Posted in Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers (6/29/12)

Friday!  Here are five wonderful adders to my happiness   (Is “adder” a word?)  (Well, in the way I’m using it, I mean?)  (Because “adder” is a type of poisonous snake.)  (Yuk!)  (Or something non-understandable having to do with computer circuits and addition.)

1Being okay with not knowing whether some words I use are actually words.  Because since I have reached a certain age, I don’t care about such correctness so much.  I’m trying to embrace my “is-ness,” you know?

2Seeing the sun rise over the ocean on Amelia Island Thursday morning.

(Okay maybe I went straight back to bed afterwards.  But I did leave the doors open so I could hear the surf.)

3.  Earlier in the week, I visited my parents in the small North Georgia town of Ball Ground (where I grew up).  Tuesday morning, as is our tradition when I’m home, we made our way to Hardees for coffee and breakfast biscuits (sausage and egg for me, in case you’re wondering).

Well, as luck would have it, when we were handed our coffee cups (by a talkative caramel-colored lady who made the biscuits earlier and who was leaving for Puerto Rico the next morning–I’m a good listener/eavesdropper) and went to the urn (cool word) to pour our brew, the huge container was empty.  [That sentence is “weigh” too long, but I don’t feel like revising it right now.  There’s a severe heat warning in the Eastern U.S. and I really need to take a cool nap ASAP.]

Back to the coffee urn–since it was still nearly dawn (7:30 ish!) and I was only half conscious, I kept pushing that little handle/lever thingy up and down (in maniacal poking-the-elevator-button-to-make-it-come-faster style) hoping to force some joe into my two-dropsful cup.

My mom, 85, who broke her leg a couple of months ago and struggles with walking, relying on a walker, which we fold up and put in the trunk of the car, had already found a table near a group of extremely LOUD senior citizens and waited semi-patiently for her coffee.  Seeing me struggling foolishly with the urn spout, she yelled at a shocking volume over the partying old folks, “Neal it’s empty!  Can’t you see that?  Tell your daddy to get that pretty black girl to get us some from behind the counter.  We know her.  Are you sure you don’t want the breakfast platter?”

But my father, 89 in November and an extremely efficient doer-of-things, had other plans.  While I was staring, openmouthed, at a hauntingly beautiful, ancient and tiny, bird-like, blue-haired lady wearing an oversized Lady Gaga t-shirt cinched at the waist with one of those orange plastic rings, my dad picked up the large, empty urn from the beverage area and carried it slowly, shakily and singlehandedly to the counter.  “There you go,” he said to Caramel, who laughed a good-natured “Oh my!” and said we would have coffee in no time.  And we did.

4.  Sea oats.

5.  The incredible fragrance of jasmine growing on trellisses.  Find some and smell it deeply.

These fragrantly beautiful vines were growing in abundance in my parents’ side yard.

Have a spectacular last weekend in June!

Posted in Savannah Joy

Oh, the People You Meet at the Savannah Asian Festival!

Yesterday I attended the 2012 Savannah Asian Festival at the Civic Center.  What a fun experience.

(Isn’t this a beautiful picture?  Uh, the one below, not above.  Well, unless you want to say that the one above is also beautiful and be rewarded with, I don’t know, valuable prizes or something.)
I sort of borrowed/stole the above pic from the Facebook page of the beautiful Tuquyen Mach, reporter extraordinaire with WSAV here in Savannah and emcee for this year’s festival (as she was last year).

Profile Picture

Here I am cornering the very gracious Tuguyen before she headed back onstage to announce the next festival act.

I love the great attendance at the various festivals held in Savannah.  Everyone knows about our city’s St. Patrick’s Day and the Savannah Music Festival, both held each spring, but other events, such as the Irish Festival and this one, also bring out hordes of folks.  The civic center was packed.

Hello!  Hello!  These golden waving cats are bestowing good luck on all passersby.  I stood there an hour.

I met some of THE MOST fascinating people.  Here I am with Tae Kwon Do Grand Master Jong H. Lee.

And here’s upbeat, helpful Oscar demonstrating his expertise with sais (traditional Okinawan martial arts weapons).

And look at this beautiful Thai princess.  I think I was more impressed with her, than she with me.  Without land and fortune (only blog fame), she refused to accept my proposal of marriage.  Why didn’t I dress better?!

I met some very friendly folks from Crimson Art Henna, based out of Athens, GA.  (Henna is an ancient art in which an organic paste is applied to the skin, leaving a reddish-brown stain that lasts from one to three weeks.

I ended up eating a WONDERFUL lunch of delicious rice noodles and savory beefsteak with onions from these ladies.

(For some reason, I think they got the distinct impression that I am famous.  I MUST stop introducing myself with, “Hello, you look great!  Care to have your picture taken with me?  I’m a world famous blogger.  No telling how many people around the planet will see this post!  Now move to the left a little.)

I loved this festival and all these folks.

I got lost only once.

One of the high points for me was the performance of the Matsuriza Taiko Drummers.  Here’s a tiny bit of it–when I joined in.

Okay, okay maybe not my finest video work to date, but you get the “sound” idea.

Here’s to you the bamboo of good fortune.  May all blessings come your way!

Amazing festival!  Go to 2013’s event.  As a matter of fact, let’s all go together.

My only regret about this terrific event is that I didn’t get to hop up onstage and perform like I did at the Irish Festival.  Oh well, as the Braves say, there’s always next year.

Posted in College Teaching, Five Friday Happy Bringers

Five Friday Happy Bringers (6/22/12) — Retirement Edition

Yesterday, I retired from full time professorship at Georgia Southern University.  Here are five things about my retiring that make me happy/reflective.

1.  This cool plaque from CLASS (GSU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences).

2.  Turning in my grades this morning.

3.  Enjoying the silly truthfulness of a message I posted on my Department of Writing and Linguistics listserv, when I announced my approaching retirement:  Ten Take-Aways from Being a Professor at Georgia Southern for Twenty-Four Years.

*  The student is more important than the subject being taught.

*  Listen to the student–she or he has a voice.

*  Newton (the ancient classroom building which houses my department) never changes.

*  Deans and department chairs do (pretty regularly)  (Okay, very regularly.)

*  The secretaries really run this place.  Be good to them.

*  How I arranged my classroom tables, what books I used, what my theoretical framework was (though important) paled in comparison to being in love with teaching young people (and some not-so-young people) and LIKING students.

*  Don’t grade everything.

*  At least once every week, tell your students something funny–about you, or them or whatever.

*  Take a walk around campus every now and then just to take in its natural beauty.

*  Don’t take yourself or your job too seriously.

4.  A fun saying-goodbye gathering with department members and other collegaues.

Tim Giles and Interim Department Chair Phyllis Dallas.

Mary Hadley, Thomas Klein and Tim.

Terri Welford and Interim Dean Curtis Ricker.

Interim Associate Provost Mike Smith (former CLASS Dean)

Laura Milner and Mary Marwitz

Fellow blogger Emma Bolden

Poet Extraordinaire Eric Nelson

Michael Pemberton and Angela Crow

5.  Realizing that being sad at leaving such wonderful colleagues and students proves the joy of having been a part of Georgia Southern University for so long.

Happiest of Weekends to You All!