Friday, February 3, 2017

The Sound of Silence

Recently, I was listening to a remake of Simon and Garfunkel's 1964 song, "Sounds of Silence" by the heavy metal band, Disturbed. The lyric, "and no one dared disturb the sound of silence" caught my attention.
I started thinking about the consequences if no one dares to disturb the sound of silence regarding the value of diversity and the positive impact it has on our global society. Valuing diversity is certainly important to me; as well, I am proud that NWC has a long tradition of valuing diversity.
In fact, the new NWC Mission Statement begins with the phrase, "In the context of our global society..." At Northwest College, we understand that we have an important role in shaping a multicultural society. We intentionally recruit a diverse student body and prioritize cross-cultural learning opportunities and events for our students and community.
Twenty years ago, I taught an honors seminar on tolerance. One of the readings I assigned was "Night" by Elie Wiesel. The lessons on tolerance in his book are as appropriate today as they were during Wiesel's imprisonment as a teenager in Nazi Germany.
May you find opportunities to be more tolerant of others' differences and seek opportunities to give voice to the many forms of diversity around you.
Have a good weekend,
P.S. If you have not yet heard Disturbed's version of "The Sound of Silence" I have included it here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Simmons, M. (Producer), & Chechik, J.S. (Director). (1989). National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation [Motion picture still]. USA:  Warner Bros.

One of the traditions we enjoy as a family is hunting for The Perfect Christmas Tree. Much like this scene from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, my husband found it - The Perfect Christmas Tree. We didn’t even have to trudge in the snow for hours to find it.

We dragged it back to the truck cheerfully singing “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” My husband dutifully tied the tree to the top of the camper shell and we headed home excited to pull out the ornaments and decorate The Perfect Christmas Tree.

About 10 miles from home my husband swore and quickly pulled over.
"What?” I asked.
Apparently, the strap securing the bottom of the tree had come off. Since the top strap held tightly in place, The Perfect (by this time Perfect had been replaced by a more colorful word in my husband's vocabulary) Christmas Tree, had broken in half!
Making lemonade from lemons, we quickly stripped the branches for boughs and headed to Ace Hardware. There we found The Perfect Christmas Tree. Thankfully, once again, we didn’t have to trudge in the snow for hours to find it. Luckily, this one made it home in one piece!

No matter what traditions you celebrate this holiday season, I wish you the happiest of holidays.
May you spend less time doing what you think you should and more time doing what you want!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Congratulations, NWC Volleyball!

NWC’s Volleyball Team, nationally ranked during its impressive season, finished sixth in the nation at the NJCAA Championships last week. The ladies were 2-2 in the 16-team national tournament, beating Tyler Junior College (TX) and Western Nebraska Community College, and falling to second-seeded Iowa Western Community College and Salt Lake Community College. Earlier this month, for the fourth straight year, the Trappers claimed the Region IX North Championship. Congratulations to NJCAA Region IX Coach of the Year Shaun Pohlman and his Trapper Volleyball Team!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Trustee Election Results

As the country discusses the national election results, I wanted to let you know the results of the Trustee Election:

Scott Feyhl - 1,632 - 32.70%
Mark Wurzel- 3,347 - 67.06%

Luke Anderson - 3,475 - 32.45%
Bob Newsome - 3,701 - 34.56%
Steve Webster - 3,471 - 32.41%

Nada Larsen - 409 - 99.27%

The Trustees-elect take office at noon on December 1st and will be sworn in at the Board of Trustees meeting on December 12th.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The night I spent in the Salt Lake Airport

A few months ago I spent the night in the Salt Lake Airport. Due to weather delays and mechanical issues, my flight arrived back in Salt Lake after a failed attempt to land in Cody at about 1:00 a.m.  I needed to board a special flight 4 hours later to again fly to Cody.

As I was trying settle myself to get some sleep, I began thinking about how privileged I was to sleep on a bench in an airport. I was safe. I was warm. I had access to food. Not everyone in our communities are so lucky. Some of them are even NWC students. 

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty estimates there are between 2.3 and 3.5 million Americans annually who experience homelessness. Wyoming's homeless population resembles the homeless population nationwide. Women and children each make up just over half of Wyoming's homeless and thirty-five percent are part of a family who are without a home.

The Food Research and Action Center estimates that 14.6 % of households in Wyoming experienced food insecurity from 2011-2013. Of the children who eat school lunches, 40.7% participate in the free and reduced lunch program. 
Thankful to sleep in an airport,