My Summer Bucket List

My Summer Bucket List. You know, these are things I want to do before summer kicks the bucket. For me, that is the end of September - when classes begin. I will check them off as I do them.  Some of these are already on the calendar or tickets are booked....others are tentatively penciled in...others are hopeful side trips for open weekends. I am always looking for company so if there is something here that is also on your summer list, let's find a way to do it together. Here's my list. (I put pictures/links with some of the Oregon ones that won't mean anything to my non-Oregon peeps.)
  • Read at least 20 books Check summer reading list for updates
  • Go to a concert (at least twice) saw Civil Wars June 21; saw band on pier July 5th
  • Go to the Dahlia festival
  • Hike Mary's Peak done September 7
  • Attend ALE Conference (and make my first trip to Denver) done July 10-13
  • Drive the entire Oregon Coast (from Astoria to Brookings) drove Lincoln City to Brookings
Oregon Coast Map
  • Go on the family beach trip done June 29-July 9
  • Finish my pillow project
  • Saturday Market in Portland (http://www.portlandsaturdaymarket.com/)
  • Sit by the pool for a week (and not think about work) July 3-July 9
  • Spend a weekend in either Seattle or San Francisco
  • Go to the top Crown Point and look out of the Vista House done June 25
What should be on this list that is not?


Recently....AKA "The Good Life"

Life is good. The term has ended. Grades are done. A lot of the students are gone for the summer and Corvallis is half the town it was a week ago. No traffic. No lines at restaurants. I can go to the bathroom without worrying that it might be class change.

Some have asked what I do in the summer when the kiddos are gone. I am working on research and writing papers and revising the student teaching manual for fall. We are going on a departmental retreat in a few weeks and then I can begin working on fall courses (once I know what they are).

All of those side projects are getting some time in the forefront. I think the best part is that I feel productive all day and I am able to turn off the work when I go home at night. After the spring term I just went through, the pace of summer is a much-welcome change.

It also begins summer travel season. I will head to Hood River for OVATA summer conference, then home for the family beach trip. I go straight from there to Denver for the Association of Leadership Educators annual conference and back to Oregon just in time for some State FFA Officer training. Even with all of that, the pace is different when you are traveling and NOT missing classes. I am looking forward to all of it.

After I gave my final exam last week, I went to the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show with Betsy. It is held over in Union, OR - a mere 6 hour drive one way. All of these photos are Betsy's. She is amazingly talented. Enjoy.


Summer Reading List

Today I am giving my final exam for AG 342. You know what that means? It is summer reading time! In the last month, I have read Something Borrowed, East of Eden, The Glass Castle and The Help. But that is just the beginning.Here is what I have on my shelf to read for the summer:
  • Travels with Charley by Steinbeck (Sept 2011)
  • Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Sept 2011)
  • The Hangman's Daughter by Joseph Pozysch (Sept 2011)
  • Charming Billy by Alice McDermott (Aug 2011)
  • Stillpoint by Pat Kowal (August book club)
  • Time is a River by Mary Alice Monroe (8/11)
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (8/5)
  • Shoeless Joe by WP Kinsella (7/21)
  • Mockingjay (3rd in Hunger Games Series) (7/10)
  • Catching Fire (2nd in Hunger Games Series) (7/9)
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (7/7)
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (7/5)
  • The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozick (6/29)
  • Bossy Pants by Tina Fey (6/14)
Any suggestions? Read anything good lately that I should add to the list? Read anything on my list? What did you think?


Peonies and Irises and more, Oh my

Last Saturday I went to some farms in and around Brooks, Oregon. We started at 9am in the cut peony production fields at Adelman's. It was the first truly perfect weather weekend we have had this year. The honeybees were working hard. Although the fields were not completely in bloom, there is nowhere I would have rather been that morning that photographing peonies with Shawn and Betsy.

  How many honeybees do you count?
The first bloom in this field.

 The thing I like most about peonies is that they look like structural impossibilities. A plant that small should not be able to support a bloom (or 2) that big!




We left there around 10:30 and, after hitting the gas station for a snack, cruised over to Schreiner's for some display gardens. Amazing!!!!! I couldn't get enough of this place.





   Betsy taking a photo of me taking a photo of Betsy.

  Afterwards, we shopped Keizer Station and grabbed some Mexican food in Salem before hitting up Costco. It was a great Saturday.


My life is a soap opera

My life is a soap opera. Not in the My-cousins-fiancée-was-married-to-an-oil-tycoon-who-was-actually-her-own-half-brother kind of way. Nope. My life is a soap opera in the you-can-not-follow-it-for-months-and-pick-right-back-up-where-you-left-off kinda way. Seriously - It used to amaze me as a child. I would get sick and spend a day at home from school with my mother watching As the World Turns - and nothing had changed since the last time I was sick.

I haven't blogged in a while and, if you are perceptive you have already figured out, you haven't missed much. But, just in case, here is the recap since my last actual post:

  • Numerous students have defended and are going to receive their Master's from this department. Some of them already have jobs. The others will soon.
  • I have Skyped with a ton of friends in an attempt to not feel alone and disconnected.
  • We are almost done with the term. I give my final on Wednesday. Graduation is this weekend.
  • I went to the Chinook Winds Casino with friends on May 21 to watch Joel McHale. Hilarious!
  • I went to Coeur D'Alene Idaho for 5 days for the National meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education. The conference was good. I presented two papers from my dissertation research. The chance to see mentors and old friends, while making new professional connections, was priceless.
  • I booked plane tickets: home (for the 4th of July and the family beach trip), Denver for ALE in July (two accepted posters to present), and Columbia in August to see friends I left behind and have missed terribly.
  • I hosted my book club's discussion of 'The Glass Castle' - I recommend it to anyone.
  • I held a focus group (the last qualitative component of a year long mini-grant funded study). Glad to have data collection behind us and ready to start writing.
  • We held interviews for the fledgling CAS/COF Leadership Academy. We admitted 10 students who will start their experience next fall.
  • My class finished their team service projects. We had a beach cleanup, a softball/T-ball tournament for the Boys and Girls club, clean up of a community garden that donates its food to the food bank, a group made jam and jelly for the food bank and a group put on an adoption event for the local humane society and got a dog adopted. Two other groups went and worked with local high school students by implementing some leadership activities. It was a proud moment.
  • Watched the season finale of the Office.... summer long cliffhanger. :-(
  • Advised students for fall term. That seems never ending.
  • We set a date for our faculty retreat: June 29-30.
  • I spent my Memorial Day holiday vegging - I put together a puzzle while I watched 'Easy A', 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', and '127 Hours'. Good day.
  • The weather has finally turned in Corvallis. We had our first 80 degree day this past weekend so I went with friends and looked at the Peonies and Irises. (That will be its own blog post because there are lots of photos.)
  • I have enjoyed the view out my window....blooming rhododendrons everywhere.
  • I got in a mood and rearranged my office. Not quite done but I like it.
There. All caught up. Now I don't feel guilty about not blogging and can get back to posting regularly.


Who wants to talk about themselves "winning"?

Who wants to talk about themselves "Winning"? - I mean, except Charlie Sheen. Not me!

That is why it is so convenient that someone else blogged about the recent Celebration of Student Excellence award ceremony for the College of Ag Sciences. Check out the New Fields blog - written by one of the members of the College's Ag Exec officers.

And, Betsy managed to capture a good picture of me (and that is quite the accomplishment)