Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lists can be a great way to get things done (You can do it!)

Look what I found!!  I knew it existed -- A LIST FOR BEING SUCCESSFUL!!  But, wait a minute, what about the human reality of what this list is asking?

Some of it is common sense but there are things that get in the way; like "get to class."  That is absolutely TRUE!  If you do not go to class you have a problem.  But, what it should say is "Figure out how to wake up when your alarm goes off, and then GET TO CLASS!"  Some of us have got the sleep thing figured out, and the alarm thing figured out, but some of us don't.

So, I am just saying -- READ WITH AN EYE TO WHAT IS NOT SAID, and then by all means let's figure out how to check off the list!!!


    Inside the Classroom:
    þGet To Class—treat it like a job—if you “cut,” your pay (grade) will be cut.
    þGet Involved in Class—come prepared, listen actively, take notes, and participate.

    Outside the Classroom:
    þRead Actively—take notes while you read to increase attention and retention.
    þSpend a Significant Amount of Time on Academic Activities Outside of Class—
         make it a  40-hour work week.

    Capitalize on Academic & Student Support Services: 
    þLearning Center
    þCollege Library
    þAcademic Advisement
    þCareer Development 
    þPersonal Counseling

    Capitalize on Experiential Learning Opportunities:
    þParticipate in co-curricular experiences on campus.
    þParticipate in service-learning (volunteer) experiences and internships off campus.

    Interact with:
    þPeers—by joining campus clubs and student organizations.
    þFaculty—by connecting with them immediately after class, in their offices, or
         by e-mail.
    þAcademic Advisors—see them for more than just a signature to register; find an
         advisor you can relate to and with whom you can develop an ongoing relationship.
    þMentors—try to find experienced people on campus who can serve as trusted
         guides and role models.

    Collaborate by:
    þForming Learning Teams—not only last-minute study groups, but teams that
         collaborate more regularly to work on such tasks as taking lecture notes,
         completing reading assignments, editing writing assignments, conducting library
         research, and reviewing results of exams and course assignments.
    þParticipating in Learning Communities—enroll in two or more classes with the
         same students during the same term.

    þTake Self-Assessment Tests—to gain greater awareness of your interests, values,
         abilities, learning habits, learning styles, self-concept, and personality traits.
   þSelf-Monitor your learning—maintain awareness of how you are learning, what
         you are learning, and if you are learning. 
   þReflect on Feedback—seek information form others (professionals and peers) on
         the quality of your performance and what specifically you can do to improve it.
    þReflect on Your Future—from time to time, take time from the daily grind to look
         ahead, set long-term goals, and develop strategic plans for your major, your career,
         and your life.

The foregoing material has been excerpted and adapted from the following source:
Cuseo, J., Fecas, V. S., & Thompson, A. (2007). Thriving in
     College & Beyond: Research-Based Strategies for Academic
     Success & Personal Development. Dubuque, IA:


I LOVE that it is strategies for THRIVING!!  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Learn to solve your own problems..."

Yesterday:  I have created games that I feel very, very good about.  Now comes developing and executing a plan to market them.  I can't tell you how messy my worktable is!!

Okay, I feel pretty overwhelmed right now.  There are index cards, thoughts, questions and lists pulling at me from all directions.

I need to learn about The American Freshmen.
I need to find international students to help write the scenarios that will become my International Student, and "I'm am not from where my college is" edition.
I need to figure out what makes a training pack.
I need to make a presentation for Kickstarter.
I need to meet Frank Bruni.
I need to read the article penned by the Stanford admissions person about helicopter parents.*
And, I am working on finding a First Year Experience and International Student connection in a college in all 50 states (Wisconsin and West Virginia are done).

And, that is just what has come to mind in the last minute.

Also, dinner, dog walk, switching clothes to fall/winter, emails for food for Thanksgiving, and getting ready to go to Ann Arbor this weekend!!

Whew, I feel better now...

Today:  I am reading the Washington Post article about helicopter parents, and yes, I can be one.  Just ask my creative, interesting, and very capable children.  But, there is often a sway that happens when an opinion hits the news stands. (Coffee=Bad, Coffee=Good)  How about the middle road?

*Helicopter Parenting article

So, why does someone become a helicopter parent?  In my experience, this would include lack of trust of the "experts," lack of understanding that a little communication can go a long way, disbelief that anyone can appreciate my children the way I can, and perhaps an overwhelming awe that kids these days can have SO MANY opportunities (and wanting to get in on that).

Oh, yes, middle road...

Learning means taking some chances, trying to make things work, taking what we are reading or doing and using it in either the same way or a different way, and owning the results.  Getting an A or getting IN is just the beginning.
Once a person has that accomplishment DOES IT RUN?

My games are based on experiential learning.  That means controlled RISK TAKING, TRIAL AND ERROR, considering situations that really will happen maybe before they do.

I just had a wonderful coffee break with Lily, a parent who I have had the pleasure to meet at school.  I am not good at small talk -- and I talk a lot, and Lily made me feel happy and accomplished regardless of how much I talked.  She is the inspiration for today's post.  Self-reliance is the gift that keeps on giving!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I'm registered!

Today appears to be the 100th post of Small Steps, and I NOW HAVE A REGISTERED TRADEMARK!  This leg of my journey grew out of the realization that when I Googled Small Steps Go Places my blog came up first.  The gift came when I acted on that realization!  Yoga, Meditation, Alisa and perhaps most of all my own focus and drive has grown out of that gift.

I have spent just a few minutes looking through past posts.  Overall, I can see the steps I have taken.  I seem to be staying true to my own focus.

Now, it is going to get interesting.  I have to go back to All Marketers are Liars (Seth Godin), and figure out how to explain in a video what I have done (for Kick Starter?)

But, regardless, today I am Registered!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Piloting the ship

It is amazing to me that we get to know people in completely different circumstances and then find they have accomplished big things in what they chose to do for a living. And, that finding that "living" was just as messy as my own "finding".  I write that as I am looking at an interview with Nobel laureates from 2008, one who is a dog owner in my neighborhood.  The Nobel fact popped out during a larger conversation yesterday, and it was no big deal.  And, when I shared that I had very recently called my grad school advisor, this kept the conversation going.

I am observing that when people are doing what they feel they are supposed to it is not necessary to point out that we are being cool when others are not.  That is not really true anyway.

It is difficult to stay the course.  Yet, when we (I) do life moves more seamlessly.  And, we can be much more helpful to others.

This past week has been amazing to me.

  • I visited the Residential Life department of a local college.
  • I have been open to and made loads of connections to begin filling in a constellation of communication. 
  • My goal is to identify three people in a college in all 50 states, that would benefit from using OPTION PLAY.
  • I called my graduate school advisor, who is a GAME DESIGNER, and inspired this journey!
  • I hosted the BIG PLAY for ENTER THE CAVE.
  • I had a spectacular lunch and dinner with very, very dear friends.
Now, I need to write out the answers to questions for Kick Starter and for a beginning presentation for funders.

In looking back at the list, there are so many I's!  Nothing could have or can happen without everyone in my life, but I must pilot this particular ship.  Earlier in my life I did not lead very comfortably, and perhaps there are moments like that now.  But, on this particular journey, it is the picture in my imagination that I am trying to bring to life.  May I continue enjoying this journey, and may the I's expand into we's.