The World Is My Classroom!

The World Is My Classroom!

Today was the first day of class for Spring 2011 Semester At Sea, the 104th voyage of this floating University.  I awoke at 6:55 a.m. and needed to make my first class at 8:00 a.m.  Visions of Colorado State University, 1974 danced in my head and I knew I could make the class.  I pulled on my jeans and t-shirt, put on my “Skecher’s” pulled back my hair etc. etc., grabbed my notebook and took off to the Dining Hall.  There I filled my “food network” coffee mug, ate some pineapple chunks and got to class on time.

The world is my classroom!

Exhilaration is the feeling that rushed through my 57 year old body on the first day in the floating, world classroom. I took some time to silently express my gratitude for this incredible opportunity to be able to become part of a 700 member ship board community. To be able to learn how global issues can be assimilated and the lessons brought right back home to our own cities and towns.  It’s energizing to go   “glocal” Thinking Globally and Acting Locally.

The college classmates around me were laughing with each other about not getting their pictures for the first day at school and of course I could not resist and had to take the photo op. I do have pictures of my daughters first day of school from Kindergarten to Freshman at college… So these were fun photos for Tom and me!

Carra Riley first day of Class Semester At Sea

Juliana Acheson, PH.D is the dynamic instructor for Anthropology 3000 “Food and Culture.” She is traveling with her husband and two daughters.  I am hoping to work with her children on the Cosmic Kids e-workbooks and really have some great research on how the principles in Cosmic Cow Pie come together for kids.

Dr. Juliann Acheson

The “Food and Culture”  class is so popular it had to be moved to the Student Union to accommodate all the students wanting to learn about Food and Culture.  Instructor Acheson started out requiring the classroom be configured in a circle so everyone could see everyone else.  The students were way out of their comfort zone in re-arranging the room.  The effect of the activity was interesting as the results of the group coming together in a circle created an instant connection among the participants.  Leave it to an Anthropology instructor to show such a good example in human behavior and how to get people to engage.

The first question Dr. Acheson asked the group to share around the circle was “What is the most recent NEW food you have tried that you liked?

I had to take a few minutes to stop and think about my food habits.  Trying new things has been something that I have not consciously thought about for a long time. Pondering the question and thinking about my behavior, I have to say I have not been very adventuresome about trying new foods lately.  What a great blog post this can be for people to start conversation or even a fb update. The list of new foods the students had recently tried and “liked” went from blueberries, brussel sprouts cherries, an omelet, pomegranate, chicken masala to raw heart, squid ink pasta, conch, frog legs, buffalo, bear guiney pig, chocolate covered worms, citric ants, sea urchins, and monkey brains.  No joke, one young lady said monkey brains!  I thought the student might be taking a line right out of Raiders of the lost Ark but evidently in South America, where she had visited it is a delicacy and she tried it. The raw heart was something a lifelong learner had tried in Pakistan.  We had young students and mature lifelong learners sharing their food experiences and touching one another by stimulating the concept of adventure with food around the world. There were certainly some real “foodies” in this group and it inspired my thought to consider trying new food, culture and the countries we are going to be visiting with a different vision and attitude.

After attending school this morning, I signed up for a cooking class in Brazil. We will create our own dinner with a chef using local products!

Teaching and learning is happening all over this ship at all times of the day and night.

Last night we had our first group meeting to discuss the book “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson. The book is an account of how one man with a vision built 54 schools in Pakistan to help educate women and children. The discussion delved into why and how this man was able to do what he did with only a dream and a passion for helping others.

Discussion group talking about the transformation process of a trip around the world together

The entire ship population, including 66 lifelong learners and 598 students are divided into groups of about 20 participants.  The group will get together before and after ports to discuss what we expect and then after we return what we observed then later, how it manifested in our thoughts. The Semester At Sea vision is to create an “experiential” education event which can possibly transform the lives of those participating.

What did I learn today? I need to be open to trying new food options. Not sure if I am going to eat everything we are exposed to but I will be open and watch those who do! The big lesson is just being receptive to new concepts presented by different cultures with a respect for their values.

The world is my classroom and I am ready to learn!

Sign up to play “Where in the world is Carra Riley?”  Win a travel voucher, lodging, food and entrance to other attractions at one of the Seven wonders of the world!

What Is The Next Charm On The Travel Bracelet?

