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the Horicon Marsh

Being a nature and wildlife photographer I love the fact I have a great place in my area. this is a short video that shows some of the fantastic things I love about the Horicon Marsh.
If you are ever in Wisconsin and like photographing wildlife and nature this is a must see.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

At some point we all wait for something.
Waiting for the fish to bite.
Waiting for the flood to pass.
Waiting for the sneaky frog to jump again.
Waiting for ma to bring you food.
Waiting for your next meal to make an appearance.

Horicon Marsh Bird Festival

This weekend is our 20th Horicon Marsh Bird Festival. As we say “The birds will be here, will you?”
We are the oldest bird festival in the state of Wisconsin. If you are in the area this weekend come and stop by. Here is a link to our festival events.

Here are some of my favorite pics I have taken around the marsh.

In previous festivals we have ‘officially’ found between 119 to 166 bird species during the festival. The official list is birds located and ided during festival events (hikes, bus tours, boat tours and the big sit) and we maintain and update the list during the festival in the DNR Education center. That way people can stop by and see what has been spotted. Right now we have 4 Ibis on the north end of the marsh and we are hoping they hang around for the festival.
A great time for birders, nature lovers, and photographers. come and join us.

end of this journey and the start of the next

P1000530 I first started this blog to document my journey as a returning college student. Going back to college at the age of 52 was abit unnerving. Did I still have what it takes? Could I adjust to the new method of teaching, online? What would it be like to have teachers who are younger then me? Well I learned after the first semester that, yes I still have what it takes and this style of learning works even better for me. I did have some learning challenges, see my early posts. But I approached those challenges with a sense of humor and my patience and I worked through the challenge.

the final bite I attended Moraine Park Technical College since it was right here in my town. I was able to take the traditional class format to get me back into the swing of college. Then I added online classes into the mix as well as accelerated classes. Each step came with it’s own challenges but I worked through them. Creating game plans, schedules and using lists I was able to keep track of classwork, due dates and outside events. There were weeks were I didn’t know if I was coming or going. You would put your head down and just start plowing through your work. Then one day you lift up your head and you realize you are halfway through the semester.And I realized I hadn’t bitten off more then I can chew. But I graduated after 1 1/2 years with an Associate’s Degree and a 4.0 GPA.

end of the line I then turned around and started at Upper Iowa University. They work well with Vets and since I am one it was great to have them helping me complete my degree. Other then one class I did my entire program online. This created it’s own challenges but I met those challenges and won. Then to top it all off I decided in my last two terms I added an extra class. Each term at UIU is only 8 weeks long and you only have two breaks the entire year, Christmas and spring breaks, otherwise I was going full steam ahead. And in it seemed in no time I had reached the end of the line. I had two classes where I pulled a B but the rest of my classes I pulled all A’s.

crane dance 1 As of this past Monday I am now a college graduate. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Health Services Administration. I did it, Happy Dance!!!

photoclub taking pics of each other
photoclub taking pics of each other
My blog changed from posting about returning to college to my photography. Now that I am done with school maybe I can now find the time to get out and get some more photography done. I haven’t been able to get out and do alot of photography over the past 2 1/2 years while I was in school. The class assignments and demands took over my life. 🙂 But it was well worth it.

Take off. This college journey may be over but the next adventure begins. I now am out to find my job. I am learning to grow in this new environment.

