Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Keller Teaching Award

Well, this happened.  Pretty amazing.   It's a surprise every year, announced at graduation.  The Provost stands before the graduation crowd and describes the awardee as "Dr. X" to extend the suspense, sharing the student comments that were submitted with their nominations while preserving the anonymity of the awardee until the name is announced.  The winner is chosen based on student votes and comments, with the final decision made by a committee composed of previous awardees.  I know the recent ones (those awarded in the last ten years) and to be on the same list as them is an incredible honor.

Some of the comments that were shared:  “Dr. X is an angel.  A second comment  She always has time to meet or chat and if she doesn't, she'll make time. Her guidance and counseling has helped so many of us succeed in our education, leading to advancements in our career paths.”   Another comment: Dr. X serves students as if it were her calling from God. She leads with grace, dignity and the best intentions for their lives and academic success.  Her dedication is beyond measure and her heart - gold. She is invaluable to NDNU.  

Some that weren't shared in the interest of time:  Passionate for her work and cares for the success of her students; Dr. Madden works with students to fully develop their potential; Very helpful, knowledgeable, and driven. One of the best professors and best advisor I've had! Dr. Madden has definitely been a significant role of my journey at NDNU!; Kind, accepting, patient, loving, supportive, caring;  I want Professor Madden to be first choice because this woman represents diversity and inclusion  in its full color. First, Dr. Madden is a specialist in HR, in laws, and in human rights. This professor knows all the legal requirements and can break a situation down to accountability.  Second, she stresses that we must avoid bias of any kind, which is priceless because in real world work environments, people are dealing with bias daily, which motivates decisions based on all the wrong reasons. Professor Madden teaches HR with the awareness that you must keep an open mind to all people; that you'll never know how great someone can be if you don't treat each other fairly.  Lastly, she speaks with such compassion to all humankind and her class. You feel it in her voice with her fellow peers and colleagues; she is an outstanding example of a leader and teacher; 
And on a LinkedIn comment (thanks, Yvette). This honor was so well deserved! Dr. Madden is true mentor and great role model. She guided many students to success just by keeping in touch and caring about their journey. She made the unbelievable come true for so many! Late nights at the office she would bring her daughters with her just to help a student get on track. Amazing mom and individual. The Tracy campus is a success because of her inspiration and hard work!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Gualala Adventures

Wonderful days of fog, rain, and sun; thanks to our car's brake failure, we ended up on the last night in a three bedroom house with seven people, five dogs, two cats, and a turtle.  Still, it was a wonderful weekend walking along the coast, admiring wildflowers of all types, exploring a seemingly magical forest, seeing flocks of pelicans and newborn seals, and looking at a river that was a shade of turquoise so impossibly beautiful that the camera wouldn't even properly capture it.  Wonderful visit with some of our favorite people and pets.  And, fortunately, a safe trip home.

When you realize that you are the weird family who brings both dog and cat to the beach
Minerva was a good sport
I love California poppies

Waterfall magic

Pelicans - 43 of them in total - and seals, too.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Memorial Day Flag Planting

At the Golden Gate National Cemetery, with G;s Girl Scout troop (and a ton of other scouts).  We spotted the graves of two WWII vets with very Japanese sounding names, both of whom died in 1945.  Reminded us of visiting Manzanar (and being at this cemetery near Tanforan) and recognizing that they had probably been in an Internment Camp before serving and dying for our country.  Respect!  For all who have served in our Armed Forces.  And appreciation for all those who made the effort to plant flags on all 145,000 graves in this one cemetery today.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Giants Game

Last minute tickets from our neighbor.  Low attendance game due to rain.  Giants tied for half the game, down for the remainder.  Bottom of the ninth.  Two outs.  Two strikes... then they scored two to win!  It was a "walk off win," where the final action wins the game and the whole team pours onto the field and the crowd (those of us left) high-five and hug each other.  I've never been there for that before - SUPER fun.

Love both of these photos, the first with Lou Seal and the second with G taking such pleasure in appearing to be taller than her sister.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

AP Literature and Composition

Lots read this year, just for one course!  One of the other students in K's class put together this graphic.  I think some of he works are missing... but even just with what is here, it seems impressive.  I don't see 1984, Sense and Sensibility, Beowulf, Frankenstein... it was an interesting year of study.

Thursday, May 9, 2019


Got two tickets when I saw a deal last August.  Found two more single seats that were cheapish.  Lots of anticipation.  TOTALLY worth it.

It was fun to hear the conversations from the audience, wondering, "What happened to Burr?"  Or, "How much of this is historically accurate?"  And knowing that the girls - and probably most of the kids in the audience who have been immersed in this phenomenon long before they got to see it - could answer accurately.

"Did I cry?" is what they asked at the intermission and the end, when we joined up again from our scattered seats.  Yes, of course.  Have you met me?  What's the fun of immersing yourself in a story if you hold back the emotion?  And what a story, lived with such passion, told with such brilliance, portrayed with such talent and inspiration!

K wanted "to be Peggy."  Something about the "and Peggy" is intriguing.  Guess that makes Abuela Eliza and G Angelica.  Or....