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We’ve made it through the 11th semester. Our new 5-year group did a good job learning the curriculum and working together. Part of that though was because of the work Dr. Yang and the disciples did in the previous 5 years to build a good, effective schedule and mentality to work from. Without that, it would have been much harder for us to learn, get along, and be successful. We as well all had to put effort into adjusting to the environment and personalities here at the center. Some of us weren’t used to being in such a small community. All our space is communal, just as is handling responsibilities like chores and cooking from day to day. We each chipped in in our own way whether it was creating exercise circuits or organizing the schedule. I bet the disciples, Jon, Frank, Javi, and Nicky hadn’t been asked so many questions in a long time.

I  want thank Rii (our media teacher), Jon and Javi for guiding us through media lessons. Rii drives up here from San Fran on her own expense and time to spoil us with nice equipment and much more. We now have the basic understanding and abilities for video production. As well, Nicky and Frank constantly checked our forms and sequences. Of course thank you to Dr. Yang for taking us on, the dedication to teaching us, and keeping us on course. We plan to continue working hard and learn as much as possible with time we have here.

Last week we had our testing. Testing went well. Though I am happy with how I performed I know I can do better. I actually exceeded myself in the mountain running. I managed 50lbs at just under 18 minutes. This next semester we probably won’t have time to run in our schedule but if I manage my energy and time right then I’ll be able to do it anyway. We’ll have to see though. The goal in my mind is to get that down to 15 minutes. There are many minor details and basics I’m still ironing out which distract me from being fluid. I fell short when it came to memorization skills this time around but in general I improved much since the beginning of the semester.

This last weekend Javi took us for a hike around the retreat center’s property. It was beautiful and the pictures below don’t cut it, but they’ll have to do. We went about 4 miles and did about 2,000 feet of elevation gain (given that my phone gps is accurate). We meandered through out a creek bed for a good portion of the time. It was cool, and the air was refreshing. It was grounding and relaxing being in the woods after the end of the semester. As an experiment for my body I wore 5lb weights on my ankles. They threw my balance off so I had to be mindful of how I moved. My legs held up fine but I was definitely ready to be done after about the 5 hours we took.

Since it’s break I will be working on a lot of things I was too busy to get done during the semester. That means I’ll also be taking a break from blogging so I be focused. Happy Holidays and a New Year! Look for the next blog at the beginning of next semester around January 16th.

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