Time is Flying

101

Good Morning from the corner of Starbucks (the second one here on campus),

I had great intentions of writing more systematically for a couple of reasons: first, to merely get me writing, which seems so hard to find the time to do; and second, to have a chance to get thoughts out of my head and on “paper” in some organized fashion. However, the semester has seemed to get away from me. That is not to say that I have not gotten a lot accomplished, but it seems that I am doing what is immediately necessary versus feeling like I am getting ahead of the game. Presently, we are already at midpoint of the semester. That is mind boggling to me. The last time I posted here, we were in the second week of the semester.

There is a certain irony in my posting today, perhaps sort of a parallelism. The last time I posted, my amazing colleague, Dr. Gloria Cohen-Dion, had suddenly, and unexpectedly, passed away. Last night, the university campus here at Bloomsburg held a service to honor her incredible life and the amazing way she served so many people. There were a number of poignant moments, but two come to mind. The first was when Sam, Gloria’s husband, read a note sent from one of their grandchildren to Gloria, when that grand-daughter was at summer camp. The second was actually a couple of stories that Sam shared about how they met and their “decades-long-courtship” as I will term it. . . .

It is hard to believe that I began this post some 4 months ago and never got back to it. What I can say about the posting above it that the void that Gloria left in her department, for Sam, for her friends and surrogate family has been paramount. She was a force and the work she did in so many ways has such significant impact on those who were fortunate enough to have a corner of her existence.

She reminds me of the person that I care for back in Wisconsin. Lydia, like Gloria was both in life and beyond, is an amazing lady. She is in the last stages of a long fight with progressive dementia. I was back in Wisconsin recently and for the first time, she did not know me. The morning that happened I had to walk away so she did not see me cry. I have learned how insidious this disease is. I am astounded even more by what the brain does for us, and we do not realize it.

There were commercials on the radio when I was in the Midwest about the importance of what the brain does in the first five years of our lives. I am so overwhelmed when I think about how what happens so early in our development has such profound consequences. It would be interesting to find out more about that.

Well, that is all I have for the moment. I plan to start writing daily as I did one summer in California. It is a good thing for me to do. I promise the topics might be eclectic, but I am always thinking. The picture is of Lydia from about three years ago, shortly before she was moved. It is sad how much she has changed from then.

Thanks for reading.

Michael

Here Today . . .

gloria    Good Morning,

Some of you have followed previous blogging adventures that I shared on a blogsome site, but I have chosen to begin a new blog; one that is up to date and one that will focus on a number of different topics. Some of my favorite things are (and not necessarily in order of preference or importance) writing and technology, food and wine as well as the pairing of those two things, traveling, particularly on my Harley, politics, and understanding the meaning of life (for a small topic).

What I know is that I love to learn and there is so much yet to discover and understand during the time we are allotted here in this world. I was reminded of that very poignantly yesterday when a colleague of my was stricken while still in the classroom. Unfortunately for those of us left, she passed away, but I would like to believe did not suffer in those last minutes. She was a passionate educator and wonderful colleague. In spite of her small stature (probably under 5 feet tall), she had a commanding, yet gentle presence. She had a brilliant mind and a bigger heart. She reached out to students and colleagues alike. The picture above is of her on her wedding day.

Serving on the university curriculum committee with her, she was strident about the rights of the faculty and the important place students hold in the academy. Whenever I saw her in the hallway or on campus, she greeted me with a smile and a hug. I know that the heels she wore will not be easily filled and the voice and passion she share has left us all better for having known her.

What I know is that there was little warning, or so it seems, that when she sat down in her classroom last evening it would be the last thing she ever did. Yet, how apropos that the very last thing she did was what she loved to do, to teach. I am reminded of the scripture that tells us to “let the days troubles be sufficient for the day”. Indeed, we do not know what the morrow will bring. One of the most important things I have learned is if I have no control over something, I cannot, or at least, should not, waste energy on it. That has been a hard lesson for me to incorporate into my life, but I am learning. It has only taken about half a century.

What I do know is that many of my colleagues are grieving today, and that grief is important for the loss of GCD is a huge blow to the department, the college and the university. What I know is I am a better person for having known her. Bless you my dear colleague and thank you for the hugs and smiles.

Thanks for reading,

Michael