Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blogs that go away...and other thoughts

I don't read many blogs from people I don't know but there were two that I just got sucked into the stories in the lives of these people.  And now they are gone.  One last post and then: poof. 

It's like reading a book and wanting the author to write more, although they probably won't and I find myself wondering if I could write the next book.  Only it's not the same because I know (well, I'm pretty sure) that these were real stories from real life and now they have moved on to a new chapter of their lives and it doesn't include blogging, or at least not where they were blogging before.  I think maybe that is what makes blogs so interesting to "thumb through".  They are real stories of real people.  We get to anonymously (if we want to) come into their lives for a short chapter or two, maybe even just a sentence. 

It is a curious place...the blogosphere.  I don't participate as much as I want to, but then, I have always seen myself as more of a reader than a leader.  I have thoughts but then they are so quickly replaced by something else.  Like right now...I have a conference call in 15 minutes to talk about the Focus on Goats conference that will be at UW-Platteville in October.  Looking at the time has taken away what slight hold I had on a thought that I wanted to put down.  So maybe you'll get to learn a little about goats next time :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011



The first number should go up while the rest go down.  At least, that's the plan :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Faculty College: Signature Pedagogies

What I learned at Faculty College:

There are a lot of interesting people teaching in Wisconsin.  And by interesting I don't necessarily mean it as a good thing.  Man!   Universities are liberal places.

I learned that I don't have a clue what the humanities people are talking about.

I learned that I don't have a clue what the social scientists are talking about.

I learned that there are educational psychologists.  They are interesting to talk to.

I learned that there is a lady in Wisconsin studying horse breeds in Cuba.  She is a woman studies professor.

I learned that historians are goofy.  Well, some of them :-)  In a good way, too.

I learned that getting my cheesemaker's license fascinated people.

I learned that UW-Richland Center was once Wisconsin State University Platteville...not sure of that history but I am totally curious (EEEK...I have been married to a history buff for too long :-) )

I learned that even a group of faculty will act like a group of students: there are those that say nothing, those that raise their hands, and those that talk and never stop.

Overall it was fun and I think that we already are teaching in our signature pedagogy quite well.  I might even find room for a publication in the area of SoTL someday (if I can figure out what it means!).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Multi-Tasking x10

I am grateful that the girls are old enough to play upstairs by themselves so I can get some work done.

- Calling the folks at Valley Ag to find out about Dairy Comp for my next PACCE project and addition to the Dairy Cattle Management class I now have to teach

- Finding local cheesemakers to visit for a grant I wrote and to network for the dairy products plant here in the future

- Finding local farms to visit for both the Dairy Cattle Management and Small Ruminant/Equine Management courses I am teaching

- Coming up with SWEET assignments for those two classes

- Figuring out what paperwork the IRS really needs

 - Trying to figure out who will watch my kids while I am in New Orleans in July (any takers?)

- Waiting (impatiently) to hear back about a project proposal I submitted so that project can get underway ASAP

- Wondering what to have for supper

- Listening to the washing machine rock uncontrollably (I should go fix that...)

- Determining what day is the best to go to Fromagination in Madison to work on my network :-)  (and try the cheeses!)

- Discovering that I put too much on my plate for the summer...August is coming too fast already!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Award!

Today I won an award :-)  I have to admit that it was almost a fluke thing because, while I had been planning on putting the application together for a few months, I didn't actually write anything down for the application until about the day it was due!  At the time I figured that I might be the only one applying so it was better to send my quick thoughts than nothing at all.

The award is to support some of the research I want to do into the possibilities of community engagement with my animal science students.  It is easy for engineering or construction or business students to find a community partner that needs help solving a problem, thereby giving the students real-world, hands-on experience.  It is an entirely different matter to find these partners in animal science.  That just isn't the way the industry works.

From the first day that I started my job, I heard about PACCE.  That stands for Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement and I wanted to be involved.  I just didn't know how.  I talked and asked and bugged for suggestions and I kept pestering the dairy farm manager.  So last year he gave me an idea: the cowbrush.  I believe I put a link on that story on Facebook, but here it is again: UWP Cowbrush.  That was a fun project and for my Dairy Products class this semester, there are students making yogurt.  The most popular is Pioneer Pumpkin Pie, but there are also Chocolate-covered Strawberry, Strawberry Cheesecake, Smores, Cow Pie, Dirt Cup, Chocolate-covered Cherry, and even one more unusual: Goat Milk Honey Crunch.  It was a fun run but now I am already thinking about the next project: getting a milk pasteurizer on the farm.

I enjoy getting the students involved in more than just the mundane lectures.  I am also looking forward to tweaking my lectures to add more pizazz but MAN does that take time!  I can't do real justice to all five/six classes each year and so I focus on one at a time. 

There is more...I want to put it brain is constantly full of it.  It is exciting and fun and I am loving how God is using the short time I was in Oklahoma to work interesting things here in Wisconsin.  I often thought "Why am I even here!" but then I figured that if I had chosen the University of Alberta, that I wouldn't have had as much time for family (and so no husband, kids, Georgia, Georgia friends, etc.) so that alone is a huge blessing and God-send.  But now to see that that time in OK even benefited my future in my career, well, that is overwhelming.  In other words, it is a "God thing".

More on the exciting adventure of Tera in Dairy Science-land later...