I am taking a break from my usual urban landscape and relaxing in the Laurel Highlands. Besides the sublime, wild mountain scenery my family has been living in this old house for several generations making it one of my favorite places. My grandmother liked porch swings; every one of our porches has a big swing covered with over stuffed cushions. Jelly Bean, my collie dog, and I like to rock together in the evenings. We listen to the crickets chirping and watch the stars come out. She is fascinated by fire flies, locally known as lightning bugs. We can see them slowly blinking among the lilies and roses that scent the cobble stone path to the kitchen garden. A cool mountain breeze makes me reach for a sweater even in July. Because of my schedule I have not been able to enjoy this place as often as we usually do, so savoring this time is especially refreshing.
After a very hectic eight months some refreshing was called for; I needed what Tina Brown calls a ‘head-rinse.’ What a wonderful phrase to describe gaining some perspective. My porch is a wonderful place to relax. As I settle down to enjoy this summer evening, I find myself thinking about what I would like to accomplish next term and how I am going to do it. I ask myself how much I want to read, how many courses should I attempt, which texts should I read, and what new skills I want to develop. The last few years have been very rewarding and productive and I wonder what I can accomplish next.
While considering the last few years I realized how pleased and satisfied I am with The University of London International Academy. I have accomplished long-term goals, met challenges, and overcome some stubborn habits. The skills I worked to master have become my new, productive habits. This creates some wonderful opportunities for the new term; right now I am enthusiastically thinking about how to manage them.
Since this is a memoir style blog about my experiences progressing through the University of London International Academy English and Comparative Literature degree I thought I would share my process about moving forward into my second year studying advanced units. It is the right time to plan since grades are posted and continuing registration materials should arrive soon. While waiting between these transitional term milestones I suddenly realized how much my studies have affected me.
This year I am very excited about starting the new term because I feel I have learned so much. During the last few years I worked diligently toward my specific goals. It is very gratifying to find they are now reliable skills. I feel confident and excited about my progress and cannot wait to start reading and writing, despite the lovely summer days.
This is going to be a wonderful term, full of new challenges and opportunities. Jelly Bean and I are going to rock on our porch swing this lovely evening with visions of reading lists, texts, and term papers dancing in my head. I am confident that skills acquired over my course of study prepared me well for the new term. I am looking forward to engaging again with a study process that now feels as comfortable as this old house.