Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Belated Graduation 2009

Since I've been away from blog-land for so long, I'm going to try to do some catching up, and thought I'd start with some pics from graduation last May. I love graduation, as it not only means summer's coming (yay!), but it's incredibly fun and rewarding to see our students complete their degrees and celebrate with their families.

Festivities always start on Friday with a graduation ceremony just for our college -- the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. And the AgOne Foundation always sponsors a nice breakfast for graduates, their families, and faculty just prior to the ceremony. Our department faculty always turns out in full-force to support our students, and here our Department Administrative Assistant, Cheryl Jackson, enjoys the celebration with lecturers Alma Major and Gary Malone.
Nicole Jensen is one of my students who graduated. She took one of my classes while she was pregnant with her first daughter -- she now has two daughters, and I keep track of their adventures through Facebook.
On Saturday, we attend the University Graduation, which is held in the SaveMart Center on campus. Here, faculty from our department are in line in the "innards" of the SaveMart Center, waiting for the show to begin. (l to r: Katie Dyer, Gary Malone, Alma Major, Sean Seepersad, and Kabeljit Atwal)
Cheryl does such a great job getting us all organized that we decided to give her a mortar board like the graduates!
We love posing for group pics...(l to r, back to front: Ronna Crews, Sean, Marianne Jones, Gary, Kabeljit, Katie, Rich Berrett, Alma, and me)
Another one of my students who graduated, Taryn Porter. She is now a graduate student on campus, and I'm confident she's going places! I talked her into being a student representative on our Student Success Task Force, a university committee I sit on, and look forward to seeing her there.
Eboney Pearson was one of my students last year for the first time, and she's terrific. She's still on campus taking a few classes to finish up her degree.
Marquis Matson was our "Outstanding Student," and she is an exceptional student. She worked on research with Katie and me, and went to the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development last April to help us present it. She is now at USC (please forgive her) working on her master's degree.
Kabeljit, Alma, and Sean get in one last Kodak moment before heading into the ceremonies.
So, a bit belated, but fun to see now as I start a new academic year, as knowing another one of these is at the end will make it easier to get through the challenges!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What I Did....

on My Summer Vacation.

Yup. Another blog entry I don't have time to put up now...but will soon. After all, it's Furlough Friday in two days.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Furlough Friday and Food for Thought

If you've been in a cave somewhere, you might not realize that the State of California is in a bit of a budget crisis. At the CSU, we're doing our part by taking a furlough, though paycut is more fitting, as our pay has been cut 9.25%, but not our workload. Well, not in any foolproof way, anyway. Essentially, we take 9 days off per semester, but the students, committees, etc., have not been cut 9.25%. Go figure.

I've got my third furlough day coming up this Friday, and while it's stressful -- trying to fit five days of work into just four and still do a good job for my students and my colleagues -- I'm reminding myself that there are a lot of folks who don't have jobs at all. Or are likely to lose them very soon.

When I remember that, the stress level eases quite a bit...

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Football Time in Tennessee!

Went to the UT vs UCLA football game the weekend before last -- in Knoxville! It was awesome...well, except for the loss to the Bruins.

Will post more soon. Need to get some z's at the moment so I can be up in time to earn some money tomorrow for taking trips to places like Neyland Stadium....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Do Unto Others...Please.

On Saturday, I went for a ride up to Millerton Store (with a little Woogie thrown in for good measure) by myself. On the way back down from Millerton Store, I saw a female cyclist I didn't know on the side of the road, and it was obvious she was feeling sick. I stopped to ask if she needed help, and she was indeed feeling really nauseous. After talking to her, I figured she was dehydrated, hadn't fueled enough, the heat was getting to her, or a combination of one or more of those. We tried to call someone to pick her up, but she couldn't get a hold of anyone right away. I rode back up to Millerton Store to get her some water and Gatorade, and then came back down and helped her get further down the road where she could rest in shade. She finally got a hold of her mom - who was in town visiting - and I waited with her until her mom got there. She was very gracious and thankful that I helped....but wouldn't most people? A lot of cyclists asked if we were ok as they passed, so I'm sure someone else would have helped, too.

But sometimes I wonder....this week at the Huggins Early Education Center where I am the new Interim Director, one of the teachers I now work with came to my office just to thank me for stopping by her room and offering to get her something when she looked like she needed something. She said that in all her years of teaching, no director had ever done that before. She looked like she needed something -- she was looking around while clearly needing to stay at the art table with the children -- so wouldn't someone else just standing there like me have done the same thing?...I hope so.

Today, I locked my keys in my car when I met Allegra for a bike ride. When we got back and I realized it, her husband drove me to my house to try to find an extra key -- which I couldn't find -- and brought me back to my car while I called AAA. I told him not to wait with me, as he had 12-year-old Jack in the car, and I felt bad they were waiting, so he left. And before I knew it, Allegra showed up to let me sit in the air-conditioned car while waiting. It took over an hour, so that was quite nice. Really, there are people who "Do Unto Others," and who pay it forward.

It's really such a little thing.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm Baaaack....

So, I've been gone for awhile...had an affair with Facebook that kept me away. The affair's not over, but I have realized that I'd like to try to make room in my life for some two-timing...Facebook AND blog. We'll see how it goes.

Since I'd developed a bit of a habit of doing little movie reviews, thought I'd ease back in with one, especially since I LOVED this movie! Ah, the joys of Netflix! I'm not much of a slapstick-humor lover, but this movie is HILARIOUS, and I even think I'll watch it again. And I don't watch a lot of movies more than once.

Ok, so I'm back....can't wait to tell Gary.