Posts tagged graduation

All about the soil, gardening and shards


Finished up on grades, was part of the graduation ceremony, planting vegetable gardens, mowed for first time last week (needs to be done again) and getting ready for our Syttenden Mai celebration on Saturday at the Carnegie.


The latest find that makes me happy is going out to the nearby field and finding more glass shards from crocks and also fine dishes.  Last night I found an antique axehead, it was just laying right on the top of the ground.  Much other metal that I pick up.  Remnants of bricks where this farm used to be.  My Dad said that they would go by and pick up the neighbor kids to go to the country schoolhouse, so I KNEW there had been a place but now I know more where the location was. Their place was farther from the road and more into the field, like a football field away.

Anyway, I will start making some artsy things with the pretty glass I have uncovered, perhaps I have already maxed out on the other place I used to go to one mile from our house.  I should check for asparagus though.  The rhubarb is ready and I gave a whole bag to my Mom.  Life is good because I have good friends like Phyllis and a wonderful sister.  They listen to me when I am struggling and hurting.

The Chancellor the other day asked me about the reputations of universities in Almaty, Astana and Aktau, Kazakhstan.  I wrote a real quick, gut level reaction to her question about whether they were reputable.  I wonder what she thought of my analysis?  I mentioned what I knew while teaching at KIMEP in Almaty and NU in Astana. Reputation IS important.


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Bay Window Sun

This university spring semester is almost done, we have graduation this Saturday. I have to get my grades in before May 9th. I had my last class with my composition students last Thursday.  Since no more students will be on campus, the Greenhouse was selling plants that I need for my vegetable garden. I bought 32 tomato plants and then broccoli and cauliflower too.  I also bought many wave petunias, different colors, I must have gotten 36 of them and I have planted in pots half of that.


I also have coleus that I snipped off the tallest sprig and put them in water so that they root.  Overall, I have a LOT of work to do to get the gardens prepared for these plants. I dare not put them in for another month because it could still freeze by end of May. Supposedly the first week of June is the time to REALLY plant.


I went to an Arts Expo and I met the young woman who is Miss MN right now. She got her piano instruction from another woman who had another Miss MN get in about five years ago.  Talent on piano counts for something.  She asked people to find her in the crowds as she was the one wearing a sparkly hat.  Cute.  She is friends with my violin playing niece and knows my sister who is INTO creating music through technology.


How great to see all the talent that came together from seven counties for this Arts Expo event. I am now inspired to do more creative things with the broken glass I have found. First I have to grade my students research papers and THEN I’ll have a bit more free time. Ha!


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Our University’s Graduation Ceremony for 2009

Bakhyt and granddaughterThe distinguished faculty and administrators processed in, the Kazakh students walked across the stage, the commencement speech was given, the students whooped it up and all went according to plan. Graduating class of 2009 have much to be thankful for, they finished!!!K & Kathy & Nancysparklers and hatsDana StevensKathy Parkisoncloseup of Bang

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Roses Art on Soviet Postcards

three rosesBusy time for us teaching professionals before graduation at our university this weekend.  We have to go to practice today to find out how to walk down the aisle in the big hall and how to sit through instructions that are meant for other people, not us.  Possibly busy people, such as my teaching colleagues and me, may have forgotten how the commencement exercise went from all preceding years.  Maybe we will be sitting on the RIGHT side of the auditorium instead of the LEFT.  For people who deal with the minds of those walking across the platform, it is mind numbing to think that we must go through this practice.  So MUCH else to do!!!  Seems the Soviet mentality reigns supreme in making this mandatory. So, I am showcasing Soviet artists rendition of roses that were painted or photographed over 50 years ago.  I think we ALL deserve roses for going through this “practice exercise.”four roses in vasetwo white roseswild rosesthree roses again

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Last Day Flowers

last-day-bouquetMy wonderful MBA students gave me flowers last night and most all of us agreed that we want to keep the class going. So hard to believe we will no longer be meeting every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Some say they want to take another class from me next fall since I’m not teaching summer session. Both classes seemed to like each other as classmates and were constructive while being supportive in their comments when evaluating each others’ speeches. We had six nights in the whole semester that were devoted to informative and persuasive speeches. We were fortunate to have foreign guests come observe, comment and question on all these nights except for one of last night’s classes. Most of my students had ambivalent feelings about having outsiders come in to view and hear their speeches. For me, it helped because it is difficult to be objective as their teacher and getting outside opinions about the delivery of their speeches put things in perspective when I have to give the final grade. For the students, to prepare a speech for a real audience of native speakers of English puts an added pressure to perform well with passion, to get their point across, to speak to the back of the room with good eye contact and to handle questions that inevitably come up afterwards. For our guests, they were jazzed about hearing non-native speakers accomplish giving a speech with interesting content in this academic setting.

Yes indeed, I will miss these bright, young graduate students. Some will be walking across the stage on May 23rd for the commencement exercise. I will be so proud of them as I sit in the audience of the big auditorium. One gal last night, as she was helping me clean up the drinks and snacks that I had for our foreign guests because our classes met during the dinner hour, said that my class was her very last class. She seemed a bit melancholy about it. Another male student told me last night that he has been working hard on the planning committee for this great occasion of leaving our university with his newly minted masters degree. I wish them all well, I am thinking of the quote from Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”march-8-sprouts

I told my first class last night that the flowers they had given me on International Women’s Day almost two months ago had sprouted green leaves in their stalks. For some reason, these cut flowers were extra fresh and lasted well beyond two weeks. What was amazing was they started sprouting in the water. I have kept them to see if they will grow into a plant eventually. If so, there is life after being cut as fresh flowers. My students are my fresh cut, “Last Day Flowers!” Thank you dear students!!!

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