Monthly Archive: December 2008

Reschool Yourself Supporters Rock

I was just updating the sponsor page with this week’s donations to Reschool Yourself, and I realized that people have contributed a total of $6,065 since the journey began in August. This includes family, friends, friends of friends, and people who discovered the project and were inspired to contribute. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you’ve supported my dream to do this work. I hope that when you look at the developing site, you know that you co-created it. Your personalized thank-you notes with a photo will be on their merry way this week.

If you’re shopping with Amazon, please remember to go through this link (then navigate as usual) so a percentage of anything you buy will be donated to Reschool Yourself. Thanks to those who have already done this.

$935 to go before December 31! If you’d like to contribute in any amount, click here.

Thank you to the newest donors:

Joanna Hall
Fern Markgraf
Grant & Heather Shellen

Alice & Patrick Watanabe

Winsome Villiers

General Expenses (while writing the blog and book, developing the site, and spreading the word):
Chris Balme & Gianna Driver
Paul Schmitz
Brian Tomasini

A huge thanks also to those who launched the project:

Alex Marsh
Alicia Ross
Dr. Sally Stewart

Lynn Chikasuye

Project Launch & General Expenses:
John & Sylvia Balinbin
Jayne Carlin
Gillian Dicker
Laverne & Kelly Dicker
Julian Evans-White
Jorge Fernandes
Katie, Matthew, & Olivia Griffin
Katherine McGuire
Yasuko Nishida
Jim O’Connor
Margaret Pinard
Dale & Jean Schwindaman
Christine Wei
Michael Yeany

A special thanks to Dr. Sally Stewart and two anonymous donors, without whom this project would not be possible.

Trying to Process When There’s No Process

I’ve just spent the last five and a half hours walking around my alma mater, visiting every place I can remember that holds some significance for me. I visited places like my freshman year dorm, the study lounges, and the music building where I took piano and voice lessons. I took over a hundred pictures, wrote down memories, and then lay on the couch and stared at the ceiling because I was so exhausted.

How do I make sense of all this stuff, and what do I do with it? Those questions have been plaguing me for the nearly four months I’ve been doing this project. I have stories and handouts from nearly every grade that I haven’t yet been able to share, because once I complete one grade, I start the next. If there happens to be time in between, I always have new material to write about instead of going back and documenting the old.


A Typical School Night in the Dorms

Because the Santa Clara University web sentinels won’t let me on the wireless network, this is the first time I’ve been able to post since my stay on campus. I wrote this last night, my second night in the dorms. I had a full day of classes today and have talked with around nine of my former professors. Lots to write about tomorrow and more photos of the dorms and campus to come.

I just had an authentic experience of dorm life that made me miss it. I arrived back at my room at around 9:30 pm, and my floor was filled with the white noise of the dorms: voices echoing down the hallways, canned laughter from TVs, doors opening and closing. I heard a group of students chatting about me, the mysterious visitor, so I decided to emerge from my executive suite and join them.


College Bound

I’m heading back to the Bay Area after 2.5 weeks in the south, and true to form, I’m tightly scheduled as soon as I arrive. I’m going straight to Santa Clara Unversity, the Jesuit liberal arts school from which I graduated in 2002. I’ve been back only a couple times since, and I was surprised to see that new buildings had sprung up all over campus, and others had been completely renovated. I have to squeeze college into four days, because fall classes end Friday and finals start next week. I’m glad that if I need more time, I can come back the first week of January.

My plans on campus include:

  • A three-night stay in a suite with a private bathroom in my sophomore year dorm. I won’t have to wear a robe and rubber sandals to the shower or carry one of those caddies and am not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed.
  • Classes in Psychology, Philosophy, and Classics with five of my former professors. Coffee with a Religious Studies professor.
  • Visits to my old haunts on and off campus, including the campus dining room, the Mission church, the music practice rooms, the gym, and Mission City Coffee.


Reschooling Tool #9: Laugh at Even the Silliest Things

One of the best things about hanging out with Darren all the time is that my daily laugh quota has skyrocketed. He doesn’t take life as seriously as I tend to and constantly gets me to lighten up. Being around him for a couple of weeks has reminded me how important it is to laugh, and how easy it is if you’re open to what’s around you.

I just wrote an article on “Laughter, the Best Medicine” (I’ll link to it once it’s published) and can say from experience that it’s true. When I’m laughing throughout the day, I’m more relaxed, optimistic, and engaged with whatever I’m doing at the moment. According to research, increasing the amount of laughter in my life is also making my immune system is stronger and my cells more full of oxygen, both of which help prevent cancer and other serious disease. There are myriad other benefits to laughing, including burning calories, increasing job satisfaction, and developing bonds between people.