Present Participle List for April 2018

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life48 Comments

Ah, Spring is in the air… (well, in some parts of the world, anyway!) Here are few things happening right now:

Anticipating the graduation of my first-born from college. For those of you who don’t know, my daughter Aidan will be graduating with a degree in political science from St. Olaf college in May. Next stop: law school. She’s still finalizing the details on that, so when I know, I’ll definitely share that with you. She has worked so hard to make her college experience positive and productive. She’s such a freaking go-getter. I’m so proud of her.

Designing graduation announcements and planning a grad party for my youngest. That’s right. My baby is graduating from high school in June. This kid… his creativity and his passion are something I truly love to see. This month will be spent trying to figure out what is next. Does he attend one of the schools he’s been accepted to? Does he take a gap year instead? He’s working it all out and we’ll see what happens. I would like to go on record, however, to say that college price tags have become outlandish. I realize I graduated from college in 1989 and attended a state school and actually lived at home for my last three years of a five-year stint, but holy hell, people, the prices are crazy. The school he most wants to attend, even while giving him a really great scholarship package, is not one we can afford unless we want to saddle our son with a debt that will take him years and years to pay off.  I just had to get that off my chest. There, I feel better.

Hoping that Dan is able to find a new teaching job in the fall. (Yes, that means he will not remain at his present school because of declining student enrollment in his current grade.) Dan is a second-year teacher, which means he is the first to go and that is how it goes. His principal loves him. His co-teachers love him. He works harder than anyone I know to be good at this new job. (And trust me, it’s not just his 11-hour days spent at school, but his nights and weekends, as well.) He loves what he is doing so our fingers are crossed that he is able to find another teaching position in the same district, which would put him one year closer to tenure. He has promised to write about the experience of leaving a 27-year career behind and embarking on this new adventure. I think it might inspire anyone who feels they want to make a change. There have definitely been pros and cons in his experience.

Taking selfies with cows. What? Isn’t that what everyone’s doing right now? (See second picture of this post for proof.)

Creating a new e-course, tentatively titled Message To My [ blank ]. This course is inspired by my past and current Messages projects. I want to inspire you and give you concrete steps for creating a very personal scrapbook about someone in your life (or even some thing!) that is creating over a set period of time. My books have been messages to my high school seniors (Cole’s book is currently in Week 28), and I’m not going to lie to you: these feel like the most special projects I’ve done since becoming a memory keeper. My goal with this class will be to give you multiple design formats to create your own books, either digital and printed, or in mini album scrapbook style. I will have more information on this course coming in May so stay tuned!

Teaching Design Your Life 2.0! We are just in Week 1 of my live e-course and you are welcome to join in before registration closes on Thursday. Although this is considered a live course, that simply means the content is delivered weekly and I’m involved daily in our class Facebook group. You still work through the lessons at your own pace and retain access to the materials once the official class period has ended. I will be bringing this back in the summer as a self-paced class, but this is the last live version I will offer. You can still save $5 off the price and if you are an alumni from either 2008 or 2010, you can save $15 by emailing me for the alumni discount code!

And that is what is happening in my life.

What is going on with you? By all means, do tell…

Cathy ZielskePresent Participle List for April 2018

48 Comments on “Present Participle List for April 2018”

  1. #1

    My son is the same age as your daughter. He has some challenges when it comes to school. IEP K-12. Not serious issues but enough to add a layer of difficulty. He did an associates degree at a community college. Took him three years but he did it, including a semester abroad. He then opted for MU so he could stay home and it’s a state school, so cheaper. The problem was the classes are huge and he needs a relationship with his teacher to survive. He opted to transfer the next semester to a small college that would still let him stay at home but holy cannoli is it expensive. But he’s doing great and not so anxious. Long story to say I feel your pain. It’s just ridiculous. Good luck to both your kids and to Dan as they head into the next leg of their journey.

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      So glad your son is finding success. We really don’t know what Cole will do. And now my daughter, God love her, will be taking on ALL the debt of law school, as well. 🙂

  2. #2

    I just want to send a message to Dan. I remember those early years of teaching well. When they love you, but can’t keep you due to budgets and enrollment. It gets better. It does. Like you said Cathy, with every year you’re closer to tenure and not being the last man in. It is so worth it. Our kids need teachers like you. Go Dan go!

  3. #3
    carol ann

    I burst out loud into laughter when I saw your selfie photo with the cow! That totally made my Monday morning a great start!

    Wishing you all the best with your upcoming graduating children. I’m certain that the good words of what kind of teacher Dan is, has spread. He will find work for the next school year with ease! Sending you positive vibes!

