Saturday, August 27, 2011

When People Ask Me What I Do for a Living...

Whenever people ask me where I work I say Samford University.  90% of the time, the next question is "what to do you teach there?" which leads to my answer "No, I am an administrator. I work in campus life."  At that point, the person either remembers a curmudgeon dean that punished them for a sensational college prank or they think I plan parties all the time.

Many of the programs and events I plan are fun but at the heart of it, there is a serious intent - To prepare students to lead lives of responsibility, character.  I try to do everything I can to plant the seed of compassion and service in their hearts so that they are actively engaged in their communities and of service in their lives post-graduation.  I want them to be a good neighbor, a real friend, even when that someone they encounter or befriend is outside of their comfort zone.  I want them to feel comfortable leaving their comfort zone.  I want them to lead a life of transparency.  And it is my prayer, that they will welcome Christ into their hearts so that others will see Him present in all of their actions, their decisions, and their behavior, rather than simply in the preachy words they might "use" rather than live.  For those students that have already welcomed Christ into their hearts, it is my prayer that college will be a time of refinement, where they will deepen in their faith, wrestle with the difficult questions of life, and find strength and encouragement in their faith.  It is my prayer that in life's most difficult of circumstances, their faith will sustain them and that God would show and grant me the opportunity to be a source of encouragement and support.  It is my prayer that I will deepen in my own faith through my work with these students, that they would see me, wholly imperfect except for the grace of God, working out my own faith on a daily basis, as I too, wrestle with the difficult circumstances of life.

Yesterday, over 700 new students chose Samford to begin what will be the best four years of their life, if they allow that process to take shape.  It can be a time of great joy, and memories that will last a lifetime.  Every one of those students comes with a different heritage, a different background, different values, differing levels of confidence, courage, understanding, encouragement.   This is what makes college such a thrilling time.  It is a blessing to me to engage with these students.  I love my job.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Class of 2015

For those of you who know us, you know we work in higher education.  If that still baffles you, it means we work college students.  Each year, Beloit College publishes something called the Mind-Set List that gives some perspective on who the incoming college freshmen across the country are.  Here is this years, Class of 2015 list.

1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.
2. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.
3. States and Velcro parents have always required that they wear their bike helmets.
4. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major-league sports.
5. There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded some U.S. Navy ships.
6. They "swipe" cards, not merchandise.
7. As the students have grown up on Web sites and cellphones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.
8. Their schools' "blackboards" have always been getting smarter.
9. "Don't touch that dial!" ... What dial?
10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.
11. More Americans have always traveled to Latin America than to Europe.
12. Amazon has never been just a river in South America.
13. Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you're talking about LeBron James.
14. All their lives, Whitney Houston has always been declaring, "I Will Always Love You."
15. O.J. Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
16. Women have never been too old to have children.
17. Japan has always been importing rice.
18. Jim Carrey has always been bigger than a pet detective.
19. We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.
20. Life has always been like a box of chocolates.
21. They've always gone to school with Mohammed and Jesus.
22. John Wayne Bobbitt has always slept with one eye open.
23. There has never been an official Communist Party in Russia.
24. "Yadda, yadda, yadda" has always come in handy to make long stories short.
25. Video games have always had ratings.
26. Chicken soup has always been soul food.
27. The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been available on TV.
28. Jimmy Carter has always been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief.
29. Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.
30. Dial-up is soooooooooo last century!
31. Women have always been kissing women on television.
32. Their older siblings have told them about the days when Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera were Mouseketeers.
33. Faux Christmas trees have always outsold real ones.
34. They've always been able to dismiss boring old ideas with "Been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt."
35. The bloody conflict between the government and a religious cult has always made Waco sound a little wacko.
36. Unlike their older siblings, they spent bedtime on their backs until they learned to roll over.
37. Music has always been available via free downloads.
38. Grown-ups have always been arguing about health-care policy.
39. Moderate amounts of red wine and baby aspirin have always been thought good for the heart.
40. Sears has never sold anything out of a "Big Book" that could also serve as a doorstop.
41. The United States has always been shedding fur.
42. Electric cars have always been humming in relative silence on the road.
43. No longer known for just gambling and quickie divorces, Nevada has always been one of the fastest-growing states in the Union.
44. They're the first generation to grow up hearing about the dangerous overuse of antibiotics.
45. They pressured their parents to take them to Taco Bell or Burger King to get free pogs.
46. Russian courts have always had juries.
47. No state has ever failed to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
48. While they've been playing outside, their parents have always worried about nasty new bugs borne by birds and mosquitoes.
49. Public schools have always made space available for advertising.
50. Some of them have been inspired to actually cook by watching the Food Channel.
51. Fidel Castro's daughter and granddaughter have always lived in the United States.
52. Their parents have always been able to create a will and other legal documents online.
53. Charter schools have always been an alternative.
54. They've grown up with George Stephanopoulos as the Dick Clark of political analysts.
55. New kids have always been known as NKOTB.
56. They've always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe; Michael Who?
57. They've broken up with significant others via texting, Facebook, or MySpace.
58. Their parents sort of remember Woolworths as this store that used to be downtown.
59. Kim Jong-il has always been bluffing, but the West has always had to take him seriously.
60. Frasier, Sam, Woody, and Rebecca have never cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during prime time.
61. Major League Baseball has never had fewer than three divisions and never lacked a wild-card entry in the playoffs.
62. Nurses have always been in short supply.
63. They won't go near a retailer that lacks a Web site.
64. Altar girls have never been a big deal.
65. When they were 3, their parents may have battled other parents in toy stores to buy them a Tickle Me Elmo while they lasted.
66. It seems the United States has always been looking for an acceptable means of capital execution.
67. Folks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have always been able to energize with Pepsi-Cola.
68. Andy Warhol is a museum in Pittsburgh.
69. They've grown up hearing about suspiciously vanishing frogs.
70. They've always had the privilege of talking with a chatterbot.
71. Refugees and prisoners have always been housed by the U.S. government at Guantánamo.
72. Women have always been Venusians; men, Martians.
73. McDonald's coffee has always been just a little too hot to handle.
74. "PC" has come to mean personal computer, not political correctness.
75. The New York Times and The Boston Globe have never been rival newspapers.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our Week In Review

