George & 2 Oldest Daughters

George & 2 Oldest Daughters
George, Oldest Daughter, and Me, 2nd Daughter 1968.

Caroline and Oldest Daughter

Caroline and Oldest Daughter
Caroline and Oldest Daughter in Photo Booth 1964

Boy George

Boy George
George and younger sister in 1940's

George and his Oldest Daughter

George and his Oldest Daughter
George and His Oldest Daughter 1964 in Photo Booth

Friday, June 27, 2014

Checks and Balances

Life is full of checks and balances. Today I finished my final required class for my undergraduate courses, and am preparing for my final semester in the fall of 2014. While I am excited to begin in the fall, it is bittersweet to look back and go over my transcript, remembering classes I loved (and didn't particularly enjoy). I have met so many fine people and while we all interacted at the same university, we are not guaranteed to see each other again. So today, I begin gearing up for the final part of my undergraduate journey, and look forward with joy to meeting the next batch of classmates that come my way. Upward and onward!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bias in the Classroom

I have been very fortunate to attend university finally, and have some fantastic tales to tell. In no manner, shape, or form, am I the expert in content or pedagogy, however, I certainly believe that a professional and encouraging atmosphere requires a professor to leave their opinions and bias at the door, and present all sides and possibilities of a situation. Truly, I find it insulting to take out student loans and receive financial aid that is to be spent on required curriculum when bias is clearly present in the classroom. Paying for someone to have a moral and political pulpit in the classroom is not what I feel I signed up for. An educated and well thought opinion is always appreciated, and cultured expertise in a subject welcomed. Who you are voting for and what your personal preferences are in life are not what I am there to learn about.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Coffee Shop Talk - Gossip - Identifying Others - Awareness

Here I sit in my local coffee shop using the Internet alone to conduct some quick email responses and searches between appointments on this wet Friday afternoon. I have been coming here off and on for the past five years, and usually, only stopped in for a brief moment. Within the past two months I have been sitting here for a few hours at a time working on homework or other projects away from my home office. Generally, I am by myself, and quiet. Thereby, everyone else's conversations are amplified, laughter echoes, and my lack of headphones evidently keeps me from blocking out the din that surrounds me. So, why don't I just leave and not worry about everyone else's conversations? After all, they are paying guests, just as I am, however, the conversations that I have overheard lately leave me speechless and flabbergasted.


I don't know how aware people are, especially in small towns, how viral their conversation can become. What I overhear in the coffee shop when people's names are involved, jobs, illness, financial situations, and so on and so forth, are not what I ever expect to hear so brazenly unfiltered in public. Where are people's filters? How would you react if it was you or a family member being so openly discussed in a very public forum with an echo factor amplifying the conversation? You never know when the next table over will tweet a photo of you, video, or make your topic of conversation their next blog or Facebook post.


What purpose does gossip serve? Aside from posturing one's self as an authority, or the one to be listened to for more juicy details on a hot story, I see no service that gossip provides in the public. This is how people are potentially genuinely harmed. Watch your words for they carry power.


These past two months have really made me aware of what I say, where I say it, and the content and context of what I share. I would find it interesting to record an hour in a coffee shop, and then play back the conversation for those having it. I may have my back to you, but I am not deaf.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Visiting England Soon? Here Are Some Ideas....

England is full of history, hills, sea, and mystery. The people that inhabit the British Isles are as varied in background and interests, as the landscape they are so closely intertwined with. From Land’s End in Cornwall to the bustling city of London, England is teeming with sights, sounds, tastes, and memories for you to encounter.
England can be seen from a coach tour bus, a train, by foot, boat, or automobile. Within Central London, there are fees of ten pounds per day during the week for traveling in by car; weekends however, are free. If you are budget minded, then planning your trip by car on the weekend to Central London saves you ten pounds per day, and there is much more parking available, as much of Central London’s population during the week is made up of the workforce that commutes in to London during the week. London has many places that are not only historical in the eyes of Britain, but the world as well.

The Tower of London was built as a Royal Residence, although so many accounts of The Tower are of death and incarceration. The moat was drained long ago, and now grass can be seen growing where the water once was. As you enter the gates to The Tower the ancient stonework greets you, and the sheer height of the entryway dwarfs you. Imagining a bustling court with carts and carriages piled with hay, food for the kitchens, or transporting a prisoner to spend time in The Tower, such as Charles I, becomes a very real event in your mind’s eye. Ravens are kept at The Tower still out of belief that if Ravens are not in The Tower, harm may befall the Royal Family.

From the The Tower of London it is a short walk to The London Eye which is a Ferris Wheel that offers a 360 degree view of London and the River Thames through its glass seating. After the panoramic view of London, Westminster Abbey beckons with unrivaled acoustics for Evensong services, and there of course are statesmen, poets, kings, and queens buried there. Tea can also be had for a modest price at Westminster Abbey in a relaxed atmosphere with china settings and a cheerful environment. Getting around London is much more economical with The London Pass. The web site for details on cost is here: . Visit Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin and Geoffrey Chaucer in Poet’s Corner and Scientists’ Corner. Let your imagination take you through time, imagine William the Conqueror’s coronation; it’s all in one place.

Hop on the Tube to Euston St. Pancras and catch a train to Cambridge for the day from King’s Cross Station. When in Cambridge stop in at Fitzbillies Café to sample their famous sticky Chelsea Buns. Since 1921, Fitzbillies has been open in Cambridge serving the locals and students. Now, it not only is a café by day, but a fine dining restaurant on weekend evenings. Simple and honest food with a gourmet twist enchants your palate. King’s College is a prime example of Gothic architecture and offers historical glimpses of the Tudor era. Take a punt on the River Cam, rent a bicycle and check out The Eagle Pub in Cambridge. There is a room with the signatures of World War II Air Force pilots on the ceiling. Many of those pilots did not return, and spent their last evenings alive with fellow pilots, navigators, and crewmen, at The Eagle Pub.

Hire a car or a coach and zip over to Windsor and Eton for the day. Walk along the Thames and have lunch at Cote. Feed the swans, enjoy the cobbled streets, charity shops, and tour Windsor Castle. Walk in the footsteps of Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Charles II, and many monarchs, gentry, and folk of days gone by. In Windsor, modernity meets antiquity in a thoroughly British way.

From Windsor, Bath beckons for a tour of Roman Ruins and Roman Baths. The Pump Room is open for business, and Sally Luns Buns are for sale. Enjoy the picturesque aestheticism the Palladian Architecture provides. Beau Brummell, Jane Austen, and the gentry loved Bath; certainly you will too!