Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Front Yard Community

Well, as I mentioned with the last post, this is a time of catch up! So what do I have first? To start with, just some video of my animal friends who visit our front yard daily. This was last summer. We had made a decision to get rid of the grass. Our yard is all grasses and flowers. Oh, and bird feeders, squirrel feeders and bird baths. Francis would approve! Front Yard Feeding I am especially fond of the Morning Doves and the Woodpeckers. We also get visits from Blue Jays, Cardinals, and finches. We are beginning to develop an impressive little library on birds! A Busy Front Yard I love our squirrels. However, my favorite visitor is this sneaky little chipmunk. If we are in the house he is brave and will eat with the squirrels and birds. However, if we are anywhere near the yard he does the best disappearing act I have ever seen. Chipmunk in My Front Yard Well, now it is winter. Our guests are less spectacular but the one’s who have stayed our loyal. I like our little community.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

USF Graduation 2011

Well I have fallen far behind in my blogging. First I had to make sure I blogged the unique events of the summer. That included attending the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution global conference in May. In June I attended Collegium in Massachusetts. In July I attended a four day conference at St. Bonaventure University in Western New York. All of these needed to be covered. What I did not post was our graduation in the beginning of May. This was a unique event for me. Instead of participating in the graduation as a faculty member I sat in the bleachers with Cathi. I was the proud father of a daughter graduating with highest honors. I got to watch the pageantry from above. I got to watch the procession; the President and Provost, the Bishop and faculty formally greet the graduating students. I got to watch my graduate and under graduate students and especially my daughter move from being students to being graduates. I have a lot of catching up to do. That includes summer day tripos, fall festivals, community service days. However, first I need to finally post my daughter’s graduation. Very late but for those involved in the day it is still fun to watch . Preparing for USF Commencement 2011 I liked watching the faculty forum executive officers prepare for the Commencement. I served three years on the executive committee and I shared their excitement. Best of all, I shared their excitement and pride without any of the related anxieties. It is good to be an observer! USF Graduation 2011: The Stage is Set I remember carrying the mace. It was made by our Dean of the School of the Arts, Rick Cartwright. It feels medieval, academic and connects the students and the day with the history of the academy. USF Graduation 2011: It Begins It was only a couple of years ago that we started the tradition of faculty crating an honor corridor for the students. It feels so good to see all of their smiling faces. b USF Graduation 2011: Oh My,T here’s Amy Carrigan-Smith! b I felt excited not just recognizing students, it was good to see collegues, friends making the day a Rite of Passage. USF Graduation 2011: the Students Enter Finally, the students entered the hall, it had begun. USF Graduation 2011: The Stage Once the stage was occupied the students began to fill the hall. What was moments ago a huge echoing hall becomes full and the robes, the music, and the proud parents. All serve to set a tone of the celebration. USF Graduation 2011: The Hall Fills I have to say, I was not at all neutral or stoic when I say my graduate students! USF Graduation 2011: Some of My Graduate Students Finally we sighted Kerri and she looked so happy. She should be, she worked so hard for four straight years. USF Graduation 2011: My Baby! USF Graduation 2011: So Happy! USF Graduation 2011: Such a Big Screen! USF Graduation 2011: Dr. Daniel Introducing the Bishop USF Graduation 2011: The Bishop Ah, more graduate students! USF Graduation 2011: Shannon, Katie, Janelle and Jesse Finally, the moment Cathi and I had been waiting for! USF Graduation 2011: Kerri Gets Her Diploma The last official act and then…the march into adulthood. USF Graduation 2011: The Turning of the Tassels It was a great day. Afterward we joined Jared’s family and went out for dinner. All and all it was a day that lived up to its expectations. It was a day that marked a turning point in so many lives. It was a beautiful Commencement in Fort Wayne. USF Graduation 2011: It Is Done For our family it was the culmination of a wonderful journey at the University of Saint Francis. Kerri had written for the school paper. She had presented a poster at the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities 2010 Symposium held at USF. She had won numerous literary awards. She had an A-, her one none A! She graduated with highest honors and was recognized as an Outstanding Student in Psychology. She was also a pilgrim to Assisi and Rome. Finally, to top it all off, she met her fiancĂ©e at uSF. Yep, it had been a great four years. Kerri’s USF Journey