Thursday, May 22, 2008

Looking Ahead to the Weekend

Over the weekend I had the wonderful pleasure of watching both my mom and brother graduate from California State University at Fullerton. My mom earned her BS in Child and Adolescent Studies, cum laude. It took her quite a few years to get to where she is now and I am so very proud of her. She started taking classes to earn her GED when I was in high school and she’s basically taken at least one, sometimes 3 or 4, college courses since then, in addition to working part time, volunteering a lot of her time, and being a mom and wife which included cooking dinner, cleaning, and driving us to too many soccer practices, games, and tournaments to count. She’s talked about pursuing a Master’s degree but at the same time I think she’s hoping to get a job as a Community Liaison (I think) at the school district where she works. As a community Liaison she would help parents take a proactive role in their children’s’ education. I think after 15 years working as a Teacher’s Aide she’s realized that a child’s educational success starts with the parents and home life.

My brother earned his BA in Liberal Studies with a Sociology minor. He’s ideal job would be a social worker at the county. I am very excited for him to become a social worker. He enjoys working with children and has in the past done an awesome job as a recreational coordinator for the city. I think being a social worker is a very emotionally demanding job, but I can’t think of anyone better than my brother to fill that job. He is a very compassionate person but he also has the ability to emotionally separate himself from the situation which would be very useful in social work. He is also considering going for a Master’s degree or joining the Peace Corp. If it were up to me, I’d probably ship my brother off to Latin America or Africa with the Peace Corp. I think everyone should have some sort of “study abroad” experience early in their lives.

I think witnessing my brother’s and mom’s graduation was a very moving experience for my dad. I can only imagine what it feels like to have your kids be done with school and then to add in your wife?? On our way to graduation (at 7:30 am at the start of our 5 hour roast in close to 100 degree F weather), my father expressed his satisfaction at having both his children and wife be college graduates. Again, congrats to my mom and my brother and thanks to my dad. My dad has always worked long, hard hours, and despite this, his put aside tiredness to be our number one fan.

In other graduation news, congrats to Sumana (or should I say Sumanabams) for earning her Masters in Technology Management while working full time. Whoo, Sumana!!!

In more ordinary news, my indoor game on Monday night went pretty well. We won 9-0. I unfortunately didn’t score but had lots of great shots (stopped by great goalie saves) and assists. As a team we played really well, moving the ball around a lot with lots of great communication. Personally, I had trouble going one-on-one. Whenever we play weak teams, I have a hard time being too aggressive and tend to play down and almost give up the ball. I think I feel sorry for the other team and I don’t want to show off or make them feel worse. However, at the same time I was trying pretty hard to score.

I may have mentioned before that I tend stay away from chain restaurants. One of the few exceptions is Chipotle, the gourmet burrito place. I love their vegetarian burritos and all their meats are humanely raised. I tend to eat there about once every 2 months. I had Chipotle for lunch today. At our Chipotle they have a “drop your business card and win 10 free burritos” contest every week. I’ve dropped about 4 cards into the bowl over the last 1.5 years, and I’ve won three times. It makes my coworkers very happy.

We are going to St. Paul, MN, this weekend for a friend’s wedding. After this, we don’t have any major travel plans for a while.

Check out Susan McCarthy’s, The Nature of the Beast. It’s a weblog of “short remarks about creatures, wildlife, and the environment.” McCarthy cowrote When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals and she wrote Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild. I met McCarthy’s husband at a party once, a few days after I had gone to the used bookstore, searching for When Elephants Weep, which I was unable to find it but that was probably due to poor memory – I knew the book title had “elephants” and “crying” in it. When McCarthy’s husband told me his wife was a writer, I asked if she had written any books I might know (I’m not good at remembering names) and even before he started answering my question, I knew he was going to say When Elephants Weep. I'm either psychic or was thinking too much of the book. I didn’t have much of a conversation with McCarthy herself – the party and house were large and I didn’t want to “stalk” her. I look forward to reading her weblog. Thanks for the find, Sumana and Leonard.

Pinkness Update: The vet was very happy with Sluggo’s pinkness level. He had more blood drawn and we’ll have a better idea of what’s going on and what his future holds after we get the results tomorrow. Sluggo and I have been playing a lot of fetch lately, mostly around 2 am. I don’t mind at all. Monkey on the other hand, is driving us crazy. She is incessant with her whining to get out of the house. We spoke to the vet about this and she suggested that we try to keep Monkey in for her safety and that of Sluggo’s (we don’t want her bringing in any disease). However, at the same time we need to consider her quality of life (and ours).

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!


Pablo said...

Congrats to Mrs. N!! That's a huge accomplishment. And your brother too! Kudos to all!!

Sumana Harihareswara said...

Wow! Congrats to your mom and your brother! It is TREMENDOUS to study while working and parenting and I have no idea how people do it.

And thanks for the hat tips and congrats! I hope you enjoy Susan McCarthy's writing. She's so lovely! I'd bet both her books are at the library... and if you do a Google search on her name you'll find some Salon articles by her too.

Cleaty said...