April 20th, 2010

A groundhog day, racism considerations, the rhetoric of lies, Dr. Dare, and a kiva.org loan award...

~Tuesday~  Xolani and I were up and on the 7:45 bus again this morning. Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day standing at the bus stop, when day after day the bus is on the later side rather than the earlier side, and when the long, yellow school bus passes by at the same time.

A lady got on the bus today whom I was quite sure was Indian. But observing a little longer, and a little more closely, I thought, "Oh, maybe she's Hispanic." I feel so ignorant sometimes not being able to discern races accurately. I can't decide if it's racist, as in it implies that "they all look alike to me," or if it's the absence of racist in that I don't have any preconceived notion about what a particular race looks like. And then again, perhaps it just is.

While writing in my journal this morning, I started daydreaming about one of my characters boarding the bus and walking up to me, pointing to my journal accusingly, and saying, "What do you write in that thing every day, anyway?" I imagine myself responding, "Oh, I just plan my day while I ride into work." This made me think about Anna's conversation at Coffee Klatch last Friday, about a recent conversation she had with her daughter, Jocelyn, about what lies are, why we lie, and what a white lie is. You know, the usual rhetorical-purposes-of-lies conversation one has with one's children.



I had a ridiculously busy workday, which was highlighted by my 3.5-hour stint (if you count set up and breakdown time) on The Brickyard peddling Google Apps @ NC State. We had a better (by magnitude) day out there than we did yesterday, actually having several people at our booth signing up for their accounts on our two laptops, while others were getting help configuring their mobile devices to access Gmail that way, and while others still were asking general questions about their student e-mail being converted to Google.

I worked with Leslie Dare, who's a fun person in Student Affairs, and whom, like my sister has a slew of degrees, even though she doesn't usually use her "Dr." title. (She's even more like my sister in that her terminal degree is a Ph.D, but since it's in Education, it's called an Ed.D.)  She told a funny story about when after her divorce she didn't want to keep her married name or take back her maiden name, so she chose "Dare" for a last name knowing that when she got her doctorate, she'd sound like a superhero with her new title: Dr. Dare!!!

The other person I worked with was my friend and colleague Jen, who's just an absolute delight and smart as a whip when it comes to helping people—both in terms of figuring out technical things and in terms of having people skills. Love her!

We did a lot of good work helping people today and had fun while doing it. That's the way work should be.



This evening, starting at 6:00 in the Talley Student Center Ballroom, I attended the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service (CSLEPS) 2010 awards banquet. All of the advisors who went on Alternative Service Break Trips in the 2009-2010 academic year, of which I was one with my Post-Katrina Habitat Gulf Coast Trip, received recognition.

I was grateful that instead of a plaque, our recognition was done in the form of a donation to kiva.org. (My friend and colleague, Nick, will be delighted to read this.) Martha paid back her first loan very quickly, and you can read all about her hopes and dreams by clicking on the image:


Other highlights of the award ceremony included Jackie, the student leader of our Gulf Coast ASB trip, being presented with a CSLEPS Award for Excellence, and the Keynote Speaker, Mike Taylor, overcome with emotion while sharing his keynote speech and making this memorable comment, "We'd all do better to get our face out of Facebook more often and get our face in a book."