Sunday Stills: Who Are #Tourists?

Tourists gather on the beach in Coronado

The last week in June finds the Sunday Stills Photo Challenge exploring the theme “tourist.”

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere sees an abundance of tourists.

We all think we know who tourists are, but did you know that YOU are a tourist? Any time you step out of your locale, you become a tourist.

“Stop hating the tourist—after all, tourists are just us in other locations.” Dr. Greg Shaw

Tourism can be defined as the act of travel for the purpose of recreation, and the provision of services for this act.

In two of the classes I teach, we discuss the idea of tourism. In fact, the major in which I teach is called Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration. Adding “tourism” and changing the major from Recreation and Leisure Studies brought hundreds more students seeking courses in this major which include 14 career tracks beside the traditional public recreation services, parks & natural resources management, and therapeutic recreation.

Future students touring the university
Future students tour the Sacramento State Campus

Tourism and hospitality play a huge role in this major which opens doors for careers in event planning, professional and collegiate sports management, and theme park management, to name a few. One of our class discussions includes these questions:

  • What would you say are your hometown’s best tourist attractions or special features worthy of tourist visits?
  • What special places in your town would tourists ruin?

Food for thought!

“Move to a new country and you quickly see that visiting a place as a tourist, and actually moving there for good, are two very different things.”
― Tahir Shah, Travels With Myself

Photographer reflected in the mirror

Are you a tourist this summer? When we went to the Big Island of Hawaii last winter, I KNEW I was a tourist and was very happy to be one. How else can one learn about the places they travel?

Did I mention I have been to Yosemite National Park 25 times in my life so far? I do not feel like a tourist there at all, more like a local who has chased a few bears away, camped in tents in the frigid alpine nights, and enjoyed countless ranger-led hikes and campfires.

It’s all in our perspective.


Please join the ever-growing list of bloggers sharing for Sunday Stills!

Feel free to use this image for your posts.

The July calendar is posted on the Sunday Stills page.



Where was the last place you felt like a tourist?


Sunday Stills: The #Future Is Ours

College graduates walk at commencement

The future, the Sunday Stills theme this week, asks us to think about what this means to us. Nothing says “future” like a commencement ceremony.

Jubilant student graduates from University

Recently I had the pleasure of attending the college graduation of one of my students (who was also a long-time employee of mine and one of my daughter’s best friends). I also witnessed several students from previous classes walking toward their futures!

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

The smile on her face (the one in the middle in the white glasses) says it all. Her future is exciting because she moves out of state to be with her husband who serves in the Air Force.

Students graduating from Sacramento State UniversityThe College of Health and Human Services at Sacramento State University, where I teach, had over 1200 bachelor and master candidates for graduation for Spring 2018 out of a university total of 6,600! Impressive when you consider this includes majors in recreation and parks, criminal justice, physical therapy, kinesiology, nursing, and social work.

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves. William Shakespeare

These women and men are our future!

College graduates walk at commencement

Today’s theme was chosen by Hugh.

Remember, you can always refer to my Sunday Stills page for the monthly themes always posted in advance. Your posts can be published any day of the week! The link-up is optional, but if you do link-up, please visit a couple of bloggers.

What does “future” mean to you?



Are Challenges Beneath You?

Experiential Education allows students to attempt challenges and face their fears.

Experiential Education allows students to attempt challenges and face their fears.

Teaching at a university certainly gives me interesting perspectives. Recently, as part of one of my classes in the recreation and parks major, we got to spend the day team-building and climbing. On our university campus, Peak Adventures Challenge Center offers a high-ropes course, open to students, staff and the public.

Students are required to take part in this day-long challenge as part of a writing assignment on motivation and adventure. In the above photo, I captured three students climbing on three different apparatuses.

One student wrote in her paper:

Students close-up of 40-feet high tightrope shows determination and motivation.

“Climbing up the pole was the hardest part of the journey. What makes this challenge so special to me is I can relate the tightrope challenge to my life. I would have never attempted this on my own, so why go now? Well, it was part of my grade. You would think that would be motivation enough, but no. My motivation was about my future and my career. How can I move forward and advance if I refuse to try new things?”

