Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fashion Smashion

Do you think we could convince the fashion designers of the world that it would look good to wear either those big flappy, tent-like things that the Middle Eastern people wear or maybe the Polynesian muumuus? I would like that. Waistbands are over-rated.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

But I Have Good Intentions

I don’t ever intent to bore my friends. I think I might have gotten a little over the top last night at a meal with people that I love to spend time with. I think I might have been boring.
It started with the conversation I was having with a fellow speech-language pathologist (SLP) sitting next to me at the restaurant. She is ever so sweet (and a sometimes reader of this blog) and was telling me that she had recently attended a workshop on autism. She had no idea that would set me off on a tirade against over-diagnosis of autism. Then I pulled the family therapist sitting on the other side of me and the special educator sitting across the table. I am so sorry that I sent the light and fun dinner conversation to my ranting and raving. I promise to be better.

Another moment of discussion at the table last night was on the H. family. The honorees of the dinner formerly worshiped with the oldest daughter of the H. family, Kathy. Growing up in our relatively small town there was not a large youth group in our congregation. In fact, for my age and grade in school there was only one other person. His name was Gerry H. It also happened that our parents were best of friends and Kathy and my sister were the same age and best friends. We celebrated birthdays together, went on camping trips together, got into trouble together, and generally grew up together. Gerry and I sat beside each other during the first few days of pre-school and we ended up sitting beside each other at high school graduation. The kids went to different colleges. The H. family went to ACU and the O. family (my sister and I) went to HU. Tragedy struck the H. family first with the death of Mr. H. from a heart attack while he was in his 50s. Then Kathy’s husband was killed in a plane crash and on the same day her mother died of heart issues. Her husband was in his early 30s and her mother was in her late 50s. Kathy did not let it shake her faith. She was suddenly left with three small children all under the age of 7 and both of her parents were gone and yet she became an even stronger Christian. She remarried a wonderful Christian man who’s wife had died of cancer and together they raised his kids and her kids. They are examples to us all.
I last saw Kathy four years ago. She and her brothers came to visit us after my dad died. We had a great time sitting around the table and laughing about our childhood. I don’t think I told her what an inspiration she has been in my life. I think I need to write her a letter and say it on paper. That is my new mission. Tell the people that have shaped my life how much I appreciate them.

Kathy H. you profoundly influenced my life for good. Thank you.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Here It Is

Well, one of the big changes in the air has actually blossomed and I think has a nice aroma. The university president announced to the Board of Trustees that I will be leading the charge toward a master's program in speech-language pathology. I have given my intersession class over to a colleague (his scheduled class did not have anyone enroll so this way he gets some summer pay) and I will be working the equivalent of one class for both Summer I and II. It is nice to have it official. Now the hard part starts....tons of paperwork to qualify for candidacy that leads to an accredited program.
On a very different note, some of my close friends and family know that I have only been to one family reunion in my life (well, you might can count that time we went to a cousin's house for Thanksgiving about seven years ago but they did not invite all the family). My father was an only child of older parents, and most of my mother's family all lived within 10 miles of each other so they saw/still see each other all the time. Consequently, I have not been a part of many "family reunions" that were not associated with a funeral or wedding.
Well, my husband's three sisters decided that all six children needed to get together and surprise their 82 year old mother for Mother's Day. It was very nice. All six children, a couple of spouses , and five of the nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren were all present. It was very pleasant. Everybody cooperated and smiled. And the mounds of food. In the best Tennessee family traditions, the table groaned under the weight of the food the three sisters had prepared for lunch, then we all went to have BarBQue for an early supper...I may not eat for two weeks.
The visit was nice and the honoree was delighted to be the center of attention.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Can You Smell It?

Change is in the air. The semester is ending and our academic program is in the midst of change. We probably are adding a master’s degree component and some of us are probably changing jobs. I am typically ready for change, but I like change to happen quickly. (Here, I must put in a disclaimer. I do not care if change in the décor of my abode happens quickly or not. That is why the cabinets in my house have been in need of another coat of paint for two years and the baseboards have been two years in the replacing.) In my profession, if a client in not making improvements then you have to change your therapy approach and change it fast.

The academic world does not want to change rapidly. You must discuss, study and most importantly form a committee before the idea can even be planned to be planned (I used those same words twice on purpose). Then you have to decide who will plan, then the mission of the plan developed and then the plan is planned. I am ready for some action! Hopefully, in the next couple of days, or maybe in the next couple of hours, I will have the answer to a couple of the major questions. Until then, I am slightly anxious. I need chocolate!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It Is the End

It is time to put this semester to rest. It was a good one. My classes were great. The students were all smart, cooperative and really, really fun. There does come a time when all good things must end and this semester has run its course and now we all need to wrap things up.

Now, if I can just finish all this grading.