The end is in sight

The end of an era, end of the line, end of the road and the end of that dam road.
I started this blog talking about my returning to college at the age of 52. I had a pretty steep learning curve that first semester and had some funny posts about it. The last time I went to college the internet didn’t exist and I was faced with e-college, drop boxes, laptops, tablets and computer technology. I quickly learned to navigate all the ones I hadn’t used before. I attended summer classes and night classes, did classes online and in person. Have had some really great professors and some not so great. Some classes I breezed through and others I had to work hard on. I graduated from Moraine Park Technical College a year and a half after starting and came in with a 4.0 GPA. Surprised me.
After graduating from Moraine Park I started with Upper Iowa University (UIU) to complete my Bachelor’s degree and faced a new challenge. Other then one class I would take in person all my other classes would be online. The first summer term, terms are only 8 weeks long, I took one class in person. I had to drive an hour to class once a week but it was worth it. Just over one year later I have started my final term at UIU. I am scheduled to graduate at the end of this term in mid Oct. OMG!
When I started this journey it looked like it would take me almost 3 years and that seemed like such a looooooong journey but I took a deep breath and put my foot on that path. Now I can see the end of that path. And in the process I have been able to maintain a 3.93 GPA, I got a B+ in one class. I have made the Dean’s List at Moraine Park and at UIU almost every semester I attended. I am still amazed at what I have accomplished. Alot of my family and friends are also proud, supporting and inspired by my journey.
After I graduate I plan on taking a week off to just RELAX and catch up with some household jobs that I have put off. Like trimming my front bushes as my front porch is starting to disappear behind them. Then begins the next step and that is job hunting.
Just have to get through this last term. I am taking three classes, microeconomics, Health planning and evaluation and strategic management. I have to buckle down and just do it. This first week of the term I am mentally bouncing around so am not buckling down the way I should. Deep breath and now get back to it. 🙂

Happy New Year

I dare you to have a Happy New Year!
Well I double dog dare you to have a Happy New Year!!!

A new year begins again.
In looking back to 2015 I realize I accomplished alot in one year. I graduated from Moraine Park Tech College with an Associates in Business Management and with a 4.0 GPA. (Happy Dance!) I started at Upper Iowa University to complete my Bachelors degree in Health Care Management. I completed several terms at UIU and got all A’s, except for the one B+ in critical thinking. These two things were major accomplishments for an older adult like me. 🙂 The saying is true that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
I look forward to 2016 to bring me favorable results in my endeavors too. At least I will strive to make this happen just like I made it happen in 2015. I hope to graduate from college this fall and then get a job. But before then I have to complete the remaining classes, make it through the winter (and spring and summer), work the 2016 Horicon Marsh Bird Festival, get out and do more photography and get together with my family and friends.
I wish one and all a Happy New Year and may the year bring you all sorts of joy!

What do you mean it is almost December?!?!

Tuesday is December 1st!!! How did that happen? I just realized that I haven’t posted a school update in quite some time. sigh Time has gotten away from me.
Ok let’s see. I believe I posted that I had graduated from Moraine Park with a 4.0 GPA in my associates degree in Business Management last May. I had a few weeks off then started the second half of my school path. I started at Upper Iowa University at the end of June. The terms are only 8 weeks long so are very accelerated. For the summer term I did one class online and the second class I went down to the west side of Madison to the satellite campus. This is an hours drive for me but I lucked out and had good driving almost all of the nights. The class was in the evening so it was daylight when I went down and night when I returned. Just had to deal with traffic and road construction delays on the return trip (they closed lanes on the interstate after 9pm so they could work on the roadway). But the last night it STORMED!!!!! About 10 minutes before class ended the skys opened up and the rain just dumped. I tried to wait it out but it didn’t let up so made a run for the car and got soaked. Fortunately I keep a spare polar fleece jacket in my car so was able to take off my sopping wet tee and put on the jacket. Much more comfortable. But the drive home was a scary, hairy, nerve wracking white knuckle drive. The speed limit on the roads was 55-65 mph and people were driving about 30-35mph with flashers on. Took me 1 1/2 hours to get home that night. But I ended up getting A’s in both my classes. I had taken English Comp II online and Statistics on campus.
I only had couple of days off before the next term started. This time both classes were online and I took Critical Thinking and Introduction to Health Management. I enjoyed the health class but critical thinking was a challenge. The challenge was not the subject matter but the instructor. She was very hung up on APA formatting on the papers and discussion posts. It was more of a research paper writing class then a critical thinking class. It seems to the instructor that the APA format style I learned 40 years ago and had used throughout my entire college career was not correct. Nor was the formatting style that was in Microsoft word correct. I ended up with a B in that class. Oh well. (got an A in my health class)
Then I began my term 2 in Mid October. In this case I am taking Population Health and Intro to computers. I have two weeks left in those classes. Am enjoying the health class. Computer is just another computer class. As long as I don’t hose it in the next two weeks I should pull two more A’s. Then I get afew weeks off before I start the next term in January.
If all goes according to plan I should be done with classes by the end of next October I should graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Management. Then I can start job hunting. The end is in sight. 10 months left. OMG!! Hard to believe I was nervous about going back to school at the age of 52. I have proven I do still have it left in me. And having my VA benefits available to access has helped me so much.

