Friday, September 28, 2007

No Speech Therapy in the Entire Country

Yesterday I was asked to go and help host a lunch for some of the Zambian group because part of the group had plane delays and one of the real hosts could not get back from LR in time. I got to meet and eat lunch with the Ministers of Education, Health, Agriculture, and Justice. I mentioned to them that we wanted to bring speech pathology students to Zambia and work with at the Namwianga Mission in Kalomo, Zambia. They all smiled nicely and indicated that would be a good thing. A few minutes later the other HU people there were talking about the nursing and PA students coming when suddenly the Minister of Health said, "What we really need is speech therapy." Then he went on to talk about how they have so many marginalized citizens that cannot communicate. We talked some more about how what is really needed is training for Zambians to become speech therapists.

At the reception after the President of Zambia's speech, I asked the Minister of Health if I could write him a letter with ideas of how we could help teach Zambians to be speech therapists. He was very encouraging.

Then today Jack asked if I wanted to talk to the ministers more about my ideas at lunch at the governor's mansion. I talked with the Minister of Education about the real possibilities of us bringing faculty to teach short courses in communication disorders. He is totally in favor of the idea.

All of this is because the Republic of Zambia does not have a single speech pathologist. Not a single one.

That must change.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Next Child Must Be Named...

Marty Wayne. These are the names of the two administrators who have totally helped me fix the problem I reported yesterday. They are my heroes, and neither one scolded me for messing up. My universe is much, much calmer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Less Than a Year

Less than a year might as well be five years away right now. Reagan told me to get over myself because we are scheduled to go to Japan in less than a year. But here is today's trauma. I just found out that I really messed up a student's graduation and I am in the depths of depression. I just ate an entire Hershey bar in under three minutes! I feel like we can fix part of this huge mistake I made but I can hardly bear to be the one who has to tell her this news. This is not the first mistake I have ever made in my life but in 25 years of academic advising I have never caused someone to delay graduation. I need more chocolate.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Am Still Here

My brain is scrambled. I am actually very contented and happy with my little corner of the world but my brain hurts from all the meetings I need to attend, the people who I need to consult, the students who need advising, the presentations I have to make.

Dan, Keri and Ian left today (and Lolly). They will be in Ireland tomorrow. I am almost ill with longing to be there traveling. I had my fun last year. I need to grow up and deal with the issues here. They aren't hard issues. It is just more fun to be traveling.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

One Year Ago

One year ago today I drove up this driveway to spend four fabulous months living in this villa. I have been so blessed in my life. When I was 17, I dreamed of visiting Europe and was terribly disappointed when I was unable to go on a summer campaign with a friend at church. I could not imagine that many, many years later I would get to travel all over Europe and live in places for three and four months at a time.

Also, one year ago today, Robbie and Tracy were trying to make me fill out a visa form so that I could legally stay in Italy for four months. I had only had a couple of hours of sleep and that form (all printed in Italian) made no sense to me. My brain was so foggy from lack of sleep that I had to re-do the entire form the next day!

But for now, I will gaze at the photo of our group of students and staff from last fall that is hanging on the wall of my office and remember that it was a magical time. [By the way, my group photo is mounted on some beautiful craft paper that Keri Tullos gave me. It has Florintine Gigli all over it.]

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Every Day Brings a New Surprise

Here is our new departmental logo. We had it put on nice looking shirts for each of the faculty and our current adjuncts. I was wearing it last Thursday and Lydia Fleener asked me why I had a man on my shirt. That made me laugh.

This is pretty much all my life is about right now. Trying to keep up with the classes I am teaching and trying to get all the ducks in a row for this new department and master's degree.

Who knew that each department has to have its Spring and Summer course schedule in to the registrar in August?!?