Category Archives: Accomplishments

Andrew’s graduation

Yes, it seems like only last week we dropped Andrew off at Oberlin when he was a new student. I took photos and planned a blog post about it but waited too long and now he’s graduated. Time sure does fly!

andrew-clareAndrew graduated from Oberlin with honors of some sort. We even went to the home of the president of the school to celebrate his honor where we drank punch and ate fruit on sticks. Dean’s sister, Diane, was able to join us for much of the weekend.

Oberlin goes all out for graduation and invites several alumni back for reunions. Oberlin goes from a small quiet college town to a very busy place. It was even more busy this year because one of the graduation speakers was Michelle Obama.

We spent much of our long weekend lounging on the grass. The weather was perfect for that — although it became a little hot on graduation day. I thought I would be in mourning since I loved Oberlin so, but strangely I didn’t feel sad. It would not be the same without Andrew there, and I said my expensive farewell to Bead Paradise.

lightsMy favorite, and most anticipated part of the weekend was the illuminations in Tappan Square the night before the graduation ceremony. It did not disappoint.

The ceremony was far too long, but the two main speakers were excellent. Michelle Obama’s was the best, by a long-shot. My favorite takeaway from Obama was:

“And I know that these days, that can seem counterintuitive, because we live in such an instantaneous age. We want everything right away—whether it’s an Uber or your favorite TV show—and we want it tailored to our exact preferences and beliefs. We fill our Twitter feed with voices that confirm, rather than challenge, our views. If we dislike someone’s Facebook post, we just un-follow them, we un-friend them.

And even here at Oberlin, most of the time you’re probably surrounded by folks who share your beliefs. But out in the real world, there are plenty of people who think very differently than you do, and they hold their opinions just as passionately. So if you want to change their minds, if you want to work with them to move this country forward, you can’t just shut them out. You have to persuade them, and you have to compromise with them. That is what so many of our heroes of history have done.”


Marian Wright Edelman’s was inspiring too — although a bit long. Someone suggested that since she was an elder she felt the need to be thorough in her speech. My favorite takeaway from Edelman’s speech was “So often we want to be a big dog and make a big difference but all of us can be a flea and bite and bite and move the biggest dog. Enough determined fleas biting strategically can make the biggest dog uncomfortable. And if some of us are flicked off but keep coming back and continue biting, we can change our nation. So be a flea for justice—for children and for the poor.”


More photos

Finishing things

I tend to leave things unfinished. My 365 blog. My song a day blog. My NaMoWriMo novels. It is an unfortunate part of my personality.

It’s not that I don’t like the feeling of accomplishment when I do finish something, but I have a hard time with it. Don’t get me wrong — if it is something I’m getting paid for, then yes, I do finish. But everyday things tend to be put on the back burner and either forgotten or ignored.

So, I’m proud to announce that I finished not one, but three things yesterday:

  1. The Whistling Season — my book group book this month. I liked it but never made time to actually read it. I was about 4/5 of the way through it when I went to the book group meeting (thanks, in part, to netlibrary where I found it in audio form and listened while tagging PDFs). Then I was told how it ended — which kind of ruined it for me, but I persevered and finished it. (not that it was hard to do — easy read)
  2. The Overacheivers — I had two pages left and it was bugging me (actually, I thought I had more to read). So last night I finished those two pages. I think this book took me the longest to read of any book I’ve ever read (except maybe Wuthering Heights which I read in 15 minute increments over a semester in college) since I began reading sometime around the beginning of the year or perhaps earlier than that).
  3. My Ireland Trip Blog — I had one entry and some photos left to post and finally did. It was just a bit about the last few hours in Ireland at the airport, and the plane trip home, but I needed to write it to check off that I was done.

I’ve got hundreds of other things half or almost finished around the house, so, I’m at no risk of not having things to do.

Poor Andrew

The kids and I went out to dinner this evening. We all had a lazy Sunday, but Saturday was big for both kids. Andrew placed (5th) in Regionals and Clare took her SAT. Andrew was giddy with the knowledge that he could eat what he wanted and not stay after school for the grueling practice wrestlers go through.

Saturday night Andrew ate the last of the ice cream, declaring it to be his first ice cream in 3 months. Tonight he ate sausage soup, tortellini with sausage, several bites of appetizers, an entire ice cream dessert, two root beers and half a cannoli. When we got home an email was waiting for Andrew from his coach. The coach wanted Andrew to practice with the team and be prepared to possibly step in should someone in his weight class not be able to wrestle.

He was nearly inconsolable. We talked and he is now prepared to have another week of hard practice and little food. After his dinner tonight, I’m not sure if he could loose the weight that he gained from the ice cream and pasta.

He asked me to buy him a lot of fruit for the rest of the week.