  4. #4
    Susan D Ringler

    Oh Cathy! On this midwest spring snowy morning here in Chicagoland, I just wanted to say how excited I am to hear of your new “Message to” class! The timing is perfect. I can hardly wait. Thanks!

  5. #5

    Looking forward and anticipating your “message” class. It sounds like it will be another CZ classic that can be used again and again. Thinking of you as you embrace everyday changes.

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thanks, Janel! I’ll be working on all the content this month. I wanted it to be firmly ready for anyone who is thinking of doing some sort of school year album. You could do this project for ANY year of school of any kind… I think there are many possibilities.

  6. #6

    Cathy, Cathy, Cathy! SO excited about the MESSAGE TO…. class! You are MAKING me into a scrapbooker, and I can’t wait!!!

  7. #7

    Also, sending love to your children and Dan as they embark on this time of great change and uncertainty. A wise friend told me recently, change is an opportunity for great growth, uncomfortable and uncertain though it may be.

    1. #7.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yes, it’s good to keep that in mind right now. Uncomfortable is a good word to describe it all.

  8. #8
    Michelle Bradtke

    College tuition expenses: out of control. My daughter attended a private university for 3 years and then pulled the “only child card” with me and stayed on for grad school which she did in 15 mos. I didn’t want her to start her career in debt, and I was fortunate enough to get very good bonuses from my company at the time. Otherwise, there would be no way we could have afforded it. Insane, since we started and contributed monthly to a college fund for her when I was pregnant, and it still wasn’t enough! Something wrong with this picture.

    1. #8.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Could not agree more. My parents began funds for both of my children (for which I am EXTREMELY grateful) when they were born. The fund helped cover one year of my daughter’s tuition. But of course, we still take Federal loans, and my daughter had to take one private loan to make it all work for her final year (the current year). And she got terrific academic scholarships. Still… she is entering grad school with a sizable debt. The only upside? She won’t have to start paying until she gets out of law school, and hopefully, she will be a lawyer with a salary at that point. Still… it’s hard to fathom all this money.

  9. #9

    What a season for your family. So many endings. So much uncertainty. So many possibilities. Love way you’re taking it all in.

    Fingers crossed for Dan that another classroom comes his way. And sending good vibes to Cole that he finds a just-right path for the next couple of years.

    SO VERY excited about the “Messages” class!

  10. #10
    Stacy A

    Beautiful! One of the things I’m most grateful for is that my father has been setting money aside for my daughter to go to college and she’s in good shape for when she graduates high school in three years. (I’ve got her interested in St. Olaf – she’s a big choir person!) I’m sorry that Dan isn’t able to stay in his current job. I work in higher education in Michigan and the declining population is something we are dealing with in a major way right now. I don’t think the school will look the same in four or five years. I’m really looking forward to your new class – it may exactly what I need to kick my butt in gear for memory keeping AND for living in the present!

    1. #10.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh Stacy! You KNOW that the Ole Choir is literally a world-reknowned choral group? And there are more choirs at St. Olaf than you can shake a stick at. We’ve gone to the St. Olaf Christmas Fest two years in a row. Amazing. My daughter loved choir and musical theater, but she chose ultimate as her extra curricular. 🙂

  11. #11
    Tammy B

    This morning…spent some time wiping away tears while watching updated news reports about the horrific bus crash that took place Friday night in Saskatchewan. Fifteen people from the Humboldt Broncos hockey team lost their lives and the grief in our country is palpable. ????

    Knowing that I have to start nagging my son to register for his university classes for the fall term. He’s been procrastinating and I fear that he’ll be disappointed when the classes he wants and needs are full.

    Enjoying your farm photos! That cow looks like it wants to use you as a salt lick!! ?

    1. #11.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Just truly devastating. We are a hockey and Canada loving family. So sad for all involved.

      1. #11.1.1
        Tammy B

        People around the globe are showing support through #PutYourSticksOut. It’s a small gesture that means so much.

  12. #12

    Holy cows Cathy! What a year for your family. Two graduations and Dan changing jobs again. MAJOR life changes. To echo above posts, change can sometimes be “uncomfortable”—even traumatic—but in my experience (which has included many life changes), these have always led to something very positive. It’s hard to fathom that at the moment, but thinking back, I know they actually led to some of the best things of my life. Just stay positive as much as you can. I know you’ll be supportive of those you love. Think of these times as exciting opportunities.
    I, too, am looking forward to learning more about your “message to” class. Question: I know most of your albums have covered basically one academic year. Can I somehow convert class materials into a longer period of time? I’ve been contemplating an album about my son, but I can’t possibly go back & document each & every year in separate albums (uh, he’s almost 49 now!). I’d love to do something for his 50th birthday next year, & I’ve been contemplating various formats.

