Saturday, September 6, 2008

Beijing's Got Nothin' On CAST

At Fresno State, I teach Child Development in the Department of Child, Family, and Consumer Sciences (CFCS), which is in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (CAST). Got all that?! Classes started two weeks ago, and Friday, CAST sponsored a "Welcome Back" BBQ for faculty, staff, and students that included a little healthy competition in the form of CAST Olympics. In my absence last year, my department came in third with one team of faculty, so this year, we wanted to up the ante, and recruited some students to compete with us -- and we ended up with enough for two teams. This is my team: (back, l to r) Alma (lecturer), Sean (assistant prof), Cheryl (administrative assistant), Noah (student assistant), Tommy (boyfriend to one of my students), Eboney (my student, and Tommy's girlfriend); (front, l to r) Marianne (associate prof and department chair), me, Anna (my student), and Lizhu (assistant prof).Ten teams competed and rotated through events that represented each of the seven departments in the college. There were four preliminary events, and the top three teams went on to the "medal round" that included the final three events. The first event represented the Consumer Sciences part of our department, and was a "Price is Right" challenge. We had to list five items (tuna, Minute Rice, Rice A Roni, Joy dishwashing detergent, and Ragu), cheapest to most expensive, and our team struggled a bit ... we only earned one point for one right!!! And in the process, we found out that the students know way better places to grocery shop than the faculty, as they thought everything was way cheaper than we did.
In the second event, which I'm assuming represented Ag Econ, we had to measure five different items (a basketball hoop, a stapler, a water bottle, a chair, and something I've forgotten), draw a graph of their lengths/heights, and then calculate the mean, median, and mode. Uhhhh ... mode? Most of us knew what mean and median were, but what the hell is mode? Thankfully Sean knew, and we did pretty well, I think.
Here, seven of our 10-person team waited in line (I'm there, but you can only see my foot) for the beginning of the third event which represented Plant Science. We had to push a small watermelon with our faces or heads across the grass to a line and then back in a relay. I had flashbacks to high school when, as freshmen, we had to push peanuts across the gym floor with our noses. This time, though, I got grass stains and watermelon juice on my knees!
Yup ... that's me in all my glory. The important thing to note here -- besides my nice ass -- is that I'm making the turn before Gary, who you can see in the background to the right. He was on the other team from my department -- the enemy!!!
I didn't compete in the last preliminary event because it required a strong back -- carrying hay bales across the grass and stacking them in a specific area. Our team did great and my job was to cheer, thank goodness. I think this event represented Animal Science.
Uh, neither of our teams made it to the finals, so we missed out on cake decorating while blindfolded (Food Science and Nutrition) and a relay that involved a big vat of wine (ok, just kool-aid that was supposed to be wine) where teams had to take turns running with a wine-soaked sponge to a bucket to fill it up. These occurred during dinner (the prelims were before dinner), so I think I was in the ice cream line when they did the third event, and I completely missed it (hey, it's from the Farm Market on campus, and it's the best!). Ah, well!

The Olympics were fun, but dinner was dee-lish, and our dean, Charles Boyer, was the head BBQ dude. The students made his apron for him, and I'm guessing they also made him wear the hat.
Our associate dean, Sandy Witte, was the referee for the Games ...
... and the students designed her uniform with some nice bling.
Oh, yah ... and our team's name, courtesy of Alma? "The Young and the Rest of Us." Students and faculty -- ya gotta love it.


martina said...

hope back to school is going well . . . looks like its got some fun and games to it! mp

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