Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Love an Adventure

10 Weeks ago, I set off on an exciting journey.
An academic Journey.
I enrolled in the LEAP Program via Saint Mary's College of California.

About 10 weeks ago, I began my third class; the Personal and Professional Assessment Leap100 Course, where each student has the opportunity to challenge 4 upper division courses by writing papers that prove our expertise in several subjects. 
I was assigned Kinesiology, Sociology, Psychology, and Small Business Administration.
In my last post I had stated that I would be posting tid bit on my experiences during the course. Well, I've been a bit overwhelmed with all the papers, so I'll go ahead and post some of the "free write" LPPs (Learning Process Papers) that we were assigned each week after attending each class.
We were told to write about any fears or concerns  we had about the PPA course.
Keep in mind, this is a program where 18 former/current professional dancers are enrolled every 18 months. Many of us had not completed college when our professional dance careers had taken off, and most have not been in school for over 20 years.

I love an adventure, and I thrive on exploring the unknown. It is why I travel. It is why I explore my physical and mental limits by going on endurance solo-backpacking and solo-kayaking trips, climbing expeditions, and humbling myself by doing marathons.
Sitting in the Newport Public Library, on a perfectly sunny day, trying to find something to be frightened of, or concerned about, regarding the PPA Class is becoming a pleasant challenge. I know I signed up for an adventure when I enrolled in the LEAP Program, and I am certain the PPA Class will deliver an excellent adventure.
The rumors I’d heard about the PPA class, from fellow LEAP students, had painted the weeks ahead to be filled with some of the most challenging assignments that I would encounter during my time in the LEAP Program, due to the demands of writing so many papers, in so little time.
Had I been given this assignment the night before I attended the first class, I would have written many pages about my fears and concerns regarding my ability to endure the rigors of what was to come. The rumors were so vague regarding what I was going to have to write for the assignments, that I couldn’t help but feel a bit insecure, since my last attempt at a “scholarly” paper, for my Kinesiology class, was a disaster.  
My fears were put to rest after attending the first class, last night.  All I can feel is excitement! I feel as if I am getting ready to go on an adventure, one that I’ve been putting off for so long; putting off because, as with all journeys, I know I will have to say goodbye to the old me once I come to the end of the road. I guess that can be a little frightening. I am human, and I am not immune to sentimentality.
It is not always easy to say goodbye to the old to make room for the new. I have done it so many times, but this time I get something more valuable than just a stamp in my passport, life lessons, and stories to share. At end of this journey I will receive validation via Course Credit towards my education. And this adventure doesn’t even require a map! I get to explore me! I get to revisit the old me. I will get a chance to really see how it contributed to the “Me” I am today, and how it will influence the “Me” I will be someday.
I am excited this class will give me an opportunity, the permission, to discover the sum of all my parts. For some that can be frightening. For me, it is what I crave. I love a good adventure, and this adventure is a welcome challenge; a test of endurance and discovery, that I am sure will be filled with many highs and lows; an adventure that will leave me a new person once I come to the end of the journey. A journey that will be all about me, what I am, what I have been, and what I will become. I look forward to this intense, enlightening, and most likely, humbling adventure. I will welcome it with anticipation, not fear.

-Melissa Adylia Gutierrez
-Melissa Adylia Calasanz

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