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Archive for January, 2009

(or, a bunch of geeky profs who think they can sing, shout and clap)

I’ve been waiting to blog about this for a few weeks, and the sound clip that accompanies this post is finally available. One of the presenters at a entrepreneurship education conference I recently attended composes and records music. John Tanner of Tanner-Monagle, Inc. brought his “studio” along to the hotel and did a participative session in which we actually laid down several rhythm tracks, and a vocal track. (He also added piano, drum, bass, and some other vocal effects to liven it up.)

So, without further ado, here’s the wolfpack theme song:

The composition was based on a poem by Rudyard Kipling:

Now this is the law of the jungle –
As old and as true as the sky;
And the wolf that keep it may prosper,
But the wolf that shall break it may die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree trunk,
The law runneth forward and back –
And the strength of the pack is the wolf
And the strength of the wolf is the pack.
-Rudyard Kipling

If you have not guessed, it is all about teamwork and mutuality. Good message not just for engineering profs but for all of us global citizens…

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ZENIT – Benedict XVI’s Message for Media Day

Check out the above link to Pope Benedict XVI’s message for World Communications Day (January 24.)  The title of the message is: “New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship.” It’s good to see that he is knowledgeable about the ways people are using these technologies. Proud to be a blogger and Facebook citizen today!

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Change on the way

Were not the hearts of millions of Americans swelling with pride and hope as Barack Obama took the oath of office as the first African American head of state? Did we not hear the news reports that among the over 2 million people gathered in the Mall last Tuesday, not one arrest was necessary? I must admit I’ve been a bit buried in work this week, with little time to stop and really think about the significance of this, but every time I think of what may happen over the next 4-8 years, I smile and feel more hopeful for the world than I have in a long time.

I welcome the shift to true multilateralism and mutuality in our dealings with the rest of the world. The “cowboy diplomacy” of the former administration has no place in a nation that must learn that as an Earth community we all sink or swim together.

I urge you to read and reflect on the speech Pres. Obama gave at his inauguration. There is much food for thought. Here’s a link to the text.

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As we in the northern U.S. shiver and hunker down in the face of sub-zero temperatures and more snow, I thought it would be nice to finally share with you some photos I took while on our motherhouse grounds for retreat last July. Sister J. is a wonderful gardener, and spends lots of time making the place beautiful. She has an amazing array of lilies in several beds around the back…if you ever make it to Baden in the summer, don’t miss this splendid display of God’s creation and J’s hard work. Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Baden Flower Show“, posted with vodpod

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God’s country

As I said in my last post, I wanted to share with you a few photos from my little side trip from Phoenix to Sedona. I would like to have had more time there than I had, but at least I got in a short hike near Cathedral Rock, and met up with a couple of local women who were also out for some photography. Since they knew their way around and had flashlights, I could stay a little longer without worring about being lost in the dark. We had some good conversation and got some good photos, even though the clouds were interfering with the opportunity to get even more spectacular shots.

I put the photos into a little slide show…so here it is…enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Sedona – January 2008“, posted with vodpod

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Tech woes

CB046789So, if you’ve been following my Twitterings or Facebook page, you know that I had a bit of a rough time trying to do one of my classes online while I’m here in Phoenix for a meeting. I always seem to have misadventures that cause me to run around like crazy and get rather frustrated…

Anyway I arrived here at the hotel Weds. afternoon with plans to do one class at 9:00 Thursday night and the other at 6:00 Friday morning. I got all unpacked and hooked up my computer to the DSL connection…dead! After some fussing around with Tech Support, and having a technician come and swap out the modem, there still was not a resolution. So off I went to my meeting, expecting that things would be ok when I returned to my room.

Nope…so I had the hotel move me to a different room, and I was all set, or so I thought, as I began to get re-settled after 11 pm.. The connection wasn’t exceptionally fast, but acceptable… Off I went Thursday morning to the meeting and returned before 8:00, plenty of time before the 9:00 class. So I got the computer turned on and put my feet up to relax for a while.

At 9, I entered the classroom and everything came to a screeching halt…my connection failed miserably, and I had not even taken note of the phone call-in number. I finally managed to get that phone # and called in to let the students know I was relocating to the hotel lobby to use the wireless network there. (Good thing I had an old phone card with 15 minutes left on it, as I left my cell phone back in Detroit, and a newer 800-minute card had expired – always read the small print!)

I ducked in the business center for a quieter place than the open lobby, and guess what…no connection! I finally had to switch to one of the hotel computers, but couldn’t use the full functionality of the Wimba Classroom environment, including audio (my phone card didn’t have enough minutes to get through class…frustrating to say the least )….but we muddled through. And I even stayed up an extra hour re-doing a summary of class to post online for the students – don’t you know, the connection was fine when I returned to my room!!

Fortunately, everything worked beautifully Friday morning. I think the students appreciated my efforts to meet them, even though they might have preferred to just cancel class altogether.

The take-away from this little story…technology is great until you really have to depend on it. Always have a Plan B!!

Next time…some pics from here and a brief side trip to Sedona.

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As you may be aware, President-Elect Obama’s choice for giving the invocation at his inauguration, Pastor Rick Warren, whose megachurch spent mega-dollars towards passing Prop 8 in California, has created quite a lot of controversy. Many in the lgbt community feel utterly betrayed that the man who they worked so hard to elect would invite an “anti-gay” preacher to give the invocation. I choose to look at it differently…first of all, I do have a problem with the tons of money that was put towards misinformation to scare people into voting for Prop 8, not only by Warren’s church or the Mormon church, but also by the Catholic Church…but that’s another topic.

The point here is that I am reluctant to label someone as “anti-gay” or a “hate-monger” just because they don’t believe in gay marriage. I think that what Obama is trying to do here is reach out and say, “Look, folks, if we want to heal the divisions that keep us apart and sniping at each 0ther, we have to start reaching out to people with whom we do not agree.” I see his invitation to Warren as setting an example for all of us. And I do not know all that much about this Warren guy, but I do not sense the kind of hatred brewing in him as I hear being directed at him.

Anyway, if this choice is good enough for Melissa Etheridge and her partner, it’s good enough for me. Let’s drop the dogmatism on BOTH sides – right AND left – and starting building our future together as the brothers and sisters we are in God’s eyes.

School starts tomorrow, so you may need to cut me a break as I settle into my new schedule of classes…happy epiphany!

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