With the interdisciplinary program I am currently enrolled in it gives me an enormous amount of leeway to actually qualify the learning I am doing in the real world on my own time, as credit hours that can eventually be used towards my degree. This freedom makes it all the more simple to pursue my passion of Isshin-Ryu, as well as pursue my collegiate goal, not of specific education driving me towards a specific career, but towards enlightenment as an individual. I go to school not to learn how to do my job(that's what class is for) but in order to make myself a more whole human being, in order to lead by example for my future students.
The reason I am talking about my collegiate studies today is because I need to get my thoughts into words that will stay. I am trying right now to set up three different Independent Studies Contracts, which is New Colleges equivalent of hey, you teach yourself a class and tell us about it, and I have so many ideas for all of them I need to right them down. These will be ranked chronologically
1.) I am going to make a customer service related course out of my soon to be annual trip to Angel Fire, NM to visit my adoptive family as well as work at Trailheads, hopefully in a management position which will be all the more possible if my schedule will permit me to stay for most of the season. I will have a focus on customer relations and on how good customer service and relations in the past will lead to repeat customers as well as referral customers, this is a perfect line of inquiry as the shop was brand new last year and we believe the only reason we did so well was solely based on our customer service skills, with the reason this being so important as it is not a retail position but rather a customer service position as it is fully geared towards catering to a customer rather then saying that will be $32.50 ma'am, debit or credit. I will have this course graded on the research I have done as well as on the writing portion that is required of all Independent Learning Contracts as I will summarize all my findings for the time I spend working and dealing with customers.
2.) This is a tossup, but I will label my priorities first and go with: Do an in depth analysis on teaching methods as well as learning and absorption rate of a karate student. Circumstances permitting, I will start an intensive training program with a close friend of mine, or a new student, and study the complex process of learning as well as technique. I will also help create an intensive work out regime for them and possibly a dietary plan to go along with the specific needs of such an intensive program. This course can be measured both on the effects to the student's body, as well as by my Sensei in the degree of advancement that will have been achieved.
3.) I turn my backyard into an Eden. This will be an applied learning course I want to do as it will take all the practical knowledge I have garnered from my current agroecology class and I will apply it to the egosystem of my backyard. This will be more work then it seems as there is a great deal of manual labor to be done along with research into everything required to create a fully sustainable garden ecosystem. I have already started this project and have already run into difficulties as the backyard of my current residence was originally a house, with lack of topsoil, packed clay, and a foundation still laid down to contend with. I am also currently working on developing a vermiculture composting system(growing worms) in order to further facilitate the enrichment of my soil back to optimal standards. Not only do I plan on creating a worm farm basically, but a traditional composting pile, as well as a rain barrel set up in order to reduce the maintenance cost of the garden. This course will be graded not in whether or not I can produce some tasty vegetables, but in whether or not I have been able to create a sustainable system that will eventually produce some tasty vegetables.
*phew* that was a load off my shoulders. I go in Monday morning to have an appointment with the director of New College in order to see if I can sway him to see my side in these issues.
Until soon I guess