Big Question

Santa & Mrs Claus

Santa & Mrs Claus

Mrs Claus is seen more these days than in the days of my youth.  (aka the dark ages)  And since I’ve been seeing her image more often, I find myself left with “the big question.”

The question is not, “How did they meet?”  Nor is it, “When did they marry?”  It is not, “Do they have children?”  However, that last question is getting very close to the big question.

“What is it?” you ask.  Simply this, “If they do have children would they be considered, for income tax purposes, to be dependent Clauses?”

What do you think?

News

I recently read the following in the online edition of the Washington Examiner.

The Internet is revolutionizing news consumption, with more than seven in 10 telling Pew Research Center that they are better informed than they were five years ago because of the news websites they visit daily.

In Pew’s latest survey of Internet use, 75 percent said they are “better informed” about national news, and a near equal 74 percent on international news.

Just as importantly, 72 percent said that having so much information at their fingertips was a good thing and didn’t make them feel overloaded.

I’m with the majority on this one.  Most of my adult life I relied on radio or TV for news.  Newspapers and magazines also played a role, but served mostly as a source of paper to recycle.

A couple of years ago, I made the break.  I stopped listening to broadcast news, and I’m glad I did.  Now I use a few news sources and a couple of news aggregators to scan headlines and quick summaries of stories.  I click on links to stories that are of interest, and only the ones that are of interest.  No longer does an unnamed producer determine what news I’m informed of and to what level.

Long live the Web!  ¡Viva la telerana mundial!

Coming Up

Briana receives the BSN degree from GVSU president Haas.

Briana receives the BSN degree from GVSU president Haas. (photo by Barbara — aka Mom)

Yesterday, I told you about the start of Briana’s busy weekend.  That story ended on Saturday evening with Sylvia and I headed toward home as Briana and her parental units enjoyed some much needed rest.

Briana had told us that after church on Sunday she would begin studying for the RN licensing exam crash course that would start on Monday.  She’ll be taking the exam soon.  After that?  I’ll let Briana tell you in her own words, which she wrote just before graduation weekend.

I am so blessed to have family and friends who support and encourage me in everything I do! I wouldn’t be me without you! Excited to graduate tomorrow and start a new journey.

P.S. I am happy to share I’m moving to Madison, WI for a big girl job at the university hospital in February. I will be on an adult general medical and progressive unit through their RN Residency program.

So if you see me with a big ole grin on my face, that’s the “I’m Happy & Life is Good” look.

Her Busy Weekend

Briana is now an alumna of Grand Valley State University.  On Friday evening, the Honors College had its ceremony.  Briana, and the other grads, received a stole, a medallion and a pin to honor their graduation from the Honors College.

Saturday morning, was the university wide graduation ceremony.  This was held in the huge arena in downtown Grand Rapids.  There was some talk that Briana graduated last in her class, because she was the last student to walk out on the stage for recognition and presentation of the BS in Nursing degree.  You know that’s not true if you read the previous paragraph.  (Her Uncle Scott said, “They just saved the best for last.”)

Saturday afternoon, the Kirkhof College of Nursing of GVSU, held its recognition ceremony.  Sylvia and I were there for that one.  The venue was the Performing Arts Center (auditorium) at East Kentwood High School.  We had no trouble finding our way there.  The auditorium is in the same building and directly across from the pool where we had watched Briana and the team play water polo.

Dean, Cynthia McCurren, PhD, had some excellent words of encouragement.  There was no “main speaker.”  The students had opted to share their reflections with us.  That was excellent as the student’s short essays dealt with the full range of human experience from humorous to heart-rending.  Briana told about climbing a mountain in Ghana to visit a family that had never received professional medical attention–ever.

Degree recipients were individually recognized by name  as the presenter read their words to their friends and family.  Seven persons received Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees.  Three had earned MSN degree and about 86 received BSN degrees.  Several of the degree recipients have already done some excellent work.

Briana has her moment on stage

Briana has her moment on stage

Briana was not last this time.  They were called alphabetically by surname.

There was an informal reception in the huge entry area after the official proceedings were concluded.  I saw a lot of love between faculty and students through it all.

Afterward, we adjourned to the home of Briana and her parents for more family time.

Bryant, Briana and Barbara

Bryant, Briana and Barbara

Briana had a white stole, medallion (hangs on a white ribbon) and pin (next to the white ribbon) from the Honors College.  The blue and white cord is from the Student Nurse’s Association.  The red, yellow and green stole is from her study abroad in Ghana.

We shared good conversation and food.  Then more conversation before we left for home.  They were all tired and Sylvia had things to do for Sunday.

What’s next?  Come back tomorrow and I’ll share that with you.

Stuck in My Head

I listened to a song early last week.  I’m still singing that when my brain goes into idle cycles.  I think there’s a name for a song that sticks in your head, but I can’t remember what it’s called.  Can you help?

Here’s the song, but beware.  If you listen, you may get hooked.

Hope you liked it as much as I did. :awe:

Give Me the Simple Life

Do you ever feel like this?

Do you ever feel like this?

I can remember when my life felt, and looked, like the image above.  That was also a time when my blood pressure went out of control.  None of the exercises (mostly long walks) or drugs (we tried a lot of them) would bring it under control.  Even when I stepped out of a management slot and worked 30 hours/week the bp was too high.  I retired and returned to my native state of Michigan.

Surely that would do the trick.  It didn’t.  My first trip to my primary care physician brought the [bad] news that the bp was 160/106.  Eventually, we found the right combo to bring me into a “normal” range.  It has stayed there since.

Yes, the simple, laid-back life helps.  At least, I’d like to think it does. :cool:

Can You Hear Me Now?

A few years ago, Sylvia and I attended a supper event at a church where we had been members.  I was seated next to the denomination’s spiritual leader.  I introduced myself and told him that I had been a student in his Pastoral Counseling class about thirty-five years ago.  I went on to say that his class had been particularly helpful in my secular work.

The bishop wanted to know what had I learned that was so helpful.  My reply, “You taught me how to listen.”  He was surprised, but he shouldn’t have been.

I had been one who was thinking about my response whenever someone was speaking.  In other words, my focus was on myself–not the other person.

It’s not just enough to hear what the person is saying, a good listener is an active listener.  That means asking for clarifications when you don’t understand.  Also, you can restate what they’ve said to make sure that you did understand.

It sure turned my world around.

Proverbs 18:13
He who answers before listening—
that is his folly and his shame.
and
Proverbs 17:27, 28
 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint
 and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
 Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
 and discerning if he holds his tongue.