June 5th, 2015


Wednesday Hodgepodge: 3-5 June 2015

Yes, two days late again ... I was out of town :).

The Wednesday Hodgepodge is courtesy of From This Side of the Pond.

1. What's something you're looking forward to in the month of June?

There are two extraordinary events in June for me every year.

The first is the AP Computer Science A Exam Reading session, this year being held in Kansas City, Missouri.   I leave tomorrow for two weeks of work grading exams for 7.5 hours/day.   This will be my eleventh reading.   I know it sounds like grading  exams  would be a bizarre way to spend perfectly good June days.   But it's glorious work.   And I get to spend time with some of the best computing professionals (both at the university level and the high school level) that I've ever met.   These are my people.

The second is our family vacation to Cedar Campus in Cedarville, Michigan.   The camp's motto is "A place to meet God and be renewed" ... and it has never failed to be that for me and my family.

2. In what way have you come full circle?

When I was in graduate school, I volunteered to work in my church's nursery.   It's not an odd thing for me; my father has been a nursery worker ever since I've known him.   It was a great way to contribute to the life of church for a graduate student who couldn't get off-campus much; working in the nursery requires zero preparation time, and you get to spend an hour building towers and eating animal crackers and generally playing with wee ones.   I really enjoyed it.

Later, when we had small kids, the church we were in had a nursery ministry that was on the verge of falling apart.   Many Wednesday nights, we'd come to church and the "scheduled" nursery volunteer wasn't there, and I had to serve in the nursery because my own children needed a place to be.   It was hard not to be resentful through that stage of our lives.   But it was the place we were called to be, and God taught me a lot through that phase.

Within the last month, I've been asked to be a part of our church nursery ministry once again.   Our kids are much older now, so the wee ones we're watching are someone else's.   I'm rediscovering the joy of ministering to others through nursery ministry.

3. Lonely Planet lists 10 spots in America you should see in 2015 and the reasons why. How many on the list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most like to see?
Queens NY, Western South Dakota, New Orleans, Colorado River Region, North Conway NH, Indianapolis IN, Greenville SC, Oakland CA, Duluth MN, and the Mount Shasta Region CA

I've visited New Orleans a couple of times on business --- a SIGCSE conference, a job interview trip, and I have a sneaky suspicion one other time that I can't recall.  (No, I wasn't drunk ...)

I've also visited Indianapolis at least a couple of times for various conferences ... FIE once (I think), an ABET conference once (I think) ...

I've been to Greenville, SC twice ... well, sort-of.   I've been to the campus of Clemson University in Greenville twice for the AP Computer Science reading, but never got away from campus.

I'm sure I've been to Oakland, passing through on vacations or business meetings, but never really stopping there.

Of the remaining ... I think I'd like New Hampshire.   Quaint little towns appeal to me, for some reason.

4. A song that describes your mood right now?

My brain finally checked out a week ago of "work mode" and into "play mode" ... so it's either Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" (mellowing out) or "The Final Countdown" (anticipating the events to come ...)

5. Strawberry ice cream, strawberry short cake, strawberry pie, or strawberries right off the vine...your favorite?

Maybe the pie.   Probably the strongest taste of the bunch.

6. Aesop's birthday is celebrated on June 4th, although there is some disagreement as to whether or not that's accurate, or if he was even a real person. Regardless, the name Aesop is associated to this day with many well known fables. Which of the following best applies to something in your life right now? The Tortoise and the Hare (Slow and Steady wins the race), The Ant and the Grasshopper (Be prepared), The Fox and the Goat (Look before you leap) or The Crow and the Pitcher (Necessity is the mother of invention)?

Maybe The Tortoise and the Hare.   I have the beginning of a glimmer of a thought of an idea about how to restart a research program.   But it's not going to happen quickly, and it's not going to happen overnight.

7. The answer is yes...what's the question?

Shall we play a game?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

My people are calling to me ... Kansas City, here I come ...