My Interdisciplinary Studies Senior Seminar in review.

Ahh…. it’s almost done.  Finals week is right around the corner, and classes are wrapping up.  It’s the last push to get things complete, study like a mad woman, and take a deep breath to enjoy the spring air.  Summer break is coming….  I wish I could say I was graduating next week, but I have one more semester in the fall, and then I too will graduate with my Interdisciplinary Studies major.

Interdisciplinary Studies class- taken from their Facebook page.

I’m so grateful I was introduced to Dr. Robin DeRosa, Director of Interdisciplinary Studies last year.  She leads an excellent program and path to an untraditional major that makes use of my past military experience and allows me to pursue a degree that makes sense for me.  My degree in Organizational Administration, is what my multi disciplined military career, experience and interests are all about.

This semester, as we enjoyed the leadership of Teaching Lecturer Bonnie Toomey, we put together our Research Article and Applied Project.  At first, I struggled to narrow down my topics.  I brainstormed, picked a few ideas a part, and finally made some good solid decisions on the two.

My Research Article: Non-Profit Organizations, it’s a big business came together well, I thought.  I enjoyed diving in to the depths of non-profits, exploring the complexity and history of such a diverse way of touching society through charitable work.  I was impressed to read about the MILLIONS of dollars that flow through non-profits, the impact on the nations GDP and employment, and other aspects of society such as religion, environment, science, government, and education.

So here’s a funny thing…  Once I choose my Research Article, and decided to interview Cathy Crooker, the dots were connected to my Applied Project: Organizer and “Den Mother” for the Over the Hill Hikers.  Cathy’s mom, Lib Crooker-Bates was one of the founding members and the original “Den Mother” of the Over the Hill Hikers group, established in 1979.

Both of these projects tied together nicely with my course work here at Plymouth State.  This semester I was taking Macroeconomics, Business Statistics and Exploring Social Life through Film.  As I worked on these projects, I found the connections and overlay at multiple layers, not only in my course work, but within my personal life as well.  The multi-disciplines really became apparent, especially with the Non-Profit Research Article.  It really made everything feel it had a purpose. 

I’m excited for summer break, and even more so that I’m getting so close to finishing a life long goal of mine.  One more semester!     I look forward to using the knowledge I’ve gained from this research and applied project as I continue my work in volunteerism and community service.   Retirement is wonderful, and it certainly is allowing me to do so many things that bring purpose to my life, and the feeling of giving back to society.  After a career in service, it’s hard to stop now.


My Personal Learning Network, AKA… PLN

TWITTER… It’s a love / hate relationship.  And, it’s been my Personal Learning Network for Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) class work I’ve been taking at Plymouth State University.



I find Twitter, and other social networking platforms a wonderful way to briefly explore people, subjects, news topics, and even entertainment.  But, and this is a big BUT, (no pun intended) in the daily demands and sensory overload of media, electronic devices, politics, school, household chores, social obligations, and time to disconnect from it all, it never seems I balance it appropriately.

I think I am one of those people who is actually addicted to my cell phone or lap top.  I spend way to much time checking email, facebook, and so forth, and never enough time outside and disconnected from it all.  I need to work on that.  Really, I do.

So, Twitter has been something I’ve tried to keep at arms length for my own protection.  I’ve embraced it, but not used it to it’s absolute full potential.  I’ve made good use of networking with my fellow IDS classmates (#IDSsem, #IDSintro, #PlymouthIDS), I’ve explored Business Week, Forbes, Human Resource related organizations and groups (such as SHRM and Non-Profit Quarterly).   I’ve also followed the NY Times, NHPR, and even political figures I respect (and some I don’t), as well as organizations like the ACLU.  It’s been good.  I can definitely see the quick networking use of Twitter.  And I have to say, if I were still in the working world I would embrace it even further.  I’m glad I had an “Introductory to Twitter” so to speak.  I feel better informed of what is out there, I’m not quite as intimidated by it, AND I see the pros and cons.  I’m glad IDS has exposed me to yet another learning opportunity.

So, to give you a bit of a recap of my tweets from the last semester, I share with you these clips: