Sunday, September 25, 2011

Homecoming 2011

Homecoming activities for me began Friday with Power Puff Football and then later in the evening when I enjoyed photographing and talking with those nine 1961 graduates from Peru State College who traveled here for a 50-Year Reunion.

At around ten Saturday morning--and what beautiful weather graced the area both Friday and Saturday--Dan Perkins, Student Senate Vice-President, and I took our spots at the announcer's table.

I thoroughly enjoyed serving as the Homecoming Parade announcer for the
eighteenth time--and what fun to work with the enthusiastic members of Student Senate who organized the parade and picked up trash along the highway to help beautify the ride to the festivities in Peru.

The first set of photographs includes some shots from the Power-Puff team--Guts and Glory--for which some of the students from my College 1o1 played. Most of the attention in this series of pictures goes to the Tail-Gate Party after the Septemberfest Parade.

The Hoyt Street Jazz Ensemble entertained while an impressive crowd ate burgers, cotton candy, and candied apples while having Paul Fell draw their faces or while having their faced painted.

My short video from the day's activities includes Jazz
Ensemble music, a bit of the Peru Marching Band's Halftime Show, the Pep Band, and the cheerleaders.

The video also includes a number of photographs from Saturday's fun, including those pictures from the football game in the Homecoming Part Two collection.

Dr. Bill Snyder, the Grand Marshall for this years Homecoming Septemberfest Parade, enjoyed tossing the coin to get the game going between the Benedictine Ravens and the Peru State

And, of course, the half-time activities included the crowning of this years Homecoming King and Queen, Madison Farris and Kimmy Miller.

Enjoy the photographs and the video. As they both indicate, a large crowd of Peru State supporters took advantage of a number of events on Saturday that underscore what makes a small-college community special.

Apple Valley Fun

This past Monday, September 19, I had the pleasure to serve as the guest speaker for the Apple Valley Reading Council meeting at the Lutheran Church in Auburn.

This group has met previously at Peru State College, most recently in both 2007 and 2008. The emphasis of this group of concerned educators falls upon literacy.

I talked with the members about the Peru to Peru connection, both the group of people who flew to Peru, NE, from Lima, Peru, and my trip to Peru, South America, this summer.

I enjoy my association with these dedicated individuals and hope that The Apple Valley Reading Council will once again hold meetings at Peru State College, for these people have a lot to offer our students who will enter the teaching profession.

Alumni Celebrations

Alumni Faculty Dinner

Recently, President Dan Hanson and Elaine Hanson hosted a dinner at their house to honor some familiar faculty faces to those of us who have worked at the college the past couple decades, from Clyde Barrett, whom I replaced in the English Department nineteen years ago, to Bill Snyder, who just retired.

I posted a number of photographs from the dinner that included members of the Peru Foundation, so give them a look and see whom you might recognize.

This dinner coincided with a project Elaine Hanson asked
me to undertake, a special video for a dear friend of the Peru State College community, Dr. Leland (Shorty) Sherwood. A couple years ago, the Peru Foundation sponsored a special and successful dinner for Shorty and auction for some of Shorty's beautiful watercolors to raise scholarship funds.

Leland presently battles an illness that precludes his coming to campus to see the newly refurbished Fine Arts Building--that once housed the Art Department--so I recorded thoughts from a few faculty members and created a video for Leland that you can watch on You Tube.

In addition to short tributes from Dan Holtz, Spencer Davis, and others, the video
features pictures of the beautiful Fine Arts Building and some splendid piano by Tom Ediger.

I hope that you enjoy the video and that you will pay Leland a visit. We all wish that Shorty could join us on campus.

This Homecoming week saw a different group of alumni visit campus.

This Friday afternoon and evening, I had the pleasure to talk with and photograph at an elegant reception at the
Hansons' home and then at a special banquet sponsored by the Peru Foundation in the Burr Oak Room graduates from the Peru State College class of 1961:
Peru State College Class of 1961

These people all enjoyed interesting careers, and all credit their years at the college for their continued success after graduation. And as the collected photographs suggest, they enjoyed their return to the Campus of a Thousand Oaks.

The Peru Foundation awarded each of these special alumni a handsome medallion. As one of the alumni noted--a former track and field athlete in his years as an undergraduate--he never received as big a medal when he won races 50 years ago.

College 101 in 2011

Lunch with President Dan Hanson and Elaine Hanson

Lunch with President Dan Hanson and Elaine Hanson

This year's College 101 Class for Social Sciences and Language Arts picked up quickly where last year's fun concluded.

As last year's blog page for the class indicates, the class enjoyed Ellen Klages' visit and her book,
White Sands, Red Menace, which we read again this term.

We also visited the
John Neihardt Center--check out the links from last year, which include as well some of the quick projects the students undertook.

Last week after class, the class walked to PSC President Dan Hanson's house where Elaine Hanson greeted the students for lunch. The Hansons invite all the sections of College 101 to the house, getting to know all the freshman class.

On this past Friday, Dr. Dan Holtz joined the students to tell them a
bit about Willa Cather, for on 30 September, we and other interested students will take a bus to Red Cloud for a few hours of touring the area, led by a guide from the Willa Cather Foundation.

I will continue to update the photographs related to the
class's activities as the term progresses.

As part of Homecoming activities, a few of the students in the class took part in Powder Puff Football in the field behind TJ Majors.

Students in the class take part in numerous activities on campus, and I will try to highlight on this page some of their involvement, from Pep Band and Power Puff Football to, ah, Cheerleaders.

September 30 Excursion to Willa Cather Country

On Friday, 30 September, the class boarded a but here in Peru at 6:30 in the morning and made the three-hour journey to Red Cloud, NE, home of the Willa Cather Foundation.

After arriving at the foundation's headquarters at the beautifully restored Opera House, the group began its tour of areas in Red Cloud that featured in both Cather's life and literature, including the home in which Will Cather lived as a child.

As photographs from the visit indicate, our guide walked us
to a variety of sites, from the Red Cloud Depot to the old Catholic Church, from the house Cather stayed in when she visited from New York, to the Grace Church where the Cather family worshipped.

That afternoon, we boarded the bus and enjoyed a couple hours touring the countryside around Red Cloud and visited some of the sites of importance in Cather's novel, especially My Antonia.

We stopped, for example, at the farmstead of Annie Sadilek Pavelka, one of Cather's childhood friends, and the source for Antonia in the novel.

I enjoyed seeing the fields teeming with Mile and Sorghum and simply forgot to ask the bus driver to stop for a good photograph.

Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan Visit Peru State College
I posted a blog page that offers links and information about Andrea and Pan's
activities during their two-day visit when they gave individual performances and then joined together for a presentation to College 101 students from my section and from the section devoted to Music and Art.

College 101 Special Projects

To conclude the semester, the class divided into four groups to create special projects
that experimented with various media:

One group offered a video (now available on You Tube) about Willa Cather and the class trip to Red Cloud.

Another group of students created a Face Book page that features Andrea Hairston and Pan Morigan.

The other two groups created projects connected in one way or another with Ellen Klages' novel, White Sands, Red Menace: