It has been a busy but good summer. Lots of writing (I am working on my book on Fathers based on my Men & Masculinities course), lots of reading, lots of kayaking, biking and spending time with friends. A year ago I posted a blog as we were about a month away from classes beginning and so I repeat that message here. A month from today, on August 27th, the fall semester classes begin. Much like a year or two ago when many, many former students (Matt Falcone and Meaghan Cormier) were lamenting that in fact they could NOT return for classes, many students are once again remembering their first day of classes here and lamenting that they too cannot return. Matt is still Matt and Meaghan left Burlington yesterday afternoon for Columbia (the country) where she will live and work teaching English. I love staying in touch with so many of my former students and have had lunch or dinner with about a dozen over this summer. I always tell them before they graduate that they WILL survive leaving here and so it is rewarding to see that they are, in fact doing that. So many of them who chose to live in this area for the summer have found full-time employment and some of them are getting to stay here for their jobs. Several of my Practicum students have found employment at their Practicum sites and while this is NOT a focus of this course, it sure is nice that half of those students did have job offers at graduation.
This has also been a great summer for weddings. Last weekend Erik Caron, Lauren Remmes, Rachel Roy/Jamie Gorton (he proposed as part of HIS senior addrsss at Commencement) all got married and this weekend Dave Vorozilchak gets married in PA surrounded by many of his former hockey teammates and his family. There are several others planned for this summer and fall and I always enjoy seeing pictures of these wonderful events.
Construction on campus has certainly been interesting and provides all of us with challenges as this will continue through this coming academic year. The Quad Project is an exciting and much needed addition to campus and I know that incoming and returning students will adapt to the challenges that every college faces when they decide to undergo a major construction project.
I have continued doing a LOT of letters of recommendations and several students have recently been accepted into graduate school programs across the country. Students are often reluctant to ask for these recommendations as they are afraid that they are asking "too much" but I enjoy providing my recommendations for my students.
POW's are complete and two of my long time friends' "kids" are coming here in the fall and both of their "kids" found POW to be "awesome" and they wanted classes to begin NOW. Nope, not yet - that will come soon enough.
Take care, be well, and please keep all of the members of our military in your thoughts and prayers. The recent Time Magazine cover story was on suicides in our military and the statistics were staggering. There is ONE suicide a DAY in our active duty service members and ONE every 80 minutes among our veterans - we all simply MUST do more to stop this. So, prayers and support can make a difference.