Sunday, August 31, 2008
Because I am a Speech Pathology/Audiology major I get to take part in a unique classroom experience at Calvin. On the lower level of the DeVos Communications Center is a distance education classroom. I’m not sure exactly what you call the technology that room is equipped with, but it is similar to videophone. Between every two seats is a little black microphone with a button to activate it, and there are two large television screens at the front and back of the room. This room allows Calvin “Speechies” to stay at Calvin all four years of our education and for all the classes in our major. Two classes in Audiology are required for a Calvin degree in Speech Pathology/Audiology, but Calvin does not have an Audiology professor. Before the DeVos Communications Center was built six years ago, Calvin Speechies had to drive to Michigan State University for two classes, one in the spring of their Junior year and one in the fall of their Senior year. That required a two-hour roundtrip drive twice a week. Now, though, we attend Michigan State’s Dr. Elfenbein’s classes from Calvin’s distance education classroom. We see Dr. Elfenbein on one of our television screens and her powerpoints on another one. She sees us on the back wall of her lecture hall. Whenever we have questions we just raise our hands and activate our microphones. We can hear her, she can hear us, and we can see each other too. The system took a little getting used to last spring when I took my first MSU class, but now it seems old hat. The only uncomfortable part now is that MSU’s schedule is different than Calvin’s. So even though Calvin doesn’t start for another week, I’ve been taking my MSU class for a week already. It’s getting me ready for being a full-time student again next Monday.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
a garden update
This morning I finally spent some time in our garden. You might recall from earlier this summer when I wrote about clearing half of my friend Nehemiah’s backyard for our garden. We had big plans but much less time than was initially required, so we got off to a bit of a slow start, but lately things have been growing like crazy. We’ve had a pretty cool summer too, so initial growth was slow. Lately though, everything has been growing…including the weeds. We’ve had very little time for weeding, and it has shown.
So, since Nehemiah and David have faithfully watered every day this summer, and my only participation thus far has been eating the produce, I decided to pull my weight today and do some weeding. I spent the better part of the morning sitting in the sun and playing in the dirt, and three hours later, the garden was weed-free.
I came home with lettuce, spinach, carrots, and a sense of accomplishment.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I give lots of tours this summer, and today I gave one to the nicest mother/daughter pair. The daughter is thinking about applying to Calvin and is even interested in my department: Speech Pathology. We had a great tour together, and at the end of our tour and lunch both mom and daughter gave me a hug. I can’t tell you what that meant to me. I don’t presume to speak for all college students, but I definitely miss the warm embrace of a mother. It was so good to be hugged today. My housemates and I make an effort to hug each other at least once every day so that we each give and receive at least 6 hugs/day, but they’ve been gone a long time now. It will be nice to have their loving arms and fun senses of humor back in just a couple of weeks now!
Friday, August 08, 2008
Of all my readers out there, I’m not sure if any of you watch the television show “The Office.” If you don’t, maybe you should reconsider how you spend your Thursday nights because it is a fabulous show. If you do, then you might understand the reference that this post’s title makes to a specific episode in which the whole staff goes to the beach for a day to compete in trivial games for a promotion. We did not participate in any such activities, but we did take our office staff to the beach. However, it was only the student workers and we went after the Admissions Office closed. We grabbed a volleyball and hopped in the Toyota Corollas driven by two of my coworkers as soon as the workday ended.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
I’ve been so busy this summer that I’ve had very little time to just enjoy the earth’s bounty, but in the past week I have taken the time and it has been so worth it.