Working in Western New Mexico

Today I started in Albuquerque and traveled to Grants, NM and then to Farmington.  I took a slightly different route this time after leaving Grants.  Instead of going through Thoreau to Crownpoint, this time I went through San Mateo to Crownpoint.  This route led to astounding views and fun-to-drive twists and turns.  Unfortunately I need a better camera to really capture all the layers and depths of the mesas and rock formations.  Perhaps next time!  Most of this land is part of the Navajo Nation.  I saw fat cattle and horses, sheep, and traditional and modern hogans.  This route took me near Chaco Canyon and through part of the Bisti Badlands.  I’ll go back one day when I’m not on work time.  Here are some of the pictures I was able to take this time:

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Remember the Edsel?

I’m in Tucumcari, NM tonight on business.  Tucumcari was once a very thriving town and stop along Route 66.  Many of the original hotels have been renovated and are still in business.  I saw these vehicles outside Tucumcari…..

edsel-in-tucumcari-nm

Edsel

edsel-side-view

Edsel

edsel-front-view

Edsel Front View

old-tow-truck

Old Tow Truck

yellow-taxi

Yellow Taxi

Mentoring

“The truth is we all have something of value that’s worth imparting on someonedandelion else, regardless of age”.

~Elisa Pulliam

Pulliam, E. (2016).  Impact together.  Biblical mentoring simplified.  San Francisco, CA:  Elisa Pulliam and Associates.

City of Rocks, New Mexico

After a trip to NMSU and Las Cruces, NM, my husband and I took the scenic route back to Albuquerque.  We went through Deming, Bayard, and the Black Range in the Gila National Forest.  It took us forever to get home, but we had a wonderful time.

would-you-stay-in-that-tent

Would You Stay In That Tent?!

I had never even heard of the City of Rocks State Park outside of Deming, NM.  New Mexico is a geologist’s dream.  I am constantly amazed by the mountains and volcanoes here.  Taken from a pamphlet produced by the City of Rocks Visitors’ Center:

The rocks forming the City of Rocks were produced by a very large volcanic eruption that occurred 34.9 million years ago.  The violent eruption of volcanic pumice, ash, and hot gas in an eruption 1000 times greater than the May 18, 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption would have taken months to years to complete.  The magma that produced the eruption was probably located between 3.7 and 9.3 miles below the earth’s surface.  From vents in the earth’s surface, large amounts of volcanic material would erupt very quickly.  This material would move as a large, hot, turbulent cloud, traveling as far as 125 miles from the vent and deposit volcanic material in its path.

Amazing!  My husband and I had fun seeing shapes in the formations.  See if you agree, or comment if you see something different!

On Friendship

On Friendship

I don’t have many friends.  At least not in the traditional sense of the word.  I like to be at home with my husband, I travel for work, and I’m busy with school.  Many say it’s important to get out and interact with people.  But what if that’s not what I want to do?  I don’t like bright, flashing lights.  I don’t like crowds.  I don’t like lots of noise.  I can reach outside my limits, but I’m not going to push myself and be miserable.  I have two friends I actually meet face-to-face, and even they often forgive me for backing out.

I have lots of friends.  Here it comes….online!  I’m happy with this.  A recent book I read, Trust Agents (see my book reviews) is listed under business/marketing, but it is a read for good human connections, also.  Brogan & Smith ( 2010) discuss the level of transparency people are able to have online.  When posting on my school discussion board, Facebook, or even on here, it is much easier to get my thoughts out than it would be face-to-face.  Although there are exceptions, among internet friends people are more willing to open up.  I look forward to getting online in the evenings to see who reached out to me during the day.  I am able to share pictures and videos and parenting sayings/tips with coworkers that I wouldn’t share from work.  I am able to connect with friends I’ve lost touch with.  I am able to complain to a classmate and ask for clarification/encouragement about an assignment (one of these days, we’re going to meet).  I have someone in South Africa praying for me in our Christian mentoring group.  I am following a student from Australia and watching him meet his goals.  I send pictures and messages to my kids, now that they’ve grown up and left the house.  I can be open and honest with these people.

How interesting that the people I don’t see face-to-face everyday are the ones that are supportive and nonjudgmental.  I wonder what we can all learn from that!

Thank you, friends!

~Emily

Brogan & Smith. (2010).  Trust Agents. Using the web to build influence, improve reputation, and earn trust.  Hoboken, NJ:  John Wiley & Sons.

Braiding My Hair Changed My Life (Well, Kinda)

My hair has grown quite long. I was braiding it this morning for the first time in a long time. I’ve always braided it the same way but soon found that my arms were not long enough. So I leaned over to braid my hair upside down. But then I noticed that I proceeded to unbraid my hair! That was not expected! So I tried a different way to finish my braid.

This was a simple analogy but it made me start thinking about change. I personally don’t handle change very well unless I know why and how. It has been commented on that I derive pleasure from implementing action plans for forced improvements. But I do not see action plans that way. When introduced correctly action plans do not have to be a purely punitive endeavor. I enjoy the action planning process because it can be used as group decision making. It holds each player accountable, and, most of all, it tracks the changes and successes while striving for a goal. Too often we work hard but do not realize exactly how much we do. Action plans outline all the details and evidence toward hard work. After completing an action plan with a group, I’ve received many thank-you’s for the process and can see the boost in self-confidence of the group. (This certainly was not the reaction at the beginning of the change process!)

Changes don’t always work. I changed how I was braiding my hair to better reach it and ended up un-braiding it. I did not anticipate that! Learning from unsuccessful attempts to change leads to thinking of new ways to complete a project – in short, the creative process. This leads to new understandings of how things work and new thought processes. I certainly did not think that messing up my braid this morning would lead me to writing about change!

In Mezirow’s (1991) Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning, Popper explained that “we learn in order to change the structure of our expectations rather than to fill in gaps in knowledge. New knowledge resulting from problem solving is a correction rather than an extension of old knowledge” (p. 39). Change our expectations. You would think we should change the situation. I expected to turn my head upside down and continue my braid. That did not work. Therefore, I problem-solved a new way to braid my hair, thus correcting my expectations.

This was a pretty thought-out analogy. Imagine all the situations we encounter each day in which we make changes and change our expectations. We usually do it automatically, without thought. Consider the positive transformations we are capable of when we consciously change our expectations.

~Emily Aragon

Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.