100th post

I started this blog just over a year ago and have hit my 100th post. I started this blog as a class assignment but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on blogging. I was writing alot about the adventures of returning to school at the age of 52. Man had things changed!!!! The last time I had been in college the internet didn’t even exist! It was an adventure all right. I started my return to college career back in January 2014 and have graduated in May 2015 with an associates degree. And I will graduate with high honors!!! (I was able to have a 4.0 GPA) I am soooo proud and amazed at myself. Old dogs can learn new tricks ha ha.
Over the past few months I have gotten so busy with classes that I haven’t had time to WRITE new posts. I was able to do the weekly photo challenges, usually. Man I have to get out and so some more photography. I need some new stuff. 🙂
It seems appropriate that my 100th post falls on the day I graduate from Moraine Park Technical College with a 4.0 GPA!!!! (I wrote this on Saturday)
Now it is on to the second half of my journey. Later on this summer I should start with Upper Iowa University to get my bachelors degree in Health Care Management.
The challenge I am facing right now is all the free time I have on my hands. Major readjustment. You are going at warp factor 10 to get your homework done, club meetings and all the other stuff you need to get done, like laundry. Then you suddenly cut out the homework which took up a majority of time and you suddenly have alot of free time. I keep going to my laptop thinking I need to do something but I don’t. About the time I get use to the new pace it will be time to start up classes again. ha ha
Time to celebrate.

So close yet so far

It is the final semester at Moraine Park Tech College. May seems sooooo far away especially with it being so cold out. But it is only 10 weeks till graduation.
So this semester is pretty crazy. Hit the ground running was the theme for the start of this semester.
I have an integrated marketing plan project for my Integrated Market class, several more tests in Business Law, numerous presentations in my Principles of Management, the Glo-bus simulation in Business Decision Making and the big Library Project in Business Practice Firm.
And to make my life even more interesting I am prepping for Horion Marsh Bird Festial in May. And in my spare time I eat and sleep. ha ha
But for Wisconsin we are having a mild winter. Not alot of snow just cold temps so I haven’t had to worry about alot of shoveling or snowblowing.

Well to make my weekend complete I am battling a head cold. I have had to crank the sound up on my tv. Either the sound is going bad on my tv (it is an older tv) or my ears or plugged up. I am hoping it is my ears cause I really can’t afford to buy a new tv. (I wrote that several days ago and it was my ears. Acouple days ago I turned on the tv and realized it was too loud. :))
I am trying to write a short paper but with my head being stuffed up it is abit choppy and is not flowing well. But then my thinking is abit choppy. 🙂
I got most of the paper written and since it isn’t due till Tuesday I can let it sit overnight and polish it up tomorrow. I can tell I am on the downward slide of the head cold so I will feel more like myself tomorrow.
My big project this semester is in Business Practice Firm and that is the library project. Instead of doing a job internship I am doing a class internship. As a group my class of 7 is doing a multi faced project for our Public Library. They are celebrating their 30th anniversery this April in their current location. The Beaver Dam Public Library is actually 135 years old. They were one if not the first public library to have open stacks to the public. We are sorting old photos, scanning them in and loading them into a public database. We are doing the same with cemetary records as well as putting together marketing, displays and afew events for the anniversary celebration.
Being a photographer I am enjoying going through alot of the old photos. I have picked out afew location photos from around town and I am going to go out in the next several days and take new pics of the locations. We are doing a Then and Now theme for the library anniversary.
Spring break is in acouple of weeks. I am hoping I can take a day or maybe two and get out and try and do some nature photography. I simply haven’t had time since school started back up this semester.
You just don’t realize how busy you are until you try and find time to get in a favorite hobby. 🙂