Is life just a big charm bracelet?

Are the expectations for a travel journey just to get that next gold charm on the bracelet and to say you have been there and done that?

These are questions asked by Executive Dean, Dan Garvy at orientation for the Spring 2011 Semester At Sea Voyage leaving Nassau, Bahamas today.  His candor and dedication to “experiential” education is reflective of the magnitude in time and coordination that has gone into creating the 2011 Spring voyage around the world with Semester at sea.   Dean Garvy told  the students and life long learners that they “were needed to make this all happen.”  Without the participants, the vision never becomes a reality which can make a difference in the world.  To me the keynote speech said that “WE” the individuals on the trip are what it takes to “connect the dots around the world” to create a memorable and harmonious experience.  The connection described today made me feel like an integral part of the community and that my contribution will help others as we create the music of life together in harmony all over the world.

It might seem funny to you, the reader, to be describing the event in musical terms. Dean Garvy had piano music as part of the presentation showing how individual expectations alone do not create a melody.  One note alone,  even two notes alone mean nothing and if you have many notes not in sync it just sounds like noise.  It takes combining several notes with harmony to come up with a balance and a meaningful presentation.

One of the goals of the Semester At Sea Organization we heard about earlier this morning is to “Educate Individuals… have infused shared learning coming together with faculty and students.” “We believe strongly in the program’s mission and that the experience truly deepens one’s understanding of issues and culture…”  Today we heard  about how the experience in the confines of the ship with seniors in their late 80’s to college students in our community would impact who we are and where we are going with the rest of our lives.  Dean Garvy explained how we would all be engaging in groups about our personal journey as we experience different cultural exposures around the world. The Theme of this voyage is Thinking Globally Acting Locally.  The opening remarks set the bar of expectations to be one of growth, harmony and change within the 104 days at sea.

It seemed like my husband Tom and I have been planning, packing and waiting for ever!  We finally left the port in Nassau! As the ship pulled out of dock it was like embarking on a journey with 700 individuals we didn’t really know but deep down we know after the 104 days we will all have something very special in common as we learn and process world change together!

Hang on the ride is just beginning.….. actually the wind came up and it is rocking and rolling a bit!  We did a practice evacuation drill so we are set to sail!  We are cruising at a higher rate of speed to make up the three hour delay!  The journey of a lifetime began today!

Be sure to sign up to play “Where in the world is Carra Riley?” Lot’s of fun just posting and following the journey around the world!

Practice evacuation today before sailing

Saying Goodbye to parents on shore

Bon Voyage Spring 2011 SAS taking off!

Let The Game begin! Where In The World is Carra Riley?

Today, January 12, 2011 is the official launch day of the game, Where in the world is Carra Riley?

The contest is an opportunity to win a $500 travel certificate to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This is combined with 6 other connected prizes from Williams, Arizona the Gateway to the Grand Canyon: 2 meals from Grand Canyon Coffee & Cafe,  3 nights at The Grand Country Inn, train ride for 2 on the Grand Canyon Railway to the Grand Canyon, bull whip lesson with Buck Williams , two rounds of golf at Elephant Rocks Golf Course, 4 car load passes to Bearizona and more to make winning the trip extra special.  See all the rules here.

Join in the fun.. all you have to do is engage by commenting and come to the party!  You will be sharing the journey with me, Carra Riley as I travel with world with my husband Tom on the  Spring 2011 Semester at Sea voyage.  I will be doing research as I write “Cosmic Cow Pie…Connecting The Dots Around The World.”

Today was a full day of checking out of the hotel, getting to the dock, going through customs, unpacking and participating in a “meet and greet” with the parents of the students on the voyage!

I set up the computer with the ships wireless system but we cannot upload video.  I will have to save the video till I can get to Cyber Cafes in port and stick to small file pictures to share!  You can also go to my flickr account and see the photos of the day all along the voyage!

A picture speaks a thousand words.. so this is what we did today!

Tom Riley in Nassau Semester At Sea

Carra Riley Nassau Semester At Sea

Our Ship MV Explorer

More pictures on flickr in the Semester At Sea MV Explorer set.

So let’s get this party started! Comment on the blog posts, the facebook fan page, the flickr account or youtube videos!  Get a point for each comment up to 5 comments a day!  In the event of a tie, additional engagement or posting on any of the sites will determine the tie breaker!  Go to the forum at Cosmic Cow Pie and register so we know your screen name and can keep track of your points.  If you don’ t register we will not know you are playing the game!