  13. #13

    Been there as a teacher, so hard. And once you’ve been somewhere long enough that you’re not on the chopping block, your team changes, or you’re moving rooms, etc. It’s always something. Hang in there.

  14. #14

    Hi Cathy,
    Congrats on two graduations this spring! Wooohooo! Very exciting futures ahead for both of your kids. I just wanted to offer another perspective on college debt. We have had 3 children graduate from college (the last one 3 years ago) and yes, the tuition/room/board costs are ASTRONOMICAL. Ridiculous, even. However, there is a “sticker price” and an actual price, but still…it’s huge.
    We have a state university where we live that is very good, but all 3 of our kids chose a private school. Yes, they all got some scholarships, but all three graduated with A LOT of debt. We discussed extensively what that meant; letting them know that we would help, but the majority of the debt was on them. First graduated with 30k, 2nd child, 40k, and third child also 40k. Yes, a tremendous amt. HOWEVER, the schools they chose were VERY influential in their fledgling careers, and all three got their dream job right out of college in their fields.
    I absolutely feel that the small size of their colleges, and the opportunities that those schools
    offered them (leadership positions, going abroad to experience amazing growth, dream internships) were worth the debt in the long run. In addition, all 3 have learned what life is like when you have debt in your life. Each of them refinanced their loans to make them more manageable (the biggest crime IMHO is the one from banks ripping these kids off with interest payments) and yes, extend them further. But, they have lived on their own since graduation, moved across the country for jobs, purchased houses, new cars, traveled, and have matured beyond belief on their own. And all 3 have savings accounts and 401K’s. Not to say they are living in luxury..they definitely are not. One is married and live in a fixer upper, one still has roommates as he lives in a very expensive part of CA, and one lives in a very small apartment, but in a cool city! 🙂
    So, I do think there are pros and cons to college debt, and one shouldn’t dismiss the possibilities that a particular college may offer just to avoid debt. Choosing carefully, wisely, and counseling them on how to handle debt is also a choice.
    Good luck to both of your kids, and your husband in landing another job. One of my three is a teacher as well, and I know *exactly* how hard teaching is in those first few years. It’s a wonder we have any teachers that stay!

    1. #14.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Always good to hear perspectives from the other side. 🙂 Thank you for sharing that.

  15. #15

    It’s been a while since I have followed your posts and I’ve really missed a lot! Had my own shit-show going on, but trying to reclaim some notmalcy – whatever THAT means! Be proud of your kids and don’t under estimate the guidance that you have offered! As parents, we don’t always say or do the right thing, but most of us have only our children’s BEST interest in mind! Looking forward to taking your new class in May! I need a creative jump-start!!!

  16. #16
    Tanya Sadler

    Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on…

    As I’ve gotten older and the anxiety has increased with my own kids and being an educator in a high need Title 1 building, I’ve been learning to breathe more and stress less. Ha ha. Learning… didn’t say mastering. 🙂 I’ve also learned that I can only control certain things and the rest is how I respond to what I can’t control. Best wishes to the entire clan as endings and new beginnings merge over the coming months. And my husbands add… “That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”.

  17. #17

    I’m an ex-teacher (in New Zealand) and know first hand that the hours are ball-busting if you are passionate about the job and it sounds like Dan is. Hopefully his principal will put in a good word for him around schools in your area. The inexperienced teachers have a lot to offer…their training is up to date and they are fresh, energetic and eager. I’m wishing Dan all the best for his job hunting.

  18. #18

    Love the cow picts! My first visit to Minnesota was to visit St Olaf college with my youngest son. I got such a chuckle entering Northfield and seeing the welcome sigh: “Cows, colleges, and contentment”! After graduating from St Olaf, my son spent 2 more years in Mn and now is in grad school in OK. I do miss visiting Minnesota!

    Good Luck with all of the transitions life is throwing you right now!

  19. #19

    Always great to get updates about your family. I am a teacher at a public school district in Washington. Our teachers union was able to bargain away the “last in, first out” problem. Every year we provide evidence of student goals (that each teacher determines) being met and contributions to the school mission statement. This puts new teachers on an even playing field with veteran teachers.
    Good luck to Dan, I am sure he will grab a new position.

  20. #20
    Terri B.

