Coursera, Generating Income, Making Magic, Volunteering and the Spice Girls

One might think that being caged up in my house a large portion of the week would drive me absolutely bonkers. At times, it does! Today I am not going to delve into those times when I’m crazier than a shit house rat. These past few months I have worked on several ways to keep the insanity to a minimum. I’ve put in place many different activities in order to keep my body, mind and spirit challenged and stimulated. There is never a lack of things on my To Do list. I’ve shared my workout with you already. What else do I do with my time? I’d be happy to let you know!

I’m taking three classes from Coursera. If you don’t know what Coursera is, I would suggest you check it out. It is a MOOC—massive open online course. They have a wide range of courses from universities around the world. The best part—you can take these classes for absolutely FREE! I am most engaged in my Creativity, Intuition and Change class from Penn State University. I am enjoying exploring my creativity and learning what some of the blocks are to using your intuition and creating change.

I am also taking Think Again: How to Reason and Argue. A friend recommended I take it and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not. I thought the introduction to the class was hilarious. Then, within the first or second lecture, he had us watch a Monty Python skit so I knew the class was going to be fun! The instructor is from Duke and he’s an absolute hoot. He’s going to shave his head and donate his hair to Locks of Love if 25% of the students finish the course.

From the Coursera Facebook page. It's been Photoshopped since the class is still active.

From the Coursera Facebook page. It’s been Photoshopped since the class is still active.

I’m also taking Social Psychology from Wesleyan University. I started as a Psychology major in college and graduated about 6 credits short of a Psych major. I enjoyed Art and Anthropology more and ended up majoring in them. I still enjoy exploring psychology and probably always will. These classes take up a lot of my time since the latter two I joined after the class had already started and I am trying to catch up.

I remain active writing and doing blog posts. I frequently write posts and let them sit for a while before editing and posting them. I have two or three in queue for editing as I edit this. I first wrote this post last Friday and have worked on it 2-3 times since then. I would say I spend at least 4-5 hours per post. I do hope that these posts are helping others or at least amusing people. I haven’t had very much direct feedback so it is difficult to tell. I gladly welcome any and all comments! **Hint, Hint**

Fortunately, I was just informed that there is some work I can do at home for one of my employers. I am over the moon for this opportunity as it has been difficult budgeting with a limited income. This is fantastic news and helps boost my belief that I have many skills that are wanted and needed. Needless to say, this will take precedence over other projects. I’m happy to be able to add an income generating iron to the fire!

Insert iron here.

Insert iron here.

As important as making money is, it is also imperative I feel as though I am contributing to society. I believe a lack of that feeling is part of the reason I have been so down these last few weeks. There is something that pulls my attention to it again and again. I definitely feel like something is missing because I have not been doing anything for others regularly. I have not felt that I am helping anyone (besides myself) with what I do on a daily basis. I do not feel like I’m doing anything to contribute something valuable and add the greater good of the world. I want to believe I add something important to the world, that I make a difference. I think everyone has an innate desire to feel like they matter. I want to give back as so many have helped me.

Intellectually, I know that I am contributing. I still have the feeling that I need to do more. I know that I do not have to leave the house to make a difference. Creating content for this blog and doing other my other arts is making an impact even if I cannot see it. I yearn to interact and make a difference with others. The isolation wears on me and I need to work in partnership. I strongly believe that collaborating with people creatively is pretty much making magic. I desperately want to make some magic! I want to leave the house and join forces for good! This is especially hard to do when you cannot drive, walk or stand for very long. Independence is important when wanting to get out in the world. I have been researching ways that I can volunteer and there isn’t a whole lot that doesn’t involve driving and being able bodied.

Although Vlad has many talents, he doesn't drive like Toonces.

Although Vlad has many talents, he doesn’t drive like Toonces.

I did find one opportunity that, if I get a ride, I could do. I sent in my volunteer application to GaRRs. Georgia Radio Reading Service, a radio reading service for the blind. I’ve been told I have an excellent reading voice—my nieces love me reading Lemony Snicket to them—so I thought I would be a good fit. I hadn’t heard back from them so I called yesterday to follow up and left a message. As I was writing this entry, I received an email that I would be contacted in the next 10-15 business days. I would like to go in sooner—like now!! I notice that I am constantly learning the lesson that life is frequently about waiting.

So I wait and wonder… what it is that I want—“Tell me what you want what you really, really want?” That stuck in my head and then I watched the Spice Girls video—because that’s what you do when you can go down the Internet hole.

The thing that struck me the most, besides wanting do back flips like Sporty Spice and run around in gigantic heels like a carefree girl, was that Posh Spice AKA Victoria Beckham never sang. She sang in the background but didn’t have a solo part like all the other girls.

I wasn’t part of the generation enamored by the Spice Girls back when they were popular—besides enjoying the kitsch factor—so I don’t know if this was a constant or not. Did Victoria Beckham sing or was she just there to add skinny, model-like, high-heeled Spice to the group and marry a really hot football (soccer) player? With the latter, she pretty much nailed it! This is something to ponder, for sure—at least for those of us with inquiring minds…

I look forward to the day when I can wear those boots a have photo like this taken with my beau who looks eerily similar.

I will tell you what I really want…in the next post. Until then…

David says, great post, Jen! And look, he's carrying some shoes I might actually be able to wear in the next 3 months.

David says, great post, Jen! And look, he’s carrying some shoes I might actually be able to wear in the next 3 months.

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3 thoughts on “Coursera, Generating Income, Making Magic, Volunteering and the Spice Girls

  1. Pingback: Some Perspective on This Week | Supine Musings…NEW and IMPROVED Tales from OFF the Couch!

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