She got an A on this paper.

Speaking of perspectives, here is what she looked like on the tightrope from underneath looking up. The platform with the sign is 12 feet above my head.

Student crosses the highwire at the Peak Adventures Challenge Course

Just a mere 40-feet in the air. No. Big. Deal.

Because my knee injury still prevents me from putting weight on the knee during a climb, I spent the afternoon UNDER the ropes taking photos.

Hugh's weekly photo challengeThese photos are submitted for Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Under. Feel free to join any time!


Vibrant in Winter

A bright pink tent beckons vibrant college students to explore leisure activities on campus.

Vibrant is the theme of this week’s WordPress photo challenge. What could be more welcome on a cold, gray winter day than pops of color in the landscape? After teaching my Friday morning class today, having just seen “vibrant” as the theme, I saw the colorful tents on campus lined up for Greek week activities.

A bright pink tent beckons vibrant college students to explore leisure activities on campus.

Seeing these bright pink colors against the drab, gray backdrop of the university campus in its winter glory really lifted my spirits. Even on a dreary Friday morning, students still engage, chat and hurry to classes eager to be done for the day.

One definition of vibrant is “pulsating with life, vigor, or activity.”

But vibrancy goes a step further beyond the visual.  Students also have the opportunity to sign up for clubs and other campus activities to keep up their vibrant leisure lifestyle when done with classes and homework.

This photo is also submitted for Jennifer Nicole Wells Color Your World challenge “Cotton Candy.”

Even in my own front yard, there is a hint of vibrancy. I was surprised a few days ago to see my cute paper-whites blooming!

Vibrant Paperwhites

Under Construction



If we were having coffee today, I would wish you a happy Labor Day weekend and toast the holiday with a nice Colombian medium roast. I can offer you a variety of teas if you prefer.

Labor Day, observed as a national holiday on the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. This holiday traditionally bids farewell to summer as schools and universities begin and autumn is in the air (supposedly).

I am spending the three-day weekend at the delta enjoying the last of the windsurfing season. My wrenched knee is healing slowly, so I’m not sure how much water time I will get. Luckily,  I can stand-up paddle a little, and get up and down the launch OK. We also have to pack up a load to take home, then starts the de-construction of our camp.

I like to think of this time of year as being “under construction.”

Back to Teaching
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week I started back to my part-time lecturing gig at the university. My last time teaching was in December. When I retired from public service in recreation, I had to take 6 months off (really eight) from my CalPERS public agency. Both my full-time work and part-time teaching are public agencies that pay into CalPERS. As I go back to teaching, my new title is “Retired Annuitant.” Retired annuitants can go back to work at their former workplace on a half-time basis, and still receive a pension.

Not to brag, but I “work” 8 hours a week on campus. Of course there are lots of papers to grade which can done at anywhere. Teaching two classes per semester is fantastic. And my students are enthusiastic (and laugh at my jokes).

One of my classes is new to me, so I am still constructing lectures and putting together good class activities to keep my 80 students occupied.

Master Bedroom Construction
master-under-constructionIf we were having coffee, I would show you how the bedroom addition is coming along. You will have to check out my Pinterest boards for the decorating ideas we are choosing. I am particularly excited about my bedroom office nook, where I plan to spend hours blogging, grading papers, and generally organizing my life.

Summer into Autumn
Are you ready for autumn? I sure am. Ironically, fall is the driest time of year in Northern California and the threat of wildfires is worrisome. Fall seems to also be under construction, as the sun goes down earlier and the nights and mornings are blissfully cool, and the leaves slowly change from green, to yellow, then to vibrant oranges, reds and browns.

I think my attitude goes under a little reconstruction as well. Does this happen to you when the seasons change? I enjoy the unique things that each season brings, but the Fall brings a sense of peace despite the sometimes frenetic pace of school, work, the imminent holiday season, and perhaps some travel.

I hope you enjoyed coffee with me today. What parts of your life are under construction now?

Join me each week for Part-Time Monster’s Weekend Coffee Share.