    Congratulations on your two awesome (upcoming) graduates! Moms and dads love how far our kids have come, their amazing achievements, and their infinite future possibilities. You did good! My son is also graduating in June from CalPoly SLO. He had a job offer last fall, that he accepted, and in July he will be moving from our little town on the central coast of CA to the Bay area. It’s going to be a big change for our kiddo. Be strong mama! They know where home is! And, wishing Dan the best of luck in finding another awesome school to teach those precious children at; he’s a winner! (And Cathy, you do need some help planning your cow selfies… 🙂 )

    1. #20.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Love hearing college success stories! Heck, the school my son wants to attend? SFU, so he may end up in that city if he can score more scholarships!

  21. #21

    I wished you lived in England – we’re crying out for teachers and Dan sounds like the best .
    I would encourage your son to take a gap year . My youngest is on his at the moment and oh boy is he learning from it . I’ve realised that there are 2 types of education in this life . The formal variety involving institutions and exams and the informal variety acquired through the school of hard knocks , challenges and adversity and OMG are they SO different . I can’t put into words ( although I’m sure my son could ) the rewarding nature of having to learn resilience , resourcefulness and empathy that a gap year can teach you . He returns from Tanzania end of April . If your son would like to get in touch with him , he would be more than happy to chat about his experience.
    P.S cow selfie is awesome

    1. #21.1
      Cathy Zielske

      You know, at first his thinking of a gap year freaked me out. I thought, “What if he NEVER goes back to school?” And the reality is, he may make that choice. But yes, he would learn a lot getting out there and working, living on his own with friends, etc. The reality is that it is HIS life. I just wish his idea of a gap year meant going somewhere abroad, but it’s not really in his list of possibilities. We shall see!

  22. #22

    I just want to know when you will be offering a class in journalling, I am amazed by how well you write/journal on your pages, you say things so eloquently (who knows if I even spelled that correctly). I did look in your list of classes and didn’t see one, please let me know if I have missed it. Thanks so much.

    1. #22.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I have been brainstorming for a long time on how to offer a class on journaling. It’s a big goal of mine and I’m trying to figure out how to teach it! Stay tuned!

  23. #23

    I can relate to your post on many levels, but the cows not being one of them. lol 😉 Anyway, we’re about two years behind you in the college stage of life. We’ve been researching and touring schools already and you’re right, holy cow!! College tuition has gotten out of control!! We live in CA and have many great state schools but our kids can’t get in. Since they’ve become so great everyone and their brother wants to attend and the schools have been taking more out of state and international students because they pay more. That means fewer spots for CA students who are more than qualified and their families are the ones paying taxes for these universities. It’s quite the problem we’re having here in CA.

    Let Dan know that teaching gets easier each year. It’s a wonderful and fulfilling profession, but it’s hard at first. Really hard. They say many teachers leave the profession within their first five years and I understand why. It’s. Really. Hard. After having my daughter I decided to stay home and now that they’re older I have started substitute teaching. I love it because it’s the part of the job I love–teaching the students. I don’t have to deal with the parents, attend meetings, deal with administrative red tape, or any of that not fun part of the job. I wish him good luck in finding a new position.

    1. #23.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Tiffany! We have a similar thing with the University of Minnesota (main campus). I was SURE Cole would get in and he was wait listed.

      I will share your thoughts with Dan. This has been quite the journey for him, rewarding and challenging at the same time. 🙂

  24. #24

    I hear you with college expenses…we encouraged our boys to attend community college to get the general classes out of the way and graduate with an associate degree in their prospective majors, then transfer to the college/university of their choice. Check with the second school before hand to see which classes/degrees will transfer over. Once they finish college the final diploma will just carry the name of the last college/university (it won’t mention the community college). That’s the only way we could afford to send our boys. It’s something to consider, anyway.

    Good luck to Dan, and your kids, I know they’ll all do well with such a terrific lady behind them!

  25. #25
    Bonnie Tait

    Hello there Cathy, i am a Newbe to the cardmaking world, inspired greatly by the incredible artists like you and a few more. While gathering the supplies needed and learning about the top notch companies out there selling stamps, dies, inks and you know. I am so impressed with all the wonderful choices I have for great supplies and to find my place in this very competitive field, as well as my own style. It is so very exiting each and every day. Always have been a crafter since age 10. Yes, a 10 year old creating fish shaped pin cushions from the foam sheets way back in the 60’s, I sold them for 50 cents a piece and could not keep up with the demand. My Grandma was so talented at sewing. Rest her soul. I always loved color, always to this day buy a new box of crayolas every year to play with. Off course I’ve expanded to more mature media but I love the journey. Your card is soft and simple and the products you have used are a number 1. your the very first artest I have shared this with, I guress after reading all about you and your life, I felt that somehow I fit in. All the best. Bonnie from buffalo. Snow is finally gone, as of 3 days ago. LOL

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