The semester ended well and everyone headed home for the break before beginning a new year. I went up to Smuggs this afternoon to join old friend and former students Deanne and Jamie Taylor and their son CJ who has certainly grown a LOT since I last saw him. As you can see, the scenery at Smuggs was great and it was packed. Nice to walk into the lodge and see an SMC banner hanging over the balcony. It was great to see Deanne and Jamie again and we laughed a lot over lunch as they both tried to NOT have me share any of the stories of their time at SMC with their 15 year old son - he has certainly grown up well and he has a great personality - I, of course, encouraged him to look at SMC next year when he begins the hunt for a college - fortunately his folks have had a condo at Smuggs for a long time so he is familiar with the area and I think he even might be interested in going to the college his folks attended...
As the semester came to an end a couple of weeks ago, final exams and papers and final projects took up most everyone's time. I have been on campus a lot since the semester did end doing letters of recommendation for graduate school for a lot of my current and former students. I do enjoy writing the letters and even more, hearing when they get accepted - another step in the careers of so many students. I am looking forward to a new semester and have most of the work done on updating all of my syllabi so things will begin smoothly once students return on the 17th of January. Before that I head to San Antonio, Texas for the NCAA National Convention along with our AD Geri Knortz - this is always a good time to learn more, to see what others are doing and to share ideas with other Faculty Athletic Representatives from across the country. I will most likely update this blog from there as I will be in Texas from the 11th - 15th of January.
On a personal note - a week ago my "big" brother Jack passed away after a battle with lung cancer. He did battle for almost 9 months and it was a difficult time for all of us, and especially for him. I want to thank all of my friends and colleagues and especially my current and former students for their kind words of compassion and support. I appreciate it more than you know and once again was reminded of the very special nature of this amazing community we have established up here in the wonderful State of Vermont. Such good people - thank you all so much. I also posted a message to everyone that if you smoke - please STOP and if you never started - please DON'T..... He was a good man, gone too soon.
Take care, be well and, as always, please keep all of the members of our military and their families in your thoughts and prayers. I watched the documentary RESTREPO yesterday - based on the book WAR by Sebastian Junger; this is a powerful documentation of the daily life of a group of OUR young men fighting in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan - very powerful and I will be showing this to my Men & Masculinities class in a few weeks - we all need to better understand what the members of our military are actually experiencing and this documentary helps.