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Friday, May 11, 2012

Graduation Season

This week I picked up my cap and tassel for my Graduation on May 25th. Today we picked up Johanna's cap, tassel and honor cord for next Saturday, May 19th. It is amazing that it has been 3 years since I started my journey as a returning college student. I had no real idea of what I would be doing with my education. I just knew that my skills for the work force were needing improved upon and I could use the FAFSA money to support my family.  
    Now, I have a much clearer view of the work force and I see that I have gained some amazing skills that I did not even know existed. I have always love the subject of Geography. The California High School system has all but removed Geography from the curriculum.  I insisted that my children all take an entire year of Geography. I did not know that I was doing something radical at the time. If we are to live on a "digital planet" the children of today need to know what the planet is like and not just the technology that makes it all digital. 
     My daughter, Abbie, has an interest in Archaeology. What would an Archaeologist be without her map? My son, Ian, want to be in the Coast Guard and go around the world (with hopes of time spent in Madagascar), how would he succeeded or even know of all this without his Geography studies? One of my cousins has two children. Her husband traveled the world before he got married and has encouraged their children to do the same. Their son has been traveling abroad for almost a year and has settled down in Eastern Asia for a season to teach English as a Second Language. 
     I am reminded of the phrase: "Bright hope for a new tomorrow". Well, first of all I have never heard of an old tomorrow, but the "Bright hope" part is what is important to me. Yes, there is the hope in salvation in trusting Jesus as my savior, but there is also the hope to see my grandchildren graduate from college. In the next 25 years while that dream is materializing, I want to be helping people with the "information highway" to navigate the maps of the world. 
    That is going to be the objective on my next resume. I want to help people navigate the information highway with the use of GIS.

Meanwhile, I have a lot of running around to do in the next three weeks. In the upcoming week I will assist Dr. Kashuba with two workshop in a local high school. We will be teaching the use of GPS and how to map things out using tools that are free to anyone on the internet. I also have a challenge for the students to get involved with the California Roadkill Observation survey.
The kids can identify and map out wildlife crossing patterns which will help CAL Trans and wildlife biologist to protect animals and humans alike.
I found these as sobering facts:
       The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates there are approximately 1.5         million auto deer collisions per year, resulting in damage losses of around $1.5 billion USD, which works out to an average cost of $1,000 per accident.  State Farm Insurance Agency also supports these statistics, and goes on to report that, in the year 2004, there were 150 human deaths in the United States that were directly linked to car deer accidents. 
      Along with the two workshops I will have a project presented on Wednesday night with my team in GIS 25. We are working on a map that will aid disadvantaged people to the services in the community. This has been a project I have been involved with all semester in my Digital Planet class and spilling over to the GIS 25 - project class. Tuesday (May 22) I get to go to a Trimble workshop. That will be finals week and my graduation week. 
     This summer I will continue as an intern with the GIS department at Shasta College. I am excited for what awaits me in the next season.
Busy, exciting days ahead. I will be excited to hear about Abbie's trip to Humbolt on their Oceanography Research Vessel when I pick her up tomorrow evening. Mary work with the first Shasta College  NEW workshop. (Nontraditional Employment for woman.  Johanna got an opportunity to photograph a car show/ swap meet that Mary's Diesel 4x4 club sponsored last week .  She did an excellent job and both the Welding club and the Diesel club got pictures. Last night Ian was awarded the Physical Education Outstanding Student Award at his school. Not for the best athlete, but the best student. The PE coach gave a speech explaining how Ian helps her, encourages other and is her number one helper. "Someone I can trust to do a job and I don't have to worry if it will be done correctly." The have an award for each teacher to give out and his was the only PE award. There was outstanding Tennis Players.

    Each child so different, but outstanding in their own special way. Proud mom this mother's day. As I reflect on Mother's Day I think of that grubby little boy hand full of dandy lions. That is what makes a mother's heart melt.


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