Thursday, August 4th - we receive an offer on our house
Friday, August 5th- Marathon search for houses all afternoon.  While driving around we commit to be under contract to sell our house.
Saturday, August 6th - offer on our new house and we wait.  House is in different school system.
Monday, August 8th - we go to Meet the Teacher at Hall-Kent.   Philip texts me while we are there asking me to come home to sign contract paperwork on our future house.  We politely excuse ourselves from the class meeting and head home.

Tuesday, August 9th- We frantically work on paperwork to switch Little Philip from Homewood to Vestavia schools since school starts Wednesday at Homewood and Friday for Vestavia.

Wednesday - Thursday, August 10-11th - Renie hosts her Campus Life staff training and rounds things out with a cookout at our house Thursday night.  Enjoyable and fun.

Thursday, August 11th - 9:40 a.m. we complete paperwork and start  the 10:00 a.m. Meet the Teacher at Vestavia, finding out that Little Philip is in Mrs. Ratliff's class.  We are thrilled.  We also see his sweet friend, Erin, is in his class.  Erin and Philip are good friends from preschool.  Things are looking up.

Friday, August 12th - Little Philip starts school.

Mamie and Bop Moss spent a good portion of the weekend with us while Bop was here for a veterinary conference.   The kids have been nothing short of amazing through this past week, barely having any attention from us as we have been on the phone with potential lenders and signing mountains of paperwork. Little Philip especially has been an incredibly cooperative little boy considering the transition he has been through.  Having Mamie and Bop love on them was just what they needed, and lunch with Nee Nee and Poppy after church tomorrow will be icing on the cake.  We are pooped but very happy with how things are turning out.  More on our September 7th big move soon!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Little Philip Wrote a Song

This morning while brushing hair and teeth for the day, Little Philip walks into the bathroom and says, "Mommy, I wrote a song, do you want to hear it?"

Son to the tune of Three Blind Mice....

God made me, God made me.
God made my family, God made my family
He made everyone in the world, He made everyone in the world.
God made me, God made me.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Overheard at the Moss House

Conversation between Mommy and Philip

Philip, one day you are going to have to make the right choice, even though your friends will try to make you do something different.  My prayer is that you will know what the right choice is and have the courage to tell your friends no, and be an example of how to make courageous right choices.

I know, Mommy.  I know what you are talking about.  That's called temptation.  It's when someone tries to make you do something you know you shouldn't do.  I know not to fall for that.

That's my sweet boy.  Prayers that he remembers these conversations in the years to come!