Shiny new passport

My new passport has arrived! While it was a 2+ hour ordeal with stops at 2 different DMVs and 2 Post Offices, it only took 2 weeks for it to arrive (they told me 4-6). Sadly I have nowhere to go, but its always good to be prepared.

New Years Eve Fireworks 2016

Braving the elements (21 degrees, but it feels like a balmy 12 at 7pm) I ventured forth to see the neighbors set off fireworks. We ooh and ahh at the lovely display which had been planned since the 5th of July when they are a reasonable 50-75% off.

Happy New Years Eve!

The Mad Hatter Christmas Tea

Today was a very fun Christmas Tea at The Mad Hatter with Mom. We ordered the Divine Temple tea which is a blend of mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberry, and red current. The Christmas Tea had four courses: the salad, the scone, the savory, and the dessert. We finished with the Mad Hatter House Blend with bergamot, orange, and chocolate, which was good, but not as good as the Divine Temple tea. Too much food!

Boreas Non-Profit Structures Workshop

Today was the Boreas Non-Profit Structures Workshop and it was excellent. Besides Boreas Director Kate Knuth, there were two speakers who work in the non-profit world: Dania Miwa and Mike Harley. Here is the official blurb: “The non-profit sector is the source of a lot of environmental leadership. But what exactly is the non-profit sector? What does NGO actually stand for? What’s the difference between a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4), and what does that even mean? What is a board of directors actually supposed to do? This workshop will get you up to speed on non-profits, how they work, and some of the governance and legal structures involved. You’ll get to start thinking about the possibility of working for a non-profit or perhaps getting involved as a volunteer. And you’ll hear wisdom from a panel of environmental non-profit stars” (http://boreas.environment.umn.edu/).

Some takeaways from the workshop:

-many different forms of nonprofits
-ways to volunteer – hands on, skills, direct service, advisory, online
-resources – skills, tools, contacts
-transparency is key – ask for a nonprofits financials before you give them money and if they cannot answer your questions don’t give to them money

-volunteer to be on the Board of Directors, but make sure you ask…
-what is expected of Board members?
-ask for a Board job description
-look at the financials of the organization
-look at the current leadership and who they are and how long they have been there
-how is the organization funded?
-do they have an operating reserve of at least 6 months?
-look at the % of the Board that gives to the organization – look for 100% of the Board giving to the organization
-ask about the attendance rate of the Board members for attending meetings/events
-is there a time limit to serve on the Board?
-are any of the original founders of the organization still on the Board and what is their function?
-do Board members and officers have insurance – the organization should buy it, so they are not held responsible

 

 

 

 

Lunch with the Neowhovian

I had lunch today with my friend Marcia aka The Neowhovian. Besides being a librarian, instructor, scholar and all around very cool lady, Marcia runs a Doctor Who blog, has participated on Doctor Who conference panels, and has published two books on her Whovian adventures. Check out her blog at http://www.neowhovian.com/

The flying gene?

Since I was a little girl I have wanted to fly and I loved reading about Amelia, Pancho, and Beryl and their flying, but I am a pilot in a family of non-pilots. So where does this quest to fly come from? I grew up near an airport, but I could not see it (we could just hear the planes as they flew over the house) and really, a lot of people live near airports, plus my sister does not want to be a pilot, so that’s probably not it. My dad hated to fly. My mom was the first in her family to leave the USA not due to a war or immigration, she scandalously went on vacation to Spain as a young woman (interestingly her mother moved to Chicago (from the family farm) during the 1930s and scandalized the family by taking the train to Colorado to visit a friend. Here she was having fun, when she should have been sending money back home to the farm!) and went via airplane, but that was it for her flying. Looking further back the only aviation connection I can find is that my Grandfather was a Marine airplane mechanic in the Pacific during WWII. Is this where my aviation gene comes from? Probably not, as after the war he did not travel by plane, rarely mentioned the war, and I never heard him talk about fixing airplanes, but it would be nice to think that the aviation gene started with these beautiful airplanes.

These are some of my Grandfather’s WWII photos taken in the Pacific from 1943-45. His unit even received an commendation for fixing TBM Avenger airplanes and apparently fixing them better than when they had arrived. I love the photo of the Corsair in mid-flight and as you can see the pilot looking straight at the camera.

 

IDV Day #1

Day One of the USM IDV PhD In-Person. As usual it started early, but not as early as it has in the past. I had no classes today, so it was an easy day. At the funding talk, Dr. Harper said, and I quote, “Librarians are your friends”! As was to be expected that got a few laughs and some funny comments from my friends. Then she said “Look to your librarians”! Haha, more funny comments. There was a great lunch talk by Dr. Max Kreinin on the Euro and then dinner at Darwell’s – which has great food!

8-9am Breakfast and Welcome w/ Dr Pauly and Dr. St. Marie
10:30am – 12pm Seeking External Funding for Dissertation Reasrch w/ Dr. Lin Harper
12-2pm Lunch and talk by Dr. Max Kreinin
4-6pm Research Teams
6pm-8pm Dinner at Darwell’s in Long Beach

A shoe, a shoe, my kingdom for a shoe!

Well perhaps not a kingdom, but I might give up my sister (haha, just kidding) to be able to wear a normal shoe again. So today is week 7 since my surgery and the swelling is still going down. I can now slide my foot into a Croc shoe, but that’s as far as I get, because then it hurts to walk. So today I was determined to wear the Croc shoe instead of the boot to work. I made it out of the house and into the car, but that was as far as I got, because the pain was too much. So back into the house I went to change into the boot.

PhD Orientation

Today was Orientation day for my PhD program at the University of Southern Mississippi.

I had arrived in Mississippi (with a stopover in Memphis which sadly had no Elvis sightings…also no Bubba Elvis sightings either) yesterday. The flight was nice, delayed about 40 minutes, but otherwise uneventful. I did have some issue with my luggage. Apparently the Gulfport airport only allows luggage to spin around on the belt 3 times. After that they take it away. So it took a little while to track it down. Then on the way to the hotel I went the wrong way. So what should have been a 15 minute drive from the airport to my hotel took about 45 minutes. But thats ok, I got to see a bit of Gulfport. The drive on Highway 90 is really nice. The water on one side and the other side has a few lovely houses. Otherwise there are just open spaces where trees and houses use to be. So its beautiful, but sad.

So today was Orientation. I had to be there at 8am, which is way too early, but they had food. Of course no one knew they were going to have scrambled eggs, waffles, beverages, and a fruit tray (tons of good food for lunch also). Basically today was spent filling out forms, finding out the basic info for the program and what you need to have and do, meeting the faculty, getting an ID card, and getting 3 citations books (which everyone was already told to buy. Grrr…so a bit miscommunication was going on between the faculty). I visited the bookstore, which was very small and disappointing (no funny stuff, but I did get a t-shirt).

There were about 14 new students today at Orientation. My fellow PhD student are very nice, very smart, and very cool people. A good group of people. I was a bit concerned, because you just never know what type of group you are going to be thrown into.

The instructors seem nice and helpful, and open to students asking their 101 questions. So thats good. But we will see if it continues 🙂

After Orientation, I walked across the street from the hotel and walk along the beach and into the water. When driving up the highway, one see people out cleaning the beaches (they are in that highway worker bright yellow), trucks and a few areas that have fencing around them. But the beach infront of my hotel is nice. No oil. No smell. No people. I saw a few birds.

For supper I went out with a few PhD students to a restaurant called Shaggy’s. It has a beach shack theme and its on the water. Buffett was playing on the radio and you can sit inside or outside. The food was good and everyone had a fun time.