall Glacier was my first glimpse and touch of a glacier.

Back on board along with more food, more drinks and more winning.... we are on our way to Skagway.

In Skagway I chose to take the White Pass Railway which travels along the Yukon Route Railway, passing by Dead Horse Gulch and stopping at the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp. (I was thinking maybe the conductor would be this trips' Hot Guy...but I found the ultimate Hot Guy a little later on).

Our wonderfully talented town guide "Ophelia" (loved her name!)

Back on board we have a night of traveling....

....only to awake to the most beautiful sight ever ~ Glacier Bay. The ranger had told us previously about not counting on even seeing a glacier calving let alone getting a picture of one. The God's were there that morning and we got both!! The extreme quietness and the background crackling leaves you with a feeling of awe and eerie combined.

It was then I remembered about the times the Artist Way women would talk about the Breitenbush Hot Springs and in the background the ranger was talking about the secrets that these ice glaciers must know. I decided to give them one more secret to keep.

I then talked Stan into sharing his secret with the ice glacier, which ultimately lead him to being this trips' Hottest Guy!

On to Ketchikan where I signed up for a land/water tour and also a lumberjack show. Stan and I also just toured on our own where we happened to stumble across "Dolly's", a house of ill...well, let's just say that it had a condom-rosette shower curtain!

Back on board there is still....more food, more drinks and more winning (I'm in the first seat!) A short stop in Victoria BC where we get off to visit the Craigdarroch Castle.

The trip was fantastic ~ meeting new people and seeing new sights, along with fantastically too good to be true weather. And now I think I am ready for Breitenbush!