Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WOW,WOW, and WOW AGAIN!: Amy Gets Her Masters Degree From Gonzaga University!!

One of the truly fun parts of being a Mom is seeing all of the milestones my children go through as they grow up....their first steps, first day of school, first date, graduation from high school, graduation from college, getting married, birth of their first child...the list goes on and on. My prayer has always been that they would grow up to be who they are uniquely meant to be, be happy in their own skin, know that God loves them, and that they would fulfill their dreams.
Last Saturday my precious daughter Amy achieved one of her dreams. She graduated from Gonzaga University with a Masters degree in Communications and Leadership Studies. She set a goal, she dedicated herself to achieving it, and she accomplished it in style- getting an A in every class and special recognition of her Masters thesis about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the workplace.
How Amy achieved this dream is beyond amazing to me. I too have a masters degree (two of them) and the work load at the post-graduate level to achieve a Masters Degree is incomprehensible to most people, unless you have done it. There are hours and hours of going to class, reading academic works, writing and rewriting papers, conferences with academic advisors, presentations to give, more papers to write, an oral exam and presentation of your thesis, and writing a thesis that is scrutinized by an academic committee of the faculty of the university.
It is rigorus academic work under any circumstances. Yet to do it , as Amy did, while working part time as the manager of a consulting practice, getting pregnant and have a new baby, being an exceptional Mom to four children (and attend all their activities), being an amazing wife, daughter, sister, and friend, participating in a church, and driving children in cars for hours and hours...and hours....well that to me defines an exceptional effort and achievement.
Yet since Amy was a little girl she has never been one to "toot her own horn!" She is very humble and grateful for the opportunity to get an education, but she will be the last person to tell you she got an A in all of her classes or that she did her studying at night so her children wouldn't have to compete with school for her attention.
Saturday was Amy's day...her graduation day. Not only did she look beautiful, she looked radiant. Seeing her cross that stage, and seeing her at her graduation party, warmed my heart.
She was surrounded by Ryan and all four of her precious children, her family, her best friend Jodi and her just doesn't get better than that!
So here's to YOU Aim! I'm bringing a band of horns, trumpets, a big brass band, to "toot your horn" for you! Boppa and I are SO, SO proud of you...who you are as a person, your love for the Lord. the servant heart you have for others, and this huge accomplishment of getting your Masters degree! We love you to the moon and back, and we are proud that you are our daughter!!
May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you joy and peace! May you always know His love for you and that you are His beloved child!
Your proud Momma

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Spring Communication Conference- WE DID IT!!!

WOW! It was a bit like birthing a baby...months and months of preparation and hard work, concern and intention...a goal to put on a conference for SCC and the community.
The Spring Communication conference has become an annual event in my life. Five years ago I agreed to take it over to see if we could make it more professional and really highlight our department and bring in new students. I saw this event as a marketing opportunity extraordinare, if we stepped up to REALLY showcase what we give to students in our classes. It could also be a gift to our community because we could market it in Spokane as a free opportunity for education.
What continues to amaze me is that this event grows and grows, and we now have a class that puts this on as a communications internship for students in our communications program. This year we had three student managers and ran it as a business. While I was the CEO, the managers (who participated in the conference last year) learned management skills as they supervised key committees.
This may sound pretty "typical" for a business, yet we were putting on a conference for 1000 people, decorating the huge conference center, providing food, muffins, fruit trays, juice and coffee for a thousand, brochures, marketing postcards and more...on a BUDGET OF $00.00.
That's right NO MONEY!
This student-run conference had to get donations during a recession to function. And they DID IT BIG TIME!!
The marketing blitz was phenominal..complete with professional postcard invitations, readerboard signs, brochures put out, invitation speeches made in classes and churches, and signs everywhere!
This year we had 1100 total participants, gorgeous decorations and flowers, balloons everywhere, platters of fruit and food, Roberta Greene as the keynote speaker, eight other workshops following, and a celebration luncheon to boot.
My role on May 5th was to be the MC for the keynote session, introduce the keynote speaker,
and give two workshops, one at 9:30 with Scott Finnie and one at 10:30 on "How To Become An Optimist!"
Whew! It was an amazing experience with so many highlights...filled with hundreds of hours of work for me and not much sleep:) But seeing the students be self-empowered and do what seemed impossible with such hard work and professionalism made it WELL worth the hard work. Also, when we look at the FTE numbers for our department, we are up 30% since last year! That means more of our students at SCC are being exposed to how to be better communicators!! Another goal reached!
Thanks to all who asked about how it went and special KUDOS to Bert and Amy for coming to the conference to support me (and to Tim for taking care of Jenna so Amy could attend)!:)
As I always say...I have the best job in the world!
God Bless!
Love Linda

Sunday, May 03, 2009


This quarter I have been teaching a Gender Communication class and it has brought up many memories for me of growing up female! Last week one of my female students was using a thesaurus and actually found us listed under "weaker sex"....She was furious as was I. Are you kidding me???

In 1972 (I was born in 1947) Helen Reddy sang a number one hit called "I Am Woman". This song was controversial at the time and yet is still applicable today. The lyrics say in part:

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend.

Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever going to keep me down again!

Today is Bloomsday and the race course will be crammed full of women runners. When Jessi and Amy were little we used to sit at the top of Doomsday Hill and yell for the wheelchair athletes. In 1986 I was running and did the Bloomsday course in one hour and twenty minutes....not a big deal by most standards, but great for ME! On another note, Bert did Bloomsday in 50 minutes when he was 50! Way to go Boppa!

And that's what it is really about in my book...EVERY woman having the right to achieve their FULL POTENTIAL with no artificial restrictions like gender.

This morning my daughter Jessi is in the second seed group and is wearing BLUE..she is number 721. She EARNED this place in the race and is running it so sick most folks would stay home. She'll be out there giving it her all! I'm ROOTING for you Jess Jess!

Amy's best friend Jodi is also running as fast as the wind! All I can say is WOW!! Get those Kenyans Jodi! No matter how fast you run...we are so proud of you!

While I am cheering for all of the athletes who have the guts to do Bloomsday, I am sending up a HUGE cheer for all of my "sisters" who are out there!

Give 'em heck ladies! Let's hear you ROAR!!!

God Bless!
Love Linda

Soul Work in the Deep Waters...

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