Sunday, February 8, 2015

Plum Creek Literacy Festival, 2014

Last spring, Dr. Dan Holtz and I applied for a student enhancement grant and took students to western Nebraska, to Chadron, for a three-day road that featured the state's literary and natural history.

This past spring, Dr. Gina Bitner and I applied for a similar grant to take Education and English students to the Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival.

Circumstances precluded Gina's joining us, so I drove a van from Peru to Steward and the gathering at Concordia University that I have attended many times over the past twenty or so years.

The grant included the afternoon banquet, a shirt, and two books for each of the eight students.

All the students got autographs from the many authors and illustrators in attendance, including keynote speaker Rosemary Wells, J. Patric Lewis, Nick Bruel, and Jack Gantos, all multiple prize-winning authors of children's literature.

Our day began with a presentation by Twyla Hanson,  Nebraska's State Poet, who last February gave a reading at Peru State College, her first official reading as the state poet.

We all enjoyed such a good time that Gina and I will apply for another grant to take students to next year's Plum Creek Literacy Festival--a big one, for the festival celebrates its 20th year. 

Homecoming 2014

As usual, my homecoming day started early, and I enjoyed pretty much every minute.

My morning began on campus where I read over the script for the parade and then headed to the staging area where many of the special guests, including the Sapp family sat--one of the brothers and his wife served as this year's grand marshalls.
As usual, the parade proved great fun.  The relative chaos appeals to me, and I served as the parade announcer, something I have done for over twenty years. 

This second section of photographs, of around forty images, covers the Homecoming celebration on the campus, including excellent music and lots of free food.

The band certainly dressed for the occasion, and the crowd, a large one, took advantage of the beautiful day.  I recorded short sequences from the Hoyt Street Jazz Band and the halftime show for your enjoyment.

One of the features of Homecoming that I enjoy a great deal:  the chance to see alumni and other familiar faces from my many years here.   And every once in a while, someone takes a picture of me.

And the band played on, providing fanfare at halftime and energizing music during the game.  The Pep Band members wore themselves out.  

Unfortunately the band's and the cheerleaders enthusiasm did not ensure a victory for the Bobcat team, which did not enjoy a particularly good season at the Oak Bowl or on the road.

King and Queen and Court

Homecoming also featured the crowing of the Homecoming King, Queen, and Court.  And this year's winners, as always, featured a wonderful group of students, including the King, Ryan Bawman,  and Queen, Lexi Neemann, here flanked by Dan and Elaine Hanson.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Brain Trust, Fall 2014

Brain Trust is a wonderful campus event that brings youngsters from the area schools to campus for an entertaining learning experience:  this year students from Nebraska City and Bellevue attended, 210 energetic youngsters.

My colleague in the School of Education, Dr. Gina Bitner, reminded me of the event, and I spent a couple hours with the various groups, taking pictures and enjoying the fun. 

Throughout Brain Trust, PSC students offer various programs to engage with the students, from understanding shapes, to creating slime, one of my favorite activities.

Other activities include learning about minerals, animals, money  gravity, and things that glow in the dark.  

The youngsters' enthusiasm filled the halls of T. J. Majors.  The laughter and the enthusiasm put smiles on faces, both youngsters and PSC students.

Jazz on the Green, Fall, 2014

I always enjoy Jazz on the Green, and the Hoyt Street Jazz Ensemble entertained on a glorious October day.

Great weather, excellent music, enthusiastic people, and free food make for an always enjoyable occasion.

I uploaded a short video of short clips from the band.  And, of course, you can download from Flickr any pictures that interest you--again, the files are large enough for 8 X 10.

I look forward to Spring 2015's edition of Jazz on the Green.