This should be fun and you might just connect with some very interesting people from across the world!

Game On: Where In The World Is Carra Riley?

Let The Games Begin: Play “Where In The World Is Carra Riley?”

Carra Riley is a writer, speaker, small business and real estate consultant going on a 104 day voyage around the world on Semester at Sea with her husband Tom. They live in Williams, Arizona and are taking their local community with them as they travel from the East to the West. This is the announcement post of the new INTERNATIONAL game… Where in the world is Carra Riley?

The Theme of the Spring 2011 voyage is  “Global Interdependencies: Thinking Globally Acting Locally”

“Glocal: Someone who is able and willing to think globally while acting locally to improve the human condition and the planet we inhabit.”

7 wonders of the world

Williams, Arizona IS an International melting pot with visitors coming from all over the world as it is the “Gateway” to one of the SEVEN natural  wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. Photo image courtesy of Bob Ribokas His appreciation of one of the seven wonders of the world is amazing!

As the Author of Cosmic Cow Pie…Connecting The Dots I am inviting you to PLAY a game of engaging as we journey around the world sharing transformational concepts and information.

My vision of the trip for the experience is three fold.

  1. Learning how we are connected globally, what the outcomes of this connection are and how we can be a positive force in this process as we go “glocal”.
  2. Bring back the message from around the GLOBE on how we can better serve those coming to visit our country and specifically our local Williams, Arizona community.
  3. The contestants can ALL take the information they are sharing and then implement those ideas in their community.

Carra has been creating videos on youtube with her WilliamsArizona1 channel and posting pictures of this diverse community on flickr. She has posted on her blog information about fasinating local places to go and things to do in the Williams area such as Bearizona, The Grand Canyon Railway and the Grand Canyon Coffee and Cafe.

Carra and Tom love their local community and are looking at this experience as an opportunity to help bring global issues and concerns back to the local community to process this information and start thinking about how all the dots connect together. The Williams News ran a great story about the adventure and Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce is excited about the opportunity to share Williams with the world!

Enter the “Where in the world is Carra Riley?” contest.

What you can win!

How to enter and rules:

Get points for engaging about the world and how lessons abroad can be taken back to local communities.  Watch the videos, photos and blog posts, then participate by commenting. It’s as easy as that.  Sharing global issues and talking about how we can take the information and apply it to make the world a better place.  Carra will be writing the book “Cosmic Cow Pie…Connecting The Dots Around The World” and your participation will help clarify the information that can possibly help the world come together in sustainability, global economics and peace among nations. Each comment on any of the social media site will be counted as one point.  The more you comment the more points you can build up! First register at the Cosmic Cow Pie Forum at “Where in the world is Carra Riley?” section so we know you are playing then just go watch the posts all over cyberspace and comment!

  1. Register in the forum at CosmicCowPie.com and comment on the days events on the blog or in the forum, start a conversation, add a cow tip and/or
  2. Visit the facebook page CosmicCowPie “like” the page comment or share a link and/or
  3. Subscribe to the CosmicCowPieSAS youtube channel and comment and/or
  4. View the photos on flickr and comment on what you are thinking it.

All the points from comments will be tabulated starting January 12, 2011 when the journey embarks from Nassau, Bahamas.  The contest ends on April 24, 2011 in San Diego, California. You must register for the forum, post your location with all your usernames for facebook, youtube and flickr along with a statement that you are “in the game”  to be eligible for the contest. You do not need profiles on all those accounts just let us know the name you will be posting under.  Limit to 5 comments per day per username. In the event of a tie, the Cosmic Cow Pie team will look at additional participation on the social media sites… so if you post a Cow Tip or a link to something that will help readers “Connect The Dots Around The World” that will be taken into consideration for additional points.. again this is just in the case of a tie.   The winner will be announced on the Cosmic Cow Pie website, Friday May 13, 2011 in time to make summer plans in Williams, Arizona, “Gateway to the Grand Canyon” from connecting the dots around the WORLD. The winner will also be notified by e-mail and must respond within 48 hours to claim the prize.

Connect The Dots Around The World with Carra Riley and win a trip to Williams, Arizona the Gateway to the Grand Canyon and experience one of the seven wonders of the world.

